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THE PRACTICAL psychic
By John Friedlander, Cynthia Pearson
Samuel Weiser, Inc.Copyright © 1991 John Friedlander and Cynthia Pearson
All rights reserved.
Becoming a Practical Psychic
HUMAN BEINGS HAVE always longed for more power over their lives. The allure of becoming psychic is a reflection of this wish—one that has persisted through centuries and across cultures. It is the premise of this book that mankind's wish has already been granted.
At the end of The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy learns that she has had the power to return home all along, but she didn't know it. When she learns the technique of clicking her heels together, she's immediately on her way.
We provide you with techniques to get you where you want to go, too. The techniques won't be much harder than clicking your heels together. You needn't possess special talents or abilities; you needn't be clairvoyant or telepathic or precognitive. To become a practical psychic, you can be as ordinary as a Kansas farm girl. Everyone reading this book can use the techniques successfully.
The Practical Psychic
The reason you can become a practical psychic is because you create your own reality. Reality creation occurs in an interaction with a greater dimension, which may be called God, or All That Is. Actually, it occurs in a discrete portion of All That Is which has been called the higher self, the oversoul, the ground of your being, the entity, the God of your heart, and other names. We will use the term "deep self."
The deep self seems different from what you ordinarily think of as yourself, and yet your consciousness and reality rise out of it, much as a plant rises out of the earth. At times, you can even experience the entirety of the deep self in a union that many religious mystics have described as a union with God.
Your deep self creates your reality, but does so in a way that reflects your ordinary consciousness. Since the creation of your reality relies upon the interaction of your deep self with your ordinary consciousness, the most effective way to improve your reality is to improve the quality of that interaction.
You, the ordinary you, are already involved in that interaction without being aware of it.
The Conventional Psychic Vs. the Practical Psychic
Usually the term "psychic" refers to someone who has developed paranormal abilities and can consciously make use of them. We call this being a conventional psychic, and John has been one for most of his adult life. His experiences led him to recognize that abilities such as telepathy and clairvoyance were simply efficient techniques for acquiring information. What is far more important, he discovered, is improving the instructions you send to the deep self. This is relatively easy to do because the primary tools for improving those instructions can be accessed with your conscious mind.
Becoming a practical psychic means developing the ability to work consciously and deliberately with the deep self. This book teaches techniques to do that. It provides common sense ways of organizing those techniques within the experience of your everyday life. Conventional psychic talents and abilities are helpful but not required. In fact, people with no psychic gifts sometimes succeed where some conventional psychics fail.
The One and Only You
The relationship between you and your deep self is and will be absolutely unique. The instructions and guidance offered here are not like a recipe with which, upon following each direction precisely, you produce exactly the same dish that the author has concocted. On the contrary, the whole point of becoming a practical psychic is to skillfully cook up your own reality.
William Blake said, "I must create a system, or be enslav'd by another man's" The most important premise of the practical psychic is that each reader and student is embarked on his or her own journey of the soul. Therefore, everything else—practices, exercises, programs, systems—must be in service to each individual path. As you read and begin using the exercises here, understand that they are meant to guide you into your own unique experience.
The Three Steps of the Practical Psychic
According to a great musician, "First you learn how to play notes, then you learn how to play sounds, and then you learn how to play jazz." There is a similar progression for the practical psychic. The exercises you will learn in this book are meant to make it simple for you to work with the deep self. These are the notes you learn to play.
Built into the exercises is the intention that each of you be able to make them work in your personal life. In order to avoid creating an opposition between the material and the spiritual, we encourage you to look to your own life and values to seek and judge what is working for you. This integration and application of psychic techniques into your own life are the sounds you will learn.
Finally, there are deeper lessons built into this approach. It is designed to enhance your engagement—your love, courage and sense of play—in your life. The engagement required to put the pieces together brings you into touch with a vibrant, creative spirituality that flows naturally, like your own spontaneous jazz.
Balance and Harmony
THE FOUNDATION OF THE practical psychic approach is understanding the importance of balance and harmony. You may recall Walt Disney's cartoon version of The Sorcerer's Apprentice. In it, Mickey Mouse plays the title character, a novice who decides to expropriate some of his master's supernatural powers to perform his janitorial duties. Figuring that what worked for the sorcerer should work just as well for him, poor Mickey suffers disastrous results.
