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Chapter 13

Channeling

 If one gets into New Age teachings, one is bound to run into some alleged channeled sources. Whoever does the channeling usually claims to be speaking for an entity that has higher knowledge and consequently people often treat the channeled information as if it is infallible. This can be problematic because there are several possibilities when it comes to channeled information that allegedly comes from a higher level being:

  1. A person pretends to be channeling a higher level being with the hope of benefiting in some way. This possibility occurs quite often.
  2. Without realizing it, a person channels his (or her) subconscious mind.
  3. Without realizing it, a person channels a deceptive spirit.
  4. A person actually channels a spirit that represents the light.

New Age sources contradict each other about the issue of whether or not Jesus died on the cross. I understand that some people believe that this issue doesn’t matter, because they contend that having respect for Jesus isn’t dependent upon believing that he died on the cross. This isn’t relevant to what I am about to say because my aim is to show that some well-known sources of New Age information contradict each other and themselves about Jesus’ crucifixion.

Jane Roberts claimed that she channeled an entity named Seth. This means that she allowed Seth to use her body to speak to people. She claimed that she made contact with Seth while using an Ouija board. In Jane’s book Seth Speaks (pages 366-368), “Seth” claims that Jesus wasn’t crucified. Rather, he alleges that Judas made arrangements for a mentally disturbed man to be drugged and crucified in Jesus’ place. Seth referred to what the gospels say as he tried to make his points. Therefore, it is reasonable for me to also use the gospels to show that the points Seth made are erroneous.

In the Gospels of Matthew (26:21-24), Mark (14:18-25), and Luke (22:21-22), Jesus tells Judas that he would betray him. Why would Jesus tell Judas this if Judas was arranging a hoax? Matthew 26:2; Mark 8:31, 9:12, 9:32 and 10:33-34; Luke 9:44, 17:25, and 18:31-33; and John 13:31; also show that Jesus was well aware that he would be crucified. Why would Jesus have this knowledge if a hoax was going to take place? The gospels also show that Jesus understood that it was his divine destiny to be crucified. If you believe that the gospels can’t be totally relied upon due to historical discrepancies and translation issues, please remember that Seth used the gospels as a basis for his arguments. Either the gospels can be used to make a point, or they can’t.

Regardless of what the gospels say, due to the following reasons I find it hard to believe that a mentally disturbed man was drugged and crucified in Jesus’ place:

  • Judas wouldn’t have been able to plan a hoax without Jesus knowing about it.
  • Judas probably couldn’t have gotten a mentally disturbed man to believe that he is Jesus.
  • Even if he could, he wouldn’t have needed to drug him if he already believed he was Jesus. In fact, it would’ve been risky to do so because a drug could alter a deluded man’s state of mind in an unfavorable way.
  • Somebody might’ve noticed that a man other than Jesus was being crucified and would’ve reported this fact to the authorities.

On page 415 of The Nature of a Personal Reality, Seth states:

The “substitute” was a personality seemingly deluded, but in his delusion he knew that each person is resurrected. He took it upon himself to become the symbol of this knowledge.

The underlined emphases in the paragraph above appear in the original text. They point to a contradiction that makes the alleged truth of Seth’s statement untenable. It doesn’t make sense to claim that the man who was supposedly crucified in Jesus’ place was both seemingly deluded and actually deluded. Either he was deluded or he wasn’t.

Seth stated that Peter denied Jesus three times because a man other than Jesus was captured. This contention isn’t supported by the gospels. Matthew 26:34, 69-75; Mark 14:29-31, 66-72; Luke 22:34, 54-65; and John 13:38, 18:15-18,25-27; clearly show that Peter denied Jesus three times because Jesus wouldn’t tell Peter that he was going to deny him three times if someone other than Jesus was going to be captured.

Seth claims that Jesus appeared to his disciples after the hoax-crucifixion in order to let them know that he wasn’t crucified and is still alive. Seth claimed that Jesus was a great psychic and had wounds appear on his body so his disciples could use them as a basis for identifying him. If Jesus wanted to let his disciples know that he was still alive and wasn’t crucified, wouldn’t he have a better chance of doing so if he didn’t have wounds that made it seem as if he was crucified? Imagine how his conversation with his disciples would’ve played out.

