WHAT IS CHANNELING?
Channeling is the reproduction by words or sounds of concepts not generated within one’s own conscious mind but transmitted from the subconscious mind or through the subconscious mind into the conscious mind from an impersonal or nonpersonal entity or principle. A good analogy to channeling would be the pipe which carries water. The pipe does not create the water, but rather receives it from a source external to its own identity. There are things a pipe or channel can be and do to enhance the delivery of pure channeling/water through itself: it can keep itself clean and free from corrosion; it can remove obstructions; it can strengthen its walls or enlarge its diameter; it can make new connections. However, the only control it has over the water it channels through itself is the care with which it has allowed itself to be connected; the only control a pipe has over the appropriateness of the position and place of efflux of this water is its care in positioning that opening. And of course, it must obey the mechanical rules of water distribution, which are quite simple, but inexorable.
People are designed to be channels, just as a pipe is designed to carry water. Indeed, in a sense, we all channel our lives moment by moment, thought by thought, relationship by relationship and experience by experience. Seldom is what we say, think and do completely under our conscious control. Almost always we are, to some extent, channeling unconscious thoughts. Any seminar which advertises that it can teach you to “get in touch with your psychic powers” is preparing for itself an extremely easy and potentially fruitful job-fruitful to the seminar holders financially perhaps, and personally almost surely; fruitful to the participants only to the extent of their own intuition and common sense and the tools that they have been given by their instructors. Since there is a gap between what common sense can tell you and what most instructors can express in a single seminar, the student must either learn further by making mistakes, as I did, or come across information such as this which is at least intended to bridge the gap.
There are too many kinds of channeling to mention. Perhaps the image which represents channeling to the average person is that of the spiritualist seance. In this practice, a medium sits with a group of people who wish to communicate with ghosts of one kind or another, relatives, Indian guides, spirit doctors, inner-plane masters, and so forth. This form of mediumship is not the kind of channeling about which I know much, and those who wish to learn to be spiritualistic mediums are advised to go to a Spiritualist church and inquire as to where the nearest center is that offers such a course of teaching. I note this, not because I have any disapproval of the practice, nor because I am unfamiliar with the practice of spiritualistic mediumship, but because it and other well-established and thorough schools of mediumship-the American Indian tradition and its medicine men and women are another good example-offer a perfectly adequate and perhaps somewhat specialized form of instruction to interested students. This book may be of help to one who is already under the instruction of a Spiritualist teacher or an American Indian medicine person, but it can never be a substitute for the support of the whole tradition.
Of course I don’t pretend or expect that this volume can be a substitute for the on-going support of a teacher and a supporting group of other channels and students, but in a less structured line of channeling, the book does become far more helpful.
What other types of channeling are there then? The religious and traditional, for one. The prophets and some few saints in the Christian church were channels. The Old Testament is filled with the beauty of the prophets’ words, most notably Isaiah’s, whose words about the sacrificial lamb were so very prophetic of the Incarnation of Jesus the Christ. These holy men and women saw visions, heard voices. Moses, in fact, heard the words of the Lord straight out and merely reported on the conversation.
Then there are the new-age religions, and independent but vaguely Christian sources which channel archangels, various lesser angelic presences, spiritual masters of various kinds, such as Kuthumi, and of course, Jesus, under various names. In some of the best of this kind of channeling one is uplifted and one’s feelings are elevated to a rarefied joy by the inspirational writing of the channel. The religious channel has an obvious bias, and consequently the message does not “get through” to everyone who happens to read the material. The Bible, for example, is the best-selling channeling of all time, but it does not appeal to every reader and many are the Bibles which carry far more dust than fingerprints. One of my friends recently read STARSEED TRANSMISSIONS, and tossed it aside without a second thought.
“Didn’t you like the work?” I asked.
“I got absolutely nothing out of it,” he replied.
For him the religious content so interfered with his ability to accept the material that all of the superstructure of concept and detail which had so inspired me served to shut his ears. One who desires to channel a religious presence, therefore, will need to come to terms with the fact that the bias of the material will block that material from many listeners and readers.
There is a large category of metaphysical channeling sources and an almost gaudy grab bag of extraterrestrial beings, ascended masters, principles, nature spirits, and uncategorizeable individuals. There are philosophers which offer general counsel as well as a fairly thorough philosophical system in which the counsel is seated which have, in addition to a fairly coherent philosophy and point of view, the willingness to offer rather extensive and personal information to individuals. The ascended masters are channeled by several large and organized groups of instruments, such as the Order of the Rosy Cross, Eckankar and Theosophists. Many a person has channeled Kuthumi; many an Astaran has discovered Zoser for himself, and so forth. The common theme of the inner-master channeling is the belief in the rightness of the proposition that there are some individuals who have, at some point in their life experience, gained access to great and hidden wisdom and who have, after death, chosen to remain both discarnate and available to those of us who seek the truth during our lives on Earth. This belief in a gnostical hierarchy of wisdom predicates that there be someone able to tell the truth-seeker how to find the gatekeeper of each door which unlocks the next layer or hierarchy of understanding, the next piece of wisdom which will, in the end, cause us to become masters ourselves. Most of these systems teach the channeling in a coherent and useable format, and I can only recommend to those who are interested in this kind of channeling that, as always, discrimination should be used, and those powers of discrimination honed carefully, for although one system may seem much like another, each comes with a dogma or doctrine with which it is necessary to be conversant and to accept, at least in some part, in order for the student’s experience with the system to be satisfactory. Indeed, part of middle America, the lodge-Moose, Elk, Mason, Shriner-is a good example of this basic gnostic kind of channeling. I am not saying that your husband or father, boyfriend, or nephew is channeling when he goes to a Shriner’s convention. However, those who structured these organizations were certainly channeling this type of “wisdom” information.
