Book: Calls to Mystic Alice: A Psychic and Her “Spooks” Explain Karma, Reincarnation, and Everything Else You Forgot on Your Way to Earth
Author: Alice Rose Morgan
Why I Consider This Book Odd: This is one I declared odd based solely on the title and subtitle and my instincts were correct. New Age Fluff for the win.
Type of Book: New Age, New Age Fluff
Availability: Published by Llewellyn, that bastion of alternative religious ideas, in 2006, this book is still available. You can get a copy here:
Comments: I am not one to suffer New Age Squick lightly, though I love New Age Fluff. The difference between Squick and Fluff can be a hard line to see for some of my readers, but I define it thusly: If a book features endless accounts of people putting themselves in hardcore danger because us Westerners are too arrogant to see things correctly, it is Squick. Think back to Aunt Ruth in People Who Don’t Know They’re Dead and how she refused all medical treatment for her cancer and tried to treat it with crystals on pendulums and what amounted to self-affirmations? The woman who very likely died in extraordinary pain because she rejected the evils of Western medicine. That, my friends, is New Age Squick.
Now, if a book seems like it was written by your sweet granny, and includes a mish mash of world religion presented in a respectful, though at times baffling way, and the person writing it seems more like they have your best interests at heart rather than pushing a bizarre agenda that involves but is not limited to dead scientists on the planet Marduk telling us how to live, then you are dealing with New Age Fluff. Calls to Mystic Alice is New Age Fluff, and fun Fluff at that, the sort of Fluff that doesn’t leave you feeling greasy and smelling of cigarette smoke the way reading Sylvia Browne does.
Evidently, Alice Rose Morgan hails from and procreated her own family of people with odd abilities. Without even an ounce of awareness that Phillip Roth wrote The Human Stain, Alice Rose insists that “Spooks” reveal to her knowledge, knowledge that not only helps her discover the truth in her own life, but leads her to be able to tell others how to find their own answers. Alice claims she never advertised her business, the whole phone call thing being from word of mouth, people sending her checks after the readings, and I sort of believe that was the case before this book was written. Still, I managed to find a website for Mystic Alice with a contact page at www.callstomysticalice.com. However, the server seems to be down as of this writing. Perhaps Alice’s spooks worried that she was becoming too commercial.
Seriously, Alice is adorable, huggable granny material all the way. But don’t think her cuteness swayed me. The book is littered with the typical New Age meanderings and insistence that one can, in fact, worship Jesus Christ while firmly believing in transmigration of souls, that one can heal with vibrational color, see auras and that we all have our own Spooks. It’s just that some of us can see them and some can’t, which always seemed unfair to me, but there you are. The essential premise of the book is that there is truth in every belief system, you reap what you sow, and we are all far more psychic than we think.
Like all New Age, be it Squick or Fluff, there are… issues in the book, logical premises that annoy the sane layman and logical theologian. Among some of Alice’s assertions:
(The Spooks say time on the astral plane is very different than earth. Approximately twenty-four hours on the astral plane is equivalent to one thousand years on earth. This is one of the reasons it is so difficult to give exact times to clients when they insist on it.)
Actually, one would think this means they would be able to give accurate times, but whatever…
For every action, there is a reaction. It’s one of the laws of physics and definitely one of the most important laws of the universe. This is the basis of what the Spooks call the Law of Return. Whatever you put out comes back to you, positive or negative. The Bible puts it this way: “As you sow, so shall you reap.”
Ahhh, drink the smoothie of science, karma, weird spirits offering guidance and Biblical passages direct from the New Age Blender.
More of the same mish mash while discussing astral projection:
We never fully disconnect from our body while it is living. Instead, it remains connected by a silver cord-no matter how far we travel in the astral world. When you return suddenly, it results in the cord being snapped like a rubber band and the startled, fearful feeling is normal… In Ecclesiastes 12:6, the Bible mentions the “Golden Bowl” and “Silver Cord” being loosed or broken. This is basically the aura and the cord connecting our physical bodies to our astral bodies.
I got a little nervous in the passages about healing with color and alternative medicine, remembering poor Aunt Ruth and her cancer, but Alice gives Western medicine its due and emphasizes its importance. So my picking at this section is in good fun and without the vicious desire to see this book burned and the ashes sprinkled with salt.
Alice discusses some of the usual suspects in New Age approaches to medicine, from herbs, to interpreting a sore throat as fear to speak up or back pain as literally being too burdened in life. But then she rushes off into a realm of New Age healing I knew little about, a sort of mind over matter approach while thinking of color:
If you have a malady of any kind, try it yourself. Imagine the beauty and the healing colors I described [earlier]. The sequence of the colors is significant because it shows the direction of thought in the healing process. Red indicates the physical life situation and acknowledges the pain and injury to the body. Violet and purple indicate the pity and hurt, which turns into blue, meaning truth and reality. As you change from blue to shades of green, you are in the actual healing field. As this changes to yellow you have acknowledged intellectually the healing process has taken place and the color becomes white, showing the purity of mind. Then it changes to clear to indicate the problem has passed.
Okay, fine, I tried this. I broke my leg in 2009, requiring a plate and five screws. I still have pain and may need to have the plate removed. I did my best to initiate and follow through the color sequence and yeah, it didn’t work. But I don’t do well on narcotic painkillers, look awesome using a cane, so really, I had little to lose. Just as long as people with lung cancer don’t do this and think it works, and since Alice does discuss her faith in Western medicine, I don’t feel too bad admitting that I, you know, am susceptible to a very minor form of the desperation that drives some people into the arms of snake oil salesmen.
The only time I think I would have had harsh words with Alice was over her whole, “we choose to be born when we are born and we choose to die when we die.” Meaning that even if we do not recall making this statement or promise as to our mortality in the astral plane, we do make it and are bound to it.
No one died during the 9/11 attacks who hadn’t already agreed to leave, therefore, in that manner on that day.
Yeah, that sentence is disturbing and can, in the right mind, serve as an apology for the carnage (well, they agreed to die at the hands of terrorists in order to show the world some sort of lesson – bleah). (And even further bleah, BOC’s “Don’t Fear the Reaper” came up on my MP3 player as I typed this…)
But overall, this book is filled with harmless Fluff, the sorts of religious combinations that make us hug our ditsy aunt who thinks Jesus is the reincarnation of Elijah, who was the reincarnation of Moses and that The Secret is OMG soooo true.
If Alice thinks she heard Spooks, who am I to tell her she doesn’t have spirit guides telling her truths the rest of us are too blind to see and too deaf to hear. If she did build up a reasonably lucrative side business with her Spooks telling her the fates of her callers, she didn’t go around spreading harmful information, like revealing death dates, or encouraging people not to go to the ER when they go anaphylactic and similar. She’s just one out of millions of people with alternative beliefs, certainly less toxic than most, and entertaining.
Her prose is simple, and in the style of so much New Age Fluff, she is fond of exclamation points to drive home mundane conclusions, but does it less than so many of her comrades-in-pens. While you will undoubtedly find a lot to disagree with in this book (or maybe you won’t – the world is a big, weird place), there is little to make you angry and all of Alice’s little stories about her family and her callers are actually entertaining. Also, once one establishes the idea of prescient dreams and similar, the stories make sense. Sense, at least linear ideas and the ability to maintain a coherent narrative, are elements missing from a lot of Squick and Fluff.
So read this book and know that while Michael Shermer likely will be able to disprove the entire book in five minutes or so, no skeptic really needs to pick apart this largely inoffensive piece of Fluff.