Skepticism drives validation

Currently, I’m going through a fairly highly skeptical period, a time of “crisis of faith,” as those who have been religious have called it. My skepticism has spiked in large part because I’m very uncomfortable with what I view as a continuous pressure to accept any and all things that come out of the “New Age” community. I’m having enough difficulties in attempting to validate one series of teachings without taking on all of the rest of it, especially since I consider most of it a form of speculative fiction designed to create a sense of religion and to definitely earn some fairly substantial incomes for those in the catbird seats.

So, it was with amusement that I read the following from EdH: “We have also had over the years various iterations of, one one side, Troy and Geraldine, and sometimes others, who are coming from a place of great uncomfortableness with spiritual practices, meditation, healing techniques, and anything new age in general because they are seeing these as ‘religion’, or a slippery slope to religion, with religion meaning everything bad that’s ever been done by organized religions or by fools and zealots in its name–vs. on the other side, people like Kath [Neall] and Terri Benning and me and others who are seeing all the positive spiritualist possibilities.” And, yes, it does sum me up, as far as it goes. And, I would disagree with his “we-they” assessment of negative versus positive. I consider it more an issue of unvalidated wishful thinking or belief systems that are simply swallowed wholesale with a lot of bobble-headed nodding.  He neglected to mention his previous years in Scientology nor his enthusiastic support of the two Davids — David Ickes and David Wilcock — and all of their theories about 2012 and how Reptilian aliens have taken over governments. Positive?

There is an old trick in marketing, that I would call “mirroring.” An older French wine salesman taught it to me, but it works in many circumstances. During a winetasting, the salemen carefully monitors the other person’s process of sniffing and then tasting and offers very positive enthusiastic feedback, such as “incredible bouquet, yes?” or “tastes delicious, doesn’t it?” which causes the potential customer to nod and respond accordingly. Few are willing to be the “butthead” and unless something is truly offensive, most will play along.  This includes those involved in New Age practices, such as feeling energies, whether it be chakras or lovely sparkly crystals. Unfortunately, most do not understand that this is not validating.

This is not to say that many do not feel “something,” but are they interpreting what they sense or feel particularly accurately, or is it based on something someone else has told them that it means? Is it part of an unquestioned belief system?

Recently, I’ve been spending time reading through the online archives of “Skeptical Inquirer.” It’s a fruitful endeavor for those who would believe without question people such as Sylvia Browne, Jonathan Edwards, or even good ole “Chariots of the Gods” favorite, von Daniken. Those links are only to a single article about each, not all of the articles that have been published on CSI.

I’m caught in my own firestorm of skepticism about Michael. First and foremost, can I validate that ANY of the channels has brought through information that I can validate in “some” part? Secondly, and nearly as importantly, can I validate that ANY of the channels are actually entering into a trance state that presupposes them being total hoaxes? Do I consider all types of channeling to be equal, i.e., deep trance vs semi-conscious, automatic writing, Ouija Board, or even the pendulum of yes/no answers?  If I can accept Michael, at least in part, why can’t I accept things that are supposedly of equal value, i.e., other entities, non-Michael channels, or various practices such as Astrology, Numerology, and/or Tarot, let alone religions with all sorts of supernatural divine interventions?

My answer is quite simple, I’ve only worked hard to validate answers from Michael, through a combination of internal and external sources. I can validate SOME information from Michael that I knew absolutely nothing about prior to reading Michael. I can validate even more than I’d already figured out on my own, but had not studied up or researched. I do believe that Troy enters a full and deep enough trance to be totally disengaged from the world around him or his conscious mind, partially because others whom I trust have attested to it, and partially due to videos that have been posted. I cannot say the same for any of the others; so, I’d have to say that I cannot validate them or their work all that well.

As for the plethora of New Age channels available via books and online, unless I spent an equal amount of time studying them, at this point I simply cannot validate them. I certainly cannot validate some of their fear-based 2012 material. I could be wrong, guess we’ll find out. It’s not to say that some of their work doesn’t have value, but I don’t have the time or energy to explore further afield at this time.  I certainly know that I don’t accept them as external sources of validation for things Michael has said. So, quoting some other source to “prove” Michael doesn’t work for me, unless I’m willing to deep read and study that source and then come up with a level of validation for ALL of their teachings.

