Psychic Abilities: Proven Fact or Science Fiction?
Neither is Oda May Brown or the butcher wife.
Even Steven King has had to share some of the pie when you talk about this topic.
What is it? Psychic Phenomena.
The interest in the paranormal, extrasensory-perception (ESP) and the use of psychic powers, in the last thirty years has escalated.
Beyond your basic Steven King novel, the idea of being psychic or having psychic abilities has penetrated deeply into genre of mainstream television and movies.
In 1990, the movie Ghost with Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore and Whoopie Goldberg as Oda May Brown was the first chartbuster motion picture to portray psychic phenomena in a positive light.
The following year, The Butchers Wife was released where Demi Moore portrays a psychic female who is married to a butcher in Greenwich Village.
This speaks nothing of the impact Haley Joel Osment had on viewers as he portrayed Cole Sear, the young boy who could see dead people, in The Sixth Sense.
On television this interest is not diminished.
We are bombarded with commercials for the Psychic Friends Network, Miss Cleo and other psychic advise lines.
Unfortunately, these shows do not promote the credibility of this once coveted art.
There are however a number of shows emerging that explore this phenomena in a more serious light.
Dramatically speaking, we have shows such as the Outer Limits, the X-Files, Profiler and even Star Trek.
We are also starting to see a growing number of real life documentaries such as Crossing Over with John Edwards, Beyond Belief with Melissa Ethridge and Encounters with the Unexplained with Jerry Orbach.
Sylvia Brown, Caroline Myss and James van Praagh are regular guests on shows such as Oprah, Maury and Montel.
In fact, stations such as the Learning Channel, the History Channel and the Discovery Channel have also jumped onto this bandwagon, setting aside a sizeable number of viewing hours each month to cover this and other paranormal topics.
With all of the attention being given to psychic phenomena, its true nature even now lies deeply shrouded in mystery.
Mass media has significantly enhanced the sinister and evil shame once related with this skill, but in doing so it has inadvertently misrepresented the essence of the psychic experience.
When I was twelve years old, there was a television series called The Sixth Sense starring Gary Collins as Dr.
Rhodes was a college professor who investigated mysteries involving extra-sensory perception, spirits, possessions, and other paranormal topics.
It was like "Murder, She Wrote" with a psychic twist.
Rhodes worked to resolve the predicament of that particular episode, he would walk into a room or touch a particular item and would have a psychic (clairvoyant) experience.
Limited by the constraints of film production, the producers portrayed these intuitive insights as appearing of this world.
It was not strange to see the ethereal image of Mr.
Green's, the freshly departed, float across a room as if perceptible to the naked eye or illustrate a precognitive impression as a surreal encounter.
It is images like these that have mislead individuals as to the character of the psychic experience.
The reality is, is that we all have psychic experiences daily.
Some people describe these experiences as having a moment of intuition, an impression or even a gut feeling.
Others write them off as a weird fluke or coincidence.
When we have a psychic experience, we are receiving information on non-verbal levels.
It is as if we each act as radio transmitters, sending out our thoughts, feelings and emotions.
In turn, we also possess finely tuned reception equipment built into us that allows us to receive this information from others.
When we receive intuitive information, it can be experienced in a number of unique ways - a thought, a feeling or even knowingness.
By paying attention to sensations in our physical bodies, to changes in our emotions or to what we are thinking, we can "tune in" on psychic levels.
This is the experience.
One form of psychic input is called kinesthetics.
This is where our physical bodies reflects the attributes of another person.
On kinesthetic levels, we can experience a headache for no clear reason, only to have it to go away as mysteriously as it came.
Our backs may ache if we are in contact with someone who has back pain.
We may experience stuffy sinuses, heart palpitations, indigestion, and even soreness in our muscles and joints.
The range and depth of what we can intuit from others on physical levels is as varied as the number of health issues that plague man.
Don't worry about catching a malady when picking up this type of psychic information.
Once these individuals move out of our physical space or awareness, we no longer receive information from them.
While they may still be transmitting, we are out of the reception zone.
When this occurs, the physical symptoms, aches and pains that were being experienced go away as quickly as they came.
Another way in which we receive information on psychic levels is through our feelings.
Feelings are a felt sense, meaning we experience them in our bodies.
Unlike the literal aches and pains we may experience on kinesthetic levels, here we experience emotional type feelings such as certainty, peace, harmony, tranquility, apprehension, jealousy, distrust, hate or anger.
Being receptive to experiencing the feelings of other people is called clairsentience.
We are having a clairsentient experience when we feel the "vibes" in a room or get the creeps when we meet someone new.
This gift allows us to be empathic, to share in the joys of others as well as in their sorrows.
It alerts us to when things aren't quite right and can help us when making decisions by giving us a "gut feeling".
It is only when we don't pay attention to these feelings that many of us end up saying to ourselves after the fact, "You know I had a feeling about that!" "Listening to what a little birdie told us" is a way of describing another psychic ability.
It is called clairaudience.
We are having a clairaudient experience, technically speaking, when we receive information on auditory levels.
As humans, we constantly have an inner dialog going on inside of us.
This dialog is on two separate and distinct levels.
Our mental dialog is aptly described as the non-stop inner chatter that we hear in our heads all day and for some well into the night.
Conversely, when we sense information on clairaudient levels, non-verbal information is send out subtly.
It can be a soft and gentle reminder that prompts us to take our umbrella with us even if it is not raining outside.
At times, this internal voice can be definite and directing.
It also has been described as having a persistent nagging like quality, working to guide us onto bigger and better things.
Similar to the clairsentient experience, we oftentimes find ourselves saying in hindsight "I should have listened to myself!" We also receive psychic information on visual levels.
This skill is called clairvoyance.
This ability is the one most often portrayed in movies and on Television.
It is also the capability that is most often misrepresented.
When asked, a startling number of people expect to see waiflike ghostly apparitions floating around a room or have corporeal entities materialize out of nowhere and then interact with them on physical levels.
This expectation is anything but the truth.
When we have a clairvoyant experience, we see things in the mind's eye.
It is the faculty we use when we employ our imagination, visualize potential outcomes or even fantasize.
We use our clairvoyance at work to help us plan projects.
We use it at home when we "keep our eyes" on our children.
Sometimes when we receive information on this level, it is experienced as a fleeting thought or image.
In fact, most people believe that when they use this capability it is just their imagination at work.
The truth be told, it's not.
The final form of psychic information we commonly receive from others is referred to as knowingness.
When we are utilizing this gift it seems as if we just know stuff - right off the top of our head.
If asked, many of us would not be able to explain how we knew, but we did.
When we share insights received on this level with others, they often seem prophetic.
If these insights are left unspoken, we might end up saying to ourselves "Oh I knew that!" The simple truth about psychic abilities is this: we all have access to this form of non-verbal communication.
In fact, many of us recognize it when we receive it, even if we don't have the right word to associate with it.
In the end, regardless of the amount of information being received, it does us no good at all if we do not use it.
So if you are getting bad vibes from somebody, trust it! If your inner knowing is working to guide you in one direction or another, listen to it.
If you find that you just know something, believe in it's worth.
And for God's sake, if you find that a friend or loved one has a headache - get them an aspirin.
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