Perhaps the most famous of the metaphysical or philosophical channels is Edgar Cayce, whose channeling indicated that its source was the Akashic Record itself. Cayce’s work has been especially interesting to researchers because of the completeness with which records were kept of sessions in which many evidential details were given which proved to be true and which produced a large number of healings. The accuracy of the healing channelings causes even the most scientifically oriented researcher to express at least some interest in the philosophical material that echoes through the healing material and takes up the center stage of the readings which were supported by those who paid to ask philosophical questions. Edgar Cayce is no longer incarnate, but the same Akashic Record claims now to be present again in the channeling of Awareness by Paul Shockley of the Aquarian Church of Universal Service in McMinnville, Oregon.
There are fairies, and yes, Tinker Bell, I will clap for you! Such are the musings of one who is seriously studying the work with nature spirits of medicine men and women in the American Indian tradition, fairy tale buffs and Findhorn, to name three sources. Findhorn’s account of the contact with the plant devas and the subsequent growing of very large and healthy vegetables in the barren, sandy soil of the northern coast of Scotland is most impressive, and the American Indian tradition is also persuasive in its accounts of the relationship of sensitive Indian men and women with the spirits of their elk, eagle and so forth.
There is a large variety of purported UFO contactees. Phylos, Clarion, and George Hunt Williamson’s channeling of Brother Philip all speak of, or are themselves, allegedly extraterrestrial contacts. There are many channels of a group calling itself the Federation of Planets, the Confederation of Planets or the Confederation of Planets in the Service of the Infinite Creator. I, myself, am one of those channels. Especially interesting is the channeling of Vinod and Probert of “The Nine” and the channeling, which was only possible by Uri Geller’s presence, of Hoova.
Rather than attempting to be complete in any of these categories of channeling I shall dismiss that hopeless task with a shrug and a grin. You see, there are literally millions of people channeling on Earth today, channeling all kinds of entities. Far from such information being rare, it is almost unimaginably plentiful. I have personally channeled hundreds of thousands of words and seen millions more in others’ transcripts and books. The activity is pervasive for a very simple reason: it is part of human nature. And, like any other thing that man can do, it is a thing that most predictably will continue to be done, sometimes poorly, sometimes exquisitely well.
You can see that there is a plethora of channeled material available to the student, beginning with the most ancient Vedic holy work and reaching to the very latest wisdom from the world of the invisible, from whatever source. The information has, or tends to have, pervasively common themes such as the ascendancy of the rightness of peace between peoples and good will among nations, and the nearness in time of a planetary transformation. The typical content of such messages was covered in a book previously written by Donald T. Elkins and me in 1976, SECRETS OF THE UFO.
In addition, each body of channeled information usually contains some concepts peculiar to it, often in direct contradiction to other bodies of channeled material. Not only is the amount of this information staggering, but also enormously confusing, if one attempts to make every fact of even two instruments’ channeled material fit into any kind of congruency.
There are many adherents of any orthodox body of channeled material, such as Jews and Christians, who would suggest that the truth has already been given. (No arguing here: if you do not think of your favorite holy work as having been channeled, you have thinking to do, not talking!) At the very least, people who have come to believe in the doctrine presented by a body of channeled material will be very puzzled about why in the world people would want to engage further in this activity of channeling when the truth is already known. In accepting one body of channeled material, many people come to feel that all other bodies of material are outlawed. This bias isolates the self from others and predicates the assumption that man can know something, not only for himself but also for others, in the world of faith. But we can not. Simple faith finds inspiration wherever its discrimination tells it that a spirit of truth dwells. My discrimination is not anyone else’s, and what works for me, works for me alone. Nevertheless, those who believe in a doctrine, and rightness by literal fact, to be legislated for all, have always outnumbered those who feel that the truth is expressed in mystery through personal faith.
Moreover many, especially in the Christian tradition, feel that all latter-day channeling is Satanic in nature. There is scripture to support almost any point of view-Southerners before the war between the states used scripture to rationalize and support the practice of slavery-and it is not surprising that one may find scriptural passages both to commend the careful use of discernment of spirits and to condemn the same channeling as a mediumship which is punishable by death. The acceptance of either point of view without discriminating thought is not recommended; however, any student who wishes to explore the possibility of becoming a channel needs to reckon with the probable reaction of the very ones who love you the most: if they are fundamental Christians, and perhaps even if they are not, they will find such activity somewhat frightening, and may interpret what you are doing as a form of Satanic possession. If your desire to channel is strong enough to withstand others’ bad opinions, fine. If you are potentially ready to lose a husband or a family, a friendship or a job, because of your desire to channel, then stop and think, perhaps you are on the track that you should be on. If you are serene and humble, your family will gradually relax. It is especially to be pointed out that those who do become channels and do encounter this reaction from those they love need to refrain from defending themselves, for it is totally unethical for a channel to present itself as a stumbling block in the way of another seeker’s spiritual path. That’s just not fair. You do not feel happy when you are criticized. Avoid criticizing others. If what you are doing is being done in the spirit of love, your words and your love will speak for themselves to most.
