A Higher Form of Reasoning
© 2008 June Johnson

As a Spiritualist believes in communication between this and the spirit world by means of mediumship, it may interest you to learn that the phrase “sustained by reason” is a key part of the definition of the Spiritualist’s philosophy.

Reason forms conclusions based on facts known or assumed. Yet, too often, our current concept of reason limits us to the measurable facts of the physical world, eliminating possibilities for considering wisdom from the unseen that might prove of immense value.

Through study of the laws of nature on both the seen and unseen sides of life, Spiritualism encourages us to develop a “higher form of reasoning” – a process of inquiry into truth which consciously includes what can be perceived from within.

We can reach this higher level of awareness by adopting the practice of asking for spiritual input.

This higher form of Reason, in the words of the Reverend Florence Becker, “accepts that the whole activity of nature is intelligible and intelligent.” She identified this form of Reason as part of our 5th Spiritual Faculty, describing it as inseparable from Understanding and Expression.

The Spiritual Faculty of Reason is inseparable from
Understanding and Expression

This higher form of Reason, uniting Reason with Understanding and Expression, seeks higher truth. Thus Reason, as a Spiritual Faculty, leads us to discern the meaning which lies at the heart of our experience.

A few years ago I watched a television program which reenacted the experiences of an Alabama family living in a “haunted” house. Although no one else could see him, the daughter treasured her childhood friendship with an elderly gentleman she perceived as solid and real. Concerned, her parents consulted a parapsychologist who brought a medium who corroborated the girl’s perceptions. Further investigation disclosed that the daughter, the mother, and the mother’s father’s family were mediumistic. Despite this, the parapsychologist’s strong assumption that there is no life after death led him to conclude the women were picking up what he termed “fragments” of lingering energy fields perpetuated by an active earthquake fault line.

In a continuing search for relief from what they perceived as an ongoing problem, the parents joined a church that believes in casting out demons. The mother grew increasingly fearful. Lost and injured spirits now entered the house, including one the girl fled from in terror. A medium from their church congregation advised driving the spirits away with a ritual led by their minister. Although this proved somewhat helpful, the mother’s fears and anxiety continued. The program concluded with the narrator’s statement that there was “nothing they could do” to change the situation.

In fact, there is much this family, or any one of us, could do to turn such an adverse situation into a blessing. Spiritualists understand that physical and spiritual phenomena are expressions of Infinite Source which follow natural laws. We can learn about these laws and apply them in our lives. Spiritualists aspire to take personal responsibility to comply with the laws of God and live in accord with the highest teachings derived from communion with spirit.

Although the parapsychologist used reason, forming conclusions based on known facts, he failed to go inward to ask through his intuition what value could be gained from these visitations. So, despite extensive physical investigations, he failed to reach any meaningful understanding of the phenomena the women were experiencing.

The minister’s biased assumptions served to escalate the family’s fears which, as every Spiritualist knows, would attract increasing negativity. In her book, The Ring of Chairs, The British Spiritualist Medium, Janet Cyford offers advice exemplifying the exploratory spirit of Spiritualism:

Be responsible for what you share with others. Do not fill their ears with your understanding, but lead them to the door of their inner wisdom. Permanent damage can be done by the rigid minds of those who feel they alone hold the final truth.
[She adds:] Childhood is close to the world of Spirit, only the ability to tell of its closeness is missing. Clairvoyance, the ability a child uses to see Spirit playmates, is a natural gift in childhood.

In fact, with its emphasis on personal responsibility, Spiritualism provides a range of options for such a family. Let’s take a closer look at Reason, Understanding and Expression.

1. Exercise Personal Responsibility to Balance
Reason and Intuition

As we saw in the parapsychologist’s conclusions, measurable data falls short in determining purpose or meaning, for these we need to seek within, through our intuition.

Intuition is described by author Gary Zukav, in his book Soul Stories, as “multisensory perception”—“a direct link with information that the five senses cannot provide.” He says, “You can find your way by paying attention to what is happening inside you. This is the biggest difference between five-sensory perception and multisensory perception: The five senses require you to pay attention to what is outside of you. Intuition requires the opposite—that you pay attention to what is happening inside of you.”

Astronaut and psychic researcher Edgar D. Mitchell speaks of a need to lessen the gulf between these "two modes of knowing," which he names "objective reason" and "subjective intuition." "Subjective technology", he says, "will begin the wedding of science and religion, reason and intuition, the physical and the spiritual."

Part of this “subjective technology” is the use of reason to help us keep an even mind, free of fear and open to inquiry. As Zukov writes, “When you are angry, your emotions are like huge waves on Maui during a storm. You cannot hear your intuition. When you are sad, or jealous, or vengeful, you can’t hear your intuition, either. These emotions are too turbulent.”

