Hasan “Sonsuz” Çeliktaş:
Dear Cem, let’s talk about an interesting topic: psychic powers. As it happens, something recently reminded me about this subject. A daughter of one of my friend’s has psychic powers, but she was afraid of them, so she consulted a psychiatrist. She relayed her experiences to him, and he referred her to a mental care center. Of course, nothing changed, and the girl felt so frightened that she withdrew into herself. Just in passing, she told me about her experiences, and I explained to her what they were all about. She was a clairvoyant, so she could see into other dimensions, and she had precognition, enabling her to predict the future. If she had lived in ancient Greece, people would have taken her to the Temple of Delphi to become a priest of Apollo, but in the modern world of “intellectuals,” they took her to a mental institution instead. So, I plan to touch on the subject in this issue of The Wise, because it is also a major topic that spirituals deal with. Let’s begin with my first question. What are these psychic abilities? How and why do they arise?
Hasan, you have yet again asked me a question that requires a lengthy answer. I cannot understand the real situation because I do not know your friend. It is a very sensitive subject, and there is a very thin line between mental derangement and having genuine psychic abilities. Sometimes people even straddle this line. I’ve never witnessed a mad man displaying psychic powers, but I know many psychics who went mad. I’ve seen it so often that I can safely say that every psychic has been on the brink of madness at least once.
During my visit to Master Hsu in Beijing five years ago, I asked him, “What should we do if we feel we are at the edge of madness?” He replied, “Nothing.” I wanted him to explain further, but he replied briefly, as always, “You cannot get there without going crazy.” I was just about to ask him what he meant when he said, “Once, I too went haywire.” When I asked how, he told me he had meditated and practiced so much when he was young that he began to confuse realities. One day, he was stood with his girlfriend near an elevator in the middle of the city. He stopped everyone passing by and told them, “This elevator is going up to heaven.” Of course, I knew what he meant to say. During his meditation, the elevator was a symbol used for rising to the upper dimensions, but he was confused between the realities of our dimension and the upper dimensions, so he thought this elevator physically rose to heaven. It was a mistake that could only be made by a genius capable of perceiving both this dimension and an upper dimension on the same level, but it was madness nonetheless.
On another occasion, he stood among a crowd of people in front of a huge statue of Buddha and shouted, “Stand up from that throne; I deserve to sit there.” I was really shocked to hear this and asked, “So, what happened next?” He told me, “My master arrived and told me ‘Not yet!’ I then returned to myself.” However, a mad man never returns to himself. When a spiritual man passes over that thin line, he steps towards madness, but this is just like the mental state of a schizophrenic. Perhaps we could call this the confusion of realities. I asked a final question of Master Hsu: “What happens if a man does not recover after such madness?” He answered in a wu wei approach, leaving things to the flow without any intervention. He merely shrugged his shoulders and said, “They generally do recover.”
Now let’s come to the topic of what these psychic abilities are. If you had asked me this question two years ago, I would tell you these abilities never arise accidentally, but last year, I met a man in Indonesia who totally changed this opinion. A coconut fell on his head, and he then suddenly possessed the same abilities as the most advanced yogis. This is not the only example. I also learned of an alcoholic and atheistic eighty-year-old playboy who also unexpectedly experienced similar abilities thirty years ago. I then began to believe that such abilities could occur suddenly and accidentally. However, I do want to emphasize one thing: Their abilities did not maturate these two people spiritually, and, vice versa, you do not need to be spiritually mature to gain these abilities. The abilities arise when certain areas of the brain activate. Perhaps newborn babies may also develop some psychic abilities as a result of touch screens, 3D visuals, virtual reality, and the other dominant technologies of today’s world. I would not be surprised to hear such things.
However, I have some questions about accidental psychic abilities. According to spiritual or even physical law, everything transforms into what it is inclined to be. I mean, if you sow a pine-tree seed, it will not grow into another kind of tree. Therefore, I believe the seeds of psychic abilities were sown during past lives. In this case, a coconut could trigger abilities in one person, but merely result in a concussion for someone else. On the other hand, just like Newton and the falling apple, he might also have a similar inspiring experience. I am kidding of course.
Another way to arouse psychic abilities is to train them patiently. Many of my friends, as well as masters I know, are keen on this. Some of them have fantastic abilities and are really talented. Some masters can shift the souls of two people from one body to the other. I’m not sure if ordinary people would achieve the same results, no matter how hard they trained. These trainings help of course, but it’s hard to say if they would be at the same level or not. Some of my students can control their metabolisms, change their body temperatures, or affect their internal organs. Perhaps they will ultimately transform these abilities into psychic powers. So, I think talent and effort are equally important.
