Experts Ponder the Message of Angels

Where have all the angels come from? This question doesn’t just refer to the ultimate source of angels or to their true nature, but also to the sudden widespread curiosity about these benevolent messengers. Why all this attention? Could this increased interest itself perhaps be the result of angelic influences as these creatures are making a greater effort to attract our attention? This supposition is but one of many ideas put forward by a group of scholars, scientists, and other experts whose views are expressed by Rex Hauck in the recent book, Angels: The Mysterious Messengers (Bantam). In the context of so many compilations of stories of people’s encounters with angels and the various self-help accounts on how to talk to the angels, this book of perspectives provides a helpful service.

One thing going for angels is that they are intermediaries and ambassadors. Traditionally they stand between God and humans to make the sense of divinity more accessible. They also spread their wings between traditional religion and "new age" metaphysics. So they--whatever "they" may be--function in a positive manner in these two ways.

Rabbi Richard M. Baroff, for example, explains the interest in angels as a reflection of people trying to make contact with God. "Angels are more human than God," says the Rabbi, who sees angels in a favorable light. He also relates the experience of angels to respecting the mystery of the Sabbath, when we can be more intimate with God.

Clinical psychologist Joan Borysenko, an expert in mind-body healing who has experienced angelic presences in her meditations, refers to hypnotherapy research for another perspective on angels and their connection with the "higher self." When trauma victims are age-regressed and can go back so far as to describe their birth, sometimes another being speaks: "I have been with him/her from before the time that has/she was born, and I will remain with him/her after he/she dies." Here a core aspect of the person seems to speak as a separate spiritual entity, yet one with a perspective that transcends the limits of the personality.

If attending to angels is our way of "raising our consciousness" to be more in accord with our higher selves, that would be a good thing--and justification enough for the existence of angels as a positive force. Several contributors express this viewpoint.

Harvard theologian Guy Martin, who teaches a course on angels, says that his criterion for whether or not an angelic encounter is real is the impact upon the person’s life and whether or not it leads to something productive.

Jungian analyst Thomas Moore places angels in the realm of the imaginal. That is a visionary realm different from the "imaginary" or "not real." It requires a sensitivity that we might call psychic, or the ability to interpret subtle feelings through the use of imagery, to experience the angelic realm. It is a different order of reality, but can definitely have an impact upon our ordinary reality—that in itself is the message of the angels!