Healers as Channels

A Response to Responses

Several folks have responded to my I’ve Cured Cancer post with a variation of: “I’m just a channel of universal energy that…”

One of the reasons I don’t subscribe to that aspect of teaching is because it intentionally limits the relationships between the practitioner and client, practitioner and their responsibility, as well as the recognition of their own power, and, equally important-in my opinion-the relationship between human & cosmic energies and the relationship to one’s ownfineself.

Unless we’re willing to consider that our plumber, electrician, landscaper, artist, architect, professor, parking lot attendant, washing machine repair man, and physicians are all ‘merely channeling universal energy’, I’m not one to use that as an explanation.

That there is a separate and singular ‘universal’ energy or super/supra/consciousness that merely moves through us healer types discounts any notion that, at the very heart of it all, is that healing doesn’t happen without engaging and nurturing a relationship between human heart and human heart.  If it didn’t we’d be superfluous.

There is a reason why, in many indigenous cultures, a healer spends decades learning both from a teacher, within community and in solitary connection to things universal. It is to study how to be responsible for the development of the relationships with human, plant, spirit, elemental and other universal energies, as well as, a key element forgotten in our attempt to commercialize this kind of work, the relationship with elements of the self.

Do we work in partnership with everything around us? If we’re doing it openly, yes. Absolutely yes. Our role, though, is not as a channel for something else to do the work. We do the work.

The first dog with osteosarcoma I worked on was this galoot of a mutt. I had to visit with him three times. The second time I was there, I’m not quite sure what came over me. The need to impress his owner, my own fear of failure. Whatever it was led me to start asking for St. Francis to show up, for any other umpteen whoevers I’d read about to show up.. The singular voice that responded said this: “Just shut up and do it.”  There was no Nike-like fuzziness in the direction given. There was a demand for action.

There is a difference between what I call getting out of my own way (shutting up and doing the work) so that what occurs is a relational flow outside of thought processes and telling myself to let something else do the work. I’d have never done it for a math test or pre-sentence investigation and wouldn’t dream of doing it with a person I work with.

When I”m working, I’m often in the body of another; feeling it, listening to what it has to say. where things within it are resistant. In response to what it tells me, I noodge, pull, love on, and yank as needed. When I open myself to everything the body in front of me has to say, I feel the fear trapped in thighs that have been forced open again and again. I feel the desperate need for affection held in the liver. I feel the lineage connected to traumas that have repeated on auto-pilot for generations and release those ties that bind. I feel the sacral and solar plexuses have been locked in a trauma state for decades and can release it. I feel the guilt of self-love that has morphed into self-loathing and can guide through that.  What I feel intuitively and intellectually and then do with all that information for the person or people in front of me is my responsibility, not that of the ‘universe’ as it moves through me or afterward.

However, in the same way I have the capacity to ask a human for help, I can ask other invisible energies (Kathryn Kulhman may pop in or someone’s great-grandmother may join),  or I can pull in the energy of a plant that’s needed, or I can accordion out and have more than one me participate.

The evolution of the healing arts being taught as a form of channeling may have come from a well-minded instructor attempting to move students past identification with ego. Possibly, probably, but we’ll never really know.  Sometimes, even now, that may be part of a teachers plan.  But it has become rote in a way that wouldn’t make sense in any other profession or way of being.

Those who name it and claim it—their role, their responsibilities related to that in both the care and community—have different outcomes than those who don’t. It’s worth experimenting with yourself to find out what kind of difference that makes in your practice. It tends to broaden the awareness of all things universal, creates space for creativity, and a deeper connection to those spaces in between.

It’s been asserted on more than one occasion that healers who claim success are egotistical. Clearly some are. However because their gift itself provides not just relief but  cures and more isn’t what makes them egotistic. The two are separate issues and worth reflecting upon and discussing more.

That’s my two bits.

 

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9 thoughts on “Healers as Channels

  1. I don’t think the two are incompatible. You had to do the work in order for the Universal energy to flow through you, so you deserve recognition for that, but when the healing works it didn’t come from you, your ego, it came from your higher self aka Universal energy. And anyone who is a true “artist” is channeling that energy, whether they know it or not. But most people are just doing a job and not connecting with something higher. Einstein said, “The finest emotion of which we are capable is the mystic emotion. Herein lies the germ of all art and all true science”.

  2. Welcome back! Thanks for chiming in here!

    Let me, then, clarify my stance here a bit: I, this being called Ingrid this time, am not ego. Nor am I, or any aspect of me, separate. I am not separate from a higher self and or any energy form that, generally speaking, resides outside of my skin. There aren’t hierarchies within or outside ourselves, there aren’t ‘two’ things that can be ‘incompatible’. We’ve created those as a way to delineate expressions of universality but that’s it.

    I think we’ve been so conditioned to not say, “Look what I did! WooooHOooo! I’m awesome” (particularly many of us in this arena) that we do ourselves and others a huge disservice when we don’t own our power and use it accordingly. We’ll admire it from afar, particularly if it’s packaged prettily. It’s why people will line up to pay $400 per for 30 minutes with someone who is famous-enough. But we won’t give ourselves that kind of credit or care that comes with it.

    I think it’s high time we accept some WOooHooooo right along with the ‘oh, shit, I’ve cocked that up!”

    To me, the judgment here of ‘a true artist as one who channels that energy’ is a just as limiting as ‘most people just doing a job and not connecting with something *higher*’. We don’t know their process and those kinds of judgments are held against practitioners who bust their ass learning techniques and who are as equally as effective as someone who had the healing capacity drop in their lap.

    In all of this we discount so much that is necessary, powerful and beyond the limiting narrative we seem to rely on.

