Inner Michael » Haunting and the Creative Impulse and an Inner Michael Update

Haunting and the Creative Impulse and an Inner Michael Update

Announcement and Update:

Hello and welcome back. Sort of. I am saying “welcome back” because Inner Michael has been experiencing technical difficulties. My web host had some security issues and then upgraded the security. Meanwhile, the comments didn’t work and nobody could leave a comment. A reader suggested I let you know what has been going on and why I haven’t been here and the site has not been operative. There are still problems uploading images, so bear with us while we work on the glitches.

The other announcement is that I will not be posting as frequently as have for the last 5 years. Twice a week Inner Michael has featured a new post which was especially important just after Michael Jackson died because people were deeply and surprisingly touched and reached out to me after I wrote a review of “This Is It” for a magazine. That article was shared and many people who were suffering the loss of an old icon who had graced most of their lives, or a new icon just discovered that elicited a mysterious deep grief. Some of those in the throes of grieving never gave a thought to Michael Jackson until his death. They were inconsolable and they were puzzled. Sometimes there is no (earthly anyway) explanation for the rise of a phenomenon. And this certainly was a phenomenon. Coincidentally (or not) a year earlier I had completed my study in “Spiritual Emergency” at seminary. This “phenomenon” had all the earmarks of a spiritual emergency but it was taking place on a global scale. People from all over the world began to contact me.

I was dumbfounded. It seemed strange but in the messages I read from people all over the world was a longing to understand, to connect, to hang on to something or someone tangible and hopefully grounded, because their experience was anything but ordinary. I had no experience with this kind of thing and was a relatively newly minted minister ordained in 2006, a mere 3 years before Jackson’s death. And my knowledge and training in spiritual emergency was tailored to counseling an individual finding themselves mired in a dark night of the soul– a common and eventual juncture for those on the spiritual path. A dark night of the soul is like a crucible that refines the soul of the seeker by presenting them with a difficult and dark time in life where one experiences an existential crisis. A true existential crisis causes one to question everything including the existence and influence of any deity, the self and even the reason for existence– one’ own and existence itself. The ultimate dark night (so far as my training and experience) is the experience of “no self.” The ego simply dissolves. I had gone through such a transition during my empty nest adjustment after the emancipation of my children. The inner dialogue called “monkey mind” by many disciplines went silent. A later trauma provoked a high pitched frequency tone that burst through the silence and mimicked tinnitus until I assimilated. There are stages that are part of the death of the ego or its submission to the higher faculties of the divine self or soul.

I had never seen it or even heard of a dark night or spiritual emergency happening on the kind of scale I was encountering. I didn’t know what to call it and I didn’t know anything about a collective dark night in mass consciousness triggered by the passing of a particular soul. Certainly the events of nine-eleven in America triggered a collective dark night as seemed reasonable given the wide dissemination of news about what occurred in New York City on that day. Anyone who witnessed it– first hand, second hand or any kind of hand, was deeply affected by it. And it also seemed to set something intangible but powerful in motion. It may have benchmarked the new initiative toward building another kind of world community. Everything points to that.

But the deep grieving over Jackson’s loss, especially by some who were never fans or followers, was if nothing else– unusual. I contacted experts in these matters to find answers for what was happening and how to address the many souls who were mysteriously and unreasonably devastated by the loss of a man they never knew or never paid attention to. I spoke to psychologists, to clergy, to my teachers and nobody had an explanation for me. I even spoke to those who call Spiritualism their religion. Known for communication with the beyond and the afterlife, they could only say that yes, this was a phenomenon they had encountered in their historical readings, but they could not name it or define it for me. It had some of the characteristics (and asanas) of a Yogi or Avatar who has gone on to another realm but continues to impact this one. I had, of course, read about such benevolent beings but had no direct experience with the phenomenon. In a workshop with Ram Dass, I learned of someone who had experienced such direct communication with a once worldly teacher.

I still didn’t know what to make of it. And I wasn’t sure that exploring “Michael Jackson” was something I really wanted to do. While it’s true that “when the student is ready the teacher appears,” and I have had many teachers, I wasn’t sure I wanted one who was a controversial figure on a global scale. Not at this stage of my life, anyway. Couldn’t my soul have called a less polarizing figure? Someone who was not a lightning rod for controversy? A man who was hated as much as he was loved?

