Why all the doubts?

I have always been a skeptic. After all, I’m a science writer and make my living in the fields of life sciences and the environment.

Yet, I live with a man who is psychic and who came from a family of people similarly gifted. I’ve also researched and written two anthologies of everyday people’s mystic experiences. So, why do I still sometimes have doubts?

As I often reflect on radio shows, if you haven’t experienced the paranormal yourself, it can be challenging to, deep down, believe in it. The people I’ve interviewed who have experienced the inexplicable tell me it has changed their lives. Studies bear that out.

For instance, Dr. Bruce Greyson counsels patients who have attempted suicide and has found that people who undergo near-death experiences (NDEs) generally lose their fear of death. But rather than making it more likely that they would attempt to take their lives again, the opposite has proven true. NDEs actually make people much less suicidal.

Another study of 1500 people, funded by the Henry Luce Foundation, found nearly one in four participants had experienced a mystical event at some point in their lives. When asked how their experience made them feel, 55% achieved a “deep and profound peace,” 48% had “a certainty that all things would work out for the good,” and more than 40% felt a need to contribute to the betterment of others and that “love was at the center of all things.” It’s worth mentioning that this study took a cross section of Americans, not of any particular belief system.

What I’ve learned through my research is that mystical experiences seem to be more common than many may think. That same study found that of the 1500 people interviewed, nearly 60% had experienced extrasensory perception (in touch with someone far away), nearly one in four had experienced clairvoyance (seeing events happen at a great distance as they were happening), and more than one in four felt they had been in contact with a loved one who had died.

So… I belong to the majority of people who don’t experience paranormal phenomena–which is why I call myself a “Psychic Bystander.” And that’s fine; one psychic in the house is enough. Perhaps it’s my lack of psychic ability that intrigues me about such events. That’s why I interviewed people working in healthcare, education, finance, engineering, marketing, entertainment, pastoral services, and law enforcement–in other words, the bedrock of our society, to share their psychic tales with others. Both of my books include more than 100 stories. My first book, Loitering at the Gate to Eternity, also delves into the history of various psychic experiences including channeling, out-of-body experiences, and reincarnation. My second book, Sightseeing in the Undiscovered Country highlights several recent scientific studies by universities and the U.S. military into consciousness, near-death experiences, reincarnation, and more.

Writing these books went a long way to softening my skepticism as, of course, has living with my psychic husband, Stephen, for almost 25 years. Whether you are a naturally inclined skeptic, like me, or a believer, when you finish reading the Psychic Bystander book series, you may never view “reality” the same way again.