One of the benefits of being a public personality is experiencing firsthand how small the world really is. Yes, it’s true, social media and its rapid fire exchange of information has made the planet tinier for everyone. However, as a spiritual counselor and psychic on the world stage, fielding intimate questions and concerns from citizens the world over has helped me recognize statements such as “we all just want to love and be loved” are not just spiritual platitudes. Regardless of geographical location, skin color, differing hygiene practices, social standing, religious preferences or education; there’s dignity in our fundamental sameness. One of these similarities is a fear of not having or being enough.
Fear of not having or being enough, is one of the most honest and admirable doubts one can have. It demonstrates you’re aware you’re more than what you currently experience. It shows you’re awakening to the realization physical existence cannot satisfy you. And it symbolizes you’re ready for a more spiritually centered life. Fear of not having or being enough is not caused by material issues. Instead, consider any material struggles accompanying such feelings as reminders to remain fully present so you do not deny your natural abundance.
In extreme cases of despair, many people abandon personal responsibility and rationalize their unfortunate circumstances by imagining they might be cursed. People also sometimes imagine fixing a past hurt/mistake, or accomplishing a future event, will bring them abundance. These goals sound reasonable but they’re actually just ways of avoiding the present moment where abundance is actually found. The second most common mistake that is made when dealing with impoverished feelings is thinking they can be resolved through material achievement. But again, material achievement is, at best, a temporary fix and a distraction from being present with your immediate feelings.
Abundance is not something that can be measured, earned or striven for. It is a state of being. True abundance is realized when you possess an accurate awareness of what you are on a feeling level. Once you fully understand yourself in terms of your inner relationship to your deepest needs and wishes, abundance flows naturally. This is something that has nothing to do with wealth. We all have to learn this in our own way. To illustrate this point, let me share a secret. Clients of mine, from very exotic post codes, frequently complain about a lack of abundance just like the most financially challenged. Isn’t that amazing? This is because on the practical level, the glamorous and affluent have learned money is not a source of fulfillment. This truth demonstrates very clearly that lack of abundance is a spiritual deficiency not a material one.
The degree to which the outer personality reflects the selfless presence behind your words and thoughts – well, it shows just how abundant you really are. When the “presence” flows through the personality, you live in harmony with the “is-ness” of life. What is this presence or “is-ness”? It is the same energy that beats your heart, creates ample oxygen to breath and sends water from the sky.
Nature is abundant. You are abundant. Modern life only makes it hard to recognize abundance because we’ve stopped living in harmony with mother earth. Manipulating the world of form can be challenging but restoring inner harmony and the experience of abundance is near immediate. It only requires placing your focus on our breath and listening to the beating of our heart. Aligning your awareness with the natural rhythms of life orients you in the present, where abundance awaits you. Be abundant and without fear. Live your power.
I’d been standing in the dark for nearly two hours, shifting my weight from one foot to the other. Finally, I crouched down, assuming a more comfortable position as I faced the fact I was in for a long night. Then, with my palms flat together as if in prayer, and my lips pressed against my index fingers, I focused my full attention on the man laying on the mattress just an arm’s length away. It was a balmy Southern California evening and my colleagues and I were investigating a man who believed he was possessed by an evil spirit. With any luck, the “demon” would show itself. But from the outset, it appeared the alleged ghoul was content offering only threats and the occasional insult through its supposed host.
The request for help came from a local priest who described “Robert” as “needing assistance I cannot give.” I admit my first instinct was to wonder if the good Father had first called his appropriate superior to request the rite of exorcism. After all, if he actually believed Robert was afflicted with an evil spirit, surely there were resources within the Church. Nevertheless, his appeal for aid was very real; therefore we agreed to do whatever we could.
The question of why the priest contacted the organization I was working with rather than his superiors lingered with me. I decided to look into the matter. I discovered that in 1999, the rite of exorcism was revised by the Roman Catholic Church. The Church was now officially adamant that exorcism only be granted after supervising physicians had established that candidates for exorcism were neither physically nor mentally ill. Robert, apparently, would not submit to evaluation by a licensed medical professional. In such a case, the priest’s hands were tied. All he could do was offer prayers and a blessing for Robert’s home. Yet despite multiple blessings, Robert’s paranormal problem persisted.
