Thursday, 13 April 2017

Channelling

(Note: This post is an expansion of a comment I made in answer to a question about a particular channelled book. Here I would like to make some remarks about channelling in general.)

My peculiarity is that I am someone who has written about a channelling experience, or what would normally be called such, who basically distrusts most channelling experiences. I think the problem is twofold. First of all, in many cases the medium affects the message. The technique involved means that the process cannot be pure. If the communication is received through the medium's mind and brain, as most are, these inevitably leave their imprint on how it comes out. Wherever it may originate, it is like a light shone through a coloured glass and the glass lends its own hue to the end product. The medium's belief system, cultural background and personality will all have at least some effect on the contents, rather like an artist who expresses an inspiration according to his own nature. How much effect depends on the medium's ability to be detached from the contents of his or her own psyche, preferences, prejudices and the like, and connect to the soul or higher self, but it cannot be 100% pure since none of us are that.

But then there is the question of the origin of the message. Where does it come from? And practically always it comes from discarnate beings on the inner planes, as one may call the non -physical worlds, who are still separate from God. So they may have more apparent knowledge of these worlds but it is still refracted through the prism of their own limited understanding. That is assuming the communicators are not demonic which they clearly sometimes are. 
In many non-demonic cases my impression is that the communicating beings are talking from the mental plane which (using conventional occult terminology) is above the astral or psychic plane but below that of real spiritual union which is the location of the soul when it is one with God. So they were still talking from the level of their own thoughts and experiences rather than genuine spiritual insight such as possessed by the hierarchy of saints.
 So in Christian terms they are in purgatory, even if it is a higher and possibly blissful form of purgatory, rather than heaven, and I think this is the case for the great majority of the beings who talk through channellings.

So we can posit various forms of channelling. These exclude all fakes and frauds which probably account for a large number. But when the phenomenon is real the sources might come from:

1.     The recently dead such as are contacted in spiritualistic seances. These rarely have much of real interest to communicate since they are ordinary souls with little spiritual experience or insight. The messages are usually also confused and inconclusive because of the difficulties of communication.

2.     Demons that come through deliberately to mislead and/or to absorb energy from those that fall prey to their machinations. Orthodox religion would put all in this category and point to various Biblical prohibitions but when spiritual visitations and phenomena happen in the lives of the saints it is more forgiving so I think we can learn to exercise discrimination and in this way develop our spiritual antennae. Having said that, no doubt a number of communications truly are demonic in origin so we should not go to the other extreme of gullible naivety with regard to such things.

3.     Souls that have made some progress up through the spiritual planes. Bear in mind that after death we have the opportunity to rise through the spiritual worlds as we throw off attachments pertaining to lower levels and identify more with aspects of our being that relate to higher ones. Lower and higher here describing, on the one hand, primary attunements to physical, emotional, mental and spiritual states, and, on the other, degrees of closeness to God. From our perspective in this material world souls might appear to have great wisdom because they are speaking with knowledge of higher planes of existence and awareness of the wholeness of life and the reality of God. And yet they might still be on the outside looking in from the even higher perspective of a soul that has become one with God and fully realised its Christ nature. 

4.  Souls that have realised their Christ nature in its fullness. In these souls the light of Christ has been born and grown and now completely illuminates their entire being. They have died with Christ and risen with him. They have become men made perfect and thus transcended the purely human kingdom to become members of the kingdom of heaven. In them the process of theosis has reached its culmination. Their minds are irradiated with the wisdom of God and their hearts afire with his love. They are fully individual but one with all life having consciously united in themselves both matter and spirit to become a new creation. This is the goal for all of us and, incidentally, why spiritual paths that deny matter or this world as opposed to subjecting it to the light of spirit are incomplete. The goal of existence is not to return to what we were before we were born but to become this new and higher creation in which aspects of God that relate to him in his essence and those that relate to him as he is in expression are combined and integrated. The divine pattern for this, of course, is Christ.

Practically all channelling comes from sources 1-3. But to confuse matters many claim to come from source 4, whether because of deliberate deception or because some souls that have achieved a certain amount of post mortem spiritual awakening genuinely believe themselves to have attained a fuller state of understanding than they actually have. That happens in this world and souls that have a tendency to over-estimate themselves and their spiritual status will probably continue to do so after death until they learn better. I do believe that there are some communications from source 4 but they are few and far between. You must judge these things by their fruits and by the 'tone' of the communication, how it strikes the heart and how it elevates and purifies the mind. Souls from source 4 certainly do try to communicate with their disciples in this world but they chiefly do so by spiritual means, that is to say by means of the intuition. Their aim is to bring their pupils up to where they themselves are which is why, for the most part, they work on the level of the soul. 

