Channeling is an ancient metaphysical science. Although it enjoyed a peak level of acceptance in the late 1980’s in the United States, it has been around longer than the word itself. After the 1980’s, channeling practices lost some of their luster after a few people who channeled made predictions that didn’t come true, but nonetheless, channeling remains a valuable source of information for those seeking answers to the larger questions in life.
The word channeling is a recent invention compared to the length of time that channeling has been going on by other names. In previous eras it was called “mediumship” (communication with the dead or disembodied entities). The word channeling itself is not in most dictionaries. It is not a mainstream word, yet everyone in metaphysical circles has heard the word and has some idea of what it is about. The word “channel” in Webster’s dictionary can give an idea of what the word means. A channel is a conduit through which anything flows or passes, an open passage through a tube or duct. Being a channel for spirit means just that: allowing spirit to flow or pass through you as if you are an empty vessel, or tube, through which spirit can flow.
Being a channel is an honor for anyone who does this as a practice. I have done many channeled sessions in my life and it was always an honor to be part of this process. I felt honored to be a person involved in the endeavor to assist others in their healing and be an open vessel through which spirit could speak. Being a channel is a position of great service to humanity. I believe that becoming a channel is an integral part of anyone’s spiritual path. A person might not call it channeling, but that is often exactly what someone is doing when speaking truth to others. Everyone has had that experience where it seems that some wiser being is saying the words coming through, and each of us have found it to be a pleasant surprise. Even musicians, writers and artists have felt that flow that seems to be coming from a higher source rather than the self. It is as if being touched by grace, and that grace touches everyone as it flows out.
Channeling is not limited to the spoken word. Channeling can also be applicable to spiritual healing. Many healers and spiritual practitioners have experienced their guides sending healing energy through them into the person they are working with on the massage table. Spiritual healing is an unacknowledged form of channeling, but it is channeling in the truest sense.
While science has yet to explore the phenomena of channeling in any great depth, some preliminary experiments have been done with measuring the brainwave activity during meditation itself. Using an EEG (electroencephalograph) machine, a definite pattern of rhythms could be detected when yogis and mystics reached the deepest part of their meditations and altered states of consciousness were present. Channels, as well, have displayed these same patterns when measured with an EEG machine at the Center for Applied Intuition in San Francisco (which is archived but no longer active).
What is channeling and how does it work? This is a question that is hard to answer. Every time I am asked this question I have a hard time answering it. It is difficult to describe what it is like to be a channel. Only direct experience can give a person a true idea of what channeling is and how it works. It is like describing the indescribable. Barbara Brennan says in her book Light Emerging (1993), “It is not the metaphor of reality that you use to describe this phenomenon that is important but the usefulness of the information that is gained through altered states of consciousness. I’m sure, as this phenomenon becomes more understood, we will find better metaphors with which to describe it.”
Some things I can say, however, is that channeling is much like a deep sleep in which you are aware of dreams, and you are describing them as these dreams go by. When someone asks a question, visuals, emotions, thoughts, intuitive hits, words—all sorts of information appear and come into awareness. Sometimes there is a delay while the information is being collected on the inner planes. When this happens, there is nothing to do but wait for the information to formulate. Then, once thoughts and ideas are completed and the information is in, it is up to the channel to dispense the information. It is much like translating from one language into another. It feels as if someone else is speaking, and the words flow quite effortlessly. I am not aware of the process of translating, but somehow my vocabulary and knowledge of language is involved in the act of delivering the information.
This is an excerpt from one of the 40 required bachelor’s courses in the University of Metaphysical Sciences curriculum.