Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Whence woo-woo?

"Is there an entity called a soul that rises like a swan above the Black Sea of Death?"
— from Swan on a Black Sea (1)

I've had contact from someone who recently transitioned—Nick—and would like to share the guts of the experience to try to illustrate how these complex things are woven from various and seemingly unrelated elements. Not all Risen are skilled in the art of communicating with those still embodied within earthly material geography. In fact, most are not. It takes a lot of study and practiced determination to achieve substantial results—or results of substance. The best descriptor for this art is orchestration — "an arrangement of events that attempts to achieve a maximum effect" — as one dictionary definition puts it. This term has been used throughout mediumistic and spiritualist literature for a long time. Often the events, to the ego-mind, are totally unrelated. As it says in the Introduction to The Risen,

"Some of this new knowledge appears grandly and quickly, but much of it is so subtly measured that we often dismiss it long before it has fully arrived." (p. 5)
My ego-mind has a tendency to worry a lot, having inherited the "skill" through something some psychotherapists call "intergenerational transmission" — passed on down from generation to generation — until it becomes imbedded within the collective ancestral underconsciousness, which is shared via what we could call "communicative aspects of DNA".

My Risen friends are skilled enough to know how to utilize this ego-mental tendency of mine.

Recently my ego-mind was fretting about how others perceive the information shared here, specifically in the way it's shared — much of it is written from within varying degrees of trance (or altered consciousness) as well as supplemented by Risen guides. So when I re-read it later, I'm concerned that it's too abstract, ambigous or even, god forbid, woo-woo, as Nick once said. An acquaintance from our shared past of various online spiritual exploration groups, Nick had once commented to our mutual friend Mogo that he had harboured expectations before reading The Risen that it would be "woo-woo"—a most excellent adjective for "new agey kooky silliness"—and had been gratified to find that it was not woo-woo, but, rather, "whoa", as in "whoa, Nellie! — not to be confused with WHOA. However, I suppose woo-woo could be connected to Curly of The Three Stooges. But I digress, alors revenons à nos moutons.

At the time I had met him, Nick had begun to transition rather quickly from a long illness which often left him with little energy to do very much beyond reading, and even his much longed-for emails were usually very short and to the point. So Mogo, who spent physical time with him, would share with me Nick's responses and reactions pertaining to The Risen, including that he had re-read it a number of times, and was especially whoa'd by the chapter "The Pastime of Reincarnation." This particular chapter, delivered almost completely by Tim, was a slight source of woo-woo-ish worry for me because of its marked differences in approach and conclusions from the vast majority's belief system.

For the past few days, I've noticed that my ego-mind — which is usually just humming some stupid song over and over to itself — although it's nice that the Blackadder theme has so many variations — was also interjecting, like hiccups, the words "Nick" and "woo-woo" between sets. Unable to find the off switch to WEGO-am, I ignored the words along with the jingles. I'm sure that was frustrating for Nick, but that was the best and maybe only way for him to get my attention. [I'm hoping it will eventually get upgraded to a phone call, but these things take time and Verizon wants to charge extra for transdimensional calls.]

This morning, after a harried and hurried half-hour of trying to feed and dress the kittens before I had to rush off to the office, I grabbed what I thought was my copy of R. C. Johnson's Nurslings of Immortality so I could continue the subject introduced in the recent post "Whence Wetness?" Once on the subway, I fished out, instead, Swan On A Black Sea, which I had pulled out of a bookcase late last night for some reason or other and which totally escapes me now. I was most likely in trance. I hadn't looked at this book in some years, and was a bit annoyed that I had picked up the "wrong" book. I had even totally forgotten that I had looked at it last night—another sign that I was in directive trance at the time. (2)

This book, published in 1958, consists of recorded "transmissions" during several years' worth of automatic handwriting sessions between the medium Geraldine Cummins and the disembodied person, Winnifred Tennant (who continued to use her earthly pseudonym "Mrs. Willett," which she had used on Earth as a medium who preferred secrecy. Many mediums in those days led double existences, unable and/or unwilling to publicly associate their presenting social personal lives with their mystical contact with spirit. I fit into this category as well.)

When I placed the book on my lap, it fell open to the following, a transmission from a family member of the medium:

"The human being's soul belongs to, or is derived from, a Group Soul, which is inspired by one spirit. If we make progress in the after-death, we become more and more aware of this Group Soul. It is more than a brotherhood, it is organic, an organized psychic or spiritual structure. Its spirit is the bond that holds together a number of souls. The spirit might be described as a thought of God, or the Light from Above—the Creative Light from Above. It has an apartness from God, as is the created thing from the One who gave it life. At first an embryo innocent, it has to gather a harvest. There are uncountable spirits, each one connected with a Group Soul.

"As we evolve in the Hereafter, we individual units enter into the memories and experiences of other lives that are derived from the earthly and other existences of the souls that preceded and are of our Group. It is not, therefore, necessary to reincarnate, as Buddhists and Theosophists—I believe—claim, hundreds of times on earth." (italics mine.)
As when he was earth-embodied, Nick is now again drawing attention to Tim's delivery on the notion of reincarnation, as popularly embraced on Earth, which also reports that it's not necessary and does not take place in the way we think it does, i.e., in any real way. Without the ability to write me a letter or leave a voice message on my answering machine, Nick has achieved a very typically Risenesque accomplishment to let me know that either a) maybe Tim's material was right on the button, or b) maybe it's not.

This is what's known as "validation" in mediumistic parlance. From my experiential position, it all moves forward so seamlessly that it's practically unnoticeable, probably much to Nick's annoyance. (I'm reminded of the time I watched Paul, another transitioned friend and now Risen, trying to conk his still embodied amour Deborah over the head with a copy of The Spirit Times to get her attention during a particularly grief-stricken moment.)

This material also parallels Tim's deft explanation of various Risen theories about a "group soul."

Of course, this experiential position, reported in the form of potential hearsay, may appear easily vulnerable to rationalizing skeptics, who may pooh "woo-woo" at the way the web is weaved. "You're just interpreting totally unconnected happenstances as if they're connected." Yes, that's quite right! However, I experience them as connected. But go for it, I say, if you want to be a woo-woo pooher, and dismiss these exquisite subtleties in your non-subtle way; nobody's getting in your way, at least not here. I can only refer you again to the quote above:

"Some of this new knowledge appears grandly and quickly, but much of it is so subtly measured that we often dismiss it long before it has fully arrived."

To those who say "whoa!" and "cool!" — I say, "by Jove, I think you've got it!"

Finally, congratulations, Nick, on the beginning of what I hope is a continued and growing ability. You've got it too, by Jove, and my wish is that you will keep at it.

(1) Swan On A Black Sea—A Study in Automatic Writing: The Cummins-Willett Scripts. Transmitted by Geraldine Cummins, (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1965).
(2) "Directive trance" means that to be gently placed into an altered state of consciousness by a Risen guide or guides. Rather like being administered a non-local astral anaesthetic—or if you're a kitten, being rubbed on the tummy until you pleasurably wet yourself (known in catdom as a wee-wee experience.)