The superior spirits “have a language always worthy, noble, elevated, with not the least tincture of triviality. They say everything with simplicity and modesty, never boast, never make a parade of their knowledge or their position among others. That of the inferior or ordinary spirit has always some reflex human passion; every expression that savors of vulgarity, self-sufficiency, arrogance, boasting, acrimony, is a characteristic indication of inferiority, or of treachery if the spirit presents himself under a respected and venerated name.” –Allan Kardec
“Just because someone’s dead, that doesn’t mean they’re nice.” –Diane Polasky, DOM
I’d like to make a request of you: Before you start in reading below, please check out this post from November 2011 on Michael Tymn’s blog: http://whitecrowbooks.com/michaeltymn/month/2011/11/ Scroll down to find ‘Do Famous “Dead” People Communicate?,’ posted on November 14. If you’re interested in spirit communication at all, you’ll find it very well worth your time.
Mike began: “I believe in spirits and spirit communication through mediums. What I struggle with, however, is communication purportedly coming from famous people or more current celebrities of one kind or another. I am highly skeptical when the spirit communicator claims to be Jesus, St. Michael, Socrates, Plato, St. Augustine, or some other historical figure held in high regard by many.
Then again, I wonder if I am being too hasty in dismissing such communicators.”
As you know, I am well acquainted with a Famous “Dead” Person, and so for me this question is of crucial interest. My very first post on this blog, “Developing Discernment,” had to do with a friend who stopped speaking with me because she believed I was involved with an evil spirit. She believed this because– get this– a healer she knew, someone who had never met me or my deceased friend, and knew absolutely nothing about my work or his, told her so. She said that Fryderyk was sucking energy from me and that this was making me sick and causing me to make my patients sick as well. I feel sick right now while writing this; it was a terrible attack, and it did me a great deal of harm. My ex-friend was very ill herself with a disorder that affected her cognitively, and everyone around me said, “It’s got to be her illness.” I was repeatedly assured, by people who were in a position to know, that there was no way any of it could be true. Nevertheless, for many months I couldn’t shake off the awful creepiness of having someone believe such things about me. That in itself, that intention to undermine and harm someone “for their own good,” might be termed an evil entity, I’d say.
So let’s say I’m a little sensitive about this issue.
In another post I described the horrifying episode in which I encountered an apparent demonic entity that had wrecked the life and health of one of my patients and seemed determined to keep the harm going with everyone it could reach. (See “A Case of Possession.” https://elenedom.wordpress.com/2010/03/17/39/ ) I think I could see something like that coming, these days, though I can’t be certain. I have definitely had some other encounters in which I felt that an entity was better left alone and not listened to. I can only hope to be able to stay out of trouble.
But then there have been encounters that seemed almost too good to be true. An example, which occurred a few months ago:
As I’ve mentioned before, I have been much taken with the teachings of an entity who presents himself as St. Stephen the Martyr, as published by Michael Cocks, who was involved with a group that communicated with that entity in the 1970s. I had shared some parts of that work with Mendy Lou Blackburn, who was equally enthusiastic. When I visited her late last December, we talked about one of St. Stephen’s messages, not trying to evoke his presence in any way. Suddenly, there he was– or there was someone who wanted us to believe that.
The being that told Mendy Lou he was St. Stephen was very palpably standing a few feet in front of me. I wanted to be able to recognize him in the future, so I concentrated on him, trying to catch the “flavor” of his presence. I saw/felt a hand reach toward me; I reached out my left hand and he took it in his. This was very clear to me, though of course I didn’t see it with my physical eyes. Both Mendy and I felt like we were meeting some major rock star or something. I told Stephen that I would like to follow him (meaning that I would like to be able to learn more from him). He told me that he didn’t want me to follow him, but that I could walk with him if I liked. He then sort of took me on a little virtual walk; that is, I had a sense of forward movement at his side. I listened as hard as I could and words started to come out of my mouth, but I was so excited about the whole thing that I couldn’t keep the channeling going.
