The Normalcy of Paranormal Experience

Objectifying Ourselves

When asked at the occasional dinner party, bar night, or social gathering of mostly new acquaintances what we would choose if we could bring three (or maybe five) items with us to a deserted island, what do most of us choose?


We ordinarily have our necessary follow-up, clarifying questions:

-Do I get to have electricity or access to it?
-Am I trapped for a day? A week? A month?
-Are my necessities included in this, or are these “luxury” items?

And ordinarily we’re told to pretend there’s endless battery charge, no knowledge of the timeline, plenty of random food walking or swimming around to live on, and to just choose the non-basic items we feel would be most necessary for us. The game ends up being a quick study of our values, indicating to our fellow players which objects are at the fulcrum of our personality.

Are we adamant teethbrushers, handwashers, hairbrushers, moisturizers, music-listeners, car-drivers, or selfie-takers? We may check the ‘Yes’ box beside many or all of these items if given the ability, but regardless of whether or not the items in question require an electrical charge, to what extent would you say that they charge you?

If we agree that we are each living capsules of energy, we may easily conclude that every item we touch, in fact everything we touch, think about, place any of our energy upon, becomes, even to some infinitesimal extent, charged with us. So, thinking about our desert island stay again, which object is the most charged with you?

Jackson Pollock

Human beings are walking, breathing, communicating meaning-makers who spend our entire lives both assigning meaning and having meaning assigned to us. A tree branch in the middle of a remote forest breaks, and it means nothing to us. We slip and fall backward while hiking in the remote woods one dark afternoon, and that same tree branch breaks in saving us from a deadly fall, and suddenly the branch becomes our physical savior. Do we take a broken piece of it from the ground and carry it with us thereafter as a good luck charm? As a reminder to be grateful everyday? As a conversation piece for show-and-tell later on at parties? As something to later turn into jewelry to wear everyday?

Wind broke tree

This concept is merely an extension of the “lucky penny” cliche, wherein we assign power (a type of meaning) to an object because we are convinced its retention causes (or at least assists in) an outcome we desire or find favorable. But even to a much lesser degree than a life-or-death scenario, meaning can come from anyone, anywhere, at any time. Perhaps you aren’t the type to bother grabbing a physical memento of your salvation by the tree branch. Instead, you carry with you the vivid memory of feeling the branch on your back, hearing its crack as your weight hits it, and the indescribable relief of falling forward onto the ground, slowly realizing that it just saved your life. If you could break such an arguably ‘loaded’ memory down into components, how would you do it? In fact, if you could break any meaningful event associated with a ‘thing’ into components, how would you do it? Just trying to isolate each aspect of the experience into different senses offers an illustration of the complex energies involved and exchanged. But as with anything complex, the ability to isolate components is there, and the more you can isolate, the greater awareness you attain of the multifaceted nature of energy exchange.


Your best friend gives you a treasured bracelet from her childhood as a token of your meaningful, connective friendship with her, and you translate the energy she’s assigned to it and reassign it to your own meaning in relation to that friend. Wedding rings are a prime example of an object with a mutually assigned (at least people entering in believe it’s mutual) meaning that holds powerful connections to energy felt as sacred, holding intentionally spiritual meaning with a conscious purpose of transcending the physical world. Whether someone “believes” in a spiritual plane or not, there are very few people who respond to “’Til death do you part” with the hope or acceptance that death will mean the termination of their bond with their spouse. How many bereaved spouses take all of their deceased partner’s belongings and destroy them or extricate them from their living space? Is it wrong or delusional not to do this, since their physical death has rendered the marital bond destroyed, no longer in need of honoring? Most people do not believe this, and the reasons are not merely religious or even necessarily spiritual. Physical death may render their body untouchable, but the artifacts we assign their energy to maintain both a spiritual presence for them and a physical presence that is not only tangible, it is undeniable.

In these instances when meaning has been strongly assigned, either by you, a person close to you, or a combination of both, there are both physical and emotional implications.

You integrate physical information about the object in question, e.g. the friendship bracelet — “It’s a bit too big for my wrist; it’s made of metal; it has blue-tinted outer rings and is silver-colored in the middle; it has an inscription on it that reads ‘F.G.,’ your friend’s initials.

