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Emotional Healing

The Channeling of Troubled Spirits

by Carly Ayers

The adventure began in March of 1991. A small group of people had come to the channeling open house in my Califomia apartment and were leaning forward expectantly. Yara, an unknown visitor from Brazil, a 30-year-old medium with shoulder-length, dark wavy hair, had just agreed to channel for the group. Her fiance, Carlos, translated the beautiful flow of Portuguese into English. Also a channel, I listened with keen interest, and then, as the message unfolded, with astonishment Rori, the invisible being who was speaking, addressed me directly. "We were hoping this encounter would occur. . . ," he said.

He continued then, speaking of Benedict, the spirit I had channeled earlier in the evening, of the connection between Benedict and himself, of the nonphysical study and research groups they both worked with that communicated around the globe, and of their common desire to be of service to the planet The two spirits, Rori and Benedict, were asking for my direct assistance with a project that involved offering opportunities for emotional healing to troubled spirits who were on the other side of the veil.

People unprepared for their experiences after death, Rori explained, sometimes fail to release their suffering once in the nonphysical realm. They were free to do it, but many needed assistance because they were stuck ("crystallized" was the word he used) between dimensions in the environment created by their emotions and beliefs. In effect, they were not completing the "death" transformation process and moving fully into the dimensions beyond Earth to begin new experiences. Instead they hovered close to the Earth plane, not understanding their own position and unable to communicate with incarnated humans.

Help could most efficiently be given through cooperation between spirit helpers and conscious humans, Rori said. Would I be willing to create a "lab", a group that would work cooperatively with spirit beings, as an experiment to offer this service of emotional healing to both sides? Although the initial focus of the "lab" was on emotional healing, there was a broader agenda. Rori and Benedict, as spirit beings, wanted to foster normalization of communications between the physical and nonphysical worlds and to help dissolve the fear and mystification associated with these communications.

Opening to Egalitanan Relationships

Rori advocated an egalitarian relationship between humans and spirit helpers rather than encouraging humans !o look to spirits as guides ordained with power over human affairs. As an analogy, he tactfully suggested that if I were to visit another country, I would probably be willing to speak with ordinary people, not just the leaders. Why not app~y the same standard in channeling? Yet my training as a channel had taught me always to reach for the highest guides as a safety measure and to avoid any contact with denser spirits. Rori advocated channeling a variety of spirits, including some from denser planes. It would teach discemment and provide opportunities for service to the troubled ones. He requested that I refer to Benedict and him as friends. This proposal propelled me into rethinking my whole attitude toward channeling and spiritual growth.

I realized my ideas had originally been based upon a kind of parent-child image, the superbeing bending from Heaven to guide and guard a humble human. Rori's description of the proposed two-way exchange in which help would be given to us and by us was a call to spiritual adulthood. The two Brazilians did not, as it tumed out, have any intention of having the kind of equal exchange I had anticipated from Rori's words and looked forward to as a kind of cultural exchange. This led to misunderstandings in communications later on.

What they did do was describe their work as members of a spiritist "disobsession" group in Brazil and offer to tell me whatever I wanted to know about their experiences, promising to continue communications through Carlos, who was fluent in both languages, and to send channeled messages from Rori.

Rori said he and Benedict would meet from tirne to time on the inner planes, and dreamtime traininp for me would continue. Eventually, he promised, I would be able to channel him myself, because he could speak English even though Yara did not. I wondered at first why the project seemed necessary, not having prasped its broader implications. With spirits like Rori and Benedict available on the other side, why did we need to talk to the troubled ones? Why couldn't they be helped where they were? Rori explained that helpers on his side could not always communicate with troubled spirits because of their beliefs. Often they did not realize they were "dead." "They have to feel the energy that is given off by the physical body so that they can understand and comprehend their own situation," he said.

Then, distracted from their obsession with despair, anger, grief or pain, the spirits who communicate even briefly with an incarnate human usually recopnize the difference in vibrations and awaken to the truth of their situation. Through this shift they are able to see and connect with wiser souls on their own side of the veil and are led to a place of healing and learning suited to their levels of spiritual understanding.

