Rev. David T. Bell
Questions often arise about the validity and wisdom of reading channeled materials. Is there an unimpeachable source? Sorry to say that there is no definitive answer. The materials that I have encountered run the gamut from extraordinarily helpful to not worth bothering with. How is one to decide? Perhaps I can share some wisdom in this inquiry.
Channeling actually takes a variety of forms. One may be able to hear the channeled material directly as it is coming through the channel. One may listen to a recording of the material. Sometimes it is transcribed into written form. Sometimes it becomes a book. There is a very long list of materials that have been made available in the realm of spiritual inquiry. It is not my intention or my place to give you a rating sheet or award a number of stars based upon my opinion.
The good news is that you must decide for yourself whether a particular source or material is useful or helpful. It is abundantly clear that there are as many opinions as there are people. No one but you can actually decide if something is useful or helpful.
If you feel a little unsure of yourself, or reluctant to make a decision, seek the guidance of Spirit. You are not in the world without help. The Course in Miracles, a channeled work that I find useful, says that you will always receive the guidance you seek. All you need do is ask, and then be sure to listen. Listening for an answer is best done without a pre-concieved notion as to how the answer should arrive. It may be a thought, a feeling, it may be a song or a billboard. Just be open.
After seeking guidance, I recommend what I call the “Peter Schickele Test.” For 15 years, from 1992 to 2007, NPR produced the radio show known as “Schickele Mix.” It was an eclectic mix of music from all genres. The show was dedicated to the proposition “that all musics are created equal.” Peter Schickele, the host of the show, always began the show with this comment, borrowed from Duke Ellington, “When it comes to music, if it sounds good, it is good!” I suggest that you adopt this philosophy when attempting to decide if a particular channeled source is useful. If the material resonates with you, if it warms your heart, if it makes you want to be a better person, if it helps you understand life and living, then it is good. That is really the end of the story. No one has authority in this matter except you. You are the captain of your ship, and, at the deepest level, your soul knows the truth and it knows what your conscious mind could find helpful.
David Bell is an Interfaith Minister at The Interfaith Center for Spiritual Growth, which is located at 704 Airport Boulevard, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 48108. Sunday services are held from 10:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m. A full calendar of events and further information can be found at www.interfaithspirit.org.