Sensitive souls can play an important role in difficult times like these. Whether their sensitivities come genetically (through birth) or spiritually (through incarnation), they often have a hyperawareness of what’s going on around them in the world and want to make things better. Not always an easy path, as we’ll see.
Sensitive people can have a particularly sweet life or particularly bitter life, depending largely on how the Earth treats them—whether they’re treated nicely or roughly or (more likely) something in between.*
Let’s see what makes them tick, these bright, sensitive lights in the world.
*Here’s how humans and other living things treat each other, according to scientists. It’s what they call symbiosis.
- Mutualistic—a win-win relationship in which everyone benefits. 🙂
- Commensalistic—a relationship in which some benefit, but no one is harmed. 🙂
- Competitive—living things contend for the same thing, and someone loses. 😦
- Parasitic—living things feed off the life-energy of others and weaken them. 😦
- Predatory—living things stalk and harm (often kill) other living things. 😦
#1 and #2 are more congenial symbiotic relationships, in which sensitive people typically flourish.
#3, #4, and #5 are more contentious, win-lose symbiotic relationships, where some sensitive people can have a particularly hard time.
How sensitive am I? How sensitive are you?
The table below and the associated pictures (above) are a simple way to get an idea of how sensitive we are, which involves getting in touch with our feelings.
(There are more involved tests, like the one at psychcentral, and the one for “highly sensitive people.”)
We can 1) Imagine ourself inside the two pictures above; 2) Explore the feelings* that get stirred up when we’re in those situations; and 3) List those feelings in a table like the one below, if not on paper then just as a mental exercise. Then, after each emotion, give it a number from 1 to 10 to describe the intensity of the feeling.
*To make it easier, here are the 27 basic human emotions compiled by researchers at Berkeley (the boldface items might be more fitting for this exercise):
Admiration, Adoration, Aesthetic appreciation, Amusement, Anger, Anxiety, Awe, Awkwardness, Boredom, Calmness, Confusion, Craving, Disgust, Empathetic pain, Entrancement, Excitement, Fear, Horror, Interest, Joy, Nostalgia, Relief, Romance, Sadness, Satisfaction, Sexual desire, Surprise.
That quick, simple exercise can help us to notice our feelings and maybe get us in the mood for the information in this article.
Two Kinds of Sensitivity
I think we need to explore both:
- Worldly causes of sensitivity, such as biology, and
- Otherworldly causes, such as spirituality.
To do that, we’ll zero in on “HSPs” (highly sensitive people), who are acknowledged by science… and “starseeds,” who are not. In a nutshell:
The book pictured to the right is by Esther Bergsma, trainer, scientific researcher, and high-sensitivity expert from the Netherlands. She’s licensed by Dr Elaine Aron, who pioneered the study of HSPs in the 1990s. They and their colleagues have found that:
Highly sensitive persons (HSPs) have a deeper sensitivity to physical, emotional, or social stimuli. Their sensitivity is closely associated with their brains and central nervous systems and is sometimes called sensory-processing sensitivity, or SPS.
HSPs are sometimes told they’re “too sensitive,” but in fact their sensitivities give them both strengths and challenges.
Overall, they are biologically gifted with sensitivity.
Starseeds are said to be spiritually gifted with sensitivity. Less scientific, more esoteric sources say there’s been a major influx of children being born since the 1950s (after the second world war) who are extremely bright and sensitive and share some of the qualities of Dr Aron’s HSPs. They’re often referred to as starseeds, indigo children (because of their deep blue auras), crystal children, and other mystical-sounding names, and they’ve come to Earth at a time of crisis (nuclear weapons, high-tech wars, rioting, widespread addictions, environmental destruction) when our fate hangs in the balance. It’s a sort of last-ditch effort by finer spirit to refine our collective consciousness and save the planet. Between 30 percent and 80 percent of the young people on Earth today are said to starseeds. That’s their story, and I suspect there’s some truth to it, even if it sounds like science fiction.
Is there overlap between HSPs and starseeds? Probably, but that’s beyond the scope of our journey, which begins now with HSPs.
