(Friday, February 27th, 2009)

Reverend Ben Cox

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Have you ever looked around your workplace or classroom and thought, “Who are these people? And how do I fit in here?”  One of the finest things to come from my Rollins College experience is exactly this: I was forced to surround myself with people I may not have associated with normally. That’s how I met Reverend Ben Cox—we have sat next to each other in class for the past four years.

In May, Ben and I will both graduate from Rollins with a Masters Degree in Liberal Studies. Other than this commonality, we might as well be from different planets. He has been married and divorced. He has fathered four children. He now has a partner named Rick, and together they connect with spirits from the other side. He is a Reverend. He remembers six of his former lives. He gives lectures at Cassadaga. He always wears jewelry and crystals. And these are things one learns about the Reverend within minutes of being around him. I became instantly fascinated by Ben once meeting him. I wanted to inspect him from a far, like how a child captures a bug and watches it from behind glass. I never knew anything like him existed. Never in a million years could I have guessed we’d become pals.

Today, I consider Ben a good friend. We don’t hang out on a daily basis or anything, but if I needed something—anything at all—I know I could count on him. He’s come to most all of my events to support me and my endeavors. He’s brought me research books from his personal library when I’ve been in a research-paper crisis, without me even asking. We’ve had many conversations pertaining to the meaning of life. But what I’ve enjoyed most about befriending Ben is that he has taught me much about his lifestyle. After a tour of Cassadaga, a history lesson of its existence, an attendance of a graduation (or what most of us call a funeral), a reading, a meditation, a séance and participating in table-tipping, I now have an idea of what it’s like to be a Spiritualist of Cassadaga. I hope by reading this interview, you will too. Or at least I hope you’ll be inspired to be open-minded to the possibilities that surround us, especially when they come unexpectedly.

*Below are a few excerpts found in Jana Waring’s Who’s That? Discovering Orlando One Interview at a Time. To read more about Ben’s connection to the other side, buy the book now!

Jana: What does it mean to be a medium?
Ben: Once I had discovered what a medium was, I realized that’s what I’ve been all my life. I was one of those people who saw things, heard things—I was the telephone wire between the operator and telephone, in between this dimension and the next. I’ve been doing that, more or less, since I was a child. When my mother went into her diabetic condition, I could see the change in her aura and so I knew it was coming before she did. When the phone rang, I knew who was on the other end before I picked it up. When I asked people questions, I knew what their answers were going to be before I asked the questions.

So why ask questions if you already know the answers?
Because you try to be whatever normal is—normal is an elusive term. You try to blend in. You think, “Doesn’t everybody hear and see what I do?” And no, they don’t. I cannot assume people see what I see, or hear what I hear. I know that now, but when I was a child I didn’t.

Who is your God?
God is an energy, an intelligence, a force. God is not a person and it is not personal. I often joke with people in that God can be divine intelligence, the ground of all being, popcorn, a bubble gum wrapper—whatever works for you. It doesn’t matter what metaphor you use, as long as it works.

I had expected the séance to be serious, very focused, and with a lot of concentration. But that wasn’t the case at all.
It was a lot of fun wasn’t it? It’s a lot of laughter and a lot of joking. The spirit loves to play.  People love for things to be explained in rational terms, and sometimes you just can’t. It scares them.

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