Yo ho ho and a bottle of … oops.
I promised that I would unveil the backtracks in my spiritual catalogue. Given that today is Samhain (Halloween’s Celtic name, pronounced: sa- ween), and I’ve had a lot of fun making fruitcakes go soggy recently, it’s probably time to put the hard light on some New Age fluff. The Ashtar Command and the teachings of the Ascended Masters is the one I’ve chosen to start with.
Star Date: April 1990
The New Age is everywhere in Australia. All over, New Age bookshops are opening, people are reading Shirley MaClean, Ramtha, Lazarus, channelling dolphin consciousness, reliving their past lives and starting to get into Native American spirituality (ahh… another fun-filled blog post I’ll keep up my sleeve). We’re busy buying crystals, doing reiki, going to workshops, floating around and getting in touch with out light bodies. It’s all love, light, bliss and no shadows.
That was me. (Apart from the channelling dolphin consciousness bit. Like Stuart Wilde, I put a can of tuna on my head, tried to channel tuna consciousness, and nothing happened. Bugger.).
I’d been on the spiritual path for about 2 years, done some meditation, some yoga, but mostly, I found (and continue to find) spirit when I’m walking or simply sitting in nature. However, at this stage, I was also into psychic development in a big way. I was reading the Seth books (which gave me migraines), and Australian author, Dawn Hill’s books and a few others I can’t even recall now. I was learning how to read Tarot – I’d been reading Runes since about 1984.
Friends of mine had a New Age bookstore in Bowral*, and asked if I’d like to ‘sit in circle’ with them. Every Monday night, they had a spiritual development circle, a two-hour long invite-only session where you meditated and basically, learned how to channel. I was overjoyed. Yes, I must be making progress on the spiritual path, they’ve asked me to join! So eagerly, off I go.
I should state here, that, in retrospect, there were a number of observable steps you had to pass in order to be ‘advanced’ enough to sit in circle. The first, although it was never voiced, was to be reading the right material. You could be seen to be reading the ‘right stuff’ because you’d be buying it from my friends’ shop or discussing these books with them. Then there was a regular meditation practice, and finally, you had to be in touch with your ‘Guides’.
*yes, I’m a Bowral girl, but 7 years in Alice Springs has cured me of pretentious wankerism.
So I go along to Circle, and sure enough, begin to channel. One of the entities that I channel is very ethereal and like holding onto a thread of long, fine mist. Another is solid and comes through very easily.
It amuses me for about two years. Unfortunately, it’s effortless and so easy, I am unable to ever truly convince myself that what I’m channelling is anything but myself (or the can of tuna I placed on my head!).
Star Date: 1990 and a bit
Don’t worry, this won’t be year-by-year!
Solara is the BIG thing. We are all getting in touch with angels, light bodies, and preparing for the 11:11, and the massive change in planetary consciousness that is going to take place after that.
I go to Solara’s 2 day workshop in Sydney. The woman is engaging, but I soon realise, completely loopy. The lights are on, and she’s beamed out. She seems to have trouble with sensorimotor things, like knowing where you are and which way is up. We learn some fun things with energy, and her guided meditations are good for inducing altered states, but it’s at Solara’s workshop that I begin to notice the slight screwiness of what I’m getting into.
We have to channel our angel names. We’re sitting about in a massive circle of about 250 people. In the middle of people channelling their angel names, person by person around the circle, a sensible-looking (!) middle-aged woman on the opposite side of the hall stands up abruptly and announces: I am the Supreme Commander Ashtar (something something) of the (something something) fleet! And promptly bursts into tears.
There is embarrassed silence, some adoring applause, but I’m holding back a fit of giggling. That woman is a nutjob, I am thinking and: I want to laugh. I really, really want to laugh.
I can still remember my angel name: Anstara Lumara kali-ra
Do you think I was hedging a few spiritual bets?
