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maestrowork
10-18-2007, 12:33 AM
OK, I normally don't believe in this Psychic thing. I find them rather amusing, but no, I don't think much of them (no offense to those who do believe).

The other night I went to a Halloween party and the host had hired a psychic as entertainment. I thought it was a fun thing to do...

Wow, I was speechless. Either she was really good at guessing things, or she really knew stuff...

Without me telling her anything (except my birth sign)... she said:

a) I'm in some kind of creative endeavors, possibly something to do with communication (I got a "sword" card and she said it had to do with communication)

b) My current project would probably give me some notoriety but not necessarily money. It would probably take a second project to achieve financial goals, and I probably have to switch agents or publishers (by that point I told her I was a writer) within the next two projects

c) that I probably have two conflicting ideas/elements competing with each other, and that's blocking my flow. And once I can resolve the two ideas, I will find my voice and everything will work out (granted, I think this is really "vague" -- but in truth, my current WIP is now split into two parts and I'm having issues putting them together...)

d) she said I had really great cards, including both the Emperor and the Priestess cards. I don't know what all that means, but it sounded good.


Anyway, while I still don't believe in psychic, I just find it odd that she's pretty close. So unless someone else told her about my profession, it's rather freaky.

Anyone has similar stories? My dad went to a fortune teller a few years ago and he was freaked out as well. Basically, she told my dad that he would have a major health setback that may kill him that year, but if he survived that, he would live to his 90s. And later that year, my dad had life-threatening illness... just weird.

So no, I'm still too skeptical and cynical, but I've been thinking about this for a few days now.

III
10-18-2007, 12:38 AM
Running nekkid through graveyards, listening to psychics, doubting Santa - I think you need to trade avatars with Carlson.

Salem
10-18-2007, 12:39 AM
I think "psychics" are really good at putting together readings that sound specific but could actually apply to anyone.

All of the things she told you could just as easily apply to me.

maestrowork
10-18-2007, 12:44 AM
I think "psychics" are really good at putting together readings that sound specific but could actually apply to anyone.

All of the things she told you could just as easily apply to me.

But it would not have worked for me just five years ago.

Rich
10-18-2007, 12:45 AM
Has your father reached 90 yet? "Jindon" (Phonetically speaking Italian)--may he live for a hundred years.

Who, even the most boring CPA, will not think that he's creative?

Who doesn't think that there is at LEAST one dichotomy in all his endeavors?

maestrowork
10-18-2007, 12:48 AM
Like I said, I'm skeptical. But remember, I didn't tell her anything about me. So it's kind of a leap of faith for her to go down that "creative" route -- if I were a CPA, I would have just laughed in her face.

III
10-18-2007, 01:31 AM
But did she buy your book afterwards? That's what really matters. If she was really psychic she would have known how good it was.

Kudra
10-18-2007, 01:34 AM
They're nothing if not trained in reading people. They can tell if you're someone who chases money/love/creativity, blah blah. Even I can do that. That's easy. Harder is the real stuff. I'm not a believer either, but I'm open to being convinced.

I have two stories for you, both from India.

1. I was in Mumbai, and I wanted to interview this astrologer-on-the-street dude, but he wouldn't let me interview him, so I paid him the Rs 50, stuck out my hand and asked for my future.

a) You're very independent.
b) You've had some tough times lately, which is why you've lost a lot of weight.
c) You'll go abroad.
d) You will get married. Not an arranged marriage.
e) Don't have too many expectations. You'll have money and love, but it comes and goes.

Seems okay, until my mother reports getting exactly the same reading thirty years ago!

--

2. Psychic in Mcleod Ganj. She has crystals and all that. Fancy!

a) You've had a few lifetimes in Tibet, which is why you keep getting drawn to this place.
b) You were a political prisoner in at least three of those lives. (In Tibet? Yes, in Tibet. Oh wait... I'm not sure that's possible. Uh... maybe not in Tibet then. Uh... I dunno.. so let's see what else.)
c) You were feisty in your previous lives, you're feisty now. That's why you keep getting into trouble. (Pure genius!)
d) You have no unresolved issues. She says the same to the guy I'm with. That's why, apparently, we connect and will remain together. The guy and I later laugh about that because we're sure we have more issues than her entire family put together. And we never see each other again once we leave Mcleod.

Yeah, I'm a tad skeptical.

Foinah
10-18-2007, 01:36 AM
I think "psychics" are really good at putting together readings that sound specific but could actually apply to anyone.

All of the things she told you could just as easily apply to me.

I knew you were going to say that. Now that will be Fifty dollars please.

Zelenka
10-18-2007, 01:46 AM
I'm not totally closed to the possibility of something 'supernatural' existing but at the same time I'm highly skeptical of most psychics. I've found knowing how to read tarot and do a lot of the divination techniques myself really kills my belief in some of those who charge money for it, since so many of them don't even bother to learn the supposed meanings of the cards let alone actually predict the future in any way. Not saying all psychics are like that, but I've met enough who were to make me jaded. (On a side note, am I spelling 'psychic' right as it looks weird?).

One weird experience I do know of happened to a really close friend of mine rather than myself. She was a really big fan of a famous TV medium who has done several ghost-hunting type shows on UK TV, and won a charity auction to get a private reading with him. So she came all the way over from the US and met him in England, and then called me straight after to tell me what had been said. She certainly was very impressed. Obviously I can't vouch for how much information she gave him, consciously or unconsciously, but he had said to her something about 'You're planning a trip to New York', just out of the blue. My friend lives in the US but is English and hasn't lost her accent, and claims she never mentioned America at all. Thing was, at the time I was planning to go to NYC to see Hugo Weaving and Cate Blanchett in a play there, and I had been working up the courage to ask her to come with me for a long while. I'd only just asked her the day before she went to this reading.

He also said something about 'planning a trip to Australia' and came up with the name Lyn. Again, this had only been discussed very recently but my friend had been thinking of going to Australia the following year to see our online pal Lyn who lives in New South Wales.

There was something about her family history as well, though I don't recall the specifics, but she had known nothing about it and only found out it was accurate when she was telling her mum about it afterwards.

I've seen one of this guy's shows myself in order to get an autograph for my friend, and I really wasn't impressed, personally, but she certainly was convinced after this session she had.

sunna
10-18-2007, 01:56 AM
I've seen a few psychics at similar events, and yeah, IMO they were all just good at reading body language and drawing out info without seeming to. (well, not all of them - one of them really sucked at it.)

