The flow of spiritualism that started in the U.S. in the mid-19th century is also tied to modern psychology and medical treatment, and is showing signs of a comeback.
This summer, psychologist Dr. Leonard George from Canada’s Capilano University visited Lily Dale, New York, the world’s oldest and largest heartland of spiritualism, and trained to become a psychic medium. As a result of his training, he went into a trance and saw the presence of a light, an image of his late father, who appeared to be happy, and an image of what seemed to be the past of another woman, but he said that he was “was unable to go as far as getting scientific proof of the afterlife”.
He says, however, that psychic mediums were communicating with the spirit world with “100% honesty, graciousness, and seriousness”. Further, the majority of people who received the blessing of spiritualism had “personal evidence” of the other world. He found that they were more confident than other people thanks to it, and bounced back quicker after difficult periods.
Psychological Treatment Based on Possession
From their experience diagnosing patients, American psychiatrists Carl Wickland and Ralph Allison could not deny the existence of spirits or possessions, and have used, for example, psychic mediums to treat multiple personality disorders (dissociative identity disorders).
In modern day Japan, psychiatrist and author of works including Jinkaku Kairi [Dissociative Identity Disorder], Kohei Oguri accepts the existence of possessive spirits like his American counterparts. He has had positive results while conducting spiritual treatments on patients with conditions such as dissociative identity disorders at his clinic. In his book, he warns against committing suicide because all the spirits of people who have killed themselves suffer in pain.
In Japan, there are also increasing numbers of medical care providers, including author of Hito wa Shinanai [People Don't Die] Naoki Yahagi and professors at the University of Tokyo’s Graduate School of Medicine and Faculty of Medicine, that point out the limitations of materialistic medical science and acknowledge spirituality.