Jesus: “Here I am. I wasn’t crucified.”

Disciple: “Then why do you have wounds on your body as if you were?”

Jesus: “In order to let you know that I wasn’t crucified I created them.”

Disciple: “But Master, wouldn’t we be more likely to believe that you weren’t crucified if you didn’t have wounds on the parts of your body we expect you to have them?”

Jesus: “I psychically created them so you would be able to recognize me.”

Disciple: “Why wouldn’t we be able to recognize you without wounds? We know you so well.”

Jesus: “Uh…uh”

Disciple: “Master, I asked you…”

Jesus: “Don’t rush me. I’m trying to come up with a parable that will make this clear.”

I hope the above imaginary dialogue clarifies how unreasonable it is to conclude that Jesus psychically created wounds to mimic having been crucified in order to prove that he wasn’t crucified. If Jesus’ disciples could recognize Jesus only if they saw wounds on his body, then how did they recognize him on previous occasions? Did they suddenly en masse develop a case of dementia? I figure they knew what he looked like, what his voice sounded like and, considering that Jesus was an evolved person, they probably knew what his presence felt like. Even if for some odd reason these modes of recognition didn’t work, perhaps they could’ve asked Jesus some questions for which a man other than Jesus wouldn’t know the answer. Or perhaps they could’ve asked Jesus to perform a miracle or two.

Seth claims that his point is validated because Thomas accepted that Jesus was Jesus only after he put his hand into the wound on Jesus’ side. This claim demonstrates a lack of understanding of what took place. Thomas was not with the disciples the first time Jesus appeared to them. When some of the disciples told Thomas that Jesus had reappeared, he said “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.” (John 20:25). Eight days later Jesus reappeared to his disciples when Thomas was with them. Jesus told Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” Then Jesus told him. “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:26-29).

Nowhere within the gospels does it say that Jesus proved who he was to the rest of his disciples by the same means. He spoke to Thomas as he did in order to respond to the non-literal comments Thomas made to his fellow disciples when he said he didn’t believe Jesus had appeared to them. I say this after making the not-too-bold assumption that Thomas spoke just figuratively when he said he would believe that Jesus was alive only after he sees the nail marks in his hands and put his fingers where the nails were, and put his hand into his side. He probably recognized Jesus immediately, just as the other disciples had done. In fact, this point is established with Jesus’ statement, “Because you have seen me, you have believed.”

There is also the matter of how Thomas knew about Jesus’ wounds not only in a general way–he knew about the wound in Jesus’ side. I believe it is reasonable to conclude that Thomas knew about this specific wound because it had become known to Jesus’ disciples that he had been wounded in this part of his body.

Seth claimed that when Jesus couldn’t convince his disciples that he was himself, he willed his life in this world to an end, because there was no point in continuing it. I believe it is contradictory for Seth to say that Thomas stuck his hand into Jesus’ wound in order to verify that he was with Jesus, and then contend that he wasn’t convinced.

Mary Innes claims to channel an entity named Elias. Elias is supposed to be similar to Seth. Nevertheless, Seth and Elias contradict each other when it comes to the crucifixion. Elias claimed that Jesus moved to Macedonia and died of natural cause at the age of 51. Clearly Elias and Seth contradict each other. If what Elias claims is true, it is odd that Paul had to speak to Jesus’ disciples in order to learn about Jesus’ teachings, since Jesus could have been found in Macedonia.

Suzanne Ward claims to channel her deceased son Matthew. She wrote that Matthew’s spirit told her that rather than being crucified, Jesus was whipped and then let go.[12] Once again a well-known channeled source contradicts other well-known channeled sources about a significant event.

Esther Hicks claims to channel a group of entities she refers to as Abraham. This source says Jesus was crucified.

