How do psychics predict the future, unless the future is fixed?

Let me begin answering this thorny question with a categorical declaration: the future is absolutely not fixed! As we will discover throughout the course of the article, many events are highly predictable – even highly likely without drastic intervention – but none is fixed or inevitable.

How then do psychics manage to predict the future, often in minute detail, unless at least some aspects of our lives are preordained? There are several different explanations for this, ranging from the mundane to the highly metaphysical. Let’s start with the most mundane.

Let’s suppose I visit a two-bit gypsy psychic at a carnival, and she tells me that sometime in the next month, I’m going to meet a beautiful woman with long strawberry blonde hair. Although I may have doubts about her authenticity, still, being a single man this is a thought that I might very much like to come true. Even in spite of some doubts, it is possible that the gypsy’s prediction may set up enough curiosity and anticipation to make the event come to pass. Naturally a more credulous customer may accept the suggestion with even less resistance, and make its fulfillment even more likely. Hence the gypsy psychic is simply using the Law of Attraction on behalf of the client. The meeting with the beautiful blonde was not preordained, but rather was set up by the thought planted in the client’s head.

The second type of psychic prediction is one that many people have experienced first hand. It is a precognition of something that comes to pass shortly afterwards. We may think of a friend we haven’t heard from for some time, then soon after we receive a phone call from them. We may get a song stuck in our head, and then it gets played on the radio soon afterwards. Once the ability is honed, we may be able to consciously predict a person’s course of action, or even the outcome of sporting events, elections and so on.

All of this is easily explainable, and does not require any belief in the fixedness of the future. In all these examples, the future event had already been determined in advance of the outcome being known to the public. For example, radio playlists are typically created in advance – meaning that the decision to play a certain song had already been made before the song was actually played. The long-lost friend had probably thought of us already and made a decision to contact us before they actually dialed the number. The person receiving the premonition has merely detected the energy of this decision psychically before the event has actually taken place.

Even predicting the outcome of sporting events and elections can be explained in this way. Most people have already made up their mind how they will vote well before they actually cast their ballot. Similarly, any number of factors can make a sporting team energetically weaker or stronger than their opposition, even in spite of their perceived form or recent record. If the margin is sufficiently strong, then the energetically stronger team is almost a dead certainty to win. Again, the outcome is still not fixed – but it would require a massive shift in the energy levels of the two teams for the outcome to change.

The third method of predicting the future is the method used by all genuinely skilled psychic practitioners. In order to understand it fully, you must have some basic grasp of the nature of the universal spirit. It is an infinite, impersonal, impartial energy that seeks nothing but the communication of itself in every-expanding and evolving forms of expression. Because it is infinite in every conceivable way, one can view it as already containing the potential outcome of every possible course of action within itself – or if you prefer, you can simply view it as infinitely intelligent and therefore able to calculate every possible outcome of every possible decision that anyone could ever make.

Since the second option is easier to get our heads around, let’s go with that.

Many of the greatest psychics in the world – if not all of them – attribute their sometimes startlingly accurate predictions to this characteristic of the Universal Spirit. A now forgotten and reputedly brilliant psychic Richard Ireland, who was once world famous, writes about it in his book Your Psychic Potential – A Guide to Psychic Development. Many others have written about it in Law of Attraction texts. The infinite intelligence of the universe knows exactly what is required to bring a set of circumstances into physical reality, even if it is required to draw the means from the ends of the earth. Ireland referred to the mental state where the infinite intelligence of the universe meets the psychic realm as ‘A-one-ness psi’. He writes:

“I have often referred to A-one-ness psi as the most reliable activity of the psychic because of its ability to deal effectively with totalities. It is concerned with the entire matrix of people, places and things that combine to create a complex event and not concerned with just an individual element of that event. The point I am leading to is that A-one-ness psi, with its comprehensive grasp of probabilities, is predominately precognitive. A-one-ness psi provides a projection of the future on the basis of existing probabilities. In arranging and assessing these probabilities it resembles a computer. In fact, a deeper understanding of A-one-ness psi can be gained by comparing its operation to that of an automatic data processor.”

In other words, the universe knows exactly what the results of every decision we make are likely to be, as well as all the flow-on effects and all the results of all the consequent decisions resulting from each choice we make. Like an infinite calculator, inconceivably more powerful than the combined processing power of every computer on earth, it can also predict our most probable response to various circumstances and stimuli – and thereby predict with tremendous accuracy an entire chain of events, sometimes stretching forward for years. However, like the methods used for forecasting weather, the further into the future the predictions are, the more variables come into play. This means that the accuracy of the predictions necessarily decreases as time goes on. But predictions made in this way tend to be unnervingly accurate when confined to the upcoming year or two, provided the psychic is sufficiently skilled. Once an event has been foreseen, it generally requires a dramatic change of tack for it to be altogether avoided.

It should be noted that the more we advance in consciousness, the more we move away from base, animalistic instincts and reactive decisions – and consequently, the less predictable our behaviours become. Otherwise imagine the sort of existence led by a Christ or a Buddha – such accurate, detailed powers of psychic perception as they must possess would render them mere automatons, doomed to act out the scripts they had foreseen for themselves.

But people who lack the higher intellectual and spiritual faculties can be predicted in some detail by the skilled psychic, even when placed in entirely hypothetical situations. For example, a skilled psychic could rapidly scan through the first year or so of a person’s career in a particular job, before they had even applied for that job. Such a psychic can even put two people together in a hypothetical marriage and visualise what this relationship would look like.

Spirituality never demands that we abandon rationality, nor submit ourselves blindly to a mystery. Even some of the most perplexing questions have a rational explanation, and I am forever being astonished by all the spiritual phenomena that once seemed an unfathomable mystery to me, which I now understand at least to the point where I am no longer gnawed at by impossible questions. Of course I am not so naive as to think that everything in the universe can be grasped by the rational mind, but there is still so much unnecessary mystery and confusion surrounding what are really quite basic, routine functions of the human soul – even though most people have not yet discovered them.

