Tag Archives: philosophy

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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Next week, R is for ‘Responses’: Have your Question Answered with a Free Reading or Coaching Advice!

To thank you for being loyal fans and subscribers, I am offering the chance for you to have an issue or question resolved in the form of a coaching session or reading. Do you want help finding a new job? Would you like to find love but not sure where to start? Do you want to be happier and healthier? etc.

Please contact me via a comment, email or facebook message with the question or issue you’d like help with. Write ‘coaching’ or ‘reading’ after your question to let me know which you’d like. My coaching sessions and readings normally cost $60-$100 – this is your chance to receive my services free of charge! I will choose a selection of your questions to answer in next weeks post, which will be a podcast – remember to tune in to find out if your question was selected, and to receive your advice. Thanks for your continued support – I look forward to working with you!

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M is for Mediumship: The Truth About My Work as a Medium.

spirit, link, light, energy, medium, mediumship, love, meditation

I have been serving as a medium for so long now that I feel I constantly live with one foot in physical reality, and one foot in another non-physical world. The title of ‘medium’ doesn’t mean much to me because the presence of a consciousness-based, non-physical reality is as much a part of my everyday life as the physical world we live in. My ability to communicate with non-physical people has influenced the way I live my life so greatly that to me, consideration of the non-physical is utterly natural and normal.

I have never really spoken about the exact process that I go through to connect with a person in Spirit. I have never explicitly offered the truth about how it all works…and that’s because I know whole-heartedly that I do not know the truth. What I know is my truth. I’d like to share my truth with you, and give you an honest and clear account of my experience with Spirit. It will make sense to some of you, and it will be nonsense to some of you, but it is what it is.

In a way, I chose the role of medium, and in a way, I did not. I keep choosing to be a medium in the sense that I keep doing it, but I also cannot fully explain how I got to the position where I can choose it. So I believe, on some level, that the experience of mediumship chose me. Just as any natural ability chooses any host, seemingly before birth.

Developing the ability to communicate with a person who is not in a physical body, is like developing the ability to paint a beautiful work of art whilst wearing a blindfold. Of course, it can be done, but it takes practice, trust, repetition and a subtle awareness beyond physical sight.

There is such an exchange of love that occurs through a strong mediumistic connection that each party involved wants to experience it again and again, like being in the company of someone who makes you feel really great. The love that is exchanged is nourishing to the person in Spirit, the medium and the recipient. The loving energy that travels between us is a Universal language- it is understood and experienced exactly the same for physical and non-physical people because it is the thread that connects us all. This beautiful exchange gives power to itself, propagating itself, thus creating the desire in all parties to repeat the experience. This repetition facilitates improvement in communicative capability for the communicator, the medium and the recipient, as each becomes more familiar with their role.

The more I choose to have love in my life- the more love I deliberately give, share, and receive- the better a medium I become. Practising love in my own life improves my understanding of the love shared between others: both physical and non-physical people. For me, appreciation of love is the fuel of the mediumistic connection. Love is the electricity that makes the communication possible.

I love every day, I give thanks every day and I make the presence of the spirit world a conscious and deliberate part of my life every day. When I get up on the platform, I have no idea who is going to come forward from Spirit, or what I’m going to say. That may seem terrifying, but I have spent all day, all week, all of my life, developing the trust that someone will be there. The moment on the platform is not the moment to lose that trust, it’s not fair on the people in Spirit who have shared themselves with me and therefore given me something to trust in the first place. I stand to speak – always nervous – I will often introduce myself, warming to the audience’s energy and getting a sense of their collective mind. As the energy builds and I adjust to their wavelength – and they to mine – I begin to get a sense of someone standing with me – a non-physical person- who arrives in a manner similar to ‘the sense of being stared at’, like an awareness of someone present behind me. Sometimes it’s a sudden feeling, sometimes it occurs to me slowly over seconds or even minutes. It’s at this time that I know that the collective beacon of energy that the audience and I are sending out has been successful in drawing people from Spirit towards us, and that people in the non-physical world have been able to use our collective energy (from our presence, our bodies, our prayers, laughter and singing) to take on a strength of form that can impress upon my consciousness. This ‘impression’ is a whole-istic experience for me. I often get a sense of the person standing at my shoulder: their age, height, build and gender. I may feel a sensation on my body indicative of how they died. They may place an object into my hand or instill a particular emotion into my heart. I may see a scene in my imagination relevant to them, or to you, the recipient. I don’t know for sure, but I believe from years of experience, that the blend of my energy with the energy of the person in Spirit creates differing mediumistic expressions, by its uniqueness. I believe that this energy is electromagnetic, active on levels quantum and smaller, and that this energy is inter-dimensional, although I do not have the ability to prove this – I don’t think any of us do, just yet. I believe in the scientific method and open-minded experimental endeavour and I believe that it will eventually provide us with the answers.

As your loved one comes closer to me, your acknowledgement and love continues to fuel the experience. Your loved one will search through the filing cabinets of my consciousness, looking for information, searching for things to point out, names that I know, places that I have been, experiences that I have had, in order to help me put their essence across in the truest way possible, and I try my best to interpret (or not), explain (or not) and understand (or not) as they direct me. Sometimes I totally get what they are trying to say, and sometimes I don’t- just as is true with a communication with any physical person.

When the communication is drawing to a close, I feel the person’s energy begin to wane, like losing a mobile phone signal or becoming distracted.

And that’s it. When the session of communication is over, I thank you, I thank your loved ones who reside in the Spiritual world and I go home. To me, mediumship is both the most magical experience, and the most mundane. Both extraordinary, and incredibly ordinary. Both interesting through a spiritual lens, and a scientific one, where love takes on the form of energy, and energy, the form of love.

