Okay. I admit it. I’m upset that Dr. Oz’s widely watched TV show featured a half-hour segment on psychic medium John Edward yesterday (March 15, 2011).
I’m upset because John Edward — with Dr. Oz’s tacit approval — told millions of vulnerable people that anyone — anyone at all — can talk with dead people with some basic training.
This is simply not true.
This morning on doctoroz.com I checked the excerpt from John Edward’s newly published book Infinite Quest, and I got even more upset. I got upset because his advice is likely to harm people, not help them.
On yesterday’s show, John Edward used the terms “intuition” and “psychic power” in ways that imply he believes they’re the same thing. He sat in a chair beside Dr. Oz and briefly described three steps people can use to “harness [their] psychic power,” as the shows producers describe it on the website.
I’m upset because I remember clearly how eagerly I embraced the same ideas being put forward by John Edward and many other “spiritual teachers,” and I remember just as clearly how disappointed, frustrated, and unworthy I felt when none of these ideas worked. I remember how much I blamed myself for my failure to connect quickly and simply with my angelic guides (the quick and easy connection that was promised by irresponsible authors). Sure, I was naive. Sure, I didn’t hold these authors to a high enough ethical standard. But I doubt I was alone in being naive. People are desperate for spiritual answers that make sense. So they take chances with these “new ideas” that aren’t new at all. They try the “new ideas.” The “new ideas” don’t work. And people end up blaming themselves.
This kind of spiritual abuse needs to stop.
In my highly trained opinion, John Edward is not a fraud in the way people might assume he is. He’s not a liar or simply a clever mentalist, as some critics have claimed. If he were simply a liar or a clever manipulator (as most self-proclaimed “psychics” are), his behaviour and his choices would be understandable — such as “he’s in it for the money” or “he’s in it for the attention.” In the case of John Edward, I think it’s more complicated than that. I think he actually has a natural, hardwired talent for channelling, and I think he’s misusing it. Grossly misusing it. I think this is more damaging to other people than intentional fraud would be. Why is it more damaging? It’s more damaging because more people are willing to trust him, to give him the benefit of the doubt. He gives off a vibe of legitimacy. Therefore people think he knows what he’s doing.
But he doesn’t.
If he knew what he was doing — if he could explain it in scientific terms, psychological terms, religious terms, and emotional terms — he would never go on TV and tell millions of desperate people that anyone can talk to the dead if they really want to and if they really try hard enough. This is grossly irresponsible. It’s also scientifically invalid and insupportable.
I’m telling you this because I don’t want you to be misled or misguided by this kind of New Age crap. I want you to understand clearly what’s possible and what’s not possible for human beings who are trying to follow the Spiral Path.
One thing I want to make very, very clear is that “human intuition” is not the same thing at all as “psychic power.” Human intuition is a normal, natural human attribute that all human beings are born with. All people are born with it. But many people lose access to this attribute as they reach adolescence and adulthood. Why do they lose it? They lose it because they haven’t “used” it. But this is no different than any other advanced human faculty. The entire brain operates on a “use it or lose it” model. So the fact that many adults have lost access to their intuition is no surprise from a scientific viewpoint. Intuition isn’t a “special” gift or a “gift of grace” or an “advanced” gift or an “enlightened” gift. Intuition is supposed to be a normal part of life for everybody. Except that it rarely is (for reasons I’ll have to come back to at a later time).
When people talk about “psychic power” they’re not talking about intuition. They’re talking about the “ability” to accurately see and hear and understand other people’s thoughts. They’re talking about “abilities” such as telepathy. They’re talking about reading “messages” that have been placed within the collective unconscious. They’re talking about the “ability” to access AT WILL bits and pieces of “hidden knowledge” that’s believed to be unavailable through sight or hearing or taste or touch or smell. They’re talking about tapping into the so-called unified energy field of the universe and extracting information from it in the same way you’d do a Google search on a topic of your choice.
Nobody on the planet has psychic power. Not even a channeller or a mystic. I’m a highly trained channeller, a highly trained mystic, and I’m telling you as honestly and as clearly as I can that God does not give anybody anywhere at any time the “ability” to “telepathically” pluck out somebody else’s thoughts from inside their heads.
To do so would be a violation of their personal boundaries, their personal integrity, their personal “space.”
