Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Psychic

If you go waaaaaaay back to the posts from my blog's infancy, you'll find this one, in which I do my best to describe some sensitivities I have that fall into the category our society labels as "supernatural". I don't like the associations that come along with the words supernatural, psychic, premonition, etc. but those are the words I have to work with, so I use them.

I don't trust the theatrics associated with many professional psychics. I'd say at least half of them are either full-on fakes, or that they aren't able to be consistent, so they fake it enough that eventually they can't tell the difference between their intuition and their imagination.

Four years ago, I was struggling to understand the invisible forces that continually impacted my life. I had already figured out that most so-called experts in the field couldn't help me. But I was desperate to learn how to protect myself. So when I kept hearing about this one guy, let's call him Hans, who was THE BEST PSYCHIC EVER! according to everyone who'd ever been to see him, I figured I'd give him a chance.

I called and made an appointment. Here was a shock: his fee for a one-hour session was $200. This had better be worth it.

His home "office" was totally creepy, like a funeral home. Dark wood, paintings on black velvet, religious icons. He ushered me in to his consultation room.

Hans's deal was that he supposedly channeled a higher entity who gave him access to privileged information. I neither believed nor disbelieved in this phenomenon. I went in with an open mind.

Hans settled himself into a large, leather recliner, asked me if I was ready, and then closed his eyes. He began to twitch and grunt. After a few moments, his entire body spasmed. Then he settled down again, and began to talk with a different accent than before. He kept his eyes shut throughout the session.

I was immediately suspicious, because throughout his dramatic, physical show of embodying "the entity", I felt nothing. If something that powerful had really happened less than ten feet from me, I would expect to feel it. I have taken Reiki lessons from two different teachers, and I had trouble being in the same room with each of them because their energy fields were so powerful. With the Reiki masters, I felt dizzy and overwhelmed. With Hans? Zilch, nada, zip.

He proceeded to answer my prepared questions with the most mundane possible advice, things anyone could have told me. Thinking of starting a psychology practice? I should take a business course at the University of Toronto Continuing Studies Department. Like I really needed a psychic to tell me that!

He also answered some other questions, ones that were more "out there", with answers that anyone would want to hear, for their $200. I had been a Buddhist monk in a previous life. I had been a master, and my mother had been my student. Sure. Who wouldn't want to hear that? It's always nice to have one's ego stroked. But I didn't buy it.

Finally my hour was up. Hans went through his spasm routine again, and then showed me out.

It was a lovely, warm afternoon. Hans's home was just a few blocks away from Toronto's Beaches, at the shore of Lake Ontario. To clear my head, I walked south until I got to the water, and then made my way along the boardwalk. The longer I walked, the angrier I got.

He was a fraud, of that much I was sure. He had just charged me $200 for a personal improvised theatre skit that was neither original nor entertaining. When I thought back to the dozens of recommendations I had received, I realized that they had all come from women. Hans was extraordinarily attractive, and suave. I strongly suspected that this was a big contributor to his success.

At least I learned one thing from that session, and in hindsight, maybe it was worth the $200 after all: I don't need to hire psychics. I'm my own psychic. I know myself best, my instincts are trustworthy, and my predictions of the future have been at least as accurate as anyone else I could pay to do the job for me. I don't need an appointment, a velvet tablecloth, or a crystal ball. I just need to pay attention.

I believe that unusual events in our lives occur to move us forward in some way, through personal growth and learning. I have since spoken again to other women who consulted with Hans, and they felt that he helped them a great deal. If that was the role he was meant to play in their lives, then I'm glad that they benefitted. He doesn't need to be a channeler to give good business advice, or encouragement to people who need it. And if that's the way his clients prefer to receive their guidance, who am I to judge them?

But it's not for me. When I got home that day, I took the tape of my session and slam-dunked it down the trash chute. That felt great. And I haven't consulted any psychic but myself since that day.


Leighann said...

I think that sometimes people let themselves believe certain things in order to make sense of chaos. It's like being hypnotized, if you're in the right mindset it's going to take, if you're skeptical it's not likely to have the same effect.