Many people who are reading this book are possessed by nothing more than curiosity about this very interesting phenomenon, channeling. There is nothing wrong with curiosity. It is commendable. I don’t think that there is anything wrong with skimming the surface of a large variety of things, testing the waters, seeing what is for you and what is not. I can only suggest that in sampling the gift of channeling, you who are merely curious seek a controlled group situation in which you have a structured way of going about learning the mechanics of this gift’s manifestation. Take the waters, in a short burst. It is centrally important, if you do not intend to persevere in the discipline of vocal or written channeling, that you go no further than will satisfy the curiosity, because any longer exposure wiII, if the contact is a poor one, tend to cause disintegration of your personality and your experience; if the contact is a good one, any longer exposure will bring about new understanding and, thereby, place you under the responsibility, which is that what one knows, one is responsible for reflecting in one’s life.
Sue Leonard, a friend of mine who teaches Free Soul in Colorado, was talking to me on the phone the other day about people’s seeming reliance on her when she was doing channeling. She asked her class, she said, whether, if they had a difficult financial decision to make, they would call ten people at random on the telephone and ask their opinions, without knowing whom they were calling. The class immediately recognized the folly of such a procedure. How, then, she asked them, could they consider her extra-special because she was a telephone? Rather severely, she suggested that they all stop gold-plating the telephone and start seeking their own inner senses of recognition which would be able to discriminate regarding new information.
If you do not want to change your life; if you do not wish to live the life in which channeling has its best environment, do not persist past satisfying of your curiosity in channeling. Stop immediately and go on to something else, for there is indeed a great “supermarket” in the realm of the psychic and occult, and metaphysical truth is sold in many packages these days, as it has always been. There is no penalty in skipping about from discipline to discipline. The penalty is for remaining in one discipline long enough to learn from it, and then not using this knowledge in the service of others.
It should be said here that I have a strong bias towards service to others. It is possible to channel in a negative sense, and there are negative entities and principles in the universe which are most delighted to make contact with a human channel. As in any positive channeling, this type of channeling has many subdivisions and teachers. However, my bias against negative information causes I me to refrain from describing sources of such information.
I come to channeling from the mystical Christian tradition. I was born a mystic and very probably had the gift of faith at birth. Consequently, my motivation for channeling was to be of service to others. Of those who are serious about channeling, this is an almost constant attitude. Regardless of how efficacious a person may be as an instrument, regardless of the relative beauty and inspirational value of the channeling, the motive of most instruments is the old white magical motto, “I desire to know in order to serve.” A large number of human beings seem to be able to go through their lives asking nothing more than to have a peaceful and happy home life, enough money to buy what they need for themselves and their families and some gusto to grab. Others of us, for no clear reason, have a bug in our ear. Christian or not, mystics are convinced that we have some work to do in this lifetime; some feel that they came to Earth to accomplish some mission. When one weeds out the seriously neurotic or psychotic people who are deluding themselves first and others secondly, one still has a very large and pretty committed body of people who wish to be servants of humankind. Common beliefs among such people are that it is possible to push the envelope of mystery back a little further and still a little further so that the noumenal, though infinitely receding before us, can be to some slight extent asymptotically approached.
Another assumption is that the unseen overshadows the seen, has created the seen world, and is far more real than that which we see with our physical eyes and touch with our physical senses. The third assumption among mystics is that other people are worth serving, and that it is possible to serve them. These assumptions, put together, give to the student who wishes to be of service by channeling the feeling of reaching out to all of humanity as a shepherd would reach out to those sheep he so carefully tends and to whose care he is dedicated. It is clear from this image that one of the great dangers of deciding to channel is that one will become self-important. Instruments (another word for channel) are not an elite. An instrument knows no more than the person who hears the channeling. This is not only a truism; it is also true. We are all bozos on this bus. Remember the analogy of the pipe and the water. Instruments are pipes. Everything that they do, they do prior to receiving the water that flows through them. That which flows through them may well be from a higher source. The channels themselves, however, are sheep, except in the exaltation of the self by the One which overshadows it and speaks in the spirit of love and truth.
Would you believe that I know no less than three people-albeit slightly-who have channeled their own destiny as that of bearing the Christ child and being His mother in His second Earthly pilgrimage after two thousand years? It’s true. No end of folly has been perpetrated by people who accept the falsehood that because they are channels they represent an elite and, in some way, have a leg up on the rest of humanity. Please examine your motives. If you are channeling for reasons other than curiosity or a desire to be of service to others and to the Creator, it would be well to avoid the practise of channeling, for, as I have said, it can really land one in the soup emotionally, mentally and even physically. There is the capacity in each of us to lose contact with waking reality as it is perceived by the bulk of humankind. The possibility of the disintegration of the waking personality is made far more probable as one opens the integrated personality to the incursion of deeply impersonal, often external personalities. Channeling’s no joke. Why do you want to channel? Why are you channeling? Please use some discrimination!
The lack of discrimination can have heavy penalties, and perhaps an example or two would be in order. If you are channeling, and any of these seems somewhat familiar to you, you may be able to do a little work in this area and begin to experience a far more efficacious career as a channel.