****

Do you wonder if people in Spirit can see you in the loo? Do you wonder if you have to pick who to spend eternity with when you die? Do you wonder what happens to skeptics/religious people when they die? Do you have a burning question about mediumship that you simply must ask? Ask your mediumship-related questions in a comment and I will do my humble and limited best to answer them…

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M is for ‘Movies’: 11 Awesome Films and Documentaries About Spirituality.

Watching spiritually themed films can help you to feel inspired, uplifted and moved. This makes a nice change from watching movies with ridiculously unrealistic ‘romantic’ sex scenes that make you and your wobbly bits feel inferior; or scenes of violence that glamourize guns and portray punching someone in the face as a viable problem-solving strategy.  So for you Sensitives who prefer to fill your brains with more philosophical fayre, here are my top 11 movies and documentaries about spirituality, in no particular order. Click on the movie poster to watch the trailer. Is your favourite missing from the list? Click ‘leave a reply’ at the top left of this page to add your recommendations!

Pay it Forward

spiritual, kindness, gratitude, movie, film, pay it forwardHaley Joel Osment stars as a little boy with a big idea. His teacher sets him the challenge to change the world for the better and the kid takes it literally, doing kind and good deeds in return for a promise that the recipient will go on to do a good deed for someone else. Get the tissues at the ready for several lip quivering and tear stinging moments.

Sirius

sirius, spiritual, ufo, documentary, consciousnessReleased this year, Sirius follows Dr. Steven Greer as he walks the audience through the reasons, motivations and evidence for a UFO governmental cover-up. Prepare to be shocked, confused and amazed. Don’t believe there’s life ‘out there’? This well-made documentary may just make you think again,

What Dreams May Come

dreams, spirituality, consciousness, family, kindness, movieRobin Williams stars as a physician with the worst luck in the world. I won’t spoil it for you, suffice to say that a trip to hell and back is on the cards. This movie will remind you to appreciate everyone you’ve ever loved.

DMT: The Spirit Molecule

science, spirituality, dmt, spirit, consciousnessThis honest and bizarre documentary follows a team of scientists as they attempt to locate and replicate a divine experience using the naturally-occuring chemical DMT. A really interesting watch with a strong basis in science. And yes, all the scientists admit to getting wild on DMT, all in the name of research!

Jeff, Who Lives at Home

funny, movie, spiritual, happy, tearsJason Segel and Susan Sarandon are great as mother and son. This movie tackles the theme of fate, and whether our existence matters, with hilarious consequences. This movie tackles spirituality in a way that I’ve never seen before. I cried at the end.

Wake Up

psychic, angels, tragedy, documentary, consciousness

A challenging documentary about a young man who wakes up one day with the ability to see the dead, angels and aliens. Watch as he goes through psychiatric and medical evaluation finding no explanation for his new and strange view of reality. A great documentary that raises many questions about the nature of death and reality.

HappyThankYouMorePlease

happy, funny, new york, movie, love, indieThis is a hilarious and heartwarming movie about love and kindness- loosely featuring the Law of Attraction and ‘feelgood’ all the way through.

You Can Heal Your Life

hay house, louise l hay, comfort, happiness, law of attraction, affirmationsI must have watched this movie 50 times, pretty much whenever I need an emotional boost! Louise L. Hay plus other Hay House authors guide you through their stories about how they changed their lives, and give advice about how you can too.

Cloud Atlas

cloud atlas, connected, spiritual, beautiful, soul, reincarnationThis gorgeous film, starring Halle Berry and Tom Hanks deals with matters of reincarnation and the one-ness of our consciousnesses and our actions. This is a long, long film…one to be watched when you have a few hours to devote to it.

Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead

healthy eating, diet, juice, vegetables, real life, inspirationalWhat could be more spiritual than looking after your health? This acclaimed documentary follows a very likeable Joe through his 60 day juice fast to come back from the brink of being fat, sick, and nearly dead. Very inspiring stuff.

Signs

signs, ufo, alien, fate, destiny, religion, beliefM. Night Shyamalan’s Signs, starring Mel Gibson, deals with themes of faith, belief and fate in the most bizarre and dire of circumstances. This movie offers a few frights, enhanced beautifully by the emotive soundtrack.

Remember to leave your favourite spiritual movie suggestions in the comments box. Have you seen my recommendations? What did you think?

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G is for ‘Ghosts’. Do Ghosts Exist? An Interview with author and parapsychologist Callum E. Cooper.

Have you ever seen a ghost? Do you believe that ghosts really exist?…and if so, what exactly do we mean by a ‘ghost’?

In an interview with author and parapsychologist Callum E. Cooper, we explore what it is to believe, doubt, and personally experience the presence of ghosts and related paranormal phenomena from both ends of the spectrum of belief. Our interview is almost an hour long, so get yourself a cup of something hot and get comfy if you’re in it for the long haul!

Callum E. Cooper is currently based at the University of Northampton as a PhD researcher

esp, electronic voice phenomena, psychic, paranormal, psi, parapsychology, ghost, poltergeist, telephone calls from the dead, Callu E. Cooper, Cal Cooper

and lecturer of psychology. He is a member of the Society for Psychical Research, an Academic Member of the Academy for Spiritual and Consciousness Studies and a Student Member of the Parapsychological Association. His fields of interest include parapsychology, the psychology of death, human beliefs, psychological research methods and Egyptology. Cooper holds the 2009 Eileen J. Garrett Scholarship (Parapsychology Foundation Inc) and was awarded the Alex Tanous Scholarship Award (Alex Tanous Foundation for Scientific Research) twice over, first in 2011 and then again in 2012.