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it! I haven’t had any more contact with this entity since, much as I would like that. At least he passed the test of being unassuming and non-egotistical.
Mendy, as much as I, found this almost too good to be true and a bit hard to believe, even though all sorts of wonderful beings show up in her office all the time. As she said later, though, she has a great deal of experience with this stuff and she feels confident of being able to sniff out a fraud. Stephen did not appear to be a fraud, not to either of us. I had a feeling of the sublime, no sense of anything that might raise an alarm.
So many times I have wondered what might become of me if I were to find out that my very own Famous “Dead” Person was actually an impostor (or that I had been misunderstanding everything), as my ex-friend insisted. It seems especially unlikely in this case, since I became interested in Chopin after having my first anomalous experience involving him in my teens, rather than starting out as a fan and then concocting some sort of connection with him. I have tried to think about this as unemotionally as possible. It would be one of the worst things I could imagine, but then, it wouldn’t really change the history of our relationship over the years. The fascinating ideas he’s transmitted, the emotional and physical healings for myself and others, and the sense of deep love and support would be the same. And one way or the other, I’ve gotten some great piano lessons.
Fryderyk has, at times, definitely exhibited “some reflex human passion,” although he has been as modest and non-egotistical as Chopin was in life. He’s a human being, no more or less than the rest of us. It would be as inappropriate to expect deceased human beings to act like angels at all times as it would be to expect the same of those in the flesh.
(In a previous post, I wrote this about him: “I have many reasons to believe that the person who visits me is the current version of the one who lived on Earth from 1810 to 1849 and wrote all that superb music, but I understand that it is never going to be possible to prove this beyond a shadow of a doubt. That small shadow can sometimes seem bigger than the light it obscures, I’m afraid.” https://elenedom.wordpress.com/2010/03/17/hearing-voices-part-iii%E2%80%93-chopin/ )
As I’ve mentioned before (see “An Appointment with Jesus,” https://elenedom.wordpress.com/2010/04/05/an-appointment-with-jesus/ ), the most confusing and problematic encounters I’ve experienced have been with an entity who purports to be Jesus. It seems disrespectful to describe him that way, but I have exactly that “highly skeptical” feeling that Mike Tymn was talking about. I’ve never gotten used to the idea of talking directly with Jesus, especially given my severe allergy to organized religion, and I still feel embarrassed and uncomfortable bringing it up here. Yet, I must say that these contacts have been absolutely wonderful, and in the midst of them, I felt completely willing to throw myself into the experience. I can’t say precisely that I was willing to believe, but I was willing to be open and to listen and learn.
The last time I met with Hania Stromberg at my office, this august entity visited with us. Yes, that’s what I’m saying– Jesus, in my office, speaking quite casually with us, as if it were the most ordinary occurrence. I knew that he had come in, but I didn’t recognize him. From my point of view, there was a distinctly male being sitting at my right elbow, but he seemed like a typical human person, not particularly “large” or powerful. A kind and loving presence, but small in scale, similar to any of us. Hania had some questions for this man, and he and I chatted comfortably as I tried to bring in the answers. I found myself adding my own two cents, explaining what I was hearing and perhaps strengthening it a little, because I felt that the ideas were helpful. Had I realized who he was (or purported to be), I would very possibly have clammed up and found it impossible to have this easy communication, let alone to dare to add any thoughts of my own.
Hania kept asking me whether I had figured out the being’s identity. No, I hadn’t. She seemed highly amused by my cluelessness. Finally, unable to contain herself any longer, she told me who he was. I was completely surprised, despite knowing all about her channeling relationship. I had been confused by his ordinariness, I explained, having previously encountered him as a much more impressive presence. She said that he sometimes appears in this very human guise, and other times shows his larger self. Well, that’s true of those of us who are embodied, too, and so it seems quite plausible to me. Here are her words: “Jesus Christ, out of His love for me, makes Himself as large or small as is needed to allow me to be with Him best at the time. Our relationship has an aspect of being friends, and He will make Himself to whatever scale is most reassuring for me at the time, so I can maintain this feeling, so as not to intimidate me and throw me off ’the friends’ track.’ Sometimes He is immeasurable, other times as you experienced Him then.”
