No place for psychics

The fact is, we have a hard time living in the earth because physical matter is not fully our home. Our bodies are of the earth, our animating spirit is not. And the closer you get into touch Upstairs, the clearer this is. We are an uneasy combination of matter and spirit, which makes living in physical matter possible, but doesn’t make it easy. Psychic powers? Of course you have psychic powers. No spirit incarnating could exist without them. One might as well suppose that people could live without breath, or heartbeat. The problem is that our society has marginalized those who are most aware of these abilities.

That kind of awareness may manifest in various ways. Depending upon your background, constitution, and awareness, you may feel special affinity toward mysticism on the one hand, or toward magic, on another hand, or toward strict religious discipline, on the third hand so to speak.

A spiritually alive and responsive society based on real knowledge of who we are and what we are here to do — rather than knowledge of dead things, economics, and the ability to manipulate material things for material ends — would provide outlets for each of these inclinations, supporting them in a web of social relationships. Instead, it places the subjects in the realm of unimportant things, and defines the mainstream by what one might call a spiritual lowest common denominator.

Because I became an editor for a New Age publishing house, and because I was conducting my own investigations at The Monroe Institute and with others, I came to number among my friends writers and psychics and psychic writers. Various experiences with psychics taught me quickly that a person’s psychic abilities, whether natural or developed, do not necessarily reflect a comparable level of maturity or wisdom or even goodwill. The gift of access does not imply moral or intellectual superiority; it’s just a gift. Psychics like anyone else can be charitable or patient or wise, or all of these things, or they may be malicious or petulant or foolish — or all of these things.

Psychic’s Disease, I call it: the certainty that whatever one feels strongly is true. The unwillingness to question one’s own motives. The sometimes hysterical denunciation of anyone perceived to be in opposition. The assumption that anything and everything one wants is obviously for The Higher Good. The identification with God or with the Forces of Light or whatever, not as a matter-of-fact choosing of sides (“I stand with good against evil”) but in an inflated manner that often seems merely overcompensation for an inferiority complex.

Now — you ask, seeing that description of common human frailty — how is that different from any other collection of fallible humans? The answer is, only in that genuine psychics have a specific talent that tempts them to regard themselves as set apart from other people, subject to different rules.

Indeed, to a degree they are subject to different rules, because they experience their lives differently, and live in a manner that, in our tone-deaf time, is outside the accepted way of doing things. By contrast, in an American Indian tribe, for instance, the shaman is recognized as the bearer of a specific gift; his specific social role comes complete with expectations and allowances, somewhat as in our society our expectations and allowances for artists, say, are different from those we have of businessmen.

But in our secular society, psychics have to operate as if they lived in the same world the rest of us live in. Living by listening to the inner voice, experiencing the world in a radically different manner from those who experience it primarily through the senses, they cope as best they can, but these circumstances make it easy for them to go off the beam, unnoticed by themselves, because they have so little external support to balance them.

Someone living closely responsive to the inner voice doesn’t easily listen even to constructive criticism by those who live only by external rules. The psychic knows that to live by external rules is death to the spirit. The psychic is correspondingly likely to forget that while in the body one cannot live exclusively in the spirit. Cannot. Should not. That’s not what we’re here for.

It can be impossible to get this across to them.

In a society that had made an accepted place for these people, those gifts would be more easily available and reality checks would be easier for them to come by. They could more easily rely on reality checks not merely from each other, but from the culture at large, as in Joan Grant’s vision of ancient Egypt. There is no inherent reason for psychics to have to function on the fringe of society, except that society has made clear to them that they are fakers or freaks, to be tolerated so long as they behave themselves; to be put in mental institutions or prisons if they step too far, or express themselves incautiously.

Freaks? We are all psychic. We can’t help being psychic; it is inherent in being human. Only our society’s view of what it means to be psychic distorts our awareness of how it fits in with the rest of the life that we take for granted. Thus we misidentify the abilities we use every day, and doubt or deny those that must be developed or that come by unlooked-for circumstances or by fortunate birth.

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