By R.E. Mahoney
[First published November 23, 1999]
"You're supposed to be my expert!" growled my editor.
"Just because I wrote a couple of articles about a psychic does not make me an expert on the new millennium," I explained..
"I can't print this!" He tossed my article back to me across his cluttered desk. "Jesus returning in a UFO. I can read that in the tabloids."
"There is so much speculation on the new millennium, it comes out as contradictory New Age junk."
"I know who I need," he said.
"A more qualified writer?"
"No, Robert the Psychic. In those past two articles you did on him there wasn't any of that New Age hocus pocus. Get his take on this millennium thing."
In fact I had been meaning to call Robert. Not for an interview, but for a reading. The kind of reading Robert did not like.
"Free?" said Robert. "When did I say I was going to give you a free reading?"
"You told me I get ten dollars off every time I refer a client to you."
"I tell all my clients that," he said.
"I have referred three people to you since my last reading. I also want another interview."
"After two articles you have nothing left to interview me about."
"Well," I said. "The new millennium is coming up."
"Fine, call me back in a year."
"A year?" I asked.
"The millennium doesn't start until 2001!"
"Robert, I know that and you know that. My editor wants your views of the new millennium."
Robert sighed, "Let me get this straight. I am being interviewed about a media hyped non-event based on an arbitrary number picked over a thousand years ago? Then you get a free reading?"
Roberts reluctance was partly an act. Nothing he likes more than doing readings and talking about his psychic work.
"Actually, I'm excited about the new millennium," said Robert as I took my seat.
"Why? What's going to happen?"
"I have no idea."
"Then why are you excited?"
"It's like the big climb at the beginning of the roller coaster. After a thousand years we are about to make it to the top."
"Why are the weirdos so scared?"
"Hey, some of those weirdos are my friends and clients," Robert said defensively.
"Why are some people afraid?"
"Just mankind being mankind. We fear what we can't control. We can't stop it. We can't run from it. I know what they fear will come to pass."
"What is that?" I asked.
Robert took a dramatic pause.
"They are going to look like fools. Look at what these people are doing. Hoarding food and buying guns. It's like fighting or hiding from the sunrise tomorrow morning. Trust me. It will be a bit more noisy and drunk, but 2000 will start just like the other years."
"What about Y2K?"
"Groceries don't get delivered, no groceries will be bought. No buying, no profit. I know this, six months ago bosses all over the world told their computer people: 'those computers go down on the first day of the new year and you'll be looking for work on the second day.'"
"You're not worried?" I asked.
"I worry. What if my car breaks down? Giving you this free reading, I probably won't have the money to fix it. I won't be able to get to work. I lose my job and become homeless. It's all your fault."
"It is not," I objected.
"I know, but that's the downward spiral thinking that some people are buying into."
"Okay, you are a well known psychic. Let's say you had the attention of all mankind regarding the new millennium. What is your advice to them?"
"One fact everyone seems to be ignoring. To the Jewish, it's the year 5760. To the Chinese it's 4697. Nobody knows what year it really is." Robert leaned back in his chair. "My advice to survive the new millennium: Don't drink and drive."
"Very few people have your attitude," I said.
"About the new millennium?"
"About everything. My editor sent me to you because he didn't want the New Age junk."
Robert gave a laugh. "Two words that changed the world."
"What two words?"
"New Age. It's no longer the black arts, magic, occult, or pagan. It's all New Age. I love it."
"Some religious groups don't care for it."
"Karma. In their past lives they had us burned, arrested, or run out of town. In this life they would like to do that. But now we are accepted by the mainstream as New Age. Maybe we're being prepared for the second coming."
"You can't be serious."
"Why not?" he asked. "It is all building to something. It's like the opening night of a play. God is in the audience. The curtain is going up and we are actors karmically stumbling around in the dark trying to find our parts."
"You are getting silly," I said.
"Well, this being my third interview, you picked my brain clean. How about some jokes, maybe a little dancing? That's all I have left."
"You do feel change coming to the world?" I asked.
"Yes, but it has nothing to do with the new millennium. The vibrations are rising. Belief systems are being challenged every day. It is an intellectual/spiritual evolution. To those people who are meeting this change with violence and hate: you are like neanderthals, your time will soon pass."
"You don't fear this?"
"Fear it?" he asked incredulously. "I don't think most people appreciate how lucky they are to be living in these times."
"Just one more question."
"Before I give you your FREE reading. You get what you pay for. You can quote me!"
"Where will Robert be at midnight, December 31, 1999?"
"Standing outside Sharper Image on the Plaza with a big rock. When the Y2K bug hits and lights go out, I smash in the window and steal one of those heated vibrating seat pads for my reading chair." Robert paused. "I'm kidding! That was a joke! Now, a little soft shoe."
Robert is a much better psychic than he is a dancer. To me, he made some sense out of the new millennium. Why do I find that troubling?
Reprinted with permission from Parapsychology Quarterly.