I've been working on some new trance lessons and had to 'sit' with something for a while whilst I worked it out. It came to me that the purpose of trance mediumship resides firstly, in the individual and not specifically for the enlightenment of others. How often I have met students of trance who want to demonstrate it, as their primary reason for development.
What I'm saying here, is that the focus on teaching trance has been about what we do for others. The emphasis has often been on healing, speaking, writing, art and in the Spiritualist tradition - it needs to seek evidence of some kind. It needs to be of service to others.
Many indigenous cultures used the altered states to find answers to problems, sit with the spirits, to consult - to be become whole, to reach an enlightenment. The result could influence many tribal decisions or simply enhance the spiritual connection of the 'medium, shaman, chief, witchdoctor' or whatever role the sitting trance medium had within their community. It could purely mean that a tribal member, was striving to be a better person.
In many religious texts, we read of those who take themselves into the wilderness to commune with their God/soul/nature etc. The wisdom gained are the lessons shared, from the experience of the individual dedication.
When I returned to education after working in the community for several years, one of my colleagues asked me what the point was of learning all the 'academic stuff' - as she put it. apart from the thirst for learning and challenging myself, I do believe I am personally a better person for having taken the time to learn more. I wont say I'm more knowledgeable, I will say my perspectives have broadened and I have a greater discernment.
It is that 'broadening' of the self that has a great place in trance mediumship. It is well worth exploring further in our teachings