The John Sebastian Marlow Ward Website

Ward as a Medium & Spiritualist

About John Sebastian Marlow Ward
Early Life of J.S.M. Ward
Ward as a Medium & Spiritualist
Ward and Freemasonry
JSM Ward as a Historian
J.S.M. Ward as an Author
J.S.M. Ward and the Abbey of Christ the King
The Abbey Church in Barnet
The Folk Park
Ward and the Anglican Church
Ward and the Masonic Research Society
Churchill Sibley and the Orthodox Catholic Church
Ward and the Orthodox Catholic Church
The Abbey and the War
The Dorothy Lough Case
Mar Georgius and the Katholicate of the West
The Consecrations
The Consecration of Bishop Chamberlain
Ward driven from England.
The Community in Cyprus
Death of J.S.M. Ward
Ward's Work survives his Death
Key Associates of J.S.M. Ward
His Mystic partner, Jessie Ward
Life of John Churchill Sibley
Last of Ward's priests; Peter Gilbert Strong
Ward's son; John Reginald Cuffe
Other Individuals Associated with JSM Ward
The Spiritual Journey of J.S.M. Ward
Ward as a Mystic
Ward and the First Apocalypse
Other Key Apocalypses
Ward and the Return of Christ
The Legacy of J.S.M. Ward
The Basic Theology of J.S.M. Ward
WARD'S THEOLOGY; The Nature of God
WARD'S THEOLOGY: The Work of Salvation
WARD'S THEOLOGY; God's Great Plan
The Mystical Theology of J.S.M. Ward
Ward's first introduction to the world of the spirit came early in January 1914, when his uncle H. J Lanchester (HJL) died and began trying to contact his relatives on earth. After trying several others, including Ward's first wife Carrie, he finally found that Ward was the most suitable contact. In Gone West, Ward himself  disclaims any credit for the discovery and development of his abilitities in this field and ascribes both to the work of his uncle, whom he usually called "Boss".
Once contact had been established Ward and HJL worked to discover the best means of extending such links, trying among other things "automatic writing" in which Ward exhibited significant ability, a self-induced trance state and most successfully, making contact through dreams. The latter is, of course, well-known as the means frequently employed by angels or other messengers of God to contact characters in the Bible, and perhaps it was his concentration on the  development of this method that later allowed Ward to make the transition from Psychic to Mystic that so many are unable to achieve
Certainly in the methods of mystical training that he prescribed for the members of his community, the remembering and interpetation of dreams played a major part. In one of the teaching services that were regularly held in the first Abbey Church in Barnet, from its public opening in 1931 detailed instructions are provided for  the beginner about the practical steps to be taken in beginning to make contact with those who have passed beyond.
"Keep a pencil and notebook always beside your bed and IMMEDIATELY upon waking, whether during the night or in the morning, record any scraps of dreams, however fragmentary or irrelevant they may seem,"  we are told. At first, such memories will be of little value, but as time passes we will find that occasionally, amidst much dross, a few specks of gold will appear. Perhaps we shall meet, in an apparently impossible setting, a friend who we know has died. Perhaps we will dream that we can fly or catch a glimse of the future.
This is but the first stage in the training of a mystic, but once the door begins to unlock, it can be urged to continue opening and with the help of a spiritual guide the earnest seeker can often be enabled to make great spiritual progress.
This is because, although such activities are obviously directed towards making contact with those who have but recently left earth behind, when combined with other more esoteric and spiritual exercises, they also pave the way for contact from still higher Planes.
Obviously no human being has the power to compel a Saint or Angel, let alone God Himself, to make contact, and those individuals and systems that suggest otherwise are very far from understanding such things. The most that even the best of mortals can do, is to establish within him/herself the conditions that will allow him/her to recognise and understand such contact when or if it takes place. This is where the sort of exercises described above can be of such value to the potential mystic, but they may also serve to assist those whose ambitions reach no higher than the Planes of Man.
Spiritualist and Medium
Few Psychics go on to become Mystics and not all Mystics are psychics, but Ward himself exhibited both types of paranormal ability. His first experiences were linked with his abilities as a psychic and included automatic writing, mediumship and psychometry.
Automatic Writing is probably the most basic sort of mediumship, in which the medium puts himself into a trance and allows a discarnate spirit to take control of his hand and write through him. Ward himself refers to several such experiences in the early part of his book, "Gone West".
What is generally called Mediumship is the ability to make contact with the deceased by allowing one of their spirits to take "possession" of one's body temporarily. The spirit then speaks through the medium or in some circumstances, it may actually draw from the medium (and perhaps others that may be present) some of his body mass, in the form of a semi-physical substance called ectoplasm, from which a semi-material apparition may be built into the appearance of the deceased. Although he seems to have allowed spirits to speak through him at times, there seems to be little evidence that Ward actually participated in producing materialisations, perhaps because he realised the inherent spiritual dangers in doing so.
Psychometry is the term used to describe an experience in which by handling an object, one is made psychically aware of its past history, often in great detail. It is not a conscious decision, and Ward himself often experienced it when handling objects in his museum, but could never predict when it would occur.
