Can we talk to our dead?

Who speak to the dead

Contacting the dead is a trend. She often comforts people over the loss.

How is the dead grandpa? Does grandmother forgive that she was all alone when she died? A medium answers the questions. Critics call otherworldly contacts moneymaking, but the number of spiritualist followers is growing.

Grandpa is fine. His soul is in heaven - the place where it rests before it goes into the training level. There she is prepared for the next life. At least that's what I learn from Tamara (name changed), who works as a medium and makes contact with the deceased. "

The hereafter lies outside our range of perception. A medium, however, can cross this limit, "says the Stuttgart resident. Actually, all people have this ability:" The only question is whether it is his job to act as a medium. "Tamara prefers to call herself a spiritual life coach - and she wants to remain anonymous.

The client's awareness must be open

Do the neighbors know their job? "Probably not." Tamara keeps a low profile. For self-protection. Who likes it when they are called a weirdo, a madman? Tamara not only has to live with insults, she has already been threatened several times. Also because in only eight out of ten cases the contact with the hereafter works. If things go wrong again, "I am even more likely to assume that I am crazy". The establishment of contact depends above all on the dead: "You have to want to speak." The client's awareness must also be open. Let's see how it looks for me.

I'm visiting Tamara on a Friday. I am looking for contact with my grandpa. After a stroke, he was in the hospital, where he died. Did he have to suffer? And how is he now? I want to find out. We are sitting in Tamara's living room, which is her work area.

Angels and a figure of Jesus stand on the shelves, and pictures of Egyptian deities hang on the wall. Oriental cushions adorn the sofa. The sun is shining through the window. Tamara lights a candle: "For grandpa." She sits cross-legged on the chair, closes her eyes. Communication takes place in your head. What she sees, hears, feels, she tells me.

Now she's calling my grandpa. She wants to know what his name is. "Karl," I reply. "A picture slowly builds up," says Tamara. You see a slim man with gray hair. He looks friendly, smiles. Could fit. Suddenly Tamara becomes dizzy. There was a pressure on her chest, her heart racing. She says she feels what my grandpa felt.

Souls between earth and heaven cannot let go

 Souls between earth and heaven cannot let go

The scene she sees takes place in the hospital. "I think your grandpa was so dizzy from the drugs." However, he had no pain. He was "drugged". Then Tamara accompanies Grandpa to heaven. Until then, she says, he was on a level between earth and heaven: "This is where the souls stay when, for example, they want to say something to their relatives." You couldn't let go yet.

The session lasts an hour - and is unspectacular. Nothing resembles the images from ghost films, where the medium sits in a dark room, candles flicker wildly, books fall to the floor, doors slam and dull noises come from the corners. Tamara laughs when she hears something like that. But she admits that in some meetings her wooden furniture crunch.

Spiritism or spiritualism is called the worldview. Those who follow it are convinced that communication with the hereafter is possible. Spiritism is trendy. According to the Hohenheim University's "Religiosity and Spirituality in Germany" project, 15 percent of Germans seek a spiritual meaning outside of religion. A survey by the polling institute Allensbach has shown that one in ten believes in ghosts. And the internet search engine Google spits out 15,000 hits when entering the term "contact with the hereafter".

Establishing contact comforts you over loss

There are many reasons why people want to come into contact with the dead. Matthias Pöhlmann, theologian and deputy head of the Evangelical Central Office for Weltanschauung questions in Berlin, considers it a basic need to learn something about life after death. For many, grief is in the foreground. Establishing contact comforts you over the loss. "If you are in constant contact, you can never get over death," he warns.

He is also skeptical about contacts on the other side because they suggest a bridge to another world: "From a Christian fundamentalist point of view, these phenomena have always been interpreted as the effects of demons. But much can be explained as natural and thus disenchanted."

According to Pöhlmann, spiritism itself is a protest movement by people who do not want to come to terms with the visible world. "Death is seen as a transition. There is a risk of trivializing it or devaluing life on earth," says Pöhlmann. In the worst case, there is a risk of a loss of reality. "Caution is required. Ultimately, however, everyone has to find a way to live and die for themselves."

People come to Tamara who want to know how a deceased is doing. For example, because they feel guilty that they weren't there when he died. A mother recently wanted to know what happened in the accident that killed her son. "I have people of all ages and from all walks of life," she says.

A world beyond is a question of faith

 A world beyond is a question of faith

All hocus-pocus to make money, say critics like Bernd Harder from the Roßdorfer Society for the Scientific Investigation of Parasciences. "A medium gives people what they want," says Harder. "This person knows what hopes, desires and expectations people come with."

Anyone who asks how a dead person is doing naturally wants to hear "good". Statements such as "I've never said that before, but the medium knew about it anyway" were due to the fact that a client felt that they were in good hands. Harder assumes that up to 10,000 media outlets in Germany offer their services.

A world beyond is neither proven nor refuted, rather a question of faith. However, tests showed that the media can only provide subjective information. "They do not stand up to questions about objective information or concrete facts," explains Harder.

Every second person experiences supernatural phenomena

Harder justifies phenomena such as drafts of air or angelic appearances, which some people report, with perceptual illusions that everyone is subject to. For example, the back of a glass: "You are in a mood in which you pay attention to everything. After an hour everyone sees something."

Ina Schmied-Knittel, sociologist at the Institute for Frontier Areas of Psychology and Mental Hygiene (IGPP) in Freiburg, attributes the media to the ability to feel certain situations and characteristics: "These people describe themselves as particularly sensitive." Your institute is often confronted with things that cannot be finally clarified. For example near-death experiences. Unconscious people perceive things, emotions such as peace or happiness, and leave their bodies: "That cannot be explained on a cognitive level, it is even impossible," says Schmied-Knittel.

Nevertheless, according to the study Everyday Miracles, every second German has experienced supernatural phenomena such as ghostly apparitions or true dreams. The experiences were mostly based on hallucinations or altered states of perception. "But when people are convinced that they have had such an experience, I take it seriously."

Tamara doesn't care what people think of her, she believes in her gift. At least as long as your customers leave their living room satisfied after a session.

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