It All Boils Down to Love | Omega

Spiritual pioneer and internationally celebrated psychic medium James Van Praagh reveals that for him, everything is about learning to love.

Omega: How do you define the soul?


James: Instead of using the word "God," some people prefer to use terms like "the Divine," "the Creator," or "the Source." I have started using an acronym I created call O.N.E. It stands for Omnipresent Nurturing Energy. This term serves two purposes: besides letting people know I believe that everything is one and the same, it establishes my belief that everything is energy.


Energy never dies—it is eternal and immortal. When the focus of this energy is on this dimension that we call Earth, it is called a soul. It has chosen to conceal from itself the truth of its divine nature so that it may experience the illusion of being finite and limited in order to learn lessons about love.


Omega: How do we determine what our soul is here to do?


James: Every soul has a blueprint that it hopes to follow while on this Earthly dimension. It chooses the physical vehicle that will best help it with this blueprint.


The reasons that a soul chooses to incarnate in this dimension are as varied as the number of souls. But your soul is always here to learn to love. The circumstances of the incarnation will vary greatly, but the ultimate lesson is always the same: to use the energy which we call “love” to guide us through life.


Life is all about choices. But there are only two paths to follow: those choices made from fear or those made from love. And the Earth is definitely not an easy place to always choose the path of love. That’s why we, as souls, should be very proud of ourselves for choosing to experience this dimension.


Omega: How do you know when it’s really your soul that is speaking to you and not something else, like your mother’s voice that you’ve internalized or a sabotaging pattern you're addicted to?


James: Once you become aware that your goal on Earth is to manifest the energy of love and compassion in all your decision-making, it becomes easy to discern the difference between how we have been taught to navigate this dimension, as opposed to what our intuition tells us our true path is supposed to be.


A successful sojourn on Earth is not defined by the amount of money you make or the status that you have, but by the love that you have given and the compassion that you have shown.


Omega: What are some of the ways to access intuition?


James: Everyone is intuitive, but just as some people are born with the gift of playing the piano, not everyone is going to be a concert pianist. If you want to play the piano well, you have to practice. Some people are born with a predisposition (or gift) and many people who are born with it choose not to develop it. It’s just not their path. The same is true with being a psychic or a medium. Everyone can develop their innate skill if they are so inclined.


But as I always say, everyone has access to their intuition. I encourage my students to make a game out of it at first, such as guessing who is calling you when the phone rings; and because I live in California, a good one is intuiting where there is a parking space. If you find that you have a talent for it, then you can develop it for more serious pursuits.


Omega: You use guided meditation as an important part of spiritual practice. How has meditation changed your life? What is your meditation story?


James: Meditation is one of the obvious ways to access your intuition. After I was told that I had a gift, I decided to read up on the subject. I spent many hours scouring the shelves of a local New Age bookstore that I lived near in Los Angeles called the Bodhi Tree. Everything that I read encouraged me to begin to practice meditation.


At first it was difficult for me—I had a hard time quieting my mind—but the more I practiced, the easier it became. And the more I sat in silence and went within, my gift grew exponentially. I can easily pop into a meditative state now without having to work at it. Even if you aren’t interested in developing a psychic gift, meditation is beneficial for everyone. The physical and mental benefits have been scientifically proven.


Omega: Albert Einstein said, “The most important question a person can ask is, “Is the Universe a friendly place?” In the face of what seems like a lot of negative events in the world, what do you think?


James: I think Albert Einstein’s question is basically “Are we inherently good?” And I believe that answer is yes.


Sure, our world is full of negativity, but we are a work in progress. Ego is a fragile thing, and efforts to make ourselves “better than” can present themselves in sexism, racism, homophobia, and nationalism. The need to feel that the religion we have chosen is the only way to a righteous afterlife is so strong within us that judgement comes so easily.


It’s difficult to feel like we have opportunities to make the world a better place, but those opportunities present themselves daily. Be kind. Show compassion. Lead by example.


Omega: Relationships are the source of much pleasure and pain in our lives. How can we work with our relationships on a soul level?


James: It is my belief that not only do we choose the physical vehicle that will best fulfill our blueprint, we also choose a soul family to do it with. We play many parts in our incarnations, but usually with the same souls.


Ironically, the souls that present us with so much anxiety and stress are usually our greatest teachers. Our first instinct is judgment or condemnation; but what we really should be doing is understanding the motivation of another.


One of my favorite movies is To Kill A Mockingbird, and I think that’s the essence of the novel and why it resonates so much. “You never really understand a person until you put on their skin and walk around in it,” Atticus tells Scout. It’s the golden rule of empathy.


Omega: A lot of your work is about raising consciousness and bringing the conversation about spirituality back into the mainstream. How has this changed since you began working in this area, and where do you see us going as a society?


James: I am so delighted that “being mindful” has become part of our cultural discussion. Thoughts have power—as much as words and deeds—and it’s gratifying to know that "what you think is what you create” has been accepted by so many.


I consider myself a teacher more than a medium. It’s the mediumship that intrigues people, but once I am up on stage I make sure that I give my audiences a full dose of what really matters: manifest love in all that you do.


People in my profession certainly have their fair share of skeptics and haters, but if I’ve only brought one person to the realization that being kind is the greatest attribute that you can possess, then it’s all worth it.


Omega: What are you most passionate about right now?


James: Mediumship has given me an international platform, but teaching is my passion. I’m not a fan of mediumship as spectacle unless it has a foundation in the thing that matters most: you are here to manifest the energy of love in all the decisions you make and in everything that you do.

© 2015 Omega Institute for Holistic Studies

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