 

paranormal, psychic, parapsychology, evp, spirituality, life after death

Click here to buy ‘Telephone Calls from the Dead’.

Until Next Week: Can you think of any experiments that would give you enough evidence to believe? I’d love to know if you’ve ever seen a ghost, comment below with your spooky stories!

Next Week: H is for ‘Happiness’.

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F is for ‘Forgiveness’. 5 Reasons Why Forgiveness is the Best Revenge.

5 Reasons Why Forgiveness is the Best Revenge.

Forgiveness Freedom

So, what is so great about forgiveness? Can we really forgive and forget? Have you experienced the healing power of ‘forgiving yourself’?

Someone wise once told me: ‘Unforgiveness is like punching yourself in the face and expecting someone else to feel the pain.’ That being said, why is it that we often find it so difficult to forgive the past and move on with our lives? The answer, I believe, is because we get caught up in the erroneous idea that forgiving equals excusing, condoning or giving pardon to other people’s past behaviour that has really hurt us. When we have been really hurt by someone’s actions, we become so angry, and feel so betrayed and vulnerable, that we just want revenge. Sweet and slow revenge!!

When you have been badly hurt, forgiveness is the last thing on your mind (it’s ok to admit this, you are human!) – you want the perpetrator to understand the pain that they have caused, and to suffer as you have suffered: ‘An eye for an eye…’ and all that. You are so wounded that you cannot forgive and that unforgiveness is a strong fuel that powers your desire for revenge. You feel entitled to vengeance and dishing out retribution feels to be the only salve for your inflamed sense of hurt. And yet…you do nothing. You are a good person and you do not want to go to jail so you resist the urge to batter the perpetrator’s door down with an axe! You swallow down your anger, your hurt, and your need to administer suffering as you have suffered. Over time you get sick, maybe you get angrier, maybe you can’t form meaningful and loving relationships because you cannot trust that you won’t get hurt again. The unforgiveness becomes your dark and poisonous companion who builds a re-inforced wall between you and your natural resting-state of peace.

But it’s not too late to break down that wall! What if I told you that you can achieve the revenge you seek in a way that really will make you feel better, and for which you won’t go to jail? What if I could assure you that it is forgiveness itself, that is the best revenge for past hurts?

‘But what happened to me was really bad. He treated me like garbage, I was abused, I hate this person, I really don’t think I can forgive them.’ I hear you say. If that is so, then the weapon of forgiveness will be even more powerful for you, if you learn how to use it. Get ready to take back the sense of peace that is rightfully yours! Here are some examples of situations that hurt, and 5 reasons why forgiveness is the best revenge…

1. Forgiveness is the best revenge because there is nothing more infuriating to someone who would deliberately hurt you, than you moving on with your life and being happy.

What happened? : My boyfriend of two years cheated on me. I forgave him and I thought that because I had forgiven him, I should take him back. He cheated on me again. I was devastated and hurt and broke up with him immediately. I now hate him, I hate myself fo being such an idiot, and I don’t know if I’ll be able to forgive again. Forgiveness didn’t work for me.

Take revenge! : Forgive him again. Don’t get confused and think that forgiveness means that you have to take him back- it’s not so. True forgiveness actually has nothing to do with condoning the behaviour of a cheating ex. It’s all about you. The extent to which you are willing to forgive is simply the extent to which you are willing to keep giving your cheating ex control of your suffering.

Forgiveness = Taking Control.

When you forgive, you acknowledge that you have been hurt, and you make the choice that hurt will not continue to define you in the present. Of course, you are entitled to grieve when you have been hurt; let yourself get mad, get it all out of your system, and when you’re done, visualize the offender in your mind and say. ‘I forgive you. I release you. I release myself from your control.’ (Go here for more on positive affirmations.)

2. Forgiveness is the best revenge because you’ll live a longer and healthier life.

What happened? : My mother abandoned me as a child. She left when I was 3 years old and I never saw her again. I have felt bitterness towards her all my life. I have often thought about hurting her the way she hurt me. I don’t think I could ever forgive her.

Take revenge! : For a moment, lets forget that this is about your mother. Let’s forget that forgiveness is about anyone or anything outside of yourself. I want you to think about yourself only. Forgiveness is a process that you can go through to bring peace, contentment and physical wellness to yourself. Being in a constant state of unforgiveness is really bad for your health. The emotions associated with unforgiveness cause chemical, hormonal and immune changes in your body which, over an extended period of time, can make you physically ill. Don’t let the past ruin your present and future health. Forgiveness is as much an important part of your healthcare routine as brushing your teeth and eating well! Forgiveness benefits your health in a similar manner to kindness. For an in-depth look at the science behind the health benefits of forgiveness and kindness, head over to Dr David Hamilton’s website.

3. Forgiveness is the best revenge because when you forgive, you take back your own power.

What happened? : My ex-boss was such a bully. Every day he made embarrassing remarks to me and singled me out from the rest of my colleagues when he felt like taking out his rage on someone. I put up with this for 5 years before being made to feel so miserable that I had to leave a job that I essentially loved. I’ll never forgive him for that.

Take revenge! : When you choose to forgive, this is the best kind of revenge because you re-empower yourself. This empowerment comes from recognizing that you have a choice: You can choose to continue to feel hurt, resentful and angry, or, you can choose to take responsibility for your reaction and work on being a person who forgives, even if it is difficult. Recognizing that you have a choice is truly empowering. Bullying is a terrible thing and it is understandable that you would find it difficult to forgive- but ‘finding it difficult’ to forgive is a whole lot better than having no choice at all. You can always make the choice to forgive and release all the tension and anxiety within you, that is embodied by unforgiveness. When you choose to forgive a bully, you release yourself from the feeling of victimization and you can begin to heal. What could be more empowering than that? Give yourself love and positive acknowledgement when you are able to forgive, it is a big ask.