Understanding Pain beyond the Veil

"Benedict is proposing" said Rori, "to bring spirits for you to become acquainted with, for example, spirits who still find themselves feeling sick, those who are crystallized for a very lonp time in one situation because of vengeance or because they are very angry or sad, for some reason. It is for you, also, so that you may experience spirits that have the same existential doubts that even people in the group have. This is so that you can experiment with the sensation of proximity and closeness that we have here, for you to feel it more intimately."

Like Benedict, Rori viewed the channel's experience of feeling the intense emotions of troubled spirits to be of value for both spirit and channel. Local people did not recommend this at all. Yet my metaphysical studies and clinical training had pointed me in the direction of integrating every kind of emotion, not separating them into good and bad.

My parents had avoided all but the "approved" and "good" emotions. The most "approved" emotion in my family was brave cheerfulness, very much in the British tradition. Anything other than enthusiasm was covertly rejected as dangerous or bad or a sign of weakness. In sharp contrast to the Brazilians, I had learned to show very little of how I truly felt, to my parents or anyone else.

Yara, Carlos and I met twice more for extended channeling sessions with Rori. He was wonderfully loving, patient and helpful to me in these meetings, answering personal questions as well as those related to the project and acknowledging my need to feel secure as a channel in order to accept the challenge.

Two weeks, later Yara flew back to her job as a !awyer in Brazil. Carlos stayed to finish his master's degree in enpineering at the University of California, Berkeley. I transcribed the tapes of our meetings, excited and apprehensive, wondering how to begin the adventure of the "lab." Only later did I uncover the high level of my fear about giving control to unknown spirit entities with strong, unhappy emotions.

Some Explorers Volunteer

My first move, an idea from Benedict, was to attend the local Seth study group and tell them the story. Jane Robert's 20-year odyssey as a medium for Seth had been the chief impetus behind the 20th century renewal of interest in mediumship, or channeling, as it is now called. Seth had interacted with Jane's friends, her ESP class and her husband, producing a long series of books about the nature of reality, consciousness, the psyche, mass events, dreams and evolution. People intrigued by the concepts had formed groups in many I places to discuss them and experiment with applications in their own lives. My proposal was enthusiastically received and six intrepid explorers from the Seth study group, plus a few others, began to meet at my apartment on Friday nights. Some continued, while others did not; new members came in. The first group met for approximately a year.

After a summer break, another set of meetings continued for a second year. The name "Silver Dolphins" came to me in a meditation and was happily adopted by the group. We had vivid imagery experiences of the lightness, playfulness and healing enerpy of dolphins and their relationship with the sea, whether understood as a sea of water, light, emotion or the depths of human consciousness.

Yara had suggested that there be at least one channel in the room, one person willing to converse with or counsel the spirits who came through, and one person whose responsibility would be to help maintain the flow of energy in the circle, taking particular care of the channel. The spiritists used some specific skills, such as hand-passes close to the back of the mediums's head and neck, which they said made it easier for spirits to incorporate. Of the fifteen people in Yara's group, four or five would incorporate spirits in an eve ning's work, sometimes two or three ol them at the same time. The others stayed attentively on either side of the channels, moving around the room as needed.

Our sessions began with exercises ta bring the group into harmony and expand our psychic abilities, often using music and guided imagery. After opening to spirit visitors for about an hour, someone would lead a short meditation for closure at the end. We usually held a healing meditation just before ending, setting up the energy as a golden "grail" of Light, placing people into it by name, and releasing the energy to the Earth when everyone had absorbed as much as they could use. Those present were free to ask questions of the entities that came in or to ask for healing for themselves. Benedict led us very gently into our adventures. "You are, in a certain sense, very much protected as you go into the experiences here. We are with you whether we are speaking or not. We hold the energy in such a way as to maximize the opportunities for you and for those who come to have interchanges that are optimum. You are appreciated for your efforts, for your willingness. You are observed with great interest. You are beautiful beings. Give yourselves credit. Give yourselves love and acceptance - wherever you are in your lives at this time."

At first, we met only beings who wished to visit and help. Several group members had spontaneous, first-time channeling experiences. Dave brought in a loving spirit named Myra. He saw her first in a guided- imagery- with- music experience, recognized her as a figure known to him from his dreams and finally allowed her to come through verbally.

