I was an interested, but not convinced, viewer of “Sensing Murder”, the television series where psychics claim to communicate with the victims of unsolved murders in New Zealand. Despite some skepticism, I was much more a fan of this show than any of the magician shows, even though the magician shows were far more entertaining and delightful than “Sensing Murder”. But even though you had no idea how a $10 note you saw torn up before your eyes turned up intact in the wallet of a random spectator, you still knew that it was just an illusion. Not even the magician denies it is just an illusory trick. Unexplainable, much more so than “Sensing Murder”, but still an accepted fake, a deceit of the senses.
“Sensing Murder” claims to be a genuine psychic experience, not an illusion. But it would still have been very easy to dismiss as fake. Yet, probably for that very reason, I could not so easily dismiss it as such (was I victim of a double bluff ? where the potential for faking it is so obvious that we don’t believe they would be so dumb, therefore it must be true). And this doubt made it made much more compelling viewing for me than David Copperfield which I knew, beyond doubt, to be fake. So when Kelvin Cruickshank and his amazing troupe of dead people rolled into town for a performance, I thought, why not?
I expected to be one oddball amongst a couple of dozen gypsies, but was quite stunned that, arriving 20 minutes before the start, I could hardly find a seat. Almost as far from the performance as I could be. There was also quite a range of ages and characteristics represented. It was a congregation that most churches would be very envious of, and even if they had those numbers, they surely would not be getting $65 in the collection box as Kelvin Cruickshank was (plus book sales). On the dot of seven KC (as he referred to himself) strode confidently into the room without a sign of the limp that his name promised.
He spent quite a bit of time warming up (or calming down) his audience before deciding that he could see enough dead people to make a decent show and then over a couple of hours he spoke on behalf of a dozen or so dead people to the appropriate people in the congregation. None of my lot turned up, but then they wouldn’t, would they? Just not their thing. There were tears and laughter among the chosen few as he passed on messages. He certainly appeared to be picking up some specifics that you would not expect; like the ‘dead man’ reminding his wife about his dentures in the glass and asking why? It turned out they hadn’t put his dentures back in his mouth when they buried him.
The lady next to me, not being shy, stuck up her hand to catch KC’s attention and insisted on being told about her family; a bit out-of-order but KC quickly told her that her mother was not a nice lady and then asked who the alcoholic was. That settled her down as she later told me she had nursed an alcoholic brother who had since died and her mother had been such an unpleasant person that she had not even gone to her funeral. He also told her that her friend (beside her) had a spirit visitor called William (it was her father).
So where am I at the end of that. Any the wiser? Well my position is the same as it was when watching “Sensing Murder”. I don’t doubt these psychics can pick up messages and images, but the question I have is: ‘where from?” The answer of the psychics and the grief-stricken is that it comes from the souls of the dearly departed. That this pinpoint of energy, the soul, manifests itself and other images in hologram form in the mind of the psychic and transfers written or verbal messages to the same psychic mind to be passed on. Who am I to say that is impossible? No one living through the last fifty years can rule anything out as impossible as the inconceivable has become reality in so many fields.
Is there a chance that he spikes the audience with stooges? Anything is possible, but I would almost bet the house that the lady with the bitch mother and alcoholic brother beside me was no stooge. I certainly don’t think a stooge-based show could be taken around NZ, to so many small, intimate towns, and sustained for too long before the secret was blown. And he has been going around the country for a few years now.
But there is another source that also cannot be dismissed. The skeptics generally claim that the psychic simply throws out enough generalisations as bait until he/ she spots a reaction and builds from that with just some shrewd intuition until he/ she gets close enough to the truth, usually by taking advantage of unsubtle leads from the emotional subject. I am sure a bit of that goes on at the lower end of the psychic business but, to give him his due, Kelvin Cruickshank was leading the conversations and certainly not taking cues from his audience. But one thing I do not underestimate is the huge amount of untapped capacity in the human brain. The often quoted “we only use 10% of our brain’s capability” is now generally accepted as a complete myth, nonetheless there do seem to be a variety of different ways that brains work to create different talents in individuals.
We know some peoples’ brains are left sphere dominant (language and logic) and others right sphere dominant (creative, intuitive, holistic). Some people are naturally mathematically wired up, even to the point where some have absolutely outstanding mental computing capabilities. Read about Arthur Benjamin as one example. Others are wired up for spatial understanding; there are numerous examples of outstanding child prodigies in music. Our brains can be variously wired to deliver unbelievable outcomes.
I do not think it unreasonable to think that different people with different brain-wiring that accentuates the right brain sphere to a level of intuition well beyond the cognisance of the average person. And I do not think it beyond the realm of possibility that at the highest end of the intuitive spectrum, one brain may be capable of actually reading images and messages from the energy waves sent out of another brain. That it is possible for some brains to communicate at a subliminal, non-verbal level. You may mock, but if you do not accept this theory then you must conclude that he communicates with dead people.
So, you may ask, whose mind could he be reading in “Sensing Murder” when the victim was unknown to him and long since deceased? The answer is very simply the minds of the production staff who had so carefully researched the programme before he became involved and the police who are in attendance with the psychic process. All with their own information and theories.
I am not saying Kelvin is not a medium for the dearly departed. In the words of Shakespeare’s Hamlet: “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” I have myself witnessed events that have been pretty compelling as regards contact after death. I am certainly not denying the journey of the soul. The great philosophical debate in this topic is whether the consciousness of an individual is created by the brain of the newborn according to its genetic code and developed by experience throughout life, or whether consciousness exists in perpetuity around us and the brain simply opens up a connection to that universal consciousness during gestation and begins to apply that consciousness to situations that the individual experiences throughout life. Choosing either option is largely a question of faith. The medical pragmatists deal only with what is empirical evidence before them and so believe that the brain creates its own consciousness and on the death of the brain that consciousness ceases. Spiritual people believe that through meditation and prayer they can connect more closely with the supreme consciousness.
One interesting observation arises from the understanding of homosexuality which has only been more scientifically and empathetically studied in recent decades of humanity. It is now universally accepted that there is a real, natural human condition whereby a person of male consciousness exists in the physical body of a female human and vice versa. Medical pragmatists would say that is no more than a genetic code mutation. But if you believe that, during gestation, the brain opens up a connection to a universal consciousness, then it must be connecting with a consciousness that has a male/ female gender option and that this process is completed prior to the physical gender being determined. So that while the consciousness may be one gender, it does not guarantee that the physical would be the same gender.
That looks like a rather complex rabbit hole which I am tempted to stay out of without a very good map and compass, however it does bring us to the belief of the psychics and of religions which is that, once initially created, the consciousness retains its own unique identity in perpetuity. Presumably that includes a gender identity. Some religions believe in reincarnation whereby those unique creations of consciousness have a rest period in the non physical form and then continue to recycle through new physical forms in this physical world until the state of perfect consciousness is achieved.
So are these travelling psychics truly in contact with the dearly departed on another dimension or are they just in contact with the brains of the dearly grieving. If I was an exceptionally intuitively wired-up person who received images and messages into my brain that seemed to have very highly emotional resonance with grieving friends and relatives, and this was how I would earn my living, then I think I might also be presenting myself as a medium for the dearly departed rather than a mind-reader for general entertainment. It may, of course, well be that the psychic may have no more idea than I do where these images and words come from.
But if he helps people break out of the spiral of grief, then that is a positive thing and well worth the $65; I am even happy to donate my $65 to help others break out of that cruel spiral, for the natural cycle of life depends on saplings seeking the sunlight beyond the shadow of the fallen tree.