On NOT channeling 'unclean' spirits . . .
My cyber-friend Carter Kaplan, editor and publisher of International Authors, recently asked me to prepare and offer a portion for the Introduction to the literary anthology Emanations III:
[I]f you would like to contribute to the collaborative Introduction, please send me your clever, urbane, and/or satirical thoughts on subjects including New Age culture, cheesy mysticism, optimism, cults, delusional metaphysics, flying saucer abduction, store front churches, channeling unclean spirits and the Gods of ancient civilizations, and the spectacle of uninformed people making up cheesy spiritual (or political or critical) beliefs out of whole cloth as they go along . . . .I couldn't let pass the opportunity to comment on the great unwashed spirits, so I sent him the following:
On channeling unclean spirits, we need to know the rules, and where better to look than Leviticus 10:10? Which sayeth: "You are to distinguish between the holy (A) and the common (B), and between the unclean (C) and the clean (D)." This statement, an oblique imperative, actually, compels us to make distinctions, but a careful reading is required here, for the sentence is not only a chiasm of the structure A = D and B = C. it is also an example of Hebrew parallelism A <--> B = C <--> D. Chiastically, the holy and the unclean are opposites, given that one must distinguish between the holy and the common, for the holy is clean, whereas the common is unclean. In terms of parallelism, however, the holy and the unclean have similar characteristics, for the unclean parallels the holy. What the holy and the unclean primarily share as characteristics -- or so we can see from various scriptural passages -- is their powerful dynamism as invasive forces and their intrinsic danger to human beings. Just as we cannot survive an intimate encounter with the holy, so we cannot survive an intimate encounter with the unclean. Channeling unclean spirits is thus a deadly thing to do . . . but so is channeling holy spirits! Best to avoid channeling anything at all . . .-->-->Strictly speaking, Leviticus 10:10 is a bit more complicated than what I've delineated above, for the holy isn't exactly clean, nor is the common inherently unclean, but that's another level of analysis, though any reader with interest can check out this pdf document of an article I co-wrote on the holy and the unclean in Mark's gospel.
Anyway, I'm curious to see what Carter does with my offering as he integrates it with the offerings of others . . .