A Reluctant Channeler

Long before I had any experience of spirit contacts or channeling myself, my best friend found herself suddenly in the thick of it, without ever intending to become involved in such activities.  I have lost touch with her, and haven’t been able to ask her permission to share this story, so I will refer to her as “Helen” here.  I sincerely hope that she wouldn’t be upset if she read this.  The story is too good not to share.

This was years before e-mail came along.  We lived over a thousand miles apart, and we communicated mostly in writing, but it wasn’t the constant and detailed correspondence that I enjoy with friends today.  One letter of hers surprised me; it said, “I’ve met my spirit guide.”  She described the being as a man with “nice teeth,” which seemed a little odd to me, not something I would probably notice myself.  More importantly, she thought he was pleasant and helpful, and she became friends with him.

Early in the process, Helen heard a name: Erasmus.  She had never heard of anyone called that, but her husband looked him up and found that there was a real, historical person by that name (as you probably know), and the picture in the encyclopedia had the same face Helen had seen.  Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam lived in the late 15th and early 16th centuries, and was an eminent theologian who has been called the most popular author of his time— quite an impressive personage.

Erasmus communicated largely by automatic writing, though Helen did at least sometimes hear him inside her head as well.  Having no experience of these matters at the time, I asked her what that was like, and how, especially at the beginning, she knew that the voice wasn’t her own.  I’ve often recalled her reply, which was, “Well, you kind of know what your own thoughts are like.  These were not my thoughts.”

Sometimes she tried to ask Erasmus the Big Questions about the meaning of life and that sort of thing.  He insisted that he was only a human being and didn’t know everything, and that she should try to figure things out for herself anyway.  In general, he acted like a fatherly sort of teacher, and Helen spoke of him as a dear friend.  This went on for some time, and as far as I knew, it was all harmonious.  It was a surprise to me when Helen’s descriptions turned negative.

She never told me what went on in much detail; unlike me, she didn’t tend to write very long letters on any subject.  One day, without warning, she wrote that she had needed to tell Erasmus not to contact her anymore, that the situation had become too uncomfortable for her.  Much later, when I saw her in person, I asked her what had happened.  “He was making me write in languages I don’t even speak!” she confessed in an agonized tone.  Of course my inner reaction was “Cool!” but I understood that this had been painful for her—though I didn’t understand why.  As she saw it, her boundaries were being beaten down unmercifully, against her will.  She said specifically that she didn’t think Erasmus was evil or that he meant to harm her, but she didn’t feel safe with being invaded in this way, and eventually she was too uncomfortable to continue.  She was fond of him, she said, but she needed to end the relationship, and he cooperated and went away.

I was mystified by all this.  I didn’t understand why Helen was so uncomfortable, or why a putatively high-level entity like Erasmus would want to force his ideas on an unwilling channel.  Was it really so critical that he send more of his work into the Earth plane?  And why couldn’t he just back off, or turn down the intensity?  Helen was clearly reluctant to talk about it any more, and seemed rather traumatized, so I didn’t press, although I was desperately curious.

My best understanding was that the problem was the fragile sense of self that had resulted from difficulties in Helen’s childhood; this caused some issues with her temporal relationships as well.  It could be said that the same qualities that made her so psychic and so accessible to a noncorporeal entity made it impossible to tolerate doing psychic work.  What does that say about the qualifications for channelers?  I think that in order to be effective, mediums of all types have to be both unusually open and flexible and very secure in their own identities and their own energetic skins.

I remember having a phone conversation with Helen during March 1998, a month of almost overwhelming contact with Fryderyk, in which I kept losing my train of thought because he was trying to get in on the call.  She became very concerned, and strongly advised me to do whatever it took to get away from him.  I couldn’t seem to convince her that everything was all right.  I wrote to her explaining more about what was going on and trying to reassure her that I was not in any danger and that I was benefiting from the whole thing.  I remember her reply, which said simply, “My memories of that time are not good.”  That was the last I ever heard about the Erasmus experiences.  She refused to tell me any more.  I regretted that, because I felt that so much could have been learned from what had happened to her, even, or especially, from the most negative aspects.  It wasn’t worth traumatizing or antagonizing her further, though.

My own spirit contact was of course someone I already had felt a strong connection with before I ever met him in this life.  Helen didn’t have any such feeling about Erasmus.  As far as she could tell, he had contacted her at random, simply because she was available.  It’s possible that they did have a previous connection and that he sought her out specifically, but if so, she was never given any information about that.

I think it’s important to point out that Helen wasn’t doing this for any kind of self-aggrandizement.  Far from trying to exploit her relationship with a famous person from the past, to sell books or whatever, she kept the experiences under wraps.  I don’t know if she ever mentioned them to anyone besides her husband and me, and she told me precious little.  That is, she had no motivation to fake this, at least not in terms of public attention or potential wealth.  A pseudoskeptic might insist that she got an internal boost to her self-esteem simply by fantasizing a connection with someone significant, but I think that in that case she would have talked a great deal about it and made sure everyone was aware of her new importance.

If she did produce actual, coherent documents in foreign languages, it would have been fascinating to study them.  I never got a chance to see anything of that nature; we were never physically in the same place while that was going on.  I supposed she destroyed all the writings.  She did not have the scientific or historical interest in the phenomenon that I would have had.  Alas.


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