You integrate emotional information from your friend: She received the bracelet from her beloved, deceased uncle when she was eight years old as a gift from a trip to London, only months before he passed away.

You continue to integrate your own emotional information into the object, like how your friend (Lydia) is always there for you when you need her. The bracelet takes on, almost instantaneously, the energetic qualities of your relationship with Lydia, its positive energy and its importance to you both. What remains mystical and untenable about this assignment of energy to an object is that it cannot be qualified in any mutual way, just as it is impossible to mutually verbalize one’s bond to another and have it be precisely the same manifestation of thoughts, feelings, and energy into words. How you think, feel, and experience the bracelet will never be the same as how Lydia thinks, feels, and experiences it. The only “common” experience you share with it is its strong meaning, which is ambiguous at best, but sometimes all that is necessary.

Despite the energy human beings put into our objects, we understand surprisingly little about how our energy is retained within them once they leave us. Popular culture has taught the masses the perils of haunted houses and cursed talismans, but why are we so rarely encouraged to perceive beneficent, loving energy within our things? We venerate artifacts deigned to be priceless as a result of their physical associations, and maintain them in bank vaults, trophy cases, breakfronts, and in museums behind glass. In distancing ourselves from these objects, our intention is to preserve the sanctity of their physical presence, but what is lost is the sacred energy exchange of the tactile. We are trained both to honor and fear the physical, the concrete, the innately ephemeral, but this is at the expense of grasping or seeking to attain knowledge of the underlying energies that contributed to a physical manifestation of that thing in the first place. This is not the same as understanding an item’s manufacture; it goes much deeper than raw materials, to the source of all artifact: intention.

The psychic art of psychometry, like most of the psychic arts, is misunderstood by much of the mainstream because the dominating ideology AKA ‘powers that be’ has relegated it to the whimsical realm of cute party tricks and mentalist manipulations. On television and in films, questionable characters in “reality” and “fictional” situations utilize psychometry for any number of plot-driving reasons:
“Daniel, a young boy, has gone missing. Hey, overly-eccentric psychic lady, take this glove he was wearing and rub it against your forehead until you can magically relay his location!”

“A cold-blooded killer is terrorizing our city, murdering dozens of women. Take this hair clip from the most recent crime scene, hired medium guy, and tell us how tall the perpetrator is, will you?”
This approach to psychometry isn’t ‘wrong,’ per se, but it certainly is a more sensationalized attempt to express its practice.

Barring any “hooey” we associate with psychic practice, the concept of psychometry is not at all illogical, if we can adopt the tenet that our energy manifests in every act we take, and every thought we have. When we assign energy to a thing by using it, or by placing thoughts on it, or by having someone else assign a meaningful object to us, what stores that energy?


So, you take pride in your bright smile, and you dutifully tote your beloved Oral-B to the desert island with you at the exclusion of all else. Your toothbrush is more than an accessory to you, it is an extension of your you-ness. When one of your loved ones spots an especially pretty or intricate toothbrush, perhaps in the bathroom of a quirky friend with whom they are staying in a far-off country, he’ll probably get a quick flash of you in his mind. He may even say to himself in his mind, “Oh, she’d love that toothbrush. I wonder how she’s doing? I’ll have to call her soon.” That type of object association is not the same as direct-object perception, wherein an object is utilized with the intention of culling energy from it, but it does bring up an important point. If loved ones associate you with beautiful teeth and toothbrushes, any toothbrush you own will have more energy attached to it than those for whom teeth-maintenance and its accompanying acts hold less importance. If you turn up missing one day, and your friends and family are frantically searching for you, what objects will they be clutching to keep you close? If they became desperate after several days of your absence and decided to “try anything” and called a psychic, which objects would they know to offer as containing the most you-energy for the psychic to tap into?


Just as discarded objects of yours may end up in locations unknown to you (e.g. landfills, a thief’s pocket, your friend’s car, etc.), thoughts about those objects may come from locations unknown to you — what are sometimes labeled ‘triggers’ with regard to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or dissociative disorders are often associations with particular objects that hold meaning uniquely assigned.

If you had to make a list of five items, what would they be? Are there items you own and would consider important, yet you rarely (if ever) touch them or look at them? What do you think is the object you touch the most, think about the most, worry about the most? All of these questions will help you gain deeper awareness of your own energy exchanges within the world.