It does not matter whether Spirit and Spirits are objective reality on a different plane, underpinning, suffusing and enveloping visible material reality; or stories, ideas and archetypes, helping human beings understand their material universe. Spirits are real. Actually, I tend to the materialist perspective: my inspiration comes from my unconscious mind, it does not mean that it is not in my brain just because I am not consciously aware of it; physically, perhaps it comes across the corpus callosum into the dominant hemisphere of the brain. (One Hundred subscribers! Does any of you know whether that has any basis in known physiology?)
Um. A materialist spiritual healer. Well, who am I to presume to understand? I know that two women have told me they felt heat, when I was not touching them but felt heat in my hands, and held the intention to heal. If I tell a story about that, what good does it do me? Harm, rather, if the story is wrong. Trust in unknowing, this is enough to make me want to take the next step.
So, spirits, either brain-phenomena, or ancestors, or angels, or independent beings, or for all I know Ainur singing the creation of Iluvatar. Should I trust them?
The story which bids me not trust all spirits, which looms largest in my own mind, is that of the Farmington Prophecy. No, Jesus was not prophesying through Licia, and the spirit that did wasted her time and energy and money. Perhaps this had to do with her use of LSD. I do not know.
The tale of the Witch of Endor, who calls forth the dead prophet Samuel at the request of King Saul, and completes his tragedy, only tells me to treat spirit or spirits with respect: not that they are malicious, but that what they say may be too much in that moment to bear.
Right now, I want to respond to spirits as I might going out on the town for a night, in a place I do not know. If I trust the spirits, I may meet interesting people, and go to interesting places. If I fear, and hold myself aloof, I may be missing something. I trust in my own purity to keep me safe, enough.