by Michael E. Tymn via e-mail|
The author of Channeling: Investigations on Receiving Information from Paranormal Sources, Jon Klimo has undergraduate and graduate degrees from Brown University and a doctorate in psychology. He has been teaching on the graduate level continuously for the past 31 years, and is currently starting his seventh year as a senior core faculty member in the clinical program at the San Francisco Bay Area campus of The American School of Professional Psychology, Argosy University.
Having begun his career as a poet and painter, he was from 1974-82 a professor at Rutgers University’s Graduate School of Education, where he was Founding Director for its large Creative Arts Program. As a lifelong multidisciplinarian, he has done extensive research, writing, teaching, and presentations in psychology, parapsychology, consciousness studies, new paradigm thought and new science, Ufology, metaphysics and the transpersonal domain. He recently received four years of private funding to conduct survival research on technologically assisted communication from the “afterlife” (i.e., EVP/ITC research).
Dr. Klimo regards his book on channeling as a kind of Rosetta Stone for looking at many related anomalous phenomena. He is finishing the co-authoring of a study of suicide from an afterlife perspective and is currently working on a number of book projects, including one on reality creation. I put some questions to him by e-mail.
Is “channeling” just a modern name for mediumship?
"Mediumship involves a physically embodied human – the medium – receiving and conveying information and communication from a no-longer-physically-embodied human spirit who/which has survived physical death. Channeling, a much more recent term, includes, but extends beyond, mediumship and involves a physically embodied human – the channel (or channeler) – receiving and conveying information from any being or source that is not physically embodied or located in physical reality as we understand it, which can be a human or any of a number of other kinds of beings or sources, including extraterrestrials or other-frequency or higher-dimensional beings, nonhuman spirits, nature spirits or devas, angels, gods, the higher self, group beings, the collective unconscious, the Universal Mind, or God.”
How did you become interested in the subject?
"Since childhood, as a poet and visual artist—essentially as an inspired creative person – I was filled with the mystery of where my inspiration (or anyone’s) came from – all the presence of thinking and ideas, visions and images, that I experienced as seeming to come from beyond me, or at least from beyond my usual self and its capacities. Just to say it was coming from my own inspiration, creativity, intuition, imagination, or personal unconscious, didn’t really help me to understand what was going on. I was experiencing both purposeful and unbidden periods of movement between normal and certain increasingly familiar mildly altered states of consciousness that involved a kind of surrendering to something that seemed to be beyond myself. I was also experiencing what in hindsight I’d call a kind of dissociation, where the me who wrote the poem or made the painting was not quite the same me and its sense of control and conscious awareness that was there before or after those periods of creative self-expression that included a giving of myself over to some kind of self-transcending knowledge, insight, and presence. These experiences tended to confound my normal sense of separation between inner and outer, me and not me, real and unreal (and even between real and realer-than-real). Stemming from this self-transcending-seeming aspect of my own creative process, I increasingly sought perspectives to help me shed further light on understanding consciousness and reality across its kinds, levels, and interrelations. This involved my preoccupation since childhood with the occult, new paradigm science, the perennial philosophy, and the otherworldly. And deepest of all has been my ongoing sense of homesickness for a home, a reality, a sense of belonging, affinity, and identity that seemed to have little to do with physical reality and planet Earth and what the consensus reality and scientific establishment said was supposed to be real, true, and possible. In 1982, I spent an evening with Willis Harman, head of the Institute of Noetic Sciences, who told me that it sounded to him like I knew more about the topic of channeling than anyone else he knew, and he suggested I write up what I knew about the subject. What I wrote ended up in the hands of the publisher Jeremy Tarcher a few years later and was the beginnings of what eventually became my book on channeling.”
What is your theory of channeling? Are actual entities communicating or is the channeler tapping into some kind of Universal Mind?
"When people use the term channeling they usually think in terms of channeling entities, so any theory of channeling is going to have to address how two individual beings can have a communicative linkage when one of them is located on Earth in a physical body and one is located somewhere else in some kind of embodiment that is non- or trans-physical, higher-frequency, subtler-energy, or higher-dimensional. But there is another kind of more diffuse channeling that does not seem to involve any identifiable (or self-identified) individualized source, being, or entity that is doing the communicating. Channeling the Universal Mind or God would be examples of this. I have become increasingly more interested in this more-diffuse entity-less kind of channeling; so my theory needs to address both kinds.
