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What Is Really Going On?

by Keith Hill

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Or buy direct from Attar Books
Book One of the Channelled Q+A Series

Ever wondered how those on "the other side" view human existence now they're over it? Here's your opportunity to find out. Non-embodied guides answer twenty-one questions on key issues that have haunted human beings through the ages. With compassion, and a relaxed sense of humour, the guides present how they see the strengths and weaknesses of being human.

Questions (and answers) include:

  • Why are we all so confused?
  • I feel so dumb. Do I need a guru?
  • If there's a big plan, why is it so hush-hush?
  • Does God fire thunderbolts at us when we screw up?
  • What's the difference between a gut feeling and true insight?
  • What happens between lives?
  • Does my pet have a soul?
  • Is there a hierarchy in the spiritual realm?
  • What I am to the universe and its consciousness?
133 pages, 5.5 x 8.5 inches / 140 x 216 mm
ISBN Paperback: 9780473318178

Keith Hill is a New Zealand writer whose work explores the intersection of mysticism, history, science, religion and psychology. His books include The God Revolution, Striving To Be Human, and Practical Spirituality, each of which won the Ashton Wylie Award, New Zealand's premiere prize for spiritual writing. Since 2008 he has been working with fellow channeller Peter Calvert to present new metaphysical and psychospiritual perspectives relevant to twenty-first century spiritual seekers.


I’ve been having face time with spirits for four years now. What do I mean by face time? Let’s be clear here. Nothing materialises in front of me. I don’t get transported by a UFO to another planet to meet beings with two heads and five arms. I don’t see visions or hear voices. I don’t levitate, although that would be fun. Instead, it’s kind of normal. It’s like having telephone conversations with people you don’t see. Except instead of words in my ear I sense thoughts in my mind. Which I write down. All this occurs in my usual writing work space, at my keyboard, in front of my computer. When answers arrive it’s like they are beamed down into my mind and I type them without letting my own thoughts get in the way.

Face time? Beamed down? Am I being totally serious about this? Fair question. I admit those phrases are deliberately jokey. But I figure, why is spiritual stuff always so po-faced? We can joke about work, sex, politics and families, yet be serious about them at the same time. We do it to make otherwise heavy stuff digestible. So why not approach spirituality the same way?

In saying this, I also have to make clear what this book isn’t. This isn’t a spiritual agony aunt column where ethereal whatevers respond to highly personal emotional, relationship or sexual problems. This is not close encounters of the confessional kind. But the analogy of asking people who know what we don’t know is definitely close to the mark. The Q+A that follows is like asking a religious confessor about what most deeply troubles us and getting an authoritative response from on high. Except it’s not quite that either. Because rather than a religious response, this is a spiritual response. What’s the difference?

A religious response is offered in the context of a specific set of religious doctrines. A spiritual response is offered directly from personal experience. The key word here is “experience.” The spirits draw on their personal experiences, as well as their perception of us from “up there,” to clarify what is happening with us “down here.” It’s that straightforward. That is, if you’re willing to concede that such a thing is possible at all.

A big thank you to everyone who sent in questions. Now let’s get on with it.


If each of us is a spirit living in a body, how come we know so little about what is going on? People tell so many different stories about what we are as spiritual beings, what the purpose of our life is, where we came from and where we’re going. It’s a babble of contradictory stories. Why are we all so confused?


We’ll start by introducing ourselves. We’re spiritual beings like you. Except we don’t have a body. But we did in the past, many times.

We have repeatedly lived through the experience of occu­pying a human body and dealing with all the exciting, boring, wondrous and excruciating experiences that go with being human. We have been men, women, gay, indifferent to sex. We have been delirious with joy. We have suffered unimagin­able pain. We have given birth. We have raised children. We have lost children. We have been slaves. We have been masters. We have oppressed. We have fought against oppression. We have escaped oppression. We have been caught and punished for daring to dream we could have freedom. We have had it all. We have had everything taken from us. We have experienced everything possible within the human field of experience. That is the experiential basis for our claim to authority on what you’re living through that is called the human condition. We know because we’ve done it all.

Our claim to any kind of spiritual authority—we use the term spirit­ual authority in a special sense that we’ll come back to shortly—is that we have completed our allotted time on the planet you still call home. We now view human existence from a more detached perspec­tive, in what is generally but not quite accurately called the spiritual realm. Like you, during our time of living the life we experienced daily dramas up close and personal. Like you we viewed many things as terribly important that now, when we look back, we can see weren’t really of much significance at all. But that’s just the deal when anyone lives a human existence. When you’re walking through the forest it’s impossible to see the forest as a whole. All you can see are trees. But now, detached and free, we do see the whole forest. We have a complete overview of the human situation. And this perspective is what, in this strictly limited sense, gives us may be said to be our spiritual authority.