For most people autumn is a welcome reprieve from summer heat. It signals a return to routine that is made easier by the romance of wood burning fireplaces, fall fashions and the mosaic of red and golden leaves carpeting our streets. There’s deep beauty in watching leaves fall in autumn. For me, it’s as if Mother Nature is throwing confetti, celebrating the arrival of Halloween. But for some, the imaginary ghosts, goblins and mysteries that many of us enjoy during the Halloween season can feel like a source of real-life terror.
Upon further inquiry, it appeared demonic possession was not Robert’s problem. If one is inclined to believe in demons and devils, perhaps it would have been more accurate to characterize Robert’s issues as diabolical obsession. The difference between obsession and possession is simple. Obsession is evil acting upon an individual from the outside via torment and temptation while possession is evil inhabiting and then working through an individual by overtaking their mind, their will, and then their body. Rationally speaking however, once has to wonder whether blaming evil spirits for one’s problems is just a way to avoid personal accountability?
Obvious symptoms of possession include, changes in vocal projection, inexplicably speaking in foreign tongues, disdain for religious icons, as well as a stench and freezing temperatures immediately surrounding the afflicted. In addition, possessed individuals reportedly wield religious and morality themed telepathic powers. They’re believed to have unusually taught skin, distorted faces and unnatural physicality. Possessed people undergo behavioral changes. They experiences psychokinetic events (objects moving as if thrown or smashed by an unseen hand) and finally, “demonically” afflicted people allegedly can levitate or make themselves immobile by becoming inexplicably heavy at will.
Superficially speaking, more often than not, it has been my experience that paranormally afflicted people suffer, or are survivors of, psychological, physical and/or emotional distress. Paranormal complainants are also frequently affected by issues of substance abuse and live in less than hygienic conditions. By any standard however, Robert and his living conditions were clean and tidy. Moreover, he did not exhibit any obvious symptoms of possession. Robert did claim psychokinetic events took place around him but these allegations could not be verified. Nevertheless, Robert insisted he was the object of an inhuman evil influence. When questioned why he believed this to be so, Robert detailed for me how a demon repeatedly tempted and tormented his mind and sexually assaulted his body. When questioned about the latter he lifted his shirt revealing scratches on his torso and what he claimed was a spontaneous human bite mark on the middle of his back.
Among uncommon phenomena, I have come to learn there may be nothing more common than claims spirits sexually molest unsuspecting humans. Since 2005 I have investigated fifteen hauntings with sexual themes. Robert was an extreme case. He was also particularly interesting since he was a man. The other claims of spectral sexual assault I investigated were all made by women. This does not mean spectrophilia- (sexual relations with spirits) is a phenomenon mostly experienced by women. I suspect men are just, first and foremost, less likely to assign paranormal causes to distress, and second, men may be less likely to reach out for help.
As I reported on the Travel Channel program Ghostly Lovers, every culture in the world throughout history, has a mythology that describes sexual relations between human beings and spirits. The oldest written text in human history, the epic of Gilgamesh (2400 BC) tells the story of Gilgamesh’s father, who after death, returns to seduce and have sex with living women.
A masculine spirit/demon is called an incubus while feminine supernatural beings who seduce men are referred to as succubae. Historically, theologians have argued that the demons who allegedly seduce people in their sleep are actually genderless, and that they change form to suit the desires of those they prey upon. That being said, looking at the root word for incubus may give us a clue that could unravel the mystery of spectrophilia and incubi regardless of their persuasion.
The word incubus was created from the Latin verb incubo which means “to lie upon”. People who suffer sleep paralysis (SP) cannot move. They feel a pressure weighing down on their chest making it difficult to breath, and if this wasn’t frightening enough, sleep paralysis also includes sensing an invisible presence. Sleep paralysis is a neuro-physiological condition first described scientifically by Dr. Silas Weir Mitchell in 1876. Taking the symptoms of SP into consideration, it is easy to see why uneducated people might assume that sensing an invisible presence and feeling set upon, means a spirit is trying to violate you against your will.