Worldly Sensitivity and HSPs
Psychologists have learned a lot in the past quarter-century about human sensitivity, thanks to trailblazing PhDs like these two:
- Elaine Aron (clinical psychologist) coined the term “highly sensitive person” (HSP) in 1996 in her book of the same name.
- Bianca Acevedo (social neuroscientist) has studied the differences between HSPs and other people with extreme sensitivities, especially those with autism, ADHD, PTSD, and schizophrenia.
Dr Elaine Aron says that HSPs bring four innate qualities into a lifetime:
- Depth of processing. They think deeply and feel strongly about the things going on around them, for better or worse. Typically they don’t just react, but pause and reflect before engaging. They’re highly intuitive, so they take their gut feelings into account while processing information.
- Overstimulation. All of that mental and emotional processing can be exhausting when things get too noisy, too bright, too pungent, or too rough… which happens a lot on Earth.
- Emotional responsiveness and empathy. They feel both pleasant and unpleasant emotions strongly, sense other people’s emotions, and feel empathy for those who are suffering.
- Sense of subtleties. They not only get overwhelmed by strong stimuli but also detect nuances that most people miss.
We know we’re an HSP if we’re bothered by loud noises, we’re highly sensitive to pain, we have vivid dreams, we’re deeply moved by arts or music, we’re easily affected by other people’s moods and, most telling, we have childhood memories of our parents, our teachers, and other adults saying we were shy and sensitive.
(There are lots of testimonials on the Internet describing what it’s like being a highly sensitive person… like Jenn Granneman’s article in Psychology Today.)
About 20 percent of the people in the world are estimated to be HSPs, according to scientific sources.
Dr Bianca Acevedo compares HSPs to other people with extreme sensitivities, especially:
- ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder). Unlike HSPs, these people are distracted, hyperactive, and impulsive. When monitoring brain areas associated with self-control, self-awareness, and attention span, people with ADHD show low activity, while HSPs show high activity. Like HSPs, people with ADHD are usually hypersensitive to things they hear, see, touch, or smell, as well as to emotional situations going on around them, and they’re easily overwhelmed.
- Autism. Unlike HSPs, autistic kids avoid eye contact, can’t recognize faces, can’t discern other people’s emotional cues such as smiling or frowning, and they show low response in brain areas associated with empathy, social cues, and self-reflection. Like HSPs, most youngsters with autism are oversensitive to noises, crowds, textures, or heat and cold (though some are actually undersensitive and seek out sensory experiences).
- PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). Unlike HSPs, these people have negative mood shifts, nightmares, and extreme distress and reactions to intrusive memories. They show little brain activity in areas related to calmness, self-control, or social awareness. People suffering PTSD usually suffer from “hyperarousal” when they recall traumatic events in their lives, often triggered by a sound.*
- Schizophrenia. Like HSPs, schizophrenics may have sensitivities to colors, lights, and sounds. Unlike healthy HSPs, schizophrenics have little regard for how their behavior makes other people feel and, left untreated, they typically lead troubled, disorganized lives. Most schizophrenics are immune to physical pain, but some are hypersensitive, complaining of constant pain. They also have an unbearable sensitivity to noise, especially repetitive sounds.* Unlike most HSPs, schizophrenics are highly sensitive to strange voices and images in the head. These delusions and hallucinations make them seem as though they’re “under foreign management” (which is probably the case).**
*Though HSPs typically don’t present the symptoms of PTSD, an HSP who suffers traumatic events can acquire PTSD, and some studies and personal accounts suggest that an HSP will often try to escape the PTSD symptoms through substance abuse. So an HSP with PTSD might become more susceptible to drugs and alcohol than the norm… which can then lead to schizophrenia. HSPs with drug- or alcohol-induced schizophrenia might channel their fears, anger, and frustration inward instead of outward, making their psychological problems worse. I don’t know of any studies that show a connection between HSPs, addiction, and severe mental illness, but HSP testimonials suggest it to be the case. (another HSP testimonial… )
**I’ve become convinced that many of the “delusions and hallucinations” of schizophrenia are really just glimpses into what I call Earth’s “shadow world”—a repository of all of the troubled and confused thoughts that get stirred up by our predatory, parasitic, and competitive symbiosis and spin off the Earth. Our thoughts don’t just vanish once we think them, as we often assume, but become creative forces in the omniverse, for better or worse. That’s something we’ll glimpse at the end of the article.****
In a nutshell, HSPs typically have fewer “social deficits” than these other people with extreme sensitivities. Instead of just reacting and releasing their thoughts and feelings in ways that can upset other people, HSPs absorb and process them (which can be exhausting).