Example one is a student I had in 1975. She was an intensely intellectual, likable sort of a person, approaching 30, prematurely middle-aged and dressed in that manner, and extremely swayed by whatever she was experiencing at the moment. Every time the L/L doors were open, Millie was there (not her real name). She began to try to channel on her own, and received information almost immediately. She was, for instance, one of the three “Virgin Mary’s” of which I spoke. Later, she called me in a state of nervous excitement with the information that a presidential candidate was about to get onto an airplane which would crash, killing him. She wanted me to call a psychic (Jeanne Dixon, whom I didn’t know) with this information so that she could warn the candidate. My attempts to explain to her why I was not going to fulfill her request were not comprehended, and she rang off convinced that I had turned against her. Not very long afterwards, a Catholic priest called us and told us that she had sought sanctuary in his church because she was being attacked by Satanic forces. She felt that her mother and father were possessed and she did not trust anyone except us. He wanted to know if we could come get her, because she had had nothing to eat for days and had refused even water for the 48 hours that she had spent in his church. Reluctantly we went and got Millie, brought her home, and attempted to feed her a light meal. It was after midnight. She was too tense even to lie down. When we suggested that she relax, she accused us of attempting to control her mind, and ran from the apartment before we could stop her. We went after her but could not find her since we lived close to a park with many winding, hilly roads and too many turns for us to be able to guess which way she had gone.
We notified her favorite professor, the priest who had called us, and her parents that she was loose in the city, clad in nightshirt only, driving a car that was almost dry of gas and penniless. It was all that we could think of to do. Millie ended up in triage at a mental hospital, where she was in therapy for some months. Upon her release from the hospital she brought the leaders of Ananda Marga, a spiritually oriented Buddhist sect, to see us. She wished to prove to them that we had evil thought-forms which were influencing our work and disturbing her. The orange-robed Ananda Marga teacher had a good deal of psychic ability, and a sense of humor as well. After demonstrating that he could tell us things that he could not possibly have known, thereby reaffirming to Millie his skill, he told her that we did not have any such presences about our benighted heads. “But they believe in magic,” said Millie. The leader humorously picked up the remote control for our television. “So do I,” he said. “Let me show you some magic.” He pointed the device at our television and across the room it sprang into electronic life. “Magic,” he said in his charmingly accented voice. “You see.” Millie was not pleased. I am happy to say that she gradually got better.
I had scrupulously counseled Millie from the beginning, as I do all of my students, to avoid any thought of learning channeling on her own. This is not a pursuit to be undertaken in solitude. When she began anyway, I continued to counsel her against it. She interpreted my counselings as insults, feeling that I was attempting to “corner the market” and do all the channeling myself.
Example number two: A long-established channel whom I will call Susan wrote us after the first Law of One book came out, asking for advice on how to improve her meditation group. She had been teaching channeling to her students and, as always, she had succeeded in teaching this easily transmitted gift. (It is the improvement of quality in channeling that is the true gift and life-work, not the ability to learn the mechanics.) She had intended, she said, for these students to remain in the group. However, they were leaving the group and starting their own meditation and study groups. She wondered what she was doing wrong.
I really couldn’t diagnose any problem from the information in her first letter, and wrote describing the way my meetings are run and the expectations I have of listening gladly to those who wish to share the responsibility and honor of being instruments with me. “I am so much happier to listen than to channel that I consider it a great boon to be able to enjoy other people’s channeling,” I wrote.
Her second letter was far more revealing. She had, she said, the hope not of listening to others’ channeling, but of using other channels to confirm the virtue of what she had already channeled. When I wrote back suggesting that perhaps her ego was getting in the way, she became defensive and said that I was a very judgmental person. Not too long after that, she began getting large amounts of information having to do with the “terrible catastrophes” that are to come, suggesting that it would be well for the chosen ones who were listening to her words to band together in a remote area for survival purposes. The channeling even included suggestions as to the supplies needed, including diapers. Note the twist of “love and light” information into messages of doom and the movement from universal love to the establishment of an elite group, which then must defend itself against outsiders who do not belong.
I do not shrug off the channeled information concerning the coming transformation of our planet or ourselves; however, it seems to me that we who are aware of the possibility of such remarkable events, if we are functioning as light workers, will be far more interested in how to excite and engage our own consciousness in work which will be helpful to those who have long known what it is that we do, but have not felt the need for metaphysical study. This would seem to me to mitigate strongly against the whole concept of survival places for a few. I honestly believe that there are many people within this country who are in positions to be responsible for the safety of governmental leaders and people important in one way or another to the world which they and their predecessors have created, in finance, science, research and so forth, who will provide handsomely for the repopulation of the planet in the event of an actual global catastrophe. What we have to give is ourselves, now, in the time of trouble, not ourselves at a later time, when the world will be quite different and those skills which we have been studying in this experience will undoubtedly be quite irrelevant. Perhaps my attitude is too heavily colored by my being a Christian, but it seems to me that we deal, when we speak of life and death on the Earth plane, with “the valley of the shadow of death.” I hope to spend my life and my death well, not in terms of how I survive, but in terms of how much of what I had to offer I was able to offer.
It is true that in the second case Susan had the potential of affecting the spiritual journey of others, in that they might well be swayed into putting a great deal of energy into the following of the instructions of her channeling. However, none of us is primarily responsible for other peoples’ spiritual evolution; we are responsible for our own. Everything that comes to us is our responsibility in that we can filter and interpret events as we choose, not as we must. Therefore, the primary victim of Susan’s difficulties was and is Susan.