Great post today :)

Keera Ann Fox said...

I keep getting the impression that you and I were separated at birth. :-) I'm not psychic, but my intuition (and gut feeling) are very well developed. I have always trusted my intuition. I've had some psychic/paranormal experiences including astral projection and even ridding an apartment of a ghost.

My conclusion after all the years of having fun with the above is that the gurus who warn their students against the seduction of the opening third eye are right to do so. It can distract one from a truly spiritual path.

(And this could probably be a blog post but I think I already did this or something similar on Budding Yogini.)

Karen said...

I have been to a psychic a few times. I really enjoyed her and even hung out with her socially once or twice. But the advice she was giving me was more motherly, smart advice - like leave that guy becuase he is a jerk.

I was paying her $30 bucks an hour - so no big deal. I don't even know if REALLY believed in it. It was just fun to talk to her and pretend.

Aurora said...

I agree with Leighann that belief in certain things helps make sense of chaos. I guess that could be useful. There is a lot of chaos in the world!

I feel your anger :-) I think some people probably do get their $200 worth in that at least they feel vindicated.

The whole experience sounds creepy. The description of him makes me think, if he was willing to snatch $200 off you, what else would he be willing to do?

Sparkling Red said...

Leighann: I agree that there are a lot of lost souls out there, looking for something to believe in. I've been there myself. If I didn't have the sensitivies that I do, I'd have no reason to question the psychics. I probably would have accepted whatever they told me.

Keera: We do seem to have a lot in common. :-) I love having the chance to connect with others who have unusual experiences, and can keep them in perspective. I've met so many women who think that having these abilities would make them feel special, but really it's a very mixed blessing! They should be careful what they wish for.

Karen: She sounds like a good psychic, in the sense that she knew what to say to give you support and guidance. Some people title themselves "psychic" when really they're more along the lines of a counsellor without official qualifications. Maybe she got some extra-sensory input - who can say? :-)

I don't want to give the impression of being a rabid purist. This guy in particular infuriated me because of what I saw as deliberate deception and rip-off pricing.

Aurora: He didn't strike me as hostile, just really fake and full of himself. He's had a few too many adoring fans tell him how wonderful he is. I had another run-in with him the following year, which confirmed to me that his ego was out of control. I hope that was the last I ever see of him.

Nilsa S. said...

Seems like there have been times in your life when you've felt burdened by these extra feelings you get. Hopefully, you've found a way to balance them out!

Anonymous said...

Wow $200! He should be arrested for robbing folks.

It seems like you were/are searching for something. I hope you find it, without having to dish out another $200 bucks.

Anonymous said...

If I was psychic I'd just play the winning lottery numbers every week.

Sparkling Red said...

Nilsa: After many years of frustration, I've now found a coping mechanism that works for me. Which is a good thing, because all the extra input was driving me bonkers. Not anymore!

1218blog: Thanks. :-) I'm finding my way, and I'm proud of how far I've come, if I do say so myself.

Unsigned: Gee, why didn't I think of that? :-p

Nicole said...

Things happen for a reason.
Maybe he was there to show you that you can do it yourself, that you are ready for it?

I just finished "The witch of Portobello" from Paulo Coelho.
Sort of reminds me of your story :)

Warped Mind of Ron said...

Your a psychic???? Can you give me any advice???

Sparkling Red said...

Nicole: Yes, I think that was the lesson. And I did learn it, so in the end it was a good experience. :-)

Ron: My advice is... don't take my advice. ;-)

jameil1922 said...

Yeah I don't do psychics either. i absolutely agree unusual events in our lives occur to move us forward!

Jenski said...

At least Hans can help some women and that you got something out of your session with him.

I have, in the past few years, dreamed something that came true on SEVERAL occasions. So much so that when I remember a believable dream, I start wondering if it will happen; then I forget about it; then something happens that is very similar. If only we could use "intuition" to predetermine something we *wanted* to happen.