So HSPs have certain qualities—empathy, thoughtfulness, and extreme sensitivity to the raucous and destructive things going on around them in the world—that could be useful in a time of crisis like the one we’re facing today. Their usefulness could range from:
- Detecting world problems—like living weather vanes… canaries in the coal mine—to
- Decision-making—placed in positions of authority to devise policies that would save the planet.
The challenge, of course, is getting HSPs into decision-making positions, since decision-makers on Earth, with its rough symbiosis, often have to be competitive, deceptive, and self-seeking to get positions of power and hold onto them… qualities that HSPs typically lack (unless they also happen to have personality disorders like narcissism, as is sometimes the case).
So, sensitivity can be a difficult path but an important path on the planet today.
Worldly causes of sensitivity like HSP, ADHD, autism, PTSD, and schizophrenia are complicated, because life on Earth is complicated.
Otherworldly causes of sensitivity are much simpler… once we recognize the big picture.
(Note: If you’re absolutely convinced there’s no such thing as spirits and extraterrestrials (ETs), then no point reading any further. But if you know or believe otherwise, or are at least open to the possibility, then you might find the following information interesting….)
Otherworldly Sensitivity and Starseeds
Our “soul” is like a piece of the source at the center of our being. Our “spirit” consists of our subtle bodies nested within our physical body (arbitrary levels 2-7).
Soul and spirit are part of everyone and everything, and our body is just a living vehicle or earthsuit that the spirit wears during a lifetime. When the human body dies, the spirit resumes living in one of various spirit worlds until it decides either to reincarnate for another lifetime with a new earthsuit, or to ascend in-beyond toward the source.
There are many subtle worlds in many spiritual universes inhabited by unimaginably brilliant and powerful spirit beings. Sometimes these refined beings choose to incarnate on Earth, not just to experience the challenges of carnal living but also to make the world a better place as they become spiritual masters, inspiring artists, intuitive nurses and doctors and scientists, and other gifted specialists during their lifetimes.
- Spiritual incarnations: Years ago I belonged to an international team of researchers (INIT), whose members were receiving some of the most amazing communications imaginable—contacts via phones, radios, TVs, computers… even FAX machines—from the worlds of spirit. A group of higher beings identifying themselves as “The Seven” told us:
There are people living among you who are not really human beings, but higher beings who can point the way for you…. Fragments of higher entities incarnate and are born into families without standing out much from other family members. They do, however, have a strong sense of what is right and a reverence for all life…. On Earth you can recognize them by certain signs and behavior, such as sensitivity. In time these humans may become what mankind once referred to as “gods.” (read more… )
So there are indications (nonscientific but rather compelling) that finer spirit beings are incarnating on Earth.
There are also said to be many highly advanced civilizations of physical beings scattered throughout our physical universe, living on worlds like Earth and also aboard spacecraft that take frequent missions among the stars from their home star systems. These refined extraterrestrials are also incarnating here to help out. They can merge at the spiritual level with human spirits (deceased people), then incarnate as refined human hybrids here on Earth. They bring their personalities along with them into a lifetime. For example:
- Extraterrestrial incarnations. Pleiadians are gentle people who love peace, unity, art and music; Sirians are focused, dynamic people who love projects and hobbies; Orions are happy, family-oriented people who are friendly and funny; Andromedans are cool, aloof, intelligent, and responsible; Arcturians are quiet and reclusive and make up only about 2 percent of the Earth population…. (From Alien Messages: News from Different Worlds, by Tony and Robbyn Abbott of Australia, who’ve published dozens of little, easy-to-read books about ETs, psychic development, and other esoteric subjects.)
