I guess you could call this a trigger response, after the nearly miraculous rescue of Amanda Berry, Georgina DeJesus and Michele Knight from a Cleveland home last Tuesday a story surfaced about the parents of the one of the girls being informed by “noted psychic” Sylvia Brown that her daughter was in fact deceased, drowned I believe is how she put it.
On the one hand, I’d comment that people who run around soliciting folks like Sylvia Brown or (Bob Edwards) are just fooling themselves. These people don’t have any magical special psychic powers. They may be sensitive, but that’s not special any more than the ability to drive a car is special or the ability to write. Being sensitive is a skill, nothing more. But unlike most psychics out there, I know it’s not supernatural, it’s psychological.
The human mind is similar to a massively parallel computing system. Information coming from a wide variety of sources is processed and the results ‘compete ‘ with each other using criteria based on individual’s unique personality. The final results or predictions are then turned over to the conscious mind for action. Some people are able to plumb the sea of sensual data and return results by ways that seem magical to the uninitiated. For example; Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s character Sherlock Holmes describes one who is very attune to his environment. he is able to pull out clues and reach conclusions using information that other people miss or believe to be insignificant. Nobody would accuse Doyle’s character of being psychic! He’s just an attuned individual – kind of a savient (and a drug addict too.)
There are real people like Sherlock Holmes out there. Some are so sensitive that they can get inside the minds of criminals and predict future activities. Many law enforcement agencies have predictive analysts on staff, the rising popularity of computer information mining coupled with modeling has (predictably) created whole new industries which do nothing but make predictions based on large amounts of unconnected data.
The point is, people like Sylvia Browne are possible, however there is nothing psychic about it. They don’t have special powers, they are just like anyone else. Except that they are able to pay attention to stuff most people ignore. Then, if the have a bent for such things they run around and play their “hunches” as magically revealed “truths” from the spirit world.
There are some sick people who create psychic courses and career paths leading would-be sensitives down a road of trickery and charlatanism. Sometimes they even influence little children to believe that they are super psychics instead of just very imaginative little kids.
Then there are the pathetic self-deluded types who (occasionally) have the best intentions, however their self-delusions get them into a state where whatever common sense they might have gets lost.
But the most awful are the persons represented by Ms Browne who systematically prey on the emotions of vulnerable people. They feed on folks who might have lost a loved-one or who need counseling over a trauma in their lives. These “magical parasites” leach onto the emotions of people they should just leave alone.
If people want to be professional consulars, there are very clear career tracks to doing that. Unfortunately that means going back to school and earning a degree (all the smart-cats are doing this.) Or you could end up like Silvia Browne who’s riding a horse she can’t get off of.
Share and enjoy!
Further reading – some of this is stomach churning.