Having taken a number of undergrad courses in psychology, I clearly understand your predicament. I asked this same question to a couple of my friends who recently got their masters in psychology and are practicing therapists in San Francisco. From their point of view, they are very much aware that people can pick up information from some where. They even confided in me and said,
“I don’t know how you know these things. But you know things about what was discussed between my clients and me. And I know, I know, I never told you such things. It’s a breach of confidentiality.”
My therapist friends then threw the question back at me and asked;" How do you know what you know?" I gave them two answers. Some times there are things that I know that I’m so certain about it that it feels as though I read about it some where or heard about it, but I can’t put my finger on its source. That’s how I know it’s information that’s not a figment of my imagination. At other times, I feel as though I’m day dreaming and see something that is totally out of context with my current train of thoughts. In being totally out of context tells me it’s relevant information.
In some cases, spiritual contact is unmistakable. For example. the other year when I was I at work, I was standing at my work station and could feel something coming towards me. I could sense something wanting to meet with me. I could sense it walking on the floor above me. The sensation was so strong, it was almost seemed audible. The sensation was so strong I even recalled looking up at the ceiling feeling my eyes trace its footsteps on the floor above me. I could then feel it walking down the stairway to the floor I was on, and walking towards me. The foot steps were so heavy, I thought it was the boss. Thinking it was my boss who was going ask me why my project was taking so long, I then started rummaging through my thoughts thinking of excuses that he could possibly accept. I then started a count down in my head. My boss is going to appear glaring at me in 5 seconds, 4, 3, 2, 1, and now…, when I looked up, I was scared shitless. It wasn’t my boss but a entity dressed all in black, complete with dated clothing, black cape, black triangular hat, and vintage-style knee-high leather laced boots.
I won’t go into the conversation I had with it, but as you can see, some times ethereal contact can be obvious. When they talk to you, it is unmistakable. It literally feels as though they are in your head. But as you can see, the ethereal contact was not anticipate nor desired. Therefore, it couldn’t possibly be projected into my perception of reality. The sharp contrast to what was expected suggests to me that it was unmistakably “real.”
I hope this has been helpful Moldy_Bones. Sorry if I seemed a bit long-winded in my answer, but sometimes an answer that is fleshed out might be more helpful. Never the less, do listen more closely to the comments voiced by the others here. I’ve been doing this for years, but the people here are much more experienced, perceptive, and talented than myself.