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Mudrashram Institute of Spiritual Studies

 

The Seeker's
Dilemma

Conscious Mind
Information

Subconscious
Mind
Information

Superconscious
Mind
Information

Channels and
Guided
Meditation

Outcomes of
Guided
Meditations

The Sirens of
the Astral

The Inner Journey
of the Soul

Steps of
Channeling

Potential Dangers
of Channeling

Protecting Yourself
and Your
Pocketbook

Alternatives
to Channeling

Evaluation
Criteria

Strategies to
Avoid Deception
and Dependence

Dealing with
Guided
Meditation
Experiences

 

The Entity Will Now Speak:
On the Uses and Abuses of Channeling

 

By George A. Boyd ©1988

Now that channeling (communing with alleged discarnate spiritual intelligence) has once again come back into fashion after its hey day in the Roaring 1890s, it is important to determine what, if any, value or pitfalls this exercise holds for seekers (those who seek this cryptic advice).

Further, we need to examine the impact of becoming a channel (a mouthpiece for variegated sources of supernatural sagacity), and whether there is any danger in this practice.

Finally, we need to determine whether the information the seekers receive really improves their lives or not. Since channeling can be very expensive (some of these modern soothsayers receive $300+ per hour), we need to know what seekers are getting for their often quite liberal "donations". If channelers are disseminating nonsense, however clothed in metaphysics and mystery, no matter how profound or eloquent, it is still useless information. In this article, we hope to explore these questions.


The Seeker's Dilemma

The seeker, in order to process, interpret, value and use the channeled information he or she receives, utilizes three alternative modes of processing, the Conscious, Subconscious, or Superconscious states of the mind. Let us look at the impact of a channeled communication on each of these states of mind.

Conscious Mind Information

The Conscious mind consists of that which is known to a person in the present time. This includes sense information from the environment or from within the body, and the awareness of emotion, thought, and intention as it is experienced in the moment-to-moment working out of our lives.

Assuming that a person's senses and memory are intact, it is unlikely that he or she will require the assistance of a supernatural helper to determine what sensations, feelings, thoughts, or intentions are arising in the Conscious mind, because this is already known to the seeker. The seeking of counsel is not a function of dealing with the known, but rather of finding problem resolution or understanding by exploring the unknown.

Subconscious Mind Information

The Subconscious mind consists of the sum total of a person's stored experiences, including that which can be recalled readily into awareness (preconscious) and that which cannot (unconscious). Academic psychology draws the line of what is "acceptable" to experience from this Subconscious reservoir at early childhood memories. More avant-garde therapies acknowledge the possibility of peri-natal (birth) and pre-natal (intra-uterine) experience. New Age and ancient mystic traditions accept information coming from past incarnations or other realms of existence as being valid. This information is presumably recorded in an Aetheric realm (Akashic Records) or within an inner vehicle of the Soul (karana sharira or causal body), either of which can be accessed in certain altered states of consciousness such as hypnosis or meditation.

The channel allegedly brings forward information about the seeker's past by relying on the supernatural entity they obtain information from (the helper) to read the Subconscious reservoir. A psychic, on the other hand, will read this information directly, by reading body language, intuiting the energy fields around the seeker (aura), or by obtaining images in the inner eye of the seeker's past (clairvoyance). The psychic may also work by using a projective method such as tarot or astrology, to help interpret intuitive information in a structured framework. We may suspect, if the channel is not unconscious during a reading, that he or she is utilizing the tools of the psychic to some degree in giving information to the seeker, as well as utilizing the abilities of the helper.

Since some of what is in the Subconscious is recallable by the seeker, we can use "psychic hits" on this information provide a form of validation or verification of the channel's accuracy. However, since there are many shared experiences we have in a certain society or cultural group, to merely provide information of this type does not rule out "good guessing" on the part of the helper or channel. Indeed, such life events are likely, Examples of these include going to school, working, having arguments, getting married, or having a close relationship with another person.

