It was dark as Greg parked in front of the house on 39th Street where Arthur had been promised his healing. Greg was a tall, dark, handsome man in his late 20s, the only born-and-bred native of Tucson Arthur knew, and in love with Lucia. After he, she, and Lee wrestled Arthur's chair from the back of his pick-up they were met at the front door by the Rev. Sperry and ushered into her well-lit living room. The reverend’s son and two teen-aged daughters were watching a copy-cat TV drama called “The Fitzpatricks” on a big color television; they were doggedly pretending they were oblivious to and undisturbed by the half dozen strangers already there as well as, now, by the new arrivals. Her son gave up the pretense and left the TV to speak to his mother. He was losing his hair, wore a scraggly dirty blond goatee, walked with an obvious limp, and had a partially paralyzed arm. He was about thirty and had had a stroke at twenty, after which his doctors had told his mother he would soon probably die. She had attributed his recovery to her faith; he thought that his healing had been incomplete, for which he blamed his mother, her God, and the world.
Gentility, a medium herself, wore a black dress with short sleeves and sat apart from the others against a wall in a straight-backed chair. She weighed almost three hundred pounds and her arms above the elbows were as thick through as Arthur's swollen leg had been at its largest; they were also bruised, as though the task of sustaining so much flesh had caused blood vessels to rupture. Her nose, however, was thin and pointed, and her look penetrating. She was a fierce woman, sure of her power and knowledge and full of righteousness. Her readings were revelations to Lucia, Greg, and the two other founders of Desert Light Linking--Dalton, who was here tonight, and Jerry, whom Arthur did not know. The most helpful entity that spoke to Desert Light through Gentility was Wilbur, who described himself as a genderless facet of a collection of thought forms that had never been human and never lived on earth. Gentility wanted to give more readings. If Daniel could be popular and financially successful, why couldn't she?
Steven Cloud and Joan Rainforest had established an experimental community called Healing Waters seventy miles outside of Tucson at which residents and visitors seeking the good life observed a weekly fast day and ate no cooked food. Dr. Lang’s promise had made Arthur a minor celebrity in Tucson healing circles, and Steven, whom Arthur had never met, came across the room, hugged him, and introduced himself.
"Have you met Joan?" he asked.
"I don't think so," said Arthur, and Steven presented her.
Dr. Sharp was talking to Daniel, who wore an orange robe that concealed his fleshiness less successfully than the robe he had worn at Arthur's private session. A large cross made of white cloth was sewn on the robe's front. Dr. Sharp, a thin man about fifty of average height and dressed in a conservative suit and tie, was a Phoenix chiropractor whose ex-wife was a medium. He, Daniel, and Gentility had more experience of spooks than any of the others present; his reputation amongst local healers and his income were large, as was his ego. He flattered, bullied, and judged; sought powers and was amused by those who disapproved of doing so.
Anne Arons was about thirty and took part in a twice-weekly healing circle. A woman whose cancer had not been slowed by conventional therapy but was now in remission was one of several persons whose experiences had lately enhanced the circle's faith. Anne was a regular visitor at Healing Waters.
Phoebe and Dalton had been married four years and were in love. They had two children and were convinced spiritualists, relying for medical care exclusively on spirit doctors. When Phoebe had been seven months pregnant with their second child they had been warned by a channeled spirit that the still-unborn child was to be deathly allergic to roses, from which he should be shielded until at least his thirteenth year. They were very careful of the boy. Dalton earned the family's income by giving massages and high-colonics at a small office in Tucson, and by selling cannabis. Gentility channeled his massage teacher. He was about thirty and from New York City, beginning to go bald in front, and a fast and convincing talker whom Arthur, on getting to know him, had decided he could probably trust.
Lee at nineteen was the youngest member of tonight's circle. She did not know what to expect, merely assumed it would affirm and increase her faith. She knew of Daniel from Lucia, and she had faith in him as a channeler that she felt no need to examine. If she were wrong, so be it. What had she lost by her faith? She thought the answer nothing.
Morton, who had worked on Arthur's swollen leg at the holistic convention, arrived shortly after those with whom Arthur had come. He was nervous and smoking a cigarette. He had never been to a séance before.
