Spirit Encounters

       "Good afternoon, I'm Jay Christian from The Hotline. You invited me to come look at the lights .. ."
       "Yes, yes. Come on in."
       Marlene chattered nervously as we headed down a hall. "I'm glad you came. I don't think I'd ever have gone up in the attic again." She led me to a stairway. "After you," she offered with a sheepish grin.
       My heart beat faster. I couldn't swallow the lump in my throat. Maybe I'll get to talk with spirits from another plane, I thought as I climbed the stairs. Reincarnation has helped me make some sense out of life, but there's still the two questions that have haunted me since childhood. Maybe they'll have answers!
The attic door squeaked open into a single, small room with a window on each end. Half a dozen boxes sat along the wall to my left. A couple lamps and a wooden chair with a broken leg stood near the window to my right. The side walls left and right of the door were short. The ceiling peaked in the middle, barely taller than I. I walked several feet down the center, then turned and glanced around the room. Marlene stepped just inside the doorway. We waited in silence for several minutes.
       "Where were the lights?" I asked.
       "All over. A red one would flash there, then a blue one here. Then a pink light, or white, or green, or orange." She pointed to differing spots all over the attic as she spoke. "Some lights came on, then swept around the room. Others just flashed quickly." She snapped her fingers. "Shorter than that."
       "Did they come on one at a time?"
       "No, no. Well, I guess a few did. But sometimes there were several lights ... different colors ... sweeping all over the attic from different directions. And they were bright!"
       "How bright!"
       "Nearly blinding. Even brighter than when you're driving straight into the sun."
For half an hour we waited and wondered aloud together about the phenomena. But nothing happened.
       We finally descended the stairs. Disappointed, I headed home.
       "God," I prayed that night, "Why won't you talk to me! Marlene and her friend must have encountered spirits. And I've read about others' experiences with spirits. I want to grow. I want to make sense out of my life. I want to know about the future so I can be prepared for it. Please send a spirit to teach me."
       I pictured a warm, casual conversation with a soul. Day after day I prayed for the experience. A source of wisdom seemed especially important to me since the pendulum was nearly useless. I thought back to my initial instructions in pendulum use: "The pendulum wont answer every question you ask it. It will sometimes refuse to give you an answer. Sometimes, if it knows you can't handle the answer, it will even lie to you.
       So, I wondered, if it answers a preponderance of my questions with "I don't know" or "I won't tell you" and if I cant trust it when it answers some other way, what good is it?
       It's almost like it worked perfectly to begin with but dropped me when I really learned to depend on it.
       I gave up on the pendulum and prayed the harder for an opportunity to visit with a spirit.
       One afternoon, I stretched out on my bed and took a nap. When I'd half-wakened, I continued to rest on my right side, facing the wall.
       Suddenly, a hand grasped my left shoulder and pulled me onto my back. Knowing I was home alone, I shook off the sleepiness and looked up.
       Several feet above me and three or four feet to my left, I clearly saw a grandmotherly face. She wore heavily-framed glasses with upswept points at her temples. Curly gray hair framed her smile and kindly eyes. But I could see no body. Just a face.
       My hands turned cold and clammy.
       She smiled. "You wanted to talk to me?"
       "I don't know you!" I responded coldly. "Go away!"
       Her smooth, gentle voice spoke again. "What would you like to know?"
       Even though her eyes exuded understanding, terror pulsed through me and pounded in my head. I felt frozen. Finally, words escaped again past the lump in my throat. "Go away! I don't know you!"
       "I'll wait a few minutes in case you change your mind."
       She hung around, literally, for several minutes. All her expressions and mannerisms indicated she was a friendly soul, but terror still filled me. "Leave! Please leave!" I gasped.
       She faded... slowly.
       Several minutes later my heart slowed and quit pounding. I breathed deeply, slowly, trying to relax. When my terror had nearly vanished my senses returned. Oh no! This was the answer to my prayer! My chance to find answers. I blew it!
       "Please, God," I begged, "give me another opportunity."
       Several weeks later a friend invited me to a seance. "Is this one for real?" I questioned.
       "What do you mean, for real?"
       "I've heard about seances and, frankly, I'm skeptical."
       "I guess ... I think ... some of them are ... phony. Probably some are for real. But I suspect a lot are a sham."
       "Well, I thought it was for real when I went," she responded. "You'll just have to come and make up your own mind."
       "OK. Let's go. I haven't had any more opportunities to talk with spirits. Maybe God will speak to me through a seance. At the very least, it should be interesting."
       We arrived at an old house and went downstairs into the basement. I glanced around the room. There were no windows. Folding chairs were arranged in a semicircle facing a stage in one corner. On the stage sat a chair with a curtain behind it and pillows strewn in front of it. Four trumpets stood near the chair, with their mouthpieces toward the ceiling. These weren't ordinary trumpets. They were straight from the mouthpiece to the flared bell. And they had no finger controls for changing pitch.
