A Course In Miracles teaches, we do not know our own best interests. When we finally give up teaching ourselves and begin to make decisions with the Holy Spirit, it is not uncommon for major shifts in our lives to occur. It is not always easy in the beginning, and we can find ourselves disoriented without knowing how things will turn out. Our perception is being turned upside down, so some amount of fear is almost always part of the experience.
About a year and a half ago, I had an experience that I would never have chosen. I can see now that it changed the seeming trajectory of my life and deepened my relationship to my spiritual path.
I needed support for an issue I was working on, so I reached out to a hypnotherapist colleague who had become a close friend. During what we both assumed would be a routine hypnotherapy session, I was put in contact with my guides or inner teachers. This is a common hypnotherapy technique to help a person access their inner subconscious wisdom.
At once I began to experience a number of physical responses to a tremendous amount of energy that I suddenly felt coursing through me. My throat felt like it was going to jump out of my neck by itself, and my hands and neck began moving involuntarily, up and down and back and forth. What had begun as a normal hypnosis session suddenly transitioned into a "channeling" session, as my Guides spoke through my voice, saying simply, "Ask us questions."
The first session lasted 45 minutes or so. It came with all kinds of phenomena -- faces appearing over my face to my hypnotherapist, multiple voices/cadences, tremendous energy that we both could feel, involuntary movements. I was still conscious and could hear what was happening, but it was as though I had stepped back and let something else choose my words. Pictures appeared in my mind at times to help me grasp a concept, and sometimes I felt like my memory/language database was being "searched" for an appropriate way to express the thought at hand.
After the session, I had an almost overwhelming mix of thoughts and emotions. On the one hand, I was very resistant to the idea that I had been legitimately channeling, and I was both afraid and mortified at the thought that my ego could be tricking me into a new form of specialness. However, as a hypnotherapist myself, I was also curious to know more about the phenomena, which at the very least could be described as an expression of the subconscious I had never personally encountered before. And finally, there was a deep knowing in me that I needed to remain open to this experience and allow things to unfold before I judged it.
In my muddle of emotion, I made the decision to stay open. If I could reproduce the channeling, I would do so three more times before making up my mind. I was adamant that if the expressions contradicted A Course In Miracles in any way, or if it became a "parlor game" (by which I meant if the content had more to do with telling the future and/or giving bossy orders about what to do, etc), or if it simply wasn't very helpful to me, I would stop.
Although we did not record that first session, there were many things expressed that were helpful, and over the last year and a half, the sessions have continued to be increasingly helpful. My hypnotherapist colleague/friend became my life partner, and we have shared the journey of opening to this channel of wisdom. They carry words of wisdom, clarity about my current situation, as well as hidden introductions to my future lessons. The words themselves feel more and more like pointers to an experience of Perfect Love they are inviting us to join them in. My partner and I are often moved deeply by their sharing, and I have become convinced that the consciousness I have assumed I am could not be the source.
So how are we to regard the issue of channeling? Jung theorized about the superego, a collective wisdom that we all share. From an ACIM perspective, we are all channelers. To the degree we are driven by fear, we are channeling the one ego that takes many forms. To the degree we have opened our minds, we are channeling the Holy Spirit.
The Brothers, which is how they said we could refer to them, said channeling in the specific form that I'm experiencing is a natural effect of an opening mind. They are on the other side of time, where the journey has been completed. I see Them as expressions of the One Self that we all are, and Their thoughts are helping to guide our way through the dream. They are Me and they are You. They are bridges Who help clarify our studies and give us encouragement, both of which we all need on our path.
Part of why I share this story is to encourage others. I was shown a helpful image of cake batter, and they showed me how, as the Mind opens, more of the Self/batter can pour through the dream into forms. As it does, It takes whatever shapes (skills, healing abilities, preferences, etc) are available and most appropriate for learning. They reassured us in this session (and in many others) that I wasn't special, and that many people were experiencing similarly mind-blowing phenomena now. Knowing my skeptical and partly fearful mind, They also reassured us that they did not expect us to just hand over trust to them, but that over time there would be conviction based on experience that would lead us to certainty.
I would encourage this type of approach to anyone experiencing psychic or other types of phenomenon: Keep an open mind, but allow the results to bring you to faith.
The Brothers use logic, pointed questions, humor, and above all else, gentleness. Most of their expression is very poetic. I would like to share a short snippet of a session from February 3, 2010 that feels like an eloquent summary:
The liberation comes when you identify yourself, not with the body, predominantly, and allow your Self to show you who you are by relinquishment of the body’s dreams, the body’s definitions, the body’s limits. And in that sense, there is a stepping to the side of the personality and allowing through of The More. And so there you become natural, you become in service, you become teacher, you become searcher and finder. And you find yourself.
You find yourself and you are not confused by all the other little puppets, and you know Who you see. You see Self. What has been thrown away, discarded, fled (from) is Self. And the body can never know this. And therefore, (you are) beginning to identify with a Self, the Self that is like a flowing river you cannot pin down. You cannot contain it. Once you do, you lose it.
This is essential at some point, and a seeker's process when they finally decide to find. And it is not easy, for the ego will tell you many reasons it cannot be true. It will cost you greatly. . . . . and yet that is a temporary experience. And it is as though all of time, leads to this one decision. . . . A choice. And that is a remembering of the love you hold for God.
We are wanting to give you an image. Feel yourself as a part of this river, that being in body has purpose as you allow that flow through you. To clear the flow, blockages need to be seen. And in the seeing of them, at least, and in body, the natural communication flows seamlessly through that experience, so that outer/inner that you distinguish today becomes less real. My inner dream, my outer dream, they are ALL my mind, and I am now identifying with this wise right (mind) and love, and allowing this flow to guide me, inner and outer same. . . . .
There is great peace in the surrender, and the trust comes from being in this peace. And it is a way that We, Who are you, Who are the Self, reach into you, through you, to the other separated selves of you to join you with you.