Many folks tell similar stories about extraterrestrial civilizations and their impact on our world. (Examples here… and here… )
So these are the starseeds:
- Higher beings who choose to incarnate as a person on Earth, and
- Refined extraterrestrials who can intervene in the incarnation process, merging with a human spirit (consensually) before it enters the mother’s uterus on Earth to be superimposed over the fertilized egg. These, of course, involve spirit-world techniques that are quite beyond our understanding.
How to Identify Sensitive People
Identifying HSPs (highly sensitive people) is pretty clearcut with scientific indicators like brain activity and psychological profiles (as explained earlier).
Identifying starseeds isn’t as straightforward:
- Extraterrestrials. According to popular culture, there are alien hybrids incarnating on Earth from the Pleiades, Sirius, Orion, Andromeda, Arcturus, and other star systems who are gentle, artistic, dynamic, happy, friendly, and sometimes aloof and reclusive. They’re here to help humanity through a time of crisis. Before we can identify them in society, we first have to accept the notion that brilliant living things like finer spirits and refined ETs flourish beyond the Earth. Then it takes intuition, or gut feeling, to start to recognize them in their incarnate forms. Even then it can be guesswork, depending on how finely tuned our intuition is. After these hybrids are born and forget about their previous lives and between-lifetime experiences during the first two years of infancy (as almost all Earth children tend to do), the refined character and personality that they brought to Earth accompany them throughout the lifetime as they adjust to life on Earth. Sometimes it’s a difficult adjustment.
- Ethereal beings. According to esoteric literature and ITC contacts, there are brilliant spiritual beings who incarnate from finer realms. These children are bright, kind, sensitive, and wise beyond their years. Their Earth experience is monitored by other higher beings who share a concern about the fate of our world. Many of them opt out early (die young) after experiencing the brutal aspects of Earth’s symbiosis for a few years. But some of them commit to a lifetime to uplift humanity, such as Jesus, Mohammed, Gautama Buddha,* and many spiritual masters in India. They stay anchored in their conscious awareness of the source, forging an attitude of love, kindness, and generosity despite the hard knocks of earthly living. They urge others to foster their connection to the source, and they stand out as exceptional human beings, doing things that might seem miraculous. These spiritually enlightened individuals can be identified by their calm, wise, kind demeanor that rarely gets ruffled. (*The Buddha’s denial of the existence of God [the source] is mostly a semantic issue. The Buddhists’ “creative life force” is the same as the life-energy that is the essence of the source. If one prefers to believe the creative life force simply exists without a source [without a “God], that’s not a big deal.)
Biggest Challenges of Sensitive People
If we’re either a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) or a starseed or both (and there’s a good chance we are), then life may not be easy. We have to contend with Earth’s dramas, especially these:
- Rough relationships. Rough symbiotic relationships involve predators/prey, parasites, and (to a lesser extent) competitors, and they stir up negative emotions like craving, fear, frustration, indignation, and grief. Today, as throughout history, (1) there are societies that discourage predatory, parasitic, and competitive behavior, usually through ethical, moral, and spiritual principles. And (2) there are other societies that allow, even encourage (in business, sports, and romance), and even glorify (in movies and literature) that sort of behavior. Sensitive souls on Earth probably have a more difficult time in the second type of society—the one that encourages rough symbiotic behavior.
- Earth’s shadow. This is a repository for all of the negative emotions that spin off the planet. That churning, invisible sea of dark thoughts affects everyone on Earth, especially sensitive people. (see the “big picture” above and the note below.****)
- Cosmic abandonment issues. The most powerful and pervasive cause of suffering for all people—especially sensitive people—has always been something we could call “cosmic abandonment issues.” Normal abandonment issues occur when children don’t get the consistent warmth and attention they need from parents or caregivers. The children develop chronic stress and fear that accompanies them into adulthood. So cosmic abandonment issues occur when we humans don’t get enough warmth and attention from the source (God, Allah, Brahman… ), because much of the life-energy from the source is blocked before it reaches Earth and we get caught up in earthly dramas that spin out of Earth’s shadow. Every abandonment issue—normal or cosmic—can be overcome in a fairly simple way: fostering conscious contact with the source.
