After meeting autistic animal-behavior expert Temple Grandin and then reading Grandin's bestselling books, Nancy du Tertre realized that she and Grandin have a lot in common.

Du Tertre is a professional psychic.

"I was immediately struck with how much the interior world of the autistic resembles the interior world of the psychic," Du Tertre told me in an interview this week. "Like autistics, psychics often tend to suffer a defect in reasoning power, can't explain how they just seem to 'know' things, can't find words to describe their experiences, and share a right hemispheric ability to absorb the world holistically, visually, and extremely literally."

"It is this literalness of sensory experience which can seem, to the non-autistic and non-psychic person, to be overwhelming, confusing and nonsensical. It is a far cry from our 'normal' logical, sequential and rational world."

In her book Psychic Intuition, du Tertre - a New York attorney, psychic detective, medical intuitive, outspoken skeptic, and certified practitioner of the Intuitive Gestalt Dialogue Method - makes a compelling plea for the acceptance of psychic phenomena and intuitive knowledge as legitimate fields worthy of serious study. In eloquent chapters detailing how each of the other five senses operates in both body and mind, she shows how what some call the sixth sense also comes into play. This prompts readers to wonder where we could -- and if we even should -- draw the line between "psychical" and "psychological," or "cognition" and "intuition."

"I do not see a bright line division between thinking and intuiting," du Tertre asserts. "However, I know that trying to answer a question by thinking the answer will destroy your ability to intuit the answer. Intuition requires that you check your thoughts and emotions at the door. Both will ruin intuition, which, as I explain it, is a form of sensory information. This sensory information arrives in its most pure form when it has not been deformed through logic -- which is only based on things we already know and understand as opposed to any novel experience -- or manipulated by our emotions. ...

"Psychics are not always 100 percent accurate because they must filter these sensory experiences through their brains' interpretation.  ... Meaning can be easily corrupted by thinking and feeling. When I do psychic work, I generally do it in two stages: First, I attempt to absorb the experience on a purely sensory level -- without any judgments or preconceived notions. Then once I have got the imagery or sounds, I apply my thinking brain and, through logic and free-association, try to arrive at an interpretation. I only 'use' emotions in this equation if they are sensory -- but never when they belong to my own personal feelings."

I'll reveal more from this fascinating interview in a future post.

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