A PLW READER asked this question of me when the staff was gathering questions for the channeled series, Q'uo, we recently completed:
It seemed to the editor as well as to me that this question would lend itself more to a written response than a channeled one. And so I am in my office this morning looking out at the redbud leaves hanging straight down in a summer shower, thinking about what the journey of the soul means to me and how channeling fits into my steps on that journey.
First of all, the journey of the soul is one I share with every one of you. We are in this together. We might be striding in our high-tops feeling fine. We might be struggling, just putting one foot in front of the other and wondering what's going on. We might be completely overcome by the difficulties of our current situation and sitting by the side of the road, benched for the present moment by sorrow or other emotions too heavy to carry. But we are all on the one road.
This road upon which we journey is well called The Tao or The Way. It is a universal, cosmic, one-size-fits-all locus in time and space which awaits us at all times and in all situations. I first ran into this Tao Road as a tiny toddler fascinated with the concept of infinity. I tried to imagine it and could not. I asked my very smart parents about it. Pop showed me a Moebius Ring but could not explain it. I had discovered my very first Unanswerable Question. And I was hooked for life.
The journey of the soul begins whenever it is in life that we start to take our thoughts and ourselves seriously. When we start paying substantive attention to our own thoughts, we start questioning our culture's values almost immediately. We start looking at our identity as it has been given to us by family and culture and discover that what we know about ourselves so far is relatively shallow material. We start trying to dig deeper. I was processing throughout childhood, an instinctual philosopher and a born devotee.
I was and am a devotee of Jesus the Christ. I am a mystical Christian. Many inerrantist and fundamentalist Christians would quickly kick me out of the church, for two good reasons: I do not "believe" any point of dogma whatsoever and I am a medium who channels disembodied sources. My incarnational luck was in, however, in that I was born into the Episcopal Church. It may be the only sect amongst all the tribes of Christendom to be completely comfortable with mystics and unswayed by my lack of dogmatic fervor. Further, in a channeling career spanning thirty-plus years, five bishops and eight parish priests, I have yet to hear a discouraging word from any cleric on my work. So I am able to pursue a rule of life within the Christian church that, for me, supports my soul in its journey very sturdily.
I work the program of my church quite consciously. At age four I began to sing in the choir, the youngest member ever to join the adult choir. At age 63, I am now one of the oldest choir members. But each Sunday of my life, I sing my devotion, love, praise, thanksgiving and utter joy to the Creator, to Jesus the Christ and to my beloved Holy Spirit, whom I call Holly. Those hymns have woven themselves into my spiritual walk to the point that I am almost always humming or singing one. The tuning of my consciousness that this represents is a wonderful aid to my soul's journey.
The church's assets for me also include a three-year cycle of prayers and lessons. The "collects" or prayers for each Sunday have been collected since the sixteenth century and each prayer is an absolute gem, upon which I focus for that week. The readings for each Sunday follow a thematic plan and in the three years of the cycle you hear the "comfortable words" considered worthy of note by the church.
I don't say that the Bible is perfect or that all its words are true. My attitude is that any body of so-called inspirational writing represents a data base which we "get" at a certain level depending on where our heads are on that particular day. I greatly value the chance to listen to those words once every three years and to see if new truth comes to me this time.
I do not feel that the only way to do a spiritual journey is to become a Christian and do as I do. For the vast majority of seeking souls, the Christian walk has been permanently spoiled by childhood experiences in which judgment, exclusion and condemnation were front and center as the primary nature of the church experience. I am just lucky in having this structure of "church" as a resource which works for me. Most seekers end up crafting their own rule of life, their own focus and their own journey outside of any institution.
I also focus on inspired material other than the Bible on my journey, reading daily from the work that I have channeled which appeals to me the most profoundly, our own Law of One books, at my husband's and my Morning Offerings. And that brings me to how the channeling fits into my spiritual walk.
When I was in college at the University of Louisville, my Christian walk was well established and in general I was fairly contented. One thing, however, I really missed and that was silent meditation. The Episcopal Church is far better at beautiful words and what Father Joe, my priest at St. Luke's calls "smells and bells" than at providing silences within the shared sacred space of the worship service.
