Some Thoughts on Susan’s Spiritualism
August 5, 2014 § 2 Comments
In a post I wrote last December, I referred to Susan’s belief that ties with the deceased were not severed at death, and she could communicate with them through spiritualism (Click here to read the post). I elaborate in Chapter 8 of Susan Lawrence: The Enigma in the Wright House:
[Susan] was not alone. The supernatural permeated America at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries, and women at the top of the social and economic ladders were the most active participants. At its peak at the turn of the century, spiritualism had over 10 million followers. The National spiritualist Association of America (NSAA) defines spiritualism as “the science, philosophy and religion of continuous life, based upon the demonstrated fact of communication, by means of mediumship, with those who live in the Spirit World.” The mediums intervene in a variety of ways either through verbal or physical manifestations.
Not everyone of that era accepted spiritualism. Most notably, Harry Houdini, the great illusionist, spent the last years of his life vehemently debunking the work of psychics and mediums. He unveiled hoaxes time and again.
Since my husband Carl passed away last October, I have given this phenomenon a lot of thought and have come to the conclusion that both Susan and Houdini were right. I believe as Susan did that ties with the deceased are not severed at death, but like Houdini, I do not believe that we can initiate communications with our loved ones even with the aid of a medium. Rather, our loved ones come to us when they choose.
I base my conclusion on some personal experiences I’ve had these past months, stories friends have shared, and Houdini’s last “show.” Houdini’s widow Bess held a séance each year on the anniversary of his death in an attempt to connect with him. On the tenth death anniversary, the séance was broadcast on the radio world-wide. A medium attempted to get a message from Houdini for over an hour, and finally Bess proclaimed that she was finished trying to reach him. She bid him good-by. As the program went off the air, a violent but extremely localized thunderstorm broke out. It only occurred over the building that housed the radio station. There was no rain, thunder, or lightning in any other part of town. (Click here for Houdini’s story)