Tag Archives: determinism

future, crystal ball, predict, psychic

P is for ‘Predictions’: Can Psychics Predict the Future?

 

A few months ago, one of my clients asked me:

‘Can psychics predict the future?’

This is a good question. Psychics and mediums often hotly disagree as to the correct answer, and in this week’s post, I want to offer you some things to consider when making up your own mind as to whether or not a psychic can tell you about your future.

In this discussion, I am taking for granted that psychic connections between people exist, and that through those connections, true information can be transmitted between individuals.

We think of the past and present as being fixed; so an event that has already happened, or is happening presently, cannot be changed. Because the past and present are fixed, it seems that an individual could transmit psychic information about events that have already happened to him or her. In our common-sense conception of the world, the future does not have the same fixed quality as the past or the present. An individual has not experienced his or her own future yet, and so information about the future should not be apparent his or her energy and could not, therefore, be read by a psychic. This is the bare bones of the problem of predicting the future.

Another problem, and one which many people find utterly unacceptable, is that if an individual’s future can be predicted, then it brings his or her free will into doubt. How could it be both that an event in an individual’s life could be predicted; and that the individual is free to choose or reject that event? It seems impossible. It seems that the concepts of prediction and free will cannot co-exist.

So to recap, the two problems we face when thinking about whether or not a psychic can tell the future are:

  1. The future hasn’t happened yet.
  2. The possibility of correct predictions is inconsistent with the free will of the individual.

And so it seems like the case is closed. As long as the future hasn’t happened yet, and the individual has the capacity for choice, the idea of predicting the future cannot get off the ground.

…or can it?

In order to theorize about the possibility of predicting the future, we need to see the future in the same light as the present and the past, and, we need to reject that we have free will. This may seem utterly bonkers: I do not know what is going to happen tomorrow, and I can clearly choose whether to eat fruit or toast for breakfast I hear you say. But recently, theorists from various fields have presented the possibility that, contrary to our commonly held beliefs, you can know what’s going to happen tomorrow, and you do not have a choice about whether to eat fruit or toast. If these theories are in any way plausible, then the possibility that the future can be predicted is back on track.

Here’s how a theory for predicting the future could work:

  1. The future is exactly the same as the past and the present because there is no distinction. Spacetime is a 4-dimensional block in which all events are as real as each other, so theoretically, we can know the future in the same way that we know the present and the past. For more on this, go here for an easy-to-read and informative guide to time as a 4-d block.
  2. You do not have free will. You did not choose your body, your mind, your brain, your health, your parents, or any other causal force that resulted in your existence. Therefore, you are not responsible for any effects that result from those causal forces, so you do not have free will. The decision that you would have fruit or toast today was made for you, a long time ago. You feel that you have free will because the causal forces that led to the selection are not available to you in your conscious mind. For an insightful and entertaining exploration of this concept, check out this video by neuroscientist and philosopher Sam Harris.

The key idea here is that everything has a cause. Everything in your present was caused by your past, and everything in your future will be caused by your present self and your present situation. If you agree with this, and you are also willing to accept what we have taken for granted – that there is such a thing as psychic connectivity – then your future can be predicted by directing conscious, psychic energy to follow the determined causal chain that leads into your future, which, as we said, is an area of spacetime that is just as real as your past and your present.

This is a radical view. To preserve the notion of predicting the future, we have to commit to saying that the future is already determined by a web of causes and effects, and that consequently, we have no free will.

If you simply cannot deal with the consequences of this theory, there is another way that predicting the future can be preserved, and it involves a compromise. Perhaps psychics do not predict the future correctly all the time because a given cause has the potential to be responsible for multiple events, and that whichever event occurs is probabilistically determined. (Have a look at my post F is for ‘Fate’ for more on this). So in this theory, being hungry in the morning causes either toast or fruit or cereal or bacon and eggs or porridge to be eaten. If this decision is down to probability, then a psychic has a 20% chance of predicting what you will choose correctly. Not because he or she is guessing, but because he or she can only predict to the extent that probabilistic determination will allow. This conception fits with the famous double-slit experiment, which shows that, left alone, photons remain in a probabilistic state, but when an observer is introduced, the photon is forced into a determined state, an either/or choice. (Click here for more info on this.) Is it possible that our future’s are unfolding in a similar way? And if so, is it possible that a psychic can make a true prediction about your future?

There is so much more that could be said for and against the idea that the future can be predicted. I’d love to read your thoughts on the matter.

So what do you think? Can psychics predict the future? Do you have a story about a prediction that came true? Or one that was way off the mark? Have you ever made a spontaneous prediction that came true?

Thanks for reading! Your comments and questions are welcomed.

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F is for ‘Fate’. What is Fate? (A Twist of Fate.)

What is fate, exactly? What does it mean to experience a twist of fate? Do you believe that you have a fate, a path of destiny that is pre-determined and laid out before you?

…and the big question is….

If fate exists, does that mean that you don’t have free will?

These are not easy questions to answer. Although ‘fate’ is a term that is commonly used in spiritual discourse, it is also a very serious problem for philosophy, psychology and physics:

In philosophy, fate is know as determinism.

In psychology, your fate is choices that you will make based on your social circumstances, which include: the influence of your parents, your religion, social status and education. This is known as your ‘life script’.

In quantum physics, the fate of any particle is inextricably linked to the fate of another particle. This is known as ‘entanglement’. Fate behaves very strangely on the quantum level.(Think Schrodinger’s Cat)

In this post, I will be discussing if fate exists in a way that affects the lives of you and me, and if so, how does it work?

