photo: Tim Green on flickr

When was the last time you talked to a dead person?

Given the readership of this blog, I wouldn’t be surprised if more than a handful of you said, “Yesterday.”

So here’s another question: When was the last time you talked to an entire collection of dead people who inspired you to expand your conception of who you are?

Again, I suspect that more than a handful of you are nodding in amusement.

A portion of the amused nodders, myself included, are a group known as FOAs, or Friends of Abe.

Esther and Jerry Hicks

And who the heck is Abe?

Well, first of all, Abe is short for Abraham, and Abraham is plural. “Abraham” is the name of a group of entities channeled by Esther Hicks.

For those of you who are about to jump ship because I mentioned the “C” word, hear me out. It’s been said that Mozart channeled his symphonies. Many creative types describe the experience of creation as one of channeling ideas and information from an unseen source. So there’s that.

photo: Erin Kohlenberg on flickr

It’s also true that the phenomenon of channeling is controversial for good reason.

“Just because they’re dead doesn’t mean they’re smart.” I heard this years ago and it still stands true.

Caution and circumspection are always advised when evaluating the work of a channeled entity. Or any entity, for that matter.

Does the information make sense? Is it useful? Does it shed new light on old problems?

Bottom line, I don’t know exactly how Esther Hicks receives the information that comes out of her mouth. All I know is that the information has proven to be incredibly helpful and enlightening to me and boatloads of other people.

And that’s why I’m a Friend of Abe.

There are 3 things in particular I’ve learned from my buddy, Abe.

These 3 things have expanded my understanding of spiritual growth in a way that is profoundly practical. Which, by the way, is one of my favorite things about them. I’ve applied their teachings to every area of my life, and have witnessed both short-term and long-term positive results.

So here they are, My 3 Favorite Teachings of Abe:

1. Life is Eternal 

photo: bengibbs on flickr

Yeah, yeah, yeah. We’ve heard it before. It’s one thing to say that life goes on and on. But when you’re hearing a group of non-physical beings talk about life after death, the concept of immortality becomes a lot more immediate.

For me, listening to Abe has taken away my fear of death. As they like to say, “We’re as dead as it gets.”

2. The Emotional Component of Spiritual Growth

photo: Paul De Los Reyes on flickr

Abe shows us how to use emotions as a barometer in our development. They teach that our emotional state is a gauge that indicates how aligned we are with our Higher Self in any given moment. Not only that, they give us tools to narrow the gap.

Feeling awesome? You’re aligned. Feeling crappy? You’re not aligned.

In the case of the latter, Abe teaches that recognizing this lack of alignment is the first step. The next step is allowing yourself to participate in activities – both internal and external – that kick you back into alignment.

Here’s an example: Let’s say you have a less-than-cheery interaction with a co-worker. Your knickers are in a serious twist and you can’t shake your annoyance.

photo: brainloc on rgbstock

What Would Abe Do?

First of all, recognize that the state of annoyance signifies a lack of resonance with your Divine nature. Does the Divine view your co-worker as a inept, uninformed twit?

It does not.

You do, though. And this view is clashing with your Divine nature. To get back in alignment, there are a couple of things you can do.

One is to focus on the positive aspects of your co-worker. Yes, it may feel like there are none at first, but with a little practice, your view of the twit will start to shift.

Or, if changing your view of the twit seems impossible, another approach is to place yourself in a situation that makes you happy: listen to music, call a friend, take a break and breathe in some fresh, sunny air.

Before long, you’re back in alignment and maybe, just maybe, this shift will allow you to see your twit-ish coworker in a more reasonable light. At the very least, you’ve used your awareness of your moods to move to a more positive place.

3. Go with the Flow

photo: Ron Reiring on flickr

My favorite concept of Abe’s is their Upstream/Downstream metaphor. They teach that the flow of our Divine Self is strong and mighty, like a raging river.

When we allow ourselves to “go with the flow,” we feel good.

Yet most of us are taught to push against the stream. We’re taught that only stress and struggle will give us what we want.

The Upstream/Downstream metaphor can be used in any moment to evaluate the best course of action. Which possibility feels more downstream? It may sound simplistic, but I’ve found this to be a powerful tool.

I can still remember the first time I actively applied the Upstream/Downstream concept to my life.

I’d been asked to play a modern classical piece for a benefit concert. I agreed to do it because I supported the cause and wanted to help. Yet the more I practiced the piece, the less I liked it.

It became a vicious circle – my lack of enjoyment of the piece made me disinclined to practice it. And yet I needed to practice in order to learn it.

photo: Peter Dedina on flickr

In talking out my dilemma with a friend, I realized that the entire endeavor was upstream.

I was playing a style of music I didn’t like. I was pushing myself to do something that gave me no enjoyment – and believe me, as a musician, that lack of enjoyment is felt by the audience.

Luckily, the concert was still in the development phase at that point, and they had plenty of time to get someone else to play the piece. (Though interestingly enough, the second person eventually declined as well.)

My decision to stop “bucking the current,” as Abe likes to say, was a key moment for me.

It was the beginning of my own mini-musical-renaissance. It was the beginning of a period in which I began to draw in a wealth of musical experiences – experiences that were totally in alignment for me.

And it’s all because I refused to play upstream.

photo: François Rejeté on flickr

So, there you have it! There are many awesome and amazing things about Abe, and this list is just a beginning.

If you want more information about the Abraham-Hicks work, you can visit their website. Also, given my great love for them, I often share personal insights I’ve gleaned from their teachings. Other Abe-inspired posts can be found here:

Battling My Inner Task Master: Round 379 

Feeling Blue? Try the Turbo-Rambo Appreciation Assault!

How I Survived the Spiritual Retreat from Hell

So the next time you’re “bucking the current,” just remember this classic tune:

Row, row, row your boat

Gently down the stream.

Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily.

Life is but a dream.

photo: Don DeBold on flickr

What are your experiences with upstream and downstream? How have your emotions signaled your alignment – or lack thereof?

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