Warming Up The Engine
“Sucking or blowing?” I inquired. My doorman looked up at me, simultaneously confused, perturbed and amused. “What?” He queried with his English accent. I had returned home late at night after a screening of the amazing new film “The Imitation Game” about British math genius Alan Turing, who broke the German code Enigma during WWII, and invented the world’s first computer in so doing. The film stars sixth Beatle Benedict Cumberbatch, who was there with the director and cast for a Q&A after the film, and then exited the theatre to embrace his lucky fiancée when all was said and done. I am a fan of Cumberbatch and his body of work, and this film is fantastic.
I was all misty after the film, not because I saw Benedict, nor because he is getting married (to someone else), but because my father fought in the war, and was stationed as an airman in England. As well, it seems (this is relatively recent news) that my father may have been doing covert work, and this film was all about “covert”. I downgraded my crying from downpour to drizzle and wiped at my eyes as I approached my building, shifting from pensive and sad to puzzled and curious. I could not discern what my night doorman was doing outside the building. He was using a gadget on the sidewalk that looked like a leaf blower, but he then utilized it inside the lobby where there were no leaves. So I asked. “Is it sucking, or blowing? I can’t tell.” His bewilderment gave way to laughter.
I go in spurts with my assorted activities, from tap dancing to spiritual seeking. I regularly get messages from Nicole Gans Singer, a superb medium and channeler (teachingsofthemasters.org). After being left high and dry time and again by the various and sundry “spiritual” events I attend, I’ve asked for feedback from Nicole’s guides regarding these events, as there’s often more (or less) than meets the eye. Maybe I did benefit from something, even if it seemed like a boring bust. It’s all in one’s perspective, and I like mine to be challenged. I keep an open mind, but am often flabbergasted by the unexpected insights Spirit has about my daily comings and goings.
I attended an event led by “energy worker” Abdy “Electriciteh” (a made up last name if ever I heard one). I’d heard about him from a “chatty Cathy” in a trance mediumship class I took, or “trance camp” as I liked to call it. She glowed ecstatically, “Abdy looks in your eyes then knocks you down with his energy!” Sounded like a barrel full of monkeys. There’s another guy named Braco (pronounced “Bratzoh”) who just stares warmly and intently at crowds for extended periods of time. It’s supposed to be healing. Or loving. Or something.
Anyone who’s come close to their favorite movie or music star knows the electrifying phenomenon that Abdy was selling. What did people get from Jesus? The Buddha? What do they get from Bono? Heck, performance artist Marina Abramović made a splash at the Museum of Modern Art not long ago doing the same thing as Braco. A little eye contact goes a long way. It’s increasingly rare in our mobile device obsessed culture. Comfortable eye contact, inner peace and social ease are antidotes for “text neck.”
I was at a guy’s free channeling event in New York City when I learned that Abdy “Electriciteh” was going to be in New York City. Actually, I have to stop right there. I used to attend this guy’s channeled events regularly in years prior, and while all channeling sessions can be weird (it’s awkward on occasion when Spirit takes over your body) this guy’s sessions were weirder than most.
I’ve been in dark, quiet rooms filled with reverent, meditative types when a channel’s sudden booming made me hit the ceiling. In the weekly development circle I led in my home for years, a one-time guest channeled spontaneously, and I nearly jumped out of my skin. I didn’t know she had that psychic trick up her sleeve. Actually, I didn’t know if she was a girl, either, despite her overblown feminine façade. When you’re over six feet tall and have no hips, big tits and a lot of makeup become suspect.
I’ve been with soft-spoken channels, loud channels and channels who babbled intergalactic gobbledeygook (hey, I don’t speak Arcturian, it could have been coherent.) I’m open to it all. I don’t have to prove it. It’s not a test. It’s an experience. I get what I get. And you get it from me. Some of it’s real. Some of it may not be. But there’s only one way to find out. Go to the group. Or go to Arcturus.
The guy whose channeled sessions I was going to weekly would gesticulate and spasm while he boomed. Weird? Yes. Fine. But years later, now that he’s a big channeling star of sorts, all of a sudden his guides had taken on an English accent and a bit of Irish flair. The two accents phased in and out during his Big Free Public Appearance. This would seem flagrant proof that the fellow is faking, right? (You’re barely with me as it is, I know.)
