I refuse to take the bait. I’m talking about the challenge issued by the U.S.-based James Randi Educational Foundation – if anyone can prove they have any type of psychic abilities, JREF will give that person $1 million. While a million bucks would go a long way to paying off my mortgage and allowing me to take that Sedona dream vacation, I don’t need to prove the existence of spirit to anyone who obviously has no faith in spirit, humanity, their own spiritual potential, or God. Actually, I feel sorry for the JREF-ers, who use cold, hard-nosed rationality to blind themselves to miracles that occur daily in all of our lives.
I’m not alone in passing on the challenge – reputable psychic mediums like James Van Praagh and Alison DuBois have ignored Randi’s tantalizing taunt. He was quoted in an article on sympatico.ca, saying, "Hopefully, the JREF's Million Dollar Challenge makes people think twice when they hear psychics claiming they can predict the future or talk to the dead. If psychics can really do what they say they can, why hasn't anyone taken our million dollars?"
Further, he said the challenge was meant to target "high-profile operators" [like Van Praagh and DuBois] who "are getting rich by preying on people's grief and guilt about loved ones who have died," calling their actions "despicable."
While I must unfortunately admit that there are psychic scammers out there – charlatans who promise to remove curses for ridiculous sums of money – the majority of psychics and mediums I know are trustworthy individuals who truly want to serve humanity by bringing messages from spirit to their friends and loved ones still on the earth plane. From my own experience, many of my clients are happy and grateful when I provide for them verifiable evidence that I’ve connected with their loved ones in spirit. (Alas, I can’t claim 100 percent success, but no medium will make that claim.)
When my husband read the sympatico.com article, he prodded me to put in my two cents toward claiming the $1 million prize. You’ve got to understand that Benjamin, besides having great faith in my skills, is a former advertising and marketing writer, and thinks the JREF test would be a great way to create publicity for me. (Another of his ideas: Serve coffee and pie with each reading. Nahhhh…)
I won’t accept the Randi test for two reasons: First, if I were to agree to his challenge, I’d be doing it out of ego – to prove to myself and others that I was better than him. Because doing that, I’d no longer be working for spirit, I’d be working for myself. And I’m happy to be subservient to the needs of spirit, which needs to prove nothing.
Secondly, and most importantly, it’s impossible to prove something to someone who’ll never accept the impossible. Science only goes so far in explaining how the world works – the rest is up to a person’s faith. I accept in faith that there is life after death, and I live that acceptance every time I provide evidence that a client’s mother, father, friend or pet comes through in a reading. I accept that there’s a divine intelligence in the universe that had a hand in our lives, if we allow the intelligence to work with us. And I have faith that one day, humans will transcend the petty bickering that goes on between groups and we’ll embrace each other in the spirit of tolerance and love.
Why do I choose to have faith? That I can’t explain – I just believe. I accept the words of philosopher Khalil Gibran: "Faith is a knowledge within the heart, beyond the reach of proof." And I especially appreciate this thought from American humourist James Thurber: "It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers."
As a former magician, James Randi made a living creating false realities to fool people. Perhaps this is why he sees falseness everywhere, and needs to cling to science as a way to believe in the world of truth. To respond to that, may I add one more quote I’ve come to like? Henry David Thoreau said, "Men are probably nearer the central truth in their superstitions than in their science."
Amen to that.
If you have any questions or comments on this subject or on any other spiritual matter, feel free to write me at firstname.lastname@example.org. And please visit me again!