Hania also told me that the message given in this conversation was one he had communicated to her a number of times, and that I was conveying exactly what she’d heard before, but had been unwilling to take in. Perhaps Jesus felt that if he also spoke through another person, reinforcing the message, he would get these ideas through to her more effectively. And that did seem to be the case. The message was inspiring, soothing, and empowering, and it had a positive effect on both Hania and me.
You may remember that Betsy Morgan Coffman, in one of her classes, mentioned that often people get uncomfortable when someone appears to receive a message from a source they think is too big or important, particularly when the source is Jesus. Then, more than ever, we think we must be making it up. Surely Jesus isn’t speaking to us— he must be awfully busy, after all, and we are so insignificant. “But think about it,” said Betsy, who operates from a non-dogmatic but decidedly Christian frame of reference. “Shouldn’t Jesus be our best friend? Of course he loves us and wants to talk to us!”
It’s definitely easier for me to think of Jesus as simply a human person who lived a long time ago.
On the matter of appearing in different “sizes” at different times, Michael Cocks added this intriguing comment in his blog post of 4/5/12: “Stephen said that sometimes he feels that he has exploded into the universe, and that is his field of consciousness; other times he feels that he has imploded into being Stephen so that he can talk with us.” This fits with some of the points made by Chopin and others in the Leslie Flint opus.
On another day, an unfamiliar personage came along with Hania. She asked me if I could tell who was standing at the foot of the table. I was about to reply that I almost never pick up names, but then, while staring at what appeared to be a vaguely human shape approaching seven feet in height, I realized that I was in fact getting one. I took the leap and said, “He says he’s Saint Francis.” (I didn’t know which St. Francis.) Hania told me that he’d appeared to her many times. OK. I try not to be surprised anymore. “He’s very tall,” I added. “Yes, he’s a big man,” she agreed.
Was St. Francis nearly seven feet tall? Probably not. Why did this version of him appear that way? I have absolutely no idea. But I’m always heartened when more than one person sees the same thing.
One might imagine that a person would derive a considerable ego boost from claiming to channel these high-level beings, but then, some people want very much to keep their connection with the Famous “Dead” on the down low. I described such a person in my post “A Reluctant Channeler”:
“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.”
Recently another friend took Betsy’s introductory channeling class, and immediately found herself doing automatic writing at her computer, with another famous historical figure, one she had studied for many years, claiming to be the source. This went on for just a few weeks or so, at which point the entity told her that he was finished saying what he had come to say and would not be visiting her anymore. If my friend had been intent upon making a big deal of herself, or if the communicator had been one of those who like to get attention by masquerading as a big-name personage, I doubt that the interaction would have ended so soon or with so little drama. One or both of them would have wanted to keep it going for as long as possible.
Not only do people hear from the Famous “Dead,” sometimes they get communications from the Famous Fictional, which opens another large can of worms and has made me a bit nervous when I’ve observed it happening to people I knew. I have at least three theories to explain this odd occurrence. One is what the materialists might say, though a bit augmented– that the fictional personage is simply a projection of the mind of a person who felt particularly engaged or affected by that character. Two, that a legitimate, helpful spirit being decided to show up in the guise of the beloved character, in order to more easily and effectively communicate with the person. And three, that certain fictional characters (Sherlock Holmes and Spock come to mind) have such wide appeal, and have had so much human energy invested in them, that they have developed a kind of reality of their own.
I suspect that both the first and second of these scenarios happen quite often, not only in the case of fiction-based communicators, but in many cases of the Famous “Dead” and of angels and deities. The third I don’t necessarily believe in, but I wouldn’t be too surprised if it turned out to be true. As I think I’ve told you before, I’m open to the idea that contacts with divine beings of all sorts, such as mine with Kuan Yin, may reflect that sort of human-generated reality.
