The following article was originally published in The Searchlight in December 2007. I referred to this experience in a post last Easter, and here I am again, still trying to process it. I didn’t understand what had happened to me then, and I don’t understand it much better now. Digesting more books about the early development of Christianity has convinced me further that things were not the way they taught us in Catholic school and that Jesus cannot be quite what they told us he was. That has made my experience all the more confusing, I’m afraid.
Oddly enough, reading the Bhagavad Gita and getting its different perspective on the relationship of God to humanity has shed a little bit of light on these matters. Krishna speaks to Arjuna in so much the same terms Jesus often uses with those who believe they are channeling him.
Yesterday evening, Easter Sunday, I spent a couple of hours with a video of Vassula Ryden, who receives messages from a source identified as Jesus through verbal communication and writes them down. I’ve looked askance at Vassula’s messages because they have Jesus advocating specific sectarian practices such as reading the Bible and praying the rosary, even while saying that he wants to unite all the religions. This seems odd to me, and it seems to contradict much of what has been said by Hania’s Jesus source, as well as a great deal of the spiritual literature in general. And it just feels wrong to me! But what do I know? Perhaps for some people this is exactly the best message, the message that is most needed. Or not.
A materialist/humanist friend of mine wrote, in apparent exasperation, “I don’t know how intelligent people like you and Hania can believe you are having experiences like this!” Well, I told her, we are having the experiences. It’s only the meaning of the experiences, the interpretation, that’s in question. If someone is having a certain experience, Hania, Vassula, or whoever, I can’t say that she is not, and if a person receives certain messages, well, then, those are the messages she receives. We have to go from there. Simply saying it didn’t really happen is not going to get us anywhere. And I think it’s of the greatest importance that we go much further in understanding these matters.
Faith and trust are still major challenges for me, but if I have faith in anything, just a bit, it’s direct experience. I have been unable to get much in the way of direct experience to clarify or augment what I’ve said here. I’ve probably blocked it somehow, though that was not my intention. I’m still trying.
When I channel Jesus Christ, regardless whether my channeling is clear or poor, I am filled with unspeakable peace, light and wonderful fullness. It is a spiritual practice for me, and that’s why I do it, the bottom line.
– Hania Stromberg
On Tuesday, September 11, 2007, at 7:00 pm Mountain Time, I had an appointment with Jesus. Really.
I had been in touch with him before, or at least I thought so; that wasn’t a new concept. I had experienced him mostly as a great golden light beaming down from above me. Recently I had heard that my friend Hania Stromberg was channeling him and was welcoming people to have sessions with him by phone.
Readers of The Searchlight may remember Hania’s name in connection with her work on Induced After-Death Communication. In the past few months, she has been studying with Betsy Morgan Coffman, who teaches channeling here in Albuquerque. Hania has had a strong relationship with Jesus for many years, and when she opens herself to channel, it is Jesus who speaks; she says that other beings have offered to communicate through her, but she wants only Jesus Christ. Since this has been going on, there has been a noticeable transformation in Hania. She continues to suffer with severe health problems, but her color has gone from grey to pink, and she has taken on a distinct glow. Seeing this change, it’s easy to believe that something wonderful is happening.
I signed up for a time, and promptly had something of a spiritual crisis. Although Betsy has said that it isn’t unusual for people to receive messages from Jesus, I found the idea of calling up and asking him questions rather disconcerting and theologically uncomfortable. I wondered if we were dealing with the “real” Jesus. Hania had told me that when people asked the Big Questions, “Why do we have wars?” and that sort of thing, not a lot came through, but personal questions, on relationships or jobs or whatever, generally received clear answers. I’m still having trouble conceiving of Jesus as a cosmic Dear Abby, and for a while I was seriously discombobulated by all of this. At the time of the session, I was quite unnerved by the prospect of consulting Jesus by phone.
But while I have questions about what exactly is taking place, I do not for a moment think that Hania is faking or deluding herself. That’s because within a few moments of beginning the phone call, as soon as she had said a prayer invoking Jesus’ presence, there was indeed a presence in the room with me, directly in front of where I was sitting on my ordinary sofa in my ordinary living room. I had no doubt of this whatsoever. I could even vaguely see him for a few moments, a faint vision of arms with stereotypical wide white sleeves. I assume he was just as much in Hania’s house with her at the same time. This presence was powerful, but soft and gentle. The light was not too bright for my eyes, so to speak. If it was not truly Jesus, the pretender was awfully convincing.
