The Medium Speaks

Last night I went to a lecture/demonstration by the famous medium James Van Praagh. Having trained with him about 15 years ago and being a practitioner of that art myself, I was curious to see him all these years later. Knowing how the process works, I wanted to see how he dealt with the fact that no medium, no matter how fabulous, has 100% accuracy. He stands before crowds of hundreds while I sit with one person. No matter. When someone pays money and expects real results, trust must be engendered despite a less than perfect batting average.

When I studied with him, his first book came out in the last week of our class and it became an instant best-seller; his career skyrocketed from there and Part II of our class never came to pass. But we got it: love, forgiveness, and healing are the real purposes of connecting with spirit. Or as a famous Tibetan lama once said, "Have no unfinished business." So if you didn't get around to peacemaking with a loved one in human body, then a medium can come in handy.

That being said, James has had such overwhelming success in his career that the more subdued medium of yesteryear has become quite the entertainer to enliven the crowds he pulls in. I get it. Talking to the dead could spook folks so a few jokes and song might lighten things up.

Starting off with two songs from a quintessentially groomed gospel-trained church singer Thelma Jones, James bounces on stage after she rocks the house. The crowd is warming up. Then he jokes, "I am not a medium. I'm a large," in reference to his body type that resembles a gigantic beach ball. That's funny, James.

This is not a newspaper review of his performance so I'll get to the point of why this evening was valuable to me even if his schtick bored me silly. I knew what he was doing and while he spewed out endless details about the spirit who connected with a person in the audience (a son, an uncle, a mother), and people were transfixed, his entertainment style was like a dog and pony show to me.

But...but...he set an intention at the beginning of the evening: no matter which individual in the audience got a reading from him - the words, the energies present, were for all the people there; to be open to what may come.

I knew my recently departed husband wouldn't prod James to speak to me because he already has direct access. No need for a backup medium. I also knew that there were spirits and people in the audience who really needed James' reading that night and would take priority over a person the likes of myself.

So, when I realized that I had to sit there for two hours jammed in like a sardine, the obvious thing was to do a reading for myself and see who would come in. (Michael was already there with me, playfully jabbing my ribs and laughing at the irony of me sitting in this venue.)

And voila! His mother Violaine showed up. She had refused to see me in real life and had also disavowed two of her real female offspring. Heretofore, she never wanted to communicate in spirit either; a stubborn woman indeed.

After working with her and one of her departed daughters to peace make (they both missed early nurturing from their mothers, a generational issue), they happily skipped off into the ethers arm in arm. 

I marveled. James created a space for the entire audience to make a connection and it worked.

As he reminded those present, judgement blocks the good things in life and I am ever so thankful for his reminder. Despite my "insiders" view of the tricks of the trade, my critical mind slipped away as I rode the waves of the collective and hit a home run, to mix a few metaphors.

He says that we are not humans with a soul; rather we are souls having a human experience in this school called life. Perhaps he is right.

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