What will I be listening to? A poem? A prediction? A voice from another world?
There’s no textbook on this phenomenon. We do have manifestations (namely, the text and the pre-tragedy reading of the text); we do have the timing (namely, pre-tragedy); we do have a subject (namely, it happened to me); but we have no physical, much less causative, evidence as to how this happened. Moreover, there were only two players: me and a “Being” that no one else could hear, see, or even sense.
So how does this work? When you listen to the audio, what (or whom) will you be listening to? The short answer (or more usefully, guide) is that you will be listening to some type of transposition of consciousness.
Were this music, I might use the term “transposition,” which means being transposed to another key. I would also offer the model of being transposed to another frequency; or even to another personage. There is also, theoretically, a “shared consciousness,” albeit to date, Earthpeople only seem to “share consciousness(es)” in Star Trek episodes!
In this uncharted territory, there is probably also “transferring” and “modifying” consciousness like, let’s say, you have a VCR that will only run on a specifically-calibrated electronic track. So somehow this Being was keyed to me vibrationally – by person, by timing, by circumstance, by vibrational receivers, perhaps even enabling me to operate on two frequencies, so to speak: one “normal,” the other attuned to a higher vibrational band.
Now “channeling,” in and of itself, is hardly an unknown phenomenon. There have been one-of-a-kind instances, like Edgar Cayce, the so-called “Sleeping Prophet,” who channeled in medical cures, psychic readings and future world readings while under hypnosis. More commonly, there are people here and there who are just remarkably psychic, and when they “hear,” and then relay that information, about unknown and/or future events, it’s also a form of “channeling.”
Most of this is “message channeling,” or even a string of messages. It’s like an informational relay race. What New Agers call “channeling” is more like abstract dissertations delivered in a monotone, with a flat emotional affect. Occasionally, a fairly young woman will seem to morph into a wizened old man with an odd foreign accent (or the like), and whether that is “a higher being” or “a lower being” may not even be clear. Channeling has not exactly been refined to a science!
But what virtually all of the above do have in common, is some objectivity, or detachment, between whoever originally conveyed the message, whoever received (or “channeled”) it, and whoever the message was delivered or directed to.
Yes, it can have urgency, like for example, a warning that must be acted on. But most often, there is a discernible separation between the entities involved in the process. Rarely, if ever, is such a complex, detailed scenario as The Jonestown Tragedy “channeled” precognitively; and perhaps never (before now) does that manifest as a profoundly moving work of art, much less with the receiver’s own heartstrings in play. This was my life, too. I knew everyone who died. Indeed, it could have been me.
Thus “Allegory,” even within the very non-traditional “tradition” of channeling, breaks every mold; and for me, the realities of time and space have never quite been the same since. No, not dissolved, or even quite schismed. But just humanly, in the ways that we perceive life psychologically, philosophically, spiritually, it took years to integrate this experience; moreover, in tandem with the integration, or absorption, of the immensity of the tragedy which befell us all.
The latter process, of course, has been beyond stressful for so many. Yet even for all the anomalies of my own experience, I am clear that I was aided (yea, greatly aided) by having, in effect, been “given the tragedy in Spirit before it happened in real life.” So whereas I have always wanted to share “Allegory” for its haunting beauty artistically, it has also always been more. It is the urge to impart a comfort, and a comprehension, that is beyond me too, but I don’t know how to impart in any other way.
So Who is “speaking” in this work, or what “voices” are in play? I was clear at the time, that Someone was channeling through me – an immensely loving Presence, with Whom I felt uplifted and safe. But there weren’t the separations (as if this were “messages”), nor could there be, so overwhelming was the personal heartbreak of what was being channeled through. “Allegory” flooded through me, and yes, I did weep over what had not yet happened. That alone should be clear from the attached audio file recorded prior to the tragedy.
In that sense, it was surely me, or my voice which is reading. Yet it also couldn’t have been me, as I could not know the ever-so-many specifics in advance. Like I remember early on, seeing a lush-green locale with very warm air, and thinking maybe this was summer in California – not winter in the tropics! I really didn’t know.
All the less so for the outcry late in “Allegory,” “Go forth… from this alien race!! To another clime, to another time and place.” If I did not know that this was Guyana instead of California, I surely could not know why Earth was designated as “alien,” or what planet might be more hospitable!
I do know, however, that this was hardly just about information. I have always sensed that the emotional currents, sound sequences, and rhythmic patterns coded into “Allegory” may have the power to shift energy fields, but that may be subtle, depending upon the receptivity of respective listeners. Something perhaps like the little tune in Close Encounters of the Third Kind. It resonated with some, not others. Following the tragedy, I discovered that the flow of the text was like a calling card which evoked immense comfort and calm in the midst of horrendous distress.