"As a parapsychologist, I am familiar with the phenomenon called “remote viewing,” a recent term for a kind of extrasensory perception (ESP) or anomalous cognition process related to the earlier term clairvoyance. Remote viewers seem able to receive information from or about targets and locations they have no knowledge of and that can be temporally as well as spatially distant. It is clear to me that potentially anyone can be informationally linked to virtually any place and time. The theory of super-ESP or super-psi is another extension of ESP, which speculates that we are all potentially in kinds and degrees of connection to everything and everyone else. This is related to a pan-telepathy, or pan-psychist, perspective that all our local, individualized minds or seats of consciousness and their contents are embedded within a kind of ether, plenum, or noosphere of underlying mind or consciousness field. In my model, each of us is like a cell in that living, aware, information field with the potential of having access to any other fellow cells and their contents and experiences as well as access to the underlying, subsuming, embedding field itself, depending upon how translucent or transparent the usual relatively impermeable, opaque membranes of the cells are. I think it was Alan Watts who used the metaphor that we each have access to what he called “Mind-at-Large,” and that each of us possessed a “reducing valve” between our own respective individual minds and this underlying or overarching Mind-at-Large. Being able to change and dilate the reducing valve can allow access to, even at-one-ment with, more of Mind-at-Large. We may also be able to understand how the normal relatively opaque and narrow constraints of the reducing valve we each have and are can be changed to allow connection to any other cell/being within the universal body and to the underlying all-inclusive ground of being or Universal Being’s consciousness field itself. Recent experimental verification of quantum physics’ concept of nonlocal correlation, or nonlocality, gives weight to how a remote viewer can connect to anywhere or when and how a channel can have a nonlocally correlated, no-longer-separated relationship with any other being or entity who or which is part of that field, whether that being is human or otherwise, physically embodied or otherwise, and at whatever location or dimension of existence. I am a philosophical idealist who believes everything in the universe is part of one Universal Being and consciousness field, what the philosopher Hegel called “Absolute Spirit.” Everything that exists is always within and part of the Universal Mind/Being, including all local minds and their contents. The mystery is how there can be so much experienced separation if everything occurs within one conscious Being, which brings us back to the concept of dissociation.”
Do you have a theory on that?
"The heart of my theory is that all that exists is one infinite and eternal Being within which all individual beings are like that Being’s relatively dissociated subpersonalities. Because of our relatively dissociated individual frames of reference, we experience that underlying Being in terms of its Manyness, not its Oneness, so we feel we are like subpersonalities within the one parent cosmic multiple personality that creates and sustains us. Channeling, and any other act of anomalous cognition, or psychic or mystical self-transcendence, involves our transient connections as offspring to the one underlying, unseparatedGround of Being and to any of our fellow sibling subpersonality beings located anywhere within the multidimensional infinitude. Channeling is windows of temporarily partially overcoming the usual constraints that are a function of one’s own kind and degree of dissociation away from the underlying, universal consciousness and information field of the one Being, or God. The presenting problem and challenge is how we created creator-beings can overcome our dissociation in order to partake of each other and our Creator an ever more non-locally correlated identity condition of growing omniscience, omnipotence, and omnibenevolence. This is what channeling is all about for me. You don’t have the space for me to go into detail about how this dissociation is maintained and how it can be overcome, but my model involves not only neo-quantum nonlocality (and holography), but also the mechanics of coherence, resonance, tuning, and entrainment relations among phase states of post-dualist monist panpsychist living consciousness wave-forms of the one undissociated Creator Being in cosmological incestuous intercourse and communication with Itself across all its subpersonality-like creations and their experiences.”
Psychical researcher Hereward Carrington saw channeled information coming “through” the subconscious rather than “from” the subconscious. Would you agree with that?
