Lynne Renoir – Connecting with Spirit
Mona Sobhani, Ph.D., is a cognitive neuroscientist. The article above is an excerpt from her book, Proof of Spiritual Phenomena. A former research scientist at the University of Southern California, she holds a doctorate in neuroscience from the University of Southern California and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Vanderbilt University with the MacArthur Foundation Law and Neuroscience Project. She was also a scholar with the Saks Institute for Mental Health Law, Policy, and Ethics and her work has been featured in the New York Times, VOX, and other media outlets. She lives in Los Angeles. https://monasobhaniphd.com/
Leaving Faith, Finding Meaning – Part One: Connecting With Spirit
By Lynne Renoir, PhD
I was raised in a fundamentalist Christian home. My father was a preacher, who believed every word in the Bible had been dictated by God. He was particularly attracted to the words of Solomon that he must not “spare the rod” in disciplining his child. When I was quite young, he would use his bare hands to smack me across the face if I forgot something or had an accident. Then after a few years, he went into the bush and pulled off a branch from which he made a cane. At the age of nine, my father used this cane to beat me when I tripped over a hole in the street and broke some eggs. Soon after that, the same kind of punishment occurred when I lost a cardigan. This treatment continued right throughout my teenage years. But at the age of twenty-three, I realized that I would have to leave home. The decision was forced on me when my father applied the cane because I was late for a meeting.
What I experienced at the hands of my father caused me enormous psychological damage. Not only did it destroy my self-esteem, but I was made to feel a failure as a believer. I had no sense of God in my life, and felt that if there was a God, he had abandoned me. Then on one momentous day, my sense of abandonment was called into question. By a miracle, I came into contact with the spirit world.
The event occurred when I had two tasks to complete. One was to clip around the edges of the lawn; the other was to clean the car. I placed the cleaning equipment along with my car keys in the middle of the lawn. When I had finished clipping the grass and was ready to work on the car, I could not believe it when I saw that my cleaning equipment was still there, but my car keys had disappeared. The layout of the yard meant that it would have been impossible for anybody to steal them.
I had never encountered anything like this before, and it affected me deeply. I was an intelligent, rational person who viewed the world as a predominantly orderly place. But this was neither rational nor orderly. I was so challenged by the situation that I experienced a kind of breakdown.
For several days, all I could do was to walk through every room of the house, out into the yard, around and around the lawn, and back into the house again. It was as though I had been thrown into an alien universe where the laws of the only universe I had ever known had just ceased to be. I felt almost as if I no longer existed. This was when I realized that I was in serious trouble.
I have to find out what happened to those keys, I kept telling myself. So I did something that I would never have contemplated before: I made an appointment to see a psychic. From time to time I had heard psychics speaking to people on the radio, and they seemed able to convey accurate information.
After making an appointment to see a psychic in a nearby suburb, I was greeted by an elderly man, who led me into a quiet, darkened room. After a few minutes of silence, he asked me how he could help. I told him about the disappearance of the keys and the days of desperation that followed. Eventually, he said, “I can’t see what’s happened to your keys, but I don’t think you’ll ever find them,” (which turned out to be the case).
Then he said something that was almost incomprehensible to me.
“There’s a being on the other side who wants to talk to you. I see her in a wartime nurse’s uniform. I’m being given her first name, which is Edith. The second name starts with either a C or a K.”
After thinking about it for a moment, I said, “Would that be Edith Cavell?”
“Yes,” the psychic said. “That’s the name I’m being given.” He seemed to have no knowledge of Edith, which seemed like a good sign to me.
Then things got even stranger.
“You own a pendant,” Edith declared through the psychic. She then described it accurately to me.
“When you get home,” she continued, “I want you to hold that pendant perfectly still and ask a question. If the answer is ‘yes,’ it will swing one way, and if the answer is ‘no,’ it will swing the other way.”
Being a skeptic by disposition, I quietly assured myself there was no way in the world this would work. Still, the moment I arrived home, I closed all the doors and windows so there would be no breeze, and I held that pendant rigid. Cautiously, I asked it a question, and I could hardly believe it when the thing actually moved! The thought that I could actually communicate with someone who had no physical presence in the world I occupied was mind-boggling.
Was this real? Or was I somehow moving the pendant without realizing it?
With my left hand gripped tightly around my wrist to keep it perfectly steady, I continued asking questions, testing the pendant repeatedly. Eventually, I had to concede that it wasn’t my imagination. Some other energy or spirit could control the pendant to communicate intelligently with me. It seemed like a miracle. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized it was no more extraordinary than many of the “miracle” stories I’d read in the Bible.
Although contact with psychics was regarded as contrary to Christian teaching, I recalled that in the Hebrew scriptures, King Saul contacted the witch of Endor, who could summon the spirit of the prophet Samuel. After complaining about being disturbed from his rest, Samuel made an accurate prediction about the downfall of Saul. Thinking about this incident gave me confidence that communicating with individuals in spirit was a legitimate activity, and that I should continue along this path.
During this period, I was studying for a Master’s degree in Psychology, and most of the questions I addressed to Edith concerned the ideas of Carl Jung. For example, I would ask her, “Can we always discover our shadow side?”, “Did Jung believe in a personal God?” On one occasion, I was surprised when instead of moving vertically or horizontally, the pendant spun round in a circle. I eventually worked out that some questions could not be answered with a simple “yes” or “no”, and when this happened, I would have to rephrase questions so they could be answered in the usual way.
