Séance conducted by John Beattie, Bristol, England, 1872 from the Eugène Rochas Papers held at the American Philosophical Society Library. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Channeling is a new, perhaps more marketable, name for the old esoteric idea of mediumship.
A channeler allegedly permits a purely spiritual being to speak or write through his or her living, embodied person. Channeled beings may be people who’ve passed or entities in heaven, astral realms and other universes and dimensions.
Information derived from channeling is often quite general, repetitive and, some critics say, sugar-coated. Much of it can be summed up as follows:
Earthly life is a cosmic schoolroom in which we must learn to better love one another. Humanity is evolving into a new type of higher species or awareness. Already existing higher beings are helping us to achieve that higher level of being or awareness.
The alleged cosmic helpers may have Biblical or ancient Egyptian-sounding names (e.g. Seth, Lazarus, Ramtha). The channelers themselves usually present lectures and workshops (usually for a donation or fee) and author books, CDs and DVDs in which transcripts of the channeled entity’s words are made available to the public.
In some instances the channeler seems to become self-aggrandized, believing they’re called for a great, Divine Mission. Sober questioning, however, usually places a question mark around such claims.
From the perspective of parapsychology, one possibility, which might not go over too well in some New Age circles, is that lying and manipulative transcendent beings could see into a channeler’s psyche and play on his or her psychological complexes, weaknesses and desires—all to stroke up the channeler’s ego so they believe they’re divine emissaries.
Spiritualist St and Mediumship Way in Cassadaga, Florida by WIlly Volk via Flickr
It’s also possible that some channelers are channeling nothing more than their own fertile imaginations. This is not to say that channeling is necessarily a deliberate or unconscious sham. To place a question mark around the issue simply means we can’t be sure, one way or the other.
Whatever its veracity, the idea of channeling has become so widespread that we often see it used lightly on the TV news and in the entertainment industry. Wikipedia gives a great outline as to how pervasive this idea has become: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Channelling
To this joyfulseeker adds:
I would say that rather than being a replacement for the term mediumship, channeling is acutally a broader term under which mediumship and other forms of spirit communication fall. For instance— automatic writing, Ouija, pendulum, clairaudience, clairsentience, etc.
I also agree that there are manipulative and deceptive beings that use these means of communication to connect with and manipulate people. Just because you’re dead doesn’t mean that you all of a sudden become kind and ethical. Channeling, like any form of communication requires care in both how you communicate and with whom. Its not unlike the internet. There are a lot of wonderful people on the net with much to offer you simply have to use discernment in revealing too much of yourself and how much you trust the other person. » See in context
Robert G. Black says:
Quite a lot of good comments about channeling. It’s a big Universe out there, and there’s hardly any doubt that our physical eyes can’t see it all. We can’t even see half of the things today that we take so for granted. » See in context
And Michelle writes:
I believe when we step into the spiritual realm through prayer or meditation, we can be influenced by good or evil. I think that is why we need to be careful who we are trying to contact – and possibly why the Old Testament gives clear warning to stay away from speaking to the dead. » See in context
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