Do you believe in Psychics?

I’ve always regarded the “psychic realm” with some scepticism.

However, another close friend of mine had a very deep interest in spirituality and the nature of consciousness, and as such, gave away the corporate life to live in an Indian Ashram in the 1970s for several years before eventually settling in the Blue Mountains of NSW.

He consulted one or two psychics fairly regularly and swore by their ability to sense where he was heading in life. I imagine these were fairly deeply personal experiences and occasionally he would share some details with me over our regular lunch dates.

He also wrote two books on the nature of consciousness which were subsequently published in the US and distributed worldwide.

I have only ever ‘consulted’ two psychics in my life, and to me I approached the idea as just being a form of lighthearted entertainment, rather than seeking some sort of divine knowledge or intuition.

However I was subsequently amazed at the level of accuracy and detail that they specifically honed in on, when I was expecting just some vague nonsense like “I can see you going overseas” etc…

For example, the first experience was with an elderly Chinese “face reader” in Penang in Malaysia. I sat in front of him and without either of us saying anything, he looked at me closely, and then after a few moments quietly said “Your life is out of control. There are things that are controlling you, like an addiction to alcohol, and until you get this under control, you won’t be happy.”

Bloody hell! I thought. That’s his opening line?

Waiter! A scotch and coke please!

He then continued on with other areas that were very personal but again quite profound in detail and accuracy.

The second occasion was with a psychic here in Tasmania. I went to see her while my partner was in Malaysia attending the funeral of his father who had just passed away.

The first thing she said to me was “You’ve recently lost someone close, like a family member.”

She also said “You’ve been doing a lot of work outside your house. Something that involves a lot of digging of dirt and moving it around.” At that very point in time there was a huge excavator doing some major landscaping at our place.

One thing that intrigued me, was that she insisted that I wasn’t going to remain in Tasmania. She said “You’re going to move somewhere hot. Much hotter than here. You’re not thinking of moving to Queensland or the Gold Coast?”

“No” I replied. “That wouldn’t happen”

But then 2 years later, my partner and I have bought an apartment in Malaysia and intend to move there in the distant future.

So, anyway, that sums up my experience. Anyone care to share whether they believe in this sort of thing or not…? Or have you had similar (or different) experiences?

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49 Responses

  1. Is this to make up for the philosophy thread from last week that was derailed by those kids up the back cracking jokes?

    It always amuses me when someone will entertain the idea of paranormal or supernatural phenomena, while denying any possibility of the existence of a higher being. (Not you, necessarily, Reb – I don’t know if you’ve ever aired your views on that subject).

  2. It always amuses me when someone will entertain the idea of paranormal or supernatural phenomena, while denying any possibility of the existence of a higher being.

    Why?

    Christians often label psychics as “satanic” or doing “the devil’s work”.

  3. Maybe, but they accept the possibility of both.

  4. Hmm

    I guess it depends who you talk to.

    The christians I know, think that psychics are satanic.

    Which is all a bit much really…

  5. No, my point is actually whether someone can call themself an atheist while believing in the paranormal or supernatural.

    Some will draw a distinction between paranormal and supernatural, arguing that paranormal activities might operate within some as-yet undiscovered laws of nature, in which case they are not at odds with the atheist description, while believers in the supernatural should consider calling themselves theists.

  6. I see Tony.

    (I think).

    Can you help my understanding by elaborating on the difference between an atheist and a theist?

    I’m thinking for example, that if someone believes in a spiritual afterlife, or that some people are psychic, that this doesn’t necessarily mean that they also ought to believe in a “higher being”.

  7. Reb,

    I just found this article by the editor of ‘Positive Atheism’ magazine, in which he says:

    The word supernatural implies that there may be entities who are somehow “above” or “beyond” nature (whatever that means). If you believe in the existence of angels or demons, I’d suggest you might want to start calling yourself a theist: these are merely the demoted gods of polytheism. Atheists tend not to believe in the supernatural (“above” or “beyond” nature), neither do most naturalistic religions such as Deism and Pantheism.

  8. Thanks Tony. Interesting article.

  9. “No, my point is actually whether someone can call themself an atheist while believing in the paranormal or supernatural.”