- Drugs and alcohol. When the challenges of Earth living become too difficult for sensitive people, they often turn to mind-altering drugs and alcohol to escape and detach from the harsh reality… yearning for a gentler, kinder existence that they might vaguely recall from past lives in finer worlds. Some hallucinogenic drugs can even give the user a glimpse of the source—the ultimate transpersonal experience. Unfortunately, the use of drugs or alcohol is always followed by some degree of withdrawal as reality becomes even more unpleasant when the effects wear off. For many sensitive people, especially those with a genetic predisposition, drugs and alcohol can quickly become an addiction, and then life can become unbearable. The most effective way to overcome the ravages of drugs and alcohol is, once again, to foster conscious contact with the source. That’s why the first three steps of the famous 12-Step Program help addicts to realize their lives are out of control, to believe in a power greater than themselves, and to decide to turn their lives over to that power… and the 11th step is to make conscious contact with that power. The rest of the 12 steps offer proven tips for polishing away the obstructions between a person and the higher power, or source. (Frankly, the only shortcoming I’ve been able to find with the 12-Step Program—and I’ve been watching it closely for years—is that it isn’t embraced and put to use by everyone.)
****Earth’s shadow. When life-energy from the source reaches Earth, much of it is deflected by the troubled emotions that spin out of predatory, parasitic, and competitive behavior in our world. The deflection casts a sort of spiritual shadow around the planet—a repository of dark thoughts. The shadow is inhabited by confused and troubled spirits from Earth. It’s also probably where lower species of ETs visit, just beyond our view—the lesser Zetas or “abductor Greys” (whose home planet is in the Zeta Reticuli constellation) and “Reptoids” (from the Draco constellation). Earth’s shadow is most likely where troubling spirit messages and alien abductions originate. It’s a big part of the drama that aggravates our world from behind the scenes… an ugly drama whose effects we can avoid simply by focusing on our conscious contact with the source.
So as I’ve mentioned in other recent articles, the key to everything—peace, happiness, stability, a good life—can be easier than we think:
We turn our back on Earth’s drama as we turn toward the source to make conscious contact. Putting that simple knowledge to practice, I believe, can restore sanity and save the life of a sensitive person in crisis… of whom there are many in today’s world.
You have covered here more elements and facets of the beautiful mystery of our lives.
Nicely done…as usual!
This post put me into a lot of thought which was topped off with a concluding remark about not enough people embracing 12 Step tenets.
I am learning to love the questions themselves as I try to live my way into some answers.
Per Rainer Maria Rilke…
“Be patient towards all that is unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms, like books written in a foreign tongue. Do not now strive to uncover answers: they cannot be given you because you have not been able to live them. And what matters is to live everything. Live the questions for now. Perhaps then you will gradually, without noticing it, live your way into the answer, one distant day in the future.”
Thank you Mark.
Great quote by the mystical Austrian poet Rilke (I had to google for his fascinating background).
It kind of sums up what’s been driving me since I got involved in ITC in the 90s–the search for answers.
I love that quote, thanks John.
Quote; ‘We turn our back on Earth’s drama as we turn toward the source to make conscious contact. Putting that simple knowledge to practice, I believe, can restore sanity and save the life of a sensitive person in crisis… of whom there are many in today’s world.’…………I have found this to be true. There’s only so much the human mind and body can take…it’s not helpful for the equilibrium of ‘all that is’ to endure furthur than absolutely necessary.
This article is so interesting from Aliens amongst us, Starseeds, Angels, the Spirit and Soul etc. I’m not sure which category or type I would put myself in but think it’s ok to ponder about that for now ( I know which I would like to be though).
Thank you Mark for a wonderful article.
Same here, Kate: Not sure what sort of spiritual forces might have sensitized me but I have my suspicions, and in the meantime it’s something to ponder. 🙂