A book I'm reading now is The Stephen Experience, by Michael Cocks. The "Stephen" of the title is purportedly St. Stephen, who was stoned to death after declaring his faith in Jesus (Acts 6:8 - 7:60). For a number of years beginning in the 1970s, this historical figure allegedly spoke through a New Zealander, Thomas Ashman, while Ashman was in trance. A number of historical and philosophical messages were received, many of them quite intriguing.
Of course, it is impossible to confirm that the alleged communicant really is St. Stephen. The strongest evidence in this regard is a statement that "Stephen" allegedly made in Greek. The Greek in question is Koine Greek, the dialect spoken in Jesus' day. One of the words in this statement is not Greek, but a Thracian loanword. Inasmuch as "Stephen" says that he came from Thrace, the use of this loanword is appropriate. (A loanword is a word imported from another language; for instance, the French term savoir-faire, which is now part of standard English.)
One might, perhaps, imagine Thomas Ashman researching Koine Greek and cobbling together a statement in this language as part of a complex hoax, but it seems less likely that he would have been able to track down a Thracian loanword and use it correctly.
In any case, what is most interesting to me is not the identity of the communicant but some of the messages he delivered. These are meaningful to me, and possibly they will have some meaning to you also.
But first, a word of warning from the author, Michael Cocks, is appropriate:
If we read [Stephen's] words too quickly, we will be inclined to give ourselves the impression [that they are nothing more than] not too meaningful spiritual talk. This is a great mistake, for every sentence is laden with meaning... I have to read his words slowly, meditatively, as if I were reading poetry. (p. 77)
With this in mind, here are two passages that I particularly liked. First, an analogy explaining the necessity of our "unconsciousness" of spiritual things in this life:
Then you say, "Would it not be easier if the Lord our God were to make it very clear to use what the purpose is ...?" ...
But think how a surgeon would act if, when he had to operate, he had to keep the patient conscious, adjust mirrors so the patient could see the operation that would be beyond his understanding in any case ... In actual practice the patient is treated, and bathed, and is given what medication he may need. He is clothed in a gown most suitable for access, and he is put in a place most suitable for the operation. He is kept in a state so that no pain more than he can bear will be administered to him. When the operation is completed and the wound is healed, and the disorder corrected, then the patient may arise and even discuss the disorder and sickness with the surgeon, and learn from him.
This must be the order of things; therefore, that the patient must trust his surgeon, and carry out his instructions regarding what the patient must know or do, or rather, not do. Likewise the patient must love his Lord God with all his heart, and all his soul, he must trust his God, as he trusts his surgeon, for when he comes to the operating table he is by his own choice made unconscious of the things that are about to happen. Even if he were a surgeon himself, he would still be unconscious at the time of the operation... So, therefore, you must trust your surgeon, have faith in his skill, place yourself in his hands and love him. (p. 74)
Second, an anecdote about Jesus himself:
Some of [Jesus'] friends wished him to prove to others conclusively his relationship with God, and the power that he would possess, by the grace of God.... And Jesus answered at that time: He said, "If you would see the power of God, then choose anybody other than yourself you would wish to die at this moment. This I will perform for you." Of course, the choice was not made, but a great lesson was taught to those who heard." (p. 91)
The author adds in a footnote:
Perhaps the train of thought is that the power of Divine Love was manifested indeed because they could not contemplate such a death, for they are not separate, but one.
In other words, Jesus' point was that the real miracle was not any demonstration of his powers, but the inability of good-hearted people to will the death of another.
I may post other excerpts from this book from time to time.