I’d never talked to a medium before. I had heard this young woman in an interview with a highly intellectual man, downloading brainy men like Hegel, Feuerbach, Gebser and Spengler. She was not an intellectual, but she answered his questions by channeling these personalities with astounding clarity and simplicity. I decided to contact her.
She was down to earth, accurate and with the guidance of my spirit guide (to whom I was introduced) she cleared an energetic block with a sneaky simple visualization. I felt the presence of my spirit guide and was given her name.
The point of this post is not to push mediums on anyone. It is to reflect on why I’ve been so dismissive of the possibility of spiritual guides in an other realm (and not believing in this, what would be the point of mediums?) What it comes down to, I suspect, is a hangover of a Christian cosmology that is unsophisticated when it comes to the other world and its various inhabitants. There is room only for a single “God” in the invisible realm. In RC circles there is openness to the influence of angels and Mary. But when it comes to Protestant faith, the intermediary realm between the ONE, BIG God and us, is virtually absent. This is exacerbated in “progressive” Christianity, which is highly rational in my experience (nothing inherently wrong with rationality) and externally oriented on the next big social justice cause ( working for social justice is a good thing), but is therefore unacquainted with the invisible, interior realm or what our indigenous friends call the “other” world.
As Carl Jung discovered during the few years when he flirted with psychosis by entering the realm of his unconscious, the beings we encounter there are not figments of our imagination. This invisible realm shares an integrity with the visible realm that we value so much in our scientific age. Recently, I was with a bunch of Christian clergy who were watching the Marvel film, Black Panther. This is a film that tells a story that is grounded in an African indigenous worldview. The ensuing conversation, following the screening, had to do almost exclusively with how the story and its characters might be interpreted (reduced?) to Christian symbols and theology. Was there a Christ figure? Where is the redemptive thread? I had a strong reaction to this, but I must confess that when I was in the church, I don’t think I would have had this reaction. I needed a sermon for Sunday, so everything got filtered through the question, “how does this preach”? My distance from the church gave me much needed perspective.
For example, the Black Panther (particularly the jaguar), in indigenous cosmology, is an actual, not metaphorical spirit animal, or you could say, a god. It isn’t comparable to anything in Christian cosmology, because Christian cosmology effectively eliminated the interior realm of other beings and gods as illusory, or worse, as Satanic. Again, one God, who does all the heavy lifting. Through the use of active imagination or indeed (as the film depicts with the presence of the “the heart-shaped flower”), one can take a visionary plant, and experience the jaguar god). Again, not not as a symbol or a metaphor. The jaguar is a living presence, available to guide us.
Another series of books comes to mind in this regard. Paul Selig is a medium who channels Christ energy through various intermediary beings. In the books (e.g. I Am the Word) he communicates directly with light beings who give teachings. As I read the book, I felt as though I was actually being infused with a higher consciousness. I’d put it down, and within days, this energy would dissipate, but then return as I read it. Now Selig would not call himself a Christian. In fact, he was a skeptic, so he was as surprised as anyone that he should be on the receiving end of these transmissions.
Of course, there are charlatans and frauds parading as mediums. But for a thorough study of the authentic Occult (which just means this “other” or “hidden” invisible realm of various spirits and beings, including ancestors), I recommend Colin Wilson’s, epic study The Occult: The Ultimate Book for Those Who Would Walk with the Gods. Trust me, this is not woo-woo, and Wilson is no light weight.
Historically, when Christians began their colonization and indoctrination of indigenous people, these indigenous nations were happy to incorporate the Christian god into their pantheon, even making a place for “Him” on their altar. But when the missionaries discovered that “he” was taking his place among many, the violence was unleashed. The arrogance is unimaginable from our perspective in the 21st century. The good news is that we are just starting to achieve the humility to return to our indigenous brothers and sisters and ask to learn their ways. We lost something precious to our humanity when the church rejected and violently purged a robust, tolerant and complete cosmology in favour of the circumscribed one we call Christianity. I wonder if it’s possible to re-imagine Christianity if it were to truly learn from our indigenous brothers and sisters? What would be left of it? Could the church do this without reducing indigenosity to its historic categories, doctrines, and dogma? We need to go way beyond apology (as we are doing in Canada), to a condition of deep humility, asking to be taught about life from our indigenous allies. And to do this, not as some kind of gesture that shows how inclusive we are – just another expression of arrogance – but out of the recognition that we are impoverished and spiritually under-nourished having rejected an entire dimension of reality.