Lost in Translation

Something I’ve been wanting to discuss for a while:  translation. 

In reading Journey Maid’s latest entry I thought now would be a good time to bring it up the idea that psychics are not infallible.  We’re skilled translators. 

What we translate depends on how we tend to receive information.  We can receive information via any of our physical senses, our emotions, a series of thoughts, a movie in our head, or a certainty, a knowing.  Our *interpretation* of this information is where mistakes or simple differences can happen.

It takes a lot of effort for a spirit to come through.  They have to lower their vibration to get closer to us, and they have to focus, concentrate, really put a lot of energy into getting an idea or image into our head – and so this idea can come across as an absolute.  Whereas the spirit might want to say “Hey, what about this?  Think about it,”  the receiver may interpret is as “The universe is this way!”

The psychic then has this thought, image, feeling, emotion or movie and translates it as best as she can. 

“I’m seeing your little dog looking up at the cupboard.  I see potato chips.  Tastes like salt and vinegar.  (translation: Your dog wants salt and vinegar potato chips!)”

But then it turns out the dog didn’t actually want to EAT the chips, he was reporting that his Mom HAD the chips.  He was showing them to me.  I interpreted a dog showing me human food as asking for the food, because in my experience, my dogs want all people food all the time.

See how it can get tricky?

So I really try to focus only on what I actually receive, and I try to resist the temptation to interpret it as “it means THIS!”  It’s satisfying in the moment to feel like you understand the meaning, but sometimes the understanding won’t come until later – and you might not get the real message at all if you don’t remain open and receptive.

When I read something another psychic says about, say, how many dimensions we go through to get to heaven, and it’s different from something I’d been told by someone on the other side, that doesn’t make the other psychic wrong.  We can both be right, just learning from different interpretations.

Because not only are we using our organic brains to receive and interpret this spiritual information, but we’re trying to translate the concepts into this incredibly limiting verbal language.

Then someone else listens to me speak or reads the blog and they interpret what I’ve said.

You see?  So much opportunity for the original idea or message to get muddled.

I don’t believe any teacher has all of the answers. 

I see a teacher and a student, hand in hand, learning from each other.

It’s an intimate thing, entering into a student/teacher relationship.  There’s a trust there that’s implicit, and essential. 

Whoever we have as teachers or students, I believe it’s essential to the relationship that teachers be open to learning from the student (thus open to the idea that learning never ends) and the student understands that a teacher is someone with a broad set of experiences from which he may draw – but not infallible, not perfect, still learning themselves.

It’s all a translation, you see.  We all write our own good books.

9 thoughts on “Lost in Translation

  1. Well said. It all reminds me a whole lot of working with actual linguistic translations. I’ve worked together with some of the world’s best runologists in interpreting Viking Age inscriptions, and it’s really quite shocking how extremely tricky translations can be. Even when we’re talking about decyphering a KNOWN and MANMADE system of symbols, it can still be very hard to understand. Then add the problems of expectation… what do YOU think is the purpose of the message? Who created/sent you the message in the first place? How do you know? I think your example with the dog and the chips are great, it really shows how simple it is to mix things up.

    Perhaps one should create a checklist against which one should check all the facts, before expressing a final interpretation? The point of it being mainly to take into account stuff that otherwise we might forget. I’ve been thinking about creating something like that myself, originally to aid in dream interpretation. Hm…. my thoughts are running away and I think perhaps I should make this into a real blog post instead of taking up waaaay to much space in your comments section. =)

    Btw, I love the way your blog posts inspire me and give me ideas! In my opinion, that’s the best sign of a truly good blog. =)

    Love and light


    • Aww! Thanks so much JM 🙂

      Sweetie and I enjoy watching historical documentaries and then use our intuition to talk about what we think the historians & anthropologists got wrong. Some of it is really funny and obviously resulting from all of the minds present being men – example, one anthropologist was talking about how models of what is obvious to US a goddess figure, and this guy was talking about it being prehistoric porn! Just because the woman was naked. I mean, COME ON!


      • Ha, I have similar thoughts when I’m watching historical or archeological documentaries. They assign meaning and import to finds based on their own experiences and thoughts and that becomes the de facto standard by which all future similar finds are judged. Can you imagine what future anthropologists and archeologists would think about some of the more common artefacts of today’s society?


    • In reading your subsequent blog post, it seems like you got a little panicked there, no? What I read was “Holy shit! How do we know any of this is right???”

      Is that right, JM?

      To ease your mind a bit, I think it’s helpful to allow our intuition to simply tell us if we have it right. Sometimes I ask out loud, “Is that right?” and right away I’ll get a yes or no. If you trust in your own ability to ferret out the truth, yet recognize that no matter what, you will discover a *perspective* of the truth, I think that leaves open enough room to trust in what you get, but still be open to what others have to say.


      • LOL, not the least bit panicky actually. =) Just curious…. and I can’t help it, I like creating systems and routines. And it’s not like I’m expecting to PROVE anything by all this, it’s more of a way to get my own thoughts sorted and try not to forget any important angle. Because let’s face it, there really most ofte IS no way of proving spiritual messages so in the end it all relies on intuition anyways. =)


  2. Pingback: The Checklist: an aid in interpreting spiritual messages « myinnerpath

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