The Reverend Florence Becker taught that “the power of Reason embraces the inquiry into truth and is the inevitable inquiry for all who would . . . find happiness and freedom.” She noted, “When [the Faculty of] Reason is used it automatically puts into action intuition,” and when “used to the fullest it becomes identical with faith.” She said it’s then up to us to determine, by our thoughts, whether or not our intuition operates in a channel with “alertness, awareness, [and] a clean mind,” adding: “If a single perplexity lasts, the Reason has not met Faith.”

In the final analysis, she says, the inquiry into truth reveals wisdom. “Wisdom is the thing that knows. It is communion with God.”

In the Biblical Book of Job, Chapter 32, verse 8 and 9, quoting from two different translations, young Eli’hu says, “It is not the old that are wise, nor the aged that understand what is right. But it is the spirit in a man,” “and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth him understanding.”

2. Exercise Personal Responsibility to Seek
Understanding Through Interior Inquiry

Author Gary Zukov writes:

Everyone has a nonphysical Teacher. . . . Having nonphysical Friends is now a part of being healthy. . . As you become multisensory, you will meet nonphysical Friends in your own way. Try this for a start. When you are about to say something, or do something, that you are not sure you want to say or do, ask yourself, “What is my motivation?” You will always get an answer. You may not like the answer you get, or get it when you expect, but an answer will always come. Then you can decide for yourself what to say or do.

“This is how nonphysical guidance works,” he says. “You ask. Then you listen. Then you decide. . . .

“When you check your motivation, you automatically engage nonphysical guidance. It’s that simple. Try it and see what happens.

“When you do,” continues Zukov, “you will discover that you are experimenting with something very, very big.”

The kinds of questions we ask may limit our possibilities for spiritual understanding. It helps to ask basic questions. Dowsers, people who seek pure water or minerals in the earth with a “divining rod” in the traditional way, are known to ask these four questions before proceeding: May I? Can I? Should I? Am I ready to?

Other questions you might wish to use regarding your intentions include:

  • Is the objective right?
  • Is the method proper?
  • Is the action timely?
  • Is it for the highest good for all concerned?
  • Is it the most meaningful and satisfying for all concerned?
  • Is it the most invigorating for all concerned?

According to the teaching brought through the mediumship of the Reverend Florence Becker, “. . . man is constantly confronted with problems that seem beyond the ability to solve,” but the Law of Inquiry “ brings all the functions of creation and all the Faculties of Being to a meeting point, and when they meet with understanding, mastery sets in, for all the kinks are out of the consciousness.”

How do we work toward such mastery?

3. Exercise Personal Responsibility to Undertake
Development Toward Higher Expression

In his book An Easy Guide to Meditation, Roy Eugene Davis observes that we awaken through progressive stages of spiritual growth. His research indicates the relatively Unconscious person is motivated to satisfy physical and emotional needs; next comes an exploration of Subconscious habits, desires and fantasy; then Self-conscious awareness of identity and providing for the necessities of life. The fourth stage, the more intuitive Superconscious, is committed to spiritual growth. In stage five, which he calls Cosmic Conscious, Davis says, “Life is lived selflessly with the full support of nature’s influences.” Then comes God-Conscious, awareness beyond an intellectual ability to know, where insights provide knowledge validated by experience. Beyond this is the seventh stage, Enlightenment.

According to the Law of Attraction—that like attracts like—the higher we are able to raise our conscious awareness, the more enlightened will be the spirit teachers and guides we are able to attract.

Spiritualist pioneer Hudson Tuttle advises, “. . .the great unseen world contains many a wise and discerning spirit, it also has in it the accumulation of human folly, vanity, and error,” so, he says, “Maintain a level head and a clear judgment . . . Never for a moment abandon the use of your reason.”

Spiritualists M. H. and E. W. Wallis advised, “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty: you must use your own discretion and try the spirits before you trust them.”

Gary Zukav states:

Nonphysical Teachers do not tell you what to do. They help you see your options. They help you think through your choices. They help you understand what you are feeling, and why. They help you become more loving. They guide you to the fullest use of your life. . . .They are Friends who share with you. Then you decide what to do.

The higher form of Reason, uniting Reason with Understanding and Expression, seeks higher truth.

We can reach this higher level of awareness by adopting the practice of asking for spiritual input.

My spirit friends tell me that by asking questions we clearly establish our permission for them to bring us their Understanding, adding: “The finer the energies, the more firmly is such permission required.”

  • Balance Reason and Intuition
  • Seek Understanding Through Interior Inquiry
  • Undertake Development Toward Higher Expression

The trust that builds through the operation of Reason, Understanding and Expression pervades every aspect of our experience of life. Gary Zukov writes, “When you see that everyone you meet and everything that happens to you brings you lessons that are important for you to learn, you become grateful for everyone and everything.”

“This,” he says, “is using the higher form of reasoning.” Wayne Dyer, in Power of Intention, says of such people, “Whatever life sends them they say, Thank you. What can I learn, and how can I grow from what I’m receiving?

June: Essays