So Who Wrote This Stuff?
Posted Thursday, January 6th, 2011
A number of people have written recently in response to passages from Lessons from the Source complimenting me on my writing style or saying how moved they’ve been by my wisdom. Well that says to me that I haven’t done a very good job recently of reminding folks about the actual “Source” of the writings and the wisdom they contain.
What you’re reading in Lessons from the Source is material that I received and transcribed through a form of channeling known as Inner Dictation, which is the same way that A Course in Miracles came into being.
There is a page on the ACIM website that has an audio recording of Helen Schucman describing the process she experienced that you might find interesting. It blew me away (but it certainly was validating!) when I first heard it, because I could use almost exactly the same words to describe what happens to me. If you haven’t read the FAQ Page on the website for the book, that will answer a lot of questions, too.
The passage below is from the Introduction to the book. It is written in my own words, using my own conscious mind, and in it I try to describe the process. I hope you’ll find it helpful.
“Periodically, over nearly three decades, I have been a willing conduit for a form of communication that still is difficult for me to describe or fully comprehend. While I can’t remember exactly how or when or where it started, I occasionally would find myself with pen and paper—usually in a beautiful, peaceful outdoor setting—and would begin writing passages (almost always in the first person singular) that, while they appeared to be directed to me, clearly also could be helpful to others. Although my hand was writing these passages, the content obviously came from a Source other than my conscious mind.
My assumption always has been that the Source of these writings is what many of us refer to as God, and indeed that appears to be the clear implication in many of the passages. But I don’t believe the specific identification of the Source is as important as the lessons themselves, so I will leave that interpretation up to you.
If you are curious about how this communication happens, it feels almost as if I am taking dictation, though I hear no auditory voice speaking to me. It is more of a mental “hearing.” There are times when the first few sentences are in my mind before I even pick up the pen and paper, and I sometimes find myself writing so fast that I can barely keep up. On other occasions, the process is much slower and more laborious—due, I believe, to my being distracted by my own thoughts, or by sights and sounds around me. Often the communication will seem to pause for a while, and when that happens I will take a brief break or move to a different location, and the words soon begin to flow again. It usually is clear to me when the communication has ended.
Dr. Arthur Hastings, in his book With the Tongues of Men and Angels: A Study of Channeling, refers to this process as Inner Dictation and offers other examples of it, including A Course in Miracles. Some of the characteristics he describes are that the material comes very rapidly; that it is presented essentially in final form, without changes or revisions, and that the content often involves complex ideas that recur and interconnect. (See Appendix A.)
To put my own involvement in this process into perspective, I think it’s important that you understand my own personal love of and passion for words and language. My high school English teacher, Mrs. Walker, instilled in me not only an obsession for perfection in grammar and punctuation, but also an appreciation and enjoyment of the thrill of using the written word to communicate. When I’m writing business letters or reports, I am my own most ferocious editor and often will go through as many as six or seven different versions before I feel I have come as close as I can to perfecting that particular document.
Given all that, it is especially interesting that, as the process I’ve just described is happening and I am writing feverishly, I usually have no conscious memory of what I’ve already written. When the flow of words has stopped and I review what has been written, I inevitably am astonished by how the message itself is coherent and flows naturally from one subject to the next, and is written in a style—and often with words—unlike those I typically use in my own writing. And even more remarkable, I have never felt a need for significant editing.”