Sunday, February 12, 2012

A Few Comments On My Use Of The Akashic Records

Recently I caught a debate on a Facebook forum about the use of  ‘alternative’ historical research and whether it should be used as a resource, or dismissed as 'shameful' and trashy ‘nonsense.’ The Akashic record which I use to augment my own detailed, multi-disciplinary research, certainly fall into the category of ‘alternative’ studies and as such is not recognised by the conventional canon of historical academia, but does that make them ‘nonsense?’
People are entitled to their personal thoughts and opinions on the validity of using the psychic as an additional resource - and I respect that - and would hope for the same respect in return. It is an interesting debate, but not one I'm going to get deeply involved in here. The main reason for this post is that I want to explain about the way I use the material to craft my works of historical fiction.
The Akashic Records as a title is a useful handle to describe an ability by a person to tune into the past at a vibrational level, and experience it as one would experience say watching a film. Added into that experience is full sensory and emotional detail.  Imagine a film where you can smell the smoke and taste the food. Imagine feeling the emotions of the characters and tuning in to their thoughts.   As long as the person with the ability to access this resource has the co-ordinates, they can find and connect with the energy patterns that created the original imprint. In my case, the person is my good friend and longterm colleague Alison King, a lady with an amazing ability.
 I don't understand the science of how it works although I'm positive that at some point it will be explained. By the same analogy, I don’t need to know what’s under the bonnet of a car to be able to drive it.
 Of course such psychic observation is not permissible in the body of conventional historical research. It’s not something solid that can be proven and might all be the work of a vivid imagination. My own experience consisting of eight years with Alison, building up evidence over hundreds of thousands of words and numerous hours of digital recording, and testing our findings against known historical records, leads me to believe that this is not the case, but as I said above, it all boils down to personal opinion. I don’t interfere with the free will of others to believe otherwise.  I can only tell you what I know from personal experience.
There are moments when the tuning does go awry, or flies in the face of the current known evidence. There are moments of white noise and interference from the conscious mind, but once these are taken into account and sifted out as a margin of error, it still leaves mostly positive data that does not disagree with known historical fact.  It’s not as if the Akashics are coming up with information that is wildly inaccurate or outside the mindset of the historical period in question either.  Usually it’s quite the opposite.

The way I use the Akashic records is threefold.
Point 1. I use it to fill in the gaps where no one knows what happened. If one believes in it then one is darning the unrecorded holes left in history. If one is a sceptic, then even so,it's still a fabulous imaginative resource. Since I am writing historical fiction, providing I don’t go way off kilter and the premises are within the realms of probability, then there isn’t a problem.  So, for example, I might want to know what the future Henry II thought about marrying Eleanor of Aquitaine and what she thought about marrying him.   I might want to find out what William Marshal thought about Magna Carta. I might want to see a day in the life of a bishop, or find out what a character’s favourite horse looked like or what made him or her amused or angry.  It’s all out there, waiting. 
Point 2.  I use Alison’s gift of psychic time travel to look at the known history in detail. Generally I look at the  primary sources first, followed by the secondary sources, and then ask her to view the 'original' happening through the lens of the Records.   The alternative research scores strongly here in that one gains the thoughts, emotions and reasoning behind events - resources that are frequently not evident in the written medium, or have been corrupted and changed into accepted history by oft-repeated opinions.  The passionate couldn’t keep their hands off each other relationship  between Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine is a case in point where the Akashic interpretation of a political match that wasn’t an easy personal fit, is perhaps more realistic than certain biographical opinions!
Point 3. The third use of the Akashics is to point me in the direction of further conventional historical research. The Records help one examine the facets of history with a fresh eye. One receives a view of history through a completely new lens, that can lead to all manner of different ways of thinking outside the box – ways that don't disagree with the primary source historical record, but refresh it or open up brilliant new avenues as the detritus of the years falls away.  That to me, whatever the origins is a source worth treasuring and exploring, not just for novelists, but for those working with history. I know two historians and an archaeologist who use very similar techniques to give their researches a kick.  You won’t find them fessing up anytime soon because it would be career suicide, but they’re out there with day jobs in the professional academic community.  Me, I write fiction, so I have the leeway to stick my neck out that they don’t.
                If you look at the sidebar, you will see a link to a blog where I have been posting  Akashic Record details from my background research into the life of Eleanor of Aquitaine, and you can judge for yourselves how plausible or wildly off kilter you think it is.
                I research my work extensively, using primary source, academic secondary sources, locations visits and living history. Psychic time travel in the form of the Akashic Records and the all-important imagination are further strands that are an integral part of the blend.  For those who accept the existence of that ability to engage with the past, then be welcome to see these final two threads as being of different colours.  For those who prefer to see both as imagination – that’s your personal choice too.
Thank you.