That's it really. Channelling is a very old phenomenon but it chiefly relates to lower levels of spirituality. Given my history it would be strange for me to dismiss it out of hand and I certainly don't do that because there have been valuable and inspiring messages transmitted in this way. But it is not wise to become too attached to outer things, especially as the field is full of illusion and half truths. The best advice remains that provided in the epistle of St John. "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God." And remember that just because some parts of a message might be true does not mean that all are. After all, one of the devil's oldest tricks is to disguise the bitterness of a lie with the sweetness of truth.


Note: 
What I have described here concerns the form of channeling where there is a real being communicating, but many incidents are not of this kind. In the higher worlds there exist thought forms and clouds of psychic energy which the mediumistic can contact and which can give the impression of a communicating entity even though there is none. These have come about from the thoughts, dreams and imaginings of humanity and, as it were, hang around on the mental or 'astral' planes from where they may be picked up telepathically or through automatic writing or other means by those who are sensitive to such things. They may contain generalities of a spiritual or occult nature but little really illuminating. This is just one more element of the pot pourri that is the channelling phenomenon and another reason to treat the whole thing with caution and discrimination.



7 comments:

Aaron said...

William,

What would be the point of these communications? I have read your book, which I enjoyed, but it contains nothing beyond what can be found in the various religious revelations. Love, detachment, non-ego, etc. Why do we need this if we already have the Sermon on the Mount or the Dhammapada?

What I enjoyed about your book was its tone of serene detachment and removal from petty ego concerns, but I did not learn a single new thing from it.

In fact, there cannot be anything new in spiritual matters. Anything new would be suspect. Valuing the new is a modern deceit (conceit).

The task is to apply timeless wisdom to changing conditions, but nothing new. So I don't see the point of channeling books that are general, like yours, where general messages to be found everywhere are merely repeated.

What I do respect about your book is that it does not attempt to offer anything new - some modern writers on spirituality suffer under the delusion that they have found new and unprecedented spiritual truths, which is clearly just the modern mentality pretending to be spiritual. Their positions always end up being some mish-mash of traditional wisdom with the modern mentality, usually incoherently, like with Rudolf Steiner.

William Wildblood said...

I take your point about novelty, Aaron, and I agree that anything that purports to offer some new and higher revelation is suspect. In the case of my book it was mostly meant as the description of spiritual training given in a somewhat unusual manner but there was definitely nothing new about it. It was also intended to 'advertise' the reality of spiritual beings and an attempt to convey a little of their quality. Or maybe it was just an account of something that happened to me which I hoped might have more general interest and perhaps inspire some people in their spiritual endeavours. After all, the spiritual path can be a lonely one sometimes and we all have occasional doubts as to our place on it.

But what's the point of channelled communications? If they seek to replace traditional spiritual teachings then none whatsoever. Then they are to be avoided. But they can supplement them sometimes and also reframe the old truths in a different way which is fine I think if it doesn't distort the old truths or present them in a light that is unfaithful to their inner sense. You might say what's the point of any new spiritual book as we already have the Bible etc but we do read spiritual books in an attempt to expand our horizons and deepen our faith and perhaps the best channelled teachings can do that too, though I would stress the best and I don't think there are many of them. Mostly it's what I said in the post, the words of discarnate spiritual beings in purgatory. If we take them on that basis then we won't be led astray I think though you might say that, in that case, why bother with them and I wouldn't necessarily argue with you!

This is why I don't think of my book as anything to do with channelling really. You see I do believe that the beings who spoke to me were from what I have called above source 4 though, of course, anyone who reads the book must make up their own mind about that. The Masters,as I call them, did not talk about philosophy or metaphysics or give some new and 'higher' teaching. They were just concerned with my personal shortcomings and gave instructions on how to deal with them. That is why I compared them to wise abbots in a monastery rather than teachers of enlightenment or self- realisation. They were not passing on information of any kind, esoteric or otherwise,but simply teaching someone who aspired to spiritual understanding but was a long way off from living it properly.

Chris said...

Just wanted to say that I randomly found you today through your non-duality trap article from 2014 and was shocked to see that you wrote this particular article just this last week!

