Becoming Medically Intuitive

Caroline Myss, from Anatomy of the Spirit: The Seven Stages of Power and Healing

In the autumn of 1982, after ending my career as a newspaper journalist and obtaining a master’s degree in theology, I joined forces with two partners to start a book publishing company called Stillpoint. We published books about healing methods that were alternatives to establishment medicine. Despite my business interest in alternative therapies, however, I wasn’t the least bit interested in becoming personally involved in them. I had no desire to meet any healers myself. I refused to meditate. I developed an absolute aversion to wind chimes, New Age music, and conversations on the benefit of organic gardening. I smoked while drinking coffee by the gallon, still fashioning myself after an image of a hard-boiled newspaper reporter. I was not at all primed for a mystical experience.

Nonetheless, that same autumn, I gradually recognized that my perceptual abilities had expanded considerably. For instance, a friend would mention that someone he knew was not feeling well, and an insight into the cause of the problem would pop into my head. I was uncannily accurate, and word of it spread through the local community, Soon people were phoning the publishing company to make appointments for an intuitive assessment of their health. By the spring of 1983 1 was doing readings for people who were in health crises and life crises of various kinds, from depression to cancer.

To say I was in a fog would be a gross understatement. I was confused and a little scared. I could not figure out how I was getting these impressions. They were, and still are, like impersonal daydreams that start to flow as soon as I receive a person’s permission, name, and age. Their impersonality, the nonfeeling sensation of the impressions, is extremely significant because it is my indicator that I am not manufacturing or projecting these impressions. It’s like the difference between looking through a stranger’s photograph album, in which you have emotional attachments to no one, and looking through your own family’s photo album. The impressions are clear but completely unemotional.

Because I also didn’t know how accurate my impressions were, after a couple months of consultations I found myself dreading each appointment intensely, feeling each was a high-risk experience.

I got through the first six months only by telling myself that using my medical intuition was a bit of a game. I got excited when I made an accurate “hit” because, if nothing else, an accurate hit meant my sanity was intact. Even so, each time I wondered: ‘Will ‘it’ work this time? What if no impressions show up? What if I’m wrong about something? What if someone asks me something I can’t answer? What if I tell someone she’s healthy, only to learn later that she’s had a terminal diagnosis? And above all, what’s a journalist-theological-student-turned-publisher doing in this borderline occupation in the first place?”

I felt as if I were suddenly responsible for explaining the will of God to dozens of sad, frightened people, without any training. Ironically, the more these folks wanted insight into what God was doing to them, the more I wanted insight into what God was doing to me. The pressure I felt finally resulted in years of migraine headaches.

I wanted to carry on as if my emerging skill were no different from a talent for baking, but I knew better. Having grown up Catholic and studied theology, was keenly aware that transpersonal abilities lead one inevitably to the monastery–or to the madhouse. Deep in my soul, I knew that I was connecting with something that was essentially sacred, and that knowledge was splitting me in two. On the one hand, I feared that I would become incapacitated, like mystics of old; on the other, I felt destined for a life in which I would be evaluated and judged by believers and skeptics. No matter how I envisioned my future, however, I felt I was headed for misery.

But I was fascinated by my newfound perceptual ability, nonetheless, and was compelled to keep on evaluating people’s health. In these early days the impressions I received were mainly of a person’s immediate physical health and the related emotional or psychological stress. But I could also see the energy surrounding that person’s body. I saw it filled with information about that person’s history. And I saw that energy as an extension of that person’s spirit I began to realize something I had never been taught in school: that our spirit is very much a part of our daily lives; it embodies our thoughts and emotions, and it records every one of them, from the most mundane to the visionary.

Although I had been taught, more or, less, that our spirit goes either “up” or “down” after death, depending upon how. virtuously we have lived, I now saw that our spirit is more than that. it participates in every second of our lives. It is the conscious force that is life itself.

I carried on with my health readings on a sort of automatic pilot, until one day my ambivalence toward my skill was resolved. I was in the middle of a session with a woman who had cancer. The day was hot, and I was tired. The woman and I sat facing each other in my small office at Stillpoint. I had completed her evaluation and was hesitating for a moment before sharing it with her. I dreaded telling her that the cancer had spread throughout her body. I knew she was going to ask me why this catastrophe had happened to her, and I felt irritated by my responsibility of answering her. Sure enough, as I opened my mouth to speak, she reached over, put her hand on my leg, and asked, “Caroline, I know I have a serious cancer. Can’t you tell me why this is happening to me?”

My indignation rose to meet the hated question, and I almost snapped, “How would I know?”–when suddenly I was flushed with an energy I had never felt before. It moved through my body, as if it were pushing me aside in order to make use of my vocal cords. I could no longer see the woman in front of me. I felt as if I had been shrunk down to the size of a dime and ordered to “stand watch” from inside my head.

A voice spoke through me to this woman. “Let me walk you back through your life and through each of the relationships of your life,” it said. “Let me walk with you through all the fears you’ve had, and let me show you how those fears controlled you for so long that the energy of life could no longer nurture you.”

This “presence” escorted this woman through every detail of her life, and I mean every detail. It recalled the smallest of conversations for her; it recounted moments of great loneliness in which she had wept by herself; it remembered every relationship that had held any meaning for her. This “presence” left the impression that every second of our lives–and every mental, emotional, creative, physical, and even resting activity with which we fill those seconds–is somehow known and recorded.

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