Messages from Michael
by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
This material has been around for over thirty years, and yet this is the first book about the Michael teachings that I've actually read. I was somewhat familiar with some of this stuff, having read about it online.
"Michael" is the name given to a group essence from the Mid-Causal plane that comes through a Ouija board to impart wisdom to humanity. Yes, you read that right. No, I'm not kidding. How the message was delivered doesn't really bother me; I've read quite a few of the Seth books by Jane Roberts, so channeling wasn't really a new idea to me. However, I did have a few issues with the teachings... and even more with the book itself.
I was bothered at times by what seemed to be the influence of human minds on the material. Perhaps back in the 1970s, people thought that all mental illnesses (everything from depression to autism) were just mental illnesses. But we know today that that's not true; there are biological factors with many "mental" illnesses. (This sort of issue is not that uncommon. I once read an outdated New Age book that claimed that ulcers were not caused by bacteria, but by stress. Come on, people... get with the times!) There was also the question of homosexuality. While Michael does not disparage it, he claims that it is a choice that is made in early childhood. This contradicts much of the other Michael teachings, which talk about planning your life before birth. If part of your plan is to experience parenthood, and you incarnate into a society where homosexuality is illegal, and then you choose to be homosexual... well, you're not going to get very far with your goals, are you? I would expect that something as important as sexual orientation would be chosen before birth (along with all the other important stuff). This attitude made it seem like there was a certain amount of bleed-through from human minds... and that makes me question the accuracy of the rest of the information.
My issue with the book was that it is a piece of crap. The cover looks like a four-year-old made it with Photoshop. And the typos... Oh, my lord, the typos! I understand that this is a channeled work, and that most Ouija boards don't have punctuation marks (which means that any punctuation has to be added later at the editor's discretion). However, there is no excuse for things like forgetting the opening quotes when people are speaking and using commas to end sentences. And considering that this was the 25th-anniversary publication... well, that's even worse. If you're going to re-release a book and add some new information, go over the rest of it with a red pen and see if you can't spruce it up a little. If this had been an assignment handed in for a class, I'm sure there are a lot of teachers who would have failed the student based on the typos alone.
Okay... now that that's out of the way, I want to talk about the good things. Michael does offer some interesting information about us (as "fragments") and our evolution as souls. Everything is divided into seven, so we have seven Roles, seven Goals, seven Attitudes, etc. Knowing these things can help us understand ourselves (and the people around us) better. Unfortunately, there's not much information given on how we're supposed to know these things. I guess we're just supposed to meditate on it.
I'm not sure I'd recommend this book, especially not to people who are new to this sort of material. Last year, I read a similar book called The Instruction by Ainslie MacLeod. Instead of everything being in sevens, everything was in groups of ten. But the teachings were much the same, and the book was laid out much better and in a way that was easier to follow. For people who are just starting out with channeled teachings, that's probably the book I'd recommend. (The Seth teachings are excellent, too, but not the easiest things to read.)
I see that the publisher for Messages from Michael has More Messages from Michael coming down the pipe. It appears that they've already chosen to use the same icky cover for the second book. I just hope they run the text through a word processor and give it a good editing before they release it. There's just no excuse for something that bad to be released when today's technology is at their disposal.
Overall: 3 out of 5