Sensing a presence before it is physically seen is a powerful mechanism of self preservation that is part of our fight or flight response. If human beings did not develop such acute situational awareness over the millennia, one could argue we would not have survived as a species. Everyone knows what it feels like to be watched. Maybe you have felt stared at when in line at the grocery store? Or perhaps when sitting in traffic you’ve instinctively turned your head only to discover the person in the next car looking at you? When people feel stared at or otherwise threatened but cannot determine why, the mind often relies on paranormal myths to fill in the blanks.
Although feeling watched or preyed upon is a valuable part of the fight or flight response that should be paid attention to, it is important to understand there are normal reasons why such sensations can arise. This is especially true when one is sleeping. The feeling of being watched can result from seizure activity within the brain. Such activity can inspire one to hear voices and experience visual hallucinations. Sensing a presence, hearing disembodied voices and having strange visual experiences can also occur when the brain is artificially stimulated by electromagnetic (EM) radiation. I once had a case where a woman swore spirits were visiting her in her dreams. She insinuated she was psychic. The unsubstantiated evidence of her ability was a claim spirits appeared at the foot at her bed at night. She said she could see them as she drifted in and out of sleep. These hypnopompic hallucinations were cured when we removed the antiquated alarm clock from her nightstand. This clock was bleeding high levels of EM radiation less than a foot from her temporal lobe.
In addition, people who have been conditioned by stress might also have midbrains stuck in a state of hyper arousal. Such an anxious state keeps the brain on red alert, instigating all kinds of problems from night terrors to sleep paralysis. The role sleep dysfunction plays in paranormal experiences cannot be ignored. However, this does not mean all paranormal claims have strictly biological causes. It is just that any rational discussion or extrasensory perception and the paranormal must recognize how perception is influenced by unconscious neuropsychological processes, and the body’s interaction with the environment.
In 2006 I participated in a paranormal investigation of a ten acre compound north of Los Angeles. The woman who owned the property, we’ll call her “Hilary”, contacted a colleague of mine looking for help with a particular concern. Per protocol, I was not informed of the actual complaint in advance so my psychic assessment would not be prejudiced. Upon arrival at the estate, I toured the property with an assistant and a friend of the property owner. When I entered the main sleeping quarters I psychically encountered three naked forms; two women and one man, who appeared to react to my presence. This was one of the most startling things I have ever witnessed as a psychic. From my point of view, it was as if they were physically there, frolicking on the floor in front of the fireplace when I walked in on them. Honestly, if someone told me they had this experience I would not believe them. The only thing more startling then this “vision” however, was when an hour later during my interview with Hillary she confessed without any provocation that the real reason she asked me to her home was because she was haunted by two women and a man who forced her to have sex with them in her dreams.
According to Hillary, her spectral assaults began with gentle, passionate, one on one love making with the invisible man. It was psychically determined, and later confirmed, her estate had been the location of several pornographic films, orgies and general debauchery in the 1970′s. With this in mind, the obsession and subsequent escalation of Hillary’s “sexual activities” with her ghostly lover did not surprise me.
After the first few months of erotic dreams Hillary’s spectral lover slowly introduced first one, and then another female into their love making. Hillary soon found herself doing things in her dreams she never considered in life. It was not until Hillary eventually found herself losing control in her dreams that she felt demeaned, and eventually victimized. Hillary’s personal boundaries had become so porous in fact, that she could no longer sleep without feeling forced into spectral sex. She developed insomnia and relied on naps during the day to cope. But even in the middle of the day she was haunted by her ghostly lover. Hillary’s life was unraveling and her health was in jeopardy.