Similarly, as I do not sense energies or have unusual supernatural type experiences, I cannot validate any of the standard occult or New Age practices, such as Astrology, Tarot, or Numerology, beyond some basic levels. I’m willing to consider that something more is at play; however, I do not have the time or energy to deep study them. I definitely do not go along with those who have added all of the “sparkles” or “glittery” backgrounds and “Love, Love, Love,” sentiments. Anyone can write bad prose and design ugly websites.

The only reason that I was attracted to Michael is because they lack all of the “woowoo” sentiments. Even their Truth, Love, Energy Logos information is quite matter-of-fact and falls completely within the realm of this being the ultimate goal, the universal truths that we will eventually achieve. Being an avid student of history, I see no evidence for the Anne Frank viewpoint that “people are basically good.” I don’t see people as basically bad, either, simply caught up in ego, false personality, and Maya and capable of believing the damnedest things and committing totally insane acts.

So, I’m back to square 32 — I can validate “some” Michael. But, just because someone else claims that they’re channeling the Infinite Soul or are working to become the next host for the Infinite Soul, hardly makes me think that they’ve got a clue as to what Michael is all about. I’ll keep applying skepticism.

19 comments to Skepticism drives validation

  • Hey, hey, G. I couldn’t help but jump on this, as I have studied and continue to study and validate all of these teachings you mentioned:

    “Similarly, as I do not sense energies or have unusual supernatural type experiences, I cannot validate any of the standard occult or New Age practices, such as Astrology, Tarot, or Numerology, beyond some basic levels.”

    You do not need to be able to “sense energy” or have “unusual supernatural type experiences” to be able to validate any of these teachings!

    Each of these teachings that you mentioned can be validated quite easily within the proper context.

    With Astrology you can quite easily and quickly learn what the basic symbolism is and study your own chart and find validation. And this would not take a great deal of time. What takes more time is validating the TRANSITS because, by their very nature, it takes time to watch the cycles of transits and events (inner and outer) in your life unfold. If it is seen as a teaching that provides insight into your personality’s design and the cyclical unfolding of certain patterns of influence, validation comes very easily.

    With Tarot, it is the same. But perhaps it would take a little longer for validation, which is why most tarot-ists, including myself, advise beginners to pull one card a day that will reflect the day in some way and journal about your insights as they relate to the symbolism of the card. Over time, you begin to validate the reflective nature of the cards and how they mirror you and life…espcially when you are experiecing intensity of concern, challenge, questions, emotions, etc.

    And the same goes for numerology. A little bit of time learning the symbolism and studying your own numerological chart would give simple validation. And then to validate the teachings about the cycles and timing (as with Astrology) would take more time.

    But with none of these teachings do you need to be able to sense energies or have supernatural or extraordinary experiences to be able to validate.

    With all of these teachings, because they all deal with universal truths, they all have branches that focus more on elaborate metaphysical conepts, truths, and practices, but one does not have to accept these concepts in order to validate that the teachings are useful and insightful.

    My first layer of validation for Astrology was not because I sensed any energy or had a supernatural experience (thought the experience of being SEEN at a very deep level was quite extraordinary for me at the time…I was 16yo). It was because the interpretations and descriptions of the symbolism for my moon sign (scorpio) was so accurate and personal, that I immediately felt CONNECTED to something larger than myself…something with an ORDER and a LOVING NATURE.

    By the way, Astrology, Numerology, and Tarot are not “New Age” Neither is Reiki…

    New Age concepts and beliefs are attached to these teachings by some people. I understand that each of these teachings had an explosion in the mass consciousness back in the 70′s…which is why they are lumped into the “New Age.” But these teachings (except for the Reiki System of Natural Healing, which was created by Mikao Usui in the 1920′s) have been around for a VERY LONG TIME.

    For me, validating these teachings was just as simple as validating the overleaves within the Michael Teachings:-)

  • Oh, and to clarify-

    The Reiki System of Natural Healing was created in Japan in the 1920′s by Mikao Usui…but REIKI or spiritual/subtle energy had been channeled, directed, worked with (however one likes to look at it) for a VERY LONG TIME just like with Astrology, Tarot, and Numerology.

