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”: On Faith and Doubt

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Mister Rand is frequently plagued with concerns that the truths he has clung to for consolation and support he will find, in a shattering moment of terror on his deathbed, to all have been founded upon falsehoods. He is not alone in this fear. Many individuals, when apprised of their forthcoming deaths, return to the religions of their childhoods; or, alternatively, trumpet their atheism, comforting themselves with the certainty that the death of the body is an extinguishment (rather than a damnation or rebirth, as others claim). Mister Rand has always wished to look Death in the eye when that angel finally comes for him, because Mister Rand has feared Death all his life. And so what do these matters tell us about faith and doubt?

Faith and doubt, as we see it, are tools selected unconsciously or consciously by the human soul in order to create certain experiences while in physical reality. For example, when he was a boy, Mister Rand unconsciously elected to side with his agnostic father regarding religion and the divine, because his mother, an alcoholic and pedophile, was a believing Christian according to her lights. Mister Rand wished his father to approve of him, and he wished to detach himself from his mother, particularly as he grew older and her anger towards males became more apparent in her attitudes and actions towards him. But once Mister Rand’s father died, Mister Rand’s need for a context in which to know himself and live his life led Mister Rand to accept Jesus Christ as his personal savior on a beach in New Jersey, as a result of a young man preaching to him from a pamphlet called “The Four Spiritual Laws.”

Returning to the town where he was attending college, Mister Rand got involved with a church where he was welcomed by many, and this gave him a sense of having a family again. He cast himself fully into the practices and doctrines of the church group, even to the point of trying to convince family and friends of the truth of the Christianity he espoused. And yet part of him did not like the sacrifices Mister Rand felt he had to make in order to continue to be accepted by the Christians with whom he was involved; that is to say, his homosexuality, which, as he recovered slowly from the trauma associated with the death of his agnostic father, exerted more and more of a tug upon his bodymind. And so, when he had healed from the greater part of the death trauma around his father, and when Mister Rand had gained the inner strength to once more go out into the world on his own, he began to question some of the teachings of the group with which he was involved. Feeling his faith slipping away, in desperation he sought out an elder of the church and asked this man to mentor him; but the man was homophobic, having lost a wife to her coming out as a Lesbian; and only grudgingly told Mister Rand he would mentor him. And Mister Rand knew his days as a Christian were over.

So Mister Rand [again] embraced the agnosticism of his father. It was an effort to permit himself an expansion of his earthly experiences. Agnosticism, unlike atheism, does not claim certainty of the existence or nonexistence of God/dess; so to Mister Rand unconsciously agnosticism represented a freedom to explore matters of faith and reality and experience that he had not permitted himself before in his life thus far. This period of agnosticism came to an end when Mister Rand’s younger brother discovered the “Seth” channelings of the late Jane Roberts. There awakened in Mister Rand a curiosity to explore spiritual mysticism and the practices of divination known as the Tarot, for deep down he had continued to feel a yearning for certain guidance for his soul. He also wished to become looked up to by New Agers as a man of occult wisdom, for he felt like a failure whom no one could love or look up to, because he was not a famous writer like his father; had no life partner; and was not tall with big muscles, bravado, and/or tattoos like his older brother.

So Mister Rand became a Tarot reader, and found he had a talent for seeing connections when stimulated by querent questions and the images on the Tarot cards. And so his reputation as a Tarot reader spread slowly throughout the community where he lived with his mother and brother. Suddenly he met the man who for two years would become the most important figure in his life: Mister Alex, named Stuart Lucker. Together they became a psychic team, first in Key West, Florida, then in Santa Fe, New Mexico. And from Mister Alex’s channelings as “Alexandra” came several life systems that Mister Rand hungrily adopted, for they gave his life meaning without demanding that he hate his innermost nature, as Fundamentalist Christianity had done.

After Mister Alex’s death, Mister Rand continued to explore the Tarot, and later, trance work or “channeling” as well; and within his superconscious created the aggregate information source he calls “The Family,” a source within his Greater Self that enables him to see connections not easily perceptible to his conscious mind. This mindset he has more or less maintained ever since.

But Mister Rand has always been plagued by doubts that his New Age beliefs might be no truer than the Christian beliefs or agnosticism he had previously espoused. Part of the reason for this is that Mister Rand is incarnated as the Essence we call Judgment, in which dualism, and in particular dualistic thinking, is enthroned mightily: I believe/I believe not; I am man/I am woman; I am good/I am evil; God is Love in all parts of Godself/God is a consuming fire; reality has purpose, with Love at the core of it/reality has no purpose, and all physical reality’s denizens are merely accidental meat machines. Another reason for Mister Rand’s doubtings is that as he has grown in experience he has, deep within himself, sensed a truth larger even than the truths channeled by his lover Alex and later by himself; that is, truths of a different order entirely and beyond what “The Family” as he thinks of us can express and perceive. For we are a construct merely, a tool for the transmission of insight already held within Mister Rand’s Greater Self, and within the Greater Selves of Mister Rand’s clients who seek “The Family’s” advice. So, just as when he left agnosticism for Fundamentalism, Fundamentalism for agnosticism, and agnosticism for spiritualism, Mister Rand, unknown to himself, has a longing for experience that he does not feel his current form of belief can support or legitimize. And so part of him doubts the teachings of “Alexandra” that have sustained him for so long.

And so faith and doubt are tools, even more than they are expressions of psychological bent or orientation; tools which the Greater Self uses to assist Mister Rand in creating life experience for himself. What form Mister Rand’s new tools will take we cannot say, except that Love is at the core of it; for his recent visions of Love, utterly without doctrinal or theological system to accompany them, have exerted a major influence upon Mister Rand’s soul.

And so, if you struggle with doubt, ask yourself, “What experience has faith not given me that I may be needing to leave my former faith in order to enjoy?” And we thank you for sharing.

— May 10, 2014. Channeled by Rand B. Lee. All rights reserved.