On the other hand, I believe one of my first bosses - the most practical, no-nonsense woman I've ever met - was the genuine article. And, cool as I've always though seeing a real psychic/clairvoyant/whatever would be, it sure freaked me the hell out. Guess I'm not a very good Wiccan. :)

So I don't think it's outright impossible. I do tend to think, however, that most people truly capable of such things wouldn't necessarily want to make a business out of it.

maestrowork
10-18-2007, 02:02 AM
Oh, the fortuneteller also told my dad he had three children. My dad only has two sons. Then the fortuneteller said "no, there was another. You just forgot." That was when my dad remembered the aborted baby. It totally freaked him out.

preyer
10-18-2007, 02:07 AM
Wow, that's, like, totally weird! My wife's name is Lynn, and I used to know someone in Australia, too! Coincidence? I think not! What's even weirder is, like, most of the screen names in this thread have 'e's in them, and the one that's, like, not III contains none of the same letters my screen name does!

Man, I think I need to sit down! This is all just too heady for me!

all fooling aside, i was at a bar once (well, not 'once,' i've probably been to too many) and was told i have a green aura. maybe it was blue, hell, i don't remember, but the guy was drunker than a skunk and looked as if he'd been dragged over forty miles of rough road. amazing? hardly. i'm sure most of the constellations in his universe were call 'bud major' and 'ursa coors.'

when i worked at delphi, we had these workshops about teamwork or some such crap, with these two guys who were experts at reading people's personalities. now *that* was amazing to me, and i'm not easily distracted.

oo, a shiny penny....

who wants me to give them a fortune reading?

Little Red Barn
10-18-2007, 02:17 AM
Ray, when hubby, policeman, hits a brick wall, occasionally he will call in a psychic...I don't know... :shrug:

preyer
10-18-2007, 02:54 AM
reasons why fortune cookies are better than fortune-tellers:

1~ cookies are dessert that comes after stuffing yourself til you feel like puking

2~ cookies don't smell like stale perfume and sauerkraut

3~ cookie fortunes give you 'lucky numbers' and teach you a new word in chinese

4~ cookie fortunes are about as truly accurate as fortune-teller's 'predictions'

5~ fortune cookies don't charge forty bucks an hour or tries to sell you magick candles that smells like death's crotch

6~ if you don't like your fortune cookie, you can crack open a new one until you find one you like

7~ fortune cookies provides writers with a barely working knowledge of english jobs

8~ you never have to be embarrassed eating a fortune cookie

9~ people are less likely to make life-altering decisions based on a small piece of paper than they are interpretations of gaseous celestial bodies and/or random shuffles of cards

10~ fortune cookies aren't interested in your credit rating

11~ the 'bunco squad' never arrested a fortune cookie manufacturer

12~ fortune cookies never preyed on anyone with gaping holes in their life. if anything, the only thing a fortune cookie ever preyed on was a fat person

13~ no one would eat a 'voodoo cookie' because that sounds terrible. people will, however, believe you can stick pins in a doll and it actually have an affect on someone

14~ the fortune cookie hotline (aka 'poison control') doesn't charge $3.99 a minute, mon

15~ fortune cookies are a lot easier to swallow

WittyandorIronic
10-18-2007, 03:17 AM
So..i'm really not looking to be labeled the weird one here. But oh well.
I read tarot cards for close family and friends, and have for a number of years. I have a little speech that I give before every single reading I do. You can take it or leave it, but it is how I view the whole thing.
The easiest explanation for life paths in many parables and myths is the concept of a tapestry. Everyone is a thread in a giant tapestry, and everyone also has their own tapestry made of many threads. If we hugely over simplify that tapestry and say you have 26 threads running from left to right, marked A-Z, and upwards of 100 threads running from bottom to top, than it is a little easier to understand. If we move thread 18 OVER thread G, rather than under it, the entire picture will be different. Every decision and action we make, from changing careers to stopping for a donut is a thread. Our brain fully comprehends our past and our present, even if it is not all conscious thought. We know, even if we choose to ignore, not think about, or pretend we are ignorant, that moving thread 9 UNDER thread X, will change other threads. It means we can't move thread 10 UNDER thread X, but that we now have to move it over. We know that if we change jobs, that there will be many changes in our lives. So...even if we choose to not dwell in deep thought about those changes, our subconscious mind understands them innately.
Each card in a tarot deck has a specific set of meanings. Each position in the reading has a specific connotation, that will change/limit which meanings of that card are relevant. When someone reads your cards, in reality your subconscious is reading and reacting to those meanings. They say creative which you automatically equate with writing. You apply each set of meaning to your situation, and then draw parallels between your situation (both the conscious and subconscious forms), and suddenly consequences seem clearer...just like when that Beta reader points out your rookie tense change, even though you read that MS 879 times. It is a new perspective and allows you to see new aspects that you would have normally (subconsciously) ignored. Some people use this as a technique to analyze their decisions in depth, before or after.
People who do it for entertainment...well. That's a whole other story. lol. It is an act. I can insist that someone has 30 kids, and one way or another they will eventually go, "You know, I really was attached to all those chickens on the farm, and there was about 30 of them. Yep, I guess they sort of were like kids, crapping and squawking all the time."
And that's your deep thought for the day, folk.

wordmonkey
10-18-2007, 03:44 AM
There have been studies done where a "psychic" reading is done and recorded and then the person who had the reading is interviewed afterwards reguarding how well they felt the reader did. Even when the people were shown evidence of how poorly the reader did (something like 75 percent of the time the reader was flat-out wrong - figures might be off, but generally it's something like that) they STILL wanted to believe that the psychic was real and showed a clear leaning towards ONLY remembering the things the reader got right.

Many years ago my sister used to listen to a radio psychic doing a late-night, local channel call in show. She thought this guy was awesome. I listened one night and could pick out every time he fished, every leap of faith and every time the reader pulled something from something the caller said.

Without knowing the specifics, I would have guessed that the party was thrown by someone who chatted about what kind of party it was going to be and mentioned a couple of the friends that were coming. Fake psychics are very good at getting people chatting and when you start, you tend to just ramble. And frankly, given a chance, who doesn't like to talk about themself? Alternatively, the "psychic" worked out the most of the guests were creative types and took a less than massive leap. Though it is possible that as a previous poster said, eveyone thinks they are creative in some way. It's like me saying, "You feel that sometimes people just don't get you." Who doesn't? Once you revealed the writer part, everything is turned towards that. The other specifics aren't THAT specific.

'Course, your psychic might have been real. :D

DamaNegra
10-18-2007, 05:13 AM
I also do tarot readings, but I don't like it. Things that are too accurate sometimes will pop out and make either me or the other person uncomfortable. Yes, the cards' meanings are very broad and unspecific, but it's the way they are arranged and the relations between them that really give the specific meanings to the reading. Even with cards with broad meanings you can get totally incoherent readings.

CheshireCat
10-18-2007, 05:27 AM
It fascinates me how many people aren't willing to admit to the possibility that we might not know even as much as we think we know about the limits of human abilities.

