The term Psychic has come to be identified with what is generally referred to as paranormal experiences but Psychic actually has much wider applications, ones that affect us all whether we are aware of them or not. The online Oxford English Dictionary cites two applications for the term Psychic:
1. Relating to or denoting faculties or phenomena that are apparently inexplicable by natural laws, especially involving telepathy or clairvoyance: psychic powers
- 2. Relating to the soul or mind: he dulled his psychic pain with gin
Psychic pain is common to us all. It is a combination of emotional and mental pain, a type of anguish that encompasses more than intellectual frustration or emotional distress. When we experience frustration of the intellectual sort, some idea or concept of reality that we had harboured turns out not to be viable when applied to the context of our lives. Emotional frustration results from not achieving a meaningful goal or finding ourselves unable to “get through” to someone whose position of power (of whatever kind) creates an insurmountable obstacle.
Psychic pain results from things like deep betrayal, deliberate sabotage of our efforts by someone who pretended to support us or someone who steals from us after having gained our trust. Psychic pain has less to do with us than with others who use us or their relationships with us to gain something at our expense, something whose loss can threaten our very existence. Psychic pain cuts deep into us, leaving permanent scars and affecting the way we see ourselves and others in the present and in the future. The worst thing about psychic pain is that it is un-necessary. It results from our failure to register subtle signals emanating from the people around us, a failure to listen more deeply to our inner selves, the part of us that feels vaguely uneasy but which we decide to ignore because we feel we would be betraying someone we need if we reject what they are telling us. Psychic pain, in other words, stems from self-betrayal. Yes, the betrayers are guilty of wrong-doing but we are guilty of not listening to our deepest selves, the part of all of us that ‘knows’ something is wrong but is too inhibited and afraid to admit it.
Self-betrayal is the worst form of betrayal. It results from the smothering of our most important sensing mechanism – the combination of perception and understanding that so many people are trained from early childhood to deny in favour of some other view of reality, usually that of parents, teachers, religious leaders, and in adulthood, spouses, bosses, colleagues, co-workers and national leaders. Many of us are programmed from our earliest days to ignore the subtle sensations of uneasiness that are trying to get our attention – shallower, quicker breathing, ‘butterflies’ in the stomach, goose-bumps, sudden inability to think or move or – perhaps worse – a feeling that we must protect those who are hurting us by refusing to acknowledge our right to our own perceptions. Entire generations of people are subjected to this sort of tyranny or seduced by its ‘soft’ equivalent a kind of Disney-esque dumbed-down view of how the world is supposed to be but never is. That vital disconnect is the key to psychic suffering. Any form of distortion to which we are subjected when we are too young to defend our ‘psyches’ leads ultimately to psychic suffering in later childhood, adolescence or adulthood. To be continued in my next post.
Meanwhile, the film and book versions of the works cited in the post are available in Psychic Disturbances HERE.
Definition of Psychic: Oxford Dictionaries Online