Psychic: My Life in Two Worlds
by Sylvia Browne
Review by Aline deWinter
I have happily lived without a television for over twenty years, nor have I much interest in celebrities and celebrity biographies. Up until a year ago, I had no idea who Sylvia Browne was until someone on Facebook posted a video of her on Montel William’s Show striking out during a psychic reading. There are many of these videos on Youtube suggesting that Sylvia is not all that accurate and may even be a fraud. When I was asked to review her new book, Psychic: My Life in Two Worlds, I was reluctant to take it on, but as always, I thought I might learn something so agreed to do it.
I was pleasantly surprised. Sylivia does have extraordinary abilities. My own paranormal experiences have given me the insight to know that her many stories are genuine. She has a good sense of humor and lot of wisdom to share. There is also great comfort here for those who have painful questions about the nature of reality and its impact on them.
Sylvia’s overall philosophy is summed up in the first paragraph:
“I believe that before we came here from the Other Side to start a new incarnation, we write very detailed charts for out lifetimes to help guarantee that we accomplish the goals that we set for ourselves. We choose our parents, our siblings, our friends, our enemies, our spouses, our children, our careers, our assets, our challenges, our health issues, our best and worst qualities, the best and worst qualities in those who are closest to us, and certainly the timing of it all.
As I look back on this long strange, complicated life I’ve lived, I just have one question about the chart I wrote:
What the hell was I thinking?”
I can ditto that last remark.
Sylvia begins with a discussion of Dark Entities, a theme that resurfaces throughout the book. Her mother was a terribly abusive person and cast a shadow over Sylvia’s childhood. There is a truth that says most people are born psychic and most lose their psychic abilities in adolescence. People who grow up in violent and dysfunctional families tend to retain these abilities because of the need to constantly monitor the safety of the environment, to avoid danger. Children of these families also learn to read people quickly—-decipher facial expressions and body language, even temperature in a state of constant hyper-vigilance.
This is a tangent here, but if that is the case. Safe, secure, loving families do not tend to make psychics. Because of the abilities retained to deal with childhood terrors, most psychics will always feel like outsiders, especially from mainstream society, and will often continue to be attacked by those who have abusive agendas that they try to hide.
We can see how our primal ancestors needed these heightened abilities in order to survive in the wilderness. The rise of walled cities must have rendered those talents obsolete to a degree and our modern way of life, so tragically cut off form nature, has made them seem fantastical, illusory. Out of this reductionist “sticking to facts” comes the tendency of some to want to “stone the witch” by plastering her failures all over the internet while ignoring the huge body of successes she has had. No psychic is 100%. Reading for people is a huge responsibility because everyone who comes to a psychic wants to believe and is often looking for comfort and reassurance. Doing this work on the public stage is very risky business and the damage cannot be undone. On the other hand, it is foolish to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Mistakes have less to do with the validity of psychic ability, and everything to do with the current expectation that psychic;s perform circus tricks on cue.
Thanks to people like Sylvia Browne, we have records of the capabilities of the human mind and spirit, and a track record of someone who has worked magic with millions of people. Whether she is telling the truth or not, I have no idea, but many of her insights are useful.
Real Life as a Psychic
By being candid about the peaks and valleys in her life, Sylvia also strips away a lot of the false glamor that makes psychic abilities seem enviable. Most genuine psychics know the dark side of their “gift”. It is not the life of an Elf in “The Lord of the Rings” or a wizard in “Harry Potter”. We are often the target of much more mundane and ignorant forces and are subject to the same societal challenges as everyone else.
I particularly enjoy Sylvia’s many ghost stories and her discussion of their value as an indication of life beyond the physical—-the spiritual life that we experience when we go out of body, as Sylvia has done many times. her discussions of Past Lives was also very interesting. She does hypnotic regressions and tapes every session. She then takes the information, names, dates, places, and often finds out that they are extremely accurate. This is a valuable confirmation that we do indeed move between lifetimes as specific personalities.
Sylvia is a medium, in other words, she communicates with the dead. She is also a trance channel—-allowing herself to be the mouthpiece for her guide Francine, who does psychic readings sometimes in front of large crowds. Sylvia claims to have inherited this talent from her Grandmother Ada Coil who guided her in her psychic development since her early childhood. Her formal training in Spiritualism is obvious in the formulaic way she works—-grasping for names and initials of names in the way they all do it. This manner of working began with the Fox Sisters in the 1800′s and it possible Sylvia’s grandma Ada also studied these techniques and passed them on to Sylvia. Has her family been psychic for 300 years?
Not all psychics are the same. Sylvia Browne’s way has been to work with external spirits. This fascinates me as I am a completely different type of psychic. Sylvia’s spirit guides have done some amazing things through her. I highly recommend this book as an interesting and honest exploration of a famous psychic’s life, the lessons she has learned, and how she walks between the worlds.
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