4. Forgiveness is the best revenge because learning how to forgive protects you from Forgiveness dove monkeyfuture hurts.

What happened? : I got scammed! Someone hacked into my bank account and withdrew all my money 4 days before Christmas. I have 2 kids and if it hadn’t been for the generosity of friends and family, Christmas would have been ruined. These soulless thieves left me broke. The people who did this have never been caught and I’m having difficulty forgiving because there has been no justice.

Take revenge! : Forgiveness is the best revenge here because when you forgive, you make space in your heart for two very important questions. First, did you learn anything from this experience? Second, (and this is a hard one!) Is there anything positive that you can take from this experience? If you can forgive, you will be able to see what can be learned. Forgiving, here, has nothing to do with forgiving bad actions, you are using forgiveness for you. Can you imagine forgiving stealing to the extent that you are able to see something very precious in the experience? Visualize having a conversation with the thieves. In your mind say: ‘I forgive you. I know you act out of fear. I wish you love and I hope that you can overcome the things that make you afraid.’ If you are able to do this, you will discover within yourself, that you can protect yourself from future hurts simply by deciding to be a person who forgives. You can choose to be a person who forgives no matter what, and in doing so, you protect yourself from future hurts which are deepened and extended by unforgiveness. Practice forgiving now and you will be able to cope, forgive, and move on in future. Forgiveness can only make you stronger and less fearful when applied in this way…try it!

5. Forgiveness is the best revenge because it really is the cure for feeling sad, angry, frustrated and hurt.

What happened? : My father passed away several years ago. We weren’t on good terms because he was largely absent from our lives when my brother and I were kids. The times when he was around, he was violent and angry. He never apologized or admitted his mistakes and now that he’s gone, I still can’t forgive him. I don’t believe he was sorry and now I’ll never know.

Take revenge! : Some people who hurt you cannot apologize because they have passed away. Some people who have hurt you will not apologize for various reasons. If forgiveness was dependent on the apologies of others, human beings would have blown the world up already. Think of forgiveness like the antidote to a poison. It doesn’t matter how much someone in the past has tried to poison you with anger, hurt, fear, bad behaviour, selfishness, insensitivity etc., you can choose to administer the antidote at any moment. Let that moment be now.

Until Next Week: Practice forgiveness whenever you can. Start with the person in the mirror. You deserve forgiveness, you are a good person, you don’t need to be so hard on yourself. Look in the mirror, put your hand over your heart and say, ‘I forgive you’.

Saw something particularly horrible in the news? Close your eyes and say ‘I forgive you’. Get familiar with what it means to forgive, what it feels like, and why it’s important.

Have you had any inspirational experiences with forgiveness? Is there something that you have struggled to forgive? Comment below- I’d love to read what you have to share.

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Next Week: G is for ‘Ghosts’. I will be conducting a video interview with a very special guest. We will be discussing many aspects of ghostly phenomena…not to be missed!

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mind, psychic, psi, natural, nature

E is for ‘Evidence’. Do Psychic Abilities Really Exist?

I have a theory about how our psychic abilities operate. I do not know for sure, but my 20,000 readings have given me data to work with, time to ponder, and experience upon which to reflect, and my theory is the sum of these parts. I’d particularly like to share with you my thoughts regarding why it is that some people seem to be psychic, and others not. And why the scientific community has had such difficulty in agreeing whether intuitive abilities exist, or not. I’m going to draw upon some of the popular comments that sceptics and skeptics have made, and suggest another way to investigate the problem of inconsistency when it comes to collecting evidence about psychic abilities. That is to pose the question: Why do some experiments yield significant results which confirm that intuitive abilities exist, whereas other experiments yield no such results?

As I write this, I remember one reading that I did that I felt gave great evidence for the existence of psychic abilities, life after death, and the capacity for physical humans to communicate with non-physical humans. I was reading for a woman, discussing her job, when suddenly, in my mind’s eye, I saw a man in his 40s with thick black hair standing next to her. He told me that he was the woman’s father and he told me to mention the number 5. He put his hand up and spread out his fingers, like you would if you were trying to express the number five to someone who is out of hearing range. Now, I have learned not to interfere or argue with these experiences and just do as I’m told, so I stopped what I was saying and told her, ‘Your Dad is standing next to you. He has thick black hair, he’s in his 40s and he said that it’s very important that I mention the number 5 to you.’ A silence hung in the air for a long moment- I had no idea what she was going to say next. She stared at me, wide-eyed and unblinking, and all the colour drained from her face. She swallowed hard and begun to reach for her bag with a shaky hand. I asked her if she was alright and that I hoped I hadn’t upset her- I thought she was going to get up and leave! She didn’t reply, but continued to fumble around in her bag, and before long, she pulled out a photograph and handed it to me silently, before covering her face with her hands. I took the photo from her, and there he was, with his mop of black hair standing with his family. ‘Turn it over,’ she said from behind her hands. I turned the photo over and on the back was written, ‘Dad if it’s really you then say the number 5.’ The digit 5 was circled several times in black biro. She was shocked, but she wasn’t half as shocked as I was!

Being a student of philosophy, I am compelled to interrogate ‘how?’ and ‘why?’ that amazing and meaningful experience happened. ‘That’s just one occasion’, the skeptics amongst you may say, but this is just one example of the kind of repetitive phenomena that I, and other psychics, have had the absolute joy, amazement and bewilderment to be a part of over and over again.