See, the thing is, I’m a substance over style gal. I’ve learned to overlook a lot of stuff over the years, as there’s often a pearl of wisdom embedded in the debris. Because someone has some flaw or distortion does not mean they don’t also have valuable gifts. You’ve just gotta decide on a case by case basis how much detritus you’re willing to pick through.
So, the guy’s channeling is not in question for me. His messages are powerful, incisive, insightful, specific, commanding and astute. They are also not very fun or uplifting. A bit dreary and Old Testament for my taste, which is one of the reasons why I stopped going. However, what’s with the accents? No, really, what’s with the accents? Were Shaw and Shakespeare now trying to get in on the action? Why did they take years to make their presence known? Were they waiting for green cards?
At any rate, while at this American/Irish/English channeling convention, I got a flyer for Abdy from the channeler’s agent, for Abdy is represented by the same agent. Yes, I know how that sounds. It sounds like that to me, too.
Abdy is an “energy worker”, someone who toils in the diffuse realm of that which is invisible to the naked eye, like any physicist does. We may not see the energy itself, but we know it by its fruit, like wind chimes animated by a breeze.
My interest in the ethereal spheres challenges me to rely on my own knowing. To come into my own Sovereignty. My Mastery. I invite you to come into yours, too, as Luke did in his “blind” light saber training with Obi Wan Kenobi against a remote in “Return of the Jedi”. This does not mean that we cannot benefit from others’ teachings and skills. They can trigger our own understandings, even if they are frauds. We have to be discerning, and not dumb ourselves down in deference to someone else’s alleged status or power. If you “feel nothing” in response to a healing or teaching it may be because there was nothing there to feel. On the other hand, even if you do “feel something” how do you know it’s really from them, and not from you? And if you don’t feel anything, it’s still possible that something (either good or bad) still took place. It's a slippery slope when it comes to interpretation. The only one you should really trust at the end of the day is yourself. And that is the lesson. That, and to keep an open mind. I’m not advocating distrust of others, but too many people defer to others and give their power away. This is a cardinal sin.
Before Abdy started to work the packed room, he said, “There is no name for what you receive.” I’ll say. But there is a name for what he receives. $40. Now, I liked the guy and his “energy”, and he certainly didn’t hurt me. But he didn’t knock me to the ground with his electricity. On the other hand, people around me were swooning and screaming. I felt rather like I was in a madhouse, a classic insane asylum. Now, to be fair, most of the folk in attendance were well-behaved. But some of the “loosy goosy” types were flapping and flailing, convulsing and twitching Salem witch trial style. I was feverishly looking around for an exorcist and an exit.
One guy with a beard and a big belly broke out in maniacal laughter, rocking and rolling on the floor while the waistband of his sweat pants hovered tenuously around his crack. Others hooted, cried and wailed. Some even whimpered. An occasional moan or shriek rang out and echoed in the high ceilinged room. Good god. A couple of women sounded like they were having orgasms, and another like she was giving birth, all on a cold church floor. Do I know how to have fun on a Saturday night?
Abdy told us to lie down once we were “touched” by him. But this was too good a show to miss, so I sat right back up to survey what was going on, and to make sure no lunatic snuck up on me and had a rabid seizure, convulsion, or gave birth in my personal space. When one loonie started wailing, another would too, as if in manic competition. A crazed chain reaction would ripple through the room.
Listen, it’s easy for me to make fun of them. I don’t know what was going on, or what he opened up for them. I don’t think it was bad. There are a lot of messed up people who are not in touch with themselves. So, they let Abdy touch them instead. He said, “If you are sad, the energy will release sad. If you are mad, the energy will release mad” I guess I’m wary, cause that’s what released. Actually, that’s not true. I went in desiring to have a mystical experience, not wanting to rag on lunatics (or to be with them, frankly). I wanted to love Abdy and our “electric exchange”. I wanted to be bowled over by his energy and to have an ecstatic adventure. While I did feel something the second time he touched me (a light tingling in my head when he looked intently in my eyes then touched my third eye with his thumb) overall, I was left cold. I cut out early.
