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Evaluating Channels


I am sometimes asked what I think of another channel's work. I rarely feel that I have enough information to make an evaluation. I've seen a lot of other people's work, but hardly ever a wide cross-section of any one channel's. Of course, I resonate more with some than others, and could comment on a specific piece of channeling. I may suspect certain tendencies from what I've heard and seen. However, to make a fair, well-rounded assessment of a channel's overall strengths, weaknesses, and biases, it would be necessary to collect a wide variety of samples with several different clients and at different times, and to interview those clients about their experience: Was it satisfying and helpful? Could they validate most of the information? Lacking a large enough sample, as it might be put in scientific terms, I give the benefit of the doubt.

As far as I can tell, every long-time channel, including Sarah [Chambers], has had disgruntled clients as well as glowing feedback and validation. One cannot get a picture of a channel's body of work over many years with thousands of clients from a few comments, either positive or negative. One doesn't know if a particular piece of feedback more reflects the individual's issues and projections than the work of the channel, or what the full story might have been.

With the exception of the Yarbro channels, most Michael channels do not keep transcripts of most of their client sessions. Some channeling is done in writing, but, by and large, most is done orally, and the recording is given to the client. Once in a while, if there's some universal material that I think would be valuable for a book, I copy the tape and have it transcribed. However, most of my work is answering personal questions that would not be all that interesting to other people, so it doesn't make it into books. Personal material *can* reveal universal truths and have interest to serious students, but the cost of having all private sessions transcribed is prohibitive. One Yarbro channel would have clients transcribe her answers and read them back after each one so that she could have a record. Every channel works differently, and that way was right for her, but in my work, it would interrupt the flow and slow down the session too much, and many of my clients would find it a hassle.

Several people have had the idea that they could test channels by asking different ones for the same set of overleaves. However, the Yarbro books speak about channels "blocking" when trying to channel material that's already been given by other channels. At the Michael Channel's conference in La Veta, Colorado in 1996, attending by Sarah, JP, and 14 others, many people confirmed that channeling Michael chart information more than once has pitfalls, and that overleaf "shopping" is not a viable way to get accurate overleaves.

Yes, we should test the material, but through self-validation. Tests set up for channels generally do not work, in terms of giving a fair picture of a channel's abilities. In the 70s, a skeptic came to Sarah's group with a test question. She had no problem with his asking it, but she sweated bullets and couldn't come up with the answer he was looking for. On the other hand, those who participate in sessions with openness and good will often find they get plenty of validation, sometimes including amazing answers. Those who test often have issues that create a self-fulfilling prophesy--they aren't open enough to establish a flow conducive to getting good material.

Norman Shealy is an MD who has been testing and training medical intuitives for years--he's Carolyn Myss' mentor. He's a hard-headed skeptic type, and in an interview, he said that most of the medical intuitives who had contacted him are fakes. Then he explained his method of testing them: he'd give them the name of a patient and ask for their evaluation. I wrote him and suggested that he wasn't actually testing for medical intuition--he was testing for the ability to tune in to someone with just a name. Carolyn Myss clearly has that gift, but most psychics can't tune in without something more, such as a photo. He wrote back that he hadn't thought of that and would start providing photos.

My point is that people testing channels might not, in fact, be testing for what they think they are. For example, the ability to read minds doesn't prove that someone is channeling Michael; in fact, Michael has told me that they refuse to read minds because it is an intrusion. In addition, Michael doesn't know everything about a person, and getting some information is more trouble than its worth, so not being able to tell someone his mother's maiden name, for example, doesn't invalidate a channel.

Incidentally, I went to a medical intuitive who was one of the few who *had* impressed Norm, and I didn't have a very satisfying reading. It doesn't say anything about her overall abilities, only that I didn't feel she helped me much, for whatever reason. Maybe she helped me more than I realized--I keep an open mind about such things--and I'd be willing to try her again.

A good way to choose a channel is to get referrals from like-minded people, and, especially, to experience channeling by different people and see whose work you most resonate with. However, not resonating with a particular channel doesn't mean that he or she is a poor or invalid channel, and even a piece of clearly faulty channeling doesn't necessarily reflect the overall quality of the person's work. As I wrote earlier, some channels are more skilled and talented than others, as in all fields, but who is qualified to rank them? And wouldn't there have to be many different categories (subject areas such as Michael math, overleaves, health, history, science, relationships, past lives, and psychology; skill issues such as vocabulary, precision, specificity, speed, energy work, etc.)?

This applies to all things: we rarely know enough to fairly evaluate or judge another person's life, and maybe not even our own. That's why the masters have counseled us not to judge, or to judge "righteous judgment," which I take to mean, "Know what you're really qualified to make a judgment about, and withhold judgment on the rest." That is not to say that we should lack discernment, but we're on safer ground when we stick to specific cases rather than making sweeping general statements, such as dismissing, as a unit, the work of a particular channel. People so often jump to conclusions based on limited or faulty information. Arrogance and the negative pole of discrimination/rejection are especially prone to making judgments they aren't qualified to make.

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Shepherd is a professional Michael channel and author of The Journey of Your Soul--A Channel Explores Channeling and the Michael Teachings and Loving from Your Soul--Creating Powerful Relationships. He does channeling sessions and intuitive readings via telephone, mail, and e-mail. Visit his website:  Summerjoy Press



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