The prerequisite for psychic abilities is sensitivity. These people sometimes feel uncomfortable because they are more sensitive than average people, so learning how to manage these abilities is very important. If they don’t, these people can suffer physically or even go crazy like your friend. Such people should first be pulled toward this reality and trained slowly within it.
We should also remember that, as my 35 years of experience on psychic powers taught me, 99% of those claiming to have psychic abilities do not have any. Of course, these people do not like to hear this.
Let me ask again to clarify. Are these people “gifted”? Are these abilities inherent, or can they be acquired? People are told, “You can too, if you want.” Now, you tell us quite the opposite. You tell us that 99% of these people do not actually have psychic powers. Does this mean that the remaining 1% are the chosen ones? Are they privileged in some way?
Hasan, it is not a matter of being chosen. If you were a mighty entity, you would not want to give special powers to an unskilled person, just as you would not ask a weak man to carry two hundred kilos. So, a mind and body unable to carry such abilities cannot acquire them. Anyone who tries will die or go crazy. Such abilities cannot be developed by anyone who desires them. Everyone wants to be special and prefers to dream about having powers, believing in them deeply. This is a disease among westerners. During my training and research trips to the far east, I witnessed the same thing everywhere, especially in regions that had contact with western culture: No one was interested in learning the abilities of the masters. Instead, they just wanted to receive healing, luck, or another benefit from them. They respected the masters, but they did not aspire to be like them. For them, everybody has a different role that is as precious as that of the masters. However, we western people do not like our roles and want better ones, so we don’t like to hear that we cannot obtain them. In fact, each role is equally important, and the masters are not the chosen ones. They just set the appropriate conditions to improve their abilities slowly. It is not a privilege, but rather a long effort. As we do not know their pasts, we think these people are privileged chosen ones.
What do these people gain by having such abilities? Do their abilities help them on their lives’ journeys? In fact, getting back to the insanity issue, people with psychic abilities do not lead happy lives as far as I can see. If they cannot combine these abilities with wisdom, their lives can be a living hell. However, if they can find the right balance, how are they then? For example, you mentioned a master who could change the consciousnesses of two bodies. Shifting the souls of a man and a woman could be a novel experience, but is it good for the master to do it? Are these psychics similar to the hackers in The Matrix?
If a person acquires such abilities, he or she will have scope to use them. This is like asking what the function of pinecones is. Some will be used for burning, the seeds in some will be consumed by other organisms, other seeds will grow into trees, and some will fertilize the soil. What is the function of eucalyptus trees? Some of them will dry the sloughs and some will be used as an herbal remedy. Psychic abilities are the same. They place a heavy burden on their owners, but if they are used correctly, they will help the spiritual development of these people. On the other hand, sometimes we acquire these abilities because of our spiritual progress. I especially like abilities that are not generally used. Our Heart Path method is like a school of miracles. Many abilities develop in line with conscious transformation, and only two of them are practiced: remembering past lives and deep concentration. These two abilities are required for awakening and enlightenment. In Heart Path practices, psychic abilities visit wise minds, so they are not harmful. They are also the most powerful abilities. However, you should also keep in mind that to develop psychic abilities, you should develop your spirituality first. So, we can separate psychic abilities into two classes: weak and powerful. The weak ones do not require spiritual development, but the powerful ones do. Well, the psychics who study the Heart Path are the hackers of the Matrix.
So, what is this Heart Path? Is it a kind of journey to discover our inner self? Or is it a different kind of method?
The Heart Path is the name for a real spiritual journey all over the world. The purpose of this journey is to find the answers to questions like “Who am I?” and “What is it all about?” so we can be enlightened after waking from the dream we are in. This is the only spiritual way. According to the enlightened masters, there is only one religious or spiritual teaching: the Heart Path. The Heart Path is to remember who we are in its simplest definition. Its methods are based on wisdom, carefulness, and sharp awareness. There are effective methods to develop these, and they all focus on a single point: Focusing on the present moment without any interruption. If you can focus on that moment, you end your existence as a human and awaken as a real human who was not born and will not die. This is similar to the popular phrase “living the moment” in modern spiritual approaches, while also being totally different.
As I mentioned, its methods are based on wisdom, carefulness, and sharp awareness. I’d rather not give any more details. The Matrix here is our mind or ego, so I don’t want anyone to think about developing new strategies against these methods. The rare weapons of the Heart Path’s teachers are diversion, improvisation, and paradoxes. If we cannot use these weapons, the mind cannot be easily awakened.