The main problem with fate is that there is definite evidence to suggest that we live in a pre-determined reality (see above, and also just lots of reports of weird synchronistic happenings generally!) yet as we live out or lives, we have the definite distinct impression that we are making choices freely and without any bossy, imaginary force telling us what to do. We seem to exhibit free will: coffee or herbal tea? get up at 7am, or 8am? To move house or not to move house? Call an old friend, or no? Your choices are being made by you, and so your life is shaped by these choices, and these choices alone, right?…Well, maybe.

I cannot offer you a hard and fast scientific formula for the existence of fate, however I have had several interesting experiences that have led me to believe that there are things that I am ‘supposed’ to do whilst alive on this planet, and I call that fate. I often get the sense that I am being led past certain milestones or markers in my life that are not only pre-determined, but are pre-determined towards some purpose. The ‘markers’ are always significant and life changing, they appear to be deliberate and often turn out to be essential to my soul’s development. I get the sense that the frequent synchronicities that I experience serve a function- they conspire with the forces of fate to lead me (by some cosmic invisible soul-map) to people, places, thoughts, actions and lessons that I cannot choose to miss or forget.

I’m sure this all sounds very far-fetched and unscientific, and it is really hard to explain rationally, yet if you have ever experienced a twist of fate or synchronistic intervention, then you’ll know what I mean! It is difficult to shake the feeling that you are being deliberately directed through life, once you have experienced this kind of phenomena. As empirical evidence, I’d like to share with you one of the many synchronistic events that has happened in my life, that has given me the sense that fate is watching over me…very closely.

When I was 23, my mother gave me a book called ‘Looking Back’ by James Arthur Findlay. She told me that J. Arthur Findlay was a man who had very interesting experiences with mediumship and Spirit communication, and had dedicated his life to the study of psychic and mediumistic phenomena. Right away this piqued my interest, being exactly the subject matter I enjoyed reading about. Arthur Findlay was so dedicated to the study and development of psychic and mediumistic abilities that, when he passed away, he left his stately home in Stansted, England, to be converted into a school for psychic studies. This school is now called The Arthur Findlay College for Psychic Studies.

At 23, I was already working as a psychic medium. I found the idea of the college really appealing- I wanted to go to learn from the best psychic and mediumistic teachers, and to build a strong mediumistic relationship with people in Spirit. I asked my mum if we could go, and I chose a week-long course that happened to co-incide with my birthday. My mum (the kind and generous woman that she is!) offered to pay for my visit and tuition at the college as a birthday gift. When our stay at the college was confirmed, I thought I had better learn something about the man whose former home I was going to be living and learning in. So I settled down one day, with the huge tome ‘Looking Back’ that my mum had given me, and I began to read. The book was about Arthur Findlay’s life and was very interesting…I was surprised to read that he hadn’t come from a Spiritual background at all! A third into the book, I turned a page and there was a black and white photo of a church. I stared at it for a long moment…the church seemed so familiar to me. I felt like I knew that church very well. I was so confused. I turned the page and read on, and I couldn’t believe what I read…

I grew up in a small town in Scotland called Beith, which has a population of 6,300 people. I lived there and went to school there my entire childhood. Imagine my shock and surprise when I read, in a caption below the photo of the church, that Arthur Findlay had also lived in Beith for much of his adult life, before moving 400 miles away to Stansted, England. It’s no wonder that the church in the photo looked so familiar…I had walked past that church every day of my childhood! The co-incidence was uncanny. So uncanny that I recognized the experience as not being co-incidence. It was fate. I went to Arthur Findlay College, and on the walls were some of Arthur Findlay’s letters, addressed to and from addresses in Beith. It was surreal. My time at the Arthur Findlay College was amazing. I learned so much that has shaped my understanding of mediumship. I learned so much that I have applied in developing my connection to the Spirit world, and the experiences I had there crystallized the feeling that I’d had for a number of years, that I was supposed to be a medium- that it was my fate. I passed that fate marker, just by being open enough to allow, and follow, the synchonicities that led me to the college. I have come to accept and trust that the same lanterns of fate continue to illuminate my journey through life.

It is because of experiences like this that I do believe that each and every one of us has a fate. But I also believe that we have free will too. So here’s the theory…

Ok, so we live in a deterministic reality. There are pre-determined experiences that you must go through, so that your soul may flourish and extend itself in the most meaningful way possible. Despite this pre-chosen destiny, you still have free will in the following ways:

1. You do not consciously know the fate markers that you have chosen to pass in your life, so you are making free will choices simply because you are unaware at the time of making the choice, that the choice is leading you to your fate.

2. You do not know how/by which path/ in which way you are going to get there. So your destination (your destiny) is pre-determined, but you have many, many free choices to make as to how you’re gonna get there. I call this blend of fate and free will ‘The Matrix of Fate’. Here are some of my possible ‘fates’ and how I may come to experience them, using my own free will.

Fate, free will, determinism, destiny

The colourful dots are some experiences that the force of fate has guided me towards. All roads lead to them or through them, so my experiencing them is inevitable. I make free choices as to how I achieve these fate markers, but achieve them I must- many of my choices lead me round in circles!

Unitl next week: Meditate on the ways in which fear and doubt are so unnecessary because you are safe in the knowledge that you cannot make a mistake about your fate. You can choose the long road to get to the milestone: but you cannot miss the milestone. Allow that knowledge to comfort you and know that you don’t have to try so hard to make your fate happen. Relax: It’s coming! It must.

I’m excited to read your experiences with fate. Do you believe in fate or do you think you make your own destiny? Comments, thoughts and questions are welcomed. If you enjoyed reading this post, please do share it! Thank you!

Next Week: F is for ‘Forgiveness’.

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