Has watching Rod Ford got you down? If you ask me, the right-wing surge is getting way too close for comfort. What the hell is going on in the psyches of this once-considered intelligent species?

I ask myself questions like this regularly which may be part of the problem (note to Klein-haters — that is a joke).

Nevertheless, when I heard that home-grown psychic heavy-hitter Collette Baron-Reid was coming to town to give a show tonight (Friday, October 15) with medium John Holland at the Isabel Bader theatre (7 p.m., see listing), I decided ask her for her thoughts.

While delivering psychic readings to over 33,000 people in 29 countries, she’s peered into the covered-up bits of many minds. That’s one interesting window into what we’re like in these times.

Baron-Reid is a born-and-bred Toronto psychic who has made it big time in new-age land (Sedona, Arizona) as an author, radio show host, psychic reader and conversationalist with the dead.

I confronted her with questions about the human condition but first I had to check her out on a personal question or two. I can say from experience, she’s pretty good at hitting the nail on the head. I can see that’s what brings home her bacon.

In these crazy times, the quest for hope takes us to strange places. Here is an excerpt from our conversation about what the hell she sees is going on with us humans right now:

“I am not an authority but my exposure to the human condition is unique so I will say, I believe as human beings, we are all evolving. What is going on in the greater collective, especially right now is fear. We want so badly for things to be secure. We’ve accepted that the material world is our secure world; or the one that we can control. That is now proving the opposite. The structure of society, corporations, banking systems, how we have set up the structure of our home, our external home. Never mind the fact that we have completely polluted the planet, right? We are seeing these vast changes.

People are becoming more fearful because we are being required to change and we are all uncomfortable. And that’s what I am noticing. And I think that’s true for everybody. I don’t think anyone is particularly comfortable. If anybody watches the news, turns on CNN, do anything, we are seeing things that makes us feel powerless. So that’s the human experience. But the process of evolving society or global humanity is something that many people are talking about now. The need for eco-spirituality, for example, believing that every part of life is important. If you look at those, that are not the norm right now, you’ll see where we’re heading.”

That’s a nice thought but how do you actually experience that in your readings?

I totally see it in my readings. People who are calling me, are looking for a more authentic way of life. And they’re talking about changing their jobs. Or having lost their jobs. Or their identities are changing. What’s important is changing for everybody. Whereas in the ’90s people were talking to me about what they could buy, how much money they could make. It’s a different zeitgeist right now.

It’s less about material things now. Very much less. I talked to one lady this week, who has been coming to me for 20 years. Her business is falling apart and she said to me, “All this stuff I wanted all those years ago. I got it all now, and I hate it. And I’m not even doing well.” So people are recognizing what they’ve sacrificed for materialism.

And I see that more and more now, people are more interested in service than they ever have been before, too. It’s like what they do has to make them feel good but also provide service to others. A lot of people are talking to me about leaving corporate jobs to go into the healing arts.

So I’ll say individually everybody’s dealing with the shadow and realizing what makes them happy. That’s the other thing. It’s the simple case of boiling it down to “I feel like shit. How do I change?” And I’ll be like “Well, here’s what happened and you didn’t deal with this. And if you don’t deal with this now, this is the direction you’re heading in; more of the same then if you go over here”. We have choices now.

There is also a lot of sadness that none of us want to deal with. Because there’s a grieving process that we are changing. We don’t know what our world’s going to look like next.

But it is the kind of grieving that is a sense of recognition and humility that is different from resenting, for example, or being sad.

Now with this grief, there’s a lot of celebration, too. There’s the opposite to that, too.

For those people who are really willing to get really authentic, there is a celebratory sense even in the grief. There’s joy with grief, too, once it’s true. When you’re really in your true sense of surrendering to what is, there is a type of joy, not happiness, but it’s a joy that sets in of being alive. Gratitude for just being present is something that a lot of people that I see, too, are coming to.

Those people are the ones willing to go to their darker spaces and get out of the analytical, mechanical thinking, where everything has its place. Intellectualizing everything also prevents you from a real heart-based sense of living. So it has to be a balance between the two. So when you are willing to do that work and break your heart open with your grief, instead of always analyzing, you can stay in some kind of a mystery. More and more I think we have to trust the mystery.

This article was originally published in NOW Magazine.