If you see anything of yourself in either of these examples, or if you are taking this opportunity to examine your motives for channeling or for wanting to channel and finding that there is a bit of ego involved, don’t be hard on yourselves or panic. It is intrinsically human to have motives like this. Inside information, especially if confidential, is always alluring. Finding out that you have some refining to do is a good thing, not a condemnation of what you have done in the past. Through the use of tools such as meditation and contemplation you can begin and enable the process of refining your motives for seeking to be of service by channeling, and, meanwhile, the knowledge that such motives do not serve one well as a channel will help you to recognize times when you have gone a bit astray. In the spiritual evolutionary process in general and in the practice of channeling in particular there is no time at which you cannot turn and begin completely anew. I think that the best of us have to do that every day, if not more often than that. In no way do I wish to suggest that my motives are always pure. Indeed, before I began to write this book, I went through several weeks of indecision and paralysis, asking myself the question, “Who do I think I am, setting myself up as an expert?” Obviously, nobody deserving; like Arluna in the BHAGAVAD GITA, however, I counseled myself in the end to go ahead and act, but to attempt to keep this action free from the dedication to an outcome.
So each of you has the opportunity at all times to examine your motives and actions, discern any missed steps and turn to a more refined or enlightened consciousness. It is a complete waste of time to be angry at yourself, so if you find yourself to be a little moved by considerations of ego, give a laugh at the human condition, and keep on trying.
PREPARING YOURSELF TO BE A CHANNEL
Channeled information, like any other writing, uses the stuff of languages, sentence construction and words, those chameleon-like entities that take on various meanings and shades depending upon the ways in which they are used. Like any other producer of written material, you, as channels, wish to create the best communication you can. Since a channel has little control over the process once the channeling has begun, it is well to look at some of the elements that go into your preparation as a channel.
A very large consideration is the character of your particular mind. The unique nature of your mind complex is profoundly central to you as a channel because of the nature of the practice of channeling. In channeling you are dealing with personalities whom you cannot see. Invisible entities, or thought-beings, have “reality” only insofar as they are pure in their explication of who they are. In the world of channeling thoughts are indeed things. When one is dealing with friends, family or associates, one has a good deal more to go on than the basic purity of consciousness of the person dealt with, as indicated through the words being used. Even in a telephone call, someone can communicate to you by the tone of voice and the placement of phrasing and hesitations much more than the words themselves can convey. When one is face-to-face, one has body language and other visual signals, as well as the full range of the five senses, to aid one, at least potentially.
But in the world of thought within which a channel is attempting to learn how to become powerful, one has only one’s own true nature with which to work in order to be a person powerful enough to control, if necessary, the contacts which one receives. You would not wish any stranger to be able to walk up on your porch, ring your doorbell and talk with you about anything he or she wished, while you had absolutely no control over when the uninvited guest left. Yet in channeling one is very often in the position of receiving an uninvited guest, and it is most persuasively important that you as a channel begin and persevere in the process of knowing just who you are-what the makeup of your mind is, what your basic and pretty unchangeable biases are and what sort of contact you feel you can welcome and share with others as the highest and best contact of which you are capable.
Two intellectual dynamics which profoundly affect your channeling are the rational mind versus the intuitive mind, or wisdom by scientific knowledge versus wisdom by faith. The mind which is comfortable with ratiocination will be looking for that which can be known and that which can be done by man on Earth in any contact it receives. Consequently, the rational-minded channel will tend towards being an instrument which produces information of a highly ethical content. Conversely, if you rely for many things on your intuition rather than your rational processes, your channeling will contain a large percentage of material having to do with ideals. The rational channel may produce very good day-to-day advice but probably not a satisfactory metaphysical system which works without reference to any situation. One who channels from faith without regard to the intellectual mind may well produce large amounts of lovely-sounding, inspirational marshmallow fluff which will help those already faithful, but have no power to inspire the uncommitted seeker. There is the need, in any channel, for balance between these two dynamics.
Look around your living room. Do you find a large number of metaphysical or religious objects about you? The majority of you will answer either “No” or “Very few.” The twentieth century is part of an age in which ideals have fallen prey to ethics and the relative has overtaken the absolute. Most of us live in the mundane world not by faith but by a dependence upon scientific achievement. I have no objection to the century, its achievements or its biases. I would have died several times over had it not been for sophisticated technology, for I was a victim of kidney disease in late childhood and twice came close to death. I embrace the television and all the other media, thankfully dine on meals made simple by microwave cookery, not so thankfully receive and dispense telephone calls thanks to Mr. Bell’s drop-dead idea, and earned my living, before I became involved in paranormal research, as a librarian, which is in essence an interpreter and conserver of information for people who may find libraries a bit confusing. I realized just how far behind the technological power curve I had gotten several years ago when I was accompanying two young friends to a movie. After the picture, James and Jennifer, then no more than eight and ten, asked to drop by a neighboring video arcade. James settled down with “Tron” and Jennifer, a mature and serious young lady, courteously inquired as to my entertainment before securing her own. Bewildered by the dazzling array of games, I turned toward another “Tron” and said “I think I’ll play that.”
Jennifer winced slightly and said, “I think that’s a little advanced for you.” This is from a ten-year-old.
“Well, then, what would you suggest?”
Jennifer considered, her head cocked to one side. She then led me to a Pac-Man game saying, “I would rather have given you a ‘Frogger’ first, but there isn’t one available.”
“How hard can this be?” I thought to myself. Then I found out. After playing an entire game without discovering any connection between what my hands were doing and what was happening on the display, I turned again to Jennifer for help. She taught me patiently and I tried again, with only limited success. It would cost me a fortune to learn video skills, unless my family and school both had computers, and I began early. This generation’s children often have that set-up.