    Interesting point Tony, but I think has more to do w/ many not believing in bunkum like an old fatherly God w/ a beard…the Adam’s rib bit…all them animals stuck into Noah’s ark & loving it…Moses & Jesus stealing magician’s day jobs…

    tho it’s amazing how many fall for these child care stories.

    Personally, I’m not a big believer in Gods & Messiahs, tho I’ve had my grandiose moments…:)

    But I reckon there is more to this existence than just that which is tangible & observable in the personal experience.

    In my dreams…& during a few RARE moments I’ve seen things that make me wonder if their isn’t some kind of eternal game going on here…some synchronicity…w/ pathways offered…perhaps a shifting between multi-verses:

    BLADE RUNNER – I’ve seen things

    N’

  10. reb, I remember a so called “psychic” once reading a mates hand & telling him he was a goner by the end of the year…really screwed him up. Tho he obviously had deeper problems.

    Speaking of psychic stuff, I do enjoy The Dead Zone on Sci-Fi channel…:)
    Tho due to PayTV disruptions & recording failures last year (a tech reckons it had something to do bandwidth & the intro of HD) they stuffed us up on Series 4…grrr…and soon they start season 5…just hope they repeat 4 soon. S’ & I refuse to skip ahead in seasons.

    N’

  11. No, my point is actually whether someone can call themself an atheist while believing in the paranormal or supernatural.

    I think the atheists do make that distinction tony. In my readings, most atheists reject the supernatural, I have heard people saying “I am atheist, but I am a spiritual person”. It’s mainly no belief in a god(s) though.

    american atheists

    …Atheism is a lack of belief in gods, from the original Greek meaning of “without gods.” That is it. There is nothing more to it. If someone wrote a book titled “Atheism Defined,” it would only be one sentence long….

    …The common thread that ties all atheists together is a lack of belief in gods and supernatural beings. Every atheist is as unique as a fingerprint when it comes to his or her individual philosophy, convictions, and ideals.

    Personally, as an atheist of many years, I don’t believe in gods and I don’t believe in supernatural, paranormal or magical beings.

  12. Interesting point Tony, but I think has more to do w/ many not believing in bunkum like an old fatherly God w/ a beard…the Adam’s rib bit…all them animals stuck into Noah’s ark & loving it…Moses & Jesus stealing magician’s day jobs…

    tho it’s amazing how many fall for these child care stories.

    I really don’t think it’s a necessary condition of believing in god(s) that they must look as Michelangelo imagined them, or that you must take literally the words of the Old Testament.

    Speaking of what things look like, do things appear the same to everyone? Does the colour blue look the same to you as it does to me (even though we might both recognise it as blue)?

  13. How do you explain infinity – of time and space? If one believes in the big bang as the beginning of the universe, what existed before that? Is time linear at all? Perhaps things don’t all happen one after the other. Maybe many different tings are happening at once, but appear to be happening at different points on a clock.

  14. Sorry to interrupt…….

    Tipping comp, please see The Locker Room for details. Must resubmit tips if you’ve already done so through Oztips.com.

  15. Maybe the universe is like a giant mobius strip, and if you travel far enough in space you eventually come back to the point where you began.

  16. Here’s my “psychic” story.

    18-odd years ago my wife (a doctor) and I were looking at houses in Melbourne. We went on a number of inspections, taking with us our (then) 3 year-old daughter.

    One of the places we looked-at was in Kew. As soon as we got to the front gate, our daughter piped-up saying: “Mummy, sad little boy’s house.”

    We got inside and checked the place-out.

    The current owners had their family photographs on the mantel and naturally, we glanced at them while looking at the house. That’s when the penny-dropped with the missus.

    She thought she recognised a child in one of the photos and asked the Agent showing the place the names of the vendors.

    Turns-out it was a family whose son she had treated in the Alfred Hospital Casualty and later ICU unit.

    The kid, a student at Scotch College, had been bowled-over by a car while running for a tram after school. He sustained very severe brain injuries and later died of them in the ICU.

    We both then realised the significance of what our 3-year old had said before we even got to the front door.

    I’m not much for the supernatural, but she picked-up on something. Some sort of residual energy, sadness, whatever, about the place. Still, it was very specific: “Sad little boy’s house”, not just “sad house”.

    One thing, though, why has God gotta come into it?

