(but only a few,
and down they forgot
as up they grew…)”
— From “anyone lived in a pretty how town” by e.e. cummings
As anyone who has ever seen “The Sixth Sense” can tell you (much to the dismay of Bruce Willis’s character), the little boy played by Haley Joel Osment not only saw dead people, but he spoke with them. In the 1984 release, “Firestarter,” nine-year-old Charlie McGee, played by Drew Barrymore, was endowed with pyrokinetic abilities–setting things ablaze using the power of her mind. While the plots of many modern films and books revolve around children who are endowed with certain gifts that fall outside the scope of accepted reality, the belief that some youngsters have a special connection to the world of the paranormal is not just the stuff of popular fiction.
For example, in the mid-19th Century, the Fox sisters, who went on to become integral founders of the Spiritualist movement, earned fame for their purported ability to communicate with the departed. In 1848, 15-year-old Maggie and 11-year-old Katie, then living with their family in Hydesville, New York, began to experience nocturnal visits from a ghost, whose presence was made known by a series of mysterious knocks and rapping noises. Although their talents were later brought into question, and eventually, Maggie admitted to a hoax (she later recanted her confession), whether or not the sisters, who both enjoyed long careers as mediums, were authentically gifted is still a matter of debate. However, there have been numerous instances that suggest children can and do have access to spiritual communications that adults many no longer by party to.
Language Without Limits
Perhaps the ability of certain children to communicate with paranormal forces can be partly explained by how young children tend to be more adept at acquiring new languages than their grown-up counterparts. According to an interview in Forbes Magazine with renowned author and M.I.T. Professor of Linguistics Noam Chomsky, children experience a period of pivotal early development during which the acquisition of language is most accessible. “The primary assumption goes back to Eric Lenneberg, who pretty much founded the contemporary field of biology of language,” Chomsky explained. “His thesis…was that language development was like other forms of growth and development. Almost invariably, growth and development has what’s called a critical period. There’s a particular period of maturation in which, with external stimulation of the appropriate kind, the capacity will pretty suddenly develop and mature. Before that and later than that, it’s either harder or impossible.”
During this critical phase, children exhibit tremendous curiosity, and are also open to new information and stimuli. When you consider that they are as yet unfettered by the imposition of many societal strictures with regard to what can and cannot happen in the “real world,”it only makes sense that many children possess a somewhat flexible and ambiguous definition of reality. While some write off psychic children’s ability to access unexplainable phenomena as the products of fantasy, others firmly believe in the proclivities of their offspring. In fact, one of the most interesting converges between children and the paranormal is the connection between autistic children and the forces of the unknown.
Autistic children experience the world through a different set of sensory lenses. It’s thought that their heightened awareness, along with the extraordinary way in which they process information, as well as a unique worldview unlimited by convention, may render them particularly approachable by entities that would not be accepted or acknowledged by many of the rest of us. While some may scoff, in a 2013 Psychology Today feature, practicing psychic medium and retired criminal profiler Deborah Schurman-Kauflin, Ph.D. recounts the stories of two autistic children who found themselves in uncanny communication with the dead. In both cases cited by Schurman-Kauflin, corroborating evidence that neither child could have had access to, and subsequent sightings of the entities by other witnesses indicated that these encounters were authentic.
Closing the Door
Why do many children lose their psychic gifts as they grow older? The answers to this question are not surprising. Modern society often takes a dim view of paranormal activity. Children seeking acceptance from peers and parents may choose to subvert their talents in an effort to fit in and feel “normal.” Some may even convince themselves that their psychic experiences were merely fantasies of a childish imagination, or “down they forgot as up they grew.”
Another reason that children stop attempting to access psychic phenomena is out of self-preservation. Some believe that negative forces may try to attach themselves to youngsters who have not yet learned to defend themselves against psychic invasion. Children with psychic gifts require tools and education in order to safeguard themselves against such dark entities, but if they do not have access to these tools, it is sometimes necessary to simply “shut the door” and walk away from a situation, rather than risk being taken over by something over which they cannot exercise control.
Just as not every stranger a child meets in the park is out to cause harm, every spiritual encounter is not necessarily going to be a negative one. There are forces of good and evil on both sides of the divide, which is why children with psychic gifts need guidelines for dealing with the everyday world as well as the more ephemeral plane. The paranormal realm can be a fascinating playground, but as with any place where kids commune, whether on a corporeal or astral level, safety must always be the first and foremost concern.
Did you have psychic gifts as a child, but later lose the connection? Let a KEEN advisor help you find a healthy way to channel that energy back into your life.