Pam Kircher About Me Contact Me
Tai Chi NDEs Integrative Medicine End of Life Issues Reflections


Highly Sensitive People

Highly Sensitive People (HSP) are considered to be about 15-20% of the population. These people are highly sensitive to their environments. They notice everything. They are more sensitive to odors, uncomfortable clothes, and changes in the environment. It can make it difficult to be them—or to live around them for that matter because they find it difficult to "roll with the punches." These times are particularly difficult for them because of the ever-changing technology and because of the vast array of sensory input that is being offered to the average human being. If you think about even 50 years ago, that was not the case in the U.S. There were no video games or huge malls with flashing lights. An action movie was "High Noon" with a final shoot out scene at the corral where 3-4 people died, tops. This last 50 years has seen a burgeoning of those things that stimulate a Highly Sensitive Person. Nowadays, in America even insensitive people can be overstimulated. On the other hand, we are becoming used to overstimulation and the response to overstimulation is being extinguished.

This overstimulation in America and other large cities that attempt to westernize themselves (e.g., Tokyo) is not seen in the rest of the world. Rural underdeveloped nations quickly come to mind, but that is also true in Europe. The smaller cities of Europe move quite slowly with minimal stimulation and speed.

What does this mean? The insensitive people have held sway in the big cities and in politics for that matter. There is no possibility in our current system that a Highly Sensitive Person like Abraham Lincoln could get elected. Clearly, not enough pizzazz. Even someone like Gore who is a deep thinker was crucified for having little expression on his face. We preferred as a country a man who shoots from the hip without considering his words.

There has been a steady, quiet countercurrent, however. As more and more people have had NDEs, they have swelled the ranks of the HSP. If they are already HSP before the NDE, they become even more HSPs with an emphasis on spirituality. Anyone who thinks deeply is bound to look at the question of meaning in the world. This sense of meaning will bring up questions about spirituality. Quietly moving side by side with the increasing sensual stimulation is the growing interest in The Power of Now and Conversations with God. There comes a time when anyone reaches overstimulation. At that moment, God is present. Excesses are sometimes required in order to learn what one truly wants.

A clear path is about to emerge. As people sign the pledge, to their amazement it will be less about "voting with their pocketbooks" and more about reclaiming their lives. As people share quiet time with each other, as they take hikes in the woods, as they share deep conversations and intimate stories, they will learn that gratuitous violence is a poor substitute for real life. As they stay away from malls, investors will ask themselves how to entice people to "buy" their product. It will not be by larger and bigger displays. The size of the display is irrelevant if nobody goes there in the first place. It will be by asking, what to people really want? They will absolutely have to settle for less profits because the answer to that question is "way less than before." There will be a time of disease, but soon we will simply settle into voluntary simplicity and be grateful for it.

How does this all fit into the HSP? In the setting of simplicity, the HSP is very helpful because they help people to see the richness of this new lifestyle. It is true that HSPs are genetically determined and that NDErs change after near-death, but that does not mean that the other 75% of the people can't learn from them. In a world where most of the physical problems have been resolved, the HSP brings in the richness. It is these people who invite others to learn to notice more and think deeper. It is part of the PLAN. HSPs sense the pain of the other person and are willing to modify their lives for the good of all. It is these HSPs as souls in community who will bring on the new way of being for humans.

A very important key here is the regular person who has a NDE and becomes a HSP. They are proof positive that a shift in perception is not a pipe dream. There may be subtle re-wiring that we have not yet found in the brain, but it does prove that it is possible. Also, after a stroke or with people born with defective receptors and responders, extensive Physical Therapy can bring them into the normal range. We have proof of the possibility of re-wiring of brains.

Everything is in place for a re-wiring of the collective brain of planet earth. Those people so involved in the struggle to maintain their own lives through food and shelter do their best not to be HSP. It would only make it worse. The 15-20% in that population tend to die off rather quickly. However, if they no longer have to struggle so fiercely merely to live, the 15-20% will become leaders. There will be time to consider meaning in life.

In contrast, when people are no longer interested in purchasing the latest thing, the high-pressure salesman will be a thing of the past. There will be no utility in that style of approach. People will not take lessons in salesmanship because there is no point. On the other hand, because there is finally time to pursue deeper issues, people will gladly sign up for leisure learning courses and will attend philospohical lectures because they are interested in thinking at a deeper level.

These are fascinating times as threads spun long ago are coming into proximity to weave this new cloth. HSPs have been around forever (although not much noticed until recently.) NDEs have been around forever, but not that common until recently, thanks to technology. The struggle for existence has been around forever and it kept us as a species from being able to focus on the interests of HSPs and NDErs. Now that we have the capabilities to cease that struggle, we can finally for the first time focus on the highest potential of man. As more and more people become interested in moving to that next level, we will as humans finally move into the place that we were meant to achieve. In the same way that HSPs were dragged into a world of excessive stimulation and finally became rather used to it, the less sensitive folks will be exposed to the world of the HSP and NDEr and will begin to see things that they never noticed before.

In this new paradigm, children in school will be taught to be more observant of the world around them and of each other. This is not new. It has been done in the Buddhist mindfulness tradition forever. What is new is that it will be taught from pre-school on. Meditation in the schools by fellow students is already gaining steam. That is huge because someone exposed to meditation as a child will begin to use meditation in every aspect of his or her lives. In the same vein, someone taught to notice nuances will not forget that as they mature. They may well forget the dates of certain battles, but once their eyes are opened, they will not shut again.

As HSPs teach the rest of the world to become more sensitive, the world will naturally seem to be much richer than it was before. The average person will enjoy their lives at a much deeper and richer level than they have before.


back to reflections