The most learned men of their day used to believe the world was flat.

They were wrong.

Carole
10-18-2007, 05:39 AM
Obviously I am a believer, but not in all psychics or readers for that matter. A reader doesn't have to also be psychic or the other way around. They are two separate things and true psychics are rare, indeed. Almost anyone can teach themselves to read if they work at it.

I'll tell you about a reading Mr. Vagabond had once, probably 5 or 6 years before we even met. Among other things, she told him that he would meet his "soulmate" long before he laid eyes on her and that she would be older than him. She told him that a couple of years of communicating through typing or writing would come before they met in person. She also told him that he would immediately have 2 sons when he finally met her face to face and that they would someday live in the mountains. He's from Florida.

We met online several years later. We spent 2 years chatting online and emailing. I have 2 sons from a previous marriage, I am 4 1/2 years older than him and we live in Tennessee.

That reading would definitely not fit just anyone, but it fits us perfectly. I seriously doubt he was out there looking for someone like me to fit the bill. In fact, he didn't even know I had kids when we first met.

The thing about a reading is to go into it with your eyes open. If they are obviously reaching, then they are probably not very good. If they ask too many leading questions, again - not good.

I've done readings where everything flowed right down to the letter. I read one guy who was a total skeptic when he walked in and he wasn't intending to pay me a dime. I wasn't asking for $$ either. (actually, that's not true. I always ask for a penny, but that's another story about responsibility for information and all that) When he got up, he gave me $20 and said that he was convinced. Thing is, I didn't tell him anything he didn't already know. It wasn't like I gave him some shocking news. It was convincing for him, but honestly it was pointless except for showing him that I knew what I was doing.

Sometimes readings are easy and sometimes they are like pulling your hair out. For many psychics, it's not work. It just happens. I'm a reader who is also somewhat empathic. Nothing like a true psychic at all.

Zelenka
10-18-2007, 05:42 AM
I also do tarot readings, but I don't like it. Things that are too accurate sometimes will pop out and make either me or the other person uncomfortable. Yes, the cards' meanings are very broad and unspecific, but it's the way they are arranged and the relations between them that really give the specific meanings to the reading. Even with cards with broad meanings you can get totally incoherent readings.

It is scary when it starts coming out accurate, especially if it's something unpleasant. I remember when I was at college the first time, the other students found out I did tarot - don't remember how they found out actually. But they all decided they wanted their cards done and I think I did about eight or nine readings that day. (We can't have been doing a hell of a lot of work, now I think about it). It was interesting seeing the reaction of the skeptical ones as well as those who wholeheartedly believed, but I said from the beginning, I can't say for certain that this is all true, I can just say what I see, take it or leave it. When I came to do this one girl, it was really clear on it that she would hear about a death really soon, and I debated for ages whether or not to say anything. I ended up just saying to her that it looked like the college administrator wanted to see her fairly soon, and that it was bad news, so she might want to get herself prepared just in case.

Within two hours the administrator arrived to tell her her grandmother had died, and that freaked me out completely. It could well have been coincidence, or maybe I heard someone talking about it but it didn't register consciously, there could be whole loads of explanations. One thing though, the girl actually thanked me because she said she had geared herself towards facing something bad and so it didn't hit her so hard. It was a really strange position to be in, maybe because I'm not 100% convinced of its reliability. Perhaps if I really believed I wouldn't have been so torn.

Then on the other hand, my uncle, who claims the gift runs in the family (my great grandmother was actually famous for her readings across Scotland and people came from all over to consult her), told me that I would be married twice, have twins, and there was something about owning a yacht as well.

Red-Green
10-18-2007, 05:48 AM
Believe in psychics? Not so much.
As for tarot cards, however, their real function (that some "psychics" deny) is not to "tell your fortune," but to make you think about your life situation and your prospects in a metaphoric way. Yes, the cards are random chance, but your reaction to their metaphoric meanings can be revealing if you approach it from that perspective. It can help you think about issues in your life more constructively.

Shady Lane
10-18-2007, 05:51 AM
When I was in Spain, a fortune teller grabbed my hand and told me (for free) that I would have three children, I was the youngest of two children, and I was my mother's favorite. "My mother's soul," she said. She also said I needed to call my mom.

So I did.

And yeah, I'm the youngest of two children, and yeah, I'm definitely my mother's favorite.

WittyandorIronic
10-18-2007, 06:02 AM
It fascinates me how many people aren't willing to admit to the possibility that we might not know even as much as we think we know about the limits of human abilities.

The most learned men of their day used to believe the world was flat.

They were wrong.



I whole heartedly agree with this. I would like to point out that i was specifically talking about MY readings, and psychics at parties. Sorry, should have made that more clear before.

Magdalen
10-18-2007, 06:27 AM
I sing the body electric
I celebrate the me yet to come
I toast to my own reunion
When I become one with the sun

And I'll look back on Venus
I'll look back on Mars
And I'll burn with the fire of ten million stars
And in time
And in time
We will all be stars

I sing the body electric
I glory in the glow of rebirth
Creating my own tomorrow
When I shall embody the earth

And I'll serenade Venus
I'll serenade Mars
And I'll burn with the fire of ten million stars
And in time
And in time
We will all be stars

We are the emperors now
And we are the czars
And in time
And in time
We will all be stars

-- Wade Lassister

badducky
10-18-2007, 06:50 AM
I can only think about that scene in "Soul Mountain" where the narrator is reading everyone's palms as a party favor, and that time an author talked openly about giving readings during a party (the whole time announcing that it was fake and she was a fake) and receiving tons of cash tips for her amazing insight which she gave to charity...

I'm not saying it ain't real. I'm saying it's probably not psychic. More like, practical intuition, perhaps.

Shweta
10-18-2007, 07:43 AM
I'm not a skeptic but I often wish I was :)

I've encountered a number of self-proclaimed psychics and they all seemed fraudulent to me. On the other hand, I've met some people who I think are the real thing, and none of them claim it.

Also, I do tarot readings. Never without disclaimers, but I do. I'm never quite sure what I think about them when I'm not doing them. And normally they're a struggle and a guessing game. But sometimes when I am doing them I have a lucid, slightly detached mental state and I find myself saying things that I never would have said otherwise, including things I had believed were plain wrong. And I am absolutely certain of the truth of what I'm saying. And when I do that, people tell me that I've gotten at precisely their problem and given them a lot to think about, etc.

And, invariably when this happens, I end up exhausted, like a wet rag. So I don't do it unless I can't not.

I'm not hugely good at reading people, and normally I don't let them talk or even look at them when I'm doing a reading, because I don't want to end up telling them what they want to hear or (worse) what I want them to hear.

The whole thing freaks me out, because a) I don't see any reason why they should work, b) I hate responsibility, and c) what is my mind doing that I don't understand here?

