Iíve studied the history and practice of psychical phenomena for some 25 years now, and in that time, certain patterns of behaviour have presented themselves that suggest a typical path to becoming a psychic.
Theories on what Ďpsychicí is vary. Some say it is a power that is being lost, whilst others that it is growing. Some say it is of a supernatural nature, whilst others say it is in the mind.
Such ideas often obscure psychics themselves.
What Iíll try to do here is bring the psychic into the overall idea of what is, and what is not, paranormal, and how it works, or doesnít.
To me, the paranormal is neither being lost nor growing in power. This is too neat a classification. The more I look into the subject, the more it becomes clear it is dependent upon our, and our cultureís, mind-state at a particular time.
It is all to do with outside information.
If that information is overwhelming, as it is in todayís world of information technology, then we are attuned to concentrate on it more and more, the physical world becoming predominant.
This is why, as technology advanced through history, we became more individualistic, atheist and materialist - which does, of course, suggest that the prevalence of the paranormal goes in line with this technological world. Hence, we are only perceived as being less psychic today because of mass information.
What happens when outside information is less?
History shows that as a culture, we become more religionist, superstitious and open to paranormal influences. Further, in cultures remote from mass information, this situation still exists today.
What is going on here? The answer seems to be that with less information in the outside world, the person becomes more introspective, spending time within their own minds. And it seems to be here that a channel opens to the psychical.
This can occur in the modern world, too.
Alongside our race towards materialism has come a new form of spirituality, best expressed in New Age. It teaches people to find themselves, and helps them into a world of trance.
Doing so cuts off the information in the outside world. And in being cut off, they are more attuned with their inner mind. And whether the paranormal is supernatural or more mind based, it is becoming clear that it is entered best through the deep mind.
This helps us in knowing how to be psychic.
Despite the information around us, the best psychics seem to be those who can withdraw from it and enter their own mind instead. This has been the case from the tribal shaman, to the Spiritualist medium, all of whom rely on trance.
Hence, the best way to be psychic is to have a natural ability to descend into your own mind, or train yourself to do so. For in cutting off outside information, you tune in to information and talents on a more ethereal level.
Over the years, Iíve noticed two particular types who do this best. First, those who are fantasy-prone. And second, those who have had extreme adversity in their lives. In both instances, such people seem to birth a natural ability to withdraw from the world.
And I suspect that, in doing so, they actually enter a world that is more pure and real than we think.
© Anthony North, April 2008