  • You’re missing the point, Nicholas. Validation is up to each person. What YOU can validate only works for you, and will be based on your own experiences, overleaves, personal truths (as none of these things are global or universal truths,) and belief systems. Our belief systems are Gorgon knots of delusion much of the time — they work like intricate switches of self-validating, i.e., if one works, it’ll trip the next one. It’s doesn’t make any one belief more valid than the next if they are mutually tripping each other. I cannot validate these things beyond the most simplest of levels. Every discussion that I’ve gotten into over Astrology eventually veers into various systems, such as tropical or sidereal, or different methods of looking at houses, etc. I have the advantage of hindsight, I’ve lived most of my life. At this point, I’ve yet to see a horoscope that is close to 80% accurate, in fact, I’m being generous if I gave a 50% mark.

    I realize that these teachings have gotten lumped into New Age, but it’s “New Age” that keeps pushing them and claiming that they are high truths. I’m actually waiting for Maureen to finish getting all of her questions on Houses answered via Michael, and maybe the Planets, and then having her work up my horoscope. She has deep experience in studying both Astrology and Michael teachings, and it should be an interesting exercise. At that point, I might be able to validate Astrology, but until then, I’m not going to bother with it. I’ve found Michael’s overleaf system to be far more fruitful for understanding individuals.

  • Elaine

    *Applauds*

    I’ve been in a great big wave of skepticism for a while now, and I don’t see myself growing out of it anytime soon. As I have begun to rid myself of every single little piece of imprinting or “belief” I’ve experienced voids of dark emptiness, depression. Wishing I could just believe, because it would be so much easier.

    Then I come back to what I have learnt from you (I’m sure it was you :) ) That each must find their own truth and that truth/reality has so little to do with any one else’s.

    I realised that I am starting to greatly question the Michael Teachings, the validity of channeling etc etc. And in doing that I am stepping into a thorny patch of perception as the general philosophy has been one constant during my life the past 12 years that has given things meaning.

    I came to the conclusion that even if the whole of the Teachings is just a philosophy thought up by some clever people and expanded upon since then by some other clever people, and even if it has no “otherworldly” nature, or there is no such thing as a true channel. Even then… It does not necessarily become a lie. For me that is.

    Because as long as it has a positive influence in my life, and it is something I can apply in order to find happiness, and contentment, then it is valid to me. Right now at least.

    The more I come to that understanding the less disturbed I feel by whatever other wack-a-doodle belief others may have.

    I saw someone comment on the horrific actions of some fundamentalist Christians a while ago, saying “If only everyone could be as tolerant as Atheists”

    I had to giggle though because I have found Atheists to be extremely intolerant of anything that has the slightest bit of belief attached to it, be it Religion, new agey whatevers, or even natural and herbal healers.

    So I choose to find a middle ground where I can be skeptical, judge something with open eyes, and no delusions, but still recognize that even though it doesn’t work for me it doesn’t mean it doesn’t work for my neighbor.

    And even if it DOES work for me it doesn’t mean it works for my neighbor or that I am right. ( I know you’ve said all of that at one point or another as well)

    I don’t refute Blind Belief. I equate it with Hope. I refute Blind Belief described as Fact.

    Okay so that all said and done, and seeing as I pretty much agree with you I gotta ask.

    In your opening statement you say “My skepticism has spiked in large part because I’m very uncomfortable with what I view as a continuous pressure to accept any and all things that come out of the “New Age” community”

    No one can put any pressure on you without you allowing that pressure. So shake it off. Water from a duck’s back :)
    XXX

    • Thank you, Elaine.

      Last night the full storm of my feelings broke. I had been stifling them for quite sometime, and finally, the rage ripped through. I’d been tamping it down, in an ever-increasing cycle of attempting to find the middle-ground. As is usual once the storm breaks, the reasons become apparent, and it was once again revealed as “false expectations.” I was focusing some of it AT the Michael Teachings, rather than where it really belonged.