Meg McNulty said...

I've never heard of Akashic records before and am now busily googling - absolutely fascinating! I found the articles a while ago about inherited memories - ancestral memories passed down through genetics interesting too. It seems that there are lots of ways in which people think about reaching back into the past, beyond that which is convential.

Elizabeth Chadwick said...

I think the title can mean different things to different people, and some of the Google sites you will come across can be a bit odd, but Alison uses it to describe what she is able to access - and I guess it is like a massive library in some ways!

Misfit said...

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but for me as a reader this works. It's been fun watching how your books have changed once you started working with Alison. Not that there was anything wrong with them before, mind you. They just keep getting better :)

Harriet Steel said...

Fascinating. I shall look into this. At the moment I'm trying to imagine the full horror the hero of my Elizabethan spy novel, Tom Goodluck, experiences when he is thrown into Newgate prsion, accused of a crime he didn't commit.

mzjohansen said...

Thanks so much for this well thought out, well written post. I think your work with Alison is one of the reasons (aside from your amazing talent as a writer of course)that brings such depth and characters to you work.

Thanks to you I had the pleasure of a personal reading - and hope to be able to afford more when I can be more organized and ready with more specific questions.

I too believe that this is a talent. People seem to believe that we only use a tenth of the brain's potential - so how can they utterly reject this process. It's always unfortunate that a "more-than-quirky" few can taint the true ability that people like Alison are gifted with

Carol McGrath said...

Really interesting. I could be tempted,I have to say. I don't think that energy is ever destroyed so it isn't possible.

Anonymous said...

I will say up from I am a thorough skeptic on the grounds that many of the words used - let's take "vibrational" or "energy" - are essentially used out of context and rendered close to meaningless.

That being said, I really enjoy your books, and any resource which stimulates your writing and brings depth to your characters is a plus in my book. So please take my skepticism with the highest compliment to your writing, creativity, and process.

Satima Flavell said...

I suspect quite a few professionals use unconventional methods 'under the counter'. I've met at least two psychiatrists who use astrology to help them undertand their patients. I use it to help understand my characters!

Jules Frusher said...

Well thought out and timely post. I think your alternative methods of research are what give your writing that extra piece of something special.

Anonymous said...

Recently I began a discussion on a Facebook forum about the issue of Akashic research. Of course, I have no way of knowing whether it was that which sparked this post here, but my inherent paranoia is prompting me to defend myself and my Facebook actions (as my post did cause something of a storm).

I freely admitted that I had not read any of Mrs. Chadwick's novels (but coincidentally, last night I made a start on "The Greatest Knight"), and was looking for more information/advice before proceeding with a purchase. Like most people, I do not have money to burn. So, I posted my query in good faith, asking for more information about the research methods.

As a sceptic, atheist, all round common sense type; the use of Akashic records set my alarm bells ringing very loudly. As a joke, I jested that perhaps such books deserved a place on "The Wall of Shame" (a place reserved for poorly researched historical fiction and non-fiction). It was a joke. Possibly a bad taste one, but a joke all the same.

Since I have been made aware of the empirical research, I set my reservations aside and went ahead with a purchase. My biggest concern was that these books were being written SOLEY on the basis of this Akashic record (something that I simply do not believe in). In which case, they would be unreliable, unverifiable, and would count (in my books) as invalid. These are all views that any sceptic would hold, and have every right to hold.

I apologise if my off the cuff Facebook comments did cause any offence. But I was merely exercising my right to question and doubt before committing myself.

Anyway, I got "The Greatest Knight" yesterday afternoon. Only five chapters in, so the story is yet to unfold, and I am reserving judgement until the end. But I'll certainly be enjoying the ride. Thank you.

Elizabeth Chadwick said...

Hannah, no offence taken.
I felt from seeing the online debate that I needed to clarify my use of the Akashic Records. I respect that you have just as much right to be a sceptic as I have to be a believer.
I try to be open minded and fair and to rub along with everyone.
I hope you enjoy The Greatest Knight but no problem if it's not for you. Thanks for posting.

Jen Black said...

I think you're exceptionally lucky to have this extra research source - and that Alison is lucky to have this wonderful gift.

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