You have doubtless heard the term spiritualist shared on numerous occasions and either already know what it is or you don't and you wonder about it at times.
Spiritualism, a new religion, is based on the belief of spirits of the deceased that exist and have the ability and inclination to communicate and interact with the living.
Spiritualists view the afterlife or "spirit realm" not as a place that is static, but rather as a place where spirits are constantly evolving.
What is a Spiritualist?
Spiritualists are people who claim to be able to communicate with the spirits of the deceased.
The spiritualist claims to be the medium through which the spirit (or "control") transmits its messages to the living.
Spiritualists believe in a future existence and that those who have passed into the spirit-world can communicate with us.
They can communicate with spirits of those who have died physically. This communication is believed to be beneficial for both the living and the dead.
Spiritualism's validity has been controversial for many reasons, including the negative perception that fraudsters have created of communication from the ″other side.″
Is Spiritualism a Religion?
Spiritualism is unique among the major and minor religions of the world (Christianity, Judaism etc), because it's new, has no global presence and doesn't have any theology.
It is a new religion with rituals, doctrinal elements, a belief system in a transcendent realm and an experiential dimension. These are elements that many other religions lack.
Modern Spiritualism views itself as completely rational and without any element of the supernatural.
Spiritualists see this as what separates their belief from many other faiths that believe in life after death.
Spiritualism does not tell you what to believe or how to interpret religious philosophy. There are no rules or books to be followed.
In the middle of 19th century, the Spiritualists' Union (SNU), movement was established in the USA.
It is the eighth most popular religion in Britain, and it has many groups throughout the country. There are around 360 SNU-affiliated or associated bodies in total in the UK, which is broken down into 348 affiliated and 12 associated bodies.
It is a belief that communication with spirits can be possible. However, Modern Spiritualism can encompass a wide variety of beliefs and world views.
Terms Related to Spiritualists
There are several terms used in place of the word ″spiritualist″ to describe it in a way that is not so esoteric or off-putting to many people.
A common term is a ″medium″ and many people can relate this to a person who sits in a darkened room behind a round table and ″sits″ for clients wishing to get in contact with the dead.
Mediums, who have special abilities and are believed to be able to communicate with spirits, are those with whom they can communicate. Communication was believed to have occurred at a seance in the 19th century.
However, communication in the 21st Century is more likely to occur at a Spiritualist church service where mediums are on display or in private sessions with mediums. Communication can take the form of messages or physical manifestations like tapping.
Another well-known term in common use is ″psychic.″ The psychic is a person who is able to make contact with the spirit world and pass on messages from deceased relatives or friends.
It is possible to obtain personal spiritual readings online (read the article linked to).
Less well known is the channeler, who is a person able to literally channel energy from the spirit world into this mortal realm that we exist in.
This is a person who claims to possess supernatural abilities that enable them to perceive events occurring in the future or in a place and time beyond normal human sensory contact.
This is another term for spiritualist or a person that is sensitive to external vibrations that they absorb and interpret as messages or contact with the spirits of deceased people.
This term has been popularized by a television show of the same name, depicting a man able to use his mental connection with an unseen power to influence occurrences here on earth.
In short, a spiritualist, or spiritist is basically someone who has developed their sixth sense to enable them to make contact with a spirit world that many believe exists.
Of course, not everyone believes in this paranormal plane of existence and since there is no hard physical evidence to support the idea, the jury is still out on whether it is real or not.
For many, belief in a spiritual plane is a personal thing, so you get to make your own mind up as to whether you accept it as real or not.