I want to emphasize one thing: I tried to convey these methods to you with simple words, but you gave up. Each answer brings another two questions in these topics. That’s why oral training is preferable to written instructions. Zen masters tell that a man who writes the techniques for enlightenment will return to the world as a donkey for seven life times. This is a strange expression, because enlightenment cannot be described either orally or through writing. I’ve made many stupid mistakes in the past, so I will not make any more.
Many people experience such abilities and are afraid of them because they do not understand what they are experiencing. It seems like the X-men’s experiences before they met Professor X. We know there is no school for X-Men in reality. For example, my friend can foresee the future and perceive different dimensions. There are some empaths, too, who can perceive the emotions of others. Then there are others with different “supernatural” abilities. What advice do you give to them? Or, if we know people like this, how should we treat them? What about children as well? Children younger than three can have these abilities because their consciousnesses are not fully developed. For example, my son is always seeing and showing us something. To be honest, it scares us. How should we train or guide them?
First, we should understand whether these are abilities, physiological disorders, or a result of a sensitive person’s intolerance. As I emphasized before, most people claiming to have psychic powers do not. They are afraid of hearing the contrary when claiming that they do. I try my best to affectionately explain that they do not have psychic abilities. Unfortunately, some of them are not ready to hear this and think that I am confirming their abilities, even after hearing my words. However, they have no such abilities. The information they give to others is generally wrong and unclear. For example, if you put your hand on the chest of a sick man and told him there was pain there, it would be true, because there are many internal organs, muscles, bones, and nerves there. Of course, there may be some pain. These people claim that they can foresee the future, transmit energy, see auras, or communicate telepathically, but this is not real in general. These things can never be demonstrated under scientific conditions, so they are subjective experiences.
Many people told me who I was in my past lives. I’ve had many visions from the past, probably created by my mind because of some movie I watched or book I read. Everyone experiences these things. However, it has nothing to do with remembering past lives or having visions from the past. I know people who are so inclined to believe in these things that they think that I am being cruel about it. But if you do not search for reality, you just live in an illusion, just like sitting in a bubble bath, and waste your life. I believe the vast majority of people claiming to have special abilities need psychiatric support, and most of them try to look important under the effect of some type of neurosis. Some of them really suffer, but the reason for this suffering is not psychic abilities but rather their psychological problems.
Of course, some of them do make progress and acquire psychic abilities, but this is a rare situation. So, psychiatry should cooperate with us to determine whether these people really have psychic abilities or psychiatric problems. Of course, it’s important with whom they will collaborate with when they decide this, because many crazy people assume they are experts on the issue. Those with real psychic abilities should practice with a trainer or expert to learn how to manage their abilities.
Moreover, if a person has a special ability, he will discover how to use it. So, if the ability is real, there is nothing to be afraid of. Because this ability comes to him with a purpose, it is open to progress.
As regards children, you should neither frighten nor encourage them. If children have real abilities, you should not scare them, because they cannot develop their skills that way. On the other hand, when abilities are not real, it’s not right to encourage children, because they can move into an imaginary world. Children are more skillful than us, and many children display some psychic abilities, including my own children. When they grow up, some of them do not mind their abilities, and others lose them in time. If they cannot use their abilities in life, they do not care about them, and they become lost. Anyway, if children are really talented, their abilities will hide beneath the thick layer of adolescence and wait for the day when they can grow again. When the spring comes, these hidden seeds grow above the ground again. If you want to preserve children’s psychic abilities, you should first keep them away from the current education system. This and the dominant values of society prevent the development of these abilities and blunt them. If you cannot succeed in this, you should teach your children to not pursue success, to not be greedy, to be fearless, to be content with less, to share with others, to not harm anyone, to not lie, etc. These abilities will then be preserved and find a way to develop.
If you are sure you have a psychic ability, you should find a way to use it. When you find it, this ability will not cause any problems for you. Let me warn you, though: If the thing you think is a psychic ability is not, and if you use it to gratify your ego, you are in big trouble. So, if you believe you are gifted, please be sure of it first. Without being sure, do not try to use it. Do not cheat people, and do not try to be a special and important person for the sake of being different to the others. Give up that quest to be special. You will then find room to develop your skills and find a way to use them. However, if your main motivation is to be an important person, you will know you do not really have a special ability. At least if you’re ready to accept this, of course.