Synchronistically, as I was looking for a group with whom to meditate silently, a professor of physics and engineering at the University was starting up a silent meditation group. Professor Elkins was interested in the paranormal and had explored such issues as life before birth or reincarnation, ghosts and channeling throughout the fifties. His exploration of UFO contactees had led him to channeled material which explained how to develop a group which could receive ET contact without the mess and bother of a close encounter with a UFO.
Elkins started the Louisville Group in January of 1962. He did not explain what he was attempting to do, except to say that this was a research project. However within six months, all the members of the circle except me were channeling. I did not wish to channel. I wanted the silence.
Fast-forward twelve years. The original dozen or so channels in the group had all finished school, taken jobs and moved on with their lives. Elkins' fine experiment was rapidly dying for lack of channels. By this time I was working for the Elk doing research and writing on the topics he was pursuing, mostly UFOs and the many strange subjects you get into when you research UFOs with care and attention. I still had no interest in channeling but I adored the Elk. So I agreed to learn to channel. This was in 1974.
In about two months I was well-enough trained to produce material. In a few more months I was well-enough settled in to the discipline of channeling to realize what a poor job of it I was doing. I looked for guidance on doing a better job but I found no good sources of instruction out there. So I began to work with my own channeling to make it better. Call it the Bootstrap Solution!
I found that my soul's journey so far had equipped me to do this - a big surprise! Firstly, I knew pretty well who I was and Whose I was. I knew what I would die for and what I was living for. Metaphysically speaking, this is a huge asset. Unless you know who you are at that deep level, you cannot challenge a spirit. I found I really needed to be able to do that. It is a crowded universe and not all sources are equally desirable, inspirational or informative.
Secondly, I had been "tuning" my consciousness all my life, singing my hymns, focusing on prayers and collects and having a daily worship routine which gave me seeds of thought to work with each day. I found that offering my deepest prayers, calling the Archangels and using hymns and other techniques to achieve an enhanced level of inner focus really helped my channeling.
I also discovered that the content of questions asked of my channeling source severely affected the responses. If people asked questions from a base of fear, my source could not even address the questions. However, since the tuning drifted because of the questions, I could receive answers, but those answers were coming from a negatively oriented entity which was pretending to be the original contact.
Such fear-based questions generally have to do with specific information about the future. Will we all die in some great catastrophe? Will some of us ascend and if so, who, where and how? I am losing my job. Where should I go to get a better one? Questions like that pull down a session and one tends to get junk information.
So I started asking people to question only on spiritual principles. When specific information was requested, I did my best to evaluate whether it was coming from a fear base and if so, I would gently refuse to work with that question. Gradually I became a better channel, one truer to her own nature and the nature of the source coming through. I am still learning and still hoping to do a better job.
I think of my channeling as something done on request, part of the service-to-others aspect of my life. With many years of work behind me, our archives are bursting with good material, so I offer only two public channeling sessions a month now, plus special sessions on request from seeking souls or from organizations like PLW. I am still a reluctant channel to this day. Preparing to channel is hard work! If it happens that no one comes to the sessions some day, I will gladly consider myself a retired channel! It is not an integral part of my spiritual journey. It is the sharing of an outer gift; a labor of love.
My whole life is the journey of my soul now. Everything in my life comes to me with lessons in their hands. As I write these words, our new kitten, Chloe, suddenly has jumped up on to my chair arm, where I am wielding the laptop, and has perched her silky black nose in the crook of my ear while kneading my neck with both forepaws and purring with immense gusto. I am loved! It's a marvelous gift from the Creator's hand through one of the infinitely numerous agents of spirit in this living and unitary universe.
I think of the journey not only as something to work on at specific times, like our Morning Offerings, our nightly Gaia Meditations and my Sunday services both at church and here at home in our weekly public meditations, but something I am doing every moment. To one whose mind is stayed on spirit, everything speaks of spirit. How many lessons await me sitting in this chair! I am fascinated by what will come my way next. I have asked for all of my life to be sacred and spirit always answers prayers! Now I just have to pay attention.
Thank you, dear reader, for that question! If any and all readers have other questions about which you'd like to see some thoughts from me, please write in to the PLW staff and ask away! Blessings to each of you until we are together again.
© 2006, Carla L. Rueckert
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