Are Psychic Experiences the Same as Being Spirit Led (as Christians might call it)?
The following is a segment that posted on our Spiritual Mansion Message Board, years ago, regarding the similarity between "psychic experiences" and Christian "spiritual experiences." Are religious or spiritual experiences the same as what some might deem to be psychic occurrences? Are we splitting hairs?
SM: I have the feeling, regarding what some deem as "psychic," that it is not much different than what christians typically call "led by the spirit." Now, psychic ability might be the same as premonition, which would compare to the christian terms, "word of knowledge" and "word of wisdom" (as found in 1 Corinthians). When many christians speak of being "spirit led," I know this to be a bit different than what is traditionally taught. Those on the other side who speak to us are often mistakenly thought of as "God's voice" by those who hear them and are spiritual and/or religious. Can this be much different than when a person on the other side speaks a word to a psychic in a psychic reading?
LM: There is a lot of fear surrounding "psychic experiences" as well as, "sin consciousness." I have received guidance sometimes very directly from the agents of the Holy Spirit, angels. And I have the experience of seeing spontaneous pictures, sometimes symbols for events, and sometimes events that I have no idea who the people are in the visions. My feeling is that I pray on a regular basis and commune with God, and I don't believe that He would mislead me, but I don't always follow the direction I receive. I believe the subject of psychic experiences is very broad, and we have to do our part to discern the information we receive, just as we do with all information we receive during our life experience. Always it is "how is this helpful?" Often I have been prepared emotionally for the ups and downs in life from a vision I have received. I get to process the event before it occurs, and I feel I receive emotional protection from the angels when this has occurred. We are Spirits enjoying (hopefully) and learning from the physical world in physical bodies. Consciousness is a gift of Spirit, or more accurately, a quality of Spirit, and psychic experiences are naturally occurring events within Spirit Consciousness. Jesus said to "fear not", and not to judge. We truly limit ourselves from a vast resource when we fear information that we receive directly in visions or through other means.
K: Hi, SM: I would have to say that I agree with LM.
I never thought much about psychic ability growing up, but did not disbelieve it either. In the past several years, I have searched for truth and have just asked for guidance. After much study and even my own personal experiences, I have no question that there are those with psychic ability and that it is a perfectly natural gift for them. I think, actually, that we are all a bit psychic (intuitive, etc.), but everyone to a different degree. We are, after all, as Linda said, spirits having a physical experience.
I found in my own experience with several "readings" that I had, one person was absolutely amazing, two were very good, one was a waste of time. I would suggest that anyone who seeks this kind of counseling do their homework and seek credible individuals. Many who "advertise", I am a bit wary of. But, some may be okay. From my own experience, Atira Hatton has a website, and she was very good.
One book that was particularly interesting was "The Messengers" by Nick Bunick. Although it might be a leap for some, I found it very credible. No doubt his experience was genuine. (Atira Hatton was mentioned in his book and the "angel reader", Sara, is actually Julie Bontier, who is the person I referred to as amazing.)
Another interesting website is Ofspirit.com. Bob Olson was a complete skeptic until he had several of his own encounters. Then he set out to find those he thought were the most gifted. Great site.
With all that said, I can understand, though, why people are cautioned regarding psychic readings. Just like any arena, there are phonies. People need to do their homework.
KD: Wow, this is a very good topic. But let me clear up something first. There is a difference between a psychic and mediums. Some mediums have psychic abilities, some do not. A total different subject. For me it is just medium-ship. Some would think it is all psychic no matter what, but it actually is not. I can not fortell the future. I am only the instrument. I am the messenger. Anyway, being led by spirit, is above all the most. If it is truly Holy Spirit led. And believe me, you know the difference. It is the feelings of love, understanding, joy,etc. Now I feel, all spirits come through with words of knowledge or wisdom. But for anyone, it is hard for me to think anyone could mistake God's voice, but I can understand for the people who can't hear voices. Every spirit, Holy Spirit or our loved ones who come to us, any of us, to speak, there is usually always a message. I don't consider myself religious but I am very spiritual. You know, after thinking about this, there to me is slight difference. Most of all the original meaning the spirit came to us in the first place. Determining who the spirit is. The only difference is psychic people can communicate and find out the info and the message. Not everyone can do that...and of course, there can be other spirits interfering, not nice spirits, to put it plainly. Whether you are religious or not, evil will always try to interfere. But I truly feel most of the spirits that come thru who want to give messages, are yes "following" in the Holy Spirit form. I have had a chance to experience Holy Spirit prescence and just Spirit prescence. I find with my experiences they are all from the same above level, Holy above Spirit, and Yes I know and can tell the difference, the Power of feeling, the Presence will TELL you, you will FEEL and KNOW.
K: Hi, KD: Just as you have said, there is a difference between psychic and medium, although some people have gifts of both and I suppose that all people, if they pay attention, have a bit of both as well. The "angel reader" that I spoke of, Julie Bontier, made it very clear that she was not a "seer", but that she received messages from the angel guides of those people that came to her.
