James Van Praagh was on The View today, he is a best-selling author, who is both a psychic and a medium.
James Van Praagh is practical about seeing ghosts and spirits. The psychic and medium says they are just making themselves known, he says with a shrug in his voice.
Easy for him to say: He not only sees dead people; he talks to them, cajoles them, bargains with them, asks their advice and introduces them to millions of somewhat frightened fans each week as “Ghost Whisperer,” the cool ghost show, in which James Van Praagh is a co-executive producer.
Van Praagh was born in Bayside, New York and is the youngest of four children. He was raised Roman Catholic and attended seminary at the age of 14, however he has described himself as experiencing spiritual phenomena from a young age that eventually drew him away from conventional religious practice. From a very young age, James Van Praagh had a fascination with death, and knew he was “gifted”.
In an about.com interview James talks about being a child and dealing with his psychic medium gift. He said:
“When I was a kid, I used to see spirits all the time. I used to see lights around people, which of course is their aura. As a kid, I thought it was normal and natural, but the other kids made fun of me. My mother would tell be, ‘James, you can’t say things like that around other people because they don’t all see it.’ When I was a little boy, I would say my prayers (I was raised Catholic) and I’d ask my mother who those light people were at the edge of the bed and she would tell me they were God’s angels. That was one of the first experiences I had as a child. ”
“One Saturday morning I was asking God to show himself. While other kids were watching cartoons, I was asking God to show himself. I was lying there for about two hours and I had this experience where the ceiling turned very, very light and there was a hand, an open palm with light emanating from it. It was almost like a knowingness, it was an energy of love and it was something I recognized. It was a pure sense of complete love. It was my first clairvoyant experience as a kid.”
James knew he was different, he knew he had a gift and has spent his entire life helping others find comfort and understanding from loved ones who have passed on.
After graduating from San Francisco State university, majoring in Broadcasting and Communications and subsequently moved to Los Angeles. It was there that he first discovered an interest in metaphysics, and began working as a medium after another medium told him it was his “destiny”.
The medium told James Van Praagh, “You, you’re a psychic, you’re a medium. In two years time, they’re going to give you messages and help you communicate. I was so impressed by what he told me that I started reading as many books as I could find. I started meditating and within two weeks, I started seeing lights around people again like I did as a child.”
James Van Praagh built his early career performing private readings and quickly graduated to wider audiences with a series of audiotapes, books, and eventually the television appearances that gave him national exposure.
He has written several books dealing with spirit communication. From 2002 to 2003, he hosted a syndicated daytime talk show entitled “Beyond With James Van Praagh.” He subsequently partnered with CBS to produce several TV-movies and mini-series based on his books, including “Living With The Dead” and “The Dead Will Tell.”
James Van Praagh talks about being both a psychic and medium and explains:
“That’s a very interesting, good question. Let me tell you the difference — I am a medium, but I’m also a psychic. Every medium is a psychic, but not every psychic is a medium. Everyone is able to tune into the energy where you can foresee the future, where you can read the energy of the future, the past and know things about people. That’s psychism. Mediumship is not only when you have a psychic foundation, but you’re able to tune into a higher vibration frequency, a higher energy. The spirit dimension is a higher dimension in a three-dimensional world, so you have to attune yourself into that higher vibration and the spirit people lower themselves down to our vibration so the medium can intercede between the spirit world and the physical world. There aren’t as many mediums as there are psychics.”
Even though James Van Praagh has proven himself to be a gifted psychic and medium, there are always skeptics. James said this of the skeptics:
“I just say that you have the right to believe what you want to believe, I can’t force you to believe the way I believe and I can’t help you to understand what you’re not willing to understand. I find that most skeptics are cynics, which means they’ve closed their minds, they’ve pre-judged the situation before it’s going to happen. It’s like trying to teach a third grader trigonometry, they’re just not going to get it. I said on Larry King one night, ‘It’s not up to me to prove it to them, they should have to prove me wrong.”
James Van Praagh has these words of comfort for those that have lost their loved ones:
“Death is an illusion; your loved ones are always around you. The soul cannot die, the soul is eternal. I do believe this is our schoolroom, we are here to learn lessons, the hardest lesson we learn is detachment and I think people need to realize that they’re never alone. Death never goes without leaving a gift behind and it’s up to us to have the faith and courage to open up those gifts and find out what they are and use them.”
Do you think James Van Praagh is the “real deal” or do you think he is a conman?