is chairman of the Department of Religious Studies at Rice University. He has written four books focusing on the comparative erotics and ethics of mystical literature, American countercultural translations of Asian religious traditions, and the history of Western esotericism.
Channeling is a modern expression of an ancient practice found all over the world and throughout human history in numerous forms, from ancient Greek prophecy to various forms of divine possession to the revelation of scripture. Those practices generally involve a deity, ancestor, spiritual intelligence, discarnate being, or other dimension of the self speaking through a human person to an individual or a community, usually for some set purpose, crisis, or direction. They are also deeply intertwined with the history and practice of inspired writing.