The Process: A Familiar Form of Channeling

A Name for the Phenomenon

The way in which Jack Armstrong received the teachings in Lessons from the Source certainly is not without precedent ― though for years he was at a loss to understand what was happening.

Only recently did he find it described precisely in Dr. Arthur Hastings’ book, With the Tongues of Men and Angels: A Study of Channeling, as “Inner Dictation” ― apparently the same phenomenon through which the Conversations with God books, A Course in Miracles, and other writings were received.

Channeling and Inner Dictation

Dr. Hastings defines “channeling” as a process “in which information, ideas, creative works, and personal guidance come to our minds from a source outside our own selves.”

Inner Dictation, he says, is one of many forms of channeling in which “the person hears a voice speaking mentally, and he or she consciously writes out the material.”

Among the characteristics of Inner Dictation, as described by Dr. Hastings, are:

  • The material comes very rapidly.
  • It is presented essentially in final form, without changes or revisions.
  • The content often involves complex ideas that recur and interconnect.

Beyond Human Intervention

Jack Armstrong is an admitted perfectionist with the written word who acts as his own most ferocious editor when writing his own material, and he considers doing multiple drafts, with major revisions to each of them, to be the norm.

Yet, in describing his experience with Inner Dictation, he wrote: “As the process is happening and I am writing feverishly, I usually have no conscious memory of what I already have 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.”

Another Description

The web site for A Course in Miracles offers an audio recording of Dr. Helen Schucman, who transcribed the Course, describing the process in very similar terms to those used by Jack Armstrong.

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This life on earth is a gift. It is fun. It is a training ground. It is a diversion. It is a vacation. It is an exercise in re-learning all that you already know. It is a way to express all that is good—joy and peace and love and gentleness and power and poise and wisdom and confidence and blessings and hope and security. You have chosen this set of circumstances so that you may grow. So do so. Laugh and love and live joyously.

— Lessons from the Source