  17. Strictly speaking (and IIRC) there’s a distinction between theism and deism. Theism is the belief that there are one or more gods (as the term is commonly used) actively involved in shaping events in the universe. Deism is the belief in (the possibility) that something/some”one” created this universe (and hence might be considered a “god” or deity in some sense) but isn’t necessarily actively involved in the universe now.

    One can be an atheist (no belief in actively involved gods) and still be open to the possibility that something “outside” of the universe created it – or not.

  18. I tend to think most “psychic” experiences are a combination of:
    – people with more intuition and perception than the rest of us who “sleepwalk” through life in those areas,
    – and our tendency for incorrectly ascribing causes when we observe coincidences – especially because our brains include strong pattern-matching capabilities that through evolutionary forces MUST bias towards producing false matches rather than missing some patterns, and because we all have pretty poor intuition when it comes to probability.

    If you take 1000 monkeys and have them all flip 10 coins in a row, you’ll probably get one monkey who got 10 to land on the same side (and if you’re really lucky you’ll find a monkey who got one coin to land on it’s edge 😉 Is that monkey a “flipping genius” or demonstrating a supernatural ability? No, it’s entirely expected and explained by plain probability and statistics. (Fund managers know we tend to think the monkey is a flipping genius and they use this effect to their advantage.)

    I reckon you can see this effect in most claims of religious miracles. As Why Won’t God Heal Amputees makes pretty plain, there seem to be a class of miracles that your average deity won’t perform – things that we are sure would not happen by themselves in the absence of divine intervention. (And that tends to suggest your average deity is a coy deceptive b*stard, which might give one pause as to whether they deserve adulation…)

    None of which PROVES that atheism is correct or that all psychic experiences are not supernatural. There could still be subtle supernatural influences going on, but it’s equally true that natural explanations might exist for all of these reported phenomena even if we can’t measure or understand them all yet. (If we asked the same questions of someone a couple of thousand years ago, deities would be cited as responsible for many events that we know understand to be purely the result of natural forces.)

    Anyway, all of this is enough (along with a bunch of other logical inconsistencies, corollaries and evidence or lack of it) to put me firmly in the atheist (but not “a-deist”) camp until stronger evidence emerges. If it does, I’ll be kind of delighted to find out something new and important about the universe – but I’ll be very surprised if it points to anything like (say) our common Christian picture of God.

  19. Are you at lose ends Loth? Am feeling a bit that way myself..must be the phases of the moon.

    There are psychics who know that because one goes to a psychic that there must be ‘problems’ and so they pass on trite phrases such as: You are feeling fenced in/constrained by current circumstances (yep, sounds around right). You are looking foward to changes in your life (yes, certainly am). Your partner is causing you concern (don’t they always!)..oh but I don’t have partner..Ahh, that’s it, this is why I am receiving that you have concerns regarding a partner.

    Easy bubs.

  20. Min

    Yes, I can understand the easy generalisations that so called psychics may pick on, but when one says “you’ve been doing a lot of work around the house, something that involves a lot of digging and moving around large amounts of dirt” while I’ve got a 20 tonne excavator at home, is just a touch too coincidental forn my liking..

  21. I’m happy to go on record & state that it’s all a crock, an utter crock & a man-imagined crock.
    No ifs or buts.

    How arrogant.

    Life is mysterious & grand enough without incorporating fairies at the bottom of the garden, sky wizards, zombie messiahs or bigotry dressed up as divine judgement.
    I feel much the same way about psychics & I’m inclined to understand coincidence rather than clutch at “paranormal”.

    Each to their own but I still say it’s a crock.

  22. Reb. For fear of being called a complete froot-loop I used to do psychic readings for the Sanyassins. Ah well, one has to be a game girl some times.

  23. Fair enough Toilet Boss. Have another drink.

  24. Lotharsson. thnx for the link. From Eternity to Here:
    The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time sounds fascinating.

    Andrew Bird – Dark matter

    N’

  25. I think that I should clarify. I believe that many people have psychic ability, sometimes expressed as ‘intuition’. I don’t know why, but when I’ve been asked I have explained it as something akin to a musical ability, something that some people are born with.

    Perhaps young children such as Evan’s daughter are more open to this and it’s only when we get older that we become closed to anything that isn’t ‘logical’ and provable.

  26. There is nothing wrong with fairies at the bottom of the garden, at the top of the garden, in my house, in my bed…. in fact, fairies are welcome everywhere!