After several months of contact with Edith, one day the pendant suddenly stopped responding to me. This immediately put me into a state of panic. At first I had a strong feeling––and I don’t know where it came from––that Edith was ending her contact with me, but that someone else would carry on the work. When I asked her if this was the case, I was relieved when the pendant responded affirmatively. I then had to go through all the letters of the alphabet to find out who the new guide was. The name was Aristotle.
This can’t be true, I thought. Why would a famous philosopher want to talk to a nonentity like me? I was so freaked out about this that I went to see another psychic. I didn’t tell her anything about myself, but in the middle of the reading, she said, “I see a group of ancient Greek philosophers discussing your work.”
Following this affirmation, I sat quietly in my lounge one day and, with great trepidation, asked if I was speaking to Aristotle. My joy was indescribable when the pendant moved horizontally. At first, it was difficult for me to work out what information Aristotle wanted to convey to me. But through a seemingly endless rephrasing of questions, I was told that after I had completed my Master’s degree in Psychology, I should apply to do a PhD in philosophy. This was in spite of the fact that I had never even been to a philosophy lecture. When my Master’s thesis was subsequently awarded a high distinction, it confirmed Aristotle’s message that I should continue with my studies the way he had suggested.
Writing my PhD thesis meant that, initially, I was totally dependent on Aristotle for guidance, particularly because of my lack of background in the discipline. Through my use of the pendant, Aristotle was able to help me clarify what the various commentators were saying.
The more I engaged with these higher beings, the stronger and more dependable my intuition became. Before long, I understood what they wanted to share with me even before asking a question. The importance of this new skill I was developing became apparent to me one day when the pendant would not respond. Disappointed and curious to know why it had stopped working, I found myself formulating this question in my mind without really expecting to receive an answer.
But almost instantly, a strange thought popped into my head. I no longer need the pendant because I can just as easily communicate with my guides using my hands! I soon realized that this made a lot of sense; hand movements were faster. They also made it possible for me to ask questions even while driving or walking along the road.
After several months, Aristotle handed me over to the recently deceased French philosopher, Jacques Derrida, who subsequently referred me to the medieval theologian and philosopher, Thomas Aquinas.
Contact with my spirit guides continues to serve me to the present day. It has not only been philosophers who have given me important information, but other beings on a higher plane who understand the challenges of living in this changing world.
One of the important insights I have gained through my contact with the spirit world is that there is no one kind of belief that can be life transforming. Although the idea of a personal God had no effect in my own experience, it was evident that such a view was meaningful in the lives of people I knew. Through my studies and my contact with spirit guides, I came to the conclusion that the whole of reality is one. This has led me to the view that transformation occurs when the deepest part of our being is opened to experiencing that oneness, and that this process is unrelated to the imagined correctness of the beliefs we may hold.
The above ideas have been conveyed to me not only through the guides who helped me initially, but through various other higher beings to whom I have been introduced over the years. These include entities who have had previous incarnations on this planet, and those who have chosen to exist on higher dimensional planes.
As I had been raised in a deeply religious family, my life had been devoted to my faith, and to experiencing the transformation that is promised to believers. When this did not happen, I thought at first that this was due to the psychological damage I had experienced at the hands of my father. But then I formed the view that there was another explanation. It was not as though my beliefs were incorrect, since I witnessed the kind of transformation I was seeking, not only in the lives of other Christian believers, but in the lives of those who held different beliefs, and those who held none. This led me to wondering whether there could be a difference between the ideas we hold at a conscious level, and what is happening at the deepest level of our being.
With the help of my spirit guides, I pursued this line of inquiry, both through my studies and through the everyday experience of communicating with my guides. They have helped me clarify the difference between our consciously held beliefs and what we hold at the deepest level of our being.
As a result of these insights, I have been able to experience the transformation I had originally sought through my Christian faith. This kind of transformation has been experienced by mystics in various cultures, most of whom do not hold to the idea of a personal God. The alternative they present is that everything in the universe is one, and the goal of our lives is to engage with that oneness. Being able to pursue this path has enabled me to experience a sense of connectedness to other people, and to accept the challenges that life presents.
All of these discoveries were made possible because of the intervention of higher level beings. They initially caused my keys to disappear, and they then led me to connect with those entities who could help me understand the mystery of our existence. At the same time, they have enabled me to experience the transformation I was originally seeking through my Christian faith. They have also guided me in the writing of a book, where I outline my journey, and the strange events that have led me to where I am today.
My contact with the spirit world is continuous, and it involves not only the big questions that philosophers address, but the ordinary issues that confront us each day. Being able to seek guidance from beings who can see far more than we ever can, has enriched my life beyond measure.
About the author:
Lynne Renoir, PhD, is an octogenarian Australian channeler and author, who leads a contemplative life in service of humanity. Her two books are God Interrogated: Reinterpreting the Divine (John Hunt Publishing), and her memoir, Leaving Faith, Finding Meaning: A Preacher’s Daughter’s Search for God (Lynne Renoir Publishing). For her master’s degree she wrote a thesis on the abuse of men by their female partners.
Part two from her book will be posted in December 2022 and is titled “Forgiving Mother.”