So what’s the problem? Surely this would make news headlines and would be considered irrefutable evidence for the existence of psychic abilities? Well…not so fast. Whatever science says goes, and so far, the scientific community cannot agree on what psychic phenomena is, or if it even exists. In my opinion, the reason that science has so much difficulty ‘proving’ psychic ability under test conditions is two-fold.

First, because scientists have gone way, way off track with what the nature of psychic ability actually is and so many experiments are not fit for purpose.

Second, because, like quantum physics, observation, expectation, prejudice and belief influence psychic transactions, and thus, the outcome of the experiments. This is why the answer is always ‘inconclusive’ after a large amount of data is gathered.

People all over the world are experiencing psychic phenomena every day, and it’s getting more and more common, and of greater and greater significance to people’s lives. The proof is in the empirical data. Sceptics, skeptics and scientists need to admit that their findings are inconclusive at best, and resist the urge to say ‘psychic phenomena does not exist and we are going to prove it’. This is begging the question at issue. People who have experienced psychic phenomena are not anti-science. We trusted science when it told us that penicillin worked, and we all gave the thumbs-up when physical science said they desperately needed to build a Hadron Collider. We want science to have the answer. On the matter of psychic phenomena, we are not trying to be stupid or difficult, it’s just that science cannot falsify my experiences!

I believe that the reason that psychic ability experiments yield inconclusive results is because the scientific method requires that psychic abilities, if they exist, must abide by a law of nature, a formula, or a physical force that works by a set of rules…but why? Who decided that psychic ability takes that form? On what basis is this expectation founded? Every experiment surrounding psychic ability starts off by insisting that psychic ability be subjected to lab-based experimentation. This is a materialist view which requires that everything in existence be physically provable. However, there are, evidently, many, many things that exist that are non-physical, to which psychic phenomena is akin. Dreams, thoughts, love, interests, inspiration, and 94% of the Universe is non-physical, yet no one questions that they ‘exist’, so why are psychic abilities lumped into the ‘physical’ category? You can no more devise a lab-based test to prove the existence of psychic abilities than you could devise a repeatable lab-based test that proves I love my mother. There is no test for ‘I love my mother’. There is no formula that proves beyond doubt. There is no law that can be discovered to which ‘I love my mother’ abides, yet love my mother I do. So, if love were to be subjected to the same ‘repeatable-in-a-lab’ standards that psychic phenomena has been dragged through, science would be forced to conclude that I do not love my mother. Is science right to tell me that I don’t love my mother just because my love cannot be measured by the scientific method? ‘I’m sorry Lauren, I know you think you love your mother but we can’t find any formula that proves it and if you take a look at this graph, you’ll find that you do not, in fact, love your mother because there is no law that governs your alleged ‘love’ so give up this foolish idea ok?’ What an empty life that would be.

Psychic abilities are akin to a feeling, a talent, an artform- not a law of nature, so sceptical scientists need to stop trying to make psychic abilities fit into an irrelevant and erroneous mould, followed by self-congratulation for ‘proving’ that psychic ability doesn’t exist because it hasn’t met the conditions set by their unfounded and close-minded expectation of its nature.

Psychic abilities are easily influenced by a number of factors. Take this analogy:

An artist who is passionate about painting is contacted by a group of scientists who say, ‘We are not convinced that there is any such thing as art. We don’t believe that what you do is art, and we don’t like what you do. To prove that you are an ‘artist’ and that art exists, you need to come into this laboratory, get hooked up to a machine and produce your greatest work under a time pressure, and under the conditions that we set for you. As you do that, we are going to watch you, doubt you and attempt to disprove you. We will judge whether you are good enough or not. We are fit to decide if you are an artist. If you decline then we will tell everyone that you are not an artist and that your declination has proven that there is no such thing as art.’

Do you honestly think that this artist will be able to go to that laboratory and produce the greatest work of his life?! Of course not! Yet, these are the conditions, implied and/or explicit, under which psychics are expected to ‘prove’ their abilities.

Now consider this:

An artist receives a letter from a scientist that says, ‘We are really interested in your art. We are enthusiastic to understand how you produce your work, and we would like to do some research into what makes people believe so deeply in your work. We want to observe you in your own environment, over a period of time, to get a sense of how you work, and what inspires you and to find out if there’s anything new that we can learn about art through your process. We will treat you with respect and we will let you work at your usual, natural pace. Would you give us permission to do that?’

Do you think that this scientist is likely to learn something amazing about art, inspiration and how it is produced? Of course! This scientist may just get to experience this artist’s greatest work from inception to completion because he or she is working with the artist in situ, with open-mindedness and respect.

The frequency and accuracy of psychic phenomena increases with trust, support, encouragement and nurturing. It disappears with doubt, scorn, ridicule and a desire to prove that it doesn’t exist. If any scientist, experimenter, (or even client!) approaches psychic work with a heartful of scorn, condemnation and doubt, then they are never going to experience psychic ability at work. The existence of psychic ability is wholly subjective and depends ENTIRELY on the sum of collective bias. If the majority of people involved in the experiment are supportive, open-minded and encouraging, amazing things will be observed. If most people involved in the experiment are doubtful, scornful, desperate to prove the non-existence of the abilities and are inflexible with their methods then they will get exactly the result they are looking for: little to nil phenomena will show up. The psychic person is just like the artist, expected to produce his or her finest work, being watched by a roomful of doubting eyes, and when he or she fails, the skeptics (who secretly wanted to witness failure all along) give themselves a pat on the back and deem the case closed.