To determine whether information channeled from the Subconscious is valid, we must look for information of a much more detailed and discrete nature. Actual names, dates, descriptions of physical locations, people or objects, actual events or that took place are more telling indicators of genuine psychic ability. This rules out obvious clues about the societal strata or culture from which the seeker comes, such as clothing, jewelry, surname, skin color, speech intonation, etc. Unfortunately, extensive parapsychological research has found that the proportion of uncanny "psychic hits" in even our most remarkable psychics to be low.

Since the remainder of what is the seeker's Subconscious is unknown to him or her, the channel ostensibly could give the seeker information that has been repressed or forgotten. This information, if exposed, could enable the seeker to make sense of relationships or behavioral patterns that are not understood, and through this insight, allow the possibility of choice and change. Additionally, providing an explanatory system or model may help the seeker integrate the experience cognitively.

It is difficult to determine if "good guessing", "intuition", or "the wisdom of experience" plays more of a role here than any purported supernormal knowing on the part of the helper. Indeed, much of the content of channeled messages uncannily resembles "pop-psychology" and standard metaphysical ideas readily available in women's magazines or in paperbacks in the psychology section of the local bookstore.

Another problem is, if the material the helper is producing during the channeling comes from the deeper levels of the unconscious such as pre-natal experience or past incarnations, how can the seeker possibly verify this information? The most fanciful past incarnation scenarios can be dredged up out of the Subconscious reservoir, but how shall the seeker know this is correct? Going to other psychics or channels doesn't help, because no two readers give the same information about past lives. Indeed, going to the same reader after a long interval, will reveal that the past lives have changed.

Linking up the problems of the present with purported causation in other lives and proposing solutions based on metaphysical truisms, may provide a plausible explanation and a sense that one can "do something" about the problem. Indeed, genuine insight (the 'aha' experience) and catharsis (emotional reliving and release) does occur in response to material produced in channeling, but it is the exception as opposed to the general rule.

The test we may apply here is, if the seeker applies the advice given during the channeling, is the problem that precipitated the seeking behavior resolved? Apparently the "truth" of a reading, that is, whether an objective observer can empirically verify the information using standard scientific research methods, is less important than "meaning", the subjective value that the seeker receives from the reading, and the "results" the seeker obtains by acting on the advice. That is, by applying the advice of the reading, does change or resolution come about?

There is a difference between believing or imagining that one can change the pressing issues of one's life, resolve the yearnings of the heart, or answer the burning questions of the mind, and actually doing it.

Hope is validated by the attainment of the goal, not in the expectation.

Superconscious Mind Information

Beyond the reservoir of the Subconscious is the multidimensional Superconscious mind. At this level, we participate in the collective unconscious, the mind of Nature, and experience ourselves as being a microcosm within the Macrocosm of the Universe. At the pinnacle of the Superconscious is the quintessence of Being, what has been variously called the Soul, the Atman, the Transpersonal Self, the Higher Self, or the God within.

This Higher Self may be thought of as our spiritual growing tip, evolving toward greater wisdom, love, and mastery. Together with this Higher Self, two other principles of consciousness deserve our notice, the spiritual heart and the "third eye". The former may be thought of as our individuality, the unique principle of sensitivity, loving relatedness, and devotion. The latter may be thought of the innate principle of attention, a "wave of consciousness" that enables us to "see" in the inner world.

Channels and Guided Meditation

Channels claim that their helpers guide the seekers into the Superconscious mind. During this experience, the helper is supposed to, among other things:

  • confer initiation, transforming the Higher Self into its dormant potentials of Being

  • guide the seeker's spirit into communion with "Masters", the Divine, or through journeys to temples of wisdom or worlds of Light

  • open the "third eye" and facilitate direct experience of the "beyond within," the inner "Planes" or dimensions of consciousness.

This is done through a guided meditation, which resembles a group or individual hypnosis induction. During these meditations, suggestions are given. The seeker may be asked, for example, to visualize or imagine a spectrum of colors, or a golden-haired Master coming to greet them at the gateways to the inner Planes.

