Psychic Development

May 14th, 2006 by Steve Pavlina

Psychic development is a topic I’ll be covering over the next few weeks.  But before crossing into this realm, it’s important to address a few obvious questions:  Are psychic abilities possible?  Why do some people seem convinced psychic abilities are real while others are equally convinced they’re impossible?

I’m not going to delve into the various forms of psychic development just yet.  For now I’m just going to address all six-sensory experiences as a whole based on what they have in common.

Just to be clear, I fall on the side of believing that six-sensory experiences are real.  Actually, it would be more accurate to say that I know they’re real.  I’ve had abundant personal experiences, and I even know what triggered them.  More on that later…

It’s perfectly OK if you don’t believe me — I’m not going to try to convince you that I’m right.  Whether you believe in psychic phenomena or not doesn’t concern me.  My intention for this article is simply to help shed a little light on why you either have or haven’t personally experienced such phenomena, not to get you to switch sides.  Your current beliefs about such things are fine where they are.

The Role of Belief

For most of my life, I didn’t believe in psychic phenomena at all.  At best I recall a possible astral experience when I was a teenager, but at the time I simply dismissed it as a dream.  I was raised Catholic and thought all psychic stuff was completely fake.  It was like a big joke.  You’d have to be a pretty gullible idiot to fall for that stuff, let alone pay someone money who claimed to be psychic.  Anyone into psychic stuff was just a weirdo and probably someone to be avoided.

In my early 20s though, I started experimenting with different belief systems.  And I began to see just how huge a role my beliefs played in my experience of reality.  It became really tough to explain everything through such mechanisms as the reticular activating system (RAS), which suggested that your brain filters your perceptions through your beliefs.  It seemed to be a lot more than that.  Stuff “out there” actually seemed to change.  The problem of course is that since I’m always filtering reality through my perceptions, I couldn’t really be sure.

I wanted to better understand the role my beliefs played in my experience of reality.  So I pushed my beliefs into areas I’d never personally experienced.  Psychic phenomena seemed like a good choice because then if some really weird things started happening, it would be hard to say it was my brain filtering its input a little differently, especially if these experiences were shared with other people who could agree that something non-physical had occurred.

And that’s precisely what happened.  I started having totally new experiences to the degree I allowed them to be consistent with my beliefs about reality.  By making them possible, they actually started to manifest, and not just a little bit, but a lot.

Here’s the interesting thing though…  I never had such experiences with people who didn’t believe they were possible.  But I frequently had shared experiences with those who did.  This somehow made sense to me, but at the time I didn’t know why.  Later I understood that reality is actually subjective, not objective.  But since most people believe it to be objective, that’s what they experience.  So if you don’t believe in psychic phenomena, you simply won’t experience such things.

If you’re a strong believer in psychic phenomena, I’ll bet you’ve had abundant personal experiences that validate your beliefs.  If you don’t believe in such things though, I’ll bet you’ve experienced nothing you’d consider remotely psychic; you may have even seen proof that such things are impossible.  And if you’re on the fence, then you’ve probably experienced some things that could be explained as psychic but which might also have an alternative explanation.

Your reality will simply reflect your beliefs.  Nothing you experience will conflict with what you believe to be impossible.  For example, if you believe psychokinesis (moving physical objects with your mind) is impossible, you will never see a live demonstration of psychokinesis  that convinces you to change your mind.  The evidence will never appear in your experience.  You’ll just assume I’m mistaken or deluded to believe what I do, which is perfectly fine — that would be congruent with your beliefs.  You might even want to try to convince me to “come to my senses,” since you may find it irritating or unpleasant to see someone being “sucked in” by a belief in sixth-sensory experiences.  There’s no need to act on that feeling though.  :)

If you don’t believe psychokinesis is possible, and I give you a link to a web site with videos of people manipulating various objects psychokinetically [linked removed Sep 4, 2012 since that website is no longer online], you will simply conclude the videos are fake, that anyone who believes them is deluded, and that the people posting such videos are either joking or trying to commit some kind of fraud.  On the other hand, if you are somewhat open to the possibility but still have serious doubts, then you will likely be skeptical about the videos — maybe they’re real and maybe they’re fake.  And if you have a strong belief that psychokinesis is possible, then you’ll likely take the videos at face value and might even explore that site further to learn how to develop psychokinesis yourself; perhaps you’ll even join their forums and ask for assistance.  In every situation your reaction will be based on your pre-existing beliefs.  No evidence “out there” will change your mind either way.  Only you can do that.

