New research suggests that spiritual environments may be more prone to immersive mental activities and unusual hearing experiences in early life.
A study led by Durham University may explain why some people, not some, eventually adopted spiritual beliefs and began the practice of “hearing the dead.”
It is said that environments that “hear” spirits encounter more explicit communication than visual (“seeing”) or conscious (“feeling” or “feeling”) communication.
Researchers studied the experiences of claudiudient environments in the largest scientific study of 65 total spiritual environments and 143 members of the general population from the National Union of Clergy.
They found that these clergy had the ability to assimilate – a feature associated with immersion in mental or imaginary activities or the experience of altered states of consciousness.
Mediums are generally more likely to report experiences of unusual hearing phenomena, such as auditory sounds that occur early in life.
Researchers say that many people who experience swallowing or hearing sounds encounter spiritual beliefs while searching for the meaning or supernatural significance behind their unusual experiences.
The findings are published in the journal Mental Health, Religion and Culture. The study is part of Hearing Voice – an interdisciplinary study of hearing at the University of Durham and funded by the Wellcome Trust.
Spiritualism is a religious movement based on the idea that human souls continue to exist after death and communicate with living beings through the medium or psychics.
Interest in Spiritualism in the UK is growing with several organizations supporting, training and offering practical environments. The SNU, one of the largest, claims to serve at least 11,000 members through training colleges, churches and centers.
With their research, the researchers collected detailed descriptions of how the environment interacts with the “sounds” of the spirit and compared the levels of absorption, hallucinations, personality, and paranormal beliefs.
Spiritualists reported that 44.6 percent of participants said they heard the voices of the deceased on a daily basis, and 33.8 percent said they had experienced speaking during the last day.
The vast majority (79 percent) said that the experience of hearing spiritual communication occurs both when they are alone, when they work as a mediator, or when they attend a spiritual church.
Although spirits were mostly heard inside the head (65.1 percent), 31.7 percent of spiritual participants said they experienced spirit sounds both inside and outside the head.
When evaluated on the scale of absorption and knowing how much they believed in paranormal, the clergy scored higher than members of the general population.
Spiritualists were less likely to be interested in what others thought of them than people in general, and scored higher for their propensity to experience hearing that resembled unusual hallucinations.
Both high absorption and proximity to these auditory phenomena have been found to be associated with more frequently voiced communication information.
For the general population, absorption was associated with paranormal confidence levels, but there was no consistent relationship between belief and hallucination-tendency.
There was no difference between spiritual and non-spiritual participants in their levels of superstitious beliefs or propensity for visual hallucinations.
Spiritualists reported experiencing clairudience for the first time at an average age of 21.7 years. However, 18 percent of spiritualists’ experienced ‘as long as they can remember’ and 71 percent said they did not encounter Spiritualism as a religious movement before their first experience.
Researchers show that their findings do not succumb to a level of paranormal belief that leads to social pressures, learning specific expectations, or spiritual communication experiences.
Instead, some people are more likely to report unusual hearing experiences that have a unique tendency to be swallowed and occur early in life. For many of these individuals, spiritual beliefs are accepted because they are meaningfully adapted to these unique personal experiences.
Dr. Durham University, a leading researcher in the Department of Hearing and the Department of Theology and Religion. Adam Powell said: “Our findings speak volumes about ‘learning and longing’. For our participants, the principles of Spiritualism mean both unusual childhood experiences and frequent hearing events that they experience as experiential environments.
“But all of these experiences can yield more results than having a certain tendency or early abilities, just by believing that it is possible to communicate with the dead if you work hard enough.”
Dr. Peter Moseley, co-author of the study at the University of Northumbria, said: “The clergy tend to report positive, unusual hearing experiences that begin in the early stages of life and can be controlled later. It is important to understand how these develop, as they can help us understand more about hearing problems or uncontrollable experiences. ”
Durham’s researchers today are working with practitioners to further explore business and mediation to get a fuller picture of how to be at the end of unusual and meaningful experiences.
Reference: January 18, 2021, Mental Health, Religion and Culture.
DOI: 10.1080 / 13674676.2020.1793310