    My suggestion is that folks try stepping away from the idea that they are ‘channelling’ and into the notion that, in being themselves, in their own power and expression of universality, they are Healer. I watch people’s practices change dramatically as soon as they do that and get past being afraid of themselves. Is it everyone’s cuppa? Maybe not but I highly recommend trying it. Your relationship with self, clients, the multitude of cosmic energies changes in magical ways.

    1. If you are not separate, then there would be no one to say, ” Look what I did” since there is no you. So just by saying that you are showing that you feel a separation. Ultimately we are all one, but you have to be in a higher state of consciousness to realize that.

  3. I think this comes back to recognizing there are different expressions of this shared universality. How we share with others what we do and, heck, our mere existence is by differentiating ourselves from that. Pronouns, name tags, and experiences and different knowings help us do that. There’s as much of an I and you and oxygen and dead Indians and energetic aspects of breathing people that wander amok but that doesn’t mean we are separated.

    (BTW, I think this exchange is awesome and hope others join in!)

  4. Hi!

    You don’t know me (yet), but I’ve got a little piece of information that could be interesting.

    In my last Art History class, we were talking about the Renaissance and how (apparently) in ancient Greece, the locus of “genius” was outside of the artist. I’m thinking this has to do with the “muse” idea…the artist was in contact with the Muse (the Muse was a “daimon” — there were different varieties of these [eudaimon, cacodaimon, etc.], and the word only came to infer something one-sidedly “evil” later), who was in contact with the world of ideals (like Platonic forms, I’m thinking).

    In the Renaissance, with da Vinci, Michelangelo, etc., for some reason, the locus of “genius” was relocated into the artist themselves, so the artist became the “genius” instead of the medium in contact with the “genius.” (parallel the term “genii” for the latter)

    Because of this, there came to be a shift in blame (?) for the merit (or perceived lack of such) in artwork. An explanation for success (or failure) could have previously been taken on faith — if the work was unsuccessful, it wasn’t the artist’s fault (but rather could be blamed on the quality of his “genius” or daimon). But after the Renaissance, at least in Europe and the European colonies, people — artists — began to feel intense pressure as to the quality of their work. That is, if something soared — or failed — it could be seen as totally their fault.

    I wouldn’t go so far as to state that now…obviously at this point we have things like the social sciences which kind of shed light on *why* certain projects “failed” when they did.

    Some of them, like Manet’s “Olympia”, were reviled in their time and praised as a forerunner of Modern Art 150 years later (now), even though the painting it was based on (Titian’s “Venus of Urbino”) was lauded in its time.

    But in Manet’s time, he was really upset that people didn’t like this painting of his (he wanted to be famous and loved), and even said he thought that either the public or he had to have been wrong (and he didn’t know which was the case). People didn’t let him forget about it, either, and he consequently didn’t paint another nude figure for over a decade after the showing of “Olympia.” (I did a presentation on this, can you tell?)

    I just wanted to chime in here…if you see a burst in your Stats, that’s me looking around. 🙂 I’m thinking, though, that part of what may be happening when people call themselves “just a channel” is that either they’re attempting to abdicate responsibility (curing people must be kinda scary), or they don’t want to offend the spirits. I really like your stance that in being one’s authentic self they are Healer…I haven’t thought of it that way.

    You keep on being you! because you are awesome. 🙂
    –Haru

    1. This is some fascinating stuff to start my ‘learn something new today’ file! I never would have made a connection to art or art history in this way! Ok, at all, because I don’t know art history!

      My perspective has come from my own experience, watching others develop in the now, and learning from those who have walked before. I find it equally fascinating that in the cultures where this healing business is part of community, ‘healer’ is a very specific, respected role where the expectation is that the healer, although absolutely working with other ‘universal/cosmic elements’, is the one shouldering the responsibility for however success or failure is defined. There are some exceptions, of course, that, as far as I can tell, are ‘modern’ twists of old ways. They appear in the form of things like, “You don’t believe enough” or “You’ve not appeased God/the gods enough” or the like in which the practitioner puts the responsibility on the client/patient if ‘success’ isn’t met.

      This ‘mere channeling’ phenomenon appears to be a by-product of the commercialization of healing arts in communities where there isn’t a historical, cultural or cultivated relationship with plants, animals, invisible energies, elements, and such.

      Thanks, Haru, for joining the discussion. I’m going to share your thoughts on my FB stream. I hope to learn more from you! I’ll leave your name out of it but feel free to chime in there if you’d like! And, thank you, too, for the cheerleading. Today is one of those days where it’s needed!

  5. Totally disagree with your second to the last paragraph. Commercialization of healing arts would be a product of ego, not higher self. So if someone says they are channeling Universal energy, they would be transcending ego in service of the Universe/ Higher Self.

  6. Can you expand your view some more about ‘commercialization as ego product’? The commercialization of the healing arts is a active part of our economies–classes about plants, courses for yoga, degrees in naturopathy, certificate programs for reiki and the such is what I was talking about so can you bridge those two for me?

  7. When you said, “This ‘mere channeling’ phenomenon appears to be a by-product of the commercialization of healing arts in communities where there isn’t a historical, cultural or cultivated relationship with plants, animals, invisible energies, elements, and such.” you seemed to be talking about commercialization in a pejorative way, as in the over-commercialization of spirituality. So I was saying that if someone says they are channeling universal energy, they are acknowledging that they are connecting with something beyond ego, so for you to blame them for over-commercialization, which is coming from the ego – ie just to make money and/or get power for self glorification, is off base. If you are actually healing someone, you are tapping into that universal energy, whether you are consciously aware of it or not. Because there IS no power other than the Universal Energy/ Love that permeates the entire universe. You as an individual have no power separate from that, and if you think you do, you are operating under the illusion of the ego

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