18 Aug 1996

Dear Trudy

Hello! What a welcome piece of e-mail!

>I want you to know, I despaired of ever finding anybody who believed in Christ and communication with spirits and reincarnation, all at the same time, who did not sound like some kind of New-Age junkie or a bona-fide nut!

Yes, we are not many and not easy to find amid all the noise and confusion and dogmatic ignorance and outright deception here in the twilight zone.

>Sir, I do not know who you are, but I have now read enough of your writing to know that your theology is sound and your scientific approach to spirituality is refreshing!

Thank you.

>To tell you a little about myself: I recently left the Navy after 13 years.

I retired from the Air Force in 1985 and live in Maryland near Washington, DC, with my wife, six cats and a dog.

>I have had more psychic experiences than I can count, most of which, in fear, I ignored and pushed away for years. (Navy Officers absolutely do NOT talk about psychic occurrences! :-) )

Neither do Air Force officers, usually, but Strategic Air Command aircrews were not very military, and I was known for my interest in these subjects. Besides, we had a lot of time on or hands -- about 37 weeks per year on alert. I still miss those candid, no-nonsense discussions with no topics barred.

>I have tried, from time to time, to talk with a minister (and once I tried talking with a nun) about this. At worst, I was admonished for "responding to the Devil's temptations." At best I was ignored, the individual continuing on with the conversation as if I didn't mention ghosts or psychic phenomena, but just burped or something.

Isn't it amazing, how someone can absolutely not hear you, or pretend they didn't? One minister of my acquaintance simply turns and walks away, any time a spiritual subject is mentioned. Another suddenly stops the conversation by laughing loudly, like a dog barking, just as he would if I told him a joke. Some fundamentalists are the worst. As soon as they think they know what I'm saying, their eyes get large, the pupils get small, and they start quoting Deuteronomy 18: "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live..." They would kill me if they could -- drag me out in the parking lot and stone me to death in the name of their god -- which is one of the reasons why I rejoice in the separation of church and state. I don't want them to have that power.

>I've also run into a fair number of psychic charlatans, read a great deal of "junk" on the internet from people who are into channeling, who mix Hindu and Christian theology and pass it off as something "received from their spirit guides." I could go on, but I think you know what I mean.

Indeed, I do. And not all the psychic charlatans are in physical bodies, by any means. No matter what they say they are, most of these spirits are merely human ghosts who want to be gurus, guides, guardians, gods or goddesses, so they are looking for someone they can bamboozle.

>Suddenly I stopped dead in my tracks. That 'still, small voice' in the middle of my existence was raising an eyebrow. Now, I know that's a mixed metaphor. But how else do I explain a definite raised eyebrow from a "feeling" that comes from inside of me that I really, really try to listen to (at least most of the time.)

Yes, it's a mixed metaphor, but it is also an excellent description of a specific and very timely non-verbal communication.

>meditation and quiet "listening" (where, much to my chagrin, I frequently fall asleep)...

About falling asleep: you might try lifting up a prayer-question or concern just before you go to sleep. You can also instruct your subconscious mind to wake you up if there is anything significant that you need to remember. And then write yourself a note of it, in the night, or it may be gone in the morning.

>I do, sincerely, want to use these experiences as God wills. But I do not know what God's will is in this respect, nor do I know how to proceed from here.

I believe it is the will of God that these experiences and insights be shared, as lessons learned -- made available, freely offered to other people, but not imposed on anyone as doctrine or dogma. Jesus sent his followers out to proclaim, "Good news! The kingdom of the heavens has drawn as near as possible!" (literal translation) But just how to do it is something that I also need to pray about.

Most sincerely

Ben H. Swett

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