I completely understand the perspective that psychic abilities are impossible because it used to be my own.  And again, I’m not going to say that such a perspective is wrong.  It isn’t wrong at all.  It’s perfectly fine to have that perspective if it’s what you want.  If you believe that psychic abilities are impossible, then that will be true for you.

Beliefs Create Reality

During the time I believed psychic abilities were impossible, if I ever looked for evidence that they might be possible, I’d never find any.  In fact, I often found just the opposite:  ample proof that such things were indeed impossible.

But once I relaxed that belief and opened myself to the possibility, almost immediately my reality shifted to accommodate that new belief.

It’s too much of a stretch for me to say such occurrences were there all along, and I just never noticed them.  I think that for me, they never actually existed in my reality until my belief shift made them possible.

On certain occasions I’ve witnessed two people arguing about the possibility of psychic phenomena.  One knows it’s impossible.  The other knows it’s possible.  It’s quite a sight to behold.  I’ve never seen anyone convince the other to change his/her mind about such things.  People only change their minds by choice, not because someone convinces them of anything.  As the saying goes, “A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.”  So whatever you happen to believe, you’re right — that’s what is true for you.

Changing Beliefs

What if you don’t believe psychic abilities are possible, but you’d like to experience them anyway?  Well, you can’t.  If you aren’t open to the possibility, they simply can’t enter your reality.  But this isn’t just true of psychic experiences — it’s true of everything.  Nothing can enter your reality which you “know” to be impossible.  If you know you can’t lose weight, if you know you can’t have your own business, or if you know you can’t find your soulmate, you’ll simply never experience those things.

If you want new experiences to enter your reality, you must first believe they’re possible.  This requires some work, but ultimately it comes down to a choice.  You can choose what to believe.  Your beliefs are the chisels with which you sculpt your life.  If you don’t like what you’re experiencing, put down one chisel and pick up a different one.

Am I saying that if you believed you move objects with your mind, that you could actually do it?  Yes.  If you knew you could do it, you could do it.  But this requires “unknowing” all the beliefs you now hold that contribute to the belief that it’s impossible for humans to perform psychokinesis.  Your most fundamental beliefs about the nature of the universe almost certainly conflict with the possibility.  But even those beliefs can be changed.  Ultimately, you have the power to change any belief you want, as long as your belief system as a whole remains congruent.

When you begin changing your beliefs internally, you’ll gradually see your outer world shift as well.  For example, if you start to believe that psychokinesis is possible, you’re not going to immediately start moving objects with your mind.  It isn’t that simple.  What will happen is that you’ll start to see your whole universe shift to come into alignment with your new belief.  For example, you might gradually start seeing physicists suggesting that the universe works differently than we previously thought.  They’ll propose a new paradigm of physical reality, one in which — oh so coincidentally – psychokinesis may be a remote possibility under certain conditions.  Then as you keep putting energy behind this belief, you’ll see the world continue to shift in such a way that psychokinesis goes from mere possibility to actual probability.  And then you’ll hear about people experimenting with it in very limited ways.  Eventually you may even encounter some instructional material and begin having personal experiences with it.  Your reality will gradually shift to match your beliefs.  Every thought you hold is like a wave of energy going out in the universe, and your unfolding experience of reality is the summation of all your thought waves.  When you start putting out new thoughts, it takes a while for the external reality to shift because your previous thoughts are still having an effect.

So if you were previously harboring a thought like, “Wouldn’t it be cool if psychokinesis were possible?” then it won’t be long before new information and resources begin to manifest in your life which are congruent with that thought.

This blog you’re reading right now is simply an outlet for manifesting what you already suspect is true.  You will likely even see my writing change in accordance with your own thoughts and desires.  If it’s part of your experience, your beliefs control how it manifests in your reality.

Subjective Reality

There is one particular belief that opens the door to seemingly impossible experiences.  And that is the belief that reality exists “out there” in the form of the objective universe, and you’re a physical being in that universe, subject to its pre-determined laws which you are powerless to change.  If you can change that belief, you can change anything.  That’s the most important one to change of all because it gives you back your power.

