Psychic ability is proficiency in any one of, or in a number of, many different abilities. It is the ability to gain information by a way other than using the five bodily senses. Telepathy and precognition are examples of psychic ability. Psycho-kinesis also falls under the umbrella of psychic ability - the ability to alter, move or influence the behaviour of material objects using mental power alone. We shall look at the different types of psychic ability later.
Theoretical physics is beginning to show us that our common conceptions of matter are just that - conceptions or mental constructs, and that a deep penetration into the nature of matter, space and time opens the door to the possibility of psychic phenomena being real. Experiments are beginning to show that mind can indeed influence matter, something that popular culture has known all the time, reflected in the expression "mind over matter" that many intone to stiffen their resolve to overcome obstacles, illness and trauma. Psychic researchers have been showing us for nearly 130 years that psychic experiences are very common and psychic abilities can be genuine and are not all fraud. We do not yet, however, have a scientific model to adequately explain them. Spiritualists know that they result from our nature as spirit beings encased in physical bodies. Spirit appears to have the property of non-locality. Our bodies can be in one location, but our minds can be picking up information, sometimes as it happens, from a far-distant location, either through telepathy or remote viewing. The study of alternate states of consciousness shows us that if we can somehow lever the mind out of its habitual, so-called "Beta-mode" of brain activity - the "left-brained", analytical, logical, deductive, intellectual, stressed-out, multi-tasking mode, we can open ourselves up to a much larger reality that can go beyond our ability to properly comprehend. dreams, symbols, metaphors, insights, intuition, inspiration, synthesis, are the hallmarks of these alternate states of consciousness. Alternate states of consciousness are sometimes classified as "right-brained activity", which has also been called the "Alpha mode" of consciousness because "alpha brain-rhythms" accompany them. Lower than the alpha brain rhythms are the theta and delta brain rhythms, which are accessed in trance mediumship and physical mediumship. The beta-mode of consciousness has its place in our earthly lives. It is a necessary mode of operation for all of us to negotiate our way in the physical world. Sadly, it is all that some people ever know. It will limit them to knowledge of this world only if that is the case. When genuine mental mediums and psychics are working as such, they are operating in the "alpha-mode" of consciousness, in which they are open to a larger reality breaking through.
Nevertheless, psychic experiences can happen to anyone, religious believer or atheist, "psi-accepter" or sceptic alike. They can often be sudden or dramatic in their manifestation. They often occur around momentous events, times of crisis and times of change. Psychic abilities begin with hunches and intuitions. The more we pay attention to our hunches and intuitions and trust them, the more we will be rewarded by stronger hunches and deeper, more detailed intuitions, and the more frequent they will become. Spiritualists believe that psychic experiences and abilities bring us closer to the Spirit World. Many psychic experiences have an other-worldly component and many seem to occupy an intermediate state between psychic ability and mediumship. It is also true that some people have to develop their psychic abilities before mediumistic abilities can develop.
There are many different types of psychic ability, and furthermore there are many different ways in which these abilities are channelled or used. On this page we shall make a brief survey of the many different types of psychic ability and how they are used.
Animal Telepathy - The ability to communicate meentally with the mind of an animal, particularly a loved animal or pet. Many pet owners experience this.
Astral Projection - The ability to project the spirit body out of the physical body and travel in that body to another place. The mind being a part of the spirit body rather than the physical body, the experiences will be of the spirit body's location, not of the physical body's location.
Aura Reading - The ability to see and interpret the aura, or energy fields that surrounds all living beings.
Clairaudience, (as experienced by psychics rather than mediums) - This ability is used to hear what is "inaudible". A person with this ability might hear a person close to them calling to them, when they are perhaps many miles away.
Clairvoyance, (as experienced by psychics rather than mediums) - This ability allows the psychic to see what is hidden or far away. This ability includes remote viewing.
Claircognizance, (as experienced by psychics rather than mediums) - This ability allows the psychic to know that something is true, even though they could not explain how or why they know it.
