The start of another week, and the doubts are getting stronger. I keep asking myself why am I doing this? Why did I give up a perfectly good academic post (I was an Associate Professor, don't you know!) in order to learn to become a psychic? I'm putting it down to a mid-life crisis. It seems to be the only reasonable explanation.
I actually have two main reasons for pursuing this project. (Yes, if I call it a 'project' it doesn't sound so crazy...). My first focuses around my life-long fascination (well, since my early teens) with the 'paranormal', especially psychic phenomena. Around the same time, I was developing a keen interest in magic (as in conjuring, not the occult). I was equally fascinated with the possiblity that people who claimed to be psychic might actually be using techniques to make it look like they were psychic even if they weren't. I say equally fascinated, but if the truth be told, I found the idea that some people might be able to do it for real to be more captivating!
I went on to study for a degree in psychology, and was then fortunate enough to land a job with Dr Richard Wiseman. He has since become a Professor, and a best-selling author, and a world-renowned skeptic regarding claims of the paranormal, but back then he was newly doctored (as it were), and had just taken up a lectureship at the University of Hertfordshire. During the fours years that I worked with Richard, I got involved in a range of unusual and exciting research projects such as reconstructing dark-room seances, experiments designed to investigate the feeling of being stared at, and testing a psychic dog (we concluded he wasn't psychic). During this time I even studied for a PhD on the psychology of luck, of all things. (But that's a different story!)
Working with Richard I became more and more convinced that many psychic claims could be explained by conventional psychology, with people misinterpreting experiences (or even experimental data) as suggesting something psychic going on. But there was still a part of me that couldn't dismiss genuine psychic phenomena completely. This project represents an attempt to allow this part of me to explore first hand the possibility than psychic phenomena just might be for real.
But all that explains just one of the reasons I'm giving this a go. And it's quite personal to me. But my other reason is one that would apply equally to anyone reading this now. It has something to do with the feeling that there has to be more to this life than getting a job, a house, a car, and all the rest and passing the time until the day comes when you drop down dead. That surely isn't what it is all about. Is it? At least I hope not.
This project represents an opportunity to do things differently. To discover what else might be out there. Or in here. Of course, there may be nothing, but at least I will have looked. I will be able to put my hand on my heart and say I tried. For me it happens to be about discovering any hidden psychic abilities I may have. More generally, it's about discovering whatever it is that may be hidden inside you.
Or it's just a mid-life crisis.