I was at a panel today at WorldCon 76 called Growing Up Psychic. On the panel everyone was a Medium, and a couple had some other skills to go along with it. Skeptics came up and then the skeptics were called non-believers. So far so good, because the panelists were simply talking about people who actually did not believe in this stuff, and how to handle those who can be rather antagonistic about it.
And then someone called the non-believers cynics, shouted from the audience and the panelists agreed. And no. Just, no. When it opened up to questions I raised my hand to speak up because it is not okay to label someone as a cynic simply because they do not believe, even if they are antagonistic. It’s an unfair judgment because you can have cynics who DO believe. Just like how you can have people who are energy healers who are skeptical about naturopaths, astrology, or about some new energy healing method, or what not.
A cynic is not just someone who engages in fault finding, which anyone can do about anything by the way. Cynics also believe that people only do what they do purely out of self-interest. So if you are a cynical person by definition then you are someone who does NOT at all ever believe in altruism. A cynical person believes there is always something selfish in your motivation of doing something. No one really does anything out of the goodness of their heart because you are gonna ultimately do it because you are gonna get something out of it. That’s a cynic.
Lemme tell ya, there are people in all sorts of religious belief systems who are cynical. They exist among all of them. Even in metaphysical energy healing circles you will find people who believe that nothing is done without receiving something in return, and they can be pretty heavy, and well, cynical, about it.
So, no, just because someone doesn’t believe, and, just because someone is antagonistic about their non-belief toward what you do on the spiritual side of things, doesn’t mean they are cynical. It means that what we do is outside their realm of experience, and if they’re also antagonistic it means they don’t know how to engage in the questioning process with us without being jerks about it.
Furthermore, you may also be triggering to them. There are people who do what we do that actively discourage people from getting vaccines, and discourage scientific thought, and discourage any use of Western Medicine when in reality they are delightfully complementary to one another. So, they may believe that you are one of those people, or that you are a quack and know it and do this just to scam people. Those people do exist in this field, just like in any other field. Some of these non-believing people may come from fundamentalist backgrounds and may have experienced spiritual abuse and oppression. We just don’t know.
Also, please consider this; people who are atheist or agnostic or otherwise don’t believe in certain spiritual specifics, etc, they are focused on other needful things. Atheists and agnostics are concerned with this Earth life, right now. We NEED people concerned about the NOW and ONLY the NOW. We need people who are only engaged in this dense material life and realm we live in, and no other. We ALSO need people specialized in spiritual things and everything in between those two.
There is nothing wrong with people not believing in the work that you do. It does not automatically mean they are cynics. Some are, sure, but not automatically, just like how not everyone who believes in energy healing holds to ethical standards. Atheism, agnosticism, and other non-belief forms in metaphysical stuff, are different life experiences. For whatever reason they chose to live a life without belief in these things.
Besides, another thing to consider is this; we need atheists and agnostics, because they are the contrast we need in order to know who we are in relation to what we believe. After all, how do you know that you believe in anything if you don’t experience people who believe differently than you?
Additionally, I firmly believe that for some people, they would not be able to complete their mission in life if they do believe. Mother Theresa would not have been able to do all the good she did in the way she did if she had been Mormon or a Reiki Master or anything else. What do atheists and agnostics give us that we wouldn’t have without them? Fundamentally, how could we ever learn to do anything simply because it’s right, without a need for a reward in the afterlife, without worrying about karma, if we did not have atheists who are moral upright citizens to show us how?
So please, be gentle, and nonjudgmental. Just because someone does not believe in what we do as energy healers and mediums does not mean we ought to label them as people who have a cynical view of life. I have real life friends who are atheist and agnostic who are wonderful people. They disagree with me to varying degrees, but they respect me, because I respect them and I refuse to be offended by their difference. There’s nothing to be offended by, nothing to defend. There is only me, loving them as they are, and they respond in kind.
It’s a worthy thing to practice, and it does take practice. It’s easy to love and care about the people who believe the same as you. Even the most volatile people can do that. It’s most worthy and godly to love and care about people who believe differently than you with no need to change them. They are in a different place having different life experiences is all. No more no less. And it’s okay.