Clairsentience, (as experienced by psychics rather than mediums) - The ability to feel the bodily aches and pains, and other bodily sensations of another person.
Divination - The different ways of a psychic's ability to see into the future - fortune telling, precognition, prophesy, crystal ball gazing.
Dowsing - A dowser makes use of a rod, sticks, or a pendulum to locate water, oil, minerals, and missing people and missing objects.
Empathy - The ability to sense things about another person, for example: their character, abilities, needs, motivations, suffering, illnesses and emotions. It is by confirmation of this ability that a psychic often first knows of his or her powers.
Levitation - The ability to cause one's body to lift above the ground. Jesus, and many of the Christian saints were claimed to have levitated
Mind Over Matter - Suppressing or mentally satisfying the need for water, food, sleep, even air, as evidenced by the yogis who have been able to stop their hearts, or be buried alive, yet come back to life. It also refers to the more common ability to suppress pain and the symptoms of illness. This is an area of psychic ability that is more associated with mystics, holy men and spiritual masters than with psychics. It seems to be one of the unintended side-effects of great spiritual development. Inedia, the need to go without food for long periods has been reported of several saints and holy people, e.g. Catherine of Siena, Teresa Neumann, most recently of a holy man in India.
Psychometry - The ability some psychics have to pick up impressions of a person from an object connected with them. Some psychometrists can pick up information about an object even when the object is concealed.
Pyrokinesis - The ability to start fires with one's mind.
Psychokinesis or Telekinesis - The ability to move, change or influence material objects and substances using the power of the mind alone without any physical force.
Telepathy - The ability to communicate mind-to-mind with another person.
It is said that all mediums are psychic, but not all psychics are mediums. It is not true that all mediums have all forms of psychic ability. Not all psychics do either. A mental medium is most likely to have the "clair..." abilities in their psychic form, telepathy, the ability to read the aura, the empathic ability, and sometimes the precognitive ability. The main focus of Spiritualism is to live life according to the Seven Principles, or put simply, to live one's life in the light of eternity. The main focus of mediumship is to demonstrate the eternal existence of the human soul, which allows the continuation of each individual personality, conscious awareness and mental functioning after the birth into a new life when the body dies. Spiritualist mediums, therefore, are likely to be much less focussed on using and developing their psychic abilities than their mediumistic abilities. This is not to say that psychic abilities do not have a place in mediumship. Mediums do have to be sensitive to the needs and state of mind of the recipients of their messages as well to the communications being given by the spirit mind. They cannot give every piece of information they are receiving, because it may not be appropriate, particularly in a large assembly of people. It is helpful, then, if a medium has the psychic abilities of empathy and telepathy strongly developed too. In the course of their message giving, good mediums will be also be gathering information about the recipient psychically as well as mediumistically, and will give it if they feel it is appropriate.
Mediums and psychics are both very sensitive to energies - the energies of places and people. A psychic will be sensitive to the difference between their own thoughts, concerns and awareness, and the impressions on their thoughts and awareness gained psychically. If he or she is a good psychic, they will trust their psychic impressions, act on them, and give them if they are appropriate. A medium has this ability too, but in addition the ability to tell the difference between information gained psychically from the sitter or recipient of the message, and the information gained mediumistically. The energies of each activity feel different. Spirit communication usually feels lighter and more uplifting than psychic interaction with the mind of the recipient of the message, which is usually sensed as feeling heavier, of denser energy. This is because discarnate spirit beings have an energy vibration much faster than incarnate beings in this physical world. They have to lower that energy vibration in order to be able to communicate with the medium, while the medium has to raise his or her energy vibration in order to be able to receive that communication. That lifting of energy is not so marked in psychic interaction between people.
As was said in the first section, people often develop mediumistic skills by first developing their psychic abilities, and so various psychic activities and games are sometimes used in workshops and courses aimed at beginners, and some circle leaders will use these too, after the most important part, sitting in circle to receive messages from spirit, is over.
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