For any sceptics, skeptics, scientists, psychologists or parapsychologists reading this, try this:

Divide your existing data up into two categories: the experiment results of ‘majority of believers involved in experiments’ and ‘majority of skeptics involved in experiments’. You will see that the data findings are congruent with the respective ‘belief’ or ‘doubt’ sum of the group, not because anyone has been fiddling with the digits, or because of nit-picking at the method of experimentation, but because the mental expectation of the majority of those involved influences the outcome. Just like in quantum physics, observation itself, and the conditions of observation, affects the results, outcomes and evidence of psychic experiments, especially when that observations are being made by thinking beings who, knowingly or unknowingly, pour their prejudices and expectatons into EVERY STEP of the experimentation process, many of whom then go on to expect a replicable and unbiased result. It’s impossible!

I have one piece of advice for anyone who wants to experiment to discover whether or not psychic abilities really exist:

Experiment on yourself!

There is always room to doubt the findings, testimony and research of other people, especially if you are skeptical. The nature of psychic ability, like love or preference, is so subjective that the only data you can trust as being true (for you) is data you collect about yourself. Make your decision about what to believe based on that, because it is YOUR truth, and it’s the only truth you’re ever going to get. There is no objective number. There is no objective ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Psychic ability exists insofar as you will permit it to exist.

Check out this video of a well-known skeptic discovering his intuitive abilities for the first time:

Until next time: Practice psychic experiments with a friend whom you trust. Take turns at visualizing a colour. The person who is visualizing, ‘beams’ the colour across to the receiving person, who must write down which colour the sender was thinking of. Try it at different times of the day, at different locations, during different moon phases etc. and see if the results vary as to how many times you get it right or wrong. Whatever your findings are, you have permission to accept that they are true for you. I would love to know what you find and if your psychical connectivity increases over time the more you build trust between you both, and the connection to each other increases. Feel free to share your thoughts and findings by clicking on the comment bubble below.

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Next Week: E is for ‘Ethical Living’.

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B is for ‘Books’: Spiritual Books that I Love!

These recommended books have made it on to my list for a variety of reasons. On this list you will find the amazing, the enlightening, and the downright life-changing! Love to read but not sure what to pick up next? If you passionately peruse the ‘mind, body & spirit’ section of your local bookstore then read on! These 20 books Magic Bookchanged my life and massively impacted my spiritual development and understanding in their own special way. It is with love and gratitude that I share them with you. Each of the titles are active links, click on them to find out more about these wonderful authors. Have you read a spiritual/self-help book that rocked your world? Let us know by clicking the comment bubble!

1. You Can Heal Your Life- Louise L. Hay.

Anything that I can say about this book will fall short of its true power. This is the seminal self help text. Louise’s work is the standard of love, giving, compassion and honesty that many of we writers in the genre aspire to. This book came to me when I was 21. I really needed some guidance as to how to be happy with myself and my life. I was in a place of fear and self-doubt and Louise’s guidance in You Can Heal Your Life snapped me out of it miraculously! I was delighted and honoured to finally meet Louise at I Can Do It- Glasgow in 2012. Over the years I have purchased 5 copies of this book, for various people in my life in their time of need. This book has united and re-united me with significant people in my life and most of all, has re-connected me with myself. Thank you Louise, you, your words and you philosophies are a game changer. Great for: Absolutely Everyone!

2. Seven Experiments That Could Change the World- Dr. Rupert Sheldrake.

My goodness, this book blew my mind. I feel such a sense of excitement when I come across a book that elegantly fuses spirituality and science. Dr Sheldrake does this effortlessly, intelligently and with feeling. Some of the highlights involve pigeons, dogs and telepathy. This book is a manifesto of the new and intuitively correct way of thinking that science and spirituality are co-creative friends and not enemies. He offers experiments with a ‘go ahead and try it, see for yourself!’ attitude, which is irresistible! Read it, it’s brilliant. Great for: Spiritual Scientists.

3. How Your Mind Can Heal Your Body- Dr David R. Hamilton.

Dr. Hamilton is my hero. He is a fellow Scot who has given me amazing advice (and has previously worked at my University!). This book is phenomenal. You will say ‘wow’ at some point when reading. His research into the placebo effect and the power of intention and visualization is fresh, evocative and exciting and the application of it has the potential to change the way we ‘think’ about wellness and treat dis-ease. Is your mind the most powerful medicine to ensure your wellness? Dr Hamilton and I think YES! and he expresses it beautifully. Great for: Anyone who wants to feel more empowered about their health.

4. Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway- Susan Jeffers.

Susuan Jeffers’ most well known work is so simple and effective. It explains fear and how to move forward from it, through questions. Questions which cause the book to become a mirror in which the readers is reflected in all his or her glory. It is a wonderful technique. Read this book and know yourself better. Great for: Anyone about to take a leap!

5. Many Lives, Many Masters- Dr Brian Weiss.

The most compelling thing about this book is that it is written by a man who you cannot help but trust and believe. He is so intelligent and sincere. Dr. Weiss was having difficulty treating one of his patients who was suffering from debilitating fear. He tried hypnosis as a last desperate attempt to understand his patient- you will be shocked and inspired by what happens next. Let me put it like this, if you have never believed in life after death or reincarnation, prepare to think differently! Great for: Anyone who has experienced deja-vu.

6. The Prophet- Khalil Gibran.

I think Khalil Gibran channeled the words of this book/poem. The resonance of the words are so high that they seem to be of Spirit. I won’t spoil it for you. Run a bath, light some candles and read it. Put it away for a day, then get it out and read it again. You’ll be moved. Great for: Lovers of Philosophy and Poetry.