Robert and Hillary’s situations are similar in that they both experienced a seeming lack of control over their nocturnal perceptions that spilled over into their waking life. Interestingly enough, neither complained of the two primary symptoms of sleep paralysis, (actual paralysis or difficulty breathing) although each did characterize the presences they felt as evil despite an inability to independently corroborate their “demons” as anything more than personal projections. I confess, however, that the fact Hillary’s description of her attackers matched mine to a tee was indeed curious; while Robert’s response to our intervention resulted in a surprising and rather frightening scenario.
How we deal with, and process our emotions, directly affects our relationship with ourselves. Our sexuality is a powerful expression of and entry way to the most intimate aspects of our being. Is this why paranormal complaints frequently contain sexual themes? The aforementioned case work is discussed in depth in my new book, The Rational Psychic™, A Skeptic’s Guide to Extraordinary Perception. Whether you are curious about paranormal phenomena or identify as psychic, The Rational Psychic will help you better understand paranormal and psychic experiences like no book ever written.
John Holland, world renowned psychic, bestselling author, and star of the Biography Channel’s unXplained says, “The Rational Psychic™ is an educational, scientific, and fascinating new look into the world of psychic phenomenon! A must read for everyone in all walks of life.” Dr. Andrew Nichols, Director of the American Institute of Parapsychology, calls The Rational Psychic™, “Comprehensive, provocative, and up-to-date, quite simply the best available introduction to psychic phenomena.“
This Halloween season enjoy all the spooky fun; just remember that for some people ghosts are no laughing matter.
When I first visited the offices of SOUNDS TRUE publishing I was moved because it occurred to me that my personal spiritual journey began with reading a SOUNDS TRUE book. For this reason, I am particularly excited that The Rational Psychic™, A Skeptic’s Guide to Extraordinary Perception is brought to you by the leaders in New Edge thinking, SOUNDS TRUE.
Just three years ago, The Rational Psychic™ existed as only faint whispers in my mind. When I stilled my thoughts I could hear the insights and stories that would eventually materialize as the physical manuscript. I had no idea what the final book would look like, or what it would be called, but I felt something wonderful was happening. For that reason, I committed myself to sharing what I have learned through serving clients and working with those who believe they are paranormally afflicted.
Psychic ability is real. Research data overwhelmingly supports this conclusion. SOUNDS TRUE and I decided to call my book The Rational Psychic™, A Skeptic’s Guide to Extraordinary Perception because a skeptic is someone who investigates and explores that which is assumed to be true. A skeptic is not a cynic. Thus, The Rational Psychic™ is a thorough exploration of reality and consciousness in an effort to illuminate the inner workings of your mind, and your understanding of psychic development, using sound scientific theory and objective facts. Think of how empowering this knowledge is for you!
The Rational Psychic™ teaches why extrasensory perception is real and how it plausibly works without relying on spiritual metaphor. This does not mean that I do not have spiritual beliefs. I most certainly do. The problem is esoteric beliefs and paranormal explanations for life’s mysteries mostly only appear to offer answers when in reality such philosophies sometimes prevent us from being emotionally present with ourselves and those we love. Here is why the world needs a rational approach to psi phenomena.
The Rational Psychic™ explains what credible extrasensory experiences are, and where they come from, without using pseudo-religious beliefs so that you can develop a deeper more genuinely spiritual relationship with yourself and what you hold as divine. This may sound counter-intuitive but our true spiritual identity can only be realized and developed when we fully and fearlessly commit to experiencing our humanity.
Please consider the opinions of the many recognized experts who have endorsed The Rational Psychic™ A Skeptic’s Guide to Extraordinary Perception. You may see these endorsement by visiting AMAZON. A link is provided below.
I offer you The Rational Psychic ™ in a spirit of love and service.
Yours very kindly,
Good Morning everyone,
If you haven’ heard, last night’s development class was really great. Those who attended were warm and genuine. We had a few laughs and yet were able to still cover a lot of interesting material. Of course the highlight of the evening was when students presented their “homework”.
