I didn’t plan to write this book. I had been planning and drafting and revising another book—a novel about a fake Intuitive Medium—for the better part of ten years. That book remains in progress. The new one took over, and it came to me in a flash. I know that sounds cliché, so I hesitate to repeat it to anyone besides Delphina, my real Intuitive Medium.
“Like a lightning bolt,” I described it to Delphina.
“That’s called a Channel,” she said. “When you get an idea like that, it’s called Channeling. What you do and what I do are very similar. We receive information and translate it for others.”
I wasn’t sure I agreed. Were our vocations really that similar? After all, this was a person who talked to spirits like I talk on the phone with a college pal, who did a spot-on imitation of my long-deceased grandfather. (“He’s kind of like Archie Bunker,” she said with shocking accuracy.) Channeling was so fluid and glorious to witness; writing was absolutely nothing to witness. “Mine feels more like brick laying, a manual labor job,” I told her.
“Chica, this is what you have to understand. I am a rockin’ Channel, but that’s because I own it. I have to keep myself well rested and hydrated and keep my energy up to do my job. When I take care of myself properly, I hear and feel and see Spirit. This stuff I am telling you is not coming from me, it’s coming from Spirit. Your work comes the same way.”
She gets exasperated and looks at her watch. “Honestly, Chica, do you really think your ideas are coming from you? I mean, no offense, but, come on.”
I’ll back up for a second. My new book is about odd coincidences, feelings that you know what's going to happen before it happens, moments that you could swear you've experienced already. The general term is “Unconscious Intelligence,” and, previously, I had only an average interest in such things. My interest came into sharper focus, however, when I realized I had had over a dozen experiences that fell into the Unconscious Intelligence category. Telepathic experiences with other people, presentiments about phone calls and people I would meet, prophetic dreams. These collected experiences from all different points in my life appeared to me one night while driving up Lake Shore Drive. Literally, they appeared in the sky. I stopped writing my novel soon after and started to research the book I had been shown.
The research process has been hit-and-miss with logic falling short and intuition, not surprisingly, escorting me to the pot of gold. For example, I found Delphina on a Google search for “Chicago Psychic.” I called her not because of her credentials, but because she had the face of a real person. She remains a valuable resource. When I was in Paris, on the other hand, I stopped by L’Institute Metaphysique, a well-established institute of parapsychological research. They have some impressive archives that could be helpful. I rang the bell, but no one buzzed me up. I left them earnest voice mails and emails in my charming, rusty French. Nothing. You’d think the academic institutions would want to share their materials with the public, but that’s logic talking. I’ve come to see, at least with my writing process, that logic is not always the best way to proceed.
In the fall of 2012, when CBS.com posted news on a presentiment study, I clicked on the authors’ names expecting bios of inaccessible researchers from the National Institutes of Health. To my delight, the lead author was at Northwestern and, like me, resided in Evanston. We met for coffee and within one hour I had access to every resource and expert I would ever need. Between the parapsychology listserv and my doubled reading load, I have a year’s worth of hypotheses to review about our extended mental ability to know and see the unseen.
“Don’t be too quick to put this book in a box,” advised Delphina recently. “It’s got a ways to go before it finds its shape. Let it unfold.” She made some gestures with her hands that signified a gentle, natural opening. “Let it come to you.”
Perfect advice, from one Channel to another.
Suzanne Clores is the author of Memoirs of A Spiritual Outsider (Conari, 2000, Kindle 2010). Her work has aired on Chicago Public Radio and appeared in the Huffington Post, Next Avenue, and The Nervous Breakdown. She's at work on a new book about telepathic and other extraordinary mental experiences entitled Invisible.