Our futures can be foreseen only to the extent that we allow our predictable animalistic natures to tie us down. The future is not fixed, and there is no such thing as fate or destiny, other than our shared destinies to become fully conscious, individualised forms of the Universal Spirit.

If psychics are genuine, why do their readings differ so wildly?

The psychic industry is rife with frauds and rank amateurs. Everyone knows it, and any honest psychic will admit it. However, having dealt with quite a few I can say with some conviction that many psychics are sincere, and truly believe that they are receiving messages from the other side. Indeed, most of them probably are to some extent. Nearly all psychics that I have dealt with were able to give me specific details about my life that they should not have been able to know. Specific, precise details – like that I used to play brain training games, that I was working on a novel and that I used to drink too much. And they managed to tell me these things out of the blue without fishing around for clues. While this falls far short of scientific evidence, my experience tells me that these abilities are absolutely genuine but rarely properly developed – and often hampered by ego or other energetic disturbances.

I say the ability is rarely properly developed, because none of the psychics I’ve consulted agreed on everything. In fact, many of them flagrantly contradicted each other. And some of them spoiled their own credibility by telling me things that clearly did not make sense, even after proving some genuine ability.

The trouble is, psychic ability is really just the ability to tune in to and read energy – whether it be another person’s energy, the energy of a situation, the energy of the future, or the energy of thoughts and beliefs. So if you don’t properly clear your own thoughts, beliefs and assumptions before a reading, your own energy is inevitably going to interfere with the reading. If you believe in guides and angels, you’ll see guides and angels – and they’ll tell you the sorts of things you’d expect guides and angels to tell you.

One of the psychics I consulted told me to look for a wife by placing a personals ad online, on “the Australian equivalent of Craig’s List”. That would be Gumtree. No go – they had recently closed down their personals section due to rampant abuse, and there was nothing else remotely equivalent. When I returned and told her so, my guides changed their mind and told me to join Tinder – which, for the more innocent among you, is an online hookups site. No thanks.

The most successful psychics – the ones that tend to get called in to solve impossible police cases (yes, it does happen – and they often succeed) are the psychics that not only clear their energy before a reading, but they’ve actually spent months or years deeply cleaning up their entire energy field so that their own beliefs, emotions and other rogue energies can’t interfere with their perception. These top-shelf professional psychics usually charge a fortune for a reading and tell you very little. You won’t get the fairy stories about guides and angels, and you may be disappointed by just how little information you get from them compared to the “fun” psychics that let you talk to your dead canary or tell you the love of your life is waiting for you on Tinder. But the information you get has a much higher chance of being accurate. And let’s be honest, that’s not what most people who approach a psychic actually want, is it? Amateur psychics thrive because they’re selling hope, or the thrill of communicating with the other side.

And that leads me to channeling – one of the most dangerous aspects of the psychic profession. Not only is it well known that frauds use many deceptive techniques to read a subject and tell them things about themselves that they theoretically should not be able to know (known as “cold reading”), but many sincere psychics actually use aspects of the same techniques without realising it. By giving squishy information that changes in response to the client’s promptings, most credulous subjects can be easily convinced that the psychic is contacting dead relatives. Even in the rare instances that the psychic hits on some specific, correct details about someone in the person’s life, there’s no guarantee that they’re actually channeling something from the other side. They could simply be picking up on the client’s memories of the person, for example.

My family on both parents’ sides is extremely small, and my circle of acquaintances has always been extremely limited. This produces some amusing results when psychics attempt to channel for me. A Canadian psychic I once consulted produced a gentleman in 1940s clothing who referred to me as “mate” and said he was hunting wallabies. Of course, there was never any such man in my life – he was a mere patchwork of Australian stereotypes. The same channeler produced a dead friend – perhaps a drinking partner from my university days, he said – who had a message to deliver. When I told the channeler that I never went to university and have never had a friend die, it turned out that he was a friend of my brother’s. Of course. The messages these people so desperately had to reach out across time and space to deliver were mere pats on the back, by the way. “Go ahead with your chosen path, you’re on the right track. We support you.” Thanks for that.

Such obvious nonsense only works because most people who consult psychics are highly credulous, they’re excited to hear from dead relatives, and they have enough people in their social circles to shoehorn the psychic’s usually vague descriptions into the memory of one dead relative or another.

You can see where amateur psychics get their poor methods from if you attend a cheap psychic development course. One such course that I attended for a few sessions before giving up in disgust entailed having our third eye chakras opened, and then giving readings to other members of the group. No other instructions were given. We were simply to have our chakras opened, and then wait for the information to come. Naturally, anything that popped into the reader’s head was considered a psychic insight rather than a random thought. As you can imagine, this participation-award approach was great for everyone’s self esteem, but not so great for accuracy.

But that’s half of what being a psychic is all about – ego and identity. It makes people feel special to have psychic abilities – and understandably so. Secretly harbouring a superpower that 90% of the world has no concept even exists would be incredibly tempting to anyone’s ego. No surprise that the majority of people with such abilities tend to base their identities on it. When you base your identity on an ability, you need to constantly reassure yourself of how good you are at that ability. Hence the tone-deaf warblers who audition for talent shows firmly believing that they’re headed for superstardom – they’ve based their identity on assumptions of talent and future success. And hence the meltdowns when the judges tell them they sound like a drowning rat. An attack on their abilities is an attack on their identity. So it is with the amateur psychics who believe they have a direct hotline to god. Being psychic is what makes them special, and examining their own work for accuracy would tend to put a dampener on their specialness.