7. The Road Less Travelled- M. Scott Peck.

An extremely interesting look into the human psyche, outlooks and behaviours. With anecdotes, brave comments and case studies. Although it is never expressed directly, this book has a very strong spiritual and loving vein running through it. This book is an excellent read which makes psychology and psychiatry an artform. Great for: Armchair Psychiartists.

8. Teen Witch- Silver RavenWolf.

I got this book when I was 15. When I decided to include it in this list, I had to search for it online to remind myself of the cover art. As soon as I saw the cover design, it was like looking into a box of photos and memories from my childhood: many emotions and feelings came rushing back. Teen Witch was the first book about spirituality that I ever read! This book is an introduction to magick for young people. It focuses significantly on nature, the earth and empowerment and that’s why I love it. This book really got me started on a spiritual path and I highly recommend it to any young person who has an interest in wicca or spirituality. Great for: Young Wiccans and Mother Earth lovers.

9. Ask and It Is Given- Esther & Jerry (Abraham) Hicks.

Want to know what is at the core of the Law of Attraction? Get this book. Esther Hicks channels the wisdom of Abraham to explain how Attraction works on a vibrational and energetic level. This book is not an easy read but stick with it, when you get familiar with the ideas, it will have a profound and empowering impact on you. Great for: The Law of Attraction.

10. A Course in Miracles- Dr. Helen Schucman

I am about half way through reading this book, at the time of writing this. Every sentence in ‘A Course in Miracles’ gives me the chills because it is so true, so inspiring and resonates so deeply. Great for: Remembering your God connection. (What could be greater?).

11. The Young Person’s Happiness Handbook- by Me!

I still cannot quite believe that my first book is due out in April! The process of devising and writing this book has been such an amazing experience for me that it had to go on the list! This book is a smart and savvy self-help guide for young people. The focus is on navigating the challenges and achievements of a young adult life with love, awareness, spirituality and humour. I have written the book that I wish someone had written for me when I was 18! Stay tuned for launch date confirmation and your chance to win a free copy! Great for: The young in body and young in spirit!

12. The Alchemist- Paulo Coelho

A wonderful parable and beautiful story. This book has two personalities: The Alchemist before you know the ending, and The Alchemist the second time around! Great for: All you dreamers and mystics!

13. Eat Pray Love- Elizabeth Gilbert.

I laughed, cried and rejoiced along with Liz in this beautiful travel/docu/novel. Liz’s literal and spiritual journey is a whirlwind of beauty, bravery and feeling that many readers will relate to. She writes candidly and insightfully. Julia Roberts plays Liz in the movie adaptation, which I enjoyed, but the book is really something special. Great for: Anyone who has experienced heartbreak.

14. The Lightworker’s Way- Dr. Doreen Virtue.

This is one of Dr Virtue’s earliest works which utilizes a mix of her life experiences, spiritual philosophies and good old love and support to reach out to the ‘Lightworker’ in every reader. Want to see yourself in a more powerful and loving way? You will when you discover the Lightworker within with the help of Dr. Virtue. Great for: Improving low self esteem.

15. Tao Te Ching- Lao Tzu (interpretation by Dr. Wayne Dyer).

One of the oldest books in the world (not my exact copy, it was printed in 2012!) but the messages contained within are timeless. There are some famous phrases in the Tao Te Ching that really stop a racing mind in its tracks and gives it something nutritious to eat. Read it slowly and mull it over. Great for: The deeply philosophical.

16. The Shack- William P. Young.

This is a wonderful and (true?) story about a man who receives an explanation from God about the ‘why’ behind his personal suffering. Get the tissues at the ready and read from the heart. Great for: Opening the mind and heart.

17. Freedom From the Known- Jiddu Krishnamurti.

A clear thinker and wonderfully insightful, spiritual being gives insight about releasing fear and embracing love and self-knowledge. Think you know about love, passion, knowledge, violence and change? This book will enrich your thinking, and if you allow it, your way of living. Great for: Anyone who desires a new or deeper spiritual understanding.

18. Intuitive Studies- Gordon Smith.

I have read A LOT of books about developing mediumship. This book is the most recent I have read, and the best. Gordon Smith is wise, caring and fearless in his explanation and direction for anyone who wants to improve their connection to God and the Spirit world. I have been a medium for 10 years, and I learned so much from this book. Whether you are brand new to mediumship or are looking to approach your mediumship from a fresh, real and enlightened place, read this book, it’s brilliant. Great for: Mediums old and new!

19. Paradise Lost- John Milton.

It may surprise you that Paradise Lost has made it on to this list! It is a formidable force of a poem, and apart from its religious content, you may not think of it as being a very spiritual book. I approached this poem through my University degree, but I had been certificated as an Angel Therapy Practitioner for 3 years already! Having the opportunity to meet the Archangels in a completely different context really helped me to understand them better, it helped me to understand how other people might think about the Angels, and it allowed me to appreciate how the Archangels can assist us in ways that I hadn’t considered before! Paradise Lost is not an easy read, but it is well worth it. The descriptions of the layers of spiritual realms is really insightful and the Angel imagery featured I definitely feel manifested in Milton’s imagination from the Angels themselves. Read it and see. Great for: Those who enjoy a challenging read.

20. Looking Back- Arthur Findlay.

I have a very special place in my heart for J. Arthur Findlay. He is considered one of the most influential men in Spiritualism, and he lived in my hometown, a tiny town in Scotland. Arthur Findlay is best known for donating his absolutely beautiful stately home in Stansted, England, to the study, discovery, development and proving of psychic and mediumistic phenomena. His home is now known as ‘Arthur Findlay College’, where I spent a very happy week obtaining advanced training in mediumship. ‘Looking Back’ is Arthur Findlay’s autobiography which charts his remarkable journey from layman to Spiritualist, through the words of a clever, sceptical and scientific mind. Looking Back is a great read. It is a big thick book, but it’s exciting and interesting so you’ll get through it in no time! Great for: The open-minded sceptic.