During or after this induction, the helper may give a personalized reading or message. Given the wide variety of experiences that seekers report during these guided meditations, it is clear that these guided meditations are assisting the seekers to achieve expanded states of awareness or to at least enter altered states of consciousness.

The fact that seekers experience altered states of consciousness during these sessions should be less of a concern to us than what is told to them while they are in this vulnerable, highly suggestible state that is essentially devoid of the normal reality-testing mechanisms. In the state of hypnosis, fantasy is processed as reality.

Guide: "See the bright blue men in the flying saucers?"

Seeker: "I sure do!"

Guide: "And the golden-haired Masters in the temple on the ice-covered mountain peak?"

Seeker: "Uh-huh!" [sinking deeper into a hypnotic trance]

Guide: "Behold! There is a lumpy, blood-sucking, bug-eyed, crimson demon clinging to your aura!"

Seeker: "I see it! It's here, right on my left shoulder!" [very excited, while vividly hallucinating]

The sobering thing about this process is that these experiences are so believable, that the most absurd and fantastic notions may be conveyed to the seeker during these altered states of consciousness. What is worse, delusional belief systems learned during these guided meditations come to affect the behavior of daily life. Atlantis is rising? The earthquake is coming? Uproot the kids from school, sell the house, and move to the Rocky Mountains!

Outcomes of Guided Meditations

What are some of the other outcomes of these guided meditations? Channelers can implant fears that have no basis in reality. They suggest solutions that may be combinations of self-hypnosis and visualization mixed with magical thinking and fantasies that produce no change. They give false hope and promises that never come true. We should not be surprised to find demoralization, depression, and "post-workshop blues" in the seekers who frequent the channelers.

Perhaps channeling can even become a form of addiction. Facing painful reality can be so hard.

In the high point of the meditation, in the excitement of being with a "Master" or "Commander of the Intergalactic Federation", it seems so simple to just "wish away" problems. In these metaphysical belief systems, the seeker is cast as the creator of all that he or she experiences. How much easier it is to "go away" from it all on a regular basis by being with...Babu!

Channeling can be beneficial to spiritual development to the degree that it actively aids in the evolution of the Higher Self promoting genuine transformation, the liberation of the individual spirit (salvation), and the achievement of the highest awareness, discrimination, and intuitive self-knowledge (enlightenment). Channeling may also enrich our personal lives in that by serving several functions: Models or maps of consciousness presented during channeling can help us comprehend our inner world and make cognitive sense of our experiences. Channeled messages may transmit encouragement and hope, and inspire faith and commitment. The guided meditation that accompanies these sessions may aid the healing process and combat stress, via relaxation and imagery.

If channeling is genuinely serving a ministerial function by awakening spiritual sensitivity and quickening personal and spiritual development, it may be helpful to the seeker. But to the degree that it misinforms the seeker, creates delusions and false hopes, and creates dependence on either the channel or the helper, it may be deleterious. And to the degree that the channeler can intentionally remove from the channeling experience those factors that create false expectations, dependency, and delusional belief, in that measure can channeling become a valuable means of gaining information and insight.


The Sirens of the Astral

In this part of our examination of the phenomena of channeling, we will look at the effects of channeling on the channeler, and we will suggest how those who seek to proclaim words of wisdom, encouragement, or inspiration can protect themselves against untoward effects of this practice.

The Inner Journey of the Soul

In the torturous journeys of Ulysses in Homer's Odyssey, there was one particular adventure in which Ulysses and his crew had to stop their ears to avoid being lured to certain destruction by listening to the Sirens. There are unfortunately many Sirens of the Astral Realm where channels call forth the great assortment of entities that are their helpers on the other side. Let us take a moment to first explore conceptually the Astral Realm.

