Here’s his faith testimony. See link: Confessions of a Happy Christian
See link: CrucifiedSaviors
Here’s a classic book in pdf, written about a hundred years ago. Though the methodology of this study has been critiqued, its intention and impulse are sincere and constructive: to demonstrate the universal teachings and symbols within various religions, globally, from the east and the west, the south and the north, and to dismantle barriers of dogma and difference that cause suspicion and animosity.
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:
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 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.
This post offers a critique of Doreen Virtue’s book, The Joy of Jesus, which recounts her recent conversion. DV had been a successful teacher of spirituality, for some decades, whose work on angels had widespread appeal. I will state in main outline my critique, first. After that, I will list what I find positive and admirable about her message. Then, I will make a few more points in critique. My critique is based on Christian convictions from a liberal and pluralistic standpoint.
Doreen Virtue had a vision of Jesus Christ while attending an Episcopal church in 2017. Thereupon, she dropped her business as a spiritual teacher. Through the vision, she was converted to Jesus Christ. She saw, she says, that Jesus Christ is genuinely the Son of God. The Bible is true. Jesus is the exclusive mediator of God rather than being (as she once taught) merely an ascended master or holy figure. DV renounced her previous new age beliefs and teachings soon after this vision.
As I’ve followed DV’s spiritual unfolding, I observe with sadness that she seems to have plummeted from the pinnacle of truth into a pit of dogma. All kinds of putative “nonbelievers” exist on the outside; they are to be corrected and (sometimes) feared. This sectarian kind of Christian teaching (with an evangelical veneer) supposes a sort of biblical literalism that ignores the multi-leveled meanings of scripture.
As I see it, the mission of Jesus Christ was to establish unity, among different religious and cultural groups, on the common ground of love. Ephesians declares that divisions between Gentiles and Jews are reconciled in Christ. By contrast, sectarian Christianity shrinks the teachings of Jesus by emphasizing sources of difference rather than unity. Rigorous creeds supplant the reality of love and truth, which is revealed through Christ.
Since DV was converted on the basis of a vision, it is also odd that her teachings now deny the authenticity of visions, unless these visions pass muster according to certain creeds. To be converted by Christ — as one’s only personal savior — passes doctrinal muster, according to this view. This kind of faith affirmation excludes many other Christians, including Catholics, mainline Christians, Mormons, new thought believers, and Christian Scientists, among others.
Yet, by way of critique, if Christ should appear to a Hindu or Buddhist or a Tarot card reader, who thereby embraces Christ without giving up his/her cultural or other spiritual beliefs, why should not this kind of vision of Jesus Christ also be deemed authentic and authorized as orthodox? If the vision is in line with love — and the gospel teachings of love — surely such visions are Christian.
Now that I’ve stated my critique in its main contours, here are some points that I admire about Doreen Virtue’s personal witness, her message, and her book. After that, I will enumerate some additional points of critique.
- The Courage to Take a Stand: DV has fearlessly and courageously sought the truth and spoken out as she understands this truth. Upon deciding 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 example speaks in favor of the life-changing reality of God that she describes.
- The Gospel is for Everybody (Finding/Seeking): DV 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.
- 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? DV attests that through Christ, that joy is real.
Here are some points of critique.
- 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. However, Jesus embraced theological pluralism, on a number of points, even if he also preached certain universals (such as the Great Commandment of Love). Heterodox opinions do not amount to grave sins.
- 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.
- Who’s Jesus? And Visionary Experience: I am surprised that having been converted on the basis of a vision of Jesus Christ, DV has now lapsed into a dogmatic Christian framework that makes no room for direct experiences of God unless “biblically” authorized (according to the untenable principles of biblical fundamentalism). Was her vision of Christ “biblically” authorized? Perhaps the biblical and dogmatic framework for testing the vision in fact betrays its very freedom. Visions cannot be squelched or controlled. When Paul had a vision of Christ on the road to Damascus, the authorities in the Jerusalem church doubted his credentials as an apostle. Orthodoxies often mistrust visionary experience. Now, DV speaks out against the freedom of revelation and visionary experiences; she has decided that nobody’s vision of Jesus is authentic unless it complies with the constraints of her particular Christian sect. By way of critique, however, I urge that the Holy Spirit is free. So is Jesus Christ: free. Christ may appear to people in all kinds of walks of life and within various cultures. To legislate against visionary experiences on “biblical grounds” — as if such visitations are of the devil –contradicts the very basis of her own conversion, which came through a vision.
DV’s book, The Joy of Jesus, is available as a free PDF download on her website.