Parapsychology Journalism: The People, The Theory, The Science, The Skeptics
I’ve been having discussions with a friendly skeptic on his blog: The Call of Troythulu and he brought up an interesting point that merits discussion. From a skeptic’s point of view, we are perceived to have misjudged probabilities, are aided by hypersensory perception and mistake this for true psychic ability.
That got me to thinking about the process I went through to finally accepting that I was psychic. It didn’t come all at once and I was sure as hell reluctant to admit it to myself, and what exactly was that process? I’m going to do my best to walk myself and all of you through it because I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one and my guess is that this learning process is actually pretty standard for those of us who did not grow up in an environment that recognized and supported psychic ability. There were stages of acceptance.
Skeptics have no idea how hard this process is or how long it takes. I would bet my house that every single person out there who had to learn about their ability the hard way to a very long time to come decisively to the conclusion that they were psychic. It is the unexplainable happening over and over again. Maybe it starts with telepathy with an animal, “knowing”, being guided to something or many other incidences but what happens is that it all slowly adds up to an unmistakable conclusion: This is real.
To make the leap is to make a very large leap because now you are on the fringe, beyond the rim of acceptable science and are now out in fruitcake land. To talk about it is to invite ridicule and condemnation. Psychic people do not make this leap for any other reason than that they cannot deny what is right in front of their faces. There is no glory in it and most of the attention is of the unwanted sort.
I think I see a bit of that happening with other people on my blog. My most searched for and read post is on the Characteristics of Psychic People. It seems to me that people who think that they might be psychic are running around gathering information to understand as much as they can. The web has certainly made that a lot easier.
Before I started to accept the reality of my psychic ability I thought I was supposed to be normal. I tried very hard to fit in and be “one of the gang.” That did not work worth a damned. I thought that I should have a lot of friends, but I could never manage it; I always ended up in a small group of people that were as outcast as myself or I was simply alone. And I thought that meant that something was wrong with me.
I was “into” the psychic stuff and my mother was too. She did not and does not consider herself to have psychic ability, but the paranormal has always fascinated her. So I was exposed to psychics and Ouija boards growing up. My father was a skeptic and believed non of it. (He has since changed his mind.)
In college, I lived in the dorms at Berkeley where I began to notice that I was aware of the feelings of people I was particularly focused on whether I was around them or not. I became aware of that connection. I didn’t think of myself as psychic at that point, just kind of sensitive. Also, I had the sort of hypersensory perception that I mentioned above. It has always been easy for me to pick out subtle details of a person’s face and body language to read them. I didn’t see that as being psychic.
What happened was that I was going from pretty much denial to an in between stage where I started opening up the ability. Because psychics are special and different and I didn’t see myself that way and I didn’t have anyone to compare myself to, I just chalked it all up to “something.” As far as I knew, you had to hear voices, see spirits, talk to the dead or read minds to be psychic. I didn’t do any of that, so I didn’t give it much thought. This part of the process cannot be understated. There is just no road map to self discovery about psychic ability. In metropolitan areas there are often psychics who teach classes, but none of these achieves the level of systematic research driven teaching. You take whatever that particular individual can provide if you even go so far as to take such a class.
Because in the midst of this process of self discovery there are always scores of people insisting that the ability doesn’t exist and isn’t real. Because the actual evidence is so obscure and hard to find, and the media skeptics appear so authoritative it can be difficult to reconcile what we are experiencing with what we are hearing about the science. (Most of the best science has only come out in the last ten years or so anyway.)
Here is something that truly psychic people will relate to: Only ordinary people want to be different; in fact, you can tell they’re ordinary because they dress and act differently. At New Age fairs it was easy to spot them because they dressed in that clownish, New Age attire. Most truly psychic people want none of that and distance themselves quickly from those individuals. We want to blend in and minimize our differences and this was very much a part of my process as I’ve already mentioned.
But something was going on with me that I couldn’t put my finger on at the time. I remember after I met my wife and we were still dating telling her that I was “into” the psychic stuff. I held my breath while I waited for her to answer. Was she going to dismiss me as a nutcase? Or did she accept this stuff? Fortunately, she was cool with it.
In fact, she introduced me to classes by a local psychic, Scout Bartlett. I took classes from him for several years and that is really when I began to accept the reality of who I am. Part of it was the classes, but the other part was the people taking the classes. I met a LOT of other psychic people. I had other people to compare myself to and the close proximity for so long a time helped me understand what psychic ability really was. It was at this point that I finally got that this was something that I possessed.
The regular society view has just one type of psychic person, but in reality there are many different flavors, with the talent having an effect on the personality and the personality having an effect on the talent. Like so many other things psychic, I had to figure this out for myself and draw my own conclusions. Fortunately, this is something I’m good at. My father is good at trusting his own decisions and acting on them and it’s a skill he passed on to me.
Somewhere along the way, I had to come to grips with the same question so many other psychic people do: Is this stuff real? Science seemed to be at odds with something I understood to exist. Who was right? The thought process at this point is probably the same for everyone in this position. We look at the scientists and realize that they have no idea what we are experiencing. Because we’re already familiar with the need to believe before we can experience something in that realm, it’s not hard for us to understand why they are missing it.
It comes down to this: Either we’re going crazy or the scientists are wrong. Since we’re not going crazy, they’re wrong. One of the reasons for this blog is to help people get over that particular hurdle. To make this leap took me quite awhile. Years and years of hearing about other people’s experiences, knowing what other people were feeling, being able to sense energy and identify other people’s problems without talking to them and even performing psychic healings wore down whatever skepticism I might have still had.
Even after I pursued the crazy idea of putting out my shingle as a psychic healer I still held back in some ways. I was not blind to how this must look to the rest of the world. At times, I found it very difficult to tell people what I did for a living; I couldn’t bear the uncomfortable silence that occasionally followed that announcement.
It actually wasn’t until I started reading up on quantum physics and parapsychology _and that was only a couple of years ago- that I absolutely understood I was right. I had to understand the logic; it had to make sense and finally it did. I should have done this research years ago, but I didn’t know to do it. The scientific world is filled with reactionaries; they don’t understand it, so they ignore the evidence. It’s all there, they just don’t want to see it. The scientific world is approaching this subject emotionally, not logically. Using logic to support emotional positions is exactly the sort of thing left brained people do all the time.
So finally, I have it all in context. It wasn’t easy and it didn’t happen overnight, but gradually, through research and personal experience I did eventually come to the conclusion that I was psychic.