The Michael Teachings
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The Michael Teachings is a body of channeled New Age spiritual doctrine as articulated in Messages from Michael, published in 1979 by novelist Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, which was the first in a series of four books chronicling the three-decade-long conversation between a group of friends and a channelled spiritual entity known as Michael. As of September 2013 this conversation continues, as that Michael group continues to conduct closed sessions in the San Francisco Bay Area. After the first Yarbro book, other Michael channels appeared and contributed to a more or less consistent body of thought that, unusually in the history of religion or spirituality, has no central authority, no gathering place, no scripture, and no apparent desires for same.
Broadly, the Michael Teachings are a non-theistic spiritual doctrine that endorses reincarnation and attempts to work out a system of personality structures that souls choose to experience in each lifetime. As with other New Age systems, the Michael Teachings believe in soul ages. One core concept is, spiritually speaking, that "all choices made are equally valid".
An expert on new religious movements, Olav Hammer, describes the Michael Teachings as a "fairly well-structured set of doctrines, expressed in a distinct vocabulary". According to Hammer, Michael is described by believers as a "group soul, a collective consciousness of 1050 essences". Hammer states that the channelers of Michael study the earlier "transmissions" and use similar terminology, making it easier for readers to accept the new material as part of a doctrines. Jon Klimo, professor of psychology and parapsychology author stated that the Messages from Michael book series helped to make Michael-channeling into one of the best known examples of channeling during the 1970s and early 1980s, and noted similarities in the events of the initial Michael channeling sessions to those that led to the Seth Material. Klimo reported that more than a dozen people in the San Francisco bay area claimed to channel the same "Michael", using a variety of methods, ranging from automatic writing to speaking while in a trance.