When you look at the Superconscious mind, you will find a record of each expansion of human consciousness, resembling the annular rings of growth on a tree. These inner strata within our Superconscious mind are sometimes referred to as "Planes", "worlds of dimension" or "inner worlds of Light". Paralleling this stratification in the individual are the Macrocosmic planes that contain the great laws of Nature, the phenomena of multiple worlds and myriad possibilities of experiencing.

Humans participate in the Macrocosmic Astral Realm by discovering these inner worlds within themselves and expressing them as creativity and inspiration. Channeling may represent one attempt to utilize the possibilities of the Astral by allowing the inhabitants that dwell there to communicate with those on the Earth Plane (who are yet in their bodies and yet in contact with their normal waking state of consciousness).

As the process of inner spiritual growth continues, spiritual consciousness passes beyond the Physical Universe into the Astral World. In this domain of, as William Blake called it, the Divine Imagination, one may find many different varieties of spiritual and celestial beings: fairies, elves, angels, demons, gods and goddesses. In addition, other possibilities of human communication beyond the physical world may be known. For example, on the Astral Psychic Realm, one may freely converse with the dead, commune with highly advanced "guides" and hear discourses of spiritual teachers.

Like in a school, the lessons of these spiritual teachers are graded according to the capacity of the student to understand. We can describe ten types of teaching that occur on these Astral Planes:

(1) Subtle Domain 1: teaching about the origin of life and man's place in the universe is allegorical, that is, it is taught through fairy tales, myths, or parables.

(2) Subtle Domain 2: principles taught are coupled with the opportunities to try out and express the teachings. These include healing methods and martial arts, counseling and dramatic arts, study and work, abstract thinking and pattern recognition, cultivation of good character, using the occult laws of nature to produce manifestation (Magick), and receiving intuitive revelation.

(3) Planetary Abstract Mental Realm: teaching is through specialized language and mathematical modeling. Here can be found the astral temples of Science, Art, and Philosophy; students learn to use the powers and abilities of the Subconscious and Superconscious mind, and applying the principles of the universal "laws of Life".

(4) Planetary Psychic Realm: teaching is received while in a deep trance state from discarnate entities that act as psychic guides. An individual may be prepared as a channel to speak on behalf of these entities. Information received at this level is often distorted or contaminated by the reader's subjective material.

(5) Planetary Wisdom Plane: the teaching is received as working through and gaining understanding about the meaning of life experiences. The emphasis here is on learning the lessons of life, and gaining wisdom.

(6) Planetary 1st Initiation: reception of information is through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. At an advanced stage in this initiation, students are taught the mysteries of the Soul and are shown the principles of ministering to others.

(7) Planetary 2nd Initiation: reception of ideas is through auric immersion. The student is lead to release the power within the core of Being (Mighty I AM Presence) to produce healing, miracles, and to achieve self-mastery through speaking the Word (decreeing).

(8) Planetary 3rd Initiation: reception of ideas is through immersing the Higher Self in the intuitive stream coming from the Masters. Here on the Manasic Plane, ministry is done wholly by reception, contemplation, and radiation of thought.

(9) Planetary 4th Initiation: On the Buddhic Plane one in immersed is "the rain cloud of all knowledge"; ministry and teaching proceed by direct apprehension and revelation to others of the truths of the Soul.

(10) Planetary 5th Initiation and beyond: Here the Soul receives inspiration from Spirit, and communication is Soul to Soul through "the Light."

Teachers beyond the Planetary Realms in Cosmic (Higher Astral Realm), Supracosmic (Causal Realm), and Transcendental (Pure Spiritual Realms) teach their students by immersion in the Light. This group immersion in the Grace and Illumination of a Master Teacher creates a mighty force field that is called the "ashram" of the teacher.

Additionally, teachers in these higher realms may have developed additional spiritual powers. They gain the ability to guide the spirit onto higher Planes, lead the attentional principle into union with the Higher Octaves of Consciousness, and can awaken the latent awareness of the student by a word, a touch, or a glance.