But it's a lot like the mental state of telling a story. Taking the pieces that exist and weaving them into a coherent tale. Which does not tell me why they should be anything like true or relevant stories, though. This bothers me.

Mac H.
10-18-2007, 09:17 AM
Like I said, I'm skeptical. But remember, I didn't tell her anything about me. So it's kind of a leap of faith for her to go down that "creative" route -- if I were a CPA, I would have just laughed in her face.But that's exactly why it works!

If you get a bad reaction (or just indifference) you adapt it.

"You are in some kind of creative endeavors, possibly something to do with communication"
*Snort of derision*
".. which is unusual for you, because you don't think of yourself as creative, but you are facing a problem that you'll need to use creativity to solve"

As you mention, you gave feedback during the reading.

There's a great video of a genuine psychic at work on the web (one of the Penn & Teller episodes) and you can see her use this exact technique.

Note: Paraphrase ahead!


Psychic: "I can see your mother now, she's very reserved, not saying anything"
Person being Read: *No recognition on face*
Psychic: "... which is very unusual for her, because she's very talkative normally"
Person being Read: *Eyes Light up*
Psychic: "... in fact, normally other people can't get a word in edgewise. She's always talking"
Person being Read: *Big smile* That's right!

[Later]

Person being Read: She was spot on about my mother. Described her perfectlyAnd do you really think that you go to a party dressed like an accountant? There was another great experiment where they got the same guy to go to three different psychics dressed differently, and having a different 'fake' call on his mobile which could be overheard by the psychic before the reading.

1. When unshaved and dressed like a slob: Was told that he had a problem finding work, and was constantly being rejected.

2. When dressed as an executive, with a fake conversation about buying shares being overheard: Was told that he worked too hard at the expense of personal relationships.

3. When dressed like a 'family man' with a fake happy conversation with his 'wife' being overheard: Was told that he had a great relationship with his family.

And this was the SAME GUY every time !!!
Why did the genuine psychics get it so wrong? (Or at least two of them did)

There is a simple test.

Get the psychic to give 5 readings to 5 different people with NO feedback. In fact, the people being 'read' can't even hear the reading live. The people can't be seen by the psychic to eliminate clues from clothing, etc.

Then, give all 5 people all 5 readings, and get them to score the results according to which ones are most accurate to them personally.

For some reason, when you do the experiment like that, the psychics do terribly.

Why is that?

In fact, if a psychic can pass this test, they'll easily earn the $1 million from the James Randi challenge. Then they can use that money to help more people in need. Sounds like a great deal!


It fascinates me how many people aren't willing to admit to the possibility that we might not know even as much as we think we know about the limits of human abilities.

The most learned men of their day used to believe the world was flat.

They were wrong.
No they weren't! When was this mythical time when learned men believed the world was flat? Even the ancient Greeks believed the world was a sphere. They came to this conclusion by careful observation and thought. (They got plenty else wrong, though!)

And of course we all believe that we don't know much about the limits of human abilities. That's why we do experiments to find out what the limits are.

This question is MUCH too important to just go by anecdotes - we need to search for the answers seriously. Not doing decent experiments, though, is AVOIDING looking for the answers.

Mac

Shweta
10-18-2007, 09:33 AM
Probably because most of them are sporadically effective at best, and certainly have no hope of passing this kind of test, knowing they're being set up to fail. Hell, knowing you're being set up to fail can make you do badly on a math test, let a lone some kind of test of intuition. There are studies on that.

The thing is, this kind of test has a number of built-in confounds, and so it just isn't sensitive enough to test the supposed question.

There's an interesting meta-analysis of psychic studies, with arguments against it, that I could dig up if anyone understands statistics well enough to want to wade through it.

Cassiopeia
10-18-2007, 09:57 AM
I had a reading done for me just today actually. I am so amazed. I do believe such things are possible but I don't actively seek them out.

What this person had to tell me was very profound and brought tears to my eyes because she was spot on about my life. She told me things she could NOT have known.

So yes sometimes I think, Ray, they are the real deal.

:)

maestrowork
10-18-2007, 03:31 PM
I'm very intrigued by the idea that "it may not be real, but if you believe in it, it may come true" -- personally, I'm a firm believer of mind over matters, and I think our psyches do wonders to our lives... and if one believes that he's going to have a bad illness, he may very well do. And if one is led to believe that he needs to change to succeed, he may very well do...

So, I don't know if these psychics are just reading people and giving generic comments or not, but I'm willing to think "hell yeah, I've got great cards so it must be good" -- positive thinking can only be a good thing, right? ;)

PattiTheWicked
10-18-2007, 05:25 PM
Grrr... I had a great post all typed out and AOL punted me. Let's try again.

Anyway, I read Tarot cards, have done so for years. I don't consider myself a psychic, but an intuitive. Part of that is the human factor -- I can pull a Ten of Cups for Ray and have it means something very different than the Ten of Cups I just pulled for Carole. The cards are not so much predictors of the future but a guideline for what will happen if things stay on their present course -- and I always tell clients that they have the power to change anything they want to, if they don't like what they see.

As to the idea that some readers are simply making cold guesses and picking up on body language -- sure, some do that. If you're not any good as a reader, then you've got to find answers somehow. Those of us who actually do interpret the cards don't have to rely on those things. I can, however, understand why people are skeptical.

And yes, I do charge for my readings. Around here the standard for a live Tarot session breaks down to about a dollar a minute -- I typically do 20 minute sessions for $20. I figure I'm entitled to -- it's a skill I've worked long and hard to develop and I'm allowed to be compensated for my time. I've also worked with another reader and taught a beginner's Tarot class, also collecting a fee for that. Do I think that the $3.99 a minute charged by the phone lines is outrageous? Yes -- but not because of the dollar amount... it's because you have no idea who's on the other end of the line.

preyer
10-18-2007, 06:54 PM
'The most learned men of their day used to believe the world was flat.' ~ when was that, cat? certainly not in columbus' day. it's a myth people in general thought the world was flat five hundred years ago. certainly some did, but some people believe the world is flat today. some people don't believe there was a moon landing or in evolution (this in particular is subject to people's arguments based in their own 'truthiness' but no real factual evidence. creationists (using that term loosely as their are several stripes) cling to their beliefs and nothing else, and would even have us think that evolution is something scientists debate constantly, when the fact is evolution is fully accepted by the scientific community. there's a famous experiment, forget the name, which scientists recreated the earth's conditions long ago and, gasp, wound up 'creating' life. they did this time and time again. a creationist will start a rebuttal with, 'yeah, but...' as if there was any way to disprove the scientific facts using faith). people are also under the misunderstanding that the church 500 years ago did everything they could to destroy scientific endevours when the truth is the church was one of science's biggest supporters and benefactors. or that we only use 10% of our brains, which is complete nonsense, too.

why is it that the vast majority of people who believe in this stuff are women? make that out to be a sexist statement if you want, but it's true. or is it 'womens' intuition' that's psychic connections?

the statement about people only remembering the coincidental 'true' predictions is absolutely right. proven facts, right there. also, the bigger the lie, the more people are going to believe. hitler proved that one, eh? lol.

however, i have no doubt that were i to go and have a 'reading' done right now by a good 'psychic'/fortune-teller, they'd say a lot of things which i might perceive as being true enough. if i agree that i was 'creative' and challenged her to guess which 'art' i practiced, as long as it's not making sock puppets out of hemp, the odds are she knows the likelihood is i write *without* having any physical input to go on. all she's got to do is listen to the words i use to derive out the practically already obvious.