Star Date: 1991-ish
My friends who own the bookstore, and some of their friends, have an angel/Ascended Master group, and I’m invited along. It’s held on an amazing property outside of Bowral, near a place called Exeter. In 1991,you couldn’t buy a house on acres in Exeter for less than $1million dollars (I’m sure it’s much more now). So these people aren’t hippy drop outs, nor can they be deemed as unsuccessful by the standard of most contemporary Australians. They seem nice, normal (wealthy!) people.
I go along to a couple of these gatherings. We sing “El-O-heeeeem!!” and do Solara’s guided meditations. Someone channels the Archangel Gabriel, and there’s all this talk of the Ashtar Command, the Urantia (a dense tome) and another book whose name I’ve forgotten (it’s like the Urantia .. I think is started with a ‘P’), and ascending in our light bodies. The main aim seems to be to channel any holy figure you possibly can and to get the hell out of your human body into your light body ASAP.
It’s too freaky for me. I don’t go back*.
*Although I will admit to buying a second hand copy of the Urantia, I honestly can’t say that I ever read all that much of it. Now, in 2008, I can’t even tell you what it’s about!
My freak-o-meter suspicions are confirmed when the woman whose house we were visiting is given a message by Lord Sananda (an embodiment of Jesus) to leave her home and family and prepare for ascension.
Eighteen months later, she’s still living in a caravan in Forster (northern NSW beaches), waiting to be beamed up. You never know, maybe, if you visit Forster, in a caravan, somewhere, she’s still waiting…
Actually, living in a caravan in Forster wouldn’t be all that bad… Maybe the channelled message was just an excuse…
Star Date: 1995
I’ve stopped going to anything remotely like channelling or Ascended Masters gatherings. I’m into shamanism, Native American spirituality and Wicca. But somehow…
I meet some really nice people who are into Native American spirituality …and the teachings of the Ascended Masters. Some members of this group were into the Ashtar Command; others were into the Summit Lighthouse teachings.
Ok. I bought some of the Summit Lighthouse books, did the Violet Flame meditation, but the more I saw and read about Elizabeth Clare Prophet, the more she (and the whole organisation) reminded me of TV Evangelism.
I stopped going, stopped seeing anyone from those groups.
Incidentally, one of the women in this group was fond of coming up to people she knew in the shopping mall, giving them a hug and saying: goodbye, I’m going soon… Meaning that she was going to ascend.
As far as I know, she’s still waiting.
In the cynical eyes of a 41 year old who’s been to hell and back, recalling the spiritual antics of her 20s is both amusing and instructive.
I decided back in 1991 these people were nutjobs (like the fundies). I am still of that opinion. Why?
For me, there is no such thing as salvation and you aren’t going to be beamed up to one of the thousands of spaceships orbiting the Earth. You are here and now.
Also, the Starfleet hierarchy is just… what can I say? It’s straight out of Star Trek. If you don’t know what I mean, check out the Ashtar Command’s websites. I am amazed that they don’t wear uniforms. Oh that’s right, the Raelians thought of that first.
These groups are often evangelical. They actively promote the seeking of new members, just like the fruitcakes. Unlike the fruitcakes, however, if you decide to leave, you ain’t gonna burn in hell. You are free to go any time you like, and your friends will still talk to you, accepting that you’re on a different path.
They also don’t have much to say about the BAD things in life, about sin, evil – whatever. It’s almost as if, with their denial of bad, they are trying to cancel out the Christian fundie’s obsession with everything -the entire world- as being bad, and their denial of anything good in the world (except Jesus, who as far as I’m aware, isn’t currently in the building).
If I have to say anything on a professional level, following university studies of religion, anthropology and sociology, it would be that these groups are very much a New Age response to some aspects of contemporary Christianity. They attempt to address the hell-fire-and-brimstone of fundamentalism, with a more inclusive and pluralistic message. They acknowledge that there are many ascended masters, from numerous religious traditions. They also place emphasis on the promotion of female divinity. Through these groups, you can be involved as a ‘lightworker’, but you don’t have to give up Jesus as your Saviour. You could even argue that they are a kind of mystical Christian sect/thought. They draw heavily on the Bible and other Christian teachings (the Gnostic Scriptures, especially). They are also very influenced by Theosophy – check out who these people are channelling.
