Clairvoyance ~ or a case of "The Emperor's New Clothes"?

Claims of clairvoyance and the tale of "The Emperor's New Clothes" can have much in common: the credulity of their admirers.  Come to think of it, the term 'subjects' is not out of place.  While I am confident that some such individuals do exist, I am sure that many more claimants are not, or have only a partial capability.  It's an area in which few rigorous tests exist and fewer are looked for. 

Continuing on from the previous article in which I mention C.W. Leadbeater, I wonder whether he was one of the real ones, or not.  Public opinion is divided.  But whatever the case I found that reading of his dealings with Krishnamurti turned my stomach, bringing up much unease and a raft of serious issues.

I wonder if you have ever visited a clairvoyant for a consultation.  If you scoff at the very idea, give a little thought to how it would feel if such people did exist and you chose to be 'looked at' by one.  I'm sure that for most people this would be somewhat unnerving, and thanks would be offered up that not many people have this facility.  Most of us are not as pure as we might like to be, and besides, we value our privacy.  Add to that a belief in God being ever-present, all-seeing, and all powerful (just as the Bible says) then put the two together: this (imagined) clairvoyant is hooked up with God and consults with this Over Lord during your consultation.  How do you feel?

Perhaps you really did see a clairvoyant and felt calmed, soothed or helped by your first consultation and later decided to go back to them for more help, more advice.  On your next or subsequent visits you are told less comfortable things about yourself some of which you didn't know, possibly about other lives, other incarnations, things you couldn't verify by any other means.  You are told that the events of these past lives are impacting on your life now, and this is the reason why you are suffering in particular ways, this is your karma.  You can pray for this to be healed...  Feel better now?  Or worse?  Place this into a string of many such consultations over a number of years.  Which is what I did.

Gradually, the charges of past life misconduct mounted up and I was often made to feel extremely uncomfortable.  It was important to feel remorse, I was told.  I must pray for healing, for all those I had harmed...  I leave you to consider what effect all this might have on any reasonably sensitive individual.

Then spare a thought for a young impressionable boy with all the energy and uncertainty of a fourteen year old born a hundred or so years ago.  Think of his proud father: he is told his son is expected to be a great spiritual teacher, possibly the new Messiah.  

I know what a trap all this can be.  Clairvoyants, both genuine and supposed, can wield enormous influence.  If their positions are misused the resulting harm can be immense, a form of spiritual abuse which can cause lasting trauma.

I sincerely hope that Krishnamurti was not abused, but even setting that aside it seems a very strange way to treat a child, a very weird environment and a most bizarre set of expectations.  I'm surprised he did survive and that when in early manhood he had the strength of personality to rebut what had been built up around him and go his own way.  It wouldn't leave you with much.  I can understand why he then turned his back on all organised religions and philosophies, insisting that "the truth is a pathless land".

The suffering I've endured as a result of being lead down Teri's particular garden path is simply staggering.  I have difficulty believing it myself.  Still less do I expect others to believe it.  Yet there it was, and is, and when I have discussed this with my psychotherapist she says it is perfectly clear to her, not only the depth of my suffering but also the reasons for it.  Fortunately the worst of that is now behind me - I think.

Great difficulties arise from the very nature of clairvoyance which is largely unverifiable.  To put it baldly, an imaginative person lacking other qualifications and possessing a degree of what might be termed extra sensory perception, could easily burnish up what impressions they did receive if they were bold enough, well enough read, and had sufficient imagination...  Stacks of money in it: spout on about 'facts' that can't be proved, and then be the only person who has any idea how these could be 'healed' and hey presto, guaranteed repeat customers.  People come and go, but most stay attentive long enough to make a solid contribution to the household coffers, and others come.

Unfortunately though, this sufficient imagination may have its roots in the clairvoyant's own troubled past and shades of mental illness.  But what harm can it do?  One does always pray to God and Jesus for guidance and protection, and places careful emphasis on safety and ethics.  In this way those serious in their commitment to The Path progress slowly and carefully higher into The Light.  This gradual ascent is made possible by gradually purifying oneself of the dross of this life and the preceding ones, not just on Earth but across other star systems.  How exalted!  How generous to all humanity, were all those acts of healing!

But wait, no, sadly, it's not so simple.  Otherwise how could I later have ended up alone, crying out in agony with the sensation of having performed multiple acts of spiritual self-mutilation?  Don't for one minute imagine that spiritual pain is any less real than physical pain.  And the collapse of my health - physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.  I think I'd call this a breakdown.  Couldn't cope.  Crawled away, shaken to bits, and feeling so completely drained that physical death seemed a real possibility.  And all for what?  For an elaborate series of castles in the air?  Good grief!  No, good riddance!

Perhaps this surging resentment, this impulse to spit it all out, was what kept me alive, kept me fighting.  This and the recognition that to die would very likely be more risky, to lose even the frail boundaries of my physical body, physical space and the locks on the doors.  It was definitely safer to live!

Many people say glibly we are all One, that even in our unconscious we are all ultimately connected.  While I think this is probably so it is an exceedingly uneasy point to consider if you have experienced trauma and abuse: it means that you and your abuser and the situation(s) in which that occurred are one.  This is a horrifying thought at a time in which all ones energies are already engaged in pushing back in an effort to form some kind of boundary, a safety barrier between oneself and the intrusions of the past, or the present for that matter.

This boundary is likely to be all the more fragile if the abuser has had a role of spiritual authority.  If one turns to God for comfort, or even the idea of God, there is the tormentor, standing in that doorway, or seeming to.  Small wonder many turn to atheism!

I did too, I had to, for a time.  I had to find what I could rely on, what I could prove, what was evident in physical existence.

I remember standing on a particularly beautiful beach and wondering miserably, if what I could see was really all that existed.  Maybe none of the rest did.  I paused a long time.  And then the thought came that if this really was all that existed, then it was completely extraordinary and exquisitely beautiful.  Having believed in God implicitly all those years I'd taken for granted that the natural world was wonderful, but this other viewpoint gave me a very different appreciation.  I've always loved the natural world, but at that moment came to it in a new way.

But such massive transitions do not come quickly, and this insight was a mere first step on a long and very stony pass.  However, my new perception of the natural world was to provide a sense of safety and reassurance through a very unsafe time.  I started again, very gradually coming to terms with my life having a very different context - in every respect.  I was the same person, but much changed, and those changes, many of them painful, would continue over many years. 

When I look back over my association with Teri I can see the warning signs there from the beginning, and my own naivete and complicity contributed much to the eventual disintegration.  I concluded that she was substantially less psychic than either she or I had believed and was quite possibly disturbed.  This seemed more probable in the later stages, when her behaviour and 'channelled' material became more questionable. 

Lots of us have degrees of 'sensitivity'.  I certainly do, but it's possible to make huge blunders by extrapolating impressions in directions which are too easily influenced by others, or by our own misplaced imaginings.  I think that's what happened.  I may write more about this another time.

In the meantime, all of you who wish you had psychic powers or the faculty of second sight, or wish you knew someone reputable who did, my suggestion is that you live your lives as well as you know how, and leave these sorts of muddles to those so encumbered.  If you decide to push ahead with it anyway, you have been warned, and I wish you well.  I have put my points bluntly to prompt thought about what the bottom line may be.  You now have much more information than I did.  Be safe, be whole, be yourself, not someone you and/or others might like you to be!

In my next article I look at how to work out which spiritual teachers and practitioners are genuine and which are not.

To go to the next article click this link:
Evaluating teachers and healers ~ spirituality and healing vs. delusion and chaos 

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