This URL will take you to an online book Call No Man Master: In Praise of Teachers but Wary of Gurus by Joyce Collin-Smith
Mrs. Collins-Smith worked with a variety of groups and teachers for 50 years, a good number of whom studied/channelled psychic powers. Her experiences are fascinating--and full of cautionary lessons.
1) Some of her best loved teachers became overwhelmed by psychic energies, or they were so eager to learn esoteric 'secrets' that they fell victim to channellers who had some talent but were also greedy. Rodney Collins, an Ouspensky/Fourth Way teacher was desperate to learn psychic information and in Mexico he fell under the sway of a psychic medium. The woman had some talent, but was not infallible. 'Mema' eventually acquired such influence over Rodney and his wife that she persuaded them to marry their teenaged daughter to Mema's son, which ensured that her son would inherit the Collins family fortune. Rodney's sanity eventually loosened, and he died in an accident. Mema inherited a priceless library from Collins, and she let it deteriorate. Ouspensky himself appears to have been harassed by psychic entities and suffered some personality deterioration as a result of his Fourth Way studies.
All too often students of the Fourth way, (both legitimate and bogus groups) find themselves haunted and harassed by psychic/occult phenomena, when all they intiatially wanted was to learn meditation and understand themselves better. Many people would probably avoid any involvement with Fourth Way work (whether legit or bogus) if they were honestly told, up front: 'This seems at first a path of self knowledge and self refinement, but eventually becomes a path of psychic power.' A correspondant on one of the Google listserves studied at a legimate Gurdjeiff school and found himself overwhelmed with psychic energies and entities. His teachers could not help him. He abandoned Fourth Way studies and was lucky to find an unusually sympathetic psychiatrist who worked out an appropriate therapeutic program for him. But the man reported sadly 'Raising psychic energy is not the same as spiritual work.' A Benedictine monk replied, 'Orthodox monastics have been telling us this for thousands of years.'
2) Mrs Collins-Smith then studied a method of psychic work taught by Pak Subhud, a renowned Indonesian medium. Energies definitely were roused by the work, but Collins-Smith eventually suspected that the energy served no higher purpose. Worst of all, it made most of the students so horny that many of them wrecked thier marriages and jumped into affairs. Collins-Smith herself became infatuated with a man who lived nearby and only her commitment to her marriage saved her from acting out the energy that she was channelling. Then, she learned that Pak Subud's wife, Ibu, was stealing items from stores, and when told this was improper behavior in England, her attitude was, she was the guru's wife and could do what she liked!
Lesson: Psychic virtuousity doesnt translate into ethics. Two, you have to ask what higher purpose is served by channeling such energy. Too many people 'collect' paranormal experiences, the way others collect postage stamps. or coins Unlike the stamp and coin, collectors, these psychic adventurers often consider themselves better people than the common run of humanity, and some believe they can ignore conventional ethics.
Finally, Collins-Smith spent 8 to 10 years meditating with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. He impressed her with his ability to read her mind when they first met. She was so busy being impressed that she forgot that mind reading, when done without a person's permission is psychic rape and that anyone who plays these games is dangerous. From her descriptions, M was a psychically powerful man. But she eventually realized that 1) he created false credentials for himself as a guru--he actually left his monastery because he failed to become its guru's sucessor, which meant his key motivation was frustrated ambition and power lust. 2) His TM meditation was not an ancient method, but something he created himself, for his own gain 3) when people began having psychological breakdowns from the meditation practice M did not care. He used people and disposed of people in the same thoughtless manner in which we use toilet paper. 4) he began teaching dangerous psychic/magical techniques to an inner circle of senior students.
Collin-Smith followed M for years because he had psychic powers and his TM gave her bliss experiences. In the long run, Collin-Smith discovered that M served no larger purpose. He wanted to teach the whole world his TM method, but that method led only to blissful passivity. The author saw how she and nearly all the long term TM students became passive, less able to function responsibly in life. Persons who had been productive artists found their creativity dried up--all they cared about was meditation and bliss. They didnt care about the welfare of their neighbors and became bliss junkies.
THe lesson is, psychic powers and bliss mean nothing and can actually distract people from the Big Picture. And legitimate spiritual teachers have all warned that psychic powers and channelling are, at best distractions and at worst can be dangerous. You dont know who or what is trying to get your attention. The only safeguard is you must have a commitment to a system of ethics and to a belief system that is rooted in love, wisdom and service to all humanity--not something that isolates you from humanity and feeds your craving for power or desire to be special. Others wish to avoid personal pain and suffering in their lives and are attracted to bliss experiences--this too is a dead end.
Mrs Collin-Smith doesnt say so, but my hunch is that she had a tendency all her life to be curious about psychic powers, which made her quite vulnerable to following teachers whose paths were dazzling dead ends. She emerged from TM unable to write novels, something she'd previously enjoyed and been successful at. She was depressed for years, came close to suicide, and only by accident learned how to anchor her mind and body in the real world and thus recover from TM.
Pak Subhud, Ibu Subhud and Maharishi were psychically powerful, but they were also greedy people, trapped in their human egos. They could not link thier powers to any purpose that was greater and more benevolant than human ego. All they could do was distract and deaden their followers.
I am not a Christian these days, but St Paul said it well:
'Though I speak with the tongues of men and angels and have not love, I am a clanging gong and a tinkling cymbal..'
If you dont love and care about the people you meet every day, psychic powers mean nothing and may even bring you harm.
A few psychics have linked their powers to a vocation of love and service--and that's the only way those powers can be safetly used in this world. These people will tell you that their psychic talents are not fun, they are are heavy responsibility. And, they try to avoid publicity.