Sometimes I think the nuts really have all rolled out to California. Unfortunately, your site is only another proof that they are rolling back to the East as well. Even here in Memphis we are being invaded by all kinds of rubbish. For example, lately I have had a few friends yap on about seeking out psychics for therapy. They quote popular psychics who have best-selling books on the market. Isn’t this all just a figment of people’s imagination? Can you really justify any of this as being real?
As someone who formerly lived on the East coast I can empathize with your basic worry that California and its “New Age” views may be spilling into more traditional belief systems around the country. When I was a teenager, we too often gave a skeptic glance towards the “Golden State.” When a minister of ours began to pick up on some New Age ideas he was given his walking papers and exiled from the church.
Perhaps it is just my personality, but his exile did more to stir up my curiosity than anything else. Maybe this was because I found him to be one of the most loving and caring individuals I had ever met. He possessed an open mind and an open heart that left its mark on me. It also led me into a curious phase where I dutifully read the Bible every night along with my Billy Graham study lessons, and at the same time read books on New Age ideas including the notion of reincarnation.
During this phase, this same curiosity led me to my first encounter with a psychic, found in a small town in southern Michigan. She was able to tell me things about my life and family that were very accurate. When I went home and told my father (a natural skeptic even to this day), he simply didn’t believe my story. He would rather believe I was a liar, than consider that psychic powers might exist.
Over the years, I have met a number of psychics. I have even had my own series of psychic episodes. Not surprising then, that when I rolled out to California myself for graduate school, I would eventually be attracted to a few parapsychological societies, and even attend an accredited college where some of the professors were known world-wide for their attempts to do serious research on paranormal and psychic phenomenon.
I could tell you more about their research, but since you seem a natural skeptic, it may be that your mind is made up against psychism and no amount of proof will persuade you otherwise. I could give you a list of books and societies you could explore to test for yourself the validity of some psychic claims, but I am not sure it would do any good.
Instead of going this route, I will tell you something my own experiences have taught me. Ironically, the learning comes from a Biblical source, since psychic phenomena was well known and commonly believed in in ancient times. The source is from Corinthians and reads as follows.
1 Corinthians Chapter 13
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not Love, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not Love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not Love, it profiteth me nothing.
Love suffereth long, and is kind;
Love envieth not;
Love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
Doth not behave itself unseemly,
Seeketh not her own,
Is not easily provoked,
Thinketh no evil;
Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
Love never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, Love, these three; but the greatest of these is Love.
1 Corinthians 13
In short, psychic powers do exist, but one of the greatest powers of the psyche (or soul) is its power to love, to heal, and to extend a loving hand to others. In fact, there are some teachings I have found that bluntly state that these “higher” psychic powers”, are much more spiritually advanced and difficult to attain to, than the “lower psychic powers” of speaking in tongues, reading auras, having telepathic experiences, etc. In my own life experience, this has been true. I have met many psychics, some using their powers to inflate their own sense of self-importance, others genuinely trying to serve and help others with their gifts. But I have met very few truly loving and compassionate spiritual people. These are the people who through the very power of a glance or a smile can heal a broken heart, instead of report accurately to me that I might have one.
As for California? Yes, it has its share of nuts. Almonds, peanuts, there is quite a variety here. When I first moved here the diversity of beliefs and cultures was a bit overwhelming. But, in the past twenty some years of living here, I have found plenty of open minds and open hearts. Much like the minister I met in Michigan long ago, there is a desire to move past judgment, or even tolerance, in the confrontation of the many differences that exist in this great state. There is a genuine attempt to understand and come to care for each other. This “psychic” power of the heart of most California people needs no justification. It speaks for itself.
From the heart,