'Channeling' was an important part of many spiritual subcultures in the 1970s and 1980s. Mediums claimed to have contact with 'entities' in other dimensions, through a ouija board or by going into a trance. Others 'hear' messages come through in their heads. Well known is the Seth material, channeled by Jane Roberts and there was Edgar Gayce some time earlier. A 'Course in Miracles' is also well known. In 'my' circles, at that time, 'Lazaris' was also very popular, which only 'came through' through Jach Pursel. Aside from the origin, those messages usually contain the same story: your thoughts and beliefs create the reality in which you live, an idea that is very popular in New Age circles anyway ...
And then there is the Michael material. The origin of this is also sought by most fans in the 'entity' or group of entities, called 'Michael', which resides in some beyond: "Michael is a reunited Mid-Causal Plane Entity of more than a thousand individual souls". Sure... Much more likely is an origin to be sought in the work of George Gurdieff, who had his sources in Sufi traditions. Sarah Chambers, who originally channeled Michael, is known to have been a member of a Gurdieff study group...
The core of the material is a personality characterization and a psychology, which I think are very worthwhile to study and use. There are clear similarities with the Enneagram system, which is indisputably known to come from Gurdieff and his students (Oscar Ichazo and Claudio Naranjo). Michael's system is a lot more complex than the Enneagram and contains much more than just the psychology of nine personality types.
In Michael's system, each person has a number of modalities called "Overleaves". For example, every person has a Role, a Level, a Goal, a Mode, a Center and an Attitude that are innate. In addition, there is the 'Chief Feature', which is formed in the youth and adolescence of the individual and this modality determines how the individual is controlled by fear, eg greed, stubbornness, arrogance. There are seven varieties of each overleave. So there are seven Roles, seven Goals, and so on. Afterwards a lot of other things were added, but I never bothered about that. If you now start searching the web for the Michael teachings you will find that the original work has been snowed under by a lot of hopeless New Age bullshit...
The value of the system to me was learning to accept and understand my own personality and that of the people around me. Suddenly I could understand why I react in a certain way in certain situations. A danger of such systems is, of course, the tendency to pigeonhole people, when someone will never fully (or sometimes not at all) meet the criteria of the system. So see it mainly as a tool to illuminate and learn to understand certain sides of yourself and others.
Anyway, this article is not the place to explain the whole system of course, but to give an example, here is the description of the seven Roles:
All modalities come in four different manifestations:
The expressive roles are Artisan and Sage. Artisans focus more on the individual ('ordinal'). Sages more on groups ('exalted').
The active roles are Warrior (ordinal) and King (exalted).
The inspirational roles are Server (ordinal) and Priest (exalted).
There is only one assimilating role and that is the Scholar, who can feel at home in a one-on-one relationship as well as in groups.
The positive quality of this role lies in creative expression. Artisans have to create things, they are often artists, architects and the like. If that does not work, they will create a (pleasant or not pleasant) atmosphere. Artisans can also easily pretend to apparently have a different role. Examples: Michaelangelo, Björk. The negative pole of this role is self-delusion.
The quality of the Sage is communicative expression. Here we find TV personalities, market vendors, politicians, entertainers, etcetera. Examples: Oscar Wilde, Dolly Parton. In a negative pole they are unreliable chatters and disputants.
The Warriors stand for assertive action. They are the doers and tacklers among us. Examples: Julius Caesar, Salma Hayek. The downside is putting pressure on people, forcing them.
There are not many of this role. These are usually leaders who exercise authority. Negatively they can be tyrants. Examples: Elizabeth I, John F. Kennedy and yes Donald Trump.
There are a lot of Servers. If the role is experienced in a positive way, they are people with a great sense of duty who put themselves at the service of others or an idea. They could be housewives (and house men, of course), civil servants, nurses. Examples: Mother Teresa, Dalai Lama. In a negative role they tend to efface themselves, be a doormat.
The Priest has a message, a (moral) vision that must be propagated. They are often really priests, but also teachers and educators. Well-known examples are Oprah Winfrey and Barack Obama. They are when in a positive mode people with a big heart, in shadow mode they are pushers and fanatics.
And then there is the Scholar, the knowledge sponge. Always recognizable by his or her bookcase and collecting drive. They are scientists, writers, journalists. They will seldom take sides because they understand all sides. So they are good mediators, but in the negative they tend to be heady and theorize too much. Examples: Marie Curie, Ken Wilber and if you haven't got it yet: the undersigned :-).
© 2020 Ton Haarmans | Video: Midday Autumn Cloudlapse. By Sam Blight