Do You Believe In Fairies? Clap Your Hands

Spoiler Alert: Last night, on Netflix, I watched a British film called “Hippopotamus”. The main character and narrator is a  late middle aged British critic whose sardonic skepticism is equaled only by his sense of personal failure and self-loathing. In the film, he is called to an aristocratic country home to investigate rumors that a younger son there—the critic’s godson—has developed supernatural healing abilities. A man, a horse, and several women have been reported as cured of life-threatening illnesses when the boy laid hands upon them.

“Hippopotamus” is well scripted and well acted. The main character’s acerbic wit both appeals and appalls. But the ending is predictable. The critic—a former poet plagued with writer’s block for decades—unmasks the “healings” as a con on the part of the boy: one of the women dies, and the others’ symptoms return, except for the horse’s, who turns out to have been suffering from nothing worse than a hangover brought on by lapping up an alcoholic beverage accidentally dumped into its water bucket by the critic.

There is a happy ending of sorts: the boy admits to the con; is reconciled with his father, whom the con had been designed to impress; the critic’s writer’s block dissolves; and he starts making poems again. But the underlying assumptions of the film are what I’ve come to expect from modern secular media: there is no God; “miracles” are simply chance occurrences explicable by natural law; and anyone who believes in God, the supernatural, faith, or life after death is a self-deluded lamebrain.

True confession time: The movie depressed me. Against all experience and true expectation, I had deep down hoped that the main character would at least have been left with some doubts about the certitude of his materialism. When the hope was dashed, my ancient doubts concerning the true nature of my own mystical and psychic experiences rose up chattering. This is nothing new—my mind has always been a house divided, rationalist on one side, mystic on the other—and when such dark moods descend on me, I feel like a charlatan who has wasted his life living in a dream world.

Oddly enough, when I go into trance, or throw the cards for a client, or am in the presence of others who have had mystical experiences, my doubts recede, and the quiet joy of knowing that Divine Love is real, and that we are all,  ultimately, safe, returns.  But when I am alone in my flat, at night, it is more difficult to recapture that startling sense of peace I experience in the day.

This dualism is in part inherited: My father was an agnostic and purported rationalist; my mother, a high church Episcopalian who taught me from an early age “If I should die before I wake, I pray my Lord my soul to take.” I always felt torn between them, to the point where, as a child, I taught myself to sleep on my back rather than on my left or right side, because Daddy slept on the left side of the bed he shared with Mommy, and Mommy slept on the right side, and I felt if I chose right or left I would be siding with one parent against the other.

Tonight, as I lay in bed suffocating beneath the dread that the materialists are right, and that my mystic experiences are nothing more than brain farts, I could understand how some people believe in demon oppression or soulsucking negative thoughtform attacks—because I felt attacked, not by demons, but by the overwhelmingly pessimistic materialism of modern secular intellectual culture. And the thought came to me: You don’t have to give in to these doubts. You have a choice, based upon your experience, to believe in spirit guides, nature spirits, ghosts, reincarnation, soul travel, ESP, Tarot, channeling, and other manifestations of nonlinear consciousness, or not to believe in them. Which choice makes your life run more smoothly while not violating either your reason or your intuition? Choose now.

My lifelong difficulty reconciling my father’s agnosticism with my mother’s emotional religiosity was predicted, many years ago, when I was a sophomore at St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland. I developed a crush on a bisexual upperclassman who dabbled in the occult, inspired by the characters in John Fowles’ The Magus. One day, while in a pot-fueled trance, he predicted that I would spend my life standing on the crossroads showing the way for others to follow, while never taking that path myself.

Tonight I say: I choose to believe that life is more than a molecular dance, wondrous though that dance may be. Tonight I choose to believe that Spirit is real, and that my experiences of It are glimpses of a truth underlying, upholding, and surrounding the truths of physical reality. To put it another way, words deliberately chosen to irritate the the sophisticated atheist who lives inside me: tonight I choose to believe in fairies. And if you choose to believe in them, too? Why, do what Peter Pan invited us to do when Tinker Bell lay at death’s door. If you believe in fairies, clap your hands. •

 

A Message From the Family: Heaven Can Wait

desert_sunriseNothing in physical reality maintains its form forever. This includes the shape of spacetime itself, if “shape” can be used to refer to a nonphysical, nontemporal probability construct in which the phenomena of energy and matter can form regular recurring patterns. Therefore degradation, delapidation, denigration, and devastation can seem stronger forces than those of re-emergence, recurrence, innovation, renewal, and resurrection. But “Death”, one of the Tarot’s Major Trumps cards, signifies not just endings, but the beginnings that spring from the endings. So a persistent, invasive terror of death, which at times in his life Mister Rand himself has felt, can actually hide a deeper terror: a terror of rebirth.

