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Mediumship has at last come out of the darkened living room and onto national talk shows, audio tapes, video tapes, in homes and auditoriums around the world and, seemingly, on many a street corner. Now it’s called channeling and instead of speaking for the dearly departed, the New Age psychic speaks for cosmic consciousness, space brothers, and ascended masters. We can look forward to channeling on prime time TV shows, in commercials and eventually game shows like “Channeling For Dollars,” “What’s My Reality?” and “Name That Spook.” The Super Spooks are among us.

Channeling, the spiritual hoola hoop of the 80s, has caught on like a social disease and everybody seems to be getting it. This new toy, unfortunately, doesn’t come with a set of instructions for the channeler or for the seeker. Are there any guidelines for dealing with channeling?

Of course there are different levels of evolvement, understanding, and knowledge in the spirit world. But I think it’s possible to come up with some simple commonsense guidelines for dealing with our otherworldly friends regardless of where they come from or who they claim to be.

It’s also important for me to tell you what my own bias is in terms of spooks I respect. Among the better-known spirit types whose words are currently before the public, I find that I resonate most sympathetically with the personality and philosophy of Jane Roberts’ Seth. There is an irrepressible irreverence in me that Seth stirs up very nicely.

Perhaps we should start with biases. One of the most difficult things for us to realize is that we have biases. It’s hard for us to grasp how individual we are. We come into the world as an individual and then add our unique upbringing and multitude of personal experiences that no one else could possibly have.

We confront/experience every new happening through the filters of our own uniqueness. No two of us ever experience the same thing in quite the same way. When it comes to evaluating a spook (or any new idea, philosophy or experience) we need to keep in mind that the experience is a gestalt that includes our entire history as well as the spook itself, the channel and the setting.

You may listen to or read a particular spirit and have your life dramatically changed. Someone else may listen to or read exactly the same material and be bored or irritated. That’s why proselytizing for spooks is such an “iffy” business.

A psychiatrist I know, when he heard that I was interested in the Seth material, told me that the Course in Miracles is a thousand times higher than Seth. He credits the Course in Miracles with saving his life. Unfortunately he believes that it can save everyone. It can’t. We have to be careful about generalizing our experiences to everyone else. We can become quite obnoxious when we believe that everyone will react the same way that we do to anything. Did you ever have a good friend recommend a movie to you and then wonder, after watching the movie, if you really knew your friend?

“Good” and “bad” channeling is therefore quite subjective. Good channeling is material that’s helpful to you or causes you to think or increases your understanding of yourself. Bad channeling is incomprehensible, irritating, or just not useful. But what is bad channeling to you may be cosmic revelations to me and vice-versa.

One more important point concerning your subjective experience with a spook; time seems to be important in this particular dream we’re in together and therefore timing is often important. A spook or philosophy may leave you cold or confused when first encountered. Sometimes it’s interesting to check the same stuff out again a year or two later. Because we are changing continually, material that was gobbledygook last year may be the words of the gods this year. If we can develop a style of openness and trust we will often find that the teaching or teacher we need will be there when needed. Same with spooks.



Now, what about the channel her/himself, the spooker? Your hardcore rational types will deny the whole phenomenon as either fraud or self-delusion. Personally I don’t think there’s any more fraud or delusion in the psychic field than there is in science, medicine, or any other field—perhaps less. But what are the variables with the channel?

I spoke of each of us filtering our experiences through the totality of our current being as it has been shaped from birth (or before) to the present. With the channel, that same filtering goes on. I’ve heard people speak of a channel as “perfectly clear.” I don’t think a perfectly clear channel exists. The idea that a spirit can speak through a physical being without any interference or distortion is what I call the Mortimer Snerd syndrome. It assumes that the channel is just a piece of meat (or dummy) that the spirit is using as a vehicle for a while. It assumes that we can give over total control of our bodies to another being.