In studying with my shaman for the last decade or so, I have learned that there are some things that one just does not question. I have learned that yes, Spirit works in mysterious ways and I have learned that there are realms (and realms) beyond this one. When I was inexplicably and involuntarily drawn back to the movie “This is It.” I went the first time to sort of pay my respects to someone who influenced a culture and was at one time a bright star and who may have fallen because of human foibles. My study has taught me that nothing is accidental and the soul chooses to go through human incarnation as a means to expand itself and move closer to enlightenment. It’s been a comfort to know that the crucifixion of Jesus had a soul purpose and was not just random violence for its own sake. Even the most enlightened beings had missteps in their journeys and I went to the theater alone to watch “This Is It” as a way of say goodbye and to wish Jackson’s battered soul comfort and Godspeed. I knew something was up, however when I found my feet making their way back to the theater to see it multiple times. I knew there was something there and I could only hope it would reveal itself to me. I recognized it as shamanic and I’ve learned not to question such impulses for they always lead somewhere.

I saw “This Is It” on many levels. The first time I saw Jackson and his talent. During subsequent viewings, other things began to be revealed. And in one unpeeling of the layers, I saw something in the movie I had missed before. Even though trained by teachers to see and know the spiritual infused in the material, I had completely missed the moment where Jackson connects with the otherworldly and begins to embody something else. The realization hit me like a baseball connecting with the side of one’s head. That wasn’t coming from Jackson; it was coming THROUGH him!

Well, that flash of insight changed everything. It meant that his work, his music, his talent and even his fame–was Inspired. (Capital I.) His was an inspired work. I had glimpsed something significant but I had to make sure. So I went looking through his videos and his life for clues that would confirm my finding. I began with watching the videos which were all over the Internet and I got a copy of “Dancing the Dream.” A spiritual seeker and student of the Divine Impulse in creation, one gets to know the language and images that communicate the origins of someone’s imaginings. When one reads the works and biographies of the mystics and religious devotees throughout time, the clues come in patterns. The experiencers tend to use the same descriptions and the same language that to one who has studied many students of the divine, is immediately recognizable.

The only way to explain this for someone who has not embarked on this journey is to liken it to buying a red sports car. As you set out on the highway in your new vehicle, suddenly red sports cars stand out everywhere in places where you never noticed them before. It’s a kind of faculty that is ignited and set aflame that shines a light on all that is even remotely related to that original fire. The fire, it is noted can come in many forms– a match, a candle, a lighter, a forest-fire, lightening… but it’s all still made of the same element– fire. It’s a kind of awakening to something that previously went unnoticed. It’s like swimming all your life and waking up one day to realize the water is wet! it has another faculty! It’s– oh my god– wet! Before it was just a medium that allowed an experience– the medium through which your body glided– but now it is the experience appreciated on a whole other level. And off you go– to explore wetness and what it means. Next you’ll wonder what else you may have missed about water. And suddenly the awareness of its buoyancy and weightlessness sends you off on a exploration of gravity and anti-gravity. You’re off to another world. And that’s how awakening or awareness works. Suddenly you’re in a place that has always been there but you never noticed before.

As I read “Dancing the Dream” I marveled at how connected Jackson was– to his personal and to universal spirituality, how aware he was of the spiritual realms and how his inspiration was driven from there. Who knew? He had remarked many times (and it was dismissed or mocked by biographers or reporters) that his music came from somewhere else. He couldn’t take credit for it, he said because “it’s created in space.” He spoke about how the universe was a symphony of creation created out of sound and vibration and that music was a stepped down form of that same energy– kind of like a transformer steps down electricity before its consumed because the higher frequency would burn and destroy not just the bulb transforming it to light, but the person turning on the switch. Sound in fact, was Jackson’s obsession. In scripture from many cultures, creation arises from a sound– in some traditions singing into (and out of) being (singing the spirit home) and in some, “the word” become manifest, created the Universe.

Once that level of spiritual vibration is achieved, it is maintained only through a practice or discipline. The West was introduced to Transcendental Meditation by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in the sixties and seventies and many describe reaching bliss through their practice. Kirtan, a chanting discipline where the different names for god are chanted repeatedly, can cause a kind of ecstacy. This is called in theology the “ascending gesture” where humans long for union with the divine and “send up” that longing in thought, chant, prayer, meditation, etc. For Jackson, the ecstatic state came in the form of dance. He entered a numinous state during his performances, resulting in an inspired work emanating from the stage. Dance has the power to produce that hypnotic and intoxicating state; whirling dervishes attained it through spinning dance.

