I want to know
Knowing what the future will bring is a wish as ancient as mankind. From the ancient oracle of Delphi, to the astrologers of Babylon and Egypt to Seers all over the world to today’s psychics and fortune tellers, people’s need to consult them remains as strong as ever.
No matter that thousands of years have passed since those ancient times where oracles and divination were an integral part of people’s lives, no matter the evolution of psychology and science, the need to know one’s future is alive and well.
I want to feel in control
Even more interestingly one would have thought that the demand for fortune telling would slow down in times of economic crisis yet same as with hair salons, such businesses do even better at such times. The reason being that the worst one feels the more one wants to find something to make them feel instantly better. The more uncertain and stress causing the situation, the more the need for hope and hearing words of reassurance that things will improve, that everything will be all right in the end.
Sometimes the need may even be to get a time advantage in order to prepare ourselves for the inevitable, hard and challenging times ahead. It is all to do with gaining hope and/or a sense of control over our lives. Sometimes, as in the case of Astrology for example, we may just want to learn more about ourselves, our potential, especially when at cross roads in life contemplating which path to take.
Fortune telling’s appeal
The need to know our future is totally unrelated to levels of education, financial or social status or personality traits. It has everything to do with the state of mind one may be in and how open they are to the idea of fortune telling, parapsychology and the metaphysical in general. How desperate and stressed out the person is due to the circumstances they are facing. How strong their need is to receive words of hope and reassurance to be able to keep going and not give up.
The types of people one may encounter at a fortune teller’s place or seeking their services online can be wildly diverse and seemingly incomprehensible. From the jobless single parent, to the successful multimillionaire to the cheated partner, to the famous artist, actor or author of whatever sex, what brings them together seem to be the same. Need for hope, clarity, reassurance, knowing what will happen, a sense of control and relief from stress, loneliness or depression.
In a day and age where the desire for quick and ‘magical’ fixes is so prevalent, it may come as no surprise that so many people turn to fortune tellers. In a society where loneliness and isolation is so common, where people don’t know whom to trust, it is sadly ironic that we turn to total strangers for help, comfort and advice.
Instead of turning inwards to seek solutions to our problems, we seek the answers outside of ourselves thus giving our power away to a stranger who doesn’t know us, willingly putting varying degrees of faith in what they tell us.
The specific relationship dynamic where we give someone power over us is perhaps what makes it so irresistible and powerful. We regress to an age of innocence and vulnerability thus allowing someone else to ‘parent’ us. We enjoy that feeling of being under an ‘all knowing’ being and have them reveal and open the doors of the unknown to us, thus equipping us with the knowledge we seek in order to deal with it in better and more efficient ways, or so we think.
At least this is how it used to be in the ancient days where oracle readers, seers and shamans were revered for their wisdom and knowledge and were consulted prior to any action of importance. Nowadays with the abundance of so called psychics on the internet it has become more of a game, taken much less seriously but nevertheless titillating enough to make people spend their money on it.
Addiction to fortune telling
The most worrying trend is that there are people who get literally addicted to consulting psychics and fortune tellers, some spending considerable amounts of money to seek their advice regularly, ending up being unable to take any decision on their own. Like any sort of addiction it can turn out to be catastrophic for the individual, the consequences affecting negatively most aspects of their lives.
A study called: Fortune telling addiction: Unfortunately a serious topic. About a case report, by MARIE GRALL-BRONNEC, SAMUEL BULTEAU, [...], and ANNE SAUVAGET, highlights the magnitude of the problem.
“………Helen’s clinical features are typical of that of addicted people Goodman, 2008, whose personality is characterized by impulsivity (which particularly comes out in cases of an intense emotional context), and by sensation seeking. Other pathological personality traits can be pointed out: emotional lability, separation insecurity and low self-esteem. Moreover, Helen exhibits a decision making profile that is characterized by poor decision making abilities and failure to make the right and rational choices. This profile is suggestive of a predominantly executive dysfunction and is very frequent in addictive disorders (Ahn et al., 2014; Zois et al., 2014), …….“
Astonishing facts and stories
Like the example of Helen above, I have personally met people who were addicted to fortune telling, one of which used to seek one’s advice at least 5 times per week! Sara -not her real name- used to live very close to a card reader and had made it her daily routine to have her coffee and fortune telling session at the reader’s house every morning other than the weekends. The wife of a seaman, she felt very lonely, was constantly worried about her husband and had problems with her in laws.
It turned out that what she was seeking and actually getting was a friend to discuss her issues with and ask for advice. The card reader wasn’t even charging her any more but only occasionally accepting a gift of cookies, flowers etc. One could argue that since there was no monetary reward involved there was nothing bad to this, but the fact remains that Sara was still unable to make her own decisions and had to rely on someone else’s advice for just about anything. She totally depended on the card reader and had lost most of her self-reliance.
Why are people setting themselves up in what can turn out to be such a self-destructive trap? Why do people slip into the slippery slope of addiction? As with drugs it is the compensation of the gratifying and pleasurable feeling of temporary relief from whatever may torment them. A lack of self-esteem, a poor sense of self, together with high levels of uncertainty, stress, loneliness or depression and an outward locus of control, are the perfect ingredients that can create a fortune teller addict or any addict for that matter.
There are many people however, who do not exhibit such an addictive behavior yet are still putting a lot of faith in their psychic consultants and who will always consult them prior to taking any major decision or beginning of a project.
Such can be the large company owner who may seek the advice of their fortune teller before making any agreement or launching a new product. The ship owner who may want to start a parent company but will not proceed before consulting with his trusted psychic. The commercial realtor who is about to strike a large deal. The film director or famous author who wants to know how their film or book will do. These are all people who do not consult fortune tellers for personal issues but for business and career issues and who entrust them with their companies and fortunes.
You can read more stories and examples in the following articles:
In the Vogue: Why do people become addicted to psychics
In Her World: " TRUE STORY: “FORTUNE TELLERS NEARLY DESTROYED MY LIFE”
What is it?
So what makes knowing the future so appealing and irresistible to so many people? Obviously there are different reasons for different people, but is there a common denominator? Can it all be put down to a basic survival instinct and the advantage we feel we get when we believe we know in advance how things will turn out? Can it be the stress relief, the offer of hope? Or is there more to it and if so what is it? The thrill and appeal of the ‘magical and metaphysical’? Is it simple curiosity? What is so compelling in fortune telling that drives people to willingly give up their power and money away?
More importantly do we really need to know so much what drives people to fortune tellers or is it a better use of time and effort to ponder on how we can help people help themselves instead of relying on external help of such kind and risking falling victims to potential scammers or becoming addicted to it.
What if the skill of effective thinking and decision making could be taught? What if relaxation and meditative skills to reduce debilitating stress and anxiety could be learned and used at will whenever needed? What if the cultivation of a strong sense of self and self-reliance was to be considered as necessary, important and valuable to be taught and encouraged at school? What if anyone could learn how to use free association tools to stimulate and improve their intuitive skills? Do productive brainstorming and hone their thinking process? What if taking time daily to center ourselves and consult with our inner self could help us get back on track, remove ourselves from the external dramas and into a more ideal state of inner flow?
What are your thoughts?