Looking at this larger perspective, we can infer much of the channeling that is currently being done as being a teaching modality that is largely confined to the Psychic Plane. Rarely we can find individuals who will be overshadowed by and act as a mouthpiece for a more highly evolved beings even up to the Planetary Third Initiation.

Some Theosophical teachings hold that the Great Incarnation that took place in Jesus of Nazareth was an overshadowing of Jesus (a 2nd degree initiate, some say 4th) by the Christ (also called the Son of God), the highest Initiate on this planet. As a general rule, beings beyond the Planetary Third Initiation do not channel entities other than their own Transpersonal Self or their own spiritual heart, or as it is known in the East, they give Satsang—speaking from the Truth of their own Being.

Steps of Channeling

When we examine the steps involved in channeling, we can see that there are several areas of concern that the practicing or would-be channel should take note of in order to protect themselves from the untoward effects that can arise from this practice. Very generally, the practice of channeling usually involves seven steps (although those who do this practice may not necessarily do all these steps or do them in this order):

STEP ONE: Prayer, invocation, and protection visualization. This step involves asking the help of one's protective Higher Power(s), and shielding the aura against negative psychic influences by visualization.

STEP TWO: Mind blanking or trance induction. Through attention to breathing or another internal stimulus, or by use of a mantra or auto-suggestion, the normal flow of consciousness is suspended or transcended.

STEP THREE: Leaving the body, dissociating from the personality, or going unconscious. This process keeps the individual ego from participating in the channeling, allowing a relatively clear or undistorted message to be communicated.

STEP FOUR: Communion, attunement to the state of being of the entity to be channeled. Whether this is done consciously, or during unconsciousness by some prearranged signal, the entity's being and awareness become the central focus of the channel's attention and awareness.

STEP FIVE: Overshadowing or possession of the channel's mind and/or body. At this stage of the process, the channel's mind becomes passively receptive to the ideas of the entity. The nervous system of the channel becomes "linked" with the entity so that the entity can use the vocal cords to speak. This often is marked by a peculiar inflection in the channel's voice after this "link-up" has been accomplished.

Possession occurs when the entity takes over motor functions in the channel's body and starts moving around.

STEP SIX: Communication of the message. The entity speaks to the individual or group receiving the channeled communication, and may answer questions, do readings, guide meditations, perform healing, etc.

STEP SEVEN: Withdrawal and re-normalization. This step involves the removal of the entity's influence and reestablishment of the channel into his or her normal waking state of consciousness.

Potential Dangers of Channeling

The dangers arising from this process can occur at any of these steps, and can produce negative consequences.

(1) If the entity invoked is not benign, the channel can open him or her self to psychic attack. If the channel's auric protection is not strong, or has been weakened through the use of alcohol or drugs, these attacks can become chronic. The voices and hallucinations seen in schizophrenic psychosis are typical of this kind of psychic attack.

(2) During mind blanking or trance induction, the rational, reality-testing portion of the mind is shut down. This permits an uncensored message to be communicated during the process of channeling, but it also allows the most absurd nonsense to be uttered, that would normally be dismissed by the rational mind as having no value.

(3) Leaving the body or going unconscious without proper protection can result in the forcible possession of the body by a discarnate entity on a temporary basis.

Perhaps in the case of certain weak-willed, suffering individuals, this possession can be permanent. Ruth Montgomery called this the "walk-in" phenomena, where people yield their bodies to a discarnate entity’s control for much of their lives because they cannot cope.

(4) Focusing the mind and attention outside the normal alignment of the channel's being can liberate forces within the channel's unconscious mind. This may result in uncontrollable habits or addictions, irrational ideas and phobias, or compulsive and obsessive behavior that persist beyond the induction of the altered state of consciousness during the channeling process.

(5) The overshadowing or "dictation" phenomena is usually benign, in that the spirit of the channel acts as an intermediary for the communication, either through listening and speaking, or through automatic writing.

