I’ve been in the psychic/metaphysical world since the mid-1980s. When I first fell into it, I was deeply impressed by the people who seemed so….well, serene and all-knowing. For a Type-A like myself, this had a certain appeal.
I remember the owner of my favorite New Age bookstore (this was way before Barnes and Noble or Amazon carried every damn thing….). His store was incense-soaked, filled with the sounds of wind chimes, Tibetan chants — and his Birkenstocks squeaking across the floor. And he seemed like he’d been to the mountaintop and knew the secrets of the Universe. He always handed me my bag of books with some random spiritual catch-phrase – sincerely offered.
Observing him, I was convinced that delving deeper into spirituality would be my ticket to becoming just as serene and untouched by The World.
Sadly (but not surprisingly), my super-chill bookstore owner went out of business. Mainly, because he let “love and light and Namaste” be his driving force – not things like keeping books or paying taxes. Oh, and apparently, he’d slept with his partner’s wife. So there’s that.
Since those early days, I’ve noticed that a lot of spiritual types easily throw around phrases like “Love and light!” as if they were Skittles. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve taken a course or been at a workshop where I hear these words. Repeatedly. And often given with a hug that lasts just a smidge too long.
But, frequently, the people uttering them are doing just that: uttering them. They use them as a kind of shield, a way to mask very human feelings like fear, jealousy, anger, frustration. “Love and light” is the LAST thing on their mind; I can pretty much tell by the conversation that goes before or after the phrase (#cattybitches).
It’s like that “Seinfeld” episode where George Costanza’s dad keeps uttering “Serenity Now!” as a seeming verbal antidote to annoying things. In the end, he goes nuts.
Look, I’m all for trying to remain positive and offering kind thoughts to others. But I also recognize that outside of extremely advanced spiritual types (and I can only pick out about 8 or 10 of them off the top of my head – like Jesus, Buddha, St. Germain, those guys), most of us struggle to just get through our day without smacking someone in the head with a hammer. Because human life is hard. Even Jesus went gangsta on the money-changers.
Back in the 80s, I was fascinated with a “channeler” named J.Z. Knight. She was an ordinary housewife who claimed she had encountered the spirit of a 3,500 year-old warrior named “Ramtha” — in her kitchen of all things. She began doing public sessions, in which “Ramtha” would enter her body and dispense all kinds of “wisdom.” Eventually, these events drew hundreds of people, including celebrities like Shirley Maclaine. J.Z./Ramtha became a really big deal. And it was all “love and light.” Until her real human side showed up. In spades.
In the beginning, I believe these sessions were honest and true, and a lot of people were helped. But then, came word that she was using her connection to this powerful spirit to encourage her celebrity (meaning: “rich”) clients to invest in her stables of expensive Arabian horses.
Her fakery ultimately caught up with her; “Ramtha” deserted her and she’s now trafficking in UFOs.
The point is, that the most spiritual types among us struggle with being human. Like “Serenity now!”, we can say “love and light” all we want to, but it won’t paper over the less-benign feelings that too often intrude. Psychics, and anyone in that space, need to stay grounded in their humanity, and embrace the fact that we are frail, flawed creatures. We don’t need to put a happy face on it.
The other day, I received one of the most passive-aggressive messages EVER on Facebook – and in the end, she signed off with “Love and Light.”
Yeah sure, honey.
This is what drives me ‘round the bend: nasty feelings covered with a Zen-face emoticon.
The other reason I share my rant is because I also want to remind those on the other end of a reading or whatever, that a psychic, teacher, guru, whomever is NO BETTER THAN YOU ARE. They may have studied different things, read different books, but in the end, they are not someone you should surrender your power to. If what they tell or teach you is useful, great. But please – don’t just blindly follow. At best, you’ll wind up disappointed and angry. At worst, you’ll reveal that “sweet spot” that scammers look for.
Use your common sense. Follow your own gut on whatever information you get, or experience that you have. Trust your feelings on any reading, etc. that you get.
I believe that each of us is here to walk a particular path. People who have explored different belief systems can be helpful in navigating that course – but, speaking as one who’s dipped more than one toe in these particular waters, we don’t possess any special “secret sauce.” We just offer alternate perspectives, insights and talents towards that goal.
When I began reading professionally, I chose the name “The Sensible Psychic,” because – frankly – this whole “love and light” thing annoyed the hell out of me. I preferred – and still do – something more grounded in how we really are, warts and all. So just because some purportedly “spiritual” type lays all kinds of “love and light” on you, keep it in perspective: it’s very likely that –behind the scenes –they’re chewing their fingernails, feeling jealous, insecure or frustrated about something. Because they’re human.
[PS — would love to hear your thoughts on this. Leave me a comment!]