Parapsychology Journalism: The People, The Theory, The Science, The Skeptics
Years ago when I was involved in the New Age movement I would occasionally hear from people who were experiencing psychic phenomena and were getting traumatized by it. Because I was offering professional services, I was seen to be a sort of expert even though I was in my early thirties at the time. There were of course, a few people who were mentally ill, and they were obvious, but for the most part, those who came to me were just psychically sensitive. Now that I’ve started blogging on this subject, I’ve started hearing from them again.
And this time I get it.
When someone who was murdered is bothering you because they want their body to be found; when you know that someone is in danger, but they will not listen to you and you helplessly watch as they get harmed by the very thing you forsaw; when you can tell what’s wrong with people when you touch them, but don’t dare tell them for fear of being thought crazy, you are alone in a strange world.
A lot of us have been to therapy; I was when I was younger only to find that this is of limited help to us. I know of one guy who has managed to train his psychiatrist, but he is the exception. Health professionals have no experience with us and no professional guidelines for dealing with psychic people. The risk of being treated as a psychotic is quite high.
Nowadays, they just prescribe Zoloft, or some other happy-times drug. And the average psychic person looks at this and deep down inside they seethe; they’ve just been told that they’re crazy. No one believes them. The Zoloft gets flushed down the toilet, the therapist never hears from them again and the search for some sort of help continues.
That’s why psychic people come to me looking for some sort of help. I can do the one thing that health professionals cannot: I can take their reality for normal, because I share it with them. So when people communicate with me, we don’t have any confusion about whether it’s “real.” I know the difference between psychic and mentally ill, so talk of ghosts, Angels, spirit guides, visits from relatives, unusual occurrences, the sense of “knowing” and other stuff doesn’t put me off. I’ve been exposed to it all my life. I just take it for being real and start from there.
This is perhaps the greatest single benefit I can provide. The people who are contacting me are generally going through the “am I crazy?” stage and need all the reassurance they can get. We don’t like to acknowledge these experiences to ourselves because once we do we’re officially on the outside looking in. We’re in a place where the dead can communicate with us, where the future is a thin, somewhat transparent veil and the word “living” has a much different meaning. It’s a world with words like “aura” “presence” and “knowing” that attempt to express something we otherwise cannot communicate.
It means that we’ll lose the respect of some people or not get it in the first place. We can rationalize that we don’t need them and who cares anyway? But the truth is that it emphasizes how different we are and it hurts. We can’t just share this with the world because not only will they not take what we say about these experiences seriously, they won’t take ANYTHING we say seriously. We’re officially in whackjob territory.
So people come to me. I’m already talking about this stuff and that makes me safe. I’m not a guru, or spiritual leader, nor do I want to be. I’ve had people fall into the pattern of looking up to me as some sort of master and that creeps me out in a big way. I think of myself as a peer: Someone who has shared experiences and can relate. Just call me the psychic’s Dr. Phil.
There are a few things I’ve learned along the way that I’ll share. I’m not sure if this is the best advice, but it is the best that I have:
1. We are not here to care for every single person that passes by. We are not the early warning system for everyone either; just those that demonstrate a willingness to listen. Just because we know someone needs help doesn’t mean that we are required to do something about it. People have their own paths and we have to allow them to travel them without us if they so choose. They don’t need “fixing” from us. We don’t know the entire scope of their lives or where they are going to find their meaning or how. Sometimes the worst events can be the most healing over the long haul so by getting into the middle of things we aren’t necessarily helping.
2. This advice applies to everyone, but more so to psychic people: You have to take care of yourself first. Your income, your stress level, your sense of well being are all things you have to attend to first before you take on the problems of the world. I stopped pursuing psychic healing as a profession because I wasn’t making enough money for my own happiness; yes it is a unique gift and I can be of service to many, but I’m not going to do it broke and living on the edge. You have to set boundaries. I recommend that you make the decision only to deal with those who seek you out.
3. Don’t let your ego get caught up in this stuff. None of us are that special. Here’s the deal: We all have a strong need to be of service to others but feeling like you’re “chosen” for something is a sign that your ego is getting in the way; lie down until that feeling goes away. Evaluate your talents and abilities as objectively as you can and work from there. No matter how good you are, even at psychic stuff, there will likely be someone else who does it better than you. We have our places in the world, but we’re not the X-Men.
4. When people come to me I try to deal with the emotional aspect rather than get caught up in the particulars, no matter how weird. And I don’t necessarily trust the judgment of just anybody from the Great Beyond. They can be slavishly pursuing their own selfish agenda just like anybody else. That’s what was happening a few years ago when a woman called me because the spirit of a murdered man was trying to get his body found by her. All he could give her was that he was half buried in leaves on a hill. In our area, that’s not nearly enough information. I tried to communicate rather unsuccessfully to this sensitive woman that this was not her responsibility. It seems terrible to tell someone that, but this was going to take a lot of her time and effort to deal with and there was a strong possibility that nothing was going to come of it. She had to decide if it was worth it to her personally.
I think because I’m a healer type and I don’t get bothered by all the dead people and I don’t pick up every stray emotion that floats my way, I’m in a better position to help other psychic people than most. I am going to follow one of my most basic rules for life here: Ask for what you want: I want to do this for a living. I’m good at it and my heart soars when I help other psychic people feel less alone in the world. I enjoy hearing from people too. Please share your experiences here; others will find them meaningful. I guarantee it.