So I was hearing a soft female voice in my left ear, and at the same time I was perceiving this masculine figure nearby in my house. It was kind of like having subtitles, or perhaps simultaneous translation like at the UN. On my own, I wasn’t getting any of this audio portion, or any other manner of verbal transmission, so when I report that “he said” something, I mean that I heard Hania’s voice saying it. I was getting mostly emotional and kinesthetic impressions, with moments of faint visual images.
As soon as we got started, I was invited to ask questions. What I most longed to ask was who he is, what he is, and what he is doing, that is, what his nature and purpose may be. I was nervous to ask these things directly, so I kept my mouth shut about them. I thought that he might well read them inside me anyway.
What I did ask was my next most burning question: why I am not healing. I asked if there were anything I should be doing, or anything I should stop doing, in order for healing to take place. I told him that I believed he could heal me, and the funny thing is that I truly meant that. Faith has always been the most difficult thing in the world for me, and yet I found that I honestly believed that Jesus could do anything necessary to make my body OK. I believed that he had healed others (patients sometimes tell me this and mean it literally), and that he had great power to heal people, despite the fact that Hania herself had not experienced the slightest improvement in her physical problems. I mean I believed. I felt no doubt whatsoever. That was a new and unique experience in itself.
He held my right hand in both of his as I spoke to him. I asked about my stomach, which has been going through a flareup of chronic gastritis. I also asked about my constantly unstable joints, which cause nerve impingement and chronic pain. These felt like terribly insignificant questions to ask of such an august presence.
I am going to tell you the replies I received, not because I think you are interested in my digestive system, but because they illustrate the specificity, relevance, and practicality of the advice. With regard to my stomach, he told me that there was a great deal of overactivity and agitation in that area. As he pointed it out, I could feel it clearly; part of it was simply my nervousness at having this contact with him, but mostly it had already been there. He said that it was agitation in my mind and heart that was affecting my stomach, not anything wrong with the stomach itself. He embraced me, and I felt as if my head was resting against his shoulder. Through all this there were tears running freely down my cheeks. He said that I should take the peace that he can provide into my mind and body, and that if my stomach started to feel bad, I should visualize resting against him in that same way, leaning on him and letting him support me.
Hania had mentioned that sometimes Jesus communicates directly through her, though not by taking over her vocal chords, and sometimes instead she herself reports what she is receiving from him. During the discussion of my joint and chronic pain problems, she described seeing me in a curled-up, crouched position, hugging my knees. The interpretation of the picture seemed to come directly from the spiritual source, though. He said that the problems came from pain in my heart, which I had held locked up in my body and had not “accepted” or “allowed to go into the earth.” I wasn’t quite sure how to work with what I was told.
I tend to feel that if I am given healings or some other sort of spiritual goodies, I need to somehow pay for what I’ve been given. I didn’t say anything about that out loud, but Jesus told me that I didn’t need to do anything, be anything, or try to deserve anything— I was loved and cared for just for myself, no matter what. I have run into religious people who are extremely concerned that they are not pleasing God, and I wish they could hear this.
It was clear that this being could read my thoughts, feelings, and energetic patterns, and so it was not surprising that he perceived my ambiguity about him. “I can feel you going back and forth as you are reaching out to me,” he said near the end of the session. “Don’t give up.”
The whole experience lasted a little over half an hour. The last thing Jesus said was that although the call was about to end, he would still be with me. Hania asked if I wanted to give any feedback, but I was too overwhelmed to speak right then.
Afterward, I had a huge emotional release, wailing and sobbing. I was grateful that no one else was in the house. Even the presence was gone.
I was not immediately and completely healed, but I did feel considerably better in my stomach the next day. Unfortunately, the day after that was much worse again. However, I did feel healed where it really counted.
