An Instrument, Not a Channel

Whenever I put out a book I get questions about being a channel. I imagine a channel is like what Helen Schucman did with A Course in Miracles—she took dictation. I have never felt I am a channel. Writing is not passive for me. It has always felt collaborative. I write from my own understanding. And I am given, and I seek, clarification from the Awareness of Truth (Holy Spirit) in my mind as I write.

My non-fiction books, all of which have been on spiritual themes, happen for me when I am ready to consolidate the lessons that end up in the book of the moment. In fact, it always signals I’m moving past the topic of the book. I only discovered this in hindsight. This is why I can’t “force” a book. If it ain’t there, it ain’t there. If I’m not ready, it ain’t gonna get writ.

The fiction writing I’m doing now, which came upon me so suddenly and shockingly, is much the same. I picture scenes and then I describe them. Some scenes seem more “given” than others. I also find inspiration in all sorts of random and sometimes odd everyday things, as though I’m being told “Pay attention to this. It needs to be in the book!” But, again, I do not feel I’m channeling. It is more accurate to say I feel like an instrument. I am acted through and on, but it is clear to me that the shape of my own mind combines with this to result in the product (novel).

I suspect that many who have an art or craft (I consider my writing to be a craft) feel this sense of being part of something larger that is working through and on them. They express “universal truths” (not Truth Itself, but experiences of Truth and/or the universe of form) through their art or craft. I suspect this something larger is often confused with a god. When I write I am not, however, an instrument of Truth (God). I would say I am an instrument of the universe of form. (For many, the unfolding story of the universe of form is what they mean by “God”. Truth is beyond that.) Where the Awareness of Truth comes into it for me is in that I use everything as a classroom. Nothing is separate from my spiritual path. So, as with everything else, this process helps me grow my awareness of Truth. And, in turn, because this influences the shape of my mind, it therefore influences the shape of the book. I cannot separate out my mind from the effects of the Awareness of Truth on it.

I liken the experience to being like a flute. The player blows into the flute and manipulates the keys to make music. But the sound is also influenced by the shape of the flute. (The universe of form is the player, my mind is the flute, and the music is the novel).

Where my spiritual writing differs from fictional writing is that my spiritual writing feels like an expression of my process as well as of the ideas expressed. In other words, it feels as much for me as it is simply an expression through me. The lessons I learn as I write a spiritual book finalize lessons I’ve been learning. But I feel much more like a neutral instrument when writing fiction. Any effect it has on me feels incidental. The writing is not for me to learn. I just happen to learn as I write. In that sense, fictional writing seems less “self-involved”; more purely an expression through me. It is actually quite refreshing when I get myself out of the way, which is what I’m learning to do now.

I have written about how as self-identification falls away from this mind I’m learning to let the self go into the flow of the universe and to just observe it without judgment. This seems to be a step along the way in that process.

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Anonymous said…
Regarding Helen Schucman's "dictation", I find it hard to believe that it was totally pure but rather, skewed by her her own filters of upbringing, personal beliefs ad predelections.
Christine said…
Helpful and interesting points here. As an artist and a musician, what you wrote is spot on. I can tell when the "it sitting in the chair" (personal self) gets in the way (fear, feeling overwhelmed, nervous, self pity, etc...) the "work/product suffers"...but there is no 'how to', either, not really...that would be a recipe for form/behavior, getting stuck in making separation's the undoing of twisted, knarly thoughts and just being open to Truth, or at least letting not-Truth dissolve away which is helpful. No form-ula.
Anonymous said…
Is not all writing fictional while in the dream of form?
ACIM Mentor said…
Anonymous, I don't know if that was a rhetorical question or not, but obviously when I write about the level of form I write in relative terms.

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