While the members of the circle chatted with one another, the Rev. Sperry, armed with a clipboard, circulated and collected ten dollars from each comer. Arthur had felt at home with money and business as a boy but by the time he had begun to sell cannabis in 1969 he no longer was. As a drug dealer he had priced his goods to pay for his smoke and smoke to share, his goal to keep his prices as low as possible and break even; in coming years that would change, but as yet it mostly hadn't. The money on which he presently lived came primarily from Social Security; Lee, who had a job, paid her own way. Arthur believed that wisdom lay in reducing his needs and consciously avoided cultivating wants, and he understood that by being paid Daniel, Gentility, and, she hoped, Lucia sought not to store up treasure but to avoid being distracted from their gifts. He had known there would be a fee but, except for Morton, it seemed the others had, and Greg paid for Morton. Cloud sympathized with the collector, having often played the role himself at Healing Waters; he joked about green power.
Money matters attended to, the Rev. Sperry told the group to come with her. She told Arthur he should be the last to enter the room to which they were going and the throng trooped out of the living room, leaving two of the younger Fitzpatricks, who were lost and threatened by a presumably hungry mountain lion, to be watched over by her son and daughters. They went through the kitchen and garage and Lee expertly maneuvered Arthur’s unwieldy chair up a step into the same small windowless storage room as before. The Rev. Sperry stood to one side of the curtained corner reserved for Daniel, who was seated on a folding chair like everyone else save Cloud, who chose to sit Yogi fashion on the floor, and Arthur.
Daniel asked Lee, sitting next to Arthur, to latch the door, and then addressed the circle.
"Welcome," he said. "I want to say a few things to you before I go to sleep.
"What you are going to see tonight is very unusual. It is a materialization of spirit. Now how clearly you can see the spirits who come through depends entirely on you, for they will use your energies. Jesus materialized thirteen times that are recorded in the Bible. He did it without a medium. The spirits you see tonight will come through me, but the phenomenon is the same. You are going to see and talk to spirit made manifest. Hilda all day has been rounding up your master spirits. I believe she has someone here to talk to each of you. After I have gone to sleep, the first spirit through will be Dr. Easton. He will want to be introduced to each of you. Each of you should greet him so that, by hearing your voice, he can ascertain your vibration and mix it with the vibration of the rest of you so as to make it most effective in aiding the spirits who will grace us. As each spirit materializes, the Rev. Sperry will bring you here to stand in front of the curtain and converse. I'm sure from knowing Lucia Gammersley that we will have a fine circle."
"Yes? Who is it?"
"Dr. Sharp. I wanted to say a few things. First, I wanted to impress on people here that what you say of the rarity of this session is true. Dr. Morehouse in Phoenix usually has circles of twenty-five, and never allows more than four persons there who have never attended a materialization before."
"Yes," said Daniel. "This is like a postgraduate course, when many of you haven't even been through elementary school. But I feel very good about you as a group. Remember, this is your circle. Everything depends on you. I have been doing this for thirty years, I might add, and it has happened many times that strong men, when spirit actually materialized before them, have fainted; no woman has ever fainted."
"And the other thing I wanted to say," said Dr. Sharp, "is that no one should try to touch a spirit."
"This is true," said Daniel. "I can be hurt. If the spirit wishes to and is able, he or she will touch you. You should not touch the spirit unless the spirit touches you. I could be injured, the Rev. Sperry could be, all of us could be. What we are doing is not a game. There are certain rules, dangerous to break.
''If you'll join me now in the Lord's Prayer, I will go to sleep."
The group joined hands and began to say the Lord's Prayer. Lucia's fingers tingled already and she felt pressure on the crown of her head. Many of the others felt similar sensations. Energy seemed to them to flow into their left hands, through them, and out their right hands into the body of the next in the circle. Gentility felt fingers rubbing her spine. She seemed to herself in the dark a tree of life, her head the branches, round like a treetop in a child's painting, her spinal cord the trunk. Dr. Sharp was more aware than usual of the star that always hovered above his head; he had often said that by its light he could see in the dark.
"Hello," said a voice from behind the curtain, "I am Dr. Easton."