If you recall, I sent out an assignment via email. On Tuesday evening, the night before our meeting, I asked each student to sit in meditation and ask me to show them a photograph from the future. In the future, I would remove an image from a sealed envelope. Your job was to observe me do this from the present day. As part of the assignment, I then asked you to list any impressions you had concerning the image I revealed. The results were startling.
What your fellow students did not know was at the time of their meditation, I had not yet chosen the target image. On Wednesday afternoon, I randomly selected full page images from magazines I FELT drawn to. Images I believed would make compelling targets that could easily elicit remote multi-sensory impressions. I selected six pictures, organized them randomly by rolling dice and sealed them in numbered envelopes. When preparation was complete, even I had no idea what images were in which envelope.
Seven hours later, at the end of class, again dice were rolled. This was to determine who would roll the dice that would ultimately determine which envelop became the homework target. Students had no idea how the assignment would be organized but in the end, the students shocked themselves.
Two trainees demonstrated that 3 out of three of their psychic impressions were 100% consistent with the target picture. One student actually sketched an exact replica of an image sealed in one of the un-selected envelopes while a second student “felt” the contents of another un-selected envelop with 100% accuracy. Everyone who participated in last nights exercises showed some measure of ability. Needless to say we were all very excited at the results!
This is an exciting time of serious study and fun. Much of the information I present is not discussed in any other development program. We will continue next Wednesday at 7:30. If there is sufficient interest, I will begin another class. Perhaps other days or times may work better. I welcome your suggestions. For now, however, please join us on Wednesday evenings.
When it comes to the paranormal; believing in ghosts, psychic ability and any alternative means of divining information, nothing is more alienating than finding out that even among unconventional thinkers you are paranormal.
There is an increasing number of metaphysically minded people feeling disenfranchised by paranormal ideas. The boo factor of the paranormal and the exotic unsubstantiated mystical concepts of metaphysics are fueling a longing for a deeper connection with one another and the world around us – one that can only blossom from true self-realization.
Paranormalists, meaning those who believe in, and define themselves in relation to metaphysical concepts, cannot become self realized so long as they cling to antiquated ways of “spiritually” relating to themselves and explaining existence. Like closed minded atheists, or rigid religious fundamentalists, paranormlaists also cling to mental concepts of good and evil reinforced by aliens, ghosts, demons and discarnate beings that can be viewed as quasi spiritual metaphors – concepts that do nothing more than supply a self deluding structure, certainty and sense of control over the world. But while these esoteric ideas can seem spiritual in that they are non-physically inspired, the question we really need to ask is what are these ideas inspired by and why do we get so troubled when they are challenged?
For metaphysicians, their ego can become like a paranormally themed avatar that requires exotic psychic and spiritual beliefs to prop it up. However, it is important to understand that awakening the fundamental goodness of your true self does not require exotic beliefs. That being said, your metaphysical beliefs and psychic or paranormal self concept may actually inhibit the expression of your authentic self.
Genuine self examination, surrender and personal healing is the road less traveled that can liberate you from the grip of your paranormally fortified ego. Every paranormalist and metaphysician must walk the road within if they are to ever truly grow spiritually. Only when you are awakened to all of your credits and faults, can you safely and most effectively, develop as a psychic – and more importantly, as a spiritual being. To help you navigate the seemingly paranormal subjective world, I offer you The Rational Psychic™, A skeptic’s guide to extraordinary perception, available on Amazon courtesy of SoundsTrue publishing beginning October 1st 2012.
For more information about the author, visit: http://www.jackrourke.net
For more information about the author, visit: http://www.jackrourke.net
I finally saw the long-awaited Exorsist Files last night on Discovery Channel. This episode retold the story of the real life case behind William Blatty’s Exorcist.
Last night’s show was a well produced program that had the look and feel of the period within which the alleged demonic possession took place. More importantly I enjoyed how it seemed to hold true to the historical facts.
The only down side to this portrayal of William Blatty’s Exorcist was the irrational suggestion eye-witness testimony was unreliable. While this is true in many cases, I hardly think seeing a glass bottle of holy water flying from its resting place without the help of human hands could be that easily misinterpreted. In fairness however, since I know what it is like to offer “expert” testimony to a film crew only to see my point of view completely misrepresented in the final edited version of a program months later, I should be more forgiving.
