What is channelled material anyway ~ and where does it come from?

This is a form of direct knowledge that comes to the minds of those receptive to it through their intuition.  The person receiving it 'knows' or has a certainty about something without being physically told and without having any other means of finding it out.

The information is received directly into the mind of the channeller.  Holy people, shamans, prophets and sensitive individuals have used this means of obtaining information since time immemorial.  It may come spontaneously or as a result of direct enquiry.  It may be conveyed through visions or voices, during trances or dreams, automatic writing, through the use of oracles or pendulums, or simply through a strong sense of something seeming to be so.

Depending on the subject matter it may or may not be possible to verify its accuracy.  If it is used to locate lost objects, a source of food, medicine or something of that sort, conclusions about its usefulness and accuracy can be straightforward.  This is all well and good.  But if it relates to 'spiritual' matters which can't be verified by other means we are straight away on quicksand.

My greatest reservation about this topic is that most of the books I had and referred to on a regular basis when I was involved in 'healing work' were mostly comprised of material of this sort, and were pronounced to be the Truth.  All sorts of things were stated as fact which had come from channelled sources.  They said it was so, and so it must be.  Otherwise why would they say it?

I now see this sort of thing as potentially inspirational, but nothing more, and even so pick my way with care.  I started to go off it after reading the umpteenth 'true' version of the immaculate conception.  Of course each version was different.  Believers in this sort of thing will instantly respond that what different versions show is different layers of perception, but that doesn't adequately cover the situation.  If you doubt me I encourage you to conduct a little survey of your own.    

One of the contributing problems is that no such knowledge is pure: we all have our own minds which act as the receiving station for whatever it is, and however hard we try, the process of articulating what we perceive will inevitably be filtered and interpreted by us according to our skill and also our personalities.  Just as two people each holding an identical camera in an identical spot will take very different photographs, so will channellers.    

Another problem, and a far larger one, is the malleable nature of what might be termed the mind levels.  Other people might use the terms 'psychic' or 'etheric' levels.  David Furlong gives a good example of this in his book "Working with Earth Energies: How to Tap into the Healing Powers of the Natural World": in a hypothetical situation a psychic standing in front of a class of students tells them that with his special sight he can see a green light in a certain corner of the room - which isn't there at all.  Believing him, they all then imagine the green light in that corner.  The result of this is that another psychic coming into the room would then see a green light in that corner which was there, which would have come into being as a result of having been so imagined.

From the sum of my experience I'm quite sure that this is true: if you get enough people believing anything, at some level it will register as true, especially if emotion is involved in the subject of their shared belief.  The combination of thought and feeling is a powerful force, especially when a group of people engages in it together, either consciously or unconsciously.

David goes on to posit that this being so, in a sense everything is true.  Now that's food for thought.  I agree.  Having said that, some things are much more true than others.  It all depends on how you look at things and what you're talking about.

If you extrapolate this all one step further into the realm of spiritual channelling anything is possible.  If a person is accepted as having sufficient authority over a group of impressionable individuals, then what the 'teacher' says is true is going to seem quite correct.  Hence it's possible for groups of people to get haywire in their thinking especially if they have authoritative sounding books and other sources which seem to support their view or, wait for it, hold 'hidden' messages.

Take look at it from another angle: when a movie is made of a popular book or books, such as Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings" enthusiasts and book lovers alike immediately critique it on the basis of whether it is true to the original story - or not.  This is based on what has arisen in their own imaginations.  We look to see if the imagery and characters conform to our own imaginings.  It's surprising how fans arrive at consensus, or lack of it.

Taking a different slant, disparity may arise over interpretations that have changed over generations.  Thus, contemporary children may easily reach consensus over modern cartoon-style animations of Winnie the Pooh, which are repellent to those of us who grew up in the days when E. H. Shepard's illustrations were the accepted version.  Yet the stories and the characters are the same.

Each of these examples shows the power of our imaginations and different ways we verify, to our own satisfaction anyway, what we deem to be true and correct.

My guess is that these imagined worlds may produce levels of reality which can then be tapped into by anyone.  This raises the vexed questions of how we know whether a 'source' of intuitive 'knowledge' is true or not, or of how true it is, or in relation to what is it true?  And...

Where does all of this come from?  
In contemporary terms the information so obtained might be considered to come from our unconscious minds, or from the collective unconscious.  Others might say it came from God or his angels, and since God is reputed to know everything, that could be possible.  Shamans may say it comes from the spirits of their ancestors.

Whatever the case, it is presumed to come from a higher level than the physical one in which we live, and to be conveyed to us for the purpose of general betterment, healing, wisdom or protection.  Or plain old curiosity.  In this context plain old curiosity may look harmless enough, but may get the enquirer into a quagmire, not just of half-truths or nonsense, but of actual mental difficulties.

My advice is to stick to what you know and leave this other stuff to those who make it their business to work in it, and most importantly, to treat any such information with reserve.  I strongly recommend that you look very carefully at the character and motivation of those involved in creating and / or following a particular school of thought or 'teachings'.  This is where things really start to get interesting and the whole scene start greying over: sure as eggs the quality of the information they bring forth is going to reflect that person or group of individuals very closely indeed.  Who knows what they have around them or what has come to be associated with them. 

I also strongly recommend that you refrain from doing anything that makes you feel at all unclean or uneasy.  Stand back.  You don't have to have a reason to do so.  This is a sensible rule of thumb for almost any activity, but particularly so in anything to do with the unseen.  You needn't do this openly, but however you decide to proceed, be prepared to hold your own ground.  I remember being in a group in which we were told to do a visualisation exercise which was supposed to be to do with expanding our awareness, which I considered both silly and dangerous, so while everyone else (presumably) followed the guided meditation I occupied myself by imagining I was sitting in a rose arbour on a nice wooden seat!

Some channelled information is a complete fabrication and designedly so.  One would hope that this was but a small portion, but humanity does have a great determination to be convinced of mysteries and divine truths which are 'hidden' from most.

Some channelled information arises out of disturbed minds.  Here again, one would hope this was but a small portion of it, but I wouldn't like to guess how much. 

Other channelled information is likely to contain grains of truth, which will make it seem more convincing - we recognise parts of it as being true to what we already accept as true and so accept the whole bowlful. I think this is probably the bulk of it.  Caution needs to be emphasised.  I think Rudolph Steiner was quite right to give precedence to moral development over the development of spiritual faculties - refer the entry for Anthroposophy in Wikipedia.

In that entry as well as in the one for Rudolph Steiner himself I found much that accords with my own views, including this quote which reflects what I have been explaining above:
Truth, for Steiner, is paradoxically both an objective discovery and yet "a free creation of the human spirit, that never would exist at all if we did not generate it ourselves..."
The link to 'Truth' at the beginning of that quote is a very worthwhile read.  If you're inclined to explore this further it's a big topic so hold onto your hats!  In the introductory paragraph the point is made that truth can be variously defined as subjective, relative, objective or absolute, and that's just for starters!   Have fun!

Book shop link for interested NZ readers:
Working with Earth Energies: How to Tap into <br>the Healing Powers of the Natural World

To go to the next article click this link:
Ascended Masters ~ higher truth or composite fantasy?

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