After the very insightful presentation and Q&A by the mediums in class on Monday, I decided to take a look at mediums from different generations. Through the Spirit Writings website, I discovered a medium named Andrew Jackson Davis lived through the 19th century (1826-1910) and a medium named Francisco de Paula Candido Xavier who lived through the 20th century (1910-2002). By comparing the cultural, geographic, and generational differences between these mediums, I hope to uncover consistencies that would support the timelessness of the “other side” or variances that could be challenge the spiritual component on a societal level. Lastly, I hope to learn more about the different types of mediums, since Rita mentioned on Monday’s class that nobody’s energy or abilities are the same as anyone else’s.
Andrew Jackson Davis was born and resided in the New England area for the duration of his life and started his spiritual career by practicing mesmerism at the Castleton Medical College. H would later frequently end up in “magnetic sleeps” where people were transparent to his eyes and h would wake up the next morning 40 miles away in a random location. This was late classified as supernatural powers and studied by various philosophers and doctors. In his own words, “it is a truth that spirits commune with one another while one is in the body and the other in the higher spheres.” Davis continued to offer his services as a mesmerizer by “seeing apparitions” and throwing himself into “the superior condition” while prescribing herbal remedies for his patients.
Francisco de Paula Candido Xavier on the other hand was born and lived in Brazil until his death. He practiced a form of Brazilian spiritualism called Spiritism, where he would contact the spirits and engage in automatic writing. He came about this ability when his mother died and he consequently heard voices and sensed spirit presences. He cured one of his sisters from an apparent possession through his automatic writing. Although he was blind in one eye and only had a rudimentary education, Xavier wrote over 130 books that have sold over 3 million copies in 415 editions. A lot of people have analyzed his works and have come to the conclusion that the automatic writing contained skills and concepts beyond the medium’s understandings and thus came from his subconscious (or spirituality). What’s even more amazing is that he completed these works in very fast times.
From these medium’s long lives as well as the two presenters from Monday’s class, it is easy to see that mediums come in all shapes and forms. Something similar between all four of the mediums I analyzed was that they didn’t seem to be doing it for money or fame. Mostly, they genuinely wanted to help or teach people, either by sharing their experiences through written literature or performing their talents on those in need.