If you don’t already know James Van Praagh, he is a medium of notoriety in the United States, and he has some interesting things to say about mediumship in this article from the Phoenix News.

Van Praagh said that most people have no idea how much work it takes to become proficient at mediumship. “One of the biggest misconceptions of this work,” he said, “is that the spirit can come through and say exactly what the person in the audience wants them to say. … Van Praagh is insistent that a talented medium will have spent years developing and fine-tuning their ability.

It would be nice if  spirit communication was as easy as dialing up whoever you want to talk to and have a normal conversation, just like you do on the phone, or on chat, for that matter. But it’s not. Even so, it does work, and I’m grateful for it. The ability of spirits to communicate or otherwise affect this world has a profoundly positive impact, and I think our world would be a much lesser place without it.

The point he makes about mediumship taking years to develop is a valid one. This is true even when a person who didn’t have it before suddenly discovers that they have it – in those cases, it typically takes a long time for them to fully understand what is going on and become used to it being part of their lives.

One of my concerns for our side of the mediumship connection is that it does take a relatively long time to get develop it. Realistically, it takes a fair amount of what a spirit friend of mine calls PPP – Patience, Practice, and Persistence. And the best way to develop mediumship is to start with a lifetime-of-learning approach, and then apply PPP on a regular basis.

We are becoming more and more used to instant effects and instant results in every thing we do. I think a lot of it has to do with the Internet, but whatever the reason, it’s apparent to me that it’s here to stay, and it’s going to increase. Over the coming years, I think we’ll be moving faster than we can even imagine today. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this, until you take the same approach to developing mediumship. An instant-effects, instant-results orientation to mediumship development usually has one of two outcomes. First (and most likely), it doesn’t work. You get nothing, absolutely nothing. Second (and significantly less likely), you get something, it may last a little while, and then it disappears  about as quickly as it came. And then you have nothing.

My concern is that as our speed increases, we’ll expect the spirits to respond in an ever-shorter time as well.  But spirits work in their own time (whatever that is), not ours.  I would be surprised to see them change a lot just to accommodate  the instant-on, ever-faster culture that we’re cultivating.

Let’s hope that the future generations put their ideas about time completely aside when they go to develop mediumship. Let’s hope that they are willing to start with a lifetime-of-learning approach, and apply PPP, regularly. If they don’t or won’t, I doubt we’ll have very many mediums.