The fact that Jackson attributed all his work to the divine indicates an egoless kind of humility that recognized he was not the originator but simply the messenger. In speaking of the Universe as a symphony, he acknowledges that his music is not his own nor did he create it but that it exists in that other realm (“in space”) and he simply plucks it from it’s original residence and brings it into this realm. Many have spoken of the “music of the spheres” and Jackson saw himself as the transformer– or vehicle through which the music flowed. Since a spiritual discipline is necessary to keep that ability going, his meditation and by all accounts of those who knew him, his constant prayer, would have kept him in that state between two worlds. By all accounts of his spiritual life, he was a Jehovah Witness in childhood and a voracious reader, he studied all the traditions calling upon gurus like Chopra and others to teach him the disciplines. It is clear from “Dancing the Dream” and from his portrayals of Siddhis (Hinduism) in his videos, he knew of the advanced states humans may achieve with spiritual disciplines. An example of an advanced ability achieved by a human is, for example, Jesus’ ability to walk on water. Walking on water involves having a command over the atoms of that substance. He was also able to calm a storm– another example of mind over matter by an advanced disciple as we know Jesus was.

An avid reader with 10,000 books in his library, Jackson, possessed of a ravenously curious mind, read about these subjects and their advanced counterparts regularly. One visitor described him as having several books lined up with pages open to different places. This same visitor explained how Jackson didn’t think in terms of individuals or events, but in planets. That is a testimonial to someone who is a cosmologist and likely an empath who not only thinks in worlds but feels in them. That evidence too, is in his vast body of work. How does one know pathos intimately at the age of an elementary student?

Many of these concepts and experiences are difficult to put into words and escape defining in understandable terms. For a language major or orator, it would be difficult; for a boy home schooled and who speaks through his music– a transcendental medium– it would be nearly impossible. It can sound really corny to say: “my music is created in space” and when that is distilled down to everyday language, it can make someone seem “wacko,” but that’s because there are no words for some things or some spiritual experiences don’t translate well into words. And the percentage of the population seeking and living spirituality as their prime directive is tiny. Most people don’t live that way. Most people don’t pray “thank you” for everything they experience– from a beautiful sunrise to a spontaneously occurring melody in your mind. Jackson did say “thank you” all the time. That knock on the door of his heart from an otherworldly place occurred when he was a child. He never knew anything else. Perhaps that is what made him seem untouchable, otherworldly, mystical, an enigma and… threatening. Loyalty to the Source of one’s Inspiration, misunderstood and un-translatable can appear as “madness” to the uninitiated.

His close friends have described to me a man haunted by pre-creation (something that wants to come into material form- the “unmanifest.”) One artist told me “he heard the music in his mind in perfect form; the entire process of honing, recording it, and all the way to releasing it was always his attempt to get as close as possible to that original perfection– what he heard in his mind.” That explains his stubborn perfectionism; if he saw it as God’s work, duplicating it with anything but precision would be to disrespect the creator. He once said to Kenny Ortega who encouraged him to rest before the “This Is It” tour, that he was downloading (my word) a new song from the creator and if he didn’t capture it with diligence, God might give it to Prince instead. As a writer I can understand that mindset from my perspective– a piece or a story that needs telling– no, demands telling– will haunt a writer until it is put to paper. It will not leave you alone until it is born in some form– a poem, a feature article, a book… The creative impulse and from whence that originates, can be a slave master demanding to be set to pen, to music, to image– in a musical composition or score, a painting, a poem, a performance, a dance, or expressed somehow in whatever medium the artist is gifted in. Art is, in my thinking, God’s way (by whatever name that god, through whatever cultural door) of speaking to us.

He knew this. He revered the process of creation from galaxies to guitars. He acknowledged it as holy. He worked hard to be worthy of his gift. He persevered even though few understood and many mocked.

And I think what allowed him to survive was that he knew that “Michael Jackson” was just the vessel.


As more and more people wrote to me of their distress and need after Jackson’s death, I got behind in answering because I couldn’t keep up. That frustration provoked a meeting with my mentor and minster who told me it sounded like a “calling” to her. She viewed Jackson as a true innocent who was misunderstood and mistreated. She didn’t know how she knew this; she just knew.

My response was that I might agree but why me and why now? And why a figure who was such a lightning rod for controversy?

“You’re the perfect person,” she responded, or it wouldn’t call to you. “Will you answer the call?”

There were too many messages to answer individually. Too many people asking for explanations. Too many people who obviously could intuit that I might be able to give them some answers. So the research began and “Inner Michael” website was born. Liz Taylor began to send people who wrote her for solace to Inner Michael. They needed a touchpoint. They were obviously in distress and “Spiritual Emergency.” I had the training and I could write. How could I not?  “The rest is history” as the cliché goes.

