Parapsychology Journalism: The People, The Theory, The Science, The Skeptics
The title is a mouthful, but actually this topic is fairly straightforward. What is the thinking of psychic people like? To the skeptic and logically minded people, we seem to be flaky and illogical, without direction or purpose or long term planning. To a certain extent, they have a point, but something deeper is at play here and that is the purpose of this article.
This is a question I’ve been mulling around recently as it is sometimes hard to put something that you kind of have a sense about into words. I’ve been around psychic people most of my life and I’ve also studied some anthropology and linguistics in college. One of the things that I learned was that every system of speech and every method of living and the rational thought process that groups of people have established comes with has an internal logic and a set of rules that work extremely well within the system. Psychic people are no exception to this.
It starts with the realization that psychic people make their important decisions based on their feelings rather than using logic, information and rational thought. This might seem batshit crazy to skeptics and left brained people in general, but it isn’t.
This process is actually codified into language with such terms as “go with your gut” and “it feels right.” These are familiar terms to just about anybody, but they ring particularly true for psychic people. The reason for this is quite simple: it works better than any other process a psychic person has available to them. This kind of thinking is the product of a sort of subconscious training process involving having a feeling about something important, making a decision based on it and then evaluating the outcome. Far more often than not, the psychic person will be presented with evidence that a feeling based approach yielded better results. Over time it becomes obvious that this method of evaluating the best course of action is superior to thinking things out.
Of course, most psychic people will do the sensible thing and blend the two methods, using whichever is the most appropriate at the moment, but it’s useful to note just how useful a feeling based approach can be. Psychic people in general can usually give several examples off the top of their heads.
In the area of romance, a feeling based approach to the selection of a mate is often the only one available. It is simply impossible to consider all the variables and most people know this, with even the most logical of people having to succumb to the superiority of their feelings over their rational thought in this matter.
My personal example is perhaps a good one. When I met my wife Carmel, she was a bit overweight, an angry person, often disagreeable, easily upset and to being very bossy. By any sane logic I should have moved on to find someone with fewer problems. But my feelings told me the exact opposite and this is what guided me. I never really stopped to think about it, I just went forward and rushed into marriage. It turned out to be a really good thing.
What I could not have figured out at the time was Carmel’s capacity for change, which turned out to be quite the significant factor. She had food allergies, which she immediately got under control with my help and her weight dropped to more normal levels. She also calmed down because she was being supported in a positive way for the first time and during the inevitable clashes that we had during our first years of marriage, she turned out to have good character and the ability to admit she was wrong and change her behavior when necessary. Another important factor was that I had found a woman that was quite as devoted to me as I was to her; I hadn’t considered that at all.
In short, there was no logical way to assess the situation, but using a feeling based approach yielded not just satisfactory, but superb results.
I can’ emphasize this enough. What seems from the outside to be a rather strange way to run one’s life, is in actually a group of people merely playing to their own strengths. A feeling based approach to rational thought can be quite successful if one is a feeling based person to start with.
Using a feeling based approach requires a certain outlook on life that is definitely foreign to skeptics. Psychic people tend towards believing things until proven wrong, rather than disbelieving things until proven right. This method avoids the negative mindset that might interfere with the successful feeling based approach to rational thinking. Instead of closing off opportunity to avoid being wrong, the psychic person opens up opportunity on the chance some of it might be true. While to the left brain person this might make a person gullible and susceptible to charlatans and looney beliefs, they are only partly right. This system of thinking has its own set of logic.
Normally, our opinions carry no weight except in our heads and the only penalty for being wrong is merely a bit of humiliation of the ego. If a person can withstand that, and a psychic person usually can, then the penalty for being wrong is quite minimal. It is also much easier to discover the truth about something when you embrace it fully, so a psychic person will gain more first hand knowledge of more things faster than a logical, left brained skeptical person as a general rule. The spirit of questioning conventional beliefs and exploring unusual things is a powerful learning tool that psychic people tend to take advantage of.
A feeling based approach generally requires a more trusting outlook on life. One of the advantages of this approach is that psychic people are more likely to learn from the advice of others and also from their mistakes and use that information to their advantage. A more skeptical approach to life generally involves having to make one’s own mistakes, which can be quite costly in terms of time and effort over the course of years.
That psychic people should develop a pattern of thinking that plays to their strengths while minimizing their weaknesses should be a surprise to no one. What I do find incredible is that I have never run across this type of assessment before. It’s not as if I’m privy to some sort of exclusive information, I’m just putting together the obvious pieces. If there is any fault here to be had, it is in those who choose to ignore the basic fact that people are different in ways that are sometimes difficult to understand.