I receive a lot of questions from creative writers of fiction (as well as actors) who would like to know my thoughts on the difference between channeling spirit guides and channeling character voices. What is Soulbonding? It's probably not what you think. (It's not what it sounds like it should be, anyway. Sounds like some kind of romantic phenomenon...) I'd never heard this word before, but I am familiar with the concept.
Laura writes to me:
I have a friend who recently introduced me to the concept of "soulbonding." I don't know if you've heard of it, and in fact I would be a little surprised if you had. You may be familiar with the concept, though, if not the term.
Souldbonding is a sort of link between an author and his or her characters. Like when you start writing a novel, or even a short story, and the characters start to take on a life of their own. You are no longer the one writing the story, you are just transcribing it. Soulbonding goes a bit deeper than that, though. Many soulbonders have conversations with their 'bonds, even going so far as to...I guess "channel" would be a good word, though I don't think it's quite accurate. 'Bonders sometimes take on certain personality traits or behavioral quirks that are typical of their 'bonds (but not of the 'bonder), usually for only a short time.
I have experienced this connection myself (though not the "channeling", at least not to my knowledge and not intentionally), and I find that I can connect with my 'bonds in the same way that I connect with my spirit guides. I wonder sometimes if there's not some deeper connection there between my 'bonds and my Guides and I'm just not seeing it. Or perhaps the 'bonds are just another way of my Guides contacting me, in a way that is easier for me to understand and accept because my 'bonds, being characters that I've written about for years now, are more familiar to me and I'm more likely to listen to them. (I've only been talking to my Spirit Guides for a relatively short time, and I find it is easier for me to talk to my 'bonds than to my Guides for some reason.)
I am interested in your views on the subject of soulbonding.
I've decided to prioritize writing fiction again. It seems that part of my shifting path, part of my life purpose, has required that I take a detour of several years -- stepping beyond just a veiled and decorated kind of storytelling to publicly sharing, in a non-fiction format, my own personal experiences. I was originally motivated to learn all this code and blogging and marketing by the intentions to experiment with self-publishing hyperfiction. And, I've recently attempted to "bridge" some of these different creative writing assignments (stretch my muscles in a different direction) with a few series of memoirs.
(Parenthetical aside: the memoirs were probably the most difficult type of writing I've ever attempted. Instructional tutorials are by far the easiest.)
I've had this topic on a back burner for quite a while, but as I've recently shifted my writing focus to working on stories and novels again, I've been able to observe my processes with an external, intellectual detachment. In the past I was not necessarily conscious of when I was relaying information from a spirit entity versus a character of my own willful creation, so perhaps doing both has allowed me to learn and grow in both pursuits.
Why do people speak of discovering your authentic voice in the singular? Is there just one? (Hey, if my ego seems big sometimes, it's just trying to accommodate a highly-trafficked, over-active, very crowded Fifth Chakra...)
Think about it -- how many authentic voices do you employ?
I'm working with (to list a few):
- Private Journals
- Conversation (personal)
- Conversation (professional)
- Correspondence (personal)
- Correspondence (professional)
- Teaching (non-fiction, instruction, tutorials)
- Coaching | Mirroring
- Channeling My Guides
- Channeling Other People's Guides
- Spoken Word | Guided Narration
- Neurolinguistic Programming | Hypnosis
- Third-person and Omniscient Fictional Narration
- First-person Fictional Characters (unlimited)
- Fictional Dialoguing
- Divine Dialoguing
- Shining Sentences
- Titling | Naming
Hey, does code count? Formatting and rich text styling? (Those of us who write enough -- or edit enough, especially in different formats from digital to print -- reveal uniquely personal qualities...)
I'm trying really hard to organize, to simplify, here -- there are so many subsets, blendings, overlaps, and filters that can come into play... From my perspective, these are all identifiable as technically different; from where you're sitting, listening to it come out of my mouth or with my signature on a page, it may all seem to be Just Me. But it doesn't really feel like I'm creating anything so much as allowing a bit of everything (yet nowhere close to Prolific).
If you're scanning your own interior satellite radio dial, you may start to feel schizophrenic -- don't worry. The voices of those who suffer from multiple personality disorders are generally not consciously aware of the others. My last therapist assured me that a high-functioning self-awareness of how you manage all your voices would seem to be the exact opposite of a "disorder."
Wow -- stop and ponder with me for a moment how amazing our minds are, how powerful language is...
Other than the Intended Purpose... I feel that Creativity and Divinity are so closely related as to be nearly identical. I also feel that intuition and imagination are relatively intertwined, like different fingers on the same metaphorical hand.
While the actions or state of mind often feel very similar, if I had to succinctly identify the differences between these modes of divinely inspired information gathering -- beyond the obvious intentions -- I would say they are the following:
Channeling Spirit Voices vs. Channeling Fictional Characters
- Fictional characters speak the truth about their lives (Life, in general); spirit guides speak the truth about your life.
- Editing, rewriting, and intellectual decision-making nearly always improve the end product of fiction; editing and intellectual analysis nearly always detract from (and sometimes destroy) the important details of a reading.
Just your imagination? The word "just" always kills me here in the context of intuition. Are they separate? Is one less powerful than the other? Should we even attempt to separate them?
The last person I did a reading for emailed me later and wrote:
"I'm still flabbergasted that you could know those details about me and my life. I mean, I'm half-way across the world, on another continent, a virtual stranger... How do you do that?"
You know what? I don't know how I do that. I know how to do it -- how to access it, plug into it, tap in -- but I don't understand how it happens or how it works or why. You can do it too, if you want to. It is a Mystery. I'm not sure if I believe it's magic or the most common thing in the world that we have the ability to channel. Is it coming from the Collective Unconscious? The Akashic Records? I've often wondered if all character voices (even when we think we're writing a fictional story) aren't actually always the spirits of "real" people.
When I was pursuing my undergraduate degree twenty years ago, my creative writing professor Coleman Barks (arguably the most successful contemporary translator of the Sufi mystic and poet Rumi) told us that the goal of the novelist or fictional storyteller is to
"Lie the Truth."
The concept has stuck with me -- that the truth exists in stories as well as in data (and that they are not necessarily the same thing). You need only consider the difference between the way you process news versus the way you experience the same basic information conveyed in a true dramatic story (a novel or film) based on those facts.
In my humble observations, factual information -- data -- is processed through the mind, while the truth of a fictional story is processed through the heart. Maybe this explains why, in this Age of Information, dramatic movies and books still have such power and impact -- often in a way that just the facts can never infiltrate our wisdom. I have to be honest with you, I read very little non-fiction (and when I do, I study it, which is a slightly different form of consumption), while reading novels remains my greatest consistent life-long passion.
This post (yes, an indulgent navel-gazing experience that probably only other writers can appreciate contemplating with me) is really intended to answer to questions about the role of the writer/ the channel, not the role of the audience. In my classes on Automatic Writing and Dialoguing, I point out that the techniques I use for retrieving intuitive information are literally based on -- were discovered during -- the practice of specific exercises designed to enhance the productivity of creative writers.
One of the interesting intersections between performing readings and (other forms of writing) is that the Automatic Intuitive Response techniques produce results in any kind of practice.
Image via Creative Commons on Flickr