Sunday, February 9, 2020

Background Posting on My Experience with Psychics


The initial story behind this posting took place in 1957 when I was a junior in college. During a math class, I experienced transcendence. Drawn into what neither mind nor heart, nor word nor speech can understand or explain, I knew pure joy. My words cannot capture its essence. I have been able to arrive only at this lackluster definition: For me, joy is the totality of bliss at the height and depth of my being.

As I left the classroom that day, I knew three things: I was going to enter the convent the following year; I’d become a Benedictine nun; and I’d devote my life to prayer for all creation. 

Before that class, I’d not known that in the next hour, I’d come to two divergent roads: One, which I’d cherished for ten years, was to become an engineer. The other had never occurred to me; it was not even drawn on the map of my consciousness. After that class, I knew as well as I knew the sun rises daily that I’d enter the convent in fourteen months. 

The next story behind this posting took place the following year. I was taking a one-credit-hour course in religion. Father Francis, a Benedictine monk, taught the class. He took seriously his responsibility to inculcate the Roman Catholic dogmas and doctrines into the young women sitting before him in that classroom.

On one particular day, he used both the Hebrew and Christian testaments to talk about “false prophets.” He said that when someone predicts a happening, we should be wary if that person gives a definitive time and place. We might have intuitions about the future, he said, but only God knew anything for sure. We were not in control. 

So, he concluded, steer clear of those who shouted from the rooftops that the world would end at such and such a time; or that something dire would happen according to the intoxicating words of a self-proclaimed prophet.

As I listened, I thought of my transcendent experience of the year before. Was I being a false prophet to myself in predicting when I’d enter and where and what I’d do for the rest of my life?  For all those months, I’d felt so sure. As I sat there, examining my experience and my response to it, I could not let go of the belief that I’d somehow been called to a life of service as a nun. I wasn’t being a false prophet.

Then Father Francis began to denounce psychics, tarot-card readers, mediums. He said they were false prophets who claimed to be able to tell the future. As Roman Catholics, we had to resist the lure of exploring our life beyond the present. In fact, he said, to do so was to commit a mortal sin. (According to the catechism I’d begun to study in first-grade, a mortal sin sent an unrepentant person to hell.) Father Francis then explained what might happen to a person who self-indulgently explored the “dark side” of life.

While I let go of the idea of hell and mortal sin in the next three decades, I still remembered his caution about psychics and never sought a session with one. Then in 1990, following a loss, I visited a psychic and came away with my intuitions shored up by what she had said.

In my next posting, I’ll share my experience with psychics, especially the one I spoke with last March. His words tunneled into my mind and left me bereft. 

Peace.
PS: This posting’s first story is detailed in my convent memoir: Prayer Wasn’t Enough.

Photo from Wikipedia.

19 comments:

  1. I loved your memoir. And I loved what it revealed of your questioning, self doubting, loving, constantly growing self.
    I grew up largely without religion. I also grew up without psychics.
    I am so very sorry that your experience with one of the latter left you bereft.

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    1. Dear Sue, thank you for your kind words about "Prayer Wasn't Enough." I'm in the midst of writing its sequel. It's being demanding as I write of those three presences that were with me for ten years.

      I also grew up without psychics and only in 1989 or 1990 did I ultimately visit one. But even as I did, I was aware that doing so went against all my early training. Peace.

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  2. Good to see you posting again! I, too, loved your memoir.

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    1. Dear Jean, I'm so pleased that you "loved" the memoir. I hope my second one--that will cover the ten years after I left the convent--will also be enjoyable. Peace.

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  3. I am so looking forward to the next chapter you will give us in this story.

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    1. Dear Joanne, thank you for your encouragement. I've had only good experiences in seeing psychics . . . and astrologers . . . until last March. Peace.

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  4. Interesting post about religion's view of psychics. I will follow the Bible's teachings in all things.

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    1. Dear Terra, I followed what the Catholic Church taught for more than 50 years. And it was only in 2019, when I was 82, going on 83, that I talked with a psychic who baffled me and who got into my brain! Peace.

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  5. I remember once confessing to a priest that I had visited a fortune teller at a carnival. It was a fun thing that I did with my teenage friends but then I had such a very guilty conscious because of what I had been told by the church. I grew and learned that the only truth I had was to trust my gut and right or wrong it was my own journey to live.

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    1. Dear Arleen, yes, I agree with you. I had 18 years of Catholic education and more years of convent and of continued education at grad school. All that, I hope, helped me form a conscience that I can trust as I journey through life. It's that conscience and my own insights and intuitions that guide me now. Peace.

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  6. Will be interested how this plays out and just what he said that affected you so.

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    1. Dear Patti, I was amazed at what he said, and the two friends with whom I shared the conversation both expressed anger at his words. I hope to get to that in a second posting, but maybe it will take three (the one I've already done and two more) for me to really capture the story. Peace.

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  7. Dee, IMO we all have to come to terms with these things (beliefs, etc.) on our own... one on One. We all have different paths and the journey is very personal. But I am interested in hearing your story.

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    1. Dear Rian, I don't know what IMO means--is that something from texting? I so agree with you that we all have different paths. What is so wonderful about the readers--like you--of my blog is that they are respectful of my thoughts and experiences, even though they may think quite differently. Peace.

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  8. I grew up in a Protestant religion that had the same teachings as your church concerning anything occult. I remember the story from your book and look forward to reading what else you have to share.

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    1. Dear Cynthia, yes, the occult. I didn't think of that word as I wrote the posting, but Father Francis did use it. Thank you for your interest in my next posting! Peace.

      PS: I'm so glad that you have gotten through the worst of the pain from the knee operation and the you are now able to walk joyfully on the beach!

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  9. After my father died, his spirit hung over me. He died (a devout Christian) with much guilt and unresolved issues. It felt like he couldn't leave. After lots of prayer and study,I went to see a psychic. Real? Did not matter. What she told me was enough to help.

    My brother also said the same things.

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