Monday, May 14, 2012

The Spiritualist movement

Running late and feeling a little overwhelmed today, so this is just going to be a few quick thoughts that I had.  It is raining this morning and massive peal of thunder just ripped through the sky.  So somehow my few random thoughts on the Spiritualist movement seem appropriate for this morning.

Seances De Thaumaturcie Humoristique  Photo Credit: Double--M

A few months ago, I found out that America created the Spiritualist movement.  In case you have never heard of it or forgot that you heard of it, this is what Wikipedia has to say.

Spiritualism is a belief system or religion, postulating the belief that spirits of the dead residing in the spirit world have both the ability and the inclination to communicate with the living. Anyone may receive spirit messages, but formal communication sessions (séances) are held by "mediums", who can then provide information about the afterlife.[1]
Spiritualism developed and reached its peak growth in membership from the 1840s to the 1920s, especially in English-language countries.[2][3] By 1897, it was said to have more than eight million followers in the United States and Europe,[4] mostly drawn from the middle and upper classes, while the corresponding movement in continental Europe and Latin America is known as Spiritism.

So what I was wondering is what about America made us create this movement?  America tends to be very cerebral and scientific.  Americans tend to be hard working and more interested in what is going on around town than in a spirit world, if such a thing exists.  So how did we come to create the Spiritualist movement?  I wonder if our years of denial and refusal to discuss a spiritual aspect to life and this world caused us to create this movement.  Maybe our denial for years erupted in a brightly burning flame known as the Spiritualist movement.  In burning so bright, it consumed all the oxygen that created it and died quickly.    

Back in its heyday everyone who was anyone was a Spiritualist and communicating with the dead.  There were some frauds and some were genuinely seeking communication with the dead.  Then the movement died out mostly due to the fraudulent people just in it to make a buck.  Then America got into a space race and an effort to keep up with other countries in science and math, so once again the discussion and experience of a spirit world was shoved off to the side.  We created it and then abandoned it.  I wonder if we would have created it at all if our national rhetoric had included leprechauns or other such creatures of fantasy as you find in other places on the globe.

Any ideas of your own?  Why did we create this movement?

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