- myths & misconceptions
Some people's perception of psychics
seems to suggest that at the very least they are omnipotent. A recent
enquiry from a potential customer included the
Psychic Reader "What is your name?"
Customer "You tell me, you're the psychic!"
You may laugh, but that type of
exchange is not uncommon and there lies the nub of the belief among
many. That being labeled as a "psychic", "medium",
"clairvoyant" or variations on that theme, apparently endows
the holder with the capabilities of all seeing and all knowing about
everything, including past, present and future. A bit like a "spiritual
slot machine" - you put in your coin, ask a question and out
pops the answer!
I'm sorry to disillusion those who
hold those beliefs, but if "psychics" really knew everything
about everyone, that had ever been or ever will be, not only would they
know next week's winning lotto numbers, but they would probably be sipping
cool drinks on the beach of their own private islands, watching the
progress of their share portfolios, and not working on readings
for other people. Although life on Fantasy Island would have some down
side - watching a film or reading a book wouldn't have the same enjoyment
because they'd know the ending, but they might invent new pastimes -
such as telling people the score of the football final just as the game
The other pole of belief is that
held by the skeptics. "If I can't see it, hear it, touch it,
smell it or eat it then it's a load of bunkum". Governed by
five senses, anything from the "sixth" just doesn't exist
for them. Funnily enough, their arguments are usually along the lines
of "if psychics could tell the future, then they'd know next
weeks lotto numbers and they'd be basking on a beach....".
The truth of course lies somewhere in
between these two poles of view.
For a start, let's get one thing
clear - everyone has some psychic ability, even skeptics! Some people
use it and aren't aware of it - they put things down to a "hunch",
"feminine intuition" or "co-incidence". Some people
have become so wrapped up in work/home/fear/money/problems, that they
have blocked themselves to anything outside of their own little treadmills.
Some people have strong psychic ability but hide it for fear of what
others might think, especially if it conflicts with their religious
However, some people use it and
are aware of it, cultivate it and nurture it. These are ordinary people
who have allowed their psychic awareness to develop, to varying degrees.
Small children are often very "psychic", until they have been
told too often that their "imaginary friend" isn't real or
maybe they've been smacked for telling lies because they knew something
that no rational adult could explain. It doesn't take long for
a child to learn the rules of conformity and avoid punishments for demonstrating
While we're at it, let's get the
facts straight on another belief - the "I'm from a long line
of psychics" one, suggesting that this "gift" is
handed down like some mystical family secret. The main benefit that
this person has is that they grew up in an environment where it was
ok to use these abilities and call them by their name! So of course
it would be fostered and grow. I do not question their ability, but
the "mystical and mysterious" theme only propagates the myths
and doesn't really help understanding.
So what can a "psychic reader"
The answer to this is - it depends.
Partly it depends on the values of the "psychic"
and what their particular abilities are. Some focus on the person for
whom they are reading, their problems, relationships etc and guide them
by helping them to know themselves better and are able to show where
particular paths are taking them. Some are a channel for other spirits
or deceased persons to impart information - these "psychics"
are often called spiritual mediums.
reader is different and may use different tools to assist them,
such as Tarot cards, crystals, runes, astrology
charts or an object belonging to the person that they are trying to
"tune in" to. Another common misconception (or expectation)
is based upon "my friend had a reading and the psychic did ...
and they used ...". The expectation is that they will get a reading
just like their friends even though they are consulting a different
person with possibly different abilities, different approach, different
But a lot of the reading depends
upon what is being asked.
Anybody who is familiar with the
"Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" by Douglas Adams will know
that the answer to "Life, the Universe and Everything"
is 42. This question and answer sums up some of the problems when consulting
a "psychic", in that if the question is vague or without a
specific context, then the answer is going to be equally vague. But
then, "..they're supposed to be psychic aren't they and know
what I mean!".
To illustrate, here are some examples
of frequently asked questions in readings.
"Will my son/daughter be happy
in life?" - does that mean, this month? this year? the
rest of his/her life? do they want a balance of probability or a day
by day accounting?
"What is my future?"
- wow, this is a big one, have we got a few years to go through
all this? or do we summarise to just the highlights? should we miss
out the bad bits or just focus on the life changing events? would they
really like to know that they are going to spend the next 40 years married
to the spouse from hell because they don't have any values of self-worth?
maybe they would just like a few colourful tit-bits to take away as
a memento and look forward to, because a "psychic" told them
it would happen!
"Is so-and-so my soul mate?
If they aren't, when will I meet them?" - You really need
to ask someone else if the person that you are living with is your soul
mate or not? you can't tell? and what do you mean by a "soul
mate" anyway? Or are you really saying that the thought of pushing
off on your own is so frightening that you want to hold on to anything
until something better drifts past, but you want to know when, where
and who so you don't miss them?
A popular question after September
11th was "why didn't any psychics predict it so it could
be stopped?". Well, some probably did "see" the
event, perhaps some even had the date to go with it, some maybe even
tried to warn others. Chances are they would either be passed off as
"nutcases" or locked up as suspected co-conspirators. Ask
yourself though, do you think that the commercial and political organizations
affected would have been likely to pay any attention to something that
was so far beyond belief? Do you think it likely that they would tell
thousands of staff "don't come in today, because this alleged "psychic"
person says the building is going to be bombed"? Or, do
you think it is likely that crime fighters would have locked up "suspects"
who had not committed any crime yet, especially if there was no actual
So without the power to change anything,
what would be the purpose in knowing an event in advance. What torment
would you feel if you knew that something bad would happen to
others, but you couldn't prevent it? Do you think it would serve any
purpose in the grand scheme of things? I feel that this is the reason
why there was no apparent flood of premonitions by psychics. But,
there were probably people who did have "feelings" to do something
differently that day, without knowing why.
I hope this insight into the "psychic"
world has helped to clear some of the mis-conceptions about who and
what a "psychic" really is and what they are not!
And remember, at the heart of every
"psychic" is a human being with human values. They just have
a different "perspective"!
If you would like to learn more about some
"real" psychics and what they can do for you, visit our Psychics
(J Hargreaves, 18th November
Psychics - myths & misconceptions - article from Hark.net.au