Stephen Levine, in his book, Who Dies?, observes that in his experience working with hospice patients, the persons who have been the most fearful of living are those who tend to be the most fearful of dying. For much of his life, Mister Rand has attempted to maintain a sometimes precarious existence on the borderlands of consensus reality—i.e., on the sidelines of life. This is because his early childhood experiences had taught him to expect that it was safest to be invisible. So he never developed the skills requisite for a thriving social life, and greatly feared intimacy, for the most nurturing person in Mister Rand’s childhood had also been one of the most abusive. Consequently, Mister Rand did not easily trust intimacy, as witness the fact that Mister Rand had only one romantic partner, the late Stuart “Alex” Lucker, who died two years into their relationship.

Since that time things have changed for Mister Rand. During his years in Santa Fe, attending a Twelve Step group for persons with eating disorders, he has learned to trust many of the persons he has met in his meetings, and some of them have become friends. In addition, his psychic work, and his … involvement with The Celebration, a leaderless Santa Fe spiritual group, has enriched his social life in ways he could only have dreamed of when he was younger and more frightened.

We say these things not to embarrass Mister Rand, nor to solicit pity for him, but to illustrate the limitations of fear-based thinking when considering all the richness of possibility that physical reality has to offer.

true_strength_is_nurturingIn your Bible it says of the story of redemption, “These things the angels themselves desire to look into.”  While in the original the Bible writers intended this sentence as a reference to the concept that Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah or Savior of the world, we submit that it can also be employed to refer to physical reality itself—that unbodied spirits long to directly experience for themselves what life in physical reality is like.

What does physical reality have to offer that the nonphysical realities do not? This is an important question, because in your theologies, “Heaven”—being a reference to not only the intangible “afterlife” but also to the sky above your heads—is considered superior to “Earth”, the physical plane in all its manifestations. Yet there are some experiences only available in physical reality, and it is these experiences that the angels desire to look into. Some of these experiences include sensory experiences of light, sound, color, music, scent, texture, movement, and temperature; the pleasures of creativity through art; the pleasure of patient guided unfolding of a possibility as it changes into a reality; and the expansion of understanding triggered by incarnational experiences such as birth, sickness, romance, reproduction, child rearing, freedom fighting, [observing and interacting in love with animals, plants, and insects], and the recovery from illness. The experience of the passage of time itself is an experience that can only be enjoyed and benefitted from by those in physical reality.

rainbow_mosqueIn looking over our list, Mister Rand asks (. . .), “But is the joy that physical reality affords us worth the suffering it also affords us? What of the millions suffering unspeakable pain? How can smelling a flower offset the sheer weight of their dismay?” The answer, of course, is that a person dying of AIDS in a back alley needs consolation, water, food, medications, and supportive social interactions, not just the smelling of a flower. And since the hands of God are the hands of Mister Rand and those other spirits who have taken on flesh, seeking God’s will for assessing what help to give the dying person is the responsibility of Mister Rand and his acquaintances. For the joy of helping to relieve another’s suffering is another experience that only physical reality (and thought reality, its close sibling) can provide.

In the nonphysical realities, there is no sense of separation between Self and Other. Individuation does exist in the nonphysical, but it is individuation seen and felt always in its context of All-That-Is. In physical reality, where consciousness often appears limited to, or framed by, the brain organ, physical and emotional separation are regularly experienceable. So opportunities to reveal these separations as the illusions they are at core are precious, and if taken with care and awareness, yield exquisite experiential results.

So there is, in our opinion, a case to be made that Heaven is not superior to Earth; they are two sides of the same coin, different but equal. And Divine Love is present throughout both realities. Call upon It today to make Its presence known to you in your life as you really are just at this moment, and keep on calling upon it until you become aware of the answer. And we thank you for sharing today. •

— Channeled by Rand Lee, 11/2/16, 3:11:16 AM