From a conversation with schema-archimandrite Abraham (Reidman).
- Where do people with supernatural abilities - psychics, prophets, seers – take their powers from? Are their gifts from God or from the devil?
- Psychics are in delusion. They often believe themselves to be in communication with God, with the cosmic energies or to be able to extract some force from themselves and thus to help other people. But, in fact, it is necessary to live a special spiritual life, a holy life to do miracles from God. From the Orthodox point of view, psychics are in communication with the evil spirits. If they seem to heal, these "healings", firstly, do great harm to themselves, and secondly, can damage those they treat - mentally and even physically. Of course, we cannot seek the help of psychics, it's like asking help from the demons themselves who seek only our death.
As for the gifts of prophecy and clairvoyance, they, of course, can come from God as well – but nowadays they are extremely rare. Another phenomenon is found more often, and it is false clairvoyance, false prophecy. Indeed, the demons are named seducing because they know how to cheat. They imitate in their actions the influence of Divine grace, trying to forge consolation of grace as well, consolation of the Holy Spirit. They can show visions; being very perspicacious, they can guess the future. They can create false clairvoyance: to inspire some thought in one person, and reveal it to another, for whom they want to create the glory of being a seer. Often, they show to such a "seer" the sins of others - and who knows sins if not a demon himself who provokes to them? Therefore, we should be very careful when meeting with some person believed to be a prophet.
An acquaintance of mine told me how she went to a certain "clairvoyant" priest, who actually turned out to be in delusion. So, when he talked to people, their body temperature raised to 37, even to 38 degrees, they felt as if glowing. At the same time, they had no consolation in the heart, no repentance, no determination to improve their lives; they have only such a sensation. And, having no experience in these matters, they decided that this man has the grace. But, in fact, what was here from the grace? Well, one feels hot - and what of it? There was such a characteristic case in the presence of that person. Several people were waiting for him. He named them their sins, and coming to a laywoman he asked, "Why don’t you think of anything?" And she was sitting and praying the Jesus Prayer silently. What does it mean? This means that she by means of the prayer drove away the thoughts that demons inspired to her, and this "seer", of course, could no longer say anything.