Saturday, February 9, 2019

I´m not really dead

“Ambres: En Död Talar” (Ambres: A Dead Man Speaks) is a Swedish documentary, unfortunately without English titles, about the strange case of Sture Johansson, a Swedish carpenter and hunter who channels a 3000-year old spirit called Ambres. The Sture-Ambres team is known even in the United States, being featured in Shirley MacLaine´s book “Out on a Limb” and the film with the same name. 

This documentary was shown by SVT, the Swedish public service network, in 2007. Several skeptics (of the organized type) actually filed a complaint against the program, but the complaints weren´t upheld by the bureaucratic agency overseeing SVT broadcasts. I have *some* understanding for the skeptical reaction, since “Ambres: En Död Talar” does come across as an extended pitch for the controversial Sture Johansson and his Theosophy-inspired worldview, while not even token critics are featured.

That being said, the documentary itself is actually quite boring, probably because most channeled material *is* boring. Spiritual seekers have heard most of it before: what reincarnates isn´t the Ego but the Higher Self (called “the rider” as in horse-rider by Ambres), the “witness” records everything we experience and then releases it during near-death experiences, we create our own after-death experiences – usually pleasant ones – but then karma takes over and propels us down into incarnation again, the true man is pure spirit and therefore cannot die, and so on.  

What makes Johansson unusual is that he consciously cultivates an image of being an “ordinary Joe” who knows nothing about esotericism and for a long time channeled spirit-beings only reluctantly. His initial reaction, or so he claims, was to think that he was going literally insane. He also attacks the American New Age channeling scene with some vehemence, viewing it as a pandemonium of power struggles between fake mediums. Throughout the production, Johansson claims to be an ordinary professional and family man. While I happen to think Sture *is* more sympathetic than the average New Age crank, he isn´t entirely truthful here. For starters, he is running study classes and a small organization around the revelations given to Ambres, something mentioned only in passing in “Ambres: En Död Talar”.

In an interesting article, ex-Anthroposophist Håkan Blomqvist reveals that Sture Johansson was deeply involved in the Theosophical and “ifological” scene long before Ambres appeared. The “ifologists” were people who believed that the UFOs were manned by benign space brothers with advanced spiritual knowledge (from “IFO” = Identified Flying Object). In other words, people who took the contactee phenomenon seriously. Sture and his then-wife Turid had seen UFOs and aliens at a number of occasions. In 1974, Sture published a book about astral travel, and it was the entity mentioned in this work, Simeno, who “came through” during the first channeling session in 1976. Ambres seems to have appeared one year later. The group to which Sture belonged was not an innocuous meditation class, but an esoteric study group. One of the works they studied was Blavatsky´s “The Secret Doctrine”! On another point, however, Sture Johansson is apparently telling the truth: Blomqvist and the others really were shocked when he suddenly started to go into trances and start channeling…

None of the above is a condemnation, by the way. Not even Blomqvist really condemns his old friend. He no longer believes Ambres is a discarnate spirit, however, rather veering towards the opinion that Sture disassociates during the séances. Thus, Ambres is simply an alternate personality of Sture Johansson himself – somewhat ironically, given the “spirit´s” own expositions on Ego, Self and the nature of Time. I haven´t studied the Ambres material at any depth, but Blomqvist also believes that Sture Johansson is different in another way. Ambres virtually never demands unthinking obedience or talks about the apocalypse. According to Wiki, Ambres claims to be a defected member of a secret brotherhood on the astral plane who has decided to communicate the esoteric truths to common man. The spirit-entity even seems to have a sense of humor – in the documentary, Ambres says that it can´t be very funny to “sit on a white cloud and play a harp for hundreds of thousands of years, for starters, you have to learn how to play a harp”! However, I noticed that humor sometimes creeps into other super-serious channeled messages too, so perhaps the medium (or was it “the instrument”) is simply feeling fatigued and decides to pull a fast one from time to time…?

With that, I close my reflections on the Ambres phenomenon.


  1. If you can read Swedish, Håkan Blomqvist´s article can be found here:

  2. Jag såg programmet när det sändes, och blev mer och mer irriterad över att den påstått fornegyptiske prästen inte verkar relatera ett skvatt till fornegyptisk religion. Om han hade gjort det hade han blivit riktigt intressant.

  3. Som jag sa tidigare, så måste han ha blivit "omvänd" till teosofin efter några runder i astralvärlden... ;-)

    Fast man undrar förstås varför han talar perfekt mellansvenska snarare än fornegyptiska?

  4. Men om han nu blev omvänd borde hans tidigare religion ändå på något sätt avspeglas i retoriken. Man får faktiskt intrycket av en person som aldrig hört talas om fornegyptisk religion....

  5. Det är "Ryttaren" vi hör. Den fornegyptiske prästen var väl Egot...

    Har du förresten sett den här? Är detta den riktige Sture Johansson?

  6. "The range of his knowledge seems unlimitided". Hmm... det enda han säger här är standardklichéer inom New Age. Kombinerat med ett kristet slut - fadern, sonen och den helige ande.

  7. "Tidlösa" alias "Ashtar Commando" seems to Believe in the Ambres phenomenon, which just shows how FUCKING NUTS this blog has become. It began as a skeptical left-of-center blog, now it´s some kind of fucking New Age occult Trump propaganda outfit, SHAME ON YOU!

  8. Anonymous,

    You haven´t seen nothing yet, tenderfoot!