“Eenie Meenie, Chilly Beanie, the spirits are about to speak!” Bullwinkle J. Moose
Although I adored the supernatural from Day One, my childhood experience was pretty much limited to Halloween, sci-fi and monster movies, and old episodes of the Twilight Zone on TV. It was a nine-day wonder when a classmate brought a Magic 8 Ball to school. When I was fifteen, some friends and I scared ourselves silly with an Ouija board at a party. And there you have it -- the sum total of my exposure to psychic phenomena as a kid. I mean, there weren't any books in our small town library on the subject. No internet either (my god, how did I LIVE?) and nobody was talking about psychic visions at the beauty shop.
Things are very different now. There’s been a worldwide upsurge in interest in psychic phenomena, particularly in what some call second sight. Check the movies for instance. Next (Nicholas Cage), The Gift (Cate Blanchette), and Suspect Zero (Ben Kingsley) all deal with psychic abilities. Television fiction includes Medium, Ghost Whisperer and The Dead Zone. Television non-fiction has John Edwards Cross Country and Psychic Detectives. There are countless books on the subject, many of which have hit best seller lists. Across the country, you can take courses and seminars in developing your own psychic gifts. And by conservative estimate, there are a gazillion internet sites devoted to the subject...
No doubt about it, the concept of psychic ability has become almost mainstream. Nearly respectable. If you had visions, dreams, feelings or intuitions about something, you’d find at least a few people in your immediate circle of friends, family and co-workers who would take you seriously. Even the highly popular spiritualist movement of the 1800s, which flourished in the United States and Britain, produced only a scant fraction of the psychic interest we're seeing now.
There are even pet psychics. One was in the news recently when a 6-pound chihuahua was carried away by 70 mph winds at a Michigan flea market in late April. Many volunteers searched for “Tinker Bell”, but without success until Tink’s owners consulted a pet psychic. They credit the psychic with helping them to locate the little dog about ¾ mile away in a wooded area. (Tinker Bell’s all right, by the way.)
I’ve had occasion to witness psychic ability in unexpected places – even in my own kids. For instance, there was the time that my youngest daughter, Sammy, then age 3 or so, had disappeared. We turned the house upside down, but my second oldest daughter – Jaime, age 14– ran outside. She went straight to a strange car that was parked in the driveway and flung open the door. Sammy was locked inside! Somehow our toddler had managed to get in the vehicle but couldn’t open the door to get out again. The heat in the car was intense and another few minutes would have had dire consequences. Jaime said that it just came into her mind where Sammy was. This wasn’t the first time such things had popped into her head either. She found someone else’s lost child in the mall not long after. She overheard the parents panicking, and again, the knowledge simply came to her where the child was. So she went to that location, collected the child and brought him back to his folks.
Are there fake psychics? Of course, just like there are charlatans in all walks of life. But while I'm not ready to pay for advice from an alleged psychic on the internet, I have a very healthy respect for true psychic phenomena. And some people are now theorizing that psychic abilities have a sound basis in science. After all, according to Einstein, the future already exists. Is it so far-fetched that some people can plug into it? Perhaps we all can, if we just knew how.
How about you? What do you think of psychics or psychic ability in general? Have you had any experiences with it?