Friday, October 22, 2010

Ghosts vs. Spirits What Is The Difference?

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By Craig McManus on August 27, 2010 at 12:00 am in Craig's Blog

One of the most frequently asked questions I hear is “What is the difference between ghosts and Spirits?” The answer is very subjective. While some people refer to ghosts as Spirits, I think of them as two different states of a soul. When I do one of my weekends in Cape May, I can never be sure if the ghosts will show up or not, but the Spirits have never disappointed me, they seem to always be around and ready to talk! So what is the difference you ask?

GHOSTS are those souls that remain earthbound. They have unfinished business or a fear of moving on that keeps them stuck somewhere between life on earth and the afterlife. I feel there are two types of ghosts. There are ghosts who do not even know they are ghosts. To these souls life has not yet ended, they are simply dreaming and have yet to awaken. There are other ghosts who know they have died, but either will not accept it, or choose to stay for a some personal reason. The first type of ghost we could say is “asleep” and lives in a dream state, while the second type is “awake” and conscious of its surroundings. I will encounter both types in hauntings.

SPIRITS are souls that have died and have made the transition over to Heaven/the Other Side. They are able to move between Heaven and Earth with ease. Sometimes these souls are back to help and other times they simply come to visit. These Spirits can be loved ones we have lost or people we never knew. They all have a reason for crossing back. It is usually to help in some capacity.

When I channel I will work through my Spirit Guides to bring forward those Spirits who wish to communicate with my client. Most often the client will recognize these Spirits by name. Sometimes a call to an older family member or friend is needed to verify the identity of someone who came through in a session. We may also have Spirit Guides who we never knew in life. We have these Guides since the time we are born. These Guides could be a family member who died prior to our birth, or someone we knew on the Other Side who has agreed to help us in this lifetime.

Ghosts are typically place centered. They can exist near where they lived or died, but usually you will find them where they lived. Often they haunt a favorite place that they enjoyed in life. If a ghost is haunting near where it died, the ghost is usually in the dream state I mentioned above. These ghosts may be running through their own death scenario over and over again. This type of sleeping ghost can wander aimlessly in a dream state never being able to wake.

A ghost may stay tethered to the earth plane for many reasons, but there are usually a few common themes that apply to most hauntings. A tragic, fast death, especially for a young person, is a sure way to create a ghost. If someone feels his or her life was taken in its prime, that person may resist giving up the ghost. This is probably the reason behind many children’s ghosts. Material ties to a place or objects and emotional ties to a person or people are two of the more common factors in why ghosts will stay stuck. Every ghost is different, but they all have a reason for staying put. Some, most actually, will eventually get bored and cross over. As in life, we all have to do things in our own good time. Some ghosts just never get over what has happened to them, in the same way a living person is not able to get over something tragic that has happened to them during their lifetime. Some of us can let go and move on, some of us dwell in the past and stay stuck.

Getting a visual is difficult with both ghosts and Spirits. Ghosts are rarely seen, but can be felt and experienced in the mind. The same goes for Spirits. As a medium, I “see” both ghosts and Spirits in my mind, not with my eyes. Ghosts appear to me as shadows of people, often without faces. Spirits appear much more human, at least the Spirits of former human beings will…there are animal Spirits and Nature Spirits as well. When I sense energies around me I can sometimes tell a ghost apart from a Spirit by this mental site. It is more likely though, that a ghost will give itself away by its own behavior toward me and its surroundings. Ghostly personalities may be perceived by humans as dreamlike phantoms. Was I daydreaming you might ask…or was that a ghost?

Getting personal or making contact with a ghost or a Spirit is really the only way that I can tell the difference. Ghosts tend to be more aloof and distant. Sometimes they will communicate, but most of the time I have to do a little psychic probing of my own to get into their “minds” and understand who they are and why they are still on the earth. Spirits will communicate with me in a very natural manner of dialogue. I just can’t hear it with my ears, I “hear” it with my mind. Spirits are fully aware of who they are/were and what they are doing. They usually retain their former earthly personalities, so their loved ones will recognize them. While ghosts are living their own internal drama, Spirits will typically be around to help us with our earthly dramas.

Spirit Guides can move people into your life path and influence the outcome of our actions. They can make things happen. They Guide, they do not decide, but if you need their help and ask for it they will be there for you. Ghosts could not care if you were alive or dead. They typically avoid the living. We annoy them. They want to have their own space and privacy and when we invade that privacy they may take action to push us away. However, some ghosts do enjoy the company of the living and will even act a little like a Spirit Guide or a companion, but they are limited in range and scope of what they can manifest and how they can affect our life paths. Everyone is different. They same goes with ghosts and Spirit Guides.

You don’t have to be a psychic or a medium to experience a ghost or a Spirit Guide. While a medium can help deliver messages from Spirits, we all have Guides around us, helping all the time. Spirit Guides will and do communicate in many ways. They may even visit you in your dreams to offer advice and guidance. If your Spirit Guide is a loved one you have lost, they may visit to reassure you that they are safe on the Other Side. Ghosts on the other hand are less likely to want to communicate. The ghostly bumps and sounds or smells we may experience in a haunting are less likely to be a ghost trying to communicate, but more likely a ghost going about its day to day affairs. Spirit Guides tend to work quietly in the background whereas ghosts can become the background in an active haunting. I get a warmer feeling when a Spirit Guide is around versus a colder more distant feeling when I encounter a ghost. Many have reported the same experiences.

So when it comes to the difference between a ghost and a Spirit (I capitalize the “S” in Spirit, to differentiate a Spirit Guide from an alcoholic drink!) think of a ghost as a soul that is still attached to its former life and cannot let go. Whereas a soul that has crossed over and comeback to help is a Spirit. It’s just my personal definition, but it works for me.

Now that you know the difference…the next time you ask the ghost in your house to move on, make sure you are not kicking out your Spirit Guide instead!

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