'you will have two children.' okay, well, what's the national average, 2.3 children per household? 'you will meet through writing.' so, what's he do, he gets online to search for his soulmate. was that a prediction or suggestion? i mean, how much of this is self-fulfilling prophecy? 'you will have two sons.' okay, that one is pretty specific, or maybe hubby isn't remembering it right or it was just a good guess. honestly, if hubby was in his 30's at the time, it's a safe bet that whoever he found around his own age would have been divorced and have had kids. i could have told you that, lol. 'you will live in or around mountains.' again, few people actually up and move to kansas. i'd have to look at a map, but i'd say that generally where people actually move to there are some mountains nearby. playing all the percentages here, i think it's relatively easy to debunk most of this stuff ~ hubby probably gave away a lot of these 'premonitions' himself without ever realizing it.

crime psychics? again, i have to wonder if a lot of that is playing percentages. if you know police procedure, you know the cops would have found the body where it under rags in the basement. 'i see water....' really? considering that you're in minnesota, that's quite a bombshell, madam zoso. besides that, there are only so many practical places to hide a body, in water or buried being the biggest two, i'd guess.

for all these crime psychics, not a single one of them has turned up hoffa's body, which would not only put them in the national spotlight but would vindicate the entire 'science'. for every bit of guesswork that amazes sherlock there in the sticks, i have to wonder how many are completely wrong or give such untestable 'readings' that you'd never be able to verify or debunk it. were it not all bullshit, i think we could reduce the amount of missing children in this country by 50% (i'd say 100%, but i don't think there would be enough real psychics to meet the demand).

you show the average person a bunch of cards and have them guess what symbol is on the other side. i would guess about 15%. a 'psychic' would 'feel' about 40-60%.

all my opinion, mind you. like i've always said, though, people believe whatever fantasy makes them happy.

WittyandorIronic
10-18-2007, 06:57 PM
From MAC:

Get the psychic to give 5 readings to 5 different people with NO feedback. In fact, the people being 'read' can't even hear the reading live. The people can't be seen by the psychic to eliminate clues from clothing, etc.

Well...duh! I'm not saying that I believe everyone who claims to be psychic, but this is the most bogus test I have ever heard of. The term psychic is contentious, but almost everyone agrees that it implies a sensitivity to energy, or an over active empathetic ability. So you put them in a situation where there is NO energy and NO one to be empathetic towards? And as for your other outlined situations, psychic does NOT equal "super human ability to NOT be influenced by the environment and observations". If I showed you 3 different people dressed 3 different ways having 3 different cell conversations, you would have 3 very different impressions. Being psychic (not that they were) does not = being immune to making observation based impressions.


This question is MUCH too important to just go by anecdotes - we need to search for the answers seriously. Not doing decent experiments, though, is AVOIDING looking for the answers.

And I understand what you are saying, but creating tests designed to make someone fail is a very unethical, and unscientific route to follow.

WittyandorIronic
10-18-2007, 07:02 PM
why is it that the vast majority of people who believe in this stuff are women? make that out to be a sexist statement if you want, but it's true. or is it 'womens' intuition' that's psychic connections?


Just so you know, this completely invalidates any other point you MIGHT have been able to make.

maestrowork
10-18-2007, 07:14 PM
May I add that when I was at the party I had on a monk's costume with a hood on, so the psychic couldn't really see me except maybe my eyes. LOL. So I really don't there was much facial expressions or body language for her to hold on to -- besides, I was deliberate in not saying much to see what she had to say. So I found her reading very interesting.

davids
10-18-2007, 07:38 PM
I am as psychic as the price of gas-that is the end of the begining and the begining of the end, the Alpha, the Omega and the price of earl!

wordmonkey
10-18-2007, 07:54 PM
Probably because most of them are sporadically effective at best, and certainly have no hope of passing this kind of test, knowing they're being set up to fail. Hell, knowing you're being set up to fail can make you do badly on a math test, let a lone some kind of test of intuition.

That a test is set up to be scientific and be reproducable is notthe same as setting someone up to fail.


I'm very intrigued by the idea that "it may not be real, but if you believe in it, it may come true" -- personally, I'm a firm believer of mind over matters, and I think our psyches do wonders to our lives... and if one believes that he's going to have a bad illness, he may very well do. And if one is led to believe that he needs to change to succeed, he may very well do...

To some degree, the positive/negative thought thing is like being told not to think of a pink polar bear. I remember some time ago a test was done about "curses" and the like. That if you have the seed sown, and you believe, a curse will work on you. They tested it asking volunteers to put some cake batter in a hot oven. But withing the instructions it was REALLY hammered home that these volunteers had to be careful to not burn themselves on teh hot oven. A second group had the same activity, but no mention of burns. Folks with the warning burned themselves a lot more than those without.

maestrowork
10-18-2007, 08:05 PM
This is going to sound weird, but my Chinese name means "health." So since I was a little boy, it was drummed in my head that I was going to be healthy, etc. etc. Well, I have been, and still am. I can count on one and a half hands the times I had to see a doctor for any illness, and I don't even take painkillers for headaches. So whether I really was born with a healthy immune system or whatever, or whether by growing up believing, that I remain healthy throughout my entire life ... it always makes me wonder.

III
10-18-2007, 08:15 PM
Grrr... I had a great post all typed out and AOL punted me.

I'm getting a vision ... it's telling me AOL will keep disappointing you ... I'm seeing you switch to high-speed cable .... and being very very happy. :D

III
10-18-2007, 08:16 PM
I can count on one and a half hands the times I had to see a doctor for any illness

If you're so healthy how come you only have one and a half hands?

DeleyanLee
10-18-2007, 08:26 PM
I've done the psychic gig, occasionally for money. I've done readings in person, over the phone, in chat, via email. I'm told I'm rather good at it, regardless of the medium.

