Adam Neal – Poli-Psi: The Politics of Psychic Practice, Part I

In this three-part feature, we will discuss the politics, dynamics, and ethics of psychic exchange.

The ongoing arguments against psychic practice echo the same “reasoning” of the self-proclaimed ‘godless,’ whose certainty of the comprehensible, fully understood nature of the universe at this moment presumes a transcendent knowledge that no man could (or will ever) acquire. Psychics are blamed for not perceiving perfectly, or not perceiving omnisciently, and consequently, like the divine, allowing bad things to happen to good people.

1. “Some psychic! She told me before I married my husband that he was a perfect choice for me. Turns out he’s been shacking up with another woman since a month after our wedding!” — Sydney, 27

2. “If she’s psychic, why didn’t she know during my reading that my wife would be dying in a horrible car accident only a week later?” — James, 39 (to be discussed in part 2)

3. “If he’s legitimate, why can’t he just solve all the ‘Missing Persons’ cases for the cops?” — Sharon, 68 (to be discussed in part 3)

As the liberal fathoms the plight of the lower class, the democrat champions the cause of the middle class, and the republican of today seethes at perceived injustices upon the upper class, the psychic must operate blind to class, despite whatever sociopolitical leanings or personal desires his or her ego feels. After all, when it comes to modern politics, everything revolves around ego and its influence. Talking heads make judgmental points suiting their own biases and agendas, and every politician’s act is performed with a sense of his or her ubiquitous reputation on the line.

Jeremy Smith, "Window On The Med"
Jeremy Smith, “Window On The Med”

And this is only the dimension we perceive by default, saying nothing of the subtle realms we must engage with intently to gain even the slightest access. Why, in this continuing culture of consumption and external excess, should we commit ourselves to making an effort to attain awareness of something the majority has decided must be as self-evident as opening one’s eyes to understand the surrounding world? Why would any divine force be so illogical as to give us eyes we can shut, mouths we can shut, even sphincters we can shut, but ears we can not?

So, as ‘human nature’ has encouraged throughout the history of our species, we look to those who can do with less effort what it would take us unknowable effort to achieve. They become our celebrities, and they become our scapegoats. Unwittingly, psychics have become part of a global movement toward unifying politics, science, and spirituality. But the success of this movement is governed only by those psychics who do not succumb to the spell of megalomania, of narcissism, of greed, and of infallibility.

Psychics complicate our sense of right and wrong, and for that they must either be extolled or vilified, based solely on the ego of the experiencer.

1. During her reading with a well-respected clairvoyant, Sydney was overjoyed to hear her question about marrying the “right” man answered so positively:

“Yes!” the psychic told her. “I’m seeing you evolve beautifully in this relationship. Your sense of self, your self-image…it’s all going to benefit.”

“That’s so great!” she had responded.

“Does he do any artwork, visually?” the psychic asked.

“Not that I know of,” Sydney responded neutrally.

“I keep seeing a picture getting drawn. Like, something I keep feeling like he drew,” the psychic explained.

Sydney laughed heartily. “That’s my fiance!” she yelled.

“But he isn’t an artist?” the psychic answered, perplexed.

“No, his name. His name is Drew!”

Sydney left confident that the psychic was incredibly in tune, and she went on to have the wedding of her dreams. But only a year later, Sydney’s world collapsed when she arrived at Drew’s office late one night to surprise him, only to find him with a younger female colleague.

A month later, heartbroken, she called the psychic livid.

“You told me he was perfect for me!” she ranted.

“I only give what spirit has me give. If I told you that, it’s because he was perfect for you. You needed him as part of your soul’s evolution.”

Later, upon listening to her audio recording of the fateful session, Sydney noted that at no time did the psychic say that she and her new husband would be perfect together, or that they would even stay married. The psychic had received impressions of Sydney flourishing as a result, but it would have nothing to do with the success of the marriage as a union.

This deeper understanding of “right” and “wrong” becomes further complicated upon observing it through the lenses of politics and religion:

Politically speaking, what is “on the books” about Sydney’s exchange with the psychic is that Sydney was ‘misled’ about the impending marriage to her soon-to-be ex-husband Drew. The psychic gave her a positive impression of the upcoming marriage, and it is now ending in divorce. Politics says that Sydney has endured indisputable pain, financial hardship, and irreparable psychological damage as a result of her philandering husband, all of which could have been avoided if she had not married him. Of course, politics would also protect the psychic, as Sydney was under no obligation to marry her cheating husband, and the psychic’s optimistic “prediction” in no way constitutes coercion to make this or any other choice resulting in an unfavorable outcome. In fact, most psychics are protected legally by disclaiming their services as “For Entertainment Purposes Only.” Any decision prompted by or encouraged during a reading is still subject to the client’s fully acknowledged personal responsibility.

From a religious standpoint the psychic is either an absolute blasphemer or to be commended. Marriage, from a religious standpoint (in Western culture, specifically), is a sacred rite of passage meant to be undertaken by those couples who seek to pledge their loyalty to one another for the duration of their physical lives. By encouraging the marriage, the psychic was aiding Sydney on an important spiritual rite, ensuring that she did not deny the legitimacy of her feelings for Drew by keeping herself sinfully unbound to him.

On the other hand, if the psychic encouraged the marriage for the sole purpose of Sydney’s personal advancement, this would be a defiant act of sacrilege. For then the sanctity of the marriage is thrown into question as a merely ephemeral ploy for individual advancement. This would be using marriage as a kind of self-serving exercise, rather than the endless religious commitment to another and “G-d” of that religion tells us it is meant to be.

Ultimately, it is Sydney who must make the determination as to whether the psychic’s contribution to her life has been beneficial or detrimental. Quite often, those who receive readings become decidedly neutral about their psychic exchanges.

People mistake psychics for miracle workers, when they are truly meant to be messengers.

Unfortunately, if you want something ego-based and/or seemingly positive, despite a myriad of accuracies a psychic may receive about your physical and spiritual life, you will only focus on the frustration and disappointment of not having the psychic ‘give you what you want,’ so-to-speak. Psychics such as Echo Bodine and Sonia Choquette caution practitioners about telling clients what you think they want to hear. It is the psychic’s responsibility as a spiritual practitioner not only to offer messages and information honestly, but also to refrain from imparting insight that would impinge on a seeker’s spiritual evolution. Like in the case of Sydney, even if her psychic had foreseen Drew’s infidelity, it may not have been something the psychic chose to share.

How often in life do we say of a trauma or impacting event:
“I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it hadn’t happened”


“As awful as it was, something unexpectedly good and necessary came out of it.”

These may sound like simple justifications on the surface, but this retrospective wisdom is our soul’s recognition of the ‘big picture.’ Our egos and their accompanying mortal fears will never allow us to make light of death, to venture into the murky ethics of framing someone’s death as necessary, or, even worse, positive in some way. To do so would be inhuman. Of course, the spiritual world governing ours is not human, it is far greater. Therefore, we must accept our place in the universe and what people working on behalf of the divine are able to share.

Adam A. Neal

First published on Adam’s blog, Paranormalyte, on Apr. 18, 2014.

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