I wanted to say that I appreciate this article and completely share your views regarding the channelling breakdown. This is a great and simple overview which can only be the result of hard-won wisdom. For myself, I walked a long and lonely path to fend off black-and-white thinking on either side. There are so many voices declaring it either all demonic or all loving. From what I've read of your stuff I am very excited to read more - I don't often come across someone who has delved into these psychic waters and has the humility of a God-centered approach. My own path basically started in the psychic waters (I am psychically sensitive and it brought many dark issues growing up, which I see now only in retrospect) and led to an experience of a higher power after only hitting a really dark place. Ever since then I've been flip-flopping between orthodox religions and being unable to stand their superstitious rigidity. The best sources that have helped me over the years to bridge this gap has been the Pathwork channelings and Paul Brunton.

Anyway, thanks again. Your non-duality article also really helped - it exactly articulated my lingering feelings of 'it's not adding up.'

William Wildblood said...

Thanks for your comment, Chris and good luck on your journey! It seems we share many of the same concerns. I should say that Paul Brunton's books were among the first I read when I first started my own journey. I wouldn't go along with everything in them now but I think there's a lot of wisdom eloquently expressed in them.

best wishes

William

Chris said...

Thanks for your response.

I would be interested to hear of your more seasoned thoughts on Brunton, particularly because I have felt myself drifting from him more and more. Honestly, I am drawn now more to the Christian contemplatives and mystics such as Jean-Pierre de Caussade and Jakob Boheme. I think perhaps Brunton is too analytical and almost academic and I am seeking a more heart-based and deeper-feeling approach. I have also discovered Martin Israel, who is really triggering some deep accord within me.

Any thoughts/comments would be appreciated. Thanks!

William Wildblood said...

A weakness of Brunton, I think, is that he didn't see that the Christian way is in fact a higher way than the Indian philosophy and mysticism he espoused because it has God front and centre and also that it values the person which is more or less something to be got rid of in most (not all) Indian mysticism. God doesn't really play a part in his thought/system except as a being who is there, of course, but who is not the ultimate truth which for him would be a more Buddhist type of realisation. His Hidden Teaching Beyond Yoga is just advaita and he doesn't get the centrality of Christ, seeing him as little more than a realised soul such as Ramana Maharishi and the like - not that there are many like that! I believe he performed a huge service in familiarising the West with Indian spirituality and doing so in an intelligent non-mystery mongering way but ultimately, as you well put it, he lacked the heart-based approach and that is primary for a true approach to God.

My position is that identity with the ground of being which is the Buddhist/advaita goal is not the same as oneness with God which is the higher and more desirable state and the one we are meant to aim for. It's higher because it consists of the perfect integration of being and becoming, the Universal and the Individual, the Impersonal and the Personal, Spirit and matter etc etc instead of the rejection of the latter for complete focus on the former. I wrote a bit about that here
http://meetingthemasters.blogspot.co.uk/2016/03/god-transcends-nirvana.html

I also wrote a post which i think might apply to you as it sort of does to me too!
http://meetingthemasters.blogspot.co.uk/2016/09/who-is-this-blog-for.html

So I'm grateful to Brunton's books and i learnt a lot from them and him but I wouldn't consider him a wholly reliable guide anymore. By the way that has nothing to do with the book written about him by Jeffrey Masson called My Father's Guru which painted him as a fake who preyed on his disciples. That may or may not have been the case. It's certainly a constant test for anyone to be considered as a spiritual teacher and he may have succumbed to that a bit but it's not the reason for my reevaluation of him.

Chris said...

Thanks for this generous response! I will read your links. I like your breakdown of Brunton and the ground of being vs union with God. There always does feel something chilly and detached about the former that I have never been able to jive with.

It's funny, I am one of those Westerner's who unthinkingly dismissed the religion of their youth (Christianity) as childish and naïve. But now I have come almost completely around after a painful search through all the other 'options.'

Your writing is clear and refreshing on the differences. I have been struggling with the lack I have sensed in other belief systems and with great humility and embarrassment have returned to my native soul to discover the riches that had lain buried within the entire time. I had also felt such prideful superiority of intellect! It feels so strange coming to Christianity when the rest of the Western secular world reviles it (where, as you know, even if a westerner does want to integrate spirituality into their lives, anything but Christianity will do). And yet my soul in a way yearns for it.

Anyway, thanks again and I may check in after having read through more of your work!