Psychic Phenomena in the Old Testament (1922)

Here’s a book (published in the 1920s) called Psychic Phenomena in the Old Testament by Sarah A. Tooley. This short book summarizes stories in the Old Testament in which three sorts of phenomena occur: a) materializations; b) angels; c) visions.

Materializations feature divine messengers or guides who take human or material form. A captain of the Lord’s host comes to Joshua in material shape, for instance, to offer him divine strength before battle.  An angel guides Abraham’s servant to the woman (Rebekah) who is to be Isaac’s wife. The visions of prophets and the dreams of patriarchs (such as Joseph) are also recorded.

Altogether, sixteen biblical stories are recounted and discussed.  It is unclear to me why the term “psychic” is used of these phenomena rather than “mystical” or “visionary” or “revelatory” or some such neutral term. Nevertheless, the book assembles some nice OT passages, which illustrate a range of inspired and extraordinary events.

Here’s the pdf of the book for your interest. Psychic Phenomena in the OT book

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Johnny Lovewisdom: the Fruitarian diet and the original gospel (Video Link, 1990s)

NOTE: I do not necessarily agree with the point of view expressed, here, in every particular. However, I am impressed by the idealism of this figure, who left what is familiar in order to establish a healthy and visionary way of life.

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Johnny Lovewisdom, a fruitarian, lived on what he considered the diet of paradise. This video (below) contains an interview with him in Ecuador in the 1990s.

Johnny Lovewisdom wrote on spiritual topics and provided esoteric interpretations of the gospels and the teachings of Jesus.

His fruitarian lifestyle, although very controversial, accords with the the ways of God, as Johnny sees it.

Here’s an interesting video interview with him. See link:

Johnny Lovewisdom Video

Jesus and the Vibrational Escrow

Preface: Why Consider Channeled Sources of Information about Jesus? 

In this article, I present an angle on Jesus Christ offered by Abraham Hicks, the non-physical entity channeled by Esther Hicks. In doing so, I offer only a brief point of  evaluation and critique, concerning whether this information is in accord with the gospel.

Naturally, some people will doubt the credibility of channeled information. How do we distinguish the holy spirit (of truth) from lies? Lies may come through a channeler. However, lies may come from seemingly accredited sources, too– for instance, in books that claim to be biblical or holy.

Others may doubt the message itself. Are there really such things as the “law of attraction,” vibrational realities, and a “vibrational escrow” as Abraham suggests? Let us consider whether these ideas have practical benefits in our lives, which are in accord with the gospel and message of Jesus Christ.

The subject matter is worth considering, I believe, for the following reasons. First of all, truth can be revealed in surprising places. The church version of Jesus is not necessarily always right and correct (and there are quite a few versions offered by churches). Ideas about Jesus that emerge from popular spirituality can shed light on who Jesus is and can be for us. Let us be receptive and open-minded as well as discerning and critical, regarding all information and sources of revelation.

Secondly, this popular spiritual movement — around Abraham (the channeled source of wisdom), has offered support for people in their quest to lead rich and valuable lives. While critiques are also valid, a philosophy or inspired utterance (even from a channeled source) is worth considering when it yields beneficial practical consequences.

The Law of Attraction and other Vibrational Matters

According to the non-physical teacher Abraham Hicks, channeled by Esther Hicks, we are all vibrational beings. Our lives, which follow a “law of attraction,”  are energetic copies of our own states of consciousness or soul. We attract to ourselves experiences based on this inner blueprint. We may come to be happy and fulfilled if we move with the flow of our lives, along the path of joy and the way of least resistance. In doing so, we enter an energetic “vortex,” which allows us to manifest our own highest good with ease, including a meaningful life, good relationships, abundance, and social contribution.

Who is Jesus According to Abraham?

Abraham as channeled by Esther has some thought-provoking ideas about Jesus and how Jesus heals. Jesus,  one who reached full alignment with the divine source, lived in complete vibrational flow with the highest good and desired reality. Hence, he could perform miracles and speak wisdom.

Essentially, when Jesus heals the afflictions or diseases of people, he does so by assisting them to realize the higher purposes and the joyous desires of their souls in accord with the divine source. Since his vibration is high and always loving, lower vibrations (of sickness, guilt, shame, anger, and pain) dissolve in his presence.  He sees not the sickness but rather the image of God in each person. Behind the complaining, suffering person, who needs healing, there is a positive, hopeful, joyful self — as the true self of that person.