I neither agree or disagree with the phenomena of possession. I will say I have observed some compelling events and personalities that admittedly seem paranormally peculiar. Others I have attended to have been outright hostile at times but is it correct to blame immorality, self-destructive behavior or emotional and psycho-genic violence on the devil?
Certainly the human psyche is permeable. Any one who has ever unconsciously had their mood influenced by another can attest to this. Think about it then, is it so unreasonable to suggest that just like how there are biological catagions that there are also emotional and psychological ones too? And if so, why could there not be spiritual contagions as well? Or could a spiritual contagion just be a new-age way to denote a combination of imbalanced, unhealthy emotional and mental energies?
If we agree that unhealthy mental and emotional energies can influence our perception and behavior; than if life continues outside of the physical body, could forming a relationship with an ill-tempered discarnate person negatively affect us the same way as if they were alive? And if so, is this all it means to be under demonic influence?
The truth of the matter is possession is not an instantaneous overwhelming of your mind. Possession, as a potential communicable condition, functions similar to how any biological or emotional germ does. There is an incubation period before the symptoms manifest.
Irresponsible occult practices are routinely blamed for demonic activity but metaphsycially speaking, the truth of the matter is, any activity that breaks down your will and subjects you to physical cravings such as cigarette smoking, drug addiction, alcoholism, pornography or anything else that causes you to lose control of yourself puts you at risk for the kinds of spiritual attachments that theoretically can lead to possession.
Theosophists surmised over a hundred years ago that addictive activities which are not over-come in life haunt us in the afterlife. Once outside the body unhealed desires are thought to cause discarnate people to hover earthbound where they try to vicariously satisfy their cravings by attaching themselves to places and living people who indulge in their former vices. Thus, we can metaphysically speculate, ouji and seances, are only spiritually more hazardous in one particular way.
Whereas addictive behaviors are largely rooted in the subconscious, willfully engaging in the ouji and seances supposedly requires surrendering one’s psychological boundaries in order to commune with the invisible. Such improper occult experimentation is what hypothetically makes things like the ouji so dangerous. You see, what most people do not understand is that the first step toward possession is the compromising of one’s will in terms of their power of self determination.
Once a person’s will is over-come the negative spirit then looks for a way to meet a need for its host, effectively tricking them into dependence. But if demonic possession begins with the spirit placating your ego or satisfying physical desires, is this really a case for the devil? Or is possesion just a metaphor for self indulgence while being a convenient way to avoid personal accountability?
I tell the story of an allegedly possessed man who contacted me for help in my forth-coming book, The Rational Psychic®. This was a strange situation…
For all intent and purpose this gentleman seemed to be a normal man going through hard times. He truthfully was carrying a lot of guilt and shame on his shoulders. Yes, he had a few serious problems. And he had indeed experienced some traumatic psychokinetic events including the manifestation of human bite marks in the middle of his back. But since the mind is capable of mitigating stress in a variety of ways I ignored these symptoms and simply focused on observing this man as spirituality whole and healthy.
Toward the end of our evening together it was clear we had built up a very good report. So much so in fact, this gentleman asked me to pray with him.
Moments later it became clear I was to pray for him not with him. My client believed I had a unique spiritual ability to deliver him from his affliction. So without hesitation I agreed to pray for this man mostly because if he thought this would help him, I believed it would. However shortly after I began praying over him the man became increasingly agitated. He then confided to me the demons were now threatening me. In fact, according to my client, they hated me and what I was doing.
I don’t live my life to make demons happy whether they are real or mythical, so I simply ignored this chatter and intensified my prayers by envisioning a healing grace enveloping my new friend. But seconds after I began the visualization the man jumped to his feet, ran to the adjoining room and began vomiting in the kitchen sink…..
