Explorations of Spirit
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by Michael Edwards
(in the form of dialogues between myself (ME) and a counsellor (C))
"ME" stands for "Michael Edwards" or for "me". (Whichever you like: it's a strange coincidence that the letters "ME" fit either designation, and in a way I'm glad because otherwise I wouldn't know whether to be casual (and perhaps egotistical) and call myself "me" (or maybe "I"), or formal (and perhaps a little stiff and distant) and use my name or even (with a positive hint of starch) initials; as it happens, because of the strange coincidence, "ME" solves the problem, and I don't have to decide.)
"ME" represents the ordinary me who thinks from day to day in a fairly conscious way, who makes decisions, who acts in a certain way, who has feelings (however much he may try to hide that fact), who needs help (which is one of the purposes of this journal) - just the ordinary me referred to when in ordinary speech I use the words "I" or "me", or when other people use the word "you".
There is not intended to be anything mystical or psychological about that. In the mere use of this description about myself I am making no assumptions whatsoever, however fundamental they may seem, about who I am psychologically or spiritually (if indeed that cliché of "who you are" means anything, which I 90% doubt [a]), or about the structure or nature or function (or even existence) of the mind, the spirit, and so on. (Such matters will in all probability be discussed in the journal, but I don't want to assume them ahead of time.)
"C" (for "Counsellor") refers to some unidentified counsellor from whom I am seeking guidance - unidentified simply because I don't know who the counsellor is, or what his exact nature is. Perhaps as the journal progresses, these matters will become clear. Possibilities include simply (and perhaps a little trivially) a fictitious person of suitable wisdom and empathy, or maybe (more significantly) my unconscious mind, or my soul or my spirit, or my astral or (especially) mental bodies, or maybe angels or nature spirits (especially the higher ones known as devas), or the highly advanced human spirits Theosophy tells us of, who out of love for other fellow humans take on a mission of helping those less advanced than themselves - or maybe (let's not stop just short of the ultimate himself) even God himself.
These are just a few possible hints to the identity of my counsellor, and at present as I begin this journal, I am not committing myself to any of these. I will freely use any or all of these as mental images as I write, if I find it useful, and I will not strive for consistency of identity from one passage of writing to another; the counsellor I am addressing is big enough to assume any of these roles (or any others he decides are appropriate) if he finds it helpful. Meanwhile, I am not going to beg these questions by referring to him as anything other than a counsellor (at least there is no doubt that he is this, whatever or whoever else he may or may not be in addition). He is a sort of super-psychiatrist or ideal counsellor, combined with a wonderful friend of the most intimate type, to whom I can (I hope) confide anything at all - I will commit myself to that much at least, and I don't consider that to be begging any questions about his identity.
However, I am going to beg one trivial matter. I am quite arbitrarily assuming the counsellor to be male, in order to avoid the sort of personal-pronoun trouble that so afflicts writing that tries too hard to be non-sexist (and also so I can give the counsellor a name to address him by). Other than this, I don't particularly think of the counsellor as either male or female, and I don't care which sex he is; indeed, in a broader sense he is sexless. This is especially so in view of some of the possible identities the counsellor may assume, as mentioned above.
I suppose that from a certain point of view the counsellor may be fictitious. However, maybe in the writing that follows I will create him, so that he becomes more and more real (for me, anyway). Perhaps there are real forces in this universe such as those mentioned above as possible identities for my counsellor, and in that event I may well be constructing a persona which will act as a channel for these forces to communicate with me. Many systems of philosophy and religion do believe in beings (guardian angels, advanced spirits, God himself, and so on) who are always helping us, if we are but receptive enough to them, and who are waiting to communicate to us. I can only hope that this is true for the purposes of this journal (as in real life I desperately hope it is true, but in actual fact gravely doubt).
Meanwhile, whether it is true or not, the counsellor may well be able to guide me (whatever the real source of his wisdom and compassion). He is waiting for me now, and having written this foreword in order to focus the purpose and meaning of this journal in my mind (rather than to satisfy the curiosity of any sticky-beaks who may illegitimately pry into this journal), I will now (at 12.07 a.m. (real Eastern Standard time, not "daylight-saving" time (so-called)), on Tuesday, 9 January, 1990) go and make my acquaintance with him.
8 - 9 January, 1990.
Afterword (9 December, 1998):
I now find the close of this introduction rather strange, in particular the two parentheses in the final sentence.
I find myself wondering now why I put in the bit about sticky-beaks prying illegitimately into the journal. Because I live by myself, and am careful about where I leave private documents, it is most unlikely that anyone would read such documents without my permission. It seems to indicate an exaggerated fear on my part that someone will read it without my permission, and I will be greatly embarrassed, and fearful that they would find it foolish.
A few people have in fact read this document, and in every case it was with my permission; and in no case that I ever heard of did they find it foolish or embarrassing. I only hope they didn't take the "sticky-beak" label as being aimed at them; at least I did state that it applied to anyone "illegitimately" prying into the journal.