For Abraham, our highest good is contained within our “vibrational escrow,” which may be compared to a bank account that is held in custody until such time as one is ready to withdraw funds. In this vibrational account is deposited our hopes, dreams, goals, our ideals for ourselves, and the very blueprint of our destiny. When we have negative experiences in life– which cause pain and despair –our hardships serve as “contrast experiences,” which assist us to define clearly the positive experiences and desires that we would have preferred. This positive experience (desire, goal, or hope) gets deposited into our vibrational escrow account.

Jesus takes a peek into the “vibrational escrow” of each person. The Savior gives the person help in becoming a vibrational match to the highest potential therein.  Wealth in the escrow account may then be cashed in, while our deposited resources are rightly utilized. Tangibly, our life improves.

Abraham explains why Jesus sometimes counsels secrecy after a miracle or healing. If somebody speaks about his or her healing after it is completed, this person may revive the negative vibration that originally made him or her sick. It is best to cloak healing in silence.

Is it True, Helpful, in Accord with the Gospel?  

For instance, if we have a failed relationship, the failures can assist us to define what a successful relationship would look like. Rather than pushing against the loss, we may reach into our “vibrational escrow,” follow the flow of our desires, and bring to realization the success for which we yearn, in the form of a new relationship (or, sometimes, the healing of the failed one).

It is the role of Jesus to assist us to attune ourselves — or to become a “vibrational match” — for our destiny.

How did Jesus “attract” to himself the crucifixion? Although Abraham has not addressed that question (as far as I know), perhaps the crucifixion is the ultimate “contrast experience,” which serves to define, as a reverse image, the immeasurable good to which we may aspire when we are resurrected and in full communion with the divine source.

As I see it, this philosophy can assist us with the dynamics of prayer. While we do not always need to be positive or in a high vibration in order to pray, it is valuable to dissolve blocks to prayer (in the form of resistance and negative beliefs). We may also benefit from embracing our desires and putting them before God/Jesus, who will assist us to convert our desires into life plans that are effective for our own flourishing and the good of others.

For further reading on related matters:

The Law of One (the Ra Material): Channeling in the Name of Jesus Christ

Come Alive !: The Secret and Life Abundant

Here are some links to recordings where Esther Hicks talks about this philosophy and the spirituality of Jesus in that regard. Jesus is mentioned just in a few places toward the end of the recordings.

 

Delores Cannon: Jesus and the Essenes

Delores Cannon offers information about the historical Jesus Christ based on material that she obtained from subjects under hypnosis.

Cannon claimed that certain subjects could enter into a very deep trance state, equivalent to somnambulism. In this state, they would remember their past lives. Cannon said that for these subjects,  under hypnosis they are not engaged in normal past-life regression but rather in a kind of time travel. Subjects under deep hypnosis could forget entirely their current life roles and lose consciousness of their contemporary identities. Instead, they would assume the identity of an earlier incarnation of their souls.

Through one such subject, Cannon gained information about the life of Jesus from a subject who had been a member of the Essenes, a Jewish sect that is probably responsible for the Dead Sea Scrolls.

In this post I will not attempt to assess the legitimacy of Cannon’s claims. Can channeled material under trance genuinely serve as a valid historical source? The claim is rather incredible and contravenes normal standards of historical proof.  Nevertheless, the claim may prove to be valid, either completely or in a limited sense.

Apart from the validity of channeled information as an historical source, Cannon’s work on Jesus serves another beneficial function.  Her presentation of Jesus and the Essenes offers us a renewed imagination for the life of Jesus.

Certainly, the New Testament record provides only a partial look at Jesus Christ and his times. Cannon’s material proposes to fill in some of the gaps in the record. The world of Jesus and the New Testament comes alive with a new vividness.  We get a picture of Jesus’s times, culture, and possible spiritual influences. Our imagination for history and for the life of Jesus is thus enriched.

For more on the Essenes, see: The Essenes

Here is an interview withe Delores Cannon on the topic. There are several more talks by her that are available on youtube, too.

The Joy of Jesus, by Doreen Virtue

Here are a few thoughts about Doreen Virtue’s book, The Joy of Jesus, which recounts her recent conversion to Jesus Christ, after having been a successful teacher (of new age spirituality), for some decades. I will list, first, what I find positive and admirable about her message. Secondly, I will make a couple of points in critique in light of Christian tenets.