"Hello, Dr. Easton," said Anne Arons, seated closest to the invisible spirit, "I am Anne Arons."
"Hello, Anne," the spirit doctor answered.
The introductions proceeded around the circle, ending with Dr. Sharp.
"Thank you," said Dr. Easton, and spoke no more.
A luminescent figure took shape now in front of Daniel's curtained corner and became clearer until everyone in the room could distinguish it as a woman. She did not have distinct features nor did she seem substantial, but she did seem present and was perhaps wearing a veil. It was Hilda.
"Hello children," she said.
"Hello Hilda," said Arthur and Lucia, who had spoken to her so recently.
"Hello Lucia, hello Arthur," she said. Then she addressed the group and told them there was someone to speak to each of them. "But before we begin," she said, "I wonder if you'd mind singing a few songs with me--and for me. I do love to hear songs sung," she laughed, "almost as much as I love being around unmarried men!" She laughed again, never tired of her joke. "Do you know 'Let Me Call You Sweetheart'?"
And the seekers joined with Hilda (though Arthur was not the only one faking) in "Let Me Call You Sweetheart." Then they sang "In the Garden" before a stirring and giggle-filled rendition of "A Bicycle Built for Two," after which Hilda disappeared behind the curtain.
"Morton," she said. Sitting across from Daniel's corner, Morton did not move; he wasn't ready. The circle waited. "Morton?" said Hilda. "Are you married?"
"No," he said.
"Good," she said.
The Rev. Sperry reached toward the young healer and helped him forward as the spirit arose through the floor to greet him. Like Morton, he wore a headband, and, Lucia thought, was no less nervous.
"I am Brother Mark," it said, "your guardian spirit. I work through your hands my son. I am with you always. God bless you."
"God bless you," Morton stammered.
"I have never done this before," Brother Mark said.
"Neither have I," said Morton.
There was laughter from the circle and, as though the laughter increased the available energy, Brother Mark's figure grew whiter, sharper. "I am always with you," said Brother Mark. "I must go now." And he was gone, as though a light had been turned out.
"Cloud," said Hilda.
Steven Cloud got up from the floor and stood before the curtains where, again, a ghostly figure materialized. It embraced Cloud in its arms and Cloud correctly took this to mean that the touching prohibition was suspended and returned the embrace. "Hello Steven Cloud," it said. "I am Brother John of the White Brotherhood. I am your spirit guide."
"I've prayed to meet you," Cloud said. His voice was soft and deferential, like all the circle's voices in that room that night.
"I have heard your prayers," said Brother John. "No one prays alone. You are doing wonderful work Steven Cloud, and I am very proud of you. Soon you will be able to call me to you when you wish, wherever you are. This is even now close to happening."
"That is a beautiful thing to hear," said Cloud.
"God bless you," said Brother John.
"Thank you. God bless you," said Cloud.
Arthur wondered if, when it came his turn to be spoken to, or perhaps even touched, the experience would have any quality of revelation or awe or fear or pleasure. When Hilda called his name would he stand and walk the two steps toward the curtain? He reminded himself that if he were suddenly innervated he must not forget to unpin the urine drainage bag he wore on the side of his legrests tethering his penis to the sheepskin on which his legs rested.
One-by-one each person in the circle met a spirit visitor. Dr. Sharp greeted his master teacher familiarly, like an old friend. Lucia again met Matthew. She could not feel her body when she rose and walked to greet him. He called her his child and asked why she was crying. She hadn't known she was crying and when he put his hands on her shoulders she felt their warmth and solidity.
Arthur was alert but not carried beyond himself as Lucia and Gentility were. He would have welcomed awe but felt none. He was tired of his tendency to withhold judgment and to respond unemotionally, but he doubted anything would happen to change it in the next few minutes (or months). It would be a waste, he thought, actually to meet his spirit guide and remain unresponsive; his best guess was that he had no interest in being introduced to him, her, or it tonight.
Gentility's guardian spirit appeared. "My daughter," he said, "I am going to open all your seven chakras." The visible shade seemed to coalesce about her head and then pour down over her till she was covered and looked like a spirit herself.
