Crichton, Michael - from Travels - Channelling
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Michael Crichton – Travels [his autobiography]
I lay on my back with my eyes closed, and Gary spoke quietly to me, guiding a meditation intended to relax me ever more deeply. Over a period of perhaps twenty minutes, my body sank into a profound relaxation, until I was no longer really aware of my limbs at all. It was as if I was at the edge of sleep. But as I relaxed further, I felt my body paradoxically start to become tense and rigid. My hands and feet felt frozen, immovable.
At the same time this rigidity set in, I became intensely aware of sounds and events around me, not only in the immediate room but also in the entire house, and the street outside. This heightened awareness was a little like the hypersensitivity that people with migraine headaches describe. It was very acute, slightly irritating.
Gary was moving around the room. I heard him moving and wished he would not, and I felt a strange kind of inner conviction, and I heard this faraway, sleepy voice say,
"Gary, sit down."
Gary sat down.
I couldn't see him, but I knew he had. I felt it. I proceeded to tell him some things that were troubling him. I felt absolutely convinced of what I was saying: I knew I was right. Gary then asked me some questions about a woman he knew in Boston. I gave my impressions. All the while, some part of me was shouting, ‘How can you know about some woman in Boston? Shut up, you're making a fool of yourself’, but I gave my impressions anyway.
I say "I" gave my impressions, although that isn't quite right. I (the present writer, I) don't really know how to explain the feeling that I experience during channelling. The feeling is this:
There is an awareness present inside a stiff, tense body.
The usual awareness called "Michael," my ego or whatever you want to call it, I experience as a thin coating on the outside of my body, like a coat of spray paint. So "Michael" is pushed away from the center. Sometimes I imagine that "Michael" is in my big toe. It doesn't seem to matter where he is, just so he gets out of the way.
Meanwhile, in the center of the body, some other awareness is speaking and answering. This awareness has no name, no past, no embodiment, no emotions, no interests. It's just a naked awareness. And it is very sure of what it is saying. It speaks of Michael as if Michael were another person, or a very small part of itself. It often has to make decisions about what to say, based on its sense of what the listener can understand; these decisions are rather like translating. And sometimes the awareness has to deal with the displaced "Michael," who may suddenly start to be embarrassed by what is being said, or worried the awareness can't know what it is saying. The rest of the time "Michael" is absent, or at least not intrusive.
Now, all this may sound peculiar, but in fact during a channelling session it seems about as ordinary as cooking dinner, watching television, something like that. Only when it comes time to re-emerge is there a recognition of how deep the state really is. It is not so easy to come out of it; sometimes it takes a few minutes.
After the first time I channelled, I remembered everything that I had said in the trance state. Gary had always claimed that he never remembered what he said in a session. Now I could see he hadn't told the truth. When I confronted him, he admitted that he remembered more than he said. But he also told me, "Just wait a while." And, sure enough, after a few more channelling sessions, I began to realize that I was losing the information. It decayed like a dream. For the first moments after I came out, I could remember the whole session easily. But immediately the memory began to fade. After an hour, I had trouble recalling it except in general terms. After a week, I didn't remember much at all. Sometimes I even forgot l had channelled for someone in the first place.