Thursday, July 10, 2008

Channeling and Other Beliefs


[Jane] Roberts [the "channeler" of "Seth"] did come across, in the unconscious mind, some really interesting, and useful, material. As noted in the previous email, we do not deny the existence or possibility of "channeling." Indeed, as mystics, we heartily endorse and teach that we are all potential "channelers" of Love (God).

Roberts produced, during her life (she is dead now) some unique material.
An objective analysis of her words shows that some sentences perhaps said absolutely nothing to the average mind. Channelers generally love to use many words, but often, take three pages to clarify or to explain a single statement. Like other resources, words should ideally not be wasted. A good writer or speaker should use little to no "filler" in her message; each sentence should actually convey information, should actually say something.

Roberts often followed this fine guideline. Still, I return, as a "skeptic," to the scientific principle called "Occam's Razor." This guiding principle of science (and of life) states that very reasonably,, if you have a complex explanation and a simpler one, you are obligated by facts and observation to embrace the simpler one.

Let's apply this to the teachings of channeling. A person is speaking to a group, and he/she is often receiving many thousands of dollars for an hour of her time. (The insurance salesman who "channeled" Lazarus received $300,000 for a lecture. It cost his listeners a thousand dollars each for the "rare privilege" of listening to him.)

Now, we have two possible explanations: 1) the channeler is telling the truth, which is anything but obvious, and an "extraterrestrial" or "extradimensional" being is using her bodymind to speak to the world.
(This also boosts the ego of the channeler and makes her utterances more like "divine revelations" rather than ordinary speech. These "divine revelations" can bring a very high market-price, while ordinary speech is
unmarketable.) Or we can say that 2) we are speaking, as seems apparent to the actual evidence, with a human being who might or might not be drawing spiritual information from the deeper Unconscious.

Now, using Occam's Razor, which is the simpler? I think that the facts urge us to believe that the simpler explanation is Number Two, that we are listening to a human being. She might well be tapping areas of the great Unconscious, the great Mind, but she might not, also.

So, the best approach is not that of the "true believer," who will eagerly fight "to the death" (allegorically) that true channeling is occurring, that the person is truly, really, actually channeling another "entity" (to use one of their favorite words). But why expend so much valuable timenergy defending a conclusion that can never be proved or disproved?

Channelers love to say things that cannot be subject to real scientific scrutiny. They can describe ancient and distant Atlantis, or claim that Jesus had blond hair, and none of these "facts" can ever be verified.
Nor can their wildest speculations re the nature of Mind. Even channeling itself cannot be proved or disproved in a standard laboratory.
Some spiritual items are simply not verifiable by our primitive science.

Of course, it is much more fascinating, exciting, and even entertaining to say that real channeling is happening. Indeed, there is a powerful part of human psychology that longs for the absolute certainty so often offered by various faiths, including fundamentalism. But absolute certainty is not always available through the senses.

Thousands of gurus, ministers, imams, priests, and rabbis throughout history, have claimed to be "special prophets," "enlightened beings," and "channels of God" in our poor world. These have ranged from the noble to the ridiculous and foolish.

Many, many have supported false prophecies or predictions, including thousands of nondescript channelers who taught that the "end of the world" was coming in 1999! Time proved to a genuinely discouraged and disappointed audience, and it was vast, that these "channelers" were not really in touch with a higher Power.

So, we know, and I think that we both agree, that false "channelers" do exist. The facts prove this. But what real facts do we have to "prove"
that "real" channelers exist? This is a much more knotty and problematic question.

Channeling is precisely like religion: If a person wants to be a "true believer," she will be, and nothing, in this or any other universe, is likely to change her mind. Indeed, we are not here on earth to change each other, but to do the very best that we can individually do to find the Light. So, dear friend, please do not misunderstand me: I have absolutely zero interest in "changing your mind." For that is your task.

At the Pneumarium, we spoke of many delightful and profound issues. I explained that I individually would have to see at least some credible evidence before I would be convinced of the genuineness of a channeler.
But that does not mean that everyone does, or should, require this evidence. So, if you are inclined to accept a particular channeler, or all of them (and there are hundreds of thousands; thousands have "channeled Michael" alone, as one example), that is your personal decision. And you are free to make it; this is the very meaning of spiritual independence.

It means that we might not all think exactly alike about all spiritual issues. Yet we can choose to remain friends, even the very best of friends.

As another example, the idea of polybiography (reincarnation) is a structural matrix to my philosophy of life. Yet I have friends who do not understand the concept, do not even claim to believe in it. As another example, vegetarianism is another structural matrix for my life-pattern; yet I have friends who are not veggies. And that is okay; each must respond to her inner karmic forces in her own time, at her own pace, and in her own way. But I am free to accept, even love, them.:)

So, my friend, I speak, often with power, often with passion, about any spiritual issue, for spirituality is the golden matrix that holds this life intact. But I have and hold no "condemnation" for those who hold different or varying ideas. I do not buy into any form of "new age fundamentalism."

We are all explorers on the interior and infinite path. We all speculate regarding the Eternal and Immeasurable. We should be free enough, should allow ourselves sufficient fredom, and give this gift to others, so that we can vary in a very friendly way. Religious people become grumpy and surly when they disagree; spiritual people become wiser and richer!:)

We are not responsible for the actions or thoughts of other adults. We are not fully responsible for every activity within even our own bodies.
For, in a fair universe, We are responsible for only that which we can control. This means that we are responsible for our responses. (Easy:
"response" and "responsibility" both come from the same root.)

So, in final analysis, we are responsible for only our responses. If we can teach ourselves, or be taught, to respond in only Love to every contingency, then we have come to our "graduation" from the "school"" of earthly life.

It is true that, as you say, people who are stuck in cults or fundy religion are there due to their karma; I used to be one of them! But the true teacher never regards such benighted souls with apathy or complacence. Love moves her to reach out to them, to teach them.
Without Love, pure Taoism would create only "bumps on a log," waiting for things to occur, never initiating anything ever! This is an extreme, and the Way always moves us away from extremes, which can become virulently anti-spiritual (antiagapic, violating the principle of Love).

So, while cultivating trust in the interior cosmic Mind to care for all life, and for the totality of enlightenment towards all creatures, the enlightened does not see God (Love) as active outside of her, but inside her. Love lives and moves through her, and within her.

This is no attempt futilely to "add to God." You simply cannot "add" to the Infinite. Instead, the spiritual outreach of a teacher is like preparing a garden filled with beautiful flowers. Without care, the garden turns to weeds, and the flower-petals drop off. All you have is a patch of muck and mud. Caring for a student is like cooperating with Mind, with nature, not trying to "add to" It. A student can grow, like a flower, without nurturing; but a flower which receives care has many more petals, is more fragrant, and more beautiful.

No comments: