It should go without saying that self-proclaimed psychics shouldn’t be your primary source of medical advice. Unfortunately, many people have an aversion to medical doctors and search for answers that put themselves in control, such as fad diets and homeopathy.
My dad was really big into the New Age and psychic phenomena, and I’ve come to understand in recent years that there’s something there. The universe seems to be made out of consciousness, with spacetime being something that we’ve all collectively dreamed up. That doesn’t mean that any single person can just bypass the laws of physics whenever they feel like it. It doesn’t work that way.
I was just reading an article about Anthony William, the “Medical Medium”, and he’s trying to be the new Edgar Cayce. Mr. Cayce was an interesting character, as he seems to have really been channeling something from the spirit world, but he also made a lot of silly and false claims about Atlantis and other topics that people asked him about. One theory is that he was picking up psychically on the hopes of the people who asked him about Atlantis, who believed it was real.
Either way, Cayce died in 1945, just as modern medicine was coming out of the Dark Ages and starting to consistently do more good than harm, compared to the bad old days of bloodletting when you were better off going to a homeopath, for example, because their placebo treatments likely wouldn’t actively harm you (the only harm would be if some poisonous active ingredient hadn’t been properly diluted to nothingness, as occasionally happens today).
Orson Welles famously introduced the term “shut-eye mystic” to describe someone who thinks they have psychic powers, but who’s actually deluding themselves. This is opposed to someone who knows they’re pretending to be psychic in order to extract money from people. Personally, I think that some people really are slightly psychic, and then they stretch their powers too far and become shut-eye mystics, seduced by the attention and fame.
If you abandon your skepticism, you’ll fall into believing anything. But also, if you abandon your skepticism about materialism and believe with religious fervor that only the material world exists, like Richard Dawkins and other devout atheists do, then you’re equally foolish, because you’ll start twisting the facts to make yourself comfortable in exactly the same way as the psychics that you despise.
There’s no medical explanation for all the near-death experiences people have. There simply isn’t. The brain can’t hallucinate what people are experiencing. The actions of the brain alone simply can’t explain something like the Pam Reynolds case. My dad was always fond of the NDE story of “Maria and the shoe on the ledge”, which skeptics have tried to debunk, but there are too many other testimonies just like it to write them all off as “hoaxes” or “wishful thinking”. Materialist neuroscientists who refuse to believe in “the soul” because they can’t conceive of consciousness as a fundamental force are in my mind as foolish and fundamentalist as the people who are so open-minded that their brains fall out, as the saying goes.
The article about Anthony William and the woman who died from breast cancer by following his bad advice is so sad. People need to learn about reality testing, particularly in this “woo-woo” space. If you have a lump in your breast and it’s causing symptoms and growing, and you refuse to get it examined, even with a family genetic history of cancer, and even after testing positive for two gene mutations correlating with an increased risk of breast cancer, then you’re choosing to avoid the real reality of your really-existing physical body.
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