A toe in the waters of psychic phenomena

Psychic experiences are incredible. But few people are willing to accept any experiences you present to them. But there is bound to be someone who professes willingness to accept your experience. Unfortunately, this willingness is very likely to rebound on you with a deeply held explanation as to what it is all about. The phraseology of explanation is very much of the school of the “New Age”.

The pundits of the New Age persuasion are full of empowerment – at a price. “Put your money down at one of my courses – and I will introduce you to the mysteries of the universe. Put more money down at follow-up courses – and you will be enlightened.” Having attended a few courses, the enlightened one goes off to empower others – for a price, of course. …. But I do not claim that all New Age teachers are in just for a buck.

In the past decade, I have met a large number of New Agers. Most seemed to have belonged once to the Catholic church; the reasons given by them for their disengagement from their faith of birth are their need for both personal and spiritual growth, and without the rigidity of form imposed on them. Belief in a cycle of rebirth provides them with that sense of freedom which they feel permits them to take responsibility for themselves. They are obviously right in this. It is not all “God’s will”, as they had been led to believe.

The search which led them away from the comfort of their original faith almost inevitably takes them through the jungle of psychic phenomena, the entrancement of which can be fogged by the spindrift created by a flotilla of witch-doctors and spin-doctors. In addition to the amateur but open-palmed guides who have ‘done’ courses, there are some very impressive performers. In between are many who seem able to capture, within the dross they purvey, a form of reality beyond the capacity of most of us. The Hindus are, however, advised by their gurus not to be side-tracked during their search for the Self by any psychic skills they might acquire en route.

Those who believe in psychic phenomena include educated but open-minded people, as well as those who will jump on to any form of cart as long as it appears exotic. The former realise only too vividly how limited man’s knowledge is. Relying only on five senses, not withstanding the high-technology paraphernalia attached to them through developments in scientific instrumentation, how could we be certain that we perceive all that there is in the universe? Even if we accept seven sense (or information-related) organs, including the brain, which helps to select relevant information input through the five senses and to store it, and the mind (seemingly located everywhere and nowhere), which rearranges the available information into meaning or understanding, and possible action, what else is there that we are not able to perceive?

For example, scientists tell us that only ten per cent of the matter in the known universe is visible to us. They also talk of other universes that we cannot know – in a scientific sense. Then there are references to ‘singularities’, ‘black holes’, ‘worm holes’, ‘strings’, and ‘order’ and ‘purpose’ evolving with complexity; the universe, as we know it, is described as a three-dimensional projection (like a hologram) of a multi-dimensional reality. Each universe is a ripple, created, as a singularity, out of the ocean of consciousness, to be diffused later back into this ocean.

No wonder the ancient philosophers, both in the East and in the West, talked about life, or reality as we know it, being an illusion. We certainly cannot perceive it all. Were a non-scientist to talk like this, he would be considered as barmy as the crackpots of pseudo-science. Yet, what is one to make of etheric and subtle bodies, life and vital forces, auras and chakras?

(Contrary to any implication from these extracts from ‘Destiny Will Out’ that I decry the New Age approach to explaining Man’s place in the universe, I point out that I am equally sceptical about claims by scientists about, say, evolution, or the origin or structure of the Cosmos; I am even more sceptical about the palm-readers, horoscope-casters, and perambulating ‘gurus’ of my youth.

My psychic experiences are real to me, as real as might be the psychic events experienced by those claiming to have seen my future; but how could I be certain that those claims reflect ‘reality’?

Apart from being a human being (with all the limitations of that condition) existing within something akin to a hologram representing a reality beyond Earthly comprehension, how can I be certain that any experience of mine of a psychic configuration is real? Think not of Plato but of the Hindu’s Maya.)