Epilepsy, temporal lobe seizures, tourette syndrome, sleep paralysis, night terrors, dermatitis-artifacta and stigmata have all been blamed on the devil. We know diseases have long been paranormally conceptualized as demonic. So with certain people perhaps it does not matter if possession is real. Maybe what is most important to remember is that whether or not the devil is the cause of a particular problem, defeating him might still offer the best hope for a solution to someone’s suffering.
For more information about the author, visit: http://www.jackrourke.net
When it comes to the paranormal there are few things that get enthusiasts, skeptics and even everyday folks more impassioned than the controversial subject of whether or not psychic phenomena is real. Interestingly enough however, both advocates and opponents of psychic ability are often guilty of the same thing. They both frequently let their emotions influence their opinions.
In today’s fast paced world, where people are accustom to near instant gratification, personal entitlement often fuels a kind of self-importance that deludes people into believing personal opinion is incontrovertible fact. Because of this, para-normally speaking, cynicism is routinely confused with healthy skepticism.
I am a skeptic, despite the fact I have been a practicing psychic for fifteen years. Saying that I am both a psychic and a skeptic might sound counter intuitive but since we are meeting here in this blog for the first time let me take a moment to clarify this statement so you can better understand the man behind these words.
Skepticism according to dictionary dot-com (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/skepticism) means questioning, probing, testing. It is this authors opinion then, that one cannot participate in any kind of paranormal debate or activity without a healthy level of skepticism. After all, true psychic phenomena is an ability to communicate objectively verifiable information independent of the five physical senses. It is not an expression of metaphysical hyperbole or self validating spiritual beliefs. Thus, to understand the true nature of psychic phenomena, we cannot just rely on our subjective point of view.
Extra sensory perception is called a phenomena because the means through which extra sensory data is collected by the mind is not fully understood. Furthermore, it cannot always be reliably replicated under controlled conditions. This means, whether in a laboratory or in a private sitting with a reputable psychic, each attempt at extra sensory perception is in itself an experiment that can and sometimes does fail to produce positive results. But this does not mean psychic ability is not real.
Extra sensory perception is dependent on unknown variables as well as the intra-personal compatibility of the seer and sitter. Not to mention, how existing environmental and emotional stresses effect the people involved in the psychic reading also influences the outcome. Therefore, poor psychic results does not necessarily indicate a poor or fraudulent psychic. One must appreciate the complexities of ESP to have any valid discussion on the subject.
The word cynicism (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Cynicism+) means a specific attitude, disposition, character or belief. Thus, we can see the cynical mind is a state of being that reflects a fixed attitude or belief whereas skepticism denotes an open and pliable state of mind suitable for discovery and discussion.
After taking into consideration the definitions of skepticism and cynicism, it is easy to see if you are rigidly pro or con psychic ability you cannot be a true skeptic. Speaking directly about those who call themselves skeptics, unless these individuals are genuinely open-minded, - meaning they are not emotionally attached to their point of view or methodologies and willing to work for truth rather than a need to impose their own agenda, they are not skeptical. They are cynical.
The cynics frequently depicted in the media as “skeptics”, rationalize their hardened disbelief of psi phenomena and thinly veiled contempt for psychics, by claiming it is their mission to protect society from such unscrupulous people. Quite often these “skeptics” claim psychics are frauds who take advantage of naive and grieving individuals. Now certainly, wanting to protect fellow citizens is a noble goal no one can argue against. The problem is presupposing the majority of people who go to psychics are weak-minded or vulnerable is a statement that relies on opinion rather than fact.
Healthy productive adults do not require being protected by a “skeptical” savior who presupposes he or she is wiser or more keenly equipped to discern what is right for you or the vast majority of the public. The truth of the matter is, according to a 2009 CBS news poll, 57% of Americans believe in psychic phenomena. (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/04/29/opinion/polls/main507515.shtml) While a 2005 Gallup poll suggests three out of four Americans believe in the paranormal, including ESP. (http://www.gallup.com/Search/Default.aspx?q=psychic&s=&p=1&b=Search)
Personally, my clients have included members of law enforcement, attorneys, business owners, real estate agents, journalists, executives and people involved in international trade. Yes vulnerable people do seek out psychics too. But would it be better for the sick, grieving and forlorn to be given a cold shoulder? Legitimate psychic professionals are sometimes just the people to help vulnerable clients transition to the care of qualified mainstream professionals.