The fact that you become lost in daily life, that you can’t see beyond your immediate experience, was described poetically by Paul of Tarsus many years ago when he wrote “I see through a glass darkly.” The fact is living life is necessarily up close and personal. It means feeling every touch on your skin, every blow to your heart, every stimulus in your groin, responding immediately and directly to whatever daily life throws at you, from eating breakfast, organising the kids for school, negotiating traffic lights on your way to work, dealing with upset clients, being pressured by managers, feeling the stress of meeting a deadline, and so on. Given that all this is the stuff of human life, that so much demands your attention minute by minute, it’s no wonder that when you attempt to step back and gain an overview on what is going on you feel, like Paul, that you see through a glass darkly. How could it be otherwise?

Another analogy will indicate why this is so. Imagine you’re a child in a fun fair. There’s such exciting stuff to do. There’s the roller coaster to ride, the ghost train where you can scream in the dark, the coconut shy to throw balls at, candy floss, toffee apples and hot dogs to wolf down. And of course you’re not there by yourself. You’re with your family, maybe a bunch of friends. A huge part of the pleasure of being at the fun fair is sharing the experience with those you care about.

On the other hand, many factors make your presence at the fun fair possible, factors that you’re not aware of at all. One is that whenever you want to go on a ride with your friends, or you feel hungry, you put out your hand and ask your parents for money to pay for it. For a kid money is a mysterious lubricant that your parents keep in their wallets or pockets that makes all your fun possible. Kids don’t know what an effort parents have made to earn the money to ensure their children can have a great time. Kids can’t know because it’s beyond their experience.

Then there’s the fact that the fun fair isn’t always fun. The ice cream may fall off your cone. Your friends might start making fun of you. You can lose contact with your parents and get lost. That kid in your class who really doesn’t like you could turn up and say the nastiest things. Bullies might threaten to beat you up and steal the money your parents gave you to spend on rides.

All these positive, not understood, and negative factors are mixed up in your experience of the fun fair.

Of course, the analogy is that the fun fair is your life. When you’re a child life is this mysterious experience in which things are organised for you and you’re required to turn up and do as you’re told. For an adult life is a very different experience. Adults are responsible for themselves and often also for others. They have to organise, pay their way, and are responsible when things don’t turn out as expected, when things go sour. Adults pay the price for failure.

Yet—and here we arrive at a central issue, and why this first question is so often asked—while adults have to take on all these responsibilities, they often feel as clueless as children as to what is really going on. To return to our analogy, what
does go on behind the scenes at the fun fair?

If it’s a travelling fun fair, a lot of organising has occurred even before it arrives in town. Schedules are locked down months, even years, beforehand. Workers are signed up to transport equipment and to set up the tents, machinery, fencing, ticketing offices, and signs. New rides are commissioned, old rides have maintenance done on them. People are trained to perform the myriad tasks that keep the fun fair operating on time and in accordance with safety regulations.

The same happens with life. There is a lot of behind-the-scenes organising. Those living their life are in the same situation as children at the fun fair. They don’t see what it has taken to get their experiences up and running. They don’t comprehend what it has taken to initiate the ride that is their life.

What it takes to create the conditions within which anyone lives their life is actually very complex. Just as you can’t describe to anyone in one sentence, or even one page, what it takes to get a fun fair up and running, so it is impossible to say in one sentence, or one page, what it takes to gets an individual life up and running.

To indicate just one mitigating factor, no life occurs in isolation. Throughout your lifetime you interact signifi­cantly with at least a dozen, maybe several dozen, people. Just as fun fair rides are not there by accident but have been designed, built and put into place, so each significant “ride” you have with other people during your life has been planned and designed and the conditions in which you both may meet have been prepared. Significant interactions are very rarely random.

Then consider the extent to which each of your friends (and enemies) interact with dozens of others who are significant to them. And how there are billions of interlinked individual human beings currently living on this planet. To explain the intricacies of all those interactions is scarcely an easy matter.
Yet—and here we hope we are not, as the saying goes, biting off more than we can chew—what we undertake to do in this book is to clarify the most important facets that make possible what you experience as “the ride of your life.”

In relation to this Paul made another statement: “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man I put away childish things.” Some of your most cherished thoughts, the notions you cling to to help you explain your life to yourself, are in fact no more than childish things. A major contributor to your confusion about what is happening to you and others you love is that you cling to ideas, feelings and explanations that confuse rather than clarify. In order to perceive with clarity, in order to replace confusion with understanding, in order to grow from spiritual child to spiritual adult, you need to put away childish things.

In what follows we aim to clarify and illuminate, little by little, so your understanding may grow from childish to adult. And the first notion we need to introduce in order to dispel a fundamental layer of confusion that definitely darkens the glass through which you perceive your life is that of reincarnation. Appreciating the role reincarnation plays in your life is basic to understanding what is going on.