Lee held her breath. She could imagine Gentility's eyes, closed, rolling back in her head. She imagined herself so bathed in spirit and wished to be there and felt innocent envy and love. Her happiness was pure and powerful.
Arthur sat watching, belief and disbelief suspended, polite and open-minded, praying to whatever might be there that he be open to the healing spirit. Why not? He wasted no energy defending or arguing with his doubt. He flexed his fingers and then his toes. He felt a spark jump in the back of his ankle; he assumed his toes did not move.
Phoebe and Dalton were the only members of the circle to share a common spirit guide and they felt blessed in the sharing. He, like Steven Cloud's, said he was from the White Brotherhood. Wilbur had told the couple before that they were part of the same oversoul. They wouldn't divorce each other for three more years.
Lee was startled when Hilda called her name; she had begun to think that she would be neither hurt nor disappointed if she were passed over. She stepped forward and a shape her height materialized before her.
"God bless you, my child," he said.
"God bless you," she said, barely aware she was speaking.
"I am the scribe Josephus," the spirit said. "I am your guide and love you dearly. You wear the veil, my dear. You are a bride, a bride of love." Lee did not know what veil she wore or whose bride she was supposed to be. She had not even understood the spirit's name when he had introduced himself. She was enraptured. Josephus turned to Hilda.
"May I wrap her in my ectoplasm," he asked?
Hilda asked Lee if she were willing and when Lee assented the light enwrapped her and shimmered up and down her body. She sighed, and the circle seemed to close in on her.
"All right!" Dalton cheered.
For thirty seconds, a minute, spirit enclosed her, then re-formed as a man before her.
"That was wonderful," she said.
"I will see you soon again, my child," Josephus said.
"I hope so," she said. "Thank you, thank you."
"Arthur?" Hilda said.
Dr. Lang materialized in front of him.
"Hello Arthur," he said. "What progress? Can you move your fingers at all? Your toes?"
"They seem no different, doctor," Arthur said, "but I keep at it."
"Good," said Dr. Lang. "Are you being massaged?"
"Yes;" said Arthur, "my feet and my legs and my spine."
"Good, good," said the doctor, "especially the spine, concentrate on the spine. Everyone here should massage your spine and when they do, they should ask their guardian spirit, who is always with them, to come and get me." He took in the group and said to them, "I will work through your fingers." He went behind Arthur, leaned forward toward his back, and said, "Now let me have a look." Arthur felt nothing. "The energy flow’s better here," the doctor said. "You are doing well." He came around to stand again in front of Arthur. "Do you feel your toes being pinched?" he said. Now that it was mentioned, Arthur did feel his big toes being pinched, and knew it conceivable that the mere question had not evoked the feeling. "That is not your imagination," Dr. Lang said.
Then he turned his attention to the group and asked if any of them wished to be worked on. Half a dozen did. Lucia asked for and received work on her belly, Dalton for work on his pancreas, Anne Arons for a general tune-up. "A tuney, eh?" said Dr. Lang, and obliged.
He spoke to Arthur. "What state are you from Arthur?"
"New Jersey," Arthur said.
And Dr. Lang broke into a chorus of "What did Della wear, boys, what did Della wear? She wore a brand new jersey, boys, a new jersey, a new jersey."
"Samoa your wisecracks," said Arthur, thinking of Shell, who knew several dozen changes on this tune. "Dr. Lang, what's got India?"
Dr. Lang seemed strengthened by the singing; at least he was brighter. He asked if any of the circle wished him or one of his associates to visit someone who wasn't there, listened to their names, and took his leave.
But then another voice, which sounded like a child’s, came through. "Arthur? Do you see me?
“I'm down here."
Arthur looked down and could dimly see a small figure, white like the others but less clearly defined than they had been.
"I see you, but not clearly," he said.
"Oh," said the spirit, sounding a bit disappointed. "I've been practicing all day in my imagination, but I'm not very good at it." The voice brightened again and said, "My name is Cricket," then added, as though it were an afterthought, "I play with your toes."
"I knew someone did," Arthur said facetiously.
"I am with you all the time," said Cricket, and then, like Brother Mark, "I have to go now."
"Goodbye Cricket," said Arthur, wondering if Cricket were his spirit guide or had a gender. "Thank you for coming."