Alleged psychic Sylvia Browne is another person who felt it necessary to come up with a story about how Jesus didn’t die on the cross. In her book The Mystical Life of Jesus she makes Jesus sound like a wimp who made a deal with Pontius Pilote. Pilote allegedly tried to work things out so Jesus wouldn’t have to be crucified. When he wasn’t able to do so, he supposedly arranged to have Jesus removed from the cross before he died. He also supposedly arranged for a foot stool to be placed under Jesus’ feet while he was on the cross. Sylvia also wrote that the people who crucified Jesus were experts in anatomy, and they drove stakes into Jesus’ body in a manner where no arteries were damaged so he wouldn’t bleed to death.

I find it hard to believe that none of the people who attended Jesus’ crucifixion noticed the foot stool. I find it hard to believe that arrangements could be made so the people who were responsible for hammering stakes into Jesus’ body would do so in a manner that spared his life. Even if such arrangements could be made, I find it hard to believe that the people who nailed Jesus to the cross knew how to avoid an artery. Even if they managed to avoid Jesus’ arteries, surely the puncture wounds from the stakes that were placed into his hands and feet, the spear that was thrust into his side, and the crown of thorns that was rammed onto his head, would’ve caused him to lose enough blood so he would die before the scene was clear and he could be removed from the cross without anybody becoming suspicious about what Pilote supposedly arranged. I also find it hard to believe that with all of Jesus’ reported mystic abilities he would have a difficult time avoiding his tormentors if he chose to do so. Therefore, he wouldn’t require Pilote’s very painful and life-threatening mock-crucifixion plot.

It is also significant to point out that Sylvia Browne contradicted herself about Jesus’ manner and age of death. In her March/April 2007 Sylvia Browne Newsletter she wrote that Jesus died at the age of 33. In her book The Mystical Life of Jesus she wrote that he died at the age of 86. I believe this is quite a contradiction. Her book was published in 2006. Perhaps when a person dishes out too much misinformation (see Stop Sylvia Browne.net), he (or she) is bound to lose track of the details.

I’ve found that when some people hear about such inconsistencies they continue to have no problem with the sources I mentioned. Sometimes they’ll contend that some kind of interpretive error takes place as a person channels a spirit. If this is the case, I’d say that quite a bit of misinterpretation takes place because the above sources provided their viewpoints with a lot of details. When a source presents so many erroneous details perhaps it isn’t trustworthy.

When people get into the justification, rationalization and denial game for such sources, they comment about the true information such a source provides. I have found that a source doesn’t have to be legitimate in order to come up with some information that is true. Lots of people are capable of reading some books, thinking a bit, and coming up with their own spin on what higher truth supposedly is. To the extent accurate information is provided no harm is done; however, people can be misled by the false information that is provided. I’ve found that people who are into channeled sources often take on a cult-like mentality and no matter how clearly you present the inconsistencies, they’ll come up with some way to defend the inconsistencies even if this requires them to come up with arguments that make no sense at all.

The main reason people attach themselves to sources of information to such an extent is because they use such sources to develop a way of thinking that makes them feel oriented, secure and perhaps happy. They get to the point where they believe in a not-fully-conscious way that they had better not question their belief because if they do, they’ll lose their sense of orientation, security, happiness and peace.

The fact of the matter is that divine truth is so wonderful that as long as they live their life in a positive way they don’t have to be concerned that letting go of a false belief system will ruin their happiness. In fact, by choosing to let go of a false belief system they’ll be more able to open themselves to receiving information that is more positive than what they currently believe. There’s even a good chance they’ll be quite happy that some of the viewpoints they used to believe aren’t true. This is true even when some viewpoints don’t seem negative until one can look closely in hindsight.

Going by the spirit messages I have received, Jesus was in fact crucified. There are people who have a problem with the idea of Jesus being crucified, partly because they don’t like the he died for our sins premise. Others contend that this premise is true because they believe we all became sinners when Eve ate the apple in the Garden of Eden. Jesus then had to take care of our sins by being crucified. I don’t agree with this later point because I don’t believe the Garden of Eden story is literal. The story is a symbolic way of saying that when our souls incarnated into this world for the purpose of learning important lessons, we lost our innocence for a while.

I believe Jesus has helped tremendously, not by dying for our sins, but by finding the way back to God and being an example for anybody who wants to learn from him. Also, many people avoid lower realms after they die partly because of how Jesus has inspired them. When this is the case, Jesus died for their sins by inspiring them to not sin.