    I need to get my psychic stories down – need to have some time to get the details right. Maybe tonight after a refreshing glass of Shiraz? 🙄

  27. Toiletboss – “Life is mysterious & grand enough”

    Speak for yourself, mine is nowhere near grand enough.

    Other than that, I think you’re 100%.

  28. Toiletboss,

    Life is mysterious & grand enough without incorporating fairies at the bottom of the garden, sky wizards, zombie messiahs or bigotry dressed up as divine judgement.

    What about the odd bit of Satanism?

    😉

  29. How’s this for coincidences.

    I was in a reluctant Ménage à trois in the late 70s – last year of High School – and oneday we all visited a friend in a psychiatric hospital. There we came across a lady being treated who a staff member stated had amazing psychic abilities.

    The fella who was also involved w/ the lass I had a deep crush on offered up his hand for reading. The woman gazed at it intensely, then looked into his eyes, panicked, abruptly shoved his hand away and told him upon his demands that “You don’t want to hear what I have to say”. And no urgings could bring her to speak from that point on.

    A few days later we all got on the same bus…it skidded on ice…a truck went thru it…the same fella died instantly.

    I had a vivid dream a few days later…was standing in a fast food joint I used to work in…was late at night…we were closed…cleaning up…and one of the staff told me that someone was waiting for me in the parking lot. I hesitantly, fear struck, made my way thru the dim lighted lot, towards a car w/ a shadowy figure standing next to it.

    I asked them what they wanted.

    The face turned towards me, there was a red blotch on the right cheek the size of a softball…I found myself staring into the fella who had died’s eyes. Then woke in a panic. Sheer dread.

    Now, even tho I’d carried my girlfriend (if you can call her that) from the crushed bus to the ambulance, I didn’t see this fella’s corpse. That’s a fact.

    And yet, when I was at a party a few weeks later…& spoke to a mate of both his & mine who had identified his body, told him of my nightmare, he gazed at me stunned & said “they reckon just about every bone in his body was broken…but all I saw was a big red blotch on his cheek”.

    Kinda creepy.
    N’

  30. “How arrogant.”

    I meant to include “of me” after that.

    I understand that my views on this are unpalatably absolutist.

  31. Tony, I find “Satanism” every bit as ridiculous as all of the other isms.

    It does complement the muzak though, the “good guys” just don’t suit it.
    Although, believe it or not, this is a brutal Christian metal band…

  32. The ten thousand things rise and fall while the Self watches their return.

    They grow and flourish and then return to the source.
    Returning to the source is stillness, which is the way of nature . . .

    Being at one with the Tao is eternal.
    And though the body dies, the Tao will never pass away.

    Lao Tsu, Tao Te Ching, Ch. 16, trans. Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English

  33. “I’m not much for the supernatural, but she picked-up on something. Some sort of residual energy, sadness, whatever, about the place. Still, it was very specific: “Sad little boy’s house”, not just “sad house”.”

    Interesting story Evan…thnx for retelling it.

    I’d like to hear joni’s psychic stories too.

    “However, another close friend of mine had a very deep interest in spirituality and the nature of consciousness, and as such, gave away the corporate life to live in an Indian Ashram in the 1970s for several years before eventually settling in the Blue Mountains of NSW.”

    Cool reb…what are the names of the books he wrote?

    My wife & I spent a coupla mths going to a Raj Yoga centre…had the best meals there. Great place to meditate.

    Speaking of Indians, but different continent…got me thinking about the effects of Lophophora williamsii (Peyote) and the relationship to so called “transcendence”.

    Flying Saucer Attack – In The Light Of Time

    N’

  34. I think there are a lot of fakes who will tell you what you want to hear and take your money but I have met a few excellent psychics who have told me things they could never have guessed at.

    I don’t believe anyone can give us all the information that we look for but sometimes a little bit of something comes through. It’s a precious gift and those who have should use it honestly.

    I’ve written extensively about this subject and been involved in the ‘Psychic Trade’ so mine is an inside view. There are some weird things (and people LOL) out there that no one can explain!

  35. Reb you can certainly take the piss.

    “You’re going to move somewhere hot. Much hotter than here.

    A brilliant prediction! LOL. As a ‘psychic’ resident in Tasmania I can make that prediction with almost absolute certainty. Aeroplanes and boats that leave Tasmania and arrive at colder climes usually fall into the category of ‘being lost’.