      Truthfully, the Michael Teachings have not been disappointing to me. I’ve gained a great deal of value out of them. They make both emotional and intellectual sense to me. But, now, in retrospect, I can see why I targeted them, too. My disappointment was in others — people who claim to be students, and whom I now see AS stduents, just bogged down in the usual culprits of negative poles, ego, false personality, and Maya. I was expecting more out of them. I was expecting more out of me, too. I thought my days of ripping raging intolerance were behind me. I thought my expectations that others should do as I expected were behind me. Once again, I have to acknowledge that I have NO control over what anyone else chooses. Truly. If you want to believe that the moon is made out of green cheese, it IS made out of green cheese for you. If you are willing to get sucked into high drama with others, get all upset and let it take over your life, then, do it. If you want to believe that Santy Claus comes on December 25th, may he bring you more than one toy.

      Similarly, if I want to examine in detail and disbelief as part of the process of validation, that’s my choice. I cannot expect others to take validation as seriously as I do. It’s part of MY Life Task. It’s part of why Essence chose to create this set of overleaves for me. It’s also taken me a lifetime to get to this point. I’m not the same person I was 40 years ago. It took many highly reactive moments of rejection to temper my Discrimination to one of discernment, looking for the details and nuances, and a whole lot more “maybes,” or even “improbables.”

      As Bobby reminded me this morning in an email, with this quote from a “Facets of Personality,” OMW quote:

      The irony that many students miss in the process of working toward True Personality, the manifestation of the Personality in the Positive Poles, is that the Positive Poles INCLUDE the Negative Poles. The Positive Poles do not move away from the Negative, nor do they rise above them, or any other means of separation; they INCLUDE them.

      So in the process of aiming for the Positive Poles, you will “circle back” to include the Negative Poles; however in that experience from the Positive Poles, you would understand, accept, utilize, navigate, and embrace the reality of the spectrum of who you are, how you feel, etc.

      There will be times that you do not feel whole, do not feel aware, do not choose to take the higher road, etc., but when the Positive Poles have come to be a regular part of the Personality, then those experiences are seen for what they are: temporary, relative to the moment, and informative of your feelings, thoughts, presence.

      There is no sense of being consumed, overwhelmed, trapped.

  • Hmmmm…Geraldine, I had not thought of it the way you put it…in terms of what you need to validate being different than what I need.

    So, are you saying that for you to be able to validate these other teachings like Astrology, you need to be able to sense energies or have supernatural experiences?

    My main point was that that is not necessary…but I guess your point is that it is not necessary FOR ME. lol

    And I agree with you, whole-heartedly, that the Michael Teachings overleaf system and IMs satisfy more than Astrology, Tarot, and Numerology put together.

    But I so love to study them all and see how they validate each other (in my world:-) at times, and how they connect and help to illuminate each other:-)

    This has been a VERY insightful week-with all this mtORG shenanigans. It is truly helping me to see exactly what you wrote about after the dam of rage broke in you…

    Everybody is free to choose…and no matter what we choose in reponse to others choosing, it doesn’t change the fact that they are still free to choose whatever they want.

    Myself, I’m going to stick with PEACE…and continue to strive for more and more consistent moments of ESSENCE MANIFESTATION and AGAPE.

  • Nic — Let’s see if we can get past our basic misunderstanding. Perhaps, I was unclear in what I meant when I listed “some” of the practices. I didn’t mean that any one person would necessarily do all of them. I didn’t necessarily mean to exclude other ones, either. Just because YOU resonated to all of those in particular only means that they are part of your belief system, and however you arrived at them was through your own particular path. How you validated them was your own series of criteria. This is the one thing I’m trying to get across — validation is highly unique. It’s very specific to each person’s reality. It’s part and parcel of all that they’ve experienced (or not experienced,) all that they’ve believed (or not believed,) etc.

    For example, if YOU saw the “Face of God” to be in a giant sunflower, and one sprouted and grew in your front yard, you’d attach special meaning to it. Many passersby might see it and say, “Oh, how nice, a sunflower.” One person, who started sneezing, might say, “Oh! Great! I’m allergic to that damned sunflower and I have to walk by it everyday!” Three might notice it’s solar-tropic tendencies (follow the sun as it moves across the sky) and suddenly begin believing that God was the Sun and that the Sunflower was showing them the way. Each of you would validate your perception of the sunflower based on your own personal existing or developing belief systems.

