Channeling: The Blarney Test
Most people in the English-speaking world are familiar with the term “Blarney”. It is the name of a castle in Ireland and also of The Blarney Stone. When someone spins a wild tale to entertain his fellows – usually in a Pub – his listeners are likely to say that the tale-spinner had “kissed the Blarney Stone” an action that is said to increase eloquence, bestow “the gift of the gab”, or so blur the difference between “reality” and fantasy that the speaker can no longer tell the difference. In other words, he is sincerely deluded at best. Related expressions abound: “Ach, Blarney!”, “Kissed the stone twice did ye, Laddie”? “You were baptised too close to the Stone for your own good, man!” The Blarney Test is the subjection of extraordinary claims to ordinary logic and common sense. Next to Intuition, they are our best guides to the actual over the fanciful.
Channeling: The Blarney Test
I couldn’t deny my Celtic heritage even if I wanted to and these days, at least, I don’t want to. That wasn’t always the case. The Gael are a contentious lot and, for me, the personification of the duality of human consciousness: litigious to a fault (“left brained”) yet poetic and imaginative (“right-brained”), capable of harsh discipline yet subject to sentimental excess, the staunchest of believers but also the harshest of heretics when we find that much of what we were told we must “take on faith” is based on circular reasoning and wishful thinking. The Gael have a short fuse for slights and a long memory for betrayal but, above all, we have a weakness for the lyrical, the “miraculous”, the appeal of the Platonic idea that the world we see is not the one we live in.
Channeling: The Blarney Test
Gaels live half in and half out of the visible world. At some level of our psyches we still believe that our land houses an unseen population of sentient life forms, the noble Sidhe, “the Wee People” and various sub-groups such as “brownies”, water sprites, guardians of wells and bridges, etc. Their world parallels ours with one exception: the ability to use Magic both to reward and to punish. It is this magical realm that forms the Gaelic/Celtic imagination and connects us deeply to our history, to the earth, and to our peculiar belief system which is also our culture’s Achilles’ heel. In contrast to our love of the mysterious and mystical, Gaels also prize Learning as the history of Druids, Bards, and Ovates attests. There has always been something sacred to the Celts in the use of language, both spoken and written, that found expression in the Illuminated Manuscripts produced by Irish Monasteries in the late Dark Ages and Medieval period. Until we write it down, language is invisible – like the Celtic “otherworld”. Making thought visible, therefore, has something of the miraculous in it. How can a set of arbitrary lines and squiggles on a page possibly convey abstract thought? “They just can” is not an answer. And so we live with a paradox, language that refers to things seen and also to things unseen. Can both be “real”?
Knowledge, Belief, or Delusion: Which Is Which?
Those of us who abandoned formal religion because of a lack of plausible proofs for its claims prefer evidence to speculation. Where evidence is lacking, we must leave the question open to further discoveries. Although we have, as a species, amassed a vast amount of information about the universe we can observe, there is very little we can say with certainty is “true”. A hundred years ago, the notion of a quantum universe was scorned by “scientists” who confused what has been discovered thus far with the final word on the nature of the universe. Science had become a religion for them and the discovery of quantum reality where visual evidence is not all there is, was a sort of heresy. “What you see is what you get” had acquired an addendum: “Absence of proof is not proof of absence”. What Science fears above all else is the irrational and the not directly observable quantum world which was soon to add concepts such as “Quarks have ‘charm'” would deeply challenge much of what had been thought unchanging truisms about our universe. In the pre-quantum period, knowledge had become belief and the primary goal of science which is Truth had become confused with an incomplete theory of ‘reality’.
If even scientists can confuse knowledge with belief, how vulnerable are the rest of us to that error and the worse one: turning private beliefs and perceptions into cherished Delusions. No one likes to be made a fool of and yet even those who have left religion behind can accept a new set of beliefs based on even less proof than religion offered! And so we have tens of thousands of people who rejected religious beliefs now accepting unquestioningly assertions such as the existence of extra-terrestrial beings like “Arcturians, Pledieans, Lemurians, Atlanteans”, etc. without a shred of proof beyond the “channeled” utterances of those who claim contact with these alleged beings. How can “channeled” material be tested for validity? It can’t. Quantum theory was a coherent concept with mathematical and atomic proofs of its validity and as sceptics began testing those proofs they discovered more aspects of quantum reality and the search for the theory of everything was on. Our concepts of reality had been radically changed. That is the defining feature of our lives now: the study of appearances vs the unseen reality behind it. And always, realiance on at least mathematical proofs to keep us from stumbling off the path into the dark shadows of irrational beliefs that are the domain of religion and what has come to be called ‘New Age Spirituality’. Enter the Blarney Stone…
Ramtha, ‘Abraham’, ‘LaZARus’, etc.
I would be the first to admit that I love the idea of all manner of sentient life forms communicating with us but I want something more than the assurance that the “channeller” is sincere. After all, it is quite possible to be sincerely deluded. It happens all the time. Look at spouses who feel that their partners are cheating on them but accept the partners reassurance that all is well. Deep down, we know they are seeing someone else but that knowledge is so painful that we prefer a delusion to accepting reality. I think the same thing happens with much of what spiritual people accept as plausible or even “true”. The idea that we might have no resources on earth than other human ones is scary – very scary when one takes into account such things as random shootings, gang violence, religious extremism, and the uncountable wars fought by the sincerely deluded in the name of some national or personal belief system.
Living As If…
Are there other sentient life forms trying to communicate with us? I’d love to think so and I think there might be unseen sentient energies/beings around but I cannot prove it so I cannot assert it as true. I can, however, live as if they might exist.
Do we know enough to say categorically that no sentient beings exist outside the human race? No, we don’t. What we can say is that we are persuaded by personal experience that there seem to be forms of consciousness that might impinge on our consciousness as protective energies and that we personify them as Angels, Devas, and all manner of nature spirits and ‘channeled’ entities. As long as we remain aware that it is we who attribute reality to these hypothetical entities that may or may not have an independent existence outside our own sub-conscious minds, we can indulge our desire to communicate with such potential energies. What we need to avoid is the assertion that “channeled” material is THE truth.
Honest doubt is preferable to the delusion of certainty where none exists. Can you believe the ‘information’ supposedly coming from other dimensions and delivered to wrapt audiences by ‘channelers’? Why not apply The Blarney Test and decide for yourself.
© Delia O’ Riordan 2014
Photo credit: Guilhem D., Wikpedia Commons.