Saturday, February 12, 2011

The earliest surviving channeled document?

Just rediscovered this. Could the Voynich manuscript be the world's first channeled text?  It does seem other-worldly and has no clear connection or reference to any known language or medieval herbal, which it mostly resembles. No one seems to be able to make any sense out of it, but the Voynich manuscript made me think about the phenomenon of channeling in general.

I've always thought that channeled material is "real" while not automatically accepting that it is what it purports to be (dictations from gods, spacemen, or angels--as in the Book of Mormon). I guess I keep returning to this theme because I get the sense that paranormal investigators are missing a critical aspect of it. Skeptics dismiss all channeled material as fabrications; New Agers embrace it as the writ of God. Maybe it simply is what it is: communications from a reality outside our narrow physical one. Arguably, some channeled texts are more "genuine" than others; some have clearer and more useful references to our physical reality; and while there are apparent frauds, the practice of "channeling" has consistently appeared throughout history and has guided our civilization in subtle ways.

We forget that the majority of the world's official religions are founded on presumed channeled documents. Fundamentalist Christians accept without question the notion that the Bible is the literal word of God, dictated to Moses and other patriarchs. While listening to a recent podcast on the UFO contactees, I thought of Joseph Smith and his experience with an "angel" that he called Moroni; indeed, the Book Of Mormon can arguably be described as a channeled document. I've always rejected the Joseph Smith story, but what if, indeed, Joseph Smith had the experience just as he described it? Contact with beings that purport to be emissaries of God, "angels," or avatars seems to be a genuine human experience that has appeared consistently in segments of the human population throughout history. It obviously represents "something" and seems to serve a vital, but deliberately obscure, purpose in directing our world.

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