    The fact that you are both focusing on a part of what I said and feel that it was addressed specifically to you says more about your own beliefs than anything I said or meant. I just grabbed up a handful of “New Age” practices that are very commonplace and tossed them into a sentence. I’m well aware that they’ve been around far longer. I could have used other things as examples, but I chose those simply because most understand them as basic concepts. I could have chosen crystals, dietary practices, or “whatever,” equally easily. In fact, energies runs the gamut of various healing practices, to chakras, to crystals, to “whatever,” too — based on your own experiences, you chose it to mean Reiki.

  • I agree with all that. We’re having a mercury-retrograde exchange. lol

  • OK! And, one more point that I didn’t really clarify is “how much” or “how many” points each of us might utilize to come to a conclusion of validation varies widely. For some, based on their existing belief systems, they may only need 3 matching points, either internally or externally to have an “Ah-HA!” moment. Others may need 132 or 53, or there will never be enough as it runs counter to what they already hold dear. For a fundamentalist Christian who believes that the entire Bible is the “word of God,” they will block on the basic idea of Michael, an Entity on the Causal Plane.

    It’s funny, I probably am closer to accepting a basic concept of some theory of creationism than ever before due to Michael and the Tao, but it’s NOTHING like what is laid out in Genesis. And, it is still highly contextual on billions of years of evolution and development, and even includes a handful of “interventions.” But, I know that I cannot ever have a “matching up the points” conversation with most Christians. Our points of validation are simply too different. Similarly, at this time, my basic skeptical outlook (a slide from Idealism) probably bars me from accepting a whole lot of more “New Age” ideas because I don’t experience them either internally or externally the same as some who do accept them.

    Therein lies the reason that I started a “Validating Michael” blog. It opened the doors to all different types of validation, but ONLY from my own perspective. It’s only my quest. Some will relate to parts of it as they share a similar reality at least on those points. Part of the mission is simply to encourage everyone who reads this to think beyond simple acceptance and “taking for granted” that what they believe is “the truth.”

  • And that’s why I love you and this blog! ;-)

  • elaine

    Ditto Nicholas : )

  • Ed Hamerstrom

    I don’t disagree with most of what you have written except for two points. 1) I have no use for David Icke. He looks at all the conspiracy info through negative poles, IMHO. More importantly I have never, ever said anywhere either verbally or in writing or on the internet that I liked David Icke.

    Maybe it’s an honest mistake, but it looks a lot like my 2nd point: the tactic of focusing on the existence of fools, charlatans and crooks that you can find associated with any idea or practice, new age or otherwise. Of course there are some of those to be found but their existence and/or their ridiculousness or outrageousness doesn’t in any way diminish the validity of the mainstream of the group.

    Using negative stereotypes doesn’t serve one well in the long run. In fact it is a well-known disinformation tactic of intelligence services to create and promote completely ridiculous weird stories so that they can then dump on the larger world of conspiracy theorists by saying they are fools who believe stuff like the nonsense they had just created.

    All the best, Ed

  • DianeH

    As someone who has experience with feeling energies and doing readings, I’m well aware that the highly ephemeral and emotional nature of this work will rarely provide concrete proof to anyone who is fixed on scientific skepticism. I also came to the realization that most new age beliefs are no different from religious faith in the sense that they are passed on without question and protected with defensiveness and insistence. A lot of them are personal truths passed on as global/universal truths.

    For instance, every healing modality has a story about how it works. In Reiki, you connect to universal life force through an attunement and use of symbols. In Theta Healing, you “go to the 7th plane” and ask “the Creator” for information and healing. In the Berkeley Psychic Institute method of healing, you connect with a spirit guide who then connects to universal energy and performs the healing. My experience with these healing methods is that they all work to a certain extent, but do I know whether their interpretation of the spiritual world is real? NO. And I don’t know that their stories have anything to do with how or why they work. All I really know about the non-physical world is what I’ve experienced, which do not include anything with any sort of concreteness I associate with the physical universe.