"The rhythm is beautiful here," she said. "I am thankful that I was invited, although I've been here every Friday.

"We're all traveling a similar pathway. It is wonderful to be here on this journey of bodies and spirits working together for a unity that will soon become a wonderful, powerful tool for each one of you to use in your life, to open those doors that have been closed."

The First Meeting

Within a few weeks we had our first meeting with a troubled spirit. It was the step into frightening territory I had hoped to approach more slowly.

Dave, who had slumped in his chair, began to make a long, low humming noise, like someone trying to speak but unable to get the word out. We learned later that Myra had been ready to come through and he had hesitated. Another spirit then dashed in and Dave accepted him. Dave's breathing became noisy. He began to heave and sob without tears. The startled group watched anxiously. They had never seen such a transformation before. My eyes were closed and Benedict's presence kept me calm. I did not know until afterwards how frightening the scene had been to the rest of the group.

The deep, hoarse voice coming through Dave became louder, "Huh huh hu hu hu hu hu . . . ," sounding like a man desperately trying to cry. Benedict asked, "Will you give it words?"

"Pain. I feel pain." "Where do you feel the pain?" asked Vivian, a group member.

"In my heart." Vivian asked for his name and was told it was Jason. He began to weep again. "I am totally distressed, a totally distressed soul. I have done much harm to many people . . . hurt and distraught and diseased. Very diseased in mind and body."

"The pain that you caused other people has caused you pain?" Vivian asked. Jason replied in agony, "Yes."

"What would release that pain?" asked Uma.

Jason broke into loud, heart-broken sobbing. The Dolphins stared with mixed feelings. Dave's face, body and voice had become unfamiliar. It was as though he had gained weight, become older, his face lined. Eventually, Jason subsided into heavy breathing and then made a surprising comment on his experience. "The love of all surrounds this body."

Benedict confirmed it. Jason's voice, then, was barely heard: "I want to go home."

Benedict said, "You can go on if you will follow the Light." The exchange with group members continued for several more minutes. At last there was a pause and Benedict indicated that Jason had been able to release himself. Dave came out of trance and Benedict encouraged discussion. One by one, the group members revealed how horrifled they had been at the changes in Dave as Jason came in. It was our first lesson in dealing with troubled spirits - and with our own fears. Actually, we handled it very well.

Meeting weekly or biweekly for that first year, we became a gateway for a great variety of spirits, some of human lineage and some apparently not. Vivian had a vivid experience of contact with the captain of a spaceship. Sally became friends with a young, friendly "green" spirit who came every week and often made us laugh, going"bop, bop, bop" around the room. Finally, she allowed it to speak through her. Once it introduced an elder parent who stayed briefly. Dave channeled Athenian, a poetic orator. Often he allowed distressed spirits to come in, the only one of us with the courage to do so at tnat time. Uma was very psychic but consistently waited until the end of the meeting to report what she had seen. All of our sessions were taped and communications with Brazil were few and far between.

Yara and Carlos did write of their marriage and of buying a home in Sao Paulo. They were happy, had a dog and were busy with their careers. Yara worked for the city of Sao Paulo. Carlos had a job with an environmental consulting firm. Rori had promised that if I wrote questions he would answer them, but many were not addressed in the translated correspondence.

Doubts and Fears

The Brazilians kept encouraging me to channel troubled spirits, but my doubts and fears grew stronger and were reinforced by local people who repeatedly warned that we were doing something very dangerous by opening to unknown entities, even though all our experiences had been positive. Group members were intrigued by the story of the Brazilians and at the same time tended to resist them as mentors.

By the summer of 1992, what had begun in near total innocence was becoming a commitment to face our fears and get through our resistance if we were to go further than skating on the surface. All of us hesitated. Group members made excuses for not coming. The circle began to unravel.

After some discussion, the Dolphin project was put on hold for the summer. I wrote to Brazil describing our dilemma, not really wanting to give up but unable to go on as we were. We had been trying to do something for which there was no support in our own society, unlike Brazil which had a long history of social acceptance of mediumship and services to troubled spirits.