Here’s what I admire about Doreen Virtue’s personal witness, her message, and her book.

  1. The Courage to Take a Stand: DV has fearlessly and courageously sought the truth. Upon realizing that Jesus is the savior — through a vision, prayer, and study — she has been willing to act upon her faith, even at risk to herself. She gave up her lucrative business, and her status, as a new age spiritual teacher in favor of a Christian evangelism for which she receives comparatively few rewards. This courageous example speaks volumes in favor of the life-changing reality of God that she describes.
  2. The Gospel is for Everybody (Finding/Seeking):  DV honestly and graphically recounts the emptiness (indeed, the torment) of a life that is dedicated to spiritual seeking, for its own sake. In her own career as a successful spiritual teacher (so, she confesses), she tirelessly tried to track down special or esoteric knowledge. Yet, if the prize was forthcoming, the pleasures were temporary and elusive.  She likens the promise of esoteric knowledge to Eve’s temptation: the shiny apple is the secret wisdom that will finally make one like God. Esoteric knowledge — or special wisdom — in new age circles can become a commodity and a badge of superiority.  By contrast, the gospel is at once fully satisfying and freely accessible– (the wisdom revealed to babes). If Christ exhibits the nature of God, then it is God’s nature to be generous, truthful, and forgiving.  We may touch God, in the here and now, and rather than searching, relentlessly and restlessly, for something to make us whole, we may find–and be found by–a limitless and loving God. Healed, we are whole.
  3. Joy: DV reveals, through her conversion, an encounter with Jesus Christ that fills the heart with causeless and boundless joy — no matter one’s trials and tribulations. We are all seeking such joy, aren’t we? As DV shows, through Christ, that joy is real.

Here are some points of critique.

  1. Guilt and Judgment: DV seems to believe that she was duped and deceived by the devil up until her conversion and her meeting with Jesus Christ. Yet, against this self-castigating narrative, it may be urged that the Christian gospel is about forgiveness, which releases one from guilt. In the light of forgiveness, one may see the beauty — and truth — that have been present, even while one has been hindered by various vices and sins.  Surely, DV had lots of good things to say, in her earlier books, even if she made some “mistakes,” when measured against her current standards of belief. While writing her books about angels, and portraying Jesus as an ascended master (rather than as the unique Son of God), DV showed an enthusiasm for spiritual things, and curiosity about various ideas, which inspired many.  These gifts ought not to be so sternly condemned. Guilt toward self, furthermore, gets transmuted into judgment toward others. For instance, DV believes that hell is real and that theological universalism is misguided. So, anyone holding these beliefs, so she judges, must be deceived and duped, just as she used to be. Surely, Jesus embraced theological pluralism, on a number of points, even if he also preached certain universals (such as the Great Commandment). Heterodox opinions do not amount to grave sins.
  2. Biblical Literalism: I honor DV’s respect for the Bible. Yet, to lapse into rote biblical literalism is to take the easy way out when faced by controversial or difficult passages. For instance, DV claims that God (through the Bible) condemns mediumship and witchcraft. Yet, Jesus himself was accused of magic and of being in league with demons. These accusations against Jesus were argued on biblical grounds –which draw upon similar passages (from Deuteronomy) as those on the basis of which DV derives her biblical prohibitions against mediumship. If Jesus (the Son of God)  “broke” such biblical rules himself — or if he was suspected of doing so– then perhaps the biblical rules, here, are liable to be misinterpreted. Could it be that the surface meaning of the Bible needs to be probed, more carefully, so that a deeper truth will emerge? Biblical doctrines about hell are equally complex and open to interpretation.

DV’s book, The Joy of Jesus, is available as a free PDF download on her website.

 

Vision of Jesus during NDE

Jesus said that by dying, we open ourselves to eternal life. Our lives then become fruitful. In some instances, through a near-death experience  — or a serious brush with death — a person becomes aware of the source of life, itself, which is eternal. Jesus Christ is revealed.

John 12:24-25: Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.

Here is a beautiful experience, recounted by a woman who died (in clinical terms) at the hospital. Jesus Christ came to her, as a being of pure golden light, who glowed through the heart with a blue star.

The woman (Charmian Redwood) knew that she had touched the eternal.  Upon returning to her body, and recovering from her illness, Charmian reoriented her life according to sacred values. This short video is quite affecting.