The cream principle

When you are adding cream to coffee, it is wise to start with just a little, and then add more if you want. If you put too much in to begin with, you cannot get it out again. It is the same with cold reading. Psychics generally offer weak statements to begin with, rather than strong ones, because it is by far the safest strategy. For example, rather than saying this:

"You've had some major health problems with your back."

the wise psychic would generally offer this:

"I think you've had a little bit of back trouble now and again, haven't you?"

This element of caution gives the psychic two chances of being right. If the original, weak statement is correct, then it is a hit. On the other hand, if the client indicates that the original statement was not strong enough, the psychic makes the adjustment while sounding like she was correct all along:

"Well, that's putting it mildly. I've had several major back operations in my life."

"Yes, I could see it was a problem area. I didn't want to dwell on it too much for that very reason. But nonetheless, it's right isn't it?"

And the psychic triumphs once again. Trying to turn a strong statement into a weak one sounds far less convincing. Unless it is done exceptionally well, it tends to sound false. Later in this book I provide an example of one of my own early TV demonstrations, in which I made this very error. During the reading, I made initial statements which were far too bold and direct. In later readings, I soon learned the benefit of using the Cream Principle.

The Illustrated Key To The Tarot

The Illustrated Key To The Tarot

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.

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