What does it mean to be Psychic?

Who’s new to ‘Woo Woo’?

I’m in something of a rut on my spiritual path – or well, I was until very recently – and decided to work through Sonia Choquette’s book “The Spiritual Pathway” to kickstart my spiritual work again. Her first chapter emphasizes reflection on what it means to be a psychic and normally I would start this kind of semantic exploration with a dictionary definition.  Unfortunately, i found that route to be mostly unhelpful this time.  Digging into my own mind, i was surprised to find that – where the dictionary definition was overly broad – my own definition of psychic was overly narrow and focused entirely on persons who could “see” the future or knew things about me that I didn’t tell them.  In fact, mentally, I clearly segregated my own non-physical experiences as “energetic” in nature and didn’t think of them as “psychic” at all, even though they would have easily fallen under the dictionary definition.  Adding to my confusion on the subject, my own belief that energy is at the root of everything and my views regarding how psychic  talent works at an abstract level make it seem like it would be a natural fit to think of myself as ‘psychic.’  Yet, despite my moderate experience with energetic events over the last 15-18 years, I still feel great resistance to thinking of myself as ‘a psychic’ or even just ‘psychic.’  Why?

I ruminated on this for awhile, surprised to find myself wide awake this morning still mulling over the problem.  As a very first distinction, I noted that ‘a psychic’ seemed to be a professional in the field of psychic work much like ‘a carpenter’ or ‘a lawyer’ etc.  So it makes sense that I wouldn’t think of myself falling into this category; I work in IT.  It’s curious that psychic is both an adjective and a noun in common use.  You can be ‘a psychic’ or you can be ‘psychic’ – but you can’t be ‘a carpenter’ or ‘carpenter.’  After letting this thought unfold, I found a more analogous example in sports.  If someone is ‘a basketball player’ as an adult this suggests – at least on some level – that they are playing basketball as a career.  However, a person can play basketball without being ‘a basketball player.’  This helped clarify my thinking on the subject and my mind went even further with it to show me why I don’t think of myself as ‘psychic.’  Imagine you are plopped down in the middle of a basketball court while a game is going on.  You don’t know the rules and are unfamiliar with the game even as a spectator.  Clearly you recognize something very active is going on around you; there’s a lot of running and shouting and throwing – and maybe occasionally a ball wings your way and you catch it out of self-defense.  Someone on the court motions for you to throw the ball to them and you do.  Now, are you really playing basketball in this scenario?  I would argue no.  For me, the idea of being ‘psychic’ even only in the adjectival form denotes some form of control or understanding of the situation that I simply don’t have.  I’m like the clueless person on the court who’s just trying to figure out how to stay out of people’s way.  Thus far, when I have had an energetic experience, I haven’t been able to tell what was happening at a detail level.  I had some guesses and inklings, but nothing definite and no real way to confirm.

So what have the psychics got that I haven’t got?

I believe that energy is everywhere around us and that such energy contains information.  I believe that people we (or at least I) traditionally think of as psychics are able to “interpret” or “translate” this energetic information better than most people. (This interpretation can take many forms; visions, hearing things, just ‘knowing’ things, etc.) I once read a book that talked about psychic talent in an illuminating way; painting the following scenario.  Imagine you are on the street and see a car barreling towards an intersection.  Now imagine someone is on the corner of a rooftop on a nearby building and shouts that there is going to be an accident.  From their vantage point, the person on the rooftop could see that there were two cars on perpendicular streets heading for the same intersection.  It’s  possible the accident wouldn’t have happened.  One of the drivers could have stopped.  However, the point is that the rooftop person could see the way the cars were moving, and had an understanding of how they would probably end up.  In the case of the psychic, we all have access to the same energetic information, but their gifts allow them to more easily translate it into a vision about someone’s life or a prediction of the future.

Psychics are human, as we all are, and their interpretive skills aren’t perfect.  Many years ago I went to a psychic who told me my mother would do something in real estate.  I responded that I was pretty sure that wasn’t going to happen.  She re-asserted it and again I said, “I really don’t think so.”  After a long pause she finally said, “I see a woman in front of a computer screen and there’s a house price on the left and a description on the right.”  Instantly I straightened, “Oh!” I said “That’s me – I work for a real estate office part-time while I’m in school and that’s an exact description of the software we use.”  Relieved, she exhaled a sigh and confessed, “I saw that image, but only saw the person from the back and figured you were too young so I assumed it was your mother.”  The information about my job was hanging around in my energy and her psychic ability picked it up and translated it perfectly into an accurate snapshot of my life – but her further extrapolation of what was going on in that picture, her very human thought process, led her astray in interpretation.

So, what DOES it mean to be Psychic?

To return to the question that set us off in the first place; in a way I suppose we are all psychic, at least based the dictionary definition of the term.  There is energy around us everywhere and we all pick up on the information floating about in that energy from time to time – whether we like to admit it to ourselves or not.  Our skills vary in this regard – mine happen to be on the lower end and I know will be too shy to call myself ‘psychic’ for some time to come.  However, if you are comfortable with the term, you should embrace your inner psychic with relish.  Being psychic is just one more way we can engage with and share in the amazing mystery that is the Universe.

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