Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Consulting the Magic 8-Ball

Sometimes I dream about a place before I’ve been there. In the dream, I’m in a confusing, unfamiliar environment. Then, a year or so later, I’ll look around myself at some point and think: “Oh yeah, this is where I was in that dream.” I’ll recognize certain elements, like a pile of colourful cubes in the dream turn out to be plastic storage bins in real life, or a bouncy floor turns out to be the padded floor of an indoor climbing gym.

I’ve had other experiences which could be described as “psychic”, or “supernatural”. I’m not sold on those labels. Dogs can hear sounds that we can’t hear, and bees can see colours that we can’t see, but that doesn’t make them magical or specially gifted. Their sensory mechanisms are just tuned to a different range. And to me, that’s what real “supernatural” experiences are about. I happen to be more sensitive to certain energies or vibrations which science cannot yet measure. But I’m betting that someday in the future, we’ll find a way to measure these things. And then they’ll just be “natural”.

I don’t enjoy these experiences. For example: I have an unfortunate tendency to pick up other peoples’ emotions just from being physically near to them, especially if they are repressing intense anxiety, sadness, or anger. I know it can be argued that I’m just projecting, or guessing peoples’ emotions from their body language, but you’ll have to trust me on this. It has happened time and time again, even when I’m not in visual contact with the person, or even when the person is close but on the other side of an interior wall. Suffice it to say that I thought I was a moody basket case, until I realized that I was picking up on other peoples’ crap. Now I find it a lot easier to differentiate between my own moods and other peoples’ disowned negativity. I’m still a somewhat moody person, but I don’t feel crazy like I used to.

There are a lot of New Age-y folks out there who work hard to become more psychically sensitive. I want to tell them: don’t go there! It’s better to be oblivious. I spend my time and energy building healthier boundaries.

For a while I went to a New Age night school that gave me a language to describe my experiences. But mostly, that school made me feel frustrated. When my fellow students found out how much information I could get during our practice “readings”, some were jealous. They thought it made me “more special” or something like that. No one knew how to help me when I occasionally got overwhelmed by what I was receiving. Eventually I stopped going to the classes, because the experiences were just too intense.

My point is that romanticizing these experiences, whether you want to call them psychic, supernatural, occult, or whatever, is wishful thinking. Would we understand this realm better if it weren’t so inextricably entwined with dramatic fantasy? I don’t know. I’d like to think so. Shall we try it and see?


palinode said...

I think you should own your abilities by showing up to work in a cape and a shirt that says 'The Psychic Accountant'. And pepper your conversations with phrases like "Hah! I knew you were going to say that!" And then do one of those scored-a-touchdown victory dances.

On a more serious note, the idea of building healthy boundaries is something I've heard before from people with your level of sensitivity. This makes perfect sense to me.

Sparkling Red said...


I am TOTALLY going to do that.

I'm thinking that I'll also keep a silk bag filled with old chicken bone fragments tied to my belt. I'll consult them ritually in meetings, by carefully shaking them out onto the boardroom table. Then I'll preface everything with "The BONES say... " in a whispery, ghost-story voice.