"I think some people who think they are channeling are not, and some people who don’t think they are channeling actually are. In the former case, in a process of dissociation, people are producing material from their own unconscious psychoenergetic material in a way unbeknownst to their own conscious awareness, while in the latter case, what they think is just the product of their own unconscious creativity and imagination is actually coming to them from some self-transcending source. In Carrington’s sense, and by my definition of channeling, channeled information is coming through the subconscious from beyond. If it were coming only from the individual’s subconscious, it would not be channeling. I am trying to develop a kind of post-Einsteinian, ontological relativistic, multidimensional, multiple-frames-of-reference-rich taxonomy/typology and topology/mapping system and vocabulary to more precisely and satisfactorily deal with all of these modes of how the one Universal Being interacts with itself, with channeling being a kind of multidisciplinary Rosetta Stone to help understand this.”
Does survival of individual consciousness play into this whole subject, as you see it?
"Being able to ascertain whether or not individual human consciousness meaningfully survives the death of the physical body is, of course, crucial to being able to ascertain, in turn, whether or not mediumship and channeling really do involve communication from such surviving human spirits and is not just the products of wishful thinking, fraud, self-delusion, and dissociated self-generation. It takes meaningful individual survival and continuation after death to have the afterlife participants from whom mediums and channels are said to be receiving their information and communications. However, it is possible that none of us survives physical death and any apparent communication with surviving human spirits from the afterlife must be explained in some other way. Still, channeling may be a genuine process that allows some of us to be connected to transcendental sources and presence beyond ourselves and each other that doesn’t include surviving human spirits. I personally choose to believe we do meaningfully survive death and can communicate back through mediums and channels, although, as I said, perhaps only a percentage of what is thought to be genuine mediumship or channeling actually is, and right now we just do not have any kind of definitive litmus test to ascertain authenticity.”
Do you see channeling as a neglected part of our spiritual evolution? Is mainstream science any closer to accepting it or understanding it than it was 100 years ago?
"I see channeling as having been historically at the beginnings of virtually all the major religio-spiritual movements in the world, and the process is ongoing in all times and cultures as a central part of our species’ widely-varied spiritual experiences and practices. Since the late 19th century, materialistic scientism has done its “best” to explain away mediumship/channeling and non-or trans-physical type realities, experiences, and abilities in predictable, traditional-paradigm, physical reductionist ways. And, for the most part, our established religious institutions have their own versions of reductionistically explaining away channeling. As channeling rode part of the New Age wave in the latter part of 20th-century right up to the present, the dominant scientific, academic, and religio-spiritual institutions and the cultural media have done their “best” through their influence not to let most of the population take seriously, let alone access, how the channeling process could connect them to timeless spiritual sources of understanding, guidance, and nurturing presence, whether it comes from individualized sources (spirits or entities), or from a more diffuse spiritual source, presence, or being. It is time for a neo-Reformation to give permission to individuals to find their own ways of opening and connecting to and accessing the real truth of things that transcends the current stories of our reigning science and religion.”
Among “entities” and channelers of the past, which do you feel have had the most to offer?
"Like many, I have my own list of personal favorite channeled entities and favorite channels; but I feel there can be problems in going public with playing favorites. My personal favorite entity is “Seth,” and my favorite channel is his vehicle, the late Jane Roberts. I have a common set of criteria for choosing both favorite entities and channels, which has to do with how they intuitively strike me—how they are right-feeling, as well as right-thinking. Within the mediumship area, the evidential quality of the information conveyed is central, of course; while with channels and entities where the game is not to try and prove the sources are who they say they are, it becomes a matter of going with the intuitive, right-feeling sense I get, which involves the quality of presence and the integrity of what/who I find myself trusting. And, of course, the quality of the non-evidential material being channeled is crucial, which often involves for me a high originality quotient.”
Among current “entities” and channelers, which most impress you?
"During the past 10 years, I have become increasingly involved with channeling that involves supposed non-Earthly extraterrestrials and related other-or higher-dimensional nonhuman beings, where there tends to be much originality of content of the channeled material and where it often contains a higher percentage of scientific/technological, or at least scientific-sounding, content. The new edition of my channeling book will include long new chapters on channeling extraterrestrials and on scientific information from channeled sources.”
Is there a decline in credible channeling, especially in trance and direct-voice? If so, what do you see as the cause of this decline?