  • Thanks, Diane. I like this viewpoint, a lot. And, part of my problem may very well be with the “story” and all of the “WooWoo” associated with a practice than with the results of the practice itself. It’s been hard for me to isolate the two elements — the backstory vs what have been discernable validations. Also, as you well know, healing as a practice has a very long history of severe “woowoo” or mumbo jumbo attached to it. This may be why modern medicine is so “unsatisfying” to so many. It is so hygienic and sterile, it lacks the magic and incantations, it lacks the supernatural. How much can this little bottle of pills actually DO? I’ll be thinking on it.

  • SMILE OR DIE (the dark side of POSITIVE THINKING)

    This video provides the strongest argument yet that Realists and Skeptics might have against us happy-go-lucky Spiritualists, esp impt as the silly season creeps up once again. All I can say is that for me, spirit is only relevant socially (can’t love the Creator and hate Its creation, etc.) so anything we claim to manifest beyond the limits of our conscious perception is delusional if mutually exclusive. In other words, if I only believe in and act to serve myself and satiate my ego’s desires, without concern for any repercussions in the social and material environment supporting my existence, it’s not truly POSITIVE THINKING — as in sustainable across space and over time — and I am deluded to assume I am not undermining my own survival to ignore any ‘unacceptably uncomfortable’ experiential realities in my life. Spiritualists devote themselves to verifying the higher ideals and perfections that inspire them, initially through their harsh lessons in blind faith to the zealous authorities and traditions disseminating these higher concepts, and finally by enjoining the collective support of our Commons and ramping up energies and momentum with True Inspirations from our common destiny that we can all relate to personally with actual experience. For this priest-cast king there can certainly be no more deluding myself and others with wack buzz-kills like “being incarnate is a sin” or “my helpless soul is in danger of being irretrievably lost”, just for some promise of pie-in-the-sky-when-i-die. We all gotta do the experiential self-work necessary to support our waking up to our True Personalities And this requires extra-special and extra-strong validation esp if we’ve been promised “keys” to some supposedly “locked place/time of fulfillment”, when it has no obvious connection to the actual work we are doing.
    Of course, as with anything, moderation and validation are always key. Pessimism can be just as destructive as blind optimism! http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21128271.700-heal-thyself-think-positive.html

  • The RSAnimate video is clickable through my name. (lost some unsupported embedding code in the previous post) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5um8QWWRvo

  • Maxim

    Geraldine, last night I looked up in wikipedia the aussie term “battler”. “It refers to an Australian who continues to struggle in the face of hardship. It is a term of respect and endearment…” When it comes to validation it reminded me of your doggedness to get to your truth. I suppose that is part of discrimination.

    As for EdH, if he is still tuned in, hello Ed. Ed helped orient me towards Michael about eleven years ago.

    ~~~~~~

  • Mary Lou

    wow. so much to read and to absorb for myself. bits and pieces of it all speak to me. from each poster here.

    have to say that the post about negative poles being part of the whole along with positive speaks to me. the balance between both of them. maybe that is because of my soul level that I try to find a way to relate.

    the view of love and light and happiness always does not resonate with me. maybe that is because of my spiritual path that light and dark have a place as in the example of sunshine and shade.

    being a spiritualist and new at MT, I am still trying to put things together in some sort of cohesive but not rigid way. The rigidity just never fit me. being told that we all have free will and choice and then being told what we were supposed to believe and the born in sin etc etc, just did not make sense to me.

    the constant death idea of heaven or hell did not make sense to me. all I saw was that people would talk about “going home to heaven” but then being so afraid of dying. why? if you were going home?

    have to admit that becoming pagan in 2006 has made me freer. but I also refuse to be told what I have to incorporate into my path. it is my path. I try to walk it with intuition and with my spark leading. If it does not feel right, if it is not a good fit for me, I walk on by.

    have always believed in aliens and spirits. not sure why, just have. I knew that we could not be the only life that was created for whoever or whatever the Creator was. mankind is not that great.

    okay, going back to sitting in the corner and listening. My goal here in this life is acceptance and with the mode of caution. so I do prefer to listen and read as I have alot of scholar castings in my server role.

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