Not all readings are generic and not all readings happen in a setting. I remember when I worked at a tea room and someone I'd read for several times came in for a reading. I hadn't seen her in several months. We shook hands before sitting at my table and "Don't have the surgery--it'll kill your relationship" fell out of my mouth. She'd just had an abortion the day before. No way I could have picked that up from body language or whatever when we'd barely said hello.

Then there was the psychic fair in a mall I did once. A young woman sat down, shuffled the Tarot for a quickie yes-or-no spread and I laid the cards out. No discussion outside of "Hi, what kind of reading would you like?" The reading was: Yes, and it's a girl, but not twins. She'd just got word from her doctor that morning that she was pregnant and, yes, that was her question because she had a twin sister who was expecting twins, so she was concerned about the same thing. And, FWIW, I got a baby announcement after the appropriate amount of time with a picture of the little girl.

And then there SF con I was doing readings in as part of the programming. 30 readings in 2 hours--the experience is a blur. Some years later, I meet June at a writer's group and we quickly become best friends. She introduces me to her husband who grins at me in plain recognition. "You told me we were going to get married," he informs me. He names the con and related the reading to me: He'd get married within the next 2 years, that his bride would have the initial "J" and that he wasn't dating her now, but he knew her. He'd met her, through friends, at that very convention and they were married 18 months later.

Friends and relatives call/email me to locate something lost. I've got a 90-95% retreival rate, including a driver's license glued to the blade in a washing machine, a set of keys in a friend's purse and a lost cell phone lost on a train being returned in the mail with no extra charges. Lots of body language to help me out in that, I'm sure.

But predict the future? I don't bother, honestly. My analogy spiel, the few times I do readings, is that all I get is a roadmap. I can generally see where you are, some of where you've been, and what some of the options for going forward are at this moment. Unless things are so cast in cement in the past/present (ie: someone smoking for 50 years and dying of lung problems), the future is totally mutable. Any querent can act on what they've been told and totally negate it. Fortune-telling isn't worth my effort because people want guarantees and there aren't any except birth, taxes and death--and no one needs me to tell them that.

Being psychic doesn't mean you can predict the future. Being psychic means that you have knowledge that isn't easily explainable by average understanding/learning techniques. Perhaps it's "osmosis". Perhaps it's "ESP". Perhaps it's just another form of physics that hasn't been discovered or defined yet. Who knows?

But I'd wager that the vast majority of people doing professional readings aren't very psychic, though there will always be an exception to any rule. When I go for readings, it's either because I want an outside encouragement (guaranteed if I send out the right signals & vibes--doesn't matter I know it's coming, I'm paying for it after all) or for the pure entertainment value (ie: a party situation). It's still a skill that should be compensated for using on my behalf, after all.

benbradley
10-18-2007, 08:27 PM
Here's an interesting (skeptical-type) thing on astrology. As one of the comments says, it doesn't disprove astrology, but it shows how people can blindly believe in it, whether there's anything to it or not:
http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&VideoID=24630
I read Susan Blackmore's book "The Adventures of A Parapsychologis" in the '90's when I had some slight interest in this stuff. The book convinced me, even more so than the author, that either there's nothing to it, or at best, if there is, the occurrences of ESP are too low to be measured in the statistical noise (and thus MUCH too low to actually be noticed - what people 'notice' is delusion). After decades of research, she finally came to the same conclusion, and quit her 'job' as a psychic investigator (longish but interesting essay):
http://www.susanblackmore.co.uk/Chapters/Kurtz.htm

rhymegirl
10-18-2007, 08:34 PM
A number of years ago I went to a palm reader. She had told me on the phone to have a specific question in my mind, but not to tell her what it was.

The question which I did not reveal to her was: What is the right career path for me?/What kind of job will make me happy?

She had never met me before. When she was reading my palm she told me I was someone who liked/needed applause. She said I was torn between different careers--all of them in the creative field and that I would have to make a choice. True.

Personally, she told me I would have a long-term relationship and at least one child. Also true.

And she said I had a very long life line and would have a long life. A tarot card reader told me the same thing.

Sassee
10-18-2007, 09:46 PM
Oh, the fortuneteller also told my dad he had three children. My dad only has two sons. Then the fortuneteller said "no, there was another. You just forgot." That was when my dad remembered the aborted baby. It totally freaked him out.

Weird! That would freak me out too.

RumpleTumbler
10-18-2007, 09:52 PM
I've done the psychic gig, occasionally for money. I've done readings in person, over the phone, in chat, via email. I'm told I'm rather good at it, regardless of the medium.

I want one. :)

Sassee
10-18-2007, 09:57 PM
It is scary when it starts coming out accurate, especially if it's something unpleasant. I remember when I was at college the first time, the other students found out I did tarot - don't remember how they found out actually. But they all decided they wanted their cards done and I think I did about eight or nine readings that day. (We can't have been doing a hell of a lot of work, now I think about it). It was interesting seeing the reaction of the skeptical ones as well as those who wholeheartedly believed, but I said from the beginning, I can't say for certain that this is all true, I can just say what I see, take it or leave it. When I came to do this one girl, it was really clear on it that she would hear about a death really soon, and I debated for ages whether or not to say anything. I ended up just saying to her that it looked like the college administrator wanted to see her fairly soon, and that it was bad news, so she might want to get herself prepared just in case.

Within two hours the administrator arrived to tell her her grandmother had died, and that freaked me out completely. It could well have been coincidence, or maybe I heard someone talking about it but it didn't register consciously, there could be whole loads of explanations. One thing though, the girl actually thanked me because she said she had geared herself towards facing something bad and so it didn't hit her so hard. It was a really strange position to be in, maybe because I'm not 100% convinced of its reliability. Perhaps if I really believed I wouldn't have been so torn.

Then on the other hand, my uncle, who claims the gift runs in the family (my great grandmother was actually famous for her readings across Scotland and people came from all over to consult her), told me that I would be married twice, have twins, and there was something about owning a yacht as well.

Erm... I don't think I want to get my cards read by you. Heh.

CheshireCat
10-18-2007, 10:23 PM
'The most learned men of their day used to believe the world was flat.' ~ when was that, cat? certainly not in columbus' day. it's a myth people in general thought the world was flat five hundred years ago. certainly some did, but some people believe the world is flat today.

I didn't say five hundred years ago, preyer, or in Columbus's day, or any other specific time; I just said some of the most learned men of their day once believed the earth was flat. Not all of them, but some. And they did.

Some of the most learned men of their day also believed the sun revolved around the earth. Want to dispute that?

My point, which you apparently dismiss, is that "scientific" knowledge is constantly changing, and not always on a consistently-more-accurate basis. ("Eggs are good for you!" "Eggs are bad for you!" "Eggs are good for you!") Pluto used to be a planet; astronomers were sure about that for -- What? -- seventy or eighty years? Now, not so much; it's apparently a dwarf planet or an asteroid.


some people don't believe there was a moon landing or in evolution (this in particular is subject to people's arguments based in their own 'truthiness' but no real factual evidence. creationists (using that term loosely as their are several stripes) cling to their beliefs and nothing else, and would even have us think that evolution is something scientists debate constantly, when the fact is evolution is fully accepted by the scientific community.

