A medium can be defined as a person that is in close or direct contact with one or more alleged incorporeal entities or so-called spirits and serves voluntarily or involuntarily as an agent between the spiritual and the physical world. Direct contact is the exchange of thought, emotions, feelings, sensation, and proprioception between medium and spirit and can project on all five senses in the medium. Hence, this close bond allows for the sharing of well-differentiated complex visual, auditory, tactile, olfactory experiences between the two.
Mediumship is frequently called channelling, eventually because the concept of mediumship has not been a popular notion and no clear distinction has been proposed.
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In most parts of the world, being a medium, a channel, or having a heightened perception is considered something extraordinary and at times hardly believable. However, this does not hold true for Spiritists.
According to the Spiritist view, every human being is to a certain degree influenced by spirit entities or conscious incorporeal forces and potentials. This faculty assumingly is inherent in man and nature so that every human being can be considered a medium. However, only those individuals receive this designation in whom a given mediumistic faculty is clearly characterised, producing well-marked events.
The high proliferation of mediums and their notable actions in Brazil, not only doctor-spirit mediums but also others like Umbanda mediums, seems to substantiate the claim that every human being has mediumistic faculties. The causes for this high prevalence of mediums are unclear but eventually the fact that ca. 4 Mio. Brazilians identify themselves as Spiritists and to varying degrees attempt to study, understand, and act upon the Spiritist philosophy may help to facilitated the evolvement of tangible mediumship.
On the whole, the phenomenon of mediumship is not well understood and there is no agreement on how it can be developed. Some academic studies, which are not related to doctor spirits neither to Spiritism in general, conclude that meditative practices can bring about unusual perceptions including the sense of receiving information about unknown people who are deceased. However, these are not related to the Spiritist philosophy or doctor spirits.
In the Spiritist philosophy, it is unclear what exactly elicits and causes mediumistic faculties to evolve.
Unfortunately, we have as yet no-diagnosis which can indicate, even approximatively, the possession of this faculty; the physical signs which some persons have supposed to indicate its existence are altogether uncertain. It is found in children and in old people, in men and in women, independently of health, or of intellectual and moral development; it has nothing to do with a person's temperament
In The Mediums’ Book, it is suggested that spending time in an environment in which incorporation and inspiritance come about the evolvement of the mediumistic faculties of the attending persons might be facilitated. So far, this appears to be the best predictor for the development of tangible mediumship and is in line with the findings about doctor-spirit mediums. Arguably, the work of some doctor-spirit mediums unmistakeably shows that something ‘out of this world’ is happening and eventually one of the best proofs of effectuated and mediumistic work.
Mediumistic faculties do not reveal themselves in all cases in the same manner, each medium generally has a special aptitude for some special order of phenomena. So that there is as great a variety of mediums as of phenomena, among them:
There are many more expressions of mediumship but the above seem the most common ones.