Much has been written about the increasing pace of technical advancement in the civilized world today, perhaps too much, so I will not belabor the point. Although I am aware that we tend to treat sages of science with the awe formerly reserved for dons of divine lore, and while we certainly reward professionals in the sciences with monetary gains outlandishly exceeding those which can be earned by most parish priests and preachers, I think it is a waste of time to cavil. In a free society we pay for what is most valuable to us and if my priest is not getting as much as my doctor, it is not the fault of his knowledge or value but of my perception of it, and the responsibility lies squarely with me.
It is easy to make the case for our world’s being one in which rational thought is enormously more respected than the faculties of intuition. Consequently, when you look at yourself as a potential channel you need to do so with an eye for the need to bring yourself into balance. A good instrument has an attitude in which the rational and intuitive faculties are in cooperative harmony, and the whole of your mind and heart is at the service of the gift of channeling. Were out-of-balance channels all equally helpful this advice would be superfluous although probably helpful in the general sense since we all have both faculties, and it is well to use the whole being in one’s thoughts and actions for the most effectively lived life. However, if you are completely rational and accept no intuitive influence, or if you are completely intuitive and accept no rational thought, you will be an off-balance channel, channeling off-balance information, helpful only to those distorted in just the same way as you. The closer to an equitable blend of these faculties that you can come, the more people besides yourself there are who will find your channeled material helpful to them. You see, your mind is just a radio in terms of the telepathic process. Just as a radio must be tuned, so the mind must be tuned to the station that you wish to get. Furthermore, there is a drop-off of stations towards both ends of the band, and a large percentage of desirable contacts are to be found pretty much in the middle, in terms of a balance between intuition and rationality. Balancing your mind is part of the tuning process.
When you have analyzed your own habits of thinking and have decided whether you rely largely on intuition or rational thought, then you may have a good deal more insight than you had before as to what principle you may find which seems to you to be worthy of your fidelity. If you value scientific, objective thinking and empirically proven information, it would be outrageous to expect that you would be able to turn wholeheartedly to a religious system based on faith alone. Conversely, if you find your opinion being that nothing, in the end, is what it seems, and that science is deluding itself if it thinks it has the deeper answers, it would be reasonable to expect that you would have difficulty accepting the universe as a thing which yields best to scientific study. Now although it is widely accepted that religious people live a moral life by virtue of faith in their intuitively perceived source of wisdom, it is not so often clearly seen that those who believe in the world of relative values and empirical data can have faith in themselves and their ability to acquire wisdom and live a morally committed life. However, both paths are viable; passion and commitment of self can ensue from either bias of thought.
To continue the tuning process by examining the character of your own mind, it is well to settle on that principle to which you, just as you are, can be wholly faithful. If it is an orthodox religion to which you are drawn then it is well for you to become an active and practicing religious person. If it is a philosophical system that appeals to your rational mind, then it behooves you to choose that one statement of what is true that you consider to be worthy of your complete fidelity, and practice its dictates and ethics conscientiously and lovingly. Whatever you choose, keep the pressure up to be constantly faithful and regular in your pursuit of and devotion to that which you believe. The more profound and vehement you can make that choice and that decision, the more grounded you will be as a channel, and the more powerful your “magical” personality and, as a result, your telepathic receiver will become. I have said often, in speaking to groups, that when you know what it is you would die for, then you know what it is you wish to live for. All things are acceptable, in an absolute sense, as far as I am concerned. However, not all things are helpful avenues for a channel’s mind to run in. For instance, it is a perfectly acceptable philosophical point of view that experience through the senses is everything and that wisdom will come only from excess. The artist’s suffering is the understatement of this philosophical system, with wondrous drunken poets like Rambeau, Dylan Thomas and James Morrison trying always to “break on through to the other side.” It is the agony of confrontation carried further and further, to the limit of the mind’s ability to express or receive meaning. It is a philosophy that fires the imagination, as well it might, since those who adhere to it destroy themselves in the service of communicating their special wisdom to others. It is not, unfortunately, a very helpful attitude for a channel, for there is no allegiance given to any truth to which one can cling in the face of the enormous influence of excess. It is to be noted that excessive asceticism runs into the same problem. There have been many saints, in religions the world over, who have inspired disciples by their presence, but were far too inly turned to offer themselves as instruments for that which overshadowed them.
Because you are reading this book it is quite likely that you have more faith than discrimination. Most who wish to channel harbor that wish out of a desire to pursue the unseen and so increase the world’s store of inspiration and wisdom. If this is your particular orientation I would suggest that you go through a period of intentionally seeking out information concerning how society works. This store of information need not become encyclopedic. However, it would be well to read a book or two on American history, on present-day politics, on the history of science, on space exploration and on the social problems of today. The intuitively felt desire for a peaceful world becomes far more articulate when one learns a bit about the function and nature of wars in history and the dilemma of the arms race. The gut feeling that no one in the world should be hungry gets real teeth when you leave your comfortable dwelling place and walk for hunger while missing a meal or better yet, volunteer to aid the homeless and hungry in finding their way back through the cracks in society’s social floor. Get your hands dirty, so to speak, and not only your awareness will be raised, but also your ability to function as a channel. Social naiveté is almost as inexcusable as cynicism.