One might assess that as “subjective.” But pulling through this wholly accurate, unknown scenario years in advance was not subjective, it was so; so one might consider that this added “subjective” observation might be based in some real energy matrix as well.
I just never felt that I was the primary player, but that I was much more a conduit. Nor was I piecing together mentally (as would, let’s say, a playwright), A happens, then B happens, then C happens. I simply allowed myself to respond as a receiver. I listened as the words came through, repeating each line until it felt complete. It was a “sensing” process, almost like pulling threads through a needle, or completing tapestries as like a blind person would, feeling how many inches in this direction, how many feet in another. I did not know how the drama of the text would unfold, or how long the text would be. I just transcribed it.
This was the backdrop for the attached audio file. As soon as I began reading the text aloud, I could feel myself going into both a deep trance state, and deep grief. It was almost like I felt the Presence take over the reading. But it was not in any bad or frightening way. It was like an enfolding by some sublimely loving Being, who both released and empowered every emotional charge, overtone and undertone (anguish, rage, tenderness, comfort, awe, love, despair, lamenting, regretting, fearing, embracing, enlightening, empowering, disempowering,
everything), to its most unbearable and/or exquisite decibel of expression.
The intensity of the emotions is even coded into the rhythms and inflections. It was a poem, but it was also like a symphony. It took me months just to learn (by inner tutelage) how to read so as to release its power. I didn’t at first understand the many nuances of inflections and phrasing, but gradually learned at its many successive points, yes, this is the rhythm, and the beats and sub-beats of its unimpeded flow. It was like I had to master something beyond myself to get this just right – to “read” some elegant template that released emotions so much more powerful than normal. Almost like even Shakespeare would be more subdued than to (in “Allegory”) “cry cry, cry its all-too-present deaths!!!”
There are other aspects of “voice” I’ve never fully reconciled, because they may move into an amalgam, or even a shared consciousness mode of being, and we have neither language nor experience in the culture to model this. Namely, the work itself is partly narrative (i.e., third person) and partly first person. But neither the “third person” nor the “first person” is me.
I would offer that the third-person narrator (my “Presence”) was some spiritual Overseer of our physical plane Who knew and comprehended all that was to come, in advance. But the first person voice at intermittent junctures (up to, but obviously not past, “The song rises from a thousand unmarked graves.“) is unmistakably in the role of Jim Jones. For many reasons, this is dicey to clarify (as is any positioning of Jonestown, and the tragedy, in a spiritual context), and would require a separate piece, which may come at a later time.
I would, however, preface that with a qualifier, that it could not have been me putting words in his mouth to speak, as this was not any portrayal created after the fact. It was before the fact, and at the time, I did not know what I was writing, save for an encroaching dread that it was about mass death.
I also greatly qualify a statement like “in the role of Jim Jones.” We act, we speak (“we” meaning all of us, in our various “roles” in life), yet are rarely fully and wholly ourselves. Sometimes “the better angels of our nature” pre-dominate; sometimes they don’t. Great, sometimes terrible, things happen to us, but we cannot release the outcries of our heart.
This can go even far beyond who and what we are. Whatever anyone felt about any personality at Jonestown, Jim Jones included, the immensity of what happened was so very much greater than any caricature has ever captured. But that is nearly all the public was ever given: caricatures. And I do not believe that Jonestown ever was, or could be, about caricatures; indeed, it is part of why most of the coverage had me recoiling in contempt.
What Jim Jones (who attacked me for writing “Allegory,” incidentally!) speaks is also an enigma. Because its content is pinpoint-specific as to circumstance, persons, and timing, but it is also not, in any respect, his speaking style, which was forceful, which could be rough and direct; which is sometimes exquisitely tender too, but which at no time was in any style resembling poetry. Like “My own heart sinks with thee.” It’s not even really conceivable as his voice directly. It is much more a voice from Spirit. How and why it came through in this manner, we might, for the moment, best leave open.
Yet “his” words in “Allegory” are, at every turn, keyed to the event exactly as its details would unfold in real life. Consider these words in “Allegory”: “slain men’s bones. no recourse waits. last reprieve. And one died (and another died, and another died.).” Compare this to the final tape: “The Congressman has been murdered. They’ll be parachuting in. We’d better not have anyone here when they come. What now?.. Bring the vats.” At the same point exactly. Exactly when the assassination was confirmed.
“Allegory” is pitch-perfect in its sequence of events, and exact details – literally “matchable.” So in this sense, it is (as some sort of amalgam, or transposition of consciousness), just that – his words. They can’t be my words, as they came through in trance, years prior to the event!
So is this like these were all human words? Yes, but with an overlay of Spirit. So is it like
Spirit’s words, if as Spirit were to guide our words, our actions, our intent, as They oversee the sweep of our lives? Well, that may be close.