In addition, like most Spiritualists, Ward was clairvoyant - that is to say he would regularly see ghosts and auras and frequently his intuition was such that it was always hard to be sure whether he had been told that something was about to happen, or whether his remarks about the future were based on intuition alone.
A Spiritualist View of the Afterlife
To many spiritualists, the mere fact of being able to communicate with the dead is a goal worthy of their highest efforts, but perhaps because it seemed to come upon him unbidden, to Ward it was never more than a stage on his personal journey. In the Introduction to "Gone West" he provides an outline of his conception of the Afterlife - an intermediate State or Plane of Being that he calls the Astral Plane, and further-removed State, or Plane of Being that he calls the Spirit or Form Plane.
In "Gone West" he provides few details of life on the Astral Plane - a lack that is largely rectified in "A Subaltern in Spirit Land", and here we shall use both books as needed to provide a summary of his discoveries about each Plane.
The Astral Plane is in most respects very similar to the earth - so much so, that when they first arrive thereon, many of the newly-dead do not actualy realise that they are no longer on earth. This is because, the Astral Body shares many characteristics with the Physical and although to us it seems ghostly, to other Astral beings it feels as solid as a Physical Body feel to those on Earth. In general, too they will find themselves dwelling among people of like interestst to themselves, just as on earth certain neighbourhoods attract individuals of particular types of interest. Of course this association of like with like is found even on earth, but it is stronger on the Astral Plane, although still not binding. Nevertheless any reasonably spiritual person is likely to find himself among those with similar thoughts, whilst worldly or evil people will also associae with like-minded spirits.
The Newly-dead often they feel that they have been ill and that they are now recovering in some pleasant region, but it may take several days or even weeks before they realise that they have passed on. This is especially true of those who have not been particularly spiritual when on earth - they often remain long in those Parts of the Astral Plane that are closest to the Physical and only move on to the more spiritual parts slowly over many years. Some in fact turn towards evil, for there are opportunities to do wrong on the Astral Plane, just as there are on earth, but most, simply fail to make any effort to hone their spiritual faculties, which alone will enable them to function properly on the next Plane of Existance, commmonly known as
The Spirit Plane, on which dwell those spirits who have shed their Astral Bodies as well as their Physical and  who thus function purely as Spirits. As such, it is only their spiritual faculties, or lack of them that enable them to function at all, and on the Spirit Plane the tendency for like to attract is even stronger than on the Astral Plane. In fact, in the most evil parts it becomes completely binding and it is these unpleasant realms, where dwell the most depraved of the dead that men on earth call Hell. Equally the gathering together of the most spiritual is called Paradise, whilst the vast range of realms that lie beteen these two extremes are afforded many names by mortals, of which perhaps the best-known in the West is Purgatory.
But no matter how it is named it is above all a place of learning, where those who have failed to apply spiritual principles on Earth or on the Astal Plane are taught to function as spirits and most importantly learn the lessons of life in the "Hereafter". There are of course many of these, but the most vital, is that none can travel alone and that it is only by helping others that each individual can progress.
A Stage on His Journey
To many spiritualists, the mere fact of being able to communicate with the dead is a goal worthy of their highest efforts, but perhaps because it seemed to come upon him unbidden, to Ward it was never more than a stage on his personal journey.
He learned much about the Afterlife in the years following the death of HJL. The writing of "Gone West", of which only half was ever published, his time in Burma and India, including especially his initiation into the Hindu Priesthood and finally the death of his brother, Rex, in the blood-stained fields of Flanders all contributed to his knowledge of the subject. When having made contact with him on the Astral Plane he published his two spiritualist books in 1917 Ward's thirsting mind had already begun to search further afield.
Long interested in history and by then, also with a wealth of experience of Oriental belief systems behind him, he began to research the Ancient Wisdom in many different areas, and from 1920, to his mystical call in 1927, he devoted his unbounded talentsto to uncovering the inner meanings of the rituals of a number of Secret Societies, of which Freemasonry was the best known.
Ward never lost his interest in Spiritualism and Psychic Phenomena; it remained with him throughout his life but from then on it was subordinated to his wider seeking. His third Spiritualist book, the Psychic Powers of Christ, published in 1930 provided a much-needed link between Spiritualism and Christianity, which others have since developed into a number of "Spiritualist Churches". In Spiritualism as in other fields Ward is now recognised as a pioneer by many in the Christian Spiritualist movement.

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Christ is Coming
For Further information
Contact:  Rt. Rev. John Cuffe
               St Cecelia's Orthdox Catholic Church
               Caboolture Qld 4510 Australia.
               Telephone  61 7 5495 3393
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