It doesn’t matter whether the person you’re trying to “psychically read” is alive or dead. A person whose human body has died has a continuing existence as a person-of-soul, a person who’s molecularly challenged, a person who’s currently residing at a 4D address at Home (on the Other Side). The point is that it’s not appropriate for any human being to try to invade the thoughts and feelings of a soul on the Other Side. It’s like showing up at somebody else’s house in the middle of the night and banging on the door without any respect for the other person’s thoughts and feelings. It shows a profound lack of empathy. Don’t do it. John Edward says you can do it. But there’s a difference between something you “can” do and something you “should” do. You certainly can bang on the door if you want to. But, you know, it wouldn’t be the most loving choice you could make.
Maybe you think I’m being unduly harsh. After all, it’s normal for people to wonder how their loved ones are doing after they pass on. It’s normal to want to feel a continuing connection with a loved one who has died.
So let me give you a personal example. My own.
As you may recall if you’ve read my profile, I’m a bereaved mother. My younger son died of leukemia when he was 3 years old (1989). He was a precious, adorable person, and I never doubted that God had taken him Home to care for him. I still don’t doubt for a moment that my son is with God. And I’m a channeller. So I can talk with angels on the Other Side (not all angels, but some angels). And I can “see” and “hear” and “understand” with great clarity what angels choose to convey to me. So you’d probably expect that I’m talking to my deceased son all the time, right?
Wrong, wrong, wrong.
It just wouldn’t be appropriate. On the other hand, this doesn’t mean I’ve received no communications about him. Quite the opposite, in fact. I received some very clear signs — blunt, obvious, visible “signs” — just before he was diagnosed, then again during the course of his treatment, and finally just after he died. These signs were external signs, things that were visible to my human senses. They weren’t channelled, they weren’t psychic, they weren’t intuitive. They were visible signs — such as the pure white peace dove (a bird not found in nature in my area) that landed on the grass outside our kitchen window one morning. The appearance of the dove “felt” like a message. I can’t define exactly why it “felt” like a message. It just did. Anyone who’s had a similar message around an important relationship will know what I mean.
My job as a channeller and mystic is not to go banging on God’s door demanding answers and information when it suits me. My job is to listen patiently and wait for a time that’s mutually conducive for both God and myself (or a time that’s mutually conducive for an angel and myself, if it’s an angel I’m waiting to talk to. When it suits him or her.)
When the time is right for God and I to get together to talk, I’m only able to hear what God wants me to hear. It’s like any other conversation — God talks, I listen and respond, then God responds. It’s guided by mutuality and respect and spontaneity. I don’t pick and choose what to “tap into.” If there’s a question God prefers not to answer at a particular time, then God chooses a different topic. This is fine by me, because I trust that God knows what they’re doing.
What I’m trying to get at here is that I’m not “psychically reading” or “telepathically reading” anybody’s private, internal thoughts and feelings. I can’t hear what you’re thinking right now (nor would I want to!) and I can’t hear what God the Mother and God the Father are thinking right now. I don’t hear thoughts. What I hear is communications that are directed specifically towards me. I hear angelic messages that angels have chosen to “upload” in a form I can hear inside my biological brain. (I do this by using a combination of my natural soul talent plus my vigorous practice of daily brain health.)
A good analogy is cell phones. If you’re a person without profound hearing loss, you can hear what a friend is choosing to say to you over the phone. You can hear the communication that’s directed towards you by your friend, but you can’t hear your friend’s unspoken thoughts. Your friend’s thoughts are private. And they should remain that way.
My talent as a channeller and mystic means I can receive specific communications that specific angels specifically intend me to receive. If you were to ask me today to do a “reading” on a loved one of yours who has passed, I would say no. I don’t have that person’s permission to initiate a “cell phone conversation.” If a particular person-of-soul wants to get in touch with me, they do so through my own guardian angels — sort of like a “forwarded message.” I can’t hear the communications of all angels. I can only hear the communications of specific angels, including, in my case, the soul who once lived as Jesus. But I can’t hear diddly-squat from other “famous” angels, and I don’t even try. I learned a long time ago that every legitimate channeller has limits. Very detailed, specific limits on who they can and can’t hear. These limits are unique to each channeller. Therefore my limits aren’t the same as John Edward’s limits. But we both have limits.
Any “psychic medium” who tells you they can hear anyone who’s passed on, including any famous person you’re interested in connecting with, is lying to you.
Either that or they’re lying to themselves. Which is what I think John Edward is doing — lying to himself.
Lies don’t help grieving people. Faith in a loving God helps grieving people, but lies just make the pain worse.
I think I’m in a pretty strong personal position to have a comment on the topic.