    Tonight, I predict that of the thousand or so who leave Tasmania tonight 999 will arrive in a warmer place.

    Get real!

    I’m with Toiletboss, on March 26th, 2009 at 4:41 pm who said:

    I’m happy to go on record & state that it’s all a crock, an utter crock & a man-imagined crock.
    No ifs or buts.

    But I loved this giveaway.

    You’re not thinking of moving to Queensland or the Gold Coast?”

    And reb’s reply:

    No” I replied. “That wouldn’t happen”

    LOL. Who knew the future?

  36. Here is my story.

    Just after I was born my parents had their fortune told. And it told about one child that was going to be heavily involved in music and would be the first child to move away from home. I am the third child of four and although the two eldest moved out of home before me, they both lived in the area. I moved to London at age 21, and growing up I was involved with a wind band in Newcastle. And so yes – it does seem a coincidence, but it was the deciding factor in my move to London.

    And then a couple of year ago I had a cold hand reading and the reader was shocked to see that I was still alive after the severity of my illness in 99, and correctly identified the tumours that I had the year before in my neck and beside my heart. It was freaky.

  37. Powerful evidence joni! Very, very powerful!

    But I am reminded of the1988 the U.S. National Academy of Sciences report that concluded there was

    “blockquote>no scientific justification from research conducted over a period of 130 years for the existence of parapsychological phenomena.”[<

    But then again, why have ‘faith’ in science. Or ‘rationality’ for that matter. LOL.

  38. “But I am reminded of the1988 the U.S. National Academy of Sciences report that concluded there was
    no scientific justification from research conducted over a period of 130 years for the existence of parapsychological phenomena.”

    Well that’s good enuff for me Nature 5…and in 2005:

    the national science academies of the G8 nations (including the National Academy of Sciences) plus science academies of Brazil, China and India (three of the largest emitters of greenhouse gases in the developing world) signed a statement on the global response to climate change. The statement stresses that the scientific understanding of climate change had become sufficiently clear to justify nations taking prompt action.

    (Wikipedia)

    ENGAGE

    N’

  39. Julian May does a decent job of providing a typology for psychic abilities and their likely 😉 distributions when stripped of their exotic locale. Count me in as a believer.

  40. N5

    Do I believe in it? No.

    Both reading could have been co-incidence. And I do not search these things out.

  41. Nasking,

    Here’s one his earlier books. I’ll try to find a link to the most recent one..

    http://www.amazon.com/Colour-Me-Healing-Jack-Allanach/dp/095460993X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1238106734&sr=1-1

  42. Thnx reb

    N’

  43. Nasking,

    I couldn’t find a link to his most recent one. I’ve read the manuscript, and it was about to be published by his NY publisher, but it looks like poor old Jack passed away before it went to print.

    He’s one of the few people I can say that it’s been a real privelage to know.

    I think one of the hardest conversations I’ve had, was when he told me he had been diagnosed with Cancer and wasn’t going to make it.

    His sense of humour was still intact to the end though.

  44. “but it looks like poor old Jack passed away before it went to print.”

    reb, I saw that site…the acceptance…courage. Friendship.

    Darryl Reanney’s The Death of Forever: New Future for Human Consciousness is a must read. He also passed on.
    N’

  45. Legion…I was watching an excerpt from Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead the other night:

    Rosencrantz & Guildenstern (Newtonian Physics)

    feedback required.

    N’

  46. Kinetic energy. Observable.

    The film that could not be seen by a tribe.

    An object w/in a perturbation in space and time that trains, alters DNA…in order to observe the previously unobservable.

    N’

  47. Randomisation of patterns…some say Entropy.

    One mass of atoms bound by electromagnetic force impacts another…dissipation occurs when..?

    Is it possible that genetic memory is a wave sound?…that echoes…as a predictor…consequently we end up w. psychics who are attuned…but the echo, it’s frequency…and clarity can be altered by variables that disrupt continuity & consequently reliability? Like phermone pick-up.
    N’

  48. One of my all-time favourite films. LIGHT…& observation of death, decay, revitalisation, the feed, observation, distance, manipulation, symbolism, kinetic energy, entropy…genius…and in the learning…the sharing…the SPARK

    knowing

    moving on

    Zoo: A Zed & Two Noughts (1985) – Introduction

    N’

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