In August of 1992, I received a channeled tape from Rori attempting to help me deal with my fears, another detailed description of his proposal and a warm invitation to visit Brazil. I did the exercises and sent a letter describing the results, as requested, but neither Rori nor I was satisfied. By October, it was obvious that regardless of cost, I must somehow get to Brazil and see Yara's group in action. Suddenly, within a few days, a loan and arrangements became possible and a two-week visit was arranged for November 1, 1992.

Yara's group in Sao Paulo, made up of fifteen people, met every Saturday night at the spiritist center, usually for about two hours. Guided by a spirit named Andre over a period of twelve years, their work had changed from the rather formal structure fostered by Allan Kardec in the 1 800s to a much more free-flowing mode of operation. Because of their shifts away from traditional forms, Carlos told me they did not dare discuss their work with many spiritist colleagues.

They had become psychologically more sophisticated and sought to understand issues raised by troubled spirits, rather than simply lecturing them on the importance of spiritual progress, as some others did. They found that touching the medium's body after incorporation of a spirit could be comforting and would not necessarily dislodge the connection. They learned to switch roles, working sometimes as medium, other times as counselor. Even the familiar helper spirits who came as a team, week after week, switched around, sometimes coming through one person and sometimes another. I witnessed all of this on my visit and after observing both the highly controlled traditional groups and Yara's group, where the mediums consciously incorporated intensely emotional spirits, I could fully appreciate their skill and courage.

Hundreds of people came every week to the spiritist center for healing, spirit consultations, classes in healing and mediumship (all without charge) and, once trained over a nine-month period, joined groups giving service to others.

Rori had asked the group in Brazil to demonstrate for me all the different aspects of their work, including its evolution from the more traditional Kardec format. They did so willingly, giving a great deal of their personal time to the project, and I shall al ways be grateful for it.

During my visit, I met with them for many, many hours, mornings, evenings and two weekends. I attended classes, spirit consultations, healings, channeled "planning" meetings, regular "disobsession" sessions and even the ceremonial work of another group (Umbanda Branco) that used mediums for healing. The spiritists had regular jobs during the day, so it was an exhausting schedule. Benedict, my nonphysical friend, made his comforting presence distinctly felt throughout the visit. I was confronted by beliefs and attitudes about emotion entirely different from those I had grown up with. The Brazilians frankly enjoyed the drama of intense expression - in great contrast to American society.

The first channeled traumatic death experience I witnessed was a terrified spirit who arrived reliving the moment before his death, believing he was still being chased by police dogs in a prison riot which had taken place a few months before in Sao Paulo. He had been shot to death by guards. He channeled through a young woman in the "disobsession" group, screaming with fright. She/he was held, comforted, told he was in a hospital, and as he released his fear, the counselor was able to explain to him his true situation. He soon went off with some of his comrades to a better life on another plane. In this situation, as in most others, the release of one spirit usually released a whole group, even though we had no direct contact with the others.

Afterwards, one of the spiritists swept the medium's aura clear with long passes from head to toe and gave her a drink of water. A colleague hugged her and spoke with her until she was grounded again and not retaining any of the feelings held by the spirit.

Personal Connections

I watched a whole series of these moment-of-death scenes on my first night in Sao Paulo. Then Rori came in and said that the next three spirits that were coming in had known me in other lives. The first one had held angry, resentful feelings toward me for several centuries of our time. (Time is not experienced in the same way on the other side. Apparently it passes, for spirits crystallized in obsessive emotions, rather like a dream.) I did not learn why she felt this way. Her counselor focused only on the process of her release. I was brought to her and "she" touched me and wondered aloud at how much my vibration had changed. Within minutes she had switched from an angry outburst to tears and was then able to see the Light spirits around her, waiting to take her onward. The second one came in expressing a deep sense of betrayal. She had been taken into a convent where I and two other women in the room had lived as nuns. Because she was killed by being burned as a witch, she blamed me and the other women for it. She began to relive the burning and was skillfully brought out of it by the counselor. Watching her, I started to cry and clung to the shoulder of a sobbing Brazilian woman who had been with me in that life. It was very strange to be holding on to a supposed stranger in such an intimate moment. We smiled and laughed together when the tears had passed, but could not talk freely because of the language barrier.

