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Posted: September 16th, 2015, 10:25 pm
I just received Brad Henderson's book today entitled "The Dance". It is a book on the unholy art of psychic readings or the compassionate art of helping people find spiritual enlightenment depending on your point of view in these matters.
I haven't read it yet so I cannot as yet give it any kind of review. However, I did glance through the entire book cursorily and read the first few pages. And of course I happen to be psychic myself so know what is in the book without having to read it anyway.
My first impression so far is that it reminds me of something that someone said about the Ian Rowland book on the same subject. It was stated that the Rowland book had no "soul". Lots of technique but no soul. I get the impression that Brad's book is the opposite. Lots of soul but not much on technique. I think there is some technique but it isn't jumping out at me yet. But of course that is because I haven't read the book yet.
I will though. I am taking it quite appropriately to a psychic fair with me and will read it when I am out of town at this event. The only reason I am mentioning it now is that I can't resist annoying poor old Widdle with a statement in the first few pages. The offending sentence which will get the anti psychic zealots up in arms is "I do not use disclaimers and I see no problem with people pretending to be psychic"
Oddly enough psychic readers would be upset with that statement too. Brad certainly knows how to irritate everybody equally. I do hope he annoys Widdle though. I bet Widdle will try hard not to take the bait and of course this will deprive me of much amusement. Still I wonder what the rest of you think about Brad's statement?
Re: The Dance
Posted: September 16th, 2015, 11:40 pm
I think we need to know more about the context of the statement to have much of an opinion on it.
In some settings, pretending is fine. In other settings, it isn't well received. Finding your way into a neurosurgery suite and pretending to be a surgeon won't be popular except perhaps with Howard Stern fans.
Re: The Dance
Posted: September 17th, 2015, 5:55 am
You do have to be a spoilsport mentioning context, don't you? I only wanted to annoy Widdle who so far is pretending not to be annoyed. Well one moment please. I will check the book.
I have been and I have seen. Perhaps the ongoing following sentences will give more context.
"I do use the word "pretending" because to knowingly employ the techniques embodied in cold reading shouts the unspoken admission that what you are dealing with is not "real". It troubles me when cold readers come to believe that they may possess some sort of genuine gift. Self-delusion corrupts powerfully"
There. Happy now?
Re: The Dance
Posted: September 17th, 2015, 11:38 am
I have gone a little further into Brad's book and early on there is a discussion about ethics. Apart from myself I think he is the only one who has produced material on readings that has actually tackled this subject and I consider that highly commendable. I have always said that doing readings you are walking an ethical tightrope and you have to be careful not to fall off. You can do a great deal of good but you can also do a great deal of harm.
On reading what he says I am afraid he is not going to convince the sceptics. And in fact I am not even sure he has convinced himself as I do detect reading between the lines a certain ambivalence over the matter. It is as if he is a little conflicted about his own stance regarding this. Almost as if he is trying to convince himself. Sceptics would say that he is trying to anaesthetise his conscience.
Still, no matter. At least he has a conscience and is addressing a difficult matter which should indeed be addressed. It usually isn't.
Re: The Dance
Posted: September 19th, 2015, 8:25 am
It seems that there indeed techniques in the book after all. I am up to that bit now. I shall read them eagerly.
It is a good book and I think anyone who is interested in this kind of thing should read it as part of their education. I certainly like the ethical stance he takes on these matters. I just wish that Brad would write in a lighter manner. It can be a little heavy to read at some moments. I keep thinking he enlisted Jonathon Townsend as a co-author as I keep having to go over sentences to figure out what he is trying to say. And bear in mind I have been doing this stuff for a long time.
Such phrases as "dual information channel structure" are alas a little too much for me as are the many big words which are beyond the understanding of my aged brain. When I get time for sheer amusement I will type out one of the confusing paragraphs so you can see what I am talking about. Perhaps he wrote them deliberately to befuddle the sceptics!
The only other thing I can find to criticise at this stage is a statement I saw when cursorily browsing. The idea of touching people during a reading fills me with abject horror! I hate touching people and I detest them touching me. I have even seen this advocated when doing magic by no less a person than Eugene Burger. I violently disagree with this idea and view it with a great shudder and British reserve. Not the British way of doing things I am afraid.
Apart from that the I am enjoying the book so far. I shall give an honest opinion when I finish. I will say what I truthfully believe but no opinion has been formed overall just yet.
Re: The Dance
Posted: September 20th, 2015, 2:50 am
To continue my running commentary it is an interesting thing to be reading this book during the same period where I happen to be reading people hour after hour at a psychic fair from 11am until 10pm. Yep. Eleven hours of it. Your head starts to explode after that length of time.
Brad mentions in his book that you keep referring to the "method" that you are using to validate what you are saying to clients. I found that I had been doing that automatically without realising it just as he described. In other words, for example, you keep referring to a particular tarot card that you see in front of you and explaining how the specific card offers you insight rather than some great psychic power. And if you seem to be veering a little towards inaccuracy you blame it on your interpretation of what the card means rather than a loss of your supposed great psychic power.
It is really weird to observe myself reading and doing exactly what Brad is saying. And I have been doing it that way for years. So obviously I cannot argue with that one particular technique of his anyway. I had no idea I was using it until I read his book in the morning and saw myself doing it all day!
When I found myself saying, "Oh really? Then perhaps another meaning of the card is such and such" I kept thinking of Brad while I was doing it.
Some of you would find me a very eccentric psychic indeed. I say the most outrageous things to people when trying to persuade them to sign up with me. I will often say to people, "I'm fed up with being psychic. I'll show you a card trick instead" and do the svengali deck. I will also say, "You don't have to be Houdini to do this trick---which is just as well because he's dead! Mind you there is a lady round the corner who can get in touch with him for you if you want!"
I will often glance at a person's palm while demonstrating and say "Your head line shows you have a good brain so I am not sure what you are doing in here" It makes them all laugh and I bet even Widdle would approve of the remark.
Re: The Dance
Posted: September 21st, 2015, 11:22 pm
At this point I think it would be greatly amusing to give you an extract from Brad's book. Two paragraphs that consist of content that I am delighted to inform you all that I haven't the slightest idea what he is talking about. I expect Jonathon Townsend will understand it though as he talks the same kind of lingo.
Alas I am just simple scoundrel and this is outside my language skill set. Anyway here it is. If any of you would care to translate please be my guest.
"In every reading (involving a method)there are three players (processors) and two channels for the exchange of information. The method (and its indicators) is the perceived primary processor. Second is the reader/interpreter. Lastly, we must not neglect the sitter/interpreter, the final link in the information chain. These are the three processors, and the exchange of information between them are the two information channels.
All method-generated information must be processed four times during its course of transferring through the two data channels. (In truth, at least one of the channels is bi-directional and the infomation the sitter "sends" the reader does play a functional rold in the reader's actual interpretation/delivery of content. However, for now, we will consider the structure on its purest perceived level}"
Re: The Dance
Posted: August 10th, 2016, 4:15 pm
The Dance is meant for those that already do readings.
Do you have the hard back or the soft cover?
Re: The Dance
Posted: August 10th, 2016, 4:36 pm
I have the soft cover which Brad kindly gave me for review. I suppose I had better have another look at it.
And Ray, I have done more readings than everyone on this site put together. And that includes the lurkers. That is no doubt why Brad asked me to look at it.