The possession phenomena, whereby another entity "takes over" the mind and body of the channel, can be dangerous. Once ensconced in the body of the channel while the channel's consciousness is outside the body, the entity may refuse to leave. The spirit of the channel, in this scenario, is faced with the terrifying prospect of having to fight its way back into its body, struggling with a supernatural force.

(6) Communication of ideas that are irrational, delusional, or based in wild fancy, when coupled by belief on the part of its recipients, can result in life changes that are ill-advised, and in some cases, can lead to personal trauma and catastrophe.

Decisions based on poor or inaccurate information often lead to poor results.

(7) Failure of the channel to properly re-establish a normal state of awareness after the channeling experience can result in lapses in memory and attention that may result in inconvenience, embarrassment or unnecessary accidents.

Related to the communication of ideas in (6), another problem arises in the teaching communicated during metaphysical instruction that, because in our Higher Selves we have the spark of Divinity, this therefore gives us an unlimited free choice that is essentially amoral. In other words, we are free to create anything.

Further, rape, murder, apartheid, genocide supposedly only exist in the world because people envision these things as part of their reality. To cease envisioning these things on the part of the individual is supposed therefore to make these things disappear in the world.

While it seems to follow that if I change, I will stop contributing to the collective problem. It is absurd, however, to say if I as an individual change, every one else in the world will somehow magically change, Moreover, to abandon morality is to invite anarchy, and rule by criminals. This is not a very idyllic "New Age" scenario.

To avoid these pitfalls for the channeler, and to avoid being lead astray by the Sirens of the Astral, it is recommended that those involved in doing channeling, or those contemplating doing it, have a clear understanding of the channeling process and possess backup contingency strategies for dealing with the problems that could arise at each step of this process. So-called "open channeling," where multiple, unknown entities are invited into the consciousness of the channeler may hold the most danger. And certainly, no one should embark upon this risky practice without expert training in how to channel and instruction in the means of protecting oneself from "spiritual victimization."


Protecting Your Self and Your Pocketbook

How shall the seeker approach a channeler with some measure of confidence? In asking for spiritual guidance, is his or her money well invested in obtaining information by this means? Can the seeker obtain a reading that has both relevance and value to his or her personal situation, without letting ignorance of metaphysical philosophy lead to over credulity or deception? This is the subject of the last part of this article on channeling.

Alternatives to Channeling

One criterion you can consider before consulting a psychic source of information is to ask, "are there other, more applicable, alternative sources of information to enable you to find the information you seek?" The rush to seek the wisdom of the other world is often premature, when methods of obtaining assistance may already be at your disposal. For example, other alternative sources can include:

(1) Do your own study and research. Read books, do interviews, analyze the data of other studies or the data of your own experience.

(2) Find a mentor. Ask the opinion of a scholarly expert, or a wise and trusted friend whose opinion you trust.

(3) Listen to your own intuition. In meditation, you can ask questions to your own Higher Self, and receive answers from this means.

(4) Check with the Guru. Asking someone whom you respect and trust as a spiritual teacher to give you advice about it.

(5) Pursue psychotherapy. You can often obtain sensible guidance from a counselor or psychotherapist.

(6) Pray to God. Asking Him/Her/It/Them for aid, and that a solution be revealed.

(7) Defer to personal growth. Many of your questions may be answered just in the process of living day-to-day, through the development of your own wisdom and emotional maturation.

Evaluation Criteria

How can you know whether you are wasting your money? Valuation is a personal process, and what constitutes "getting your money's worth" for one person, is not adequate for another. However, some general suggestions may be helpful:

First, did your questions get answered to your satisfaction?

Second, did you receive advice that was doable, and when you followed the advice, did you obtain what you desired?

Third, did you receive clarification about your life direction, soul purpose, or essential character that enabled you to clearly identify the next step for your life, and to set specific and meaningful goals?

Fourth, did the reading put your present life into perspective and make sense of unexplained issues in your life? Did it give you an explanatory system to help you understand and cope with a personal problem area?

