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Channeling and Creating Our Own Realities - reading questions for Week 12

Beyond A Course In Miracles: Channeling and Creating Our Own Reality

Assignment: browse some of these sites (especially those with discussion questions following them in bold italic).

At the end is the reflection question for you to write on. You might also appreciate this link to an academic Web page with links to a variety of alternative religious movements you might enjoy browsing. I'll post another listing with some YouTube examples of well-known and rather "mainstream" speakers/writers in Shadow Culture spirituality.

http://www.academicinfo.net/nrmsalt.html

More Sites on Channeling - and reading questions for discussion

Here’s a brief overview of contemporary channeling highlights from the very skeptical Skeptics Dictionary (on-line fad-buster) – read this one for sure.
http://skepdic.com/channeling.html

A channeler describes what channeling is and how it feels for her to do it -- also links to a great deal of transcripts from channeled beings (notice the typical portentous, repetitive, and archaic language) --
http://www.starlighter.com/myama/articles/ch_intr2.htm

Here's a Wikpedia article that isn't too bad --
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Channeling_%28mediumistic%29

Read some of the Web articles above about new religions and channeling. Then read the ones below, especially where I have attached discussion questions.

http://www.channeling.net/channeling/weekly_address/040805.htm
Archangel Michael says that everything that happens to you is for your spiritual education, that your spirit guide ‘nudges’ things along, but that you still have complete free will. Huh?

http://www.believersweb.org/view.cfm?ID=536
An informed and skeptical look at channeling by a Christian writer, written in 1988

http://www.watchman.org/profile/chanpro.htm
Another brief overview and critique from a Christian source.

What seems valid in these Christian critiques? What do you think these authors might be missing?

http://mysticplanet.com/08CHANNL.HTM
This presents a set of links to channeled messages. Read at least several of them. What ideas do these have in common? What do they and have in common with the work of Starhawk, Jean Houston, or the Institute of Noetic Sciences (in the Bleep guide) or the work of other contemporary ‘Shadow Culture’ writers? What is different about them?

How would William James suggest we understand the claims of the people who are channeling? Should the ideas they channel have authority for others? How should we evaluate these channeled messages (in William James’s view)?

http://www.urantiabook.org/
The entire Urantia book online. Do a little browsing in it. It blends many of the same ideas (how we shape our own reality) with Christian language, similarly to the Course in Miracles, as we'll see later. How does adding Christian language affect the ideas presented, in contrast to non-Christian channeled material?

Now, for this week’s reflection question:

In what ways are these examples of channeling a continuation of ancient or long-standing religious phenomena? In what ways are they a reflection of uniquely contemporary circumstances? (Use some examples in your comments.)