Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Remember When . . . Tea Parties Were Supernatural?

Okay, gotta get away from Ancient Persia for a while before I go cuckoo-bananas. =) So today we're taking a brief trip back to the 1880s and into the world of spiritualism. Familiar with the movement? If so, you'll know how weird it is. If not--boy are you in for an eye-opener! ;-)

So, three years ago or so we were watching the history channel, and there was a special on about spiritualism--a movement whose goal was to reconcile the religion strictly taught in Victorian society with the scientific development suddenly running rampant. People thought it would be fun to try to use science to prove the spiritual world--an interesting concept, sure--and went about it in a way that soooooo had me shaking my head.

In England, where the movement really gained steam, spiritualism was a fashionable hobby for the new upper-middle class. People would get together for tea party seances and sit around munching their biscuits while they tried to call the dead into the midst. They would parade the children (the children!!!) out to serve as mediums. They would conduct different experiments involving moving furniture and knocking.

Now, when I saw this, my first thought was exactly what the critics of spiritualism in the day said: this is just silly nonsense.

Then it hit me--it wasn't just silly nonsense, it was downright dangerous. People who had no clue about the spiritual world were opening doors and inviting who-knew-what into their lives. And no one cautioned them that they were doing this, they either thought it fun or ridiculous.

A couple days after watching this, my dad gave a sermon on Daniel that made a story idea click in my little head. A Victorian-era Daniel story, where the character isn't facing the magicians of the Babylonian empire, but rather this new brand of magicians in the spiritualism movement. Someone who has actually seen the spiritual world and so knows its true colors--someone better at their games than they, yet who wants nothing to do with them . . .

I've got several intimidatingly large tomes on the subject waiting to be read, waiting for the perfect time for me to sit down and write Revealer of Secrets. Who knows--maybe it'll be soon. =)

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