I recently watched a video from a mystic-type person I follow on YouTube. She started doing this channeling thing and I think I kind of momentarily crapped my pants. It was so sudden; just cutting the woman off in mid-sentence and “bubbling” out from her. But the advice she (or it…or they???) gave was so on-point—it felt almost as if this type of entity was SPEAKING RIGHT TO ME, sort of reading my mind and addressing my issues.
Then a little bit later on I watched some other videos from the series and I suddenly had a bad, dark, terrible feeling.
This entity was talking about all this prophecy stuff…lots of doom…and then how it (they???) felt we should all “be” in order to deal with that stuff. And it was all about being super “open,” uncritical, letting our ids go wild, getting more into the recommended meditations, and…and I had to ask right there…
WHAT **WERE** THESE THINGS? What were these things, and why should I listen to them? What was their authority?
Truly: what is the authority of some entity being allegedly channelled by someone? Aren’t there like hundreds of people—thousands—all channeling stuff and putting the info in books and online and claiming to have the direct plug-in to the “Source?” A Source that I should sort of suspend critical thinking for and follow as the unofficial new religion?
And don’t a bunch of these Sources “contradict” each other? So we have numerous “Ultimate Sources” all saying different things? Sound familiar? It sounds like the history of organized religion!
In my post “Divine Invasions: Philip K. Dick, Robert Anton Wilson and Alien Contact In The 1970s,” I chronicled how all these public (or soon to be public figures) were getting coincidentally contacted around the same time in the mid-Seventies by supposed entities/aliens. I believed this was being done—by parties unknown—in part, to establish new religions. And certainly, in the case of someone like Heaven’s Gate founder Marshall Applewhite, that actually happened. Still others became influences on our pop-culture and wider society through science-fiction novels, channeled info, and other stuff that was supposedly being “transmitted.”
Again, I have to ask: how do we know that these beings were “authorities?” Because they performed a little bit of magic and synchronicity?
Wilson was the most blunt, claiming that not only was it not in his benefit to believe wholeheartedly what any mystic or alien or whatnot told him about himself, his “past lives,” or other information—but that just like with scientists, the receiver of this “information” cannot help but “shape” the received information through the filter of their own experience and context.
**And so if this info is not objectively but subjectively received by the human subject who starts the “religion”…what people are worshipping is really not the Entity (entities) themselves but the person who received them.** (and this is supposing that the Entity itself, if objectively received, has some sort of a priori “authority”…which it doesn’t necessarily have)
Thus Wilson said what he wanted to believe in the most was the human-sized mythic rabbit the Pooka, because he knew that it would be considered so ridiculous that nobody would start a religion around it.
Dick spent almost 9 thousand pages trying to figure out his mystic and “channeling” experiences. And while he often considered they were from God or some other higher power, he also entertained the notion that he might be going insane, or perhaps it all was some sort of “creative exercise” because he was a sci-fi writer after all, or perhaps somebody (the govt., the Russians, etc.) was fucking with him. And while some people considered Dick’s continual, obsessive inquiries & questioning as some sort of mental problem in itself, to me it’s the most sane thing he could have done considering the circumstances (other than sort of consciously/agnostically “close the door” on some of it, which was Wilson’s path).
There are a number of brilliant—and I do think psychically/mystically talented—people I have known personally or whose writing I have followed who I also think have slid all the way into Chapel Perilous and never quite emerged. Some of these people think they have been in contact with the One True God (whether it be Creator, an alien, an extra-dimensional entity) and thus become super-dogmatic…or they themselves come to the conclusion that they are God. And it’s a dumpster fire. And sometimes it is a very public dumpster fire. And sometimes I think it has the potential to become a propaganda-tinged very public dumpster fire co-opted by other very human people/groups for their own ends.
I tried channeling. I tried it, and something came of it. I have many many many pages of original stuff on this. But I could never bring myself to present it as like “The Word” because…it didn’t seem morally (or ethically, or karmically) conscionable to do. Because I felt I was an “imperfect” vessel filled with my own biases. Because I felt there was no a priori reason to trust these “things” as The One True Creator, or something whose ideas I or others could accept without critical thinking. And because I could never 100% present this stuff and say with a straight face that I wasn’t doing the Dickian doubt thing with it (was is it insanity? was it a creative exercise? was it a stroke? was somebody manipulating me? and so on).
That’s not to say I will never publish this stuff. But it needs to be presented in the proper context. It needs to be presented with the requisite sense of humor and deadpan Coen Brothers/David Lynch gloss in order to make it palatable. It needs to be smeared with the requisite Pooka dung as to shoo away the credulous and needy. (which is what I tried to do with my book ELVIN).
One of the first “messages” I got with this channeling thing was supposedly from my father. He had been dead for about 25 years by that point. And here, verbatim (I’m looking at the transcript right now), was my response:
“Is this really my Dad I’m talking to?”
And I was like…my father was a working-class guy from Brooklyn. There is no way he would talk in this stilted sort of pseudo-Shakespearean-meets-KPAX vibe. And the “thing” switched up stuff and “said” it was really an alien (“Pleiadian”…eyeroll. The Sirius stuff was too passé by that point).
Point is: it already lied to me. (assuming, of course, this all wasn’t just a fanciful creative exercise—me being a comic book writer—or perhaps some sort of batshit insane moment).
This all brings me to what I feel is a very pertinent passage from the channeled book by Barbara Marciniak, Earth. Even with my skeptic-goggles on, this book and her previous one, Bringers Of The Dawn, have some interesting stuff in them. But nothing so interesting as this (emphasis mine; I’ve already quoted this passage before on the blog, but it’s SO super-key that this won’t be the last time):
You are doing very, very powerful work. It is our intention that those who know us and are familiar with our energies can take a lighter step on the planet, and can live the keys that we share with you. We give you keys straightforwardly and we trick you. We always trick you. It is wise that you be a little suspicious of us. If you are not, you are a fool. Learn to have skepticism with all things, and that sometimes we have great reason for what we do, even though it is not apparent to you at the time. All we do is create imagery from which you can evolve.
I really respect that Marciniak left that passage in there. I think it is extremely important. The idea that there needs to be critical thinking applied even if these “messages” are “real” and not the result of more “human” explanations…this is an idea I see absent all over many New Age and UFOlogy and alternative history and etc. groups.
And I guess part of that is that it’s just easier to just sell the farm and believe the whole enchilada. I “get” it. It’s been going on for thousands of years. It’s a primal instinct.
Anyway…I’m not saying people shouldn’t research that stuff, I’m not saying they shouldn’t channel, I’m not doubting other people have had these experiences. But I’m just suggesting a bit more critical thinking be applied. But as we’ve seen, fanaticism is very marketable and seductive so…
I will be back here later with the Pooka.