       "The spirits," my friend explained, "will speak to us through the trumpets."
       "But why should I believe anyone really uses the trumpets?" I questioned.
       "See how they're standing?"
       "Since the spirits deon't have bodies, they use the trumpets as their voice boxes. They will levitate the trumpets, talk through them, then leave them lying strewn about the floor so we can know they have indeed been used by spirits."
       Several others came in and sat down in the semicircle also.
       "Oh, by the way," my friend added, "sometimes during the seance a spirit will actually come into the room so we can see it. When that happens, it's a tiny light that flits about the room, like ... well ... like Tinkerbell."
       A middle-aged woman entered. My friend caught her attention. "Come meet my friend, Jay."
       She offered her hand. "Glad to have you here, Jay" We chatted briefly before she moved to the stage and settled into the chair. When she nodded, a young man flipped the light switch and darkness filled the room. Darkness so dark that you felt it. As dark as this is, I thought, anyone could do anything and no one could see it happen.
       "God," the woman began, "I ask for your protection from evil spirits that might harm or mislead, and I ask your blessing on each of us. Amen."
       Silence filled the blackness. Then a tiny light flirted about the room. Like a fire-fly whose light didn't go out. Indeed, like Tinkerbell, the tiny fairy of Disney fame. It floated and flirted about for what seemed like several minutes. Then it disappeared as suddenly as it had appeared.
       The leader spoke again. "I see Bob. He died when he was seventy-seven. Does anyone know a Bob?"
       "Yes," an elderly woman answered eagerly.
       "Bob, do you know this lady?" She paused. "Irene, it is your husband. Bob, do you have words for Irene?" Silence again. "Irene," the woman said, "Bob says life is great where he is. He is taking the opportunity to learn about things he did in his life here. He's planning out the process of karma so he can take the best advantage of everything he's learned."
       The widow asked a series of questions about family and financial decisions, and the medium passed on his suggestions. "Bob says" the medium concluded, "that if you follow everything he told you tonight, your finances will improve greatly."
       "Oh, thank you," the widow responded. "I miss him so much. But it helps me tremendously to be able to hear from him."
       There was silence again for a minute. Then the medium said, "I see a young woman. She was killed in a car crash. .. ."
       A woman to my right caught her breath.
       "Her name is ... uh ...Joanne."
       "It's my daughter!" a woman gasped.
       My head swam as different souls sent messages through the medium to different individuals. In the middle of one, a thought struck me -- Several years have gone by. If I get a chance, I'll ask if the spirits see a fall in my future.
       Eventually the medium lapsed into silence again. Then a deeper voice spoke ... from the woman in the chair. With a strong accent, it said, "I am Chief Running River. I left my body two of your centuries ago and have gained much wisdom. I have come to you before. I come again to give you guidance in your search for truth."
       The room was hushed while he spoke. Finally his mellow voice concluded, "Live good lives. It's more important now than it ever has been before that you create little or no negative karma. Soon the earth will shift on its axis. There will be such widespread destruction that many people will die. With a much smaller population, far fewer babies will be born. So, until the world has regenerated its population, it will be much harder, much slower to work off negative karma and move on to higher planes."
       "The souls of your ancestors are waiting to be reunited with you," he continued. "Some may even be your guardian angels in this life. They will help you to keep your 'teepees' in order so you can come quickly to advanced planes."
       After a long silence, he spoke again. "I must go now. Stay open to the spirits. Listen for their voices. Always follow their advice."
       The medium broke the hush in the room with a sigh, then spoke again in her own voice. "The spirits say it is time to speak through the trumpets. A spirit will come, pick up a trumpet, and talk through it," she explained for us newcomers. "The trumpets are just another way for us to hear the wisdom of other souls on various topics."
       The medium called up spirit guides of three other individuals. The voices that spoke through the trumpets had a high, tinny sound. They were garbled -- hard to understand, but not impossible.
       Indeed this does seem like it's for real, I thought. There's been information and guiding suggestions that, surely not just anyone would know.
       But the intense darkness kept intriguing me. My eyes had had more than ample time to adjust. I held up one hand just a couple inches in front of my face. I still couldn't see my hand, let alone anything else.
       Then the medium said it was my turn. We'll see, I thought, not totally believing or disbelieving.
       "Will Jay's spirit guide please come to talk with him through a trumpet?" the medium asked.
       A burst of electricity jolted through me. "Go ahead, Jay," she said. "What questions do you have for your spirit guide?"
       "First," I said, "would you just speak so I can hear your voice?"
       An eerie, thin voice from a trumpet said, "Ja-a-a-a-ay, I'm he-ee-ee-ere."
       If this is truly my own spirit guide who has been with me from birth, I thought, he'll know my real name as well as my radio name.
       "Isn't there something else you want to call me other than Jay?"
       The thin, eerie voice stuttered, "Uh-h-h-h ..."
       "Don't test it!" the medium broke in. "You're not supposed to test it! It upsets the spirits greatly!"


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