Also, some souls don’t move on to the light right away because their fear and guilt prevent them from doing so. They are afraid they will get punished, don’t feel deserving of heavenly wonders, or a combination of these two factors. Fortunately, many of these souls don’t stay in such a state for an extended period of time because they believe Christ died for their sins and therefore don’t feel the need to punish themselves by remaining in a lower realm for an extended period. They believe Jesus will forgive them–and going by what feels right to me, he does. I’m not saying that they won’t have to become aware of how they may have hurt others, but their faith in Christ enables them to get the help they need rather than staying stuck for an extended period of time.

Back to Jane Roberts: Seth didn’t limit his inaccurate statements about Jesus to the crucifixion issue. In Jane’s books Seth Speaks and A Nature of a Personal Reality, Seth took three of Jesus’ most famous verses and interpreted them so they lacked spiritual meaning. For example, Seth claimed that when Jesus said to love your neighbor as yourself he was just making a joke, because nobody loved their neighbor during Jesus’ time period (page 414).[13] I believe it is quite obvious that Seth’s claim is ludicrous; nevertheless, I’ll show how the Gospels don’t support Seth’s claim. From the Gospel of Matthew:

“5:43 Ye have heard that it was said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy: 5:44 but I say unto you, love your enemies, and pray for them that persecute you; 5:45 that ye may be sons of your Father who is in heaven: for he maketh his sun rise on the evil and the good, and sendeth rain on the just and the unjust. 5:46 For if ye love them that love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 5:47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than other? do not even the Gentiles the same? 5:48 Ye therefore shall be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

Certainly the above isn’t a demonstration of Jesus not being good at sticking to one-liners.

Also from the Gospel of Matthew:

19:16 And behold, one came to him and said, Teacher, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? 19:17 And he said unto him, Why askest thou me concerning that which is good? One there is who is good: but if thou wouldest enter into life, keep the commandments. 19:18 He saith unto him, Which? And Jesus said, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, 19:19 Honor thy father and mother; and, Thou shalt love they neighbor as thyself. 19:20 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I observed: what lack I yet? 19:21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wouldest be perfect, go, sell that which thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me. 19:22 But when the young man heard the saying, he went away sorrowful; for he was one that had great possessions.”

22:34 But the Pharisees, when they heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, gathered themselves together. 22:35 And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question, trying him: 22:36 Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law? 22:37 And he said unto him, Thou shalt love thy Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 22:38 This is the great and first commandment. 22:39 And a second like unto it is this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. 22:40 On these two commandments the whole law hangeth, and the prophets.”

When I read the above closely, I find it hard to believe that Jesus was making a joke about any of the commandments he shared. What seems most reasonable to you? He 1) made a joke about each of the commandments, 2) shared commandments he was serious about and then just for the fun of it added a joke about loving one’s neighbor as one’s self, or 3) realized that he was asked about the most important commandments and responded accordingly? How about the last verse? “On these two commandments the whole law hangeth, and the prophets.” Was this statement an extension of a hardy-har-har joke about loving God and loving your neighbor as yourself, or is Seth’s claim full of beans?

Also, Jesus wasn’t the originator of the commandments he stated. They are commandments that can be found in the Old Testament. (Leviticus 9:33-34 and Deuteronomy 10:19 for the love thy neighbor as yourself commandment.) This being the case, how could it be a matter of Jesus making an ill-timed joke? Remember, in comedy, timing is everything.

If one is willing, one can find that some of the most popular New Age sources aren’t as infallible as they claim. Sometimes this is hard to see, not just for the reasons discussed above, but also because people are hungry for knowledge and become excited when they find a source of information that seems to have the answers they are looking for. Their excitement might cause them to turn their discrimination meter off. This is unfortunate. Sometimes patience is a necessary part of the journey. Perhaps it is better to be patient and find a path that is true, rather than allow a quick-fix approach to lead us astray.

[12] I don’t remember which book she says this in. I read it while in a book store.

[13] The following words were used: “The very term, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” was an ironic statement, for in that society no man loved his neighbor, but distrusted him heartily. Much of Christ’s humor has been lost, therefore. “