Psychics, Tarot Cards, I Ching, Oblique Strategies & Lateral Thinking

May 31, 2015

“No two persons ever read the same book.” – Edmund Wilson

In college, one of the guys had a girlfriend who made the mistake of mentioning to me that she bought a set of tarot cards.

I fuckin made her use those cards so many times that it could really be considered abuse. Her face dropped every time I asked for another reading.

I’ve been to psychics, tarot card readers, palm readers, intuitives, and whatever else type of person exists in the field of fortune telling.

I have fortune telling apps on my phone & tablet.
For a decade straight, I would check my daily horoscopes on astrology sites.

I’ve also gone to psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors, & life coaches.

I even ask for advice from cabbies, haircut ladies, lawyers, accountants, and probably your mom the last time I saw her.

I couldn’t explain why back then. Now I kinda have an answer.

But first, I read something interesting.
That some of the top Chinese leaders (business & political) consult the I Ching before making important decisions.

The I Ching is a form of divination. You flip a few coins. The numbers add up to something. You look up the corresponding verses in a big book. The verses are generic but sound very wise. And usually will help you reach a conclusion.

Why would the Chinese – who are nonreligious, communists, and methodical in their approach – consult something as random as the I Ching?

Even Socrates visited the Oracle of Delphi (most famous fortune teller) when he needed answers.

I put it all together when I read about Lateral Thinking by Edward de Bono (smart phd author who is an authority on creative problem solving).

To solve difficult problems, he employes indirect creative thinking.
One of the tools is a random idea generator. You can do this by looking up random words in the dictionary and trying to make an association.

There is even a deck of cards called Oblique Strategies that have random sayings that sound wise and unique to the person reading it. Spurs creative ideas.

One more thing about psychics & skeptics
You know how there are documentaries made my skeptics who disprove psychics as cold-reading crooks. That they can hire a person to pretend to be a psychic. And say the same generic thing to every person. And the person will feel like it’s true and unique to them.

This may be true.

I’m sure there are crooks who pretend to be psychic.
I also think there are those who can recognize patterns and get intuitive hits about each person. And I don’t think there is one definitive future that can be predicted, just probabilities. There may be infinite possible futures and a person may be able to generally predict which direction you are headed.

One thing the skeptics cannot understand is what happens to the person hearing the prediction. Each person walks in with a whole life story and an inner monologue. When that person hears the same fake prediction, they may take something completely different from it than another person.

Just like when you use the I Ching or an Oblique Strategy, you will get something different than I would.

That’s my point.
We can use all of these tools as a lateral thinking strategy.
Get as many different ideas into our head as possible.

Sometimes a psychic, psychologist, or even a cabbie will say something that will change your whole life.

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Here’s an online version of the I Ching. (It’s fun!)
Lateral Thinking – book by Edward de Bono
Lateral Thinking (wikipedia)
Oblique Strategies (wikipedia)
You can check out this website that shows a random oblique strategy every time you refresh.

Kerstin Fehn January 15, 2016 at 3:11 am

Perfect! Yes. Thank you.