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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If you could see yourself from my perspective, you would laugh at the many barriers you have erected to your own good. It is as if you are existing in a sea of goodness, yet you have built a plastic bubble around yourself to keep the good that is all around you from getting to you or from you getting to it. It’s right there, but you can’t reach it. Dissolve the bubble and become one with your good.

— Lessons from the Source