Fifth, did you learn any specific tools or techniques that you can take home with you and practice, to obtain your desired objectives?

Sixth, did you go away from the reading uplifted, inspired, feeling like you've made a breakthrough? And does the breakthrough persist even during the ups and downs of normal life?

Seventh, did you make personal progress with a personal issue by receiving guidance? Have you left the reading feeling more integrated, more in control, more centered?

If you are going to spend your hard earned (or perhaps for New Agers, we should say effortlessly manifested) money for advice from the spirit world, you should experience getting something tangible, realistic, and of lasting benefit from the guidance.

Strategies to Avoid Deception and Dependence

Given the distortions, vagueness, and fancy that may creep into even the best-intentioned readings, in order to protect yourself from becoming too gullible or being deceived, there are several strategies that you can use.

Realize that the responsibility of solving your problems and setting your life goals rests squarely with you. The psychic or channeler has no investment in your life working, but you do. Also realize that the psychic or spiritual helper, no matter how "evolved" or "gifted" or insightful, can ever know you as well as you know your self.

Before you visit the channel or the psychic seeking guidance:

(1) Exhaust the other means available to you first.

(2) Don't rely on psychic information for the whole answer, but rather use it to validate your innate judgment and intuition.

(3) Don't go to a psychic when you are in a place of desperation. If the psychic unintentionally misleads you by giving you a false impression of your situation, you may end up deepening your despair.

(4) If you do decide to act on a psychic's or helper's advice, prepare contingency plans for your decisions. Have more than one way to respond if things don't work out. Things may not go the way the reader said they would.

(5) Try not to burn your bridges by life-changing decisions unless you are certain you are doing the best thing for your life.

(6) Allow a cooling off period after receiving inspirations and guidance. If they still sound good in the morning, and then after one week, then consider moving with them.

(7) Create for yourself concrete, definite and clearly defined criteria by which you can measure the results of your beliefs and your spiritual practices. Judge by results–not by promises, public acclaim, or rave reviews. Look not for what might be, could be, or should be–but what is and what can be if you make it so.

Dealing with Guided Meditation Experiences

Finally, some of the channels or psychics you will sit with will lead you into altered states of consciousness, ostensibly to open you up to your psychic abilities, introduce you to your guides or higher self, or to teach you how to channel. Most of this may be harmless and innocent enough, but to keep from falling into the traps of delusional thinking and "cuckooism," consider the following:

  • Together with any praying, visualization, affirmation, or meditation you do, set realistic goals and plans for achievement in your personal life. To focus only on your spiritual reality is to run the risk of neglecting your personal one.

  • When you enter an altered state of consciousness, always return to your normal waking state of consciousness.

  • Realize that although in the collective, we are godlike, archetypal beings of light, full of beauty and magnificence, powerful, wise, and unconditionally loving, in this world we are decidedly mortal, possessed of problems, imperfections, and limitations. To lose your human grounding is to invite imbalance, fanaticism, and madness. Experience ecstasy and Samadhi, but come back–you are also needed here.

  • If at all possible, avoid going mentally blank or passive in meditation for long periods of time. Instead, set a goal or objective for each meditation and follow through with the intention you set.

  • Do your spiritual ministry from the level of your Higher Self instead of the Subplanes or "worlds of dimension". The panoramic viewpoint of your Higher Self allows you to keep your inner work in a selfless context, and lowers the incidence of you being influenced by entities on the inner Planes, who may not have your best interests at heart.

  • If you are contacted by guides or spirits, don't simply obey them or take their information as true. Check it out first on the touchstone of your heart, your intuition, and your reason.

  • After meditation or prayer, take a short time to think about what you have seen, heard, and felt in your inner experience. The brief time you take to integrate your experiences after meditation will save you untold hours of puzzling over their meanings when you are no longer in touch with the source which inspired them.

Channeling can be a source of valuable guidance and inspiration, or it may be useless or even dangerous. Before you spend your money, make sure you are prepared to deal with the contingencies that may arise.

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