For a channel, balance is most important. If you are in a situation where your mind is not telling you that there is a distinction between right and wrong you may be in a good environment for your own growth, but you are not in a good environment for a channel. The more you polarize-that is, exercise your rational and intuitive discriminative ability in choosing what you think is right-the more powerful will be the antenna which brings in your signal. Do not baffle yourself by asking what is right for all of mankind. Take it as given that you cannot tell another soul on this planet what is right for him. Then realize that you are responsible for your own stance. When you decide what is right, your world view will come into perspective and your discrimination will equal your faith. The great value of the intellect is that it is a marvelous workhorse and to leave it out of the equation is as foolish as the opposite choice. Remember, I am not attempting to judge the thinking process of those who do not channel but only attempting to indicate what makes it more possible to be an effective instrument. For those of you who consider yourselves to be largely creatures of rational bias and highly articulate social awareness, but not primarily competent at grasping the dynamics of worship or beingness’s ascendancy over all manifestation, it would be an excellent idea for you to invest in a series of classes or lessons in whatever discipline you feel would be most instructive to you. Some of the world’s best thinkers have reached an awareness of the possibility and necessity of a balanced mind and a balanced life by investigating the Roman Catholic or Episcopal faith, which are by far the most rich in magical and mystical illusions which have been rationalized by a series of stupendously gifted writers. Others may find Sufi retreats to yield a more clear understanding of the seemingly holy nature of all experience, when the “doors of perception” have been cleared and purified. Mountain climbing, jumping out of airplanes, and any and all investigations into religious or meditative disciplines offer a varied and helpful tapestry of choices for those of you who wish to balance an overwhelmingly rational consciousness. What I am encouraging in you who think rather than feel the majority of the time is not that you become dedicated to the worship of any unseen God or practice, but that you become aware enough of the consciousness which attends spontaneous worship that you may transfer the seeking of that consciousness to your commitment to that statement of the truth about the creation and the Creator so that you may be a passionate advocate of that in which you believe. Advocacy, or a clear expression of who you truly are, what you believe in most deeply, and that to which you are committed, is the structure or skeleton of your magical personality, and without passion, without bias, your ability to deal effectively with invisible entities is quite small.
When you are satisfied with your intuitive/rational balance of mind and you feel that your power to discriminate is roughly equal to your power to believe, it is time to conclude your conscious analysis. All of the work so far has been done using the intellect. You have subjected both your intuitive and rational minds to the examination of rational thought processes. Now it is time to subject both intuition and rational thought to the catalyst of intuition and faith. The most effective way of immersing yourself, during your waking hours, in the subconscious powers of your mind is to meditate. If you are one of those people who has decided that you are some orthodox religious follower such as a Theosophist or a Christian, you are already going to church and may well have daily religious devotions and prayers. Meditation is recommended in addition to these things. Meditation is silent. The basic idea of meditation is that no rational processes are accepted in the practice. For this reason, those who teach meditation are usually interested in finding ways to still the conscious mind with all of its complex worries and chains of thought.
An immersion in silence is powerful. Even one such experience may be life-changing although that is not the norm. Perhaps the most important feature of your meditative practice should be its dailiness. No matter how well or poorly you feel that you are meditating, it is well to intend to do it the same way each day, not to dwell on any past “bad” meditations or missed ones. Aim for doing it every single day. The length of your silence may vary although it is a good idea to become regular in your habits in order that you might do it at all. If you set yourself too ambitious a schedule of meditation you will surely miss one when you are fatigued, and after the first miss or two, you will be far less enthusiastic about doing it again. You can say to yourself, “Oh well, I have already missed so many, one more day won’t hurt.” Meditating a modest fifteen or twenty minutes a day will be of inestimable value to you if you are faithful in doing it every day.
The real work of meditation is the relaxing of the structure of the conscious mind so that thought processes do not occur necessarily governed by the rules of mentation. We, as biocomputers, are perceptors and recorders of an astonishing array of anarchic, unstructured sensations-visual, aural and the rest. We have several large programs and subprograms within our computers which ruthlessly organize the data presented, throwing out over ninety-nine percent of it and concentrating on those things which it has tagged as relevant to the programs It is organized to run. Meditation allows new programs to surface, programs designed to assist in decision-making, the only purpose of the computer, and programs designed to feed more data into the base from within the mind itself, its far memory and so forth. However, the conscious programs block out the program assists and the special programs which are offered by the subconscious mind. For the two to work together, these controls must be lifted. Meditation will accomplish this if done faithfully and daily for long enough. It is not often an astonishingly quick process. This explains, by the way, why great trauma creates a heightened rapidity of learning. During traumatic times, the programs of the mind are being urged to change. Computer programs cannot change without dying and being restructured. The computer strives to maintain, and must dump the program instead . This releases an enormous amount of power, because any time the conscious programming is loosened, the program assist from the subconscious mind springs into action, and a very enhanced field of data, and program for organizing data, goes into effect. This is why it is not necessary to achieve a perfect meditation each time. It is an aesthetic joy to worship by offering a perfect service, whether ritualistic or silent, to the Creator-but not biologically necessary. It is only necessary that the intention be strong and that the mind will accept instruction at some level and begin to loosen the logical programming compulsion, thereby automatically completing circuits into the subconscious mind and into the frontal lobes. It is as though heart and mind were at once linked-a very helpful state.