Some years ago, when Mendy Lou looked into the Michael material, the Messages from Michael stuff, I mean, not anything to do with the archangel, her feeling was that Michael was this sort of entity. Not that he was unreal, but that he was a kind of secondary creation, not an original creation of God or nature. That the collective human mind caused him to exist and to speak to us. I find much of the Michael teachings to be bizarre and at odds with what nearly every other source has to say, so I prefer to think that he is not a true authority and is somehow a lower degree of “real.” But what do I know. He does have a lot of followers, and many aspects of his messages seem useful and practical.
(If you’re about to argue that we humans generate all of our reality ourselves, please hang on to that thought for another time, because it’s s little off to the side of what I’m talking about here.)
If the entity in question is “simply” a projection or reflection of the channeler’s own mind, that is not necessarily a bad thing at all, though I think it would be far preferable for the person to realize what is going on and not to become too dependent on what appears to be a separate mentality. Receiving wisdom from our own higher or greater selves is perfectly valid, and indeed that must be what happens when great art is created and when great scientific or other discoveries make themselves known.
Michael Cocks added this comment to Mike Tymn’s post: “Our personal experiences do lead us to try and describe reality in differing ways. On the one hand, there is strong evidence that our individual consciences and points of view survive death of the body. On the other hand, there is strong evidence that we are all connected to each other in the network of the whole in an infinity of ways…. And that makes a slippery place when trying to define things. There is always “on the one hand.. and then the other.” On the one hand, from a mass of interlocking linguistic, historical, and personal evidence, the people talking to Stephen the Martyr were sure we were talking to this “Famous ‘Dead’ Person.” We were impressed with his humility, wisdom… and love. But on the other hand Stephen was insisting that he and we are all each other, and all others, all manifestations of the Source of all things, that he was reminding us of the knowledge we had before we entered our present incarnations. More narrowly though, he said he was talking with us as fellow members of a like minded spiritual group. And yes, on the one hand individual spirits are at all stages of development, and there are destructive spirits; yet on the other hand developed and undeveloped are together in a synchronistic whole.”
I have many times heard mystics and channelers say simply that “Spirit” told them thus and such; they don’t necessarily know what the specific source was, but they know it felt right and that they got a worthwhile message. This “Spirit” could easily include their own higher self or some other aspect of them, as well as the collective mind of humanity. Like “all manifestations of the Source of all things.” It must also be remembered that at any given time, a group or team of discarnate entities may be involved with the communication, further confusing the issue of identity. I wouldn’t be surprised if this has been true more often than not in mediumistic work, especially in the case of physical manifestations like direct voice, which seem to require a great deal more energy than purely mental transmissions.
Yet, sometimes there is overwhelmingly strong evidence that the spirit communicator is exactly who he or she claims to be, even in the Famous “Dead” cases. While in the midst of working on this post, I encountered an article by Michael Cocks in the Journal of the Academy of Spirituality and Paranormal Studies, in which he explained the reasons he is convinced by St. Stephen’s use of 2000-year-old Macedonian Greek, which identified the speaker’s time, place, ethnic group, and connection with the Essenes. And lo and behold, just as I was sitting down to write today, I found that a shorter form of the article had been posted in Rev. Cocks’ blog, ready to transmit to you. Is this a great universe, or what?
In the end, it’s the quality of the message that counts. I find myself perennially returning to the hoary old principle “by their fruits ye shall know them.” You and I both know that a lot of channeled material is pretentious gobbledegook. We’ve also seen brilliantly shining examples of wisdom that are unassailably excellent no matter what the source (St. Stephen’s teachings being among these). But I would venture to say that a majority of messages are somewhere in between. That’s where it gets more difficult. A carefully-calibrated crap detector is a great asset. But there’s no sense being so skeptical that we miss inspiration and enlightenment when it does its best to speak to us.