The ability to change your mind is practically a super-power! My mother had a friend (named Victor Mariano Ricardo Alphonzo Ibarguan de Urbay), who was annoyed by the new discoveries in Parapsychology in the 60s that seemed to support the existence of psychic abilities. Since he was wealthy, he sponsored a study at a local college to prove “once and for all” that this was foolishness. The evidence, however, supported the reality of psychic abilities, and Ibarguan accepted the results (after carefully checking the methodology). My mother always used this as an example of the right attitude in science.
I also point out that sometimes internal things change. When I was pregnant, I was revolted by even the smell of liver, whereas when I wasn’t, I loved it (after I got out of my teens). This leads me to believe that often our reactions and tastes may be based on hormones- over which we have no control. Who are known for having strange and unusual tastes that may vary wildly? children, teens, pregnant women and menopausal women are all known for it. Isn’t it more reasonable to accept that it’s fluctuating hormones changing their response to foods than to assume that they are simply trying to annoy us?
If you see (or hear, or smell) something differently one day to the next, it may simply be that your abilities changed. Don’t deny that reality, work with it. It may become an advantage, just as if you get new information, you may need to reevaluate old conclusions.
When confronting skeptics of the supernatural, we are dealing with a belief system, as much as they don’t tend to think of themselves in those terms. In John Michael Greer’s book Monsters, he writes “Sociologist James McClenon demonstrates in his incisive study Deviant Science, most of the scientists who accept the reality of psychic phenomena do so on the basis of evidence. Some are familiar with the impressive results of parapsychological research over the last century, while others have had personal experiences with ESP. Most of those who reject the possibility of psychic phenomena on the other hand, do so on the basis of theory. In McClenon’s study, in fact, no less than 93% of scientists who rejected psychic phenomena referred to a priori arguments (that is arguments based on theoretical principals0 as an important factor in their opinions, while only 7% of those who accepted psychic phenomena did so.”
When trying to convince these people, we need to remember that they are intelligent, and respect evidence, but have forgotten to set aside their own preconceptions. They may not even be aware that those preconceptions exist. We need to create a climate in which the cost of changing their minds is not greater than recognizing evidence. Make it safe for them to fit new ideas into their existing world.
Changing someone’s mind is so much easier when you don’t try to bludgeon them with their own mistakes, but make them allies in the search for truth. We can move into a better future together if we take them with us moving together with curiosity, not dragging them unwilling.
Almost anything works as an analogy for life: sports, gardening, weather… we tend to refer back to what we know. But although few of us actually know battle (thank goodness) it is a popular analogy, a popular motif. We admire the warriors, after all “Greater love has no man than to lay down his life for his friend.” Someone who intentionally dedicates his life to putting himself between danger and others is admirable in a way that those who respond well to an accident don’t achieve. Who runs INTO a burning building when others run out? Who stands in front when a dangerous animal or person is threatening? Those who take this on as a lifestyle are traditional heroes. But then, any parent might be the answer to those questions, and their dedication is simply to their family. Fighting is the analogy for how we deal with things that frighten us. When there’s someone we love so much we don’t even think about it, that changes the whole equation. Holding on to what we know or letting go of it may be something you fight for, something you consciously tell yourself “I have to do this”, or sometimes you let go or hold on simply because you love and that takes the thinking and decision making out of it. It’s not a battle, just the natural reaction to love. In that case love will show you whether changing or not is the right thing at the moment.
My husband used to say “Pain is your friend, it tells you when you’ve done something stupid.” My way of looking at it is that pain is your body shouting. Your body sends you messages with sensations: you need to eat, no- don’t eat that! you need to drink, you need to empty your bladder, you need to move or your leg will fall asleep, there’s something sticking into you- move back. Most of these things are noticed below the level of perception, but if we ignore them, the message gets stronger and becomes pain. Whether physical or emotional, when something is hurting you the message is that you need to change something. Learning to avoid pain is smart, but learning to listen before things gets painful is wise. Staying in a painful situation is almost always going to damage you more than trying to get away. Don’t let fear of unknown dangers keep you from avoiding the ones that are already manifesting.
How difficult would it be to get the modern, scientific world to accept the psychic, spiritual, magickal world? That “rational” world is the status quo, and we are at the point of change. The trigger for change is all of us who have had personal experiences with the paranormal and wind ourselves trying to get that accepted by others. When the whole system is set up to deny and mock those who accept the occult, if you come out for it, you are going to bear the brunt of the resistance. You will also give hope to others who have also experienced it, and felt safer not admitting it publicly. The more people who come out and say “yes, I’ve seen a ghost”, “yes, dowsing works”, “yes, people have ESP”, “yes, we can communicate with plants” and are willing to come out as accepting supernatural beliefs, the more people will say “That makes so much more sense given my personal experience” (and maybe our ancestors weren’t all foolish to believe in this stuff after all).
Integration will require that many things change in our parent culture. Medicine could go forward with more success, and fewer side effects. We’d stop exploiting the natural resources because we’d respect their consciousness. People will have to find other things to mock in order to feel superior to someone else. (Wouldn’t it be nice if we could skip that!) All of these changes would be hard, but can grow out of simply raising the next generation not telling them what’s impossible.
As the chart shows, once we’ve gotten through Integration, we’ll be working on a higher level. Another way to look at it is that we’ll be ready to negotiate the next change and keep moving, spiraling ever upward.