I can't help wondering if at least one purpose of the introduction was to tell other readers what I was aiming to do, to clarify it for them, in spite of the fact that I specifically said it was not for this purpose, but to focus my own mind. In fact, if I remember clearly, my mind didn't need focusing, and I was eager to get into the dialogue, but somehow felt I should write an introduction. (I could have written it later, it seems now, but I somehow thought at the time I should write it first.)
The other curious feature is the long parenthesis about daylight-saving time, which is not only irrelevant to the topic at hand, but also unbalances the sentence and distracts the reader. It is true that I was (and still am) strongly opposed to daylight-saving time; but it appears that I felt such a crusade against it that I needed to state my opposition to it with the slightest excuse (such as mentioning what time it was), regardless of whether it was an appropriate occasion to do so, and it would seem that I didn't want to take the slightest risk that anyone would think I was endorsing it simply by stating what time it was.
I can't say why I wanted to do this. But it just seemed funny, and worthy of comment.
The parentheses in the final sentence of this introduction seem to have a slightly belligerent tone to them, as if I'm saying to anyone who happens upon them: "Yeah? - you got any problems with that? Want to make something of it?" Perhaps it betrays a defensive attitude I had about channelling in general (indeed, about life in general), which probably stems from lack of self-confidence, and fear of what others may think.
I've done many channellings of my higher self since then, and am glad to be able to say I have a much calmer attitude about it now, and feel much less need to be defensive about what I am doing, although I would of course be selective about whom I showed my writing to.
As to the general quality of this possibly channelled dialogue, it may be a little less flowing in style than some writing of this sort I have done more recently, a little more defensive in the parts attributed to my ordinary self (the parts marked "ME"); but I still accept it as a valid channelling, in the sense that the ideas still seem valid to me, and it has as much (or as little) chance of being a real dialogue with my higher self as are my more recent dialogues.
Michael Edwards, December, 1998.
Tuesday, 9 January, 1990
[a] Thursday, 7 December, 2000 - "... if indeed that cliché of "who you are" means anything, which I 90% doubt...":
This passage may not be quite as clear in meaning to readers as it is to me. All I meant by the phrase "cliché of who you are" is that some people, especially those into New-Age thinking, with whom I identify to some extent, sometimes discuss the question of who you are as if it were a great and profound psychological or spiritual question. All I meant to imply here was that, phrased in that manner, I find the question rather meaningless, although I don't doubt that the people discussing the question may possibly in some cases be seeking ideas that I might find meaningful. But so often discussion about who you are descends into mere psycho-babble or New-Age hocus-pocus which conveys very little to me, at least.
Indeed, if someone asked me, "Who are you?", I would probably answer (if I thought the question worthy of an answer at all), "I'm Michael Edwards." But usually that is not at all what they were after, and it would probably sound a facetious answer to what was intended as a deep and serious question, and might sound as if I was deriding the idea. But I really wouldn't know what to answer to such a question. If I felt inclined to discuss the question, or at least to find out what the other person was getting at, I might then ask them what they meant by the question, and take it from there, depending on how they respond to that. [Back]
[b] Friday, 9 March, 2001 - "... but it's a bit like spirit mediums, you know...":
In spite of what I said, I am not so sure that what I described was like mediums at all. I implied that when a medium is channelling some spirit being, he or she receives general impressions from that entity, but has to use his or her own mind to find words to express those thoughts. I am not a medium myself, and do not know a lot about how the process works; but my understanding is that mediums vary in how they arrive at the words they speak or write. Perhaps some do receive only general thoughts, and then have to make up the sentences themselves with their own mind to express those thoughts; but I also believe some mediums really do receive the exact words from the being they are channelling.
I have been told once or twice by channellers that they just sit there in a receptive frame of mind and receive the words, almost like hearing someone else speak, and that their own mind is not active, does not construct sentences and words the way I implied. Such construction sounds rather akin to how a writer normally works, and some mediums would consider that, if their mind was actively expressing things in words like this, it would be a sign that their channelling was not pure and genuine, but rather that the thoughts were coming from their own mind. [Back]
[c] Friday, 9 March, 2001 - "... the fact that you will get lots of typing practice, if nothing else.":
This dialogue was written at a time when typing was not exactly new to me, as I had been typing at least three years or so - first on a typewriter, and then a computer. But obviously I still felt not quite at ease with it, and felt I was still rather prone to making mistakes I felt a truly skilled typist wouldn't make. [Back]
[d] Friday, 9 March, 2001 - "Mistakes due to tiredness are positively mangling my words...":
Something similar to this is said several times in the dialogues, because one of the effects tiredness has on me is a dramatic increase in both typing and grammar errors in my writing. Of course, all such errors are corrected in the final versions of my dialogues. [Back]
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This page created on Friday, 8 December, 2000;
annotations added or amended, or links to other pages added,
on occasions up to Friday, 9 March, 2001.