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Spiritualism has been defined as the belief that departed or disembodied [[spirits]] hold intercourse with mortals by means of physical phenomenon (as by rapping) or during “abnormal” mental states as in trances commonly manifest through a medium. Lewis Spence defines it as “the belief in the continuance of life after death, and the possibility of communication between the dead and the living, through the agency of a medium or psychic, a person qualified in some unknown manner to be the mouthpiece of supernatural beings ... variously regarded as a religion or philosophy.”<ref>Lewis Spence, ''Encyclopedia of Occultism'', (New Hyde Park, N.Y.: University Books, 1960), s.v. “spiritualism.”</ref>
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'''Spiritualism''' has been defined as the belief that departed or disembodied [[spirits]] hold intercourse with mortals by means of physical phenomenon (as by rapping) or during “abnormal” mental states as in trances commonly manifest through a medium. Lewis Spence defines it as “the belief in the continuance of life after death, and the possibility of communication between the dead and the living, through the agency of a medium or psychic, a person qualified in some unknown manner to be the mouthpiece of supernatural beings ... variously regarded as a religion or philosophy.”<ref>Lewis Spence, ''Encyclopedia of Occultism'', (New Hyde Park, N.Y.: University Books, 1960), s.v. “spiritualism.”</ref>
    
== History ==
 
== History ==
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In 1848 the Fox sisters testified to “rappings” in their home in Hydesville, New York. In 1862 Hypolyte Leon Denyad Rivail, known to his followers as “Allan Kardec,” founded Spiritism in France, including in its tenets the doctrine of reincarnation. (This constituted a departure from spiritualism as it was expounded in Britain and America.) In 1882 the Society for Psychical Research was founded in London. The cumulative psychic stir in society had not been equalled since the eighteenth century when, midst the skepticism of the Renaissance, a flair for the occult had been aroused by that mysterious figure, the celebrated mystic le Comte de Saint Germain.
 
In 1848 the Fox sisters testified to “rappings” in their home in Hydesville, New York. In 1862 Hypolyte Leon Denyad Rivail, known to his followers as “Allan Kardec,” founded Spiritism in France, including in its tenets the doctrine of reincarnation. (This constituted a departure from spiritualism as it was expounded in Britain and America.) In 1882 the Society for Psychical Research was founded in London. The cumulative psychic stir in society had not been equalled since the eighteenth century when, midst the skepticism of the Renaissance, a flair for the occult had been aroused by that mysterious figure, the celebrated mystic le Comte de Saint Germain.
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Spiritualism also paved the way for the successive revelations to be made by the Brotherhood through metaphysics, first systematically set forth by Mary Baker Eddy in ''Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures'' (1866); through Madame [[Helena P. Blavatsky]] in Theosophy (1875); through the writings of Max Heindel (1911); through the Agni Yoga Society under [[Nicholas and Helena Roerich]]; and through other ascended master activities of the early twentieth century such as the [[I AM Activity]] headed by [[Guy W. Ballard|Guy]] and [[Edna Ballard]] under the guidance of the master [[Saint Germain]].
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Spiritualism also paved the way for the successive revelations to be made by the Brotherhood through metaphysics, first systematically set forth by Mary Baker Eddy in ''Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures'' (1866); through Madame [[Helena P. Blavatsky]] in Theosophy (1875); through the writings of Max Heindel (1911); through the Agni Yoga Society under [[Nicholas Roerich|Nicholas and Helena Roerich]]; and through other ascended master activities of the early twentieth century such as the [[I AM Activity]] headed by [[Guy W. Ballard|Guy]] and [[Edna Ballard]] under the guidance of the master [[Saint Germain]].
    
Historians trace the ancestry of spiritualism to witchcraft, demoniac possession, poltergeistic disturbances and animal magnetism. But there is a clear-cut line of demarcation between these activities of the lower astral order and the inspired work of the masters, which was to presage the dawn of a new era of the [[Brotherhood]]’s contact with humanity on a world scale.
 
Historians trace the ancestry of spiritualism to witchcraft, demoniac possession, poltergeistic disturbances and animal magnetism. But there is a clear-cut line of demarcation between these activities of the lower astral order and the inspired work of the masters, which was to presage the dawn of a new era of the [[Brotherhood]]’s contact with humanity on a world scale.

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