Thursday, 21 January 2010

A forum response

Last night, I wrote a response to a question on a forum that happened to reference an interesting meeting. When I woke this morning, I realized that I'd never written anything about this incident, so this post will rectify that oversight.

In June of 1990, at 6:15 pm, at Garvin's restaurant in New York, I met a psychic I'd read about named Beatrice Rich. I was curious what a real psychic would be like, if there was indeed such an animal, and had set up the meeting to find out. She charged a hundred dollars for the reading, an amount that seemed high to me at the time, but from my current perspective as a forty-four year old, seems modest.

To avoid mistaken impressions, it should be pointed out that while I was skeptical whether other people, or any certain person was psychic at the time of this meeting, I was at the same time convinced of some of my own psychic experiences. The question then, was not whether anyone in the world could be psychic, but whether any certain person was. My skepticism of Beatrice came only from my long-held prejudice against people who made a career of their psychic abilities. In Beatrice's case, it wasn't entirely true, but I didn't know that at the time. She didn't "make a living" as a psychic, but performed readings once a week to satisfy demand.

This reading was the first of two I would eventually have, the second taking place shortly after the first, on June 24, 1990. I told the Maitre' d' who I was there to see, and he brought me directly to her table. She was perfectly normal in appearance, but her personality was pleasant to a degree I may not have ever encountered at that point in my life (and maybe not since either). To put it mildly, she did not come across as a person who could ever deceive someone else. This impression, I knew, might well be mistaken. I told her that I wanted to test her first, because we hadn't met before, and I needed some kind of bona fides before proceeding.

Thinking about it now, this must have been somewhat amusing to her because of the difference in our ages (I was twenty-four, and she was probably in her forties). In any event, she graciously complied by giving me some impressions that she was getting about me. She said she saw me working on a painting, that I was an artist, the painting was a landscape of a cold, deserted, far-away place. All true so far, but I didn't say anything. If my face registered somehow that she was getting everything right so far, I wouldn't know, but her next question couldn't possibly have come even if I'd been nodding my head in wild-eyed agreement with everything she said. She asked, "Is it Mars?" And she was right about that also. It was based on an old photo taken by Viking I (and thus in the public domain), and not by Voyager, as I thought last night when I made my post. Thanks to reader Ersby for his correction.

She then said she saw me working on a comic strip. She said that my wife's drawing were cleaner than mine, but my writing was better. She described my drawings as "lumpy", unflattering, but at the time quite true, at least of my cartoon drawings. My wife is also an artist, and is good enough that she has received serious attention from a couple of major syndicates, though at that time she hadn't yet made her first submission. All this was semi interesting, but then she did it again and gave me something very specific, she said, "The main character is a doctor, is it you?" This was completely correct also. I am not a doctor, but the main character in the strip, Dr. Andy, is based on me and he is a doctor.

So she was two for two here, in addition to making other statements that proved true. Some though, were not. Here are a few samples from my notes:
1) I asked her if she could tell me anything about my older sister, who had been adopted out of my family as an infant, and hadn't been seen since. She said that she lived in the north, in Canada, near an international border. She said that she was alive at the time and would be crossing this international border soon. She is moody and intense, sees her working with sick people, like at a hospital. She is big-boned, possibly overweight. She has dark hair. It is possible to find her. I asked if her name might be "Gretchen Schmidt", a name that I had run across as a possibility. She said it was not correct but that her adoptive parents are probably German.

There was no way for me to check any of this information at the time, because my sister still hadn't been found. Two years later, she found me. Rich was correct about her on most items, but not all. She lived in the north of Minnesota near the Canadian border, but not in Canada. I don't know what she did for a living then (she probably told me, but I forgot). She was not "large-boned" or "overweight". She is moody, her name was not Gretchen Schmidt, and her adoptive parents, named Pfiffner", are German.

2) I asked about a painting I'd recently bought as an investment. Her answer was incorrect in every way. Far from going up in value, or making a profit when I sold it, I received $25,000 less than I paid when it was sold at Christie's about a year and a half ago.

3) I asked her about a dream I'd had about the connection between me, my uncle, a friend, my father, and brother. She answered that the dream takes place in the 1850's, not later as I thought, that the family is well-to-do, and that the conflict between privilege and austerity is their point. I ask her to give me names from the dream, and she immediately comes up with "Ben" for the father, and, after some prodding, "James" for the brother. She sees a lot of wealth and connects it to pipe-fittings, lead, and pieces of pipe. The father is warm and friendly, someone else is disconsolate and frequently draws nature studies.

In my post last night I didn't mention most of these details, because the only parts that were pertinent were the names. But here, I'll point out that she was right about everything, at least to the extent the dream could be checked out. Some items were left out because there is no way to check on them. My father's name in the dream is Ben, as she said, just as my brother's name is James. Outside of the dream, I only have one family member named Benjamin, a cousin who was born after the dream. I have no relatives named James that I know of. The dream was about a life lived in a huge mansion, owned by my wealthy father. In one of the dreams about him, he owned a company that dealt in very large industrial-sized pipe fittings and pipes. Her comments about the personalities were correct also.

I asked a few other questions, and her answers were either generally correct or impossible to verify. With the items mentioned here however, she had done enough to convince me that she was genuine, regardless of the misses. The sample may be too small to generalize, but her statements about my dreams and personal life tended to be much more accurate than those about the future. The simple fact that there is a definable boundary to segregate the accurate from the inaccurate statements is interesting, but inconclusive.

I've got more incidents like this that, now that I think of it, I've never published. I may put some more on my website, later, in the dream section. Speaking of which, I may have to rename that section "Psi", because it will then include more than just dreams.


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the article! I have been trying to get Beatrice's contact details but I have had no luck so far. Any ideas of how I could get hold of them?
    Thanks! C