There have been many books written on how to meditate. Although I teach meditation, I do not teach a certain practice. I have known one or two people who were in meditation nearly all of the time and who hoped to hone their consciousnesses to the point where meditation would be a steady state. I have never known one who succeeded. But it is a valid way of meditating, although perhaps the most difficult. I have known people who found it most illuminating to meditate with eyes open, staring at what was in front of the eyes without attempting to force it into making sense. This is not recommended for the Occidental meditator because our entire way of life is active rather than passive. For the product of the western hemisphere, aids such as background music or soothing sounds of some kind such as recordings of wind through trees or even white noise are often very helpful, since it gives the rational mind something to chew on, something to follow and become entrained to while the deep mind does its work unhindered by the noisy chatter of rationality.
Aids internal to the meditator fall mostly in the area of visualization. It may be helpful to picture the breathing of air as a black and white flow in and out of a reservoir, the good clean, energized air being breathed in as a bright white light filling the reservoir of the lungs, becoming dimmed by all this is negative within you, and then all that dimness exhaled into the outer darkness so that you may picture yourself becoming lighter and lighter as you breathe in new energy and get rid of dead energy.
I have spent many an enjoyable meditation watching the inside of my eyelids. Hallucinations have always come easily to me and I am soon off watching an ever-shifting kaleidoscope of colors and shapes.
A morning meditation while the body has not yet taken on the slings and arrows of that particular day’s outrageous fortune gives a fine start to a day. Some find it extremely helpful to meditate again in the evening, gazing back over the day before going into meditation, and asking guidance for what could be done better. Any moment may be used for clearing the mind; any five minutes is a potential meditative refreshment.
I’d like to emphasize that your expectation will mold the actual results of your meditation. It is my opinion that in the metaphysical world, intention is everything. What we wish to do may never seem to come to fruition as we intended it and in an everyday sense this is often tragically so. However, regardless of how one’s intentions are manifested, if one has the expectation of doing the very best one can, striving one’s hardest, believing one’s highest, the world of the spirit will record the intention, not the manifestation. I think that one of the things that Jesus’s parable of the Sower and the Seed was meant to demonstrate was the nature of intention. The sower had control over the seed, in that he chose good seed. However, he had to sow as he walked, and he could not choose whether he walked over good soil or bad. His intention remained steady. The growth of the seed once it was sown, was governed by the circumstances of the soil onto which it fell. So no matter what the results of the meditations, keep expecting and intending your very best effort. The exercise of your faith, backed up always by the power of your discrimination, will propel you into a more and more powerful position as an instrument.
At the end of each day, take your observations from your daily moments and the consciousness which you can remember from meditation and bring both to bear on the things which have moved you one way or the other, for good or for ill, during your day. If you have hurt someone, it is well to attempt to go through that conversation or action again, with an eye to bringing the balance of compassion to bear on both you and whomever else was involved. Rededicate yourself to the service of others and open yourself to the power of whatever redemption you believe exists, by forgiving any who have harmed you, and by praying to whatever you may call God, for redemption and forgiveness. In this way, you are constantly dying to yourself as a personal being and opening yourself up as a more polarized, more service-oriented impersonal being in which you are not caught on the tenterhooks of your own feelings and ego but are freer and freer to serve that principle of truth that we all seek, in whatever manner, and its reflection in all of those we wish to serve.
The remaining consideration for you who prepare to be a channel is complex enough that it deserves its own chapter. So we are not finished with the subject! However, to finish this chapter I would like to mention one remaining, obvious, but sometimes overlooked, skill which may be cultivated if the skill is not already under your belt. Since you are offering yourself as an instrument in order to be of service to your fellow beings you need to be aware that the notes you play are words, sentences, paragraphs and concepts. If you are not fully comfortable with your own degree of literacy, by all means put yourself to the task of reading. It is relatively “good” books that are usually recommended but one cannot, unless one is very special, live on a steady diet of culturally uplifting material. In order to make your tongue wrap itself around a larger vocabulary and become more able to articulate concepts, it is equally helpful to read any good mystery, pot boiler, science fiction, romance or suspense story-or anything that exercises your vocabulary and your reasoning processes. I am not one of those who looks down upon the lesser genres of literature, for I have been a voracious reader of both “good” and evanescent literature all my life and enjoy both enormously.
I have heard several people object when I say that it is helpful to increase one’s ability to articulate concepts and find just the right word by conscious thought. Such people have the notion that the person channeling asymptotically approaches a pure contact, with no contribution by the channel. My opinion is that about one quarter of most good channeling is contributed by the channel, both the channel’s words and experiences. This may be an incorrect view; however, the great bulk of channeled information is produced by those in a light trance, or at least those not asleep, and it seems to me that as it is impossible to eliminate the personal factor from channeling, it surely would be considered desirable by both the instrument and the one who offers the channeled material to the instrument for the instrument to have a disciplined and predictable share, obviously in the minority, but not insignificant, in the material. If you are a new channel and one of your objections to channeling is that you fear that you are channeling yourself, attempt to lessen the influence your personal thinking may have on the channeling, but-and again, this is only my opinion-do not try to eliminate it, for you are a valuable part of the channeling process.
In no way do I wish to indicate that you are responsible for what flows through you past a certain point. However, as an instrument you are responsible for the quality with which you are able to transmit what you receive. You will be receiving, most likely, concepts rather than words, and your ability to clothe concepts in examples and telling vocabulary will make the difference between a so-so channeling and an inspiring one.
Copyright © 1987 by L/L Research, a subsidiary of the Rock Creek Research & Development Laboratories, Inc.