"There is someone else to see you, Arthur," Hilda said.
Another figure materialized. It was a man, brighter than any of the previous beings but no more distinct.
"Who are you?" said Lucia.
"I am Edgar Cayce," the spirit said.
There seemed to be a collective inhalation and the listeners moved forward. Edgar Cayce was a psychic superstar, the sleeping prophet of Virginia Beach who while alive had diagnosed, prescribed, and healed persons hundreds and thousands of miles away whom he had never seen. They had sent their names and addresses and Cayce, since dead, had sent them what they sought.
"I was called by prayers from three different persons to be here tonight," Cayce said.
"Thank you for coming," said Arthur. He felt the spirit was reluctant to be here and he did not feel that in warm-blooded life Edgar Cayce would have liked him.
"Is what Dr. Lang said about Arthur's healing true?" Lucia asked. She knew it was. She liked to hear it.
"It is true. I too have examined your spine, Arthur. It will heal. Follow Dr. Lang's instructions."
Lee unlatched the door to the small room and backed Arthur's chair down the single step into the garage. Moving the chair required balance, not strength, and no one moved it as well as Lee. Arthur guessed he was expected to wait for the garage door to be opened so he could get out, but he wanted to go into the living room a few minutes to hear what the others were saying. He maneuvered his way through the kitchen where the Sperry siblings were still watching television; they did not look away from the screen. In the living room the members of the circle were exchanging meaningful looks; several shrugged at one another as though too delighted for words. Was none acting, Arthur wondered? But it was not a time to express doubts or rationalize. "Whews" were the order of the day.
Arthur regretted that Daniel was not in the room. He guessed that the medium had made his escape out the garage door, and realized that if he had waited where he was he might have had a chance to talk with him. He turned his attention inward and found little to study. He thought what he had experienced had been both slighter and no truer than what Lucia, Lee, and the others had experienced. Eyes closed, head bent, he prayed in his fashion. As usual he failed to imagine a being to pray to, and as usual settled on whatever higher self or guardian might exist or, such absent, any sentient entity that might lend an ear. When he raised his head, Anne Arons was standing in front of him; she was smiling.
"We have a healing group," she said. "Would you mind if we added your name to the list of those receiving distant healing?"
"How could I?" Arthur said. "Please do."
They chatted, and Cloud and Joan soon joined them and invited Arthur to Healing Waters. Cloud promised to do whatever was necessary to accommodate Arthur’s needs should he visit.
Gentility approached. "May I touch you?" she said. Her chakras had been opened? The ectoplasm had swum about her, charging her? She was shimmering with light even now, though Arthur was blind to it. Did she know his doubts? Did she secretly see him as a shallow vessel unable to contain the gift he had been offered?
"Please touch me," Arthur said.
Gentility put her right hand in his and he partly covered it with his left and held it for an instant. She withdrew it and put it on his left foot, her left hand on his right foot. His legs did not spasm as they often did when touched. He concentrated on feeling energy passing from her right hand into his left foot, up his leg to his head, down his body and his right leg and into her left hand, through her body, through her right hand, and again into his left foot and up his leg. He felt nothing. He imagined his astral body whole, unimpaired. Her look was inward, her prayer to God that He might use her as a channel for His love. Her heart was filled with love and gratitude. She kneeled before Arthur, still holding his feet, and prayed. He too prayed silently and as though to a responsiveness.
Abruptly, Gentility released his left foot and shook her right hand clean. She had style, real style. She released his right foot as though she had been burned, shook her left hand, stood, and pivoted away from Arthur. He could not see the spray from her finger tips scatter harmlessly onto the living-room floor.
"God bless you," he said.
If she heard she gave no sign of it. She was a lonely woman, Arthur thought. He wanted to hold her. She walked away from him, grand, gifted, and separate.
To go to the next part of THE HEALING click here.
To go to the THE HEALING & LOVE NOTE DISCUSSION FORUM click here. I want to hear almost anything you are willing to say, including whether you have had similar or contradictory experiences. Criticism of my behavior and beliefs is also solicited and will be (more or less!) welcome.
Edited by Coach, 09 March 2006 - 07:53 PM.