I don't happen to be a Creationist of any stripe and personally find their "arguments" a rather pointless determination to confuse faith with science or merge the two but, again, that wasn't my point.


*** people are also under the misunderstanding that the church 500 years ago did everything they could to destroy scientific endevours when the truth is the church was one of science's biggest supporters and benefactors. or that we only use 10% of our brains, which is complete nonsense, too.

I could give you an argument that religious leaders have always tried to control information, but that isn't what this thread is about.

As for the "myth" that humans use only 10% or thereabouts of our brain's capacity, I'm sure you can trot out studies "proving" it's nonsense. Just as I can trot out studies "proving" there are large sections of our brains that are not being used in any way we can scientifically define or understand.

Which, again, rather "proves" my point.


why is it that the vast majority of people who believe in this stuff are women? make that out to be a sexist statement if you want, but it's true. or is it 'womens' intuition' that's psychic connections?

And here's where you totally lost any credibility on the issue (and others, actually) as far as I'm concerned.

I'll just go tend to my knitting and emotional soap operas and leave you ruthlessly logical and unemotional men to your learned debates, shall I?


all my opinion, mind you. like i've always said, though, people believe whatever fantasy makes them happy.

A statement which reminds me of that guy who founded Skeptic magazine. He's interviewed a lot about matters of myth, legend, and the paranormal. Smart guy, without doubt. And absolutely, unequivocally convinced that it's all BS. Every last bit of it. If it hasn't been scientifically "proven" by his standards -- and his are higher than most people's IMO, even a lot of scientists -- then anybody who believes it is simply deluding themselves. He does not even allow for the possibility that "science" may discover a whole new reality tomorrow or next year or a century from now.

Which science has a way of doing.

It must be a very comfortable world he lives in. A very safe world. It must feel nicely superior to be utterly convinced that You Know the Truth About Everything. No room for doubt.

It's the last part that makes me feel sorry for him.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go off and have a hysterical fit because my views and judgments and opinions were shot down by a Superior Male who, clearly, knows better than little 'ole me.

'Cause I'm just a weak-minded, easily deluded woman, don't you know.

:cry:

Esopha
10-18-2007, 10:32 PM
Re Mac H.:


Get the psychic to give 5 readings to 5 different people with NO feedback. In fact, the people being 'read' can't even hear the reading live. The people can't be seen by the psychic to eliminate clues from clothing, etc.

I give tea leaf readings over the internet. I have been for about three years. I get good feedback, and I don't charge, (Why would I charge people? I'm some nameless chick across the country looking at a cup of soggy plant debris) but most people pay me anyway, in .jpg images or pixelized currency.

I tried tarot cards, but they don't mesh well with me. Precognition runs in my family (and re preyer - it's my father who has the precognitive dreams, not my mother), although I haven't had any outstanding 'visions.'

I'm a skeptic. I don't see the future. I don't know what's going to happen. In fact, the roadmap analogy is spot-on. The only thing I get is a collection of really weird symbols in the bottom of my teacup that tells me things that might possibly be going on, and I have to piece them together.

Yes, there are 'psychics' that read from body language and facial expression, but there are those who know what they're doing. I feel priviledged to know a few.

The only thing I ask for when reading is a name and a location, or a significant landmark in their area, to give me a sense of place. Everything else is optional.

I read somewhere that psychics and people with precognitive abilities don't necessarily have supernatural powers, but that their brains are able to process statistics and probability faster than the average person, so they're able to make these predictions. I'm inclined to agree with them. At least for me, any precognative ability seems to be akin to a metaphysical roll of the dice.

Does that make sense?

johnnysannie
10-18-2007, 10:55 PM
I had a reading done for me just today actually. I am so amazed. I do believe such things are possible but I don't actively seek them out.

What this person had to tell me was very profound and brought tears to my eyes because she was spot on about my life. She told me things she could NOT have known.

So yes sometimes I think, Ray, they are the real deal.

:)

Sometimes they are; often they are not but some of us do have a gift. I prefery to call it fey because the term psychic has been so overused and maligned.

maestrowork
10-18-2007, 10:59 PM
I didn't read through the whole thing (:tongue)... so what does a psychic (real) sees and feels? For me, I just can't imagine -- much as a person who has never smelled garlic couldn't imagine the odor... Someone please explain.

zahra
10-18-2007, 11:02 PM
And she said I had a very long life line and would have a long life. A tarot card reader told me the same thing.

I always understood that the length of the line had nothing to do with length of life, but that you could tell what would happen at different stages in your life depending on where each thing occured on the life-line.

Whenever I've been to psychics, which I have done on occasion when someone persuades me that THIS psychic knew things he could never have guessed, honest! I don't give a thing away. Not even a yes or a no. I have never found even one who managed to give me a half-way accurate reading beyond the general 'there's an older person in your life' claptrap.

With one guy, I sat so completely bored, he was so way off in everything he said, that in the end I threw him my Dad's nick-name, which we all, even us kids, called him - never called him 'Dad. (My father is dead). Unfortunately, the name can also be interpreted as a woman's name. The psychic came up with, 'Oh, that's a woman you work with and you've been having problems with.' **Sigh**.

Another psychic actually complained that I wasn't giving her any indication whether she was on the right track or not!

I honestly wish I could find one who was any good. I keep having this one and that one recommended to me, with all the attendant 'wow' stories, but so far, nothing.

RumpleTumbler
10-18-2007, 11:06 PM
Life Among the Dead is a pretty good show....but of course it's hard to keep from just thinking it's a setup the whole time.

benbradley
10-18-2007, 11:27 PM
I always understood that the length of the line had nothing to do with length of life, but that you could tell what would happen at different stages in your life depending on where each thing occured on the life-line.

Whenever I've been to psychics, which I have done on occasion when someone persuades me that THIS psychic knew things he could never have guessed, honest! I don't give a thing away. Not even a yes or a no. I have never found even one who managed to give me a half-way accurate reading beyond the general 'there's an older person in your life' claptrap.

With one guy, I sat so completely bored, he was so way off in everything he said, that in the end I threw him my Dad's nick-name, which we all, even us kids, called him - never called him 'Dad. (My father is dead). Unfortunately, the name can also be interpreted as a woman's name. The psychic came up with, 'Oh, that's a woman you work with and you've been having problems with.' **Sigh**.

Another psychic actually complained that I wasn't giving her any indication whether she was on the right track or not!