I am sure that you will enjoy these recommendations. Read any of these books? Loved them? Didn’t love them? Got recommendations of your own for Spiritual readers? Please share your knowledge in a comment!

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This week, treat yourself to some alone time reading for pleasure.

Next Week: C is for ‘Children’.

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B is for ‘Belief’: A Quick Guide to Vanquishing Your Limiting Beliefs.

We have all experienced the debilitating force of limiting beliefs, the most damaging of all being: ‘I can’t…’.

I hold an uncommon view about how the relationship between belief and knowledge comes to shape reality.  According to what I know spiritually, the belief/knowledge interaction is co-creative and co-dependent. Our beliefs are just as important as conceptual knowledge, and each informs the other.  Our reality is constructed from a dense and complicated web of beliefs and knowledge. Beliefs are powerful because they inform our words and actions, this is particularly so of the beliefs we hold about ourselves. We can harness the power of belief to create wonderful opportunities in our lives, but in order to do so, we have to learn to vanquish the beliefs that we hold that limit us. The following points are some things to consider when choosing what to believe…

Belief and knowledge are not separate things:

Without belief, knowledge would not exist. Everything that we know began somewhere, sometime, as a belief, a hunch, an abstract idea floating on the ether. Belief is the acorn from which the Oak of knowledge grows. oak tree

Albert Einstein famously said, ‘There is no logical way to the discovery of elemental laws. There is only the way of intuition, which is helped by a feeling of the order lying behind the appearance.’- Thank you Albie, they don’t call you Einstein for nothing! In order for a scientist to discover knowledge, the direction of study must be influenced by something.  The scientist must believe that their study is heading off in the right direction, so his/her intuitive belief is the foundation for whatever knowledge is discovered. See what else I have to say about scientists in this post.

‘I believe that the Earth revolves around the Sun.’  This belief fuelled study, expermentation and, importantly, determination, to find what can be known about the Sun and the Earth.  Without belief, without the sense that something will be proved, there is no direction or momentum towards knowledge. Considering this, it seems to me that the power of belief should get a little more respect than it does.  Einstein knew that beliefs are what propel us towards knowledge.  Without belief, we could prove or demonstrate no knowledge- we wouldn’t know where to start.  Think about it.  Most of the information that we consider to be true knowledge started off as a hunch, a belief, an intuition in the mind of a scientist, philosopher or mathematician.

Belief is as ‘real’ as knowledge:

Allegedly, the thing that makes knowledge better than belief is it’s relationship to truth.  When we have knowledge about something, when it is ‘known’ then it has to be true.  I disagree with this on most, but not all, distinctions between belief and knowledge- and my beef is with truth.

What is truth? Say, you and I are both looking at a colour. I say it’s green, you say it’s blue. Who is telling the truth? The colour cannot be both green and blue, but surely it is either green or blue.  Someone has to be wrong- or the concept of truth is wrong. If I see green from my subjective perspective then that is 100% true to me. If you see blue, that is 100% true to you, based on a lifetime of empirical information gathered from seeing that colour and others.  So with the exception of a priori truths (check me out, getting my philosophy lingo on!) it seems like the concept of truth necessary to engender knowledge actually looks suspiciously like a belief. I am not suggesting that knowledge is not true. I am suggesting that under some circumstances, beliefs deserve as much of a truth-bearing status as knowledge.

What can we really say is 'true' about this image?

What can we really say is ‘true’ about this image?

Belief and knowledge are equally real in that they both shape our reality. What we believe informs our conversations, actions, reactions, passions, emotions etc. What we believe shapes every part of how we act in our lives and that action occurs in reality. Belief and knowledge are synergetic- what we believe becomes what we do becomes what we know becomes what we believe and so on.  Albert Einstein said that, ‘The only source of knowledge is experience.’…and the experiences we have are caused by our beliefs.

We ought to monitor our beliefs and ask ‘why do I believe this?’:

Your beliefs hold the key to your actions, interactions and transactions. Making the effort to understand, edit, reflect upon and choose what to believe will change your life.  This is especially true with regards to your beliefs about yourself. The insignificance currently attributed to beliefs (especially in the realms of science and philosophy) allows them to sneak in the back door of our consciousness without us noticing. Beliefs take hold in our consciousness and begin to colour the way we understand ourselves and our life experience, often without us realizing that it’s going on!

Who gave you the beliefs you hold? Have you questioned them and thought them through? When you really consider it, how much do your beliefs about yourself shape the way you act in the world? Are you happy with that? Could you believe something different about yourself that would influence and cause a better life experience for you? For more on ‘what you believe is what you receive’ see this post.

I am very interested to read your thoughts about beliefs. Have you ever believed something and then radically changed

Your beliefs shape your reality.

Your beliefs shape your reality.

your mind? Do you feel like your beliefs are fluid or fixed? What do you believe about yourself right now? Do you notice any difference between what you believe and what you know, when it comes to the shaping and formation of your life?

Until next time, I want you to stand toe-to-toe with a limiting belief that you hold about yourself. See it in your mind and visualize it vaporizing. For one week (and forever!) replace that belief with a positive, loving and empowering belief about yourself and see what happens to your life. Then try and tell me that belief is less true and less important than knowledge!

Have a great week, and keep knowing what you believe and believing what you know!

I welcome your comments and questions!

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Next Week: B is for Books.

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