The last spirit brought in by the nonphysical team was a male spirit who said he had loved me dearly in a life centuries ago in the Austrian mountains. He had been killed in a war after we had been together for four years and said he had been waiting ever since for a chance to speak with me! I was embarrassed, sitting facing this spirit inside a male channel who was holding my hands. I sensed his care for me, but could make very little response, having no memory of my faithful lover.

The Need to Get in Touch with the Power of Emotions

I was greatly impressed by the freedom with which the Brazilians expressed themselves emotionally. Rori had told me that Benedict wanted to be allowed to be more forceful in his expression and I was holding him back. I was faced with the need to get more in touch with my own power in order to allow Benedict to express his.

This depended upon being able to feel secure enough to express a full range of emotions, including anger, something especially disapproved of by my family. The Brazilians gave me an opportunity to channel an angry spirit, but I allowed very little of his anger to come through. I did channel a frightened man who had been shot to death in City Hall and had been clinging to a desk there ever since. Carlos persuaded him to let go. (I was on the floor hanging on to his leg!)

For two weeks I moved from one highly emotional experience to another. One whole Sunday was a form of psychodrama led by the spirit team for the benefit of the current spiritist group leader, all under the channeled direction of Rori. Costumes were rented to re-enact a European life in the 1 820s and appropriate music played in the background. The theme was the importance of passion for the fulfillment of creative talenL The entire experience was so emotional we were all in tears before it was over. It was impossible for Carlos to translate, so l do not know the full outcome except for myself, which was to trigger the release of an enormous grief, totally unknown to me before. I have never sobbed so hard or so long in my life as on that day. Yara asked me through Carbs how I felt afterwards.

"Like a dam that has broken," I replied. I had agreed to the trip, wanting and expecting an emotional breakthrough and counting on Rori and Benedict to help me deal with iL My life in California was not unhappy but it wasn't going anywhere and I had wanted a major shift. Access to Rori depended on Yara and she put off my longpromised personal session with Rori from day to day until the very last morning. Finally, after hours of delay and in a room full of people coming and going and a general sense of chaos, a tired and reluctant Yara channeled Rori in the session which he had said the day before would deal with all my doubts and fears.

The presence Yara brought through in that atmosphere did nothing of the sort. I surrendered to a situation in which it was obvious that what I had hoped for in the way of a dialogue with Rori was not going to take place, and I listened to the "lecture." I was extremely vulnerable because so much emotional pain had been triggered by my experiences, and my trust in Yara's channeling was broken in those moments. The timing could not have been worse. It was a very unsatisfactory ending. There was no opportunity to make sense of what was happening, no experience of integration and not a disinterested person I could talk with about it in English.

I had enjoyed most of my stay enormously - the lively people, their warmth, friendliness and skills as mediums, the beer and supper together after our Saturday evening's work and the cheerful sound of the birds in the early morning when I couldn't sleep. I had collected a large box of tapes, notes, books and Portuguese transcripts of special group sessions and was looking forward tg a continuing exchange of news and a visit from one of the group members in the future - until communications failed.

For months after my return to the United States at the end of November, emotions that had been stirred up by the dramatic experiences in Brazil kept surfacing: nausea, grief, anger, unnamable pain and confusion. I kept going over and over in my mind the experiences of my last three days there and could not make sense out of them. I didn't recognize my own traumatized state until after the busy Christmas holiday period and didn't fully feel the depth of my reactions until January. It was as though I had done exactly what the crystallized, troubled spirits had done - become stuck in my own emotions. I felt like a wounded soldier who can't find the medical corps and is staggering around the bat- tlefield, bleeding and in a daze.

A casual postcard from Carlos asking how I was feeling triggered anger which had been mostly hidden, even from me. I wrote and told him I was angry about the way my personal time with Rori had been handled. His response was a vicious personal attack based on a misunderstanding. I went to my local channeling friends to get information about what was going on, which was exceedingly helpful. However, communications with Brazil broke down for months.

I thought I would be praised for actually expressing some anger, but far from it! They assumed I had rejected Rori and all their work, which was not the case at all. However, it was very revealing of hidden aspects of our relationship and allowed me to understand at last that I was not supposed to be an independent or angry woman with them, despite all the words to the contrary. I was treated like a child who had who suddenly grown up and decided to leave home and whose parents felt very upset about it.