I probably do need to add a caveat, of course, lest someone say that I am somehow implying that God approved of what happened. I’m not saying that at all. Nor does “Allegory.” It weeps over the “travesty,” and “the too-wrong deaths.” Since it also identifies the press as “vultures,” and the invading military as “plunderers,” it may well be that Someone perceived a greater palette of causation than merely “mad leader and brainwashed followers,” because in 1974, there was no predatory press, nor military component in our purview at all.
It also incidentally explicitly acknowledges the wide lens of mixed, even fiercely conflicting consciousness, of those who died, variously: at peace, terrified, proud martyrs wanting death, anguished resistance against death, running away, staying, calm, hysterical, shocked into silence.. And always, in great grief and tenderness (on the part of the Author), the presence of children.
So I would just say, Stop. Wait. Listen. Make no assumptions. Even about me. I was given this extraordinary work. I was given it before its time – both prior to the event by a matter of years, and also “before its time” way longer than that, with respect to any public comprehension of the process. Nor was I given a guidebook what to do with it, beyond that it should be released, and allowed to touch people’s hearts.
And maybe, for all we know, that’s the whole point. This had to have been the greatest tragedy with the least empathy. But on a plane above us spiritually, there was the greatest empathy – always – for everyone who died – even before the event ever happened. (other two underlines o.k.) We so often think that No One knows, and that we are entrusted to No One. But having experienced “Allegory” as I did, I cannot believe that, nor would I say that it is just a matter of “faith.” I know.
Yes, we still have a mystery, and that mystery originated not with me, but with powers beyond me. That’s all. Powers for Whom a thousand lives greatly matter.
The last aspect I want to address directly, is that of interpretation. The “allegorical” link is addressed separately, in “Allegory: What Is the Allegorical Link and Why Is It There?” But there is also “interpretation” in terms of match-ups between the text and what later materialized in real life.
From the beginning up through the final death scene (beginning with, “The song rises from a thousand unmarked graves.“), the text, in retrospect, is transparently matched to what actually happened. I have not created an all-inclusive catalogue of match-ups, but an impressive – if incomplete – array is detailed in “Premonitions.”
But the text past that point includes material way more futuristic than what happened in 1978. In it, the world is careening towards a “fall of Age” divide, and takes on an urgency of entreaties and pleas. I had a many-years’ veil over the latter part of the work, post-tragedy in the text, perhaps because portents of universal calamity still remain somewhat too daunting to absorb. There, “Black Prometheus” is an impassioned plea for humanity to rise up from darkness unto Light, to a place “where your face not is ‘an anathema!’ to the blind, nor your words ‘a blasphemy!’ to the deaf.”
By the end of the work, of course, with the piercing cry of “No. It is worse you’ve made travesty of My Spirit!!!“ it is proof-positive not my voice, and not Jim Jones’ voice either, but more like “a Jeremiah” crying out to all of Humanity to wake up before it is too late. And whereas I could, and did, surrender myself to the raw, unbridled pathos of those pleas, I could not claim to be their Author – it is, to me as much as anyone, a voice from another world, and a most unsettling one, at that.
So this is enigmatic. If the event had already happened by that time, then one might say, well, the writer molded characters or circumstances to appear thus at any turn. But I knew nothing of the event in advance. I was transfixed. I was just a receiver. I could “mold” nothing.
Still I must leave the basic question – who will you be listening to? – as a partly-solved mystery. “Allegory” is a mystical work, not really of this world, but some mysterious amalgam or interface, that enabled me to channel the text. And I feel honored at that. It’s just been daunting to highlight (especially amidst the extended media circus which Jonestown became), as it so transcends normal consciousness. Regrettably, what people do not understand, they tend to denigrate. But perhaps by now, so long after the event, that has lessened, and a more inclusive perspective will emerge.
I have also felt that it is important for this to come into the public spotlight. To think that this is “only about Jonestown” would be a short-sighted view. The whole world is in somewhat tragic straits, and the immensity of there being Powers, Beings, Overseers (whatever we might call Them) that so very much care, and can flood this world with Love and Light – surely that counts for far more!
Meanwhile, it’s been 30-plus years just to showcase this; and it may be far more than 30 years ahead (lest the Star Trek scenario be our guide) before such phenomena are understood. Perhaps by then, this will seem just a blip on the landscape in terms of our spiritual comprehensions. I actually hope that will be so. Sometimes we seem to comprehend so little about anything; I hope that our descendants will do better.
Everyone’s input is most welcome. I felt so very alone when this work was written all those years back. But I was never in a vacuum; and the response of others, especially other survivors, would mean a great deal to me. Thank you for listening to “Allegory.” Your comments are welcome.
Laurie Efrein Kahalas may be reached at email@example.com.