Current Update as of September 19, 2005
Inspired by The Edgar Cayce Institute for Intuitive Studies
Edited by HENRY REED, Ph.D.
Commentary by Linda Brown
Out of every eight books I summarize, there is usually one that stands out above the rest, one that I remember even after I've gone on to summarize others. This is such a book.
It goes far beyond listing the five ways of becoming psychic and giving instructions on how to do so. In fact, the authors make it clear from the beginning that psychic events entail love and connection, not personal glory.
The main objective of the book is to explore the spiritual implications of psychic phenomena. Psi should be used in a spiritual way as a means to lift up the world of spirit and mystery. It should be used to benefit humanity, treating others as we would have them treat us.
I have noticed that the TV line-up for fall includes more programs on mediums, aliens and psi events than ever before. More people seem to believe in psi phenomena as time goes on.
I believe part of the reason is that today people long for connection. We are hungry to know that something exists greater than ourselves, greater than our ordinary lives. Another reason is our fascination with the unknown.
The other night while watching either 20/20 or Dateline NBC (both on the same night), the interviewer talked with a young boy whose father had repeatedly stabbed him and left him for dead.
The boy explained matter-of-factly of an angel carrying him and how he had called 911, etc. because the angel told him exactly what to do.
The little boy spoke of the angel as though it were the most natural thing in the world. What a pity that children so readily accept what adults reject because it can't be explained!
In Becoming Psychic, some of the best sections were at the back of the book. For example, there are appendixes A-H. Within them are fourteen pages of interesting footnotes and an eleven-page bibliography, both of which provided me with ideas for other books and articles to read on the subject.
There is also a list of professional psychics (including those who participate with the Edgar Cayce Institute for Intuitive Studies), plus other healers and organizations.
Psi can't be tested or proven the same way as physics or chemistry can. E=mc2 explains how matter and energy are linked, but nothing tells us how brain and mind (or psyche and Spirit) are linked.
Appendix C presents the two basic types of explanation that are used in testing: vertical explanation and horizontal explanation.
Vertical explanations are analytical. They explain enough to be able to predict and control.
Horizontal explanations, on the other hand, reach to the side. They are done through analogy. They present how one thing is like another thing. They find similar processes that can help us explain the thing in question.
Horizontal explanation does NOT explain enough to predict and control. However, since with psychic mysteries there are no vertical analyses to explain them, horizontal explanation is all we've got at the present time.
In psychic mysteries, we don't know about their underlying ingredients. Horizontal explanations illustrate that there is not enough data to construct a vertical explanation.
An example of a horizontal explanation is the idea that psi experiences are occurrences of "the extended mind". This idea is that our minds can extend into space, and can therefore affect anything anywhere.
Another horizontal explanation is that one mind can influence another.
Still another is that telepathy works like a radio in that it's based on transmitting and receiving.
It is important for a person wanting to know more about psi that they know three terms, presented in Appendix D, and the difference in each. The terms are anomalous, paranormal and supernatural, and their definitions are given below.
Anomalous - not easily explained by mainstream science. Being inconsistent with what would be expected. Dr Krippner classifies it as rare or puzzling.
Telepathy, clairvoyance, psychokinesis and precognition are all anomalous, although they may go beyond them to one of the next levels.
Paranormal - is anomalous, plus not at all explained by science. Paranormal events shatter our existing concepts of time, space or energy.
Supernatural - is paranormal; it additionally goes beyond the natural laws of nature and involves an invisible agent such as God, ghosts, spirits, etc.
The five ways of being psychic are as follows:
In the case of mind reading, Kierulff describes it as more like mind "seeing" because it comes in the form of images. Some psychics report that the things they see present in consciousness without emotion.
Kiefulff points out that you can't learn to mind read unless you to attempt to do it and he gives instructions for trying. He says to send it with your mind every way you can - as an image - as a word - picture it, write it in your mind, imagine sending it from your mind into the mind of the other.
Send how it feels. Try it with someone close; try it with someone far away. He suggests learning to mind read working with a partner. Use your partner's feedback in your learning process.
The authors emphasize that we are all part of a whole, part of one mind - the Divine Mind. The spiritual lesson of mind reading is that our sense of separation and aloneness is merely an illusion.
Intensive examination of psychic phenomena raises more questions, such as "Is reality real or not?" If a glimpse of something that happens in the future shows up now (as with true precognition), it is in conflict with our beliefs of what reality is.
The authors suggest that since something nonmaterial is involved in psi phenomena, materialism may not be the best way to measure it. Perhaps it involves a "spiritual substance with the capabilities of human consciousness."
Also, since existence is participatory, perhaps we influence matter. Some people claim that the mind is the creator of the material universe. One thing is certain: psi indicates that the world is not what it appears to be.
Psychic mysteries suggest that something within us transcends time and space. Understanding psi goes beyond the limits of our five senses. It seems evident that each of us is loved by whatever or whoever is behind all of this psi.
If nothing is behind psi, then that means that we ourselves are love. Psi causes us to see that life has meaning. This causes us to look at God as the universal consciousness.