The relationship with Brazil nearly ended. At the time of this writing I haven't heard a word from Carlos since October 1993. I would have liked to continue the communication because it was a fascinating window into another world, one unknown to me, and I liked the people. However, I wanted a genuine exchange, not a "follower" relationship.

Healing through the Pain

For years, since first reading the Seth books, I had heard the teaching spirits say that we each create our own reality, so I knew that something about the extraordinary pain of that experience had to be offering me a healing. It was very difficult to flnd at first. When I thought about the last two days in Brazil my body would react with nausea, sometimes with hours of paralyzing abdominal pain. I felt betrayed, deeply injured, angry, confused and unable to understand my own reactions. Nothing made any sense until local spirit channeling sessions gave me some background information on Yara and Carlos which shed light on the situation.

Previous life relationships, they said, played a part in Yara's reactions, and her unresolved personal issues had strongly influenced the sessions of the last week. I could forgive her for that, but I didn't know how to set myself free. Getting angry helped, and over a period of months, I came to recognize that an irrevocable process of emotional release had begun which was so valuable that it no longer mattered how it had been set off.

I had learned in Brazil to allow waves and torrents of emotional pain to flow through me, pain that sometimes had no name, images, associations or memories emotions that totally overwhelmed my ability to think. Rori's words came back to me: "Live your feelings. Then think about them." There were moments in the year that followed when that ability to simply feel, without fighting or judging the experience, was invaluable. It was the beginning of empowerment. I began to make more determined decisions about my life, including the decision to leave my job and move to Sedona. Another decision was never again to hand over my power to other people, as I had done with Yara.

In January of 1993,1 decided to begin the next stage of the Silver Dolphin experiment. New people responded and Dave, who was now struggling with AIDS, remained. Rori appeared in my dreams with copies of the Declaration of Independence! The spirits, Andre and Rori, had made clear on the first evening in Sao Paulo that their agenda for the visit was for an opening of the heart among us all. Sometimes the quickest way to open the heart is to have a heart-breaking experience. I had never doubted for a moment that Rori's real nature was loving. He also sent a reassuring message through another channel that he was not angry with me, despite what Carlos had written. My channeling friend could see Rori in the dark room and commented afterwards, "There was so much Light, it was as though the Sun were in my eyes - even though they were closed." The Dolphins were free to go their own way, no longer dependent upon the Brazilians as mentors.

I asked Benedict to describe again what he meant by "emotional healing." He managed to come through a channeling friend of mine. (They both reported that it was very hard and the language flow was not smooth.) Benedict said, "We meant not necessarily the completing of a whole person, a living person or a spirit, but rather the sense of smoothing out the emotional peaks and valleys of either one of these.

So it isn't a case of a channel with, let's say, not enough anger expressed, bringing through a very angry spirit and therefore the channel becomes whole. It is more a case of the channel and the nonphysical joining their energies in such a way that both energies are smoother or more harmonious with each other in the end. The blend of one and the other is the healed state that we meant.

"We wish to indicate that there is a huge benefit in this state and that the emotion we speak of is considerably different from the emotion that humans feel, in that it has dimensions beyond the emotions that humans feel," he continued. "[It is] a sharing of units of consciousness, an intermixing, like oil and water do when you mix them - each individual part is there but they are blended in such a way that the whole is changed and forms quite a different thing. Channeling is a mixture of a channel's units of consciousness and the nonphysical part of the partnership's consciousness units, though you may never have called it emotional healing. It supports you and any channel and it supports the nonphysicals in their work, also. This blending is to be desired by everyone."

"I am still afraid," I told him, "of some kinds of experiences."

"Do know," he replied, "you are always supported, no matter who or what you channel, and that you, yourself, are always in control and can always say, 'Begone from me.' Whatever entity, of whatever type, will not be able to stay there if you withdraw your energy from it."

In April 1993, I had another breakthrough experience, channeling one of the men who died in the Waco, Texas, fire. I felt his terrible grief. There was nothing fearful in it for me. I was delighted at my own progress in learning to trust, to express and to channel emotion. The man moved on into the Light and both of were freer.

Carly Ayres is currently channeling a book from representatives of the nature kingdoms. Carly teaches dreamwork and is Program Director for The Center in Sedona (formerly The Center for the New Age).