Recently I read that Mother Theresa, in her youth, had visions of Christ, and then later in her life she lost touch with that direct perception of him. She could not understand why she was no longer able to see him, and felt that perhaps God did not even exist. Somehow she was able to continue with her demanding work despite feeling a lack of spiritual support. I find this all difficult to understand. First, Jesus seems to make himself so readily available that I can’t imagine what could have been blocking the contact for this very devout woman. To stop having visions is perhaps not so strange, but to stop having any sense of his existence? And then, how is it that I, who have nothing like a traditional Christian faith, have been given this gift, while others, true believers, who long for a connection with Christ and put great effort forth to find it cannot seem to get in touch with him?
I imagine that a mainline Christian like Mother Theresa would believe that Jesus was real, but that the divinities of other religions were just myths or fairy tales. Yet, I’ve encountered other deities. This is one of my sources of confusion—how there can be so many high-level divine beings floating about, all of them appearing “real,” and yet many of them representing belief systems that are incompatible with each other? What should I make of a universe in which I find not only archangels and the Christ himself, but Kuan Yin, the goddess of compassion, as well?
The best I can do to interpret this extraordinary experience is to say that the universe is full of beings that care about us and want to help us. I felt greatly loved by this wonderful person, and I loved him completely in return. I did receive something of an answer to my questions about what he is and what he is doing, though not a verbal one. Perhaps he put this directly into my mind, or perhaps it was only inspired by the experience of his presence. My vision was that we humans cannot really relate to God in the largest sense, that we need to have a piece of God with a human face in order to communicate. Jesus fulfills that role, and perhaps that is the point of our other divine beings as well.
Was there a historical Jesus, who walked the earth as a human male a couple of thousand years ago? There is plenty of controversy over this point. I think that most likely there was such a person, a great teacher and healer who carried tremendous light and affected many lives. (We should probably be referring to this person by his original name, Yeshua.) Then people with their own agendas ladled layers of mythology on top of his story. I doubt that most of what passes for Christianity these days has a lot to do with the reality of what Jesus said and did; I agree with the proverb that says that Christianity would be a great idea if anyone ever actually tried it. I am not able to believe most of what they taught us in Catholic school when I was six, or when I was sixteen—not that Christianity is the only way, and not that the Bible infallibly tells what really happened in a given time and place. Certainly not that we are damned forever if we don’t do exactly as we are told or if we have been raised with a different belief system.
It does seem that most of the material that purports to come from Jesus emphasizes love and compassion, and deemphasizes churches, books, and dogma. In one session with Hania, he was heard to say that he has only one church, and that is the human heart. He added that reading holy books is only of value if it helps a person to find him in their heart.
What if Jesus was “only” a human being, albeit a very special one? (I say “only” because even the most limited of human beings are far larger than we realize.) Hearing from him is still not such a big surprise. We know that humans who have died still live in some way, somewhere, and that they can communicate with those still on the Earth. If Jesus ever lived as a human being, then he still lives, and even if he were no more than an ordinary person, he could potentially speak to us in the present. But what if he never lived here with us, and the story we have been given is only legend and metaphor? Sometimes I wonder if we ourselves create our deities, if our concentration on them and love for them brings them into existence out of nothing. Then, I think, this is a moot point, because ALL of us are essentially invented out of nothing. Where do our own personalities and individual identities come from, anyway? It’s really the same question. It’s all one thing, all mind, all God, showing myriad faces everywhere, contemplating itself and its works.
Hania told me later that she has been given some answers to these questions about the nature of Jesus. The material has been either “in a uniquely childlike simplicity,” as she describes it, or more than her brain can handle: “What I am able to take and project are rather hackneyed fragments of something so much more brilliant, but beyond the scope of my ability, as a channel, to receive.” Perhaps this is also why only simple and limited answers come through on the larger questions about human existence, while everyday questions elicit clear replies.
Hania also wants readers to know that although when she channels “Jesus replaces her personality with himself,” and she experiences his peace and compassion, the rest of the time she still struggles with her own life issues, “although perhaps gradually less so.” That is, she is still the same person she was before, and she makes no claims to be anything other than ordinary.
I spoke with Jesus again the next day, on my own. It was simple. I don’t remember exactly what happened, but I remember the love. That’s all I can say for now.