In experiments performed by Sigmund Freud and J.B. Rhine, sleep and dreams brought about favorable conditions for telepathy. According to Belleruth Naparstik's book Your Sixth Sense, it helps to have a suitable place and posture, relaxation, clear mind, positive belief, positive intention and an open heart.
F. Holmes Atwater, expert on remote viewing, classifies the stages in becoming psychic as relaxing, connecting, listening, becoming aware, and reporting.
Two facts in the book which I didn't know and found interesting are (1) that psi experiences have been shown to occur more in nights without electrical activity (such as storms and sunspots) and (2) that even professional psychics don't claim to be more than 80-85% correct.
Clairvoyance usually occurs when there is a need or when we ask for it. It is obtaining knowledge by means other than the currently identified sensory mechanisms.
In the case of psychokinesis, Kierulff discovered it seems to best be approached playfully. Uri Geller has performed psychokinesis many times, if you ask a person who believes that he really did it.
Ask a skeptic, and they will say that it can't be proved, and that he did not do it. Once again, there is no scientific test that is an absolute for measuring psi. Science has found, however, that if a stream of molecules is projected at two parallel slits, the molecules suddenly act like a wave, so perhaps this helps explain that Geller does perform psychokinesis.
Kierulff offers an experiment in trying to move matter with the mind, as follows: Rub a sewing needle. Carefully float it in a glass of water covered with plastic wrap. Try moving it, not by effort, but with your emotions.
When it comes to healing from a distance, Edgar Casey could do this through self-induced trance. When he was thirteen years old, he was told by an angelic presence that he would be a healer.
In his adult years, his consciousness could travel to the person in question. He didn't usually label the illness, but he prescribed remedies and procedures which were usually successful.
With a combination of Christian Science words and Silva Mind Control visualizations, Kierulff once cleaned out the lungs of a sick person. He achieved an altered state of consciousness and cleaned them with imaginary pipe cleaners.
There is effectiveness of prayer and spirituality upon healing, although we don't know if it's because the healer desires to get well or if it is the influence flowing from the healer to the patient. Most healers use visualization. They often feel they are merging with the person they're healing.
The fifth way of being psychic is seeing the future. Kierulff actually saw someone walking down the street a day after he visualized him, dressed the same way, carrying the same briefcase. His friend argued that something in the future couldn't be the cause of something in the present.
Kierulff says this doesn't hold true for precognition. Apparently sometimes effects precede causes. Once when Kierulff was driving in the mountains, a voice told him to put both hands on the wheel right before a deer ran in front of his car. Often his dreams are about experiences that later happen.
He also had a sense of some horrible event before 9/11. But perhaps premonitions can be changed, as in a story he tells of a woman who dreamed a chandelier fell on her sleeping child's crib. She got out of bed and moved the crib. Before dawn, the chandelier fell, but her child remained unharmed because she had moved the crib
The way prediction differs from precognition is that in precognition, the future event is already set and cannot be changed. Prediction involves a rational, logical attempt to foretell a probable future event. Precognition goes beyond that and sees the actual future even when the future is unpredictable.
"Precognition bypasses logic and reason." Precognition is not based on logic but on a vision. Prediction is ordinary, whereas precognition is psychic. To confuse things even more, there is "contrived" precognition, which in actuality is formed by subconscious psychic perception plus simple prediction.
A dream that foretells the future can occur due to coincidence, true cognition, or contrived precognition.
Precognition provides challenges to mainstream science because it is at odds with the principle of cause and effect.
Dr. Rhine found in his experiment that 3 out of 4 precognitions occurred during dreaming. This raises the question "is this so unusual", considering that most people have 4 or 5 dreams per night.
It is often difficult to know if one is experiencing telepathy or clairvoyance or precognition.
If true precognition is real, then life, time and the world are not. Is there a fundamental aspect of life that goes beyond the limitations of earthly existence? Is the material world only temporary and the spiritual world eternal?
How is it possible, as is shown by experiments, that animals experience precognition? What are the spiritual implications of psi? If the future is unchangeable, this destroys the concept of free will.
Does precognition mean that both time and our lives are illusions? Perhaps physical disasters occur in order to give our spiritual a chance to grow. True precognition is less likely to be explained scientifically.
The subject of synchronicity is presented. Although we're not scientifically sure whether or not it can be developed, if so it would likely be through prayer meditation and the desire to be of service. Not all instances of synchronicity are precognitive.
Synchronicity involves coincidental events. Skeptics point out that with billions of people thinking and interacting, it is only natural that coincidences occur. Jung, however, believed coincidences occur due to activation of archetypes when someone focuses on a personal problem.
He believed that at such time the person's mental threshold is lowered, giving the unconscious an opportunity to surface.
The authors take the position that psi phenomena aren't really that unusual at all, and that psi abilities can be developed if one believes they can.
Becoming Psychic, like psi, raises more questions than it answers, and I mean this in a positive way. The book is well-documented and well-written.
I like the quote the authors used by Edgar Casey regarding psi:
"All have some psychic power. The psychic lies latent within you. First find deep within that purpose, that ideal to which you would attain."
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