A genuine psychic is in the business of love and should refrain from ever telling their client how to live their lives. But sadly just as cynics suggest, there are too many examples of improperly trained and even outright frauds who identify as psychic, who have done despicable things to the people who trust them. For example, in 2009 a self-proclaimed Miami psychic bilked over 2 million dollars from an elderly client. Then, there is the self-proclaimed psychic Seam David Morton, who was charged with investor fraud in 2010 by the Securities and Exchange Commission. (http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2010/03/selfproclaimed-psychic-charged-with-investor-fraud/) But were either of these two individuals actually psychic? Could they demonstrate objectively verifiable extra sensory ability or were they just criminal cons?
According to parapsychologist Dean Radin, in 1982 the St. Louis Business Journal hired a psychic to predict the movement of the stock market. Over a six months period the psychic out performed eighteen of nineteen professional stock brokers. Nevertheless cynics and common sense might inspire us to assume the words fraud and psychic are synonymous. But cynicism and common knowledge have never really been the best barometer for truth.
Common Sense is widely over rated when it comes to finding fact. After all, common sense tells you if the world was spinning we would fly off. And once upon a time common sense also suggested since the world was flat you could fall over the horizon and be eaten by sea monsters….According to dictionary dot-com (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Common+sense) common sense is defined, in part, as “sound practical judgment that is independent of specialized knowledge or training”. Therefore, without immersing oneself into the available knowledge on, and more importantly the experiential aspects of extra sensory perception, relying on common sense alone as the basis for your opinion on psi phenomena is worthless.
Common sense was employed recently by ABC television’s new prime-time program Beyond Belief when the information resulting from psychic readings performed by James Van Praagh and Allison DuBois were discredited. Producers suggested the data the psychics provided could have come from the internet. Now, I am not trying to vindicate or act as advocate for Mr. Van Praagh or Mrs. DuBois. I merely want to point out the problem with claiming the “internet” was where Dubois and Van Praagh got their “psychic’ information is that despite it being a logical solution, use of the world-wide-web cannot be proven.
Could the psychics have cheated? Yes. But if you have an open mind it is just as likely the illogical non-linear acquisition of personal knowledge through psychic perception could have triggered what is called witness inhibition in the sitter. In this case, the reporter who received the reading.
Witness inhibition is essentially a kind of psychological defense where one seeks to explain away a paranormal event in order to stabilize one’s world view. Fraud or not, if the producers were genuinely open-minded, couldn’t they have just as easily suggested that maybe the information discerned was genuine? Why level such egregious accusations without proof? Was this an attempt at fair reporting? I find it hard to believe it did not occur to the producers to sequester their reporting staff prior to the readings with Van Praagh and DuBois. One might wonder then, whether accusing the psychics of using the internet was just away to interject controversy? Is this how the producers thought to create a more compelling seemingly honest story arc?
Sometimes it is difficult to have compassion for people whose lives seem to be easier and more affluent than ours. Especially when we may not agree with what they do. But putting aside the whole issue of whether psychic ability is real, it is worth pointing out James Van Praagh and Allison DuBois have comforted and enriched the lives of tens of millions of people through their books and personal appearances. And while I personally do not always agree with the philosophy espoused by Van Praagh and Dubois, “skeptics” and believers alike need to recognize behind the stereotypes, bad apples and sensationalists highlighted in the exploitative glare of the media; are thousands of invisible yet genuine properly motivated, compassionate psychic professional who provide valuable insight within therapeutic holding environments that can and do change lives.
So while it may be fun to generalize and attack people who seem strange or even worthy of condemnation, when we anonymously use hateful speech online or say ugly judgmental things in real life, rather than inquire whether psychic ability is real perhaps the question we really need to ask ourselves is: what are we making real for ourselves?
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