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Is it morally wrong to consult a fortuneteller?

Writing about paranormal and mystical phenomena has drawn readers, radio listeners, friends and acquaintances to send me hundreds of questions.

Sometimes I have even been stopped by total strangers who ask me about certain experiences.

Here are a few of the more common ones:

How does one define paranormal?

I don't like the word 'paranormal' because it implies that something is 'beyond the normal' course of things. This is not true at all.

Our definition of what is paranormal is derived from what science considers normal. For instance, it is normal not to see a spirit or ghost, but if somebody sees a ghost, even if confirmed by several unbiased witnesses, it is considered paranormal. So, there is something wrong with our definition.

Do you pray to God? Do you have a religion?

Like many others in the country, I was born, reared and educated in the Catholic religion. I studied in a Catholic school from elementary to college. I even taught catechism in high school, and Christian ethics, logic and scholastic philosophy in college. My favorite subject in college was theology or religion.

I was invited to enter the seminary but did not feel I had the vocation for it, although I had, at one time, considered it.

It was only after graduating from college and studying other religions, which were considered 'false teachings' by the Catholic Church, that I began to see the light.

Oneness

This growing belief in the oneness of things became clearer to me when I read the Bible myself and realized the teachings of Jesus Christ and the disciples were either misinterpreted, ignored or misunderstood by the Church fathers. Surely there could be interpretations other than those of the Christian religion that are equally valid?

The answer to both questions, then, is yes. I do pray and believe in God and in Jesus Christ, but perhaps not exactly in the same way that most Christians do.

What is the New Age movement?

The New Age movement is not really a movement in the ordinary sense of the word. No single person or group started it. It is not a deliberate effort by anybody. There is no central doctrine or teaching, except general assumptions or points of view.

From a purely astrological viewpoint, the New Age refers to the coming Age of Aquarius, which is based on the precession of the equinoxes. The constellation that rises with the sun on the vernal equinox stays the same for 2,000 years and gives its name to the Age.

Frankly, I see no incompatibility between the Christian religion, or any religion for that matter, and the so-called New Age movement.

I think it is even wrong to call it a movement since it has no leaders, no set doctrines, no rituals and no rules. It is also not a religious or a semireligious movement.

For me, New Age is simply a metaphor for life. It involves a new way of looking at the universe that makes us open ourselves to a sense of wonder and the divine in everything around us.

Let me assure you, there's nothing to fear about New Age. You may belong to any religion and yet be a New Age adherent. You don't have to change your religion.

Do you read cards and tell fortunes? I need your help!

I once researched on the validity of predicting the future using Tarot cards by trying it myself. After about three months of practice, I became fairly accurate, about 80 percent.

But after achieving almost 100-percent accuracy, I gave it up. I don't want to be known as a Tarot card reader or fortuneteller.

I'm basically a psychic researcher or parapsychologist. I can give you counseling without having to read cards, if you wish. There are many Tarot card readers in Metro Manila, but few are good ones.

Morally wrong

Is it morally wrong to consult a psychic or fortuneteller?

There is, I believe, a good reason for the Christian religion to discourage people from practicing mediumship or consulting mediums. If you open up yourself to becoming a channel of the spirit, you may attract negative ones.

Consulting card readers is something one should be careful about, because very few can tell the future with absolute accuracy. If you believe the card reader, you may eventually undermine or weaken your own will, especially if you consult card readers frequently. You will become dependent on them.

I do not believe that card reading is bad in itself. Used properly and wisely, it can give you important insights about yourself, other people and future events. But you should never become dependent on it.

Why can't we use our psychic abilities to enrich ourselves?

I have observed that almost all good psychics, clairvoyants, healers and fortunetellers are financially handicapped. None of them is really rich or financially independent.

It seems that when we deliberately try to make money for ourselves through psychic or supernatural means, we fail. But if it is for others, or for a worthwhile cause, we succeed.

Healers who have not yet been spoiled by materialism tell me the same thing. They don't feel good charging patients who come to them for help.

What about healers who make a lot of money by using their healing gifts? Well, such wealth could be very temporary, or something happens to them.

One very well-known healer who became very rich died at age 42; another simply disappeared without a trace.

One healer was bitten by a dog and died of rabies, while another died of cancer. Another healer ran for a major position and was assassinated.
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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Oct 25, 2016
Words:1054
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