The sorcerer's apprentice made the mistake of thinking that mere power could solve his problems. He did not understand that the sorcerer had spent the time needed to learn not only the power of magic, but the balance and harmony necessary to use it. The apprentice used magic as if it were a mechanical operation instead of a mystical approach to living. In order for techniques to be effective, they need to be meaningfully integrated into your life.
The Magic of Reconciling Opposites
Many of us study yoga when we first become interested in consciousness and spirituality. The first thing you learn in yoga is that every time you bend or stretch in one direction, you must bend or stretch in the other.
A practical psychic integrates opposites in this fashion. For example, when you understand that you create your own reality, you might think you can have anything. In a sense, you can, and it's very important to understand the mind-boggling levels of freedom you do have. Your effectiveness as a practical psychic will be severely limited if you are not able to invoke this enormous freedom.
Yet you have to balance this power with a willingness to appreciate whatever manages to happen. The purpose of your experience is to have it. You must be open and receptive to life on its own terms. Appreciate the experience you have, and accept the practical limits on your ability to control life, even as you understand the possibility at every point to change your life for the better. It is precisely such an ability to dynamically balance opposites like these that leads to becoming a practical psychic.
The balance of opposites is not a static one, but a mobile and flexible balance responsive to changing situations. If you are sailing on the ocean and you want to make good time, you will want to raise every sail. If, however, you are caught in a terrible squall, your best strategy will be to lower your sails and ride out the storm. It is the ability to live your life in an everchanging harmony and balance that fills your reality with magic, meaning and grace.
A Psychic Exercise
There are several purposes served in the following exercise, each having to do with enlarging your sense of the possibilities available to you. It has been said that we are "binary thinkers." We tend to break things down into pairs of opposites and seek to understand our world in terms of polarities. Whether the dualities are good vs. evil, war and peace, heaven or hell, the effect is the same—we end up limited to "either/or" conclusions.
Let's take an example near and dear to our hearts. This book is called The Practical Psychic. Obviously, we think that being practical is really important, but if we allowed practicality to become an overriding virtue, we would limit ourselves. Someone obsessed with practicality might lose the ability to be playful or adventurous. At times, being downright silly is not only fun, it is creative!
Whenever you allow any virtue to become obsessively important, that very virtue begins to crowd out the free play and exploration of your consciousness. By cultivating a recognition that every virtue has seeming opposites that can also be virtues, you will be moving a long way toward one of the most important qualities of being a practical psychic— nonjudgmentalness. The development of nonjudgmentalness really frees up your power to be loving, and to flow.
Think of virtues that are of primary importance to you, virtues that seem essential. Then think of some opposites that are favorable, and some synonyms that are unfavorable. Note that the so-called opposites are not really exclusive of one another. You can be both adventurous and practical, for example. However, too great a concern with any one virtue can lead you to ignore other balancing virtues.
The Central Challenge
The central challenge is to apply any psychic approach in balance and harmony. Learning magical techniques is not hard, but simply learning the techniques is not the main objective of the practical psychic. Learning to apply them with grace and common sense is.
Every chapter in this book deals directly or indirectly with balance and harmony. You will be using the power of the deep self, but you must balance and harmonize that power with strong, coordinated conscious efforts, taking practical, worldly steps to reach your goals. You will be learning how to balance making things happen with allowing and trusting them to happen. You will learn balance for—among other things—choice and cooperation, striving and surrendering, taking chances and staying safe.
We like to tell students about John's experience growing up in Georgia. He was a high school football player, a strapping young man, when he went to work one summer as a ditch digger and general laborer. On the job was a potbellied old man who astounded John by digging three times faster than he could. The old man couldn't have had John's strength or stamina, but he did have experience. His integrated know-how was in every way superior to John's raw power. The old man knew when and how to conserve his power; he knew when and how to make subtle adjustments. This is an example of the kind of practical balance and harmony we want to establish.
The first harmony you need to develop is that of the deep self and the conscious self.
Balancing the Deep Self with the Conscious Self
MANY SPIRITUAL SEEKERS are convinced that they are here on earth to rise above their "low" vibrations, or follow the commands of "higher consciousness," as if the very purpose of being human were to rise above their humanness. This is the "Life is a Trick Question" approach. It assumes that life experience is something to escape from. It also assumes that life is some sort of cosmic prank. Such an approach is both negative and misleading, for it neglects the special place in creation occupied by each of its parts, one of which is you.