"Yes, I think there has been a decline in authentic-seeming channeling with good-quality and originality of content, and there has certainly been a conspicuous absence of direct- voice and physical mediumship for many decades now. This is because we operate within a politics of consciousness that involves conscious and unconscious contending of forces vying for the ongoing vote of our reality-creating souls. We all co-constitute the reality we are experiencing, and there is a lot of conditioning, propaganda, suppression, manipulation, and mind control involved. The homeostasis-maintaining mechanisms of the consensus reality and its locally self-serving mechanisms seek to keep most of us on Earth at present from accessing the larger reality so the truth could set us free to ever more consciously move within and as part of God.”
Are you saying that this homeostasis is a necessary part of spiritual evolution, i.e., that we can accept only so much truth at one time, or that our progress is being unnecessarily impeded by the arrogance of mainstream science and obstinacy of orthodox religion?
"From the perspective of the perennial philosophy, we are basically immortal souls or spirits, progeny of our Creator, who periodically incarnate into earthly lifetimes during which we are ‘veiled’ from contact with or remembrance of the larger trans-physical, transpersonal reality. These group-veiled incarnations of ours are something like shared non-lucid (though potentially lucid) dreams that are programmed (that we may well co-program together) to provide us individually and as a species with the kinds of experiences we need in order to learn increasingly larger truths and to develop our spirits to the point that we know our true relationship to both Creation and Creator, to grow into our true identity and responsibility as conscious co-creators with regard to Creation and as part of our Creator.
"For those of us for whom some of the veiling may have been lifted or evolved past in this lifetime, it can be frustrating to want to help the unfolding awakening and self-realization of our species occur more rapidly than it currently is. Like it or not, we are embedded within the dense fabric of the current shared dream that our fellow incarnate human spirits, and we ourselves, still seem to need to be experiencing until with lucidity comes the realization of our true God-given birthright and identity and increasing access to the underlying omniscience, omnipotence, and omnibenevolence that occurs commensurate with our growing awareness, compassion, and responsibility. The operations of Karma are part of this soul-learning, not-yet-lucid dream of ours. Therefore, the relationship between homeostasis-maintaining forces and those that can destabilize and awaken us to new awareness and possibilities of more spiritual being, is a function of our own individual and conjoint level of development, of our spiritual understanding and lucidity. The homeostatic repetition compulsion of Maya generation and continuation gives us the kinds of experience we need to keep reliving until we can learn and earn awakening to the inevitable God consciousness awaiting us. Therefore, at any one time, our established scientific, academic/educational, religious, and cultural/media beliefs and practices are part of the brakes put on, or the oh-so-slow time-release programs with regard to, possibilities of the new, the different, the more-inclusive-truth and the better world breaking through, and these brakes or controlled slow openings appear to be kept commensurate with how aware and awake (or not) most of us on Earth are at the time.
"There is a more mundane, perhaps even more disturbing, perspective as well: Some of us spirits who are currently incarnated, and some who are not, and some who may not even be human, are aware at various levels of this whole complex Earth-as-classroom-and-incubator-for-soul-growth scenario. Operating at different levels of conscious intentionality, they work on the half of the forces of homeostasis (and lack of growth) and work against the forces of heterostasis (and awakening to our true identity, potential, and responsibility). They do this because of what they get out of it, reaping the fruits that come from their being more aware of, and able to benefit from, the situation than their fellows who it behooves them to keep ignorant and non-lucid within the dream, to keep them from accessing more of their birthright omniscience, omnipotence, and omnibenevolence. This is part of the current contending of forces, the war on the inner planes, the outcome of which will determine when, and how many of us, on Earth will awaken to the potential of our God consciousness, rather than to remain toiling in the relatively parched vineyards of the non-lucid dream, of the current consensus reality. Propagandizing people not to explore becoming channels to access the underlying larger reality (and its inhabitants) is just part of this contending of forces, this politics of consciousness vying for how we vote (or don't vote) each moment as non-lucid or lucid reality-creating sons and daughters of our Creator.”
This interview appeared in the March 2005 issue of the ARPR Bulletin, since renamed The Searchlight