Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Thoughts on so-called "spirit movement"

[Many thanks to Kit Kat for the following contribution]

Hi Anne,

As you've asked for posts for this Blog, I'd thought I'd write up something I've had on my mind for some time now....

As all kumite (and ex-kumite) know, when people receive Light on the forehead (#8, soul-spirit), sometimes they get what's called "spirit movement" or "spirit manifestation". This is when people start rocking, nodding, shaking slightly etc, or in some more extreme cases actually behaving like an animal of some sort, or a soldier, or weeping and crawling away, trying to avoid receiving Light.

The Mahikari explanation of such movement is that the spirit/s attaching to the person are reacting to the Light - the movement may give some hint as to what sort of spirit is attached and their mood. Usually when spirit movement is observed in a person, a Kanbu (staff member) will arrange to give the person Light a few days later, and then conduct a spirit investigation.

This involves them speaking to and "counseling" the spirit. They may sing "Chorei", a hymn for guiding spirits, and give advice about how to change etc. The whole experience is usually very draining and exhausting, and can sometimes be cathartic for the receiver.

I'm not going to talk about the whole attaching spirit deal here, but I'm interested in the physical movement that is often seen when people receive Light on the forehead.

I really think this is a form of ideomotor action. Ideomotor action is defined as "influence of suggestion in modifying and directing muscular movement, independently of volition", and has been proven to be a real effect, that happens without conscious thought, and to be created through suggestion.

When you go into a Dojo, you often see spirit movement - people sitting peacefully receiving Light with their eyes closed, but nodding their head, or wagging their hands, or something. When you first see this, it's pretty weird. But everyone around you treats it as normal behavior! If you keep receiving Light, and get more involved, it's a part of being accepted into the group - if you start to sway or rock while receiving Light, then members will often take more notice of you, and you are drawn further into the 'mysteries of Mahikari'. It's all part of the Dojo culture.

One woman who used to be a Doshi told me that in some Dojos she worked in, spirit movement was very rare - it just wasn't something that people did - while in other Dojos it was much more common - it WAS a big part of what people did, and was widespread, with lots of kumite talking with each other about their attaching spirits, and spirit investigations and stuff.

I certainly used to get these movements too, and the particular spirit attaching usually managed to be tied in with my life experience at the time. If I was upset with my partner, there would be something to do with past relationships. If I was upset about the death of a friend, the attaching spirit would be related to that person. If I was having trouble dealing with Mahikari teachings (as I often did), then the attaching spirit would be very anti-Mahikari and blamed for stopping me doing divine service. And so on. I know that Mahikari would say that the reason I was having those life experiences was a reflection of the attaching spirits - but I honestly think it went the other way round.

Anyway, what sort of experiences have other people had with spirit movement? What do you think?



Blogger Joe said...

I used to think about this alot too, but now I don't care...it can either be a form of hypnotic suggestion or it might be actual spirits...as far as I am concerned it is equally possible that Mahikari is only involved in CREATING the DISTURBANCE by conjuring. I guess it all hinges on whether you want to go back to Christianity. I am still hung out a little , but if Christ is the salvation, then Mahikari MUST fit the False Prophets scenario, and all of the conjuring is to create mischief. It would be a great moneymaking tool, conjuring spirits to create perpetual touble that is supposed to be "solved" by the very conjuring that creates it...a perpetual money machine!

April 07, 2006  

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