When I asked for feedback about the event from my channeler friend Nicole, she focused within then declared, “Well, he certainly knows how to move energy. But frankly, there are very few people from whom you can benefit at this time. You’re more evolved energetically than most of the people you’ve been seeking out.”
I’m not trying to sound big-headed. I didn’t say it. She did. On the other hand, I have been studying my whole life. And I am pretty cool. You have to graduate sometime.
I’ve received messages from Spirit advising me to stop seeking. Sounds crazy, right? Stop seeking teachers, they said. I’m not seeking teachers, per se, but strong leaders. Interesting people and experiences to ignite my growth and offer unique, new perspectives. Learning never stops. What’s wrong with wanting to study with Einstein? Apparently, there’s a shortage of good teachers. At least for me.
I’m looking for a good time, and I seek it in Spirit, not in bars (though I do enjoy “spirits”). For example, the aforementioned trance medium I studied with. He was sweet, simple, and slow (not mentally, but in manner). Real relaxed like. When it came down to it, I learned more and pushed myself more when I studied with medium James Van Praagh. A fast-paced New Yorker like myself, he was chock full of exercises and new ideas that kept me on my toes. While his ideas were consistent with what I already knew and felt (this was a plus) he also took me places I hadn’t yet been. That’s why I go to a class, or an event. I want new vistas and for my world-view to be shaken up.
This applies to tap class (I go regularly) as much as any spoon-bending workshop (I’ve been to one. Of course). A substitute teacher walked into my tap class and I was immediately perturbed by her dour demeanor. She was “street”, slouchy hip-hop grunge. No problem there. However, no eye contact and looking only at her phone as she entered the room was an “uh oh” for me. Then she plugged her phone into the sound system. Okay, good. At least she would be playing music. Not all tap teachers do.
She smiled finally (thank god) and started leading our warm up, all the while holding a cup of coffee. An intriguing prop, though she did spill once. I wondered if she clutched a cocktail during afternoon classes.
Class dragged as I kept waiting for her to turn on a tune to spice things up. She continued to scroll through tunes on her iPod. Since she made up our routine on the spot, I thought she was probably trying to figure out the perfect piece of music as she improvised.
While lithe, when this gal slammed her taps down the sound reverberated as from a giant’s stride. By comparison, I sounded like a mouse with paperclips taped to my toes. “Not bad,” she’d announce. Never a “pretty good” or even “Hey, that was better!” There’s such a huge difference between the two approaches and hers was demoralizing. She never did play music. Turned out she was just charging her phone and checking her damn texts.
Now, on to the meat and potatoes of this piece. My weekend workshop with Panache Desai. Having worked like a dog 7 days a week up to 18 hours (on and off) a day for a good 18 months straight, and having sweated financial bullets for years prior to that, I finally earned the time and ability to take a three day break. I bounded off for Port Authority and bonded with others waiting in line for our bus up north, which was late. Finally, the lady standing in front of me checked outside and said, “Well, the lights are on and the motor’s running.” While our driver was still missing in action, this was nonetheless a very promising sign. I was in great spirits when I arrived at my destination.
I wasn’t sure who Panache really was, other than a smiley, young, New Age guy. Same as every other personal growth leader with an over-bright grin. What was he selling? It was impossible to determine from class literature, sounding as vague as the “messages” of his smiling, soulful competitors. New Age catalogues are full of classes taught by smiling teachers with loving messages. Why should I give any of them my shekels? I can smile in the mirror and love myself without their tutelage. I based my decision to study with Panache on a very short Internet interview I caught with him and past life regressionist Brian Weiss in which he seemed appealing, positive and open-minded.
I thought, “Ah, now I know who he is.” When I found he was offering a class near me, I decided to go. I trusted my intuition and fully expected to like this fellow and benefit from his workshop.
Part Two coming soon.
© 2015 Valerie Gilbert, All Rights Reserved
My third book, SWAMI SOUP, is now available in print and e-book! The audio book, narrated by me, will be available 2/1/15. RAVING VIOLET and MEMORIES, DREAMS & DEFLECTIONS: My Odyssey Through Emotional Indigestion are both available in print, e-book and audio, narrated by me.