KD: Hi K. That is a special gift there. We do all have the capabilities to be open to a certain point, but I do believe it is up to us to find that within, and I do believe when we have achieved that, we bring out more gifts. Not everyone, I feel can achieve certain gifts. I have had the opportunity to take a look at my life and know when I was given a gift. It also now is explained to me.(now that I am an open medium) Whether it is a gift of ministry, or whatever, it is very precious and you have to work at it, and accomplish it's needs, or that gift can fade away. A lot of people don't know what to do with such a gift of esp or psychic vision, or awareness, whatever, they are scared of it and it fades within, and then they are constantly in need of an emptiness inside. I know God created us equal, yes I do believe that, BUT, I know the controversy about God favoring some people with the Gift of prophecy, or vision, or communicating with spirits. Well I know God gives each and everyone of us an opportunity, it is just natural and easy for some of us. Some who have just woken up and has it. God does not play favors, you just have to be in tune. That's a topic there. LOL I don't know how else to explain.
K: Hi, KD: I would have to agree with you. It is a gift just like gifts that others have. I might wish to sing, for example, better than I do, but I am just not as gifted as some in that way. However, even the most gifted singer would have to use this gift or it would fade I would think. If I wanted to be more "psychic" than I am, I might notice more and become a little more intuitive, but I don't believe that I would ever (in this lifetime) have the gift as you do.
I have noticed that the show "Psychic Detective" has come to Prime Time TV. My husband and I were watching this last night and while he cringes a bit at such an ability, I find it fascinating and a gift just like any from God. It just depends on how people use it. I am amazed that many people (and, ironically, many religious people) are so fearful of the "spiritual". Yet, Jesus said that God is spirit and that we must worship him in spirit. Seems very comfortable to me. But....like you mentioned, just like there are some "not so nice people" there are some "not so nice spirits" and people should be mindful of that certainly.
KAB: Yeah SM, If anyone knows how to open a can of worms, you sure do!
This is another one of those questions that covers such a broad spectrum that addressing it all in one post is nearly impossible and will probably only raise more questions. I am glad it was re-posted as I was looking forward to responding. Although, a lot of what I am going to say will only reiterate and confirm what LM, K and KD have already shared.
You asked: Are psychic experiences the same as being spirit led (as christianity might call it)?
The answer is both “yes and no”, depending on who is defining the experience.
In a LITERAL sense, that is by definition, they are NOT the exact same thing, as Psychic pertains to the Soul (Gr-psuche), whereas, being “Spirit-led” pertains to the Spirit (Gr-Pneuma). The function of the Soul being that of Intellect, Will/Desire and Emotion, and the function of the Spirit being Intuition, Communion and Consciousness. Obviously the two work together which leads us to a couple other questions:
Where is the dividing line between the two (Soul & Spirit) and/or can it truly be ascertained?
Or, if a Soul is Spirit-led, is the experience Spiritual or Psychic? (or both)
For practical purposes, in most instances, it may really just be a matter of semantics, because what some “Christians” call being led by the Spirit may in fact be a purely Soulish experience, and what some Adepts may refer to as Psychic may in fact be Spiritual. It is really hard to measure someone else’s experience in this regard as to how it should be defined. In fact, the two terms have been used synonymously for so long, which has only added confusion to being able to distinguish the difference, or determine if any difference actually exists.
Physical influences are also factors that impact the Soul, albeit from an external dimension. The Body, being the realm of the Senses, Feeling and Action. As an example, Lust would be a Physical experience that affects the Soul (emotions, desires) through outward stimulation, whereas, Awareness of true Being would be a Spiritual experience that affects the Soul inwardly. Whether the Soul is being directed by outward Circumstances or Inspiration is a key factor in determining whether someone is being Spirit-led.
Manipulation of the Physical may be accomplished purely from the Soul-plane, whether Unconsciously or Subconsciously and/or without any true Awareness. This could still be considered Psychic experience. Hence, you can have an experience in which you Will something to transpire in the Physical through Intellect, Will and Emotion but without the Creative Power of Spirit.
This really ads an interesting dynamic, because many “Christians” have branded psychic gifts as evil when they themselves are actually practicing things that tend more toward the “psychic” (soulish), while many of the Psychics they shun are actually practicing that which tends to be more spiritual. In many cases, prayers are nothing more than incantations spoken without any Creative Power even though they may impact the emotions and intellect.
The religious fear that surrounds what has been called “psychic”, or even “magic” for that matter, really does more to deny the latent capabilities that we are all intended to have. And just as you said SM, there are even “spiritual gifts” such as “word of knowledge” which are called psychic in some circles.
By the way, whatever happened to the “working of miracles”?
At any rate, it is certainly a matter for wisdom and discernment (also NT “gifts of the spirit” by the way). But I believe, just as was said, if you are in tune, you will Know when the Source of something is truly the Spirit, no matter whether others choose to call it “Psychic” or “Spirit-led”.
SM: Very good thoughts everyone. I definitely see the correlation between the two, and people calling some of the same experiences by different names. Yet, should we fear? No. These experiences are a part of us. Why should we fear what is part of us?