Another way to defuse sceptical attitudes was covered earlier, when we looked at 'Sugar Lump' statements i.e. offering the prospect of a pleasant emotional reward in return for believing. My other pet name for these is 'Soundbite Hugs'.
I first learned about Sugar Lump statements by being on the receiving end of one. At a psychic fair once, I was implored, to "open my heart as well as my mind" to the "warmth, love and guidance" that the psychic community can offer. I was also urged to avail myself of the "very real contribution" that psychic insights can provide in helping me achieve my goals.
I had my doubts at the time, and I still have them today. I am lucky enough to have plenty of warmth and love in my life, and I do not get it from highly irrational women wearing tacky pendants and too much make-up. As for my goals in life, I felt relatively safe ignoring long-term career advice from someone whose professional skill base consisted of warbling superstitious drivel while peering at some tatty tarot cards.
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The pathology of the poet says that the undevout astronomer is mad the pathology of the very plain man says that the genius is mad and between these extremes, which stand for ten thousand analogous excesses, the sovereign reason takes the part of a moderator and does what it can. I do not think that there is a pathology of the occult dedications, but about their extravagances no one can question, and it is not less difficult than thankless to act as a moderator regarding them.