The original article that started it all :


  1. Robin Smith said . . .

    Hi Barbara,
    I’m so glad to get back to Michael. He is still guiding my awakened spirit. He has led me to Saint Theresa and understanding the contemplative life. I was not raised Catholic but I have to admit this type of asceticism was latent dormant within me but in the name of Michael! He is always in the forefront of my mind and is forcing me to stay there even when I try to focus on more mundane matters. I believe there are others who are at this same juncture, at this point in time as well. I am understanding your point about staying on this level through prayer and meditation as Michael did. You have been so helpful to me in understanding this new awakening. Thank you.

    Posted February 15, 2015 at 12:29 am | Permalink
  2. Ara said . . .


    I am so glad you’re back. I used to read your posts regularly and when they stopped, thought you might have abandoned Michael I too came to Michael via the film “This Is It” which I rented because I was curious about “the freak.”

    That one viewing changed my life–and like you I was inexplicably drawn to watching it again and again. Seeing Michael in that film, in the library of my own home, I was overwhelmed by the sense that I was witnessing a Holy Spirit.

    Let me add that I was no Michael Jackson fan at the time. Yet witnessing Michael in that film changed my life forever.

    I believe he was an angel and/or a saint–touched by God–although I don’t mean to say he was flawless. A little study of the archangel Michael reveals he was not flawless either.

    I am grateful every day that michael is part of my life now.

    Thanks for helping keep his spirit alive and near me.

    Posted February 16, 2015 at 11:49 pm | Permalink
  3. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    Thank you Ara.
    Whoa, you went to see “the freak?” I wonder how many people might have had a change of heart had they watched the film.
    You know, Ara, Michael’s life mission seemed to be guiding people to their own light or brilliance and encouraging them to shine. He believed we are all “touched by God.” His lyrics called us to our highest expression of Self in the world.

    In that sense we are all angels, all saints. However, some of his close friends and collaborators called him an “angel walking the earth.” it’s that very juxtaposition, paradox or oxymoron that makes the Jackson case so interesting, so compelling. It boggles the mind how “they” could have gotten it so wrong. It’s a testament to shadow to realize how brutalized he was by members of the media and how everybody just piled on without investigating for themselves. He was the twentieth century’s man they loved to hate. Lots of it was racist. Much of it was motivated by money– particularly the “experts” and “biographers” who made so much money and built careers based on lies. That they were able to recruit so many into that fantasy is sad. It is a statement about human nature, and not a pretty one.

    I wonder if anyone has ever counted the number of people who betrayed him and made money off him. People you would least expect! From his spiritual advisors to friends, and to people he mentored and gifted so lavishly because he believed in them.

    The human ego is a strange thing. Dow does one take it upon himself or herself to assassinate another? How can an ego be so inflated that the assassination and dismemberment of another human being at your own hands stands as your legacy? How little faith one must have in self to exploit another (successful and generous) human being? Who wants to leave such a legacy? Who wants to be so weak and such a coward as to use another for power? How little must the belief in one’s own ability be? Such people will never reach the pinnacle of their own greatness for they don’t believe in themselves. How sad and how sad to have to use another to feel powerful. it’s counterfeit and corrupt and once done, can never be undone. The soul goes dark.

    Posted February 17, 2015 at 7:53 pm | Permalink
  4. quinta vince said . . .

    io non parlo inglese cara barbara e probabilmente mi perdo qualcosa nel leggere con il traduttore ma ti sento così vicina a me nei tuoi racconti !!! grazie !! anche io ho scoperto mike dopo la morte e ho ancora il mio cuore rotto per non aver capito prima ! amo infinitamente michel ! specialmente per la meravigliosa persona che era!!!! grazie per queste parole di conforto che ci dai!!!

    Posted February 21, 2015 at 12:18 am | Permalink
  5. quinta vince said . . .

    i love you barbara ti considero una sorella!

    Posted February 21, 2015 at 12:20 am | Permalink
  6. Lynaire Williams said . . .

    Dear Barbara,
    Yes, and welcome back to yourself as well. The lack of activity seemed sad to me, but luckily the realisation that there was reason behind it, left me patient and willing to wait.
    Thank you for the post. You have detailed your emotions and experiences during this period with such clarity, that to be sure, we must all feel we know you better now.

    You sent a lovely smile with the words of your children,s emancipation and the dreaded “empty nest syndrome”. Strangely enough for two weeks before Michael left this world, I was suffering from extreme restlessness,always pacing, unable to put myself anywhere, anymore. This was attributed by myself to be caused by that very occurrence. My youngest had left to live and work in London.This even though he had been gone over 18 months, loved it and was doing well. Later of course, the realisation came that it was soul knowledge of what was coming.