The alternative, more empowering belief is that life is a subjective experience, a manifestation of your own thoughts.  Your reality is uniquely your own.  Nothing exists “out there” except what comes into your personal experience.  And nothing exists outside this present moment.  Reality is your own personal holodeck.  It reads your subconscious thoughts and presents a physical reality congruent with them.  Your reality is a manifestation of what you think.  Whatever you see in the world is simply a reflection of some part of yourself.

It takes time to recondition old beliefs, especially one as “sacred” as the belief in objective reality.  The one flaw in objective reality though, one which cannot be ignored, is consciousness.  You have a conscious identity, seemingly tied to a particular body.  You have perspective.  It makes little sense for there to be individualization of consciousness in an objective universe.  If the universe is fully objective, then why do you have an identity at all?  Why are you you and not someone else?  The answer is that there is noone else.  There is only you.

A subjective belief system is more internally congruent than an objective one.  Everything centers around your consciousness, which is primary.  In an objective universe, consciousness is made secondary, so you must take a huge leap of faith that something actually exists outside your conscious experience, even though you can’t prove it.  No one can actually prove that objective reality exists — it’s an unprovable assumption.  Hence any conclusions based on it, including all those drawn from science, require that same leap of faith.  Science is true only to the degree you believe it to be true.  Have you ever tried to disbelieve something you considered an immutable law of science?  Not “someone else” in your reality… you personally.

I find that the more I embrace a subjective belief system, the more magical and empowering my life becomes.  It has certainly not been easy to release so much of what I previously held to be true, but my life has flowed much more easily and effortlessly since I began taking conscious steps in this direction.  The biggest challenge has been to keep my thoughts focused purely on what I want to manifest, and give no thought at all to what I don’t want.  There’s also a delay before new thoughts begin to manifest.  It takes a while to achieve internal congruence with each new level of thinking.

Psychic Development

Psychic development becomes possible then for those who hold the belief that it is possible.  It isn’t about looking for proof or disproof somewhere “out there.”  It’s simply an internal choice.  Do you want to experience psychic development in your life?  Then believe it’s possible.  Do you prefer not to experience it?  Then believe it’s impossible.  Do you want to experience conflicting evidence?  Then remain in doubt.  The only proof you will find is proof of what you already believe.

I choose to embrace psychic development because I find it empowering and useful.  If the results were poor, I’d drop this like any other failed experiment.  I’m aware of the alternatives and the consequences of this choice, having experienced both sides for myself.  I find that my results in life are much better with this belief than without it; it opens me to experiences and abilities I’d otherwise never be able to tap.  Perhaps the most empowering part of this belief structure is that it allows me to live without fear of death and also to access deeper sources of knowledge and support.

Since every other part of our life is going so well, this year my wife and I have decided to really push ourselves in psychic development.  Yesterday I checked out 17 items (mostly books) on psychic-related topics from the library, and we’re also working to form a development circle here in Las Vegas.  If you’ve never heard the term before, a “development circle” is a small group of people (about a dozen max) who meet for the purpose of improving their psychic skills.  I’m really looking forward to getting this going.  I’ve been having psychic experiences since 1994, and I’m still amazed every time I witness them.  As I sometimes say to my wife, “weird” just gets you in the door.

What’s Next?

In the weeks ahead, I’ll cover various aspects of psychic development.  I’m also working to set up some interviews with noted experts in this field.

While I’ve embraced psychic development privately for many years, this will be the first time I’ve written about it publicly.  It’s going to take me a while to cover just the basics, but if this is a subject that interests you, I think you’ll find it fascinating.  I’ll include some book reviews and recommendations too — one publisher recently sent me a whole batch.

For those of you who “know” that psychic stuff is nonsense… or if you have a belief system that says it’s prohibited, the work of the devil, or something along those lines, this would be a good time to tune out.  I don’t want to get you in trouble with your deity or deities.  From here on I’ll be addressing the people who are open to psychic exploration and development, especially those who are really curious about it.  For the reasons stated above, it would be pointless for me to try to change anyone’s mind, and I don’t want to waste time trying to qualify everything for those who are resistant to this aspect of personal development.

In anticipation of pumping out a lot of new content on this topic, I’ve added a new category to the blog on psychic development.


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