But they are filled with nutjobs. Nutjobs who channel Supreme Commander Zodan of the Second Imperal Fleet, Orion Brigade, Rigel, Castor and Pollux Battalions. They tell you that they’re going to ascend (while you have to stay here, condemned to a mortal death), meaning of course, that they’re better and higher than thou.
Which they ain’t. They just are. Just like you n me.
What’s the score in the cricket?
Well aren’t you just all post-a-rama at the moment? Don’t worry about me, I’m jealous. I’ve got a handful of half-finished drafts just begging for some attention! A new job’ll do that to a girl.
Fantastic post – I might have to do a response post of my own, I have plenty of cringe-worthy moments on my early “spiritual” path to share…
Have to say tho… I’m one Aussie who can’t share your love of cricket. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…………..
I have a badly infected tooth and I’m not well 😦
the doctor gave me a long lecture on abcesses and brain infections!! I’m on mega-penicillin at the moment
I’ve been home for a couple of days feeling sorry for myself and just writing….
Please post about cringe-worthy!! It makes me laugh. Which is good.
Yeah, I’m just playing with the cricket thing. I like cricket, but I’m not ferverent. Not like some of those AFL people 😉
Ouch, infected anything ain’t good. Hope the pennicillin doesn’t kill too much of the good stuff. My recent experiences with heavy drugs weren’t fantastic… but that’s not really a topic for a public forum!
So… you not busy eh? Write me that email already!
Oh and… I think I tolerate football, coz I have to living here… but I’m no footy fan. ;P
Hi Amanda and friends,
The word “Urantia” popped up on my Google alert and led me here. I’ve studied the Urantia Book for 42 years and never channeled; just too much of a science geek I guess. Most of the folks in the Urantia community are pretty ordinary but there are a few channelers. They mostly have their own organizations and seem mostly harmless (great book title Mr. Adams : )
The Urantia Book has been a great source of spiritual enlightenment for me. It’s given me hope that the universe has purpose and meaning; it’s not some great cosmic joke. I also feel confident that I’ll go to the next level and keep growing spiritually if I don’t reject God’s guidance. Thanks to the book I also have come to feel that Jesus was not only a great teacher, but a really amazing human being. He seemed to channel God in some way.
But everyone has to find the path to enlightenment that suits him or her. For me it was/is the Urantia Book.
Please check out my video, Jesus: The Unknown Years at the spiritual fellowship website.
Thanks for dropping by and writing a decent and thoughtful comment.
You sound like you’ve found your path, are very secure and confident on that path without being threatened by anyone else’s path. That makes this anthropologist very happy. You’re very welcome here 🙂
Unfortunately, my human mind has erased the neural connections that contained anything useful about the Urantia from within! But I at least hope you had a laugh at my experiences (I know I did!).
Yes, I think channellers are, in the words of Mr Adams, Mostly Harmless. By and large, the channelling crowd aren’t out there preaching fear and hatred of anyone else… but I still don’t think the spaceships are orbitting the Earth.
I will check out your website & video over the next few days. If you ever think of the name of that other book, let me know. It’s bugging me now!
Could the book you’re thinking of be the Oahspe Book? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oahspe It’s been around for a while. I hear that it’s very anti-Catholic.
Oh, other reasons I like the Urantia Book: The authors take a very dim view of the Atonement Doctrine; it’s a terrible insult to God. Also, the book fully supports evolution, though they say that the origin of life isn’t accidental; it’s part of the grand plan. As an anthropolgist, you might find the parts of the book that detail the development of religion, the family, and civilization of interest.
Had an interesting conversation yesterday with two young Morman missionaries. If I’d have been thinking a bit faster, I would have told them I’d read their book if they’d read mine : ) The other thing I forgot to say was: Believing something doesn’t make it true. I know that applies as much to me as to them. My present self-designation is Unitarian Universalist theist.
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