    Will we ever see such again? Probably not, because the world will not have need of it. Michael, I believe, was THE ONE. In every corner of the world there are people just like you, just like me, who will never forget what he selflessly offered to the world. We are passing him on to all we know and it is humbling to be permitted to be part of that. Thank you to Michael.

    Namaste to all,

    Posted February 23, 2015 at 10:52 pm | Permalink
  7. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    “Weill we ever see such again?” The answer is “no,” we will not. The gift was unappreciated. If a “son” went unappreciated, why would a “Michael Jackson” fair better? I hope you are right that “the world will not have need of it” for what the world can learn from this story is about personal and collective shadow and how black its ugliness, and how bullying and projection onto an innocent one works. It’s not pretty to look at. It’s nearly impossible to own.

    Did you know that we have come to learn to apologize for our transgressions like never before? That the United States is just about to apologize to the Japanese for the interment camps? Apology and forgiveness is trending. Speaking out against what is broken and wounding to humans is trending (witness the Academy Awards.) Sometimes powerful; sometimes feeble– It’s progress.

    Will we someday apologize to one man’s memory, legacy, family? This story, once fully known, has the power to end bullying in all its incarnations once and forever. It has the power to awaken us and cajole us into shining a light on the human shadow in its darkest corner and to begin to end the evil instrumentation of violence with words. Will we?

    Posted February 24, 2015 at 8:10 pm | Permalink
  8. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    Por supesto que eres mi familia!

    Posted February 24, 2015 at 8:22 pm | Permalink
  9. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    Ciao! Grazie per le gentili parole. Sono grato che mi avrebbe potuto offrire qualche understandind e comfort. Cheers!

    Posted February 24, 2015 at 8:28 pm | Permalink
  10. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    Love you more.

    Posted February 24, 2015 at 8:36 pm | Permalink
  11. Karen said . . .

    Strangely, I haven’t come here for several months, when for several years I was very habitual about finding my way here to find communion and comfort and inspiration. I’m so happy to have found my way back to discover that you, too, are back 🙂
    I go through stages with Michael, and lately he has been so very much in the forefront of my mind and soul. I’ve been reconnecting to the Divine spark and sparkle and lovelight that I feel when I listen to watch, and read about Michael. Photos have been taking my breath away again– like the one you put in this article from This Is It– I wonder how I could ever have looked at him and NOT seen an Angel, a light worker and bodhicitta. As you have revisited the beginnings of this beautiful healing space you’ve created, may I also revisit the incredible gratitude and joy I felt on finding you, and Inner Michael, back in 2009? Thank you, Barbara. You have helped me through what might have looked like insanity to others, as I fell in deep love and simultaneously, deep grieving, with someone I’d never met, and felt my heart ripping open and an unleashing of pain I felt like I had carried for lifetimes, which made room for something so transcendent and immediate and beautiful it changed me forever. You give voice to things I can only feel, and in doing so your words give me so much comfort and guidance and inner knowing that I’m on the right path. Thank you barely scratches the surface. Karen

    Posted March 5, 2015 at 6:57 am | Permalink
  12. Tammy said . . .

    Hi Barbara…

    The other day I came across something that brought my heart some comfort where Michael is concerned. The piece stated that Michael still has a message for the world, and that he really hasn’t left us at all. He is both in Heaven and still at some level here on Earth. He is still within reach.” Is this possible? Could he still be so close to us because he can feel our hearts?


    Posted April 1, 2015 at 7:58 pm | Permalink
  13. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    There are as many beliefs about the afterlife as there are religions and belief systems. Some people believe that the deceased are right here among us but their energy is oscillating at a higher vibrational rate converting them to light beings- this would account for angels whom have appeared to be glowing or transparent or light beings. Because light waves travel so fast, they are not visible to the naked eye. Some people believe “Heaven” is somewhere else and intangible, others claim Shangri-La is a hidden place on the planet and still others believe in Hell. For some, hell is here on Earth and is escaped after death. Many people have reported seeing their loved ones as or after they cross over. As a nurse, I can affirm that something quite beautiful and made of light leaves the body at passing; does it exist in that form thereafter? Perhaps. All I can tell you about Michael Jackson is that many have reported post-life contact with him. There were so many immediately following his death that I categorized it as a phenomenon. “All things are possible.”

    Posted April 7, 2015 at 3:49 pm | Permalink
  14. StefanamMeer said . . .


    thank you für this nice little article about Michael Jackson. I´m writing a short biography about michael and can use this information.

    Best wishes, Stefan

    Posted May 5, 2015 at 7:44 am | Permalink

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