Jesus said that not even one sparrow falls without God's attention and caring. A sparrow is important not because it will one day evolve into a superior being, but because it is unique and wonderful, in and of itself. At least as much is true of a human being. You may evolve through many incarnations, but your life also has importance and meaning right now. It had importance and meaning yesterday, and it will again tomorrow, no matter how desolate the circumstances in which you may find yourself.
Now the practical significance of the "non-trickiness" of your life is enormous, though not immediately obvious. It means that you, at each moment, have a simple, accessible tool to make your life more meaningful and pleasant. That tool is, believe it or not, your conscious mind.
To fully appreciate the power of your conscious mind, you should understand that your deep self's separate purposes are best served by its manifesting a personal reality for you that reflects your conscious self with all its strengths, conflicts and absurdities.
The Deep Self
Following the lead of Jane Roberts, we call the entirety of creation and God and whatever, "All That Is." The portion of All That Is that creates your daily world we call the deep self. Like the producer of a movie, your deep self assembles all the actors and raw materials you need to bring about the events in your life. It works just outside the boundaries of space and time, placing events into the fabric of your days seamlessly, so that in space and time, you are the creator of your experience according to the laws and limitations of our world.
Your deep self follows a self-imposed law. The events it drops into your life follow the directions of your conscious self. Unfortunately, one is not usually aware of the magical relationship between the conscious mind and the deep self, and often unaware of the difficulties caused by hidden or transparent beliefs. Those beliefs can lead to your giving poor directions to the deep self. Learning to be a practical psychic means learning how to give good directions to your deep self.
The Deep Self is Conscious and Lively
Because of our society's programming about human psychology, you might be inclined to think of the deep self as unconscious. Actually, at its deepest portions, the deep self becomes like God, with a sharper, clearer, more complete consciousness than we ever achieve in our separated selves. It is the wellspring that all mystics seek to join. At less deep levels the deep self can be viewed as personal guides, masters, angels or whatever, very conscious.
Just as All That Is breaks itself up into portions to create you, the other people in the world, and the world itself; so it breaks itself up at other dimensions to create autonomous personalities with different or even superhuman powers. These guides and "masters" are no more and no less separated from All That Is than you are. They have their own purposes, which may be incomprehensible at times. Still, you can generally understand what your deep self wants in relation to you.
The Deep Self is Unified with You
Mystics throughout the ages have taught that you have inner connections with everything that exists—physical or non-physical—and with every event that happens to you. This fundamental union extends to the deep self that forms your human reality; that deep self is you. This is why we call it the deep self.
Just as you are unified with All That Is—including the deep self—so from the perspective of the deep self, it is unified with you. Furthermore, just as you have much to gain from it, it profits from relating to you.
The Deep Self Uses Your Experience
There is a mostly hidden mystical tradition that people's lives, emotions, thoughts and deeds provide "food" for God. You might say you are "God's Little Acre." The particular portion of God that you provide for is your deep self.
This tradition can seem to reduce humankind to a lowly function, but it is really an attempt to describe the mystical union of humans and All That Is. You, along with other people and things, are inside of God in general and inside various deep selves in particular. Your deep self is nourished by the crops of your experiences. It is important to cultivate your own choices. If you don't, your deep self goes hungry.
The Deep Self's Purpose Requires Your Independence
When you have a child, you expect that this child will grow to be a healthy adult. But if you were to say about childhood, as some long-faced New Agers say about life, that the purpose of childhood is adulthood, and that childhood is a trap to be escaped from by concentrating on maturity, both you and your child would miss the joy of experiencing childhood. Your children's experiences are their own, yet you may derive joy and insight from their presence and example. Your deep self is like an infinitely loving and wise parent, only in this case you continue to reside inside the deep self's larger being.
A child's success depends on the child's development of a strong, independent identity. Wise and loving parents encourage that development, even as they feel the child is a fulfillment of their own purposes. Similarly, your deep self—for purposes of its own explorations—gives birth to you, fully understanding that you must develop your independence.
A toddler cannot understand the amused joy of a grandparent who watches as the child runs with innocent energy and abandon. You may not understand the joy that your deep self takes in your experiences either, but it is there. Furthermore, a grandparent could never experience a grandchild's vitality if the child spent his or her youth obsessed with escaping from childhood. Just as it would defeat the delight of the grandparent to suppress the child's exuberance, so would it defeat the purpose of the deep self to suppress your self-discovery.
Excerpted from THE PRACTICAL psychic by John Friedlander, Cynthia Pearson. Copyright © 1991 John Friedlander and Cynthia Pearson. Excerpted by permission of Samuel Weiser, Inc..
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