The ability to communicate with “the other side” was not something psychic-medium Jim Fargiano sought after.
It wasn’t a gift he discovered, he says.
“It’s more like I got bopped over the head.”
The East Quogue man says he was at a low point in his life when a close friend stopped in at the stationery store he used to own and dropped a book on the counter about meditation and relaxation techniques.
A couple of days later, he picked up the book. “I had gotten beat up for two days, and I was as emotionally bottomed out as I could be,” Fargiano recalls.
“I started reading, came across a meditation and thought I’d try it,” he says. All sorts of imagery came into his head, he recalls. He likens it to images that one might see while falling off to sleep.
The second time, the experience intensified. “A massive stream of white light poured into my head. I saw images of Jesus, the Blessed Mother, Moses and Buddha. I knew then that everything was going to be fine,” Fargiano says.
That was 20 years ago this month. “And it just kept growing from there,” he said. “About six weeks later, something new happened. I started channeling my grandfather, my Dad’s dad, someone I had never met.”
Fargiano explains that he has “next to no recall” of what he says during these times, which he describes as “a light trance.” At the time of his grandfather’s first “appearance” he’d just begun recording his sessions, at the suggestion of a medium he’d consulted.
When he played back the tape, he heard his own voice say “grandpa,” and then, emphatically, “No. Papa.” The messages were all for his father.
“I must have played that tape a couple hundred times over the next two weeks before I got the courage to approach him [his father] with it,” Fargiano says.
While he can’t fully explain his gifts, he’s learned to embrace them — even when the spirits push him to do things that push him out of his comfort zone. Among these things are public appearances like the one scheduled for Wednesday night at the Suffolk Theater.
“I am terrified of public speaking. I went all through school without ever raising my hand once,” he says.
But spirit, as he refers to the life force on the other side, is pushing him to touch people with inspirational messages and humanitarian guidance, he says.
The messages from beyond that he’s supposed to convey are “always very positive and uplifting, focused on love and generosity— a depth of love and respect for everyone, and a deep respect for the environment, for animals and nature,” he says.
Fargiano has recorded some of those messages in his book, The Spoken Words of Spirit, drawn largely from weekly prayer and meditation sessions he holds.
He says he’s identified three distinct spirit guides who communicate with and guide him. One is an Egyptian who is also sometimes St. Paul — who was not an Egyptian, Fargiano points out, laughing. He can’t explain the dual identity but he’s learned that he can’t explain a lot of what goes on in his life. Another is Michael the Archangel and a third, his most constant guide is a Native American known to him as “Onefeather.”
“I’m tapped into a very high level of energies,” the soft-spoken Fargiano says quietly. “I don’t talk about this too much. People don’t get it.”
For Fargiano, it is what it is. Most people come to him because they want to connect with a loved one who has passed over, he says.
Over the years, Fargiano’s experiences as a medium have changed.
“In the beginning, I was totally visual with everything,” he recalls. “I felt like I was watching clips from a movie or just a slideshow of snapshots. All of a sudden, I started hearing things in my head — a constant set of thoughts running through my mind. But they’re not my own thoughts.” He tries to explain. “You hear this but it’s not through the ears which is what most of us are trained to understand. It’s different,” he says.
“About five years into it, it stopped abruptly. I realized I wasn’t hearing or seeing anything. I started being clairessential— just knowing things,” he says.
It’s not easy being a psychic medium, Fargiano admits. Some people are afraid of him, while others scoff at him.
“It’s almost like surreal,” Fargiano says.
He tries to relax and go with the flow. And sometimes, he’ll even have a little fun with friends and family. “I’ll tease them, go into this vacant stare…I’m very spiritual but not a saint,” he laughs.
Channeling spirit is very taxing. “Every time I’m tuned in, it burns me out a little more,” he says.
If there is one message spirit wants him to convey to people — “probably the thing they’re always drumming into me” — it’s “love each other,” Fargiano says, “respect each other and do not be jealous of others’ success. The happier you are for the success of others, the more open you are to receiving success yourself,” he says.
“Jealousy sends out the completely wrong signal to the universe,” Fargiano says. “You want your mind and your thoughts to always be optimistic and positive.”
Jim Fargiano is appearing at the Suffolk Theater
118 East Main St. Riverhead
Wednesday, July 31 at 8 p.m.
Tickets $25 in advance, $30 at the door
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