I honestly wish I could find one who was any good. I keep having this one and that one recommended to me, with all the attendant 'wow' stories, but so far, nothing.
Aww, you're just psi-negative! ;)

I read of a man who read palms for years - people were consistently amazed at his statements about their lives, but he was somehow unsatistfied with what he was doing. One day he told people the absolute opposite of what their palms told him, and they were just as amazed!

benbradley
10-19-2007, 12:26 AM
It looks like preyer has really pushed your buttons (sorry for the new-age terminology), and it seems to me you're overreacting. Regardless, here are my comments:

I didn't say five hundred years ago, preyer, or in Columbus's day, or any other specific time; I just said some of the most learned men of their day once believed the earth was flat. Not all of them, but some. And they did.

Some of the most learned men of their day also believed the sun revolved around the earth. Want to dispute that?

My point, which you apparently dismiss, is that "scientific" knowledge is constantly changing, and not always on a consistently-more-accurate basis. ("Eggs are good for you!" "Eggs are bad for you!" "Eggs are good for you!")Much of ahem, much of what you may be reacting to is news reports on alleged scientific findings, which I've learned not to trust even if they're trying to be "fair and balanced." It's well known that chicken egg whites have lots of good protein and the yolks have lots of bad chloresterol, AND that most people who eat eggs eat both the whites and yolks. Whether eggs are 'good' or 'bad' depends on how much weight is put on these two facts.
Pluto used to be a planet; astronomers were sure about that for -- What? -- seventy or eighty years? Now, not so much; it's apparently a dwarf planet or an asteroid.
This is a bad example of "the changes in science." The method(s) used to categorize planets is hardly science. The definition (new or old) of a planet is pretty much arbitrary. There's no reason to think an independent civilization would categorize such bodies the same way we (or the international astronomical society, or whatever it is) do or did.


A statement which reminds me of that guy who founded Skeptic magazine. He's interviewed a lot about matters of myth, legend, and the paranormal. Smart guy, without doubt. And absolutely, unequivocally convinced that it's all BS. Every last bit of it. If it hasn't been scientifically "proven" by his standards -- and his are higher than most people's IMO, even a lot of scientists -- then anybody who believes it is simply deluding themselves. He does not even allow for the possibility that "science" may discover a whole new reality tomorrow or next year or a century from now.

Yes, indeed, it's certainly "within the realm of possibility" that 4,294,967,296 angels can dance on the head of a pin, but you've got to have evidence of at least one angel dancing. I think there's good evidence for the existence of the head of a pin.

The Susan Blackmore link I gave earlier makes great reading (IMHO) .

[quote=CheshireCat;1736100]Which science has a way of doing.
Some things have been claimed for a long time, and if there were anything to them, I'd think we would have found hard evidence by now.

The Skeptic Magazine people, http://www.csicop.org/, are indeed a bit dogmatic. Murray Gell-Mann, in his book "The Quark and The Jaguar," writes of quitting and distancing himself from that organization because of such an experience. A man claimed to be able to name the symphony recorded on a phonograph record simply by looking at the grooves on the record. The csicop people dismissed this claim out of hand, but Gell-Mann tested the man and found indeed he could indeed do it. But this isn't evidence of anything other than the man can do what he claims, not that he has any metaphysical ability.

But to your point, there will always be conclusions later disproven (polywater and cold fusion immediately come to mind - and this is not a criticism of science, quite the contrary - testing others' claims and conclusions is one way science works), but over the long term, the knowledge generated by scientific investigations and correctness of scientific conclusions has increased hugely with time.

CheshireCat
10-19-2007, 12:43 AM
I didn't read through the whole thing (:tongue)... so what does a psychic (real) sees and feels? For me, I just can't imagine -- much as a person who has never smelled garlic couldn't imagine the odor... Someone please explain.

Not being psychic myself, I have no idea. I can imagine them as "extra" senses, like sight and hearing, which makes sense to me. (No pun intended.) It's certainly interesting to read the novels and watch the TV shows which attempt to portray psychics and psychic ability; you get everything from the "I'm walking around in an amazingly real-seeming alternate reality/dream of something I couldn't possibly have witnessed" sort of thing in shows like Medium and Ghost Whisperer to the "flashes" (usually accompanied by crushing headaches) of scenes or sounds or just jumbled images more common on the documentaries of self-proclaimed psychics investigating this or that situation or crime.

I've had a few readings over the years, and while there were plenty of hits and I flatter myself that I don't give away much in the way of body language or tells, the only reading that truly impressed me was from a man who kept his eyes closed and his head down during the entire thing.

For whatever it's worth, it seemed to require a great deal of concentration and effort on his part -- but virtually everything he told me, including answers to three questions I asked, was not only very accurate but very specific, and at least a couple of things were quite personal.

I've seen cold readings, and I've seen phony "seers" who were extremely talented at reading their customers (Any other South Park fans? Kyle does a hilarious demo of just how cold readings are done -- and is totally baffled at how easily people are fooled.), but I've also seen plenty of things I can't explain away.

That's the gray area I find fascinating.

The room for possibilities.

PattiTheWicked
10-19-2007, 12:48 AM
I didn't read through the whole thing (:tongue)... so what does a psychic (real) sees and feels? For me, I just can't imagine -- much as a person who has never smelled garlic couldn't imagine the odor... Someone please explain.

For me -- and again, I really don't use the term psychic, but intuitive -- when I do a reading, I get a series of images and senses. It's hard to explain to someone who doesn't do it, but here's an example.

I turn a card for you, and say, "Ray, this is the Fool card, which traditionally means someone who's beginning on a journey of some sort. In your case I see it as ...." and here's where I would explain just how it applies to you. it comes as a series of images, senses, and just... knowing, if that makes any sense? It might be something like, "It looks like you're trying to make a decision regarding your job right now, and you're at sort of a crossroads in your career. You can stick with stability and security, or you can take the big leap into the unknown, and find a career path that you're more passionate about."

Meanwhile, I might pull the Fool card for someone else and get a completely different sense of how it applied to them -- rather than career issues, it might have to do with their relationships, school, spiritual growth, etc.

It's really hard to explain. I'll have to ponder it a bit and see if I can do better.

Cassiopeia
10-19-2007, 12:52 AM
It is unfortunate that it is so commercialized and used to prey on people's fears and to bilk people out their hard earned money.

That isn't to say there aren't real people out there with real abilities. I just think it is more likely they are the everyday people you meet on the street who never say a word.

Look for the unknown kindly person who cheers you on a day when you are hiding your sadness. Or the person who pops up randomly in your life on a day when the struggles you carry are too much for you to bear and they tell you something you needed to hear and then you never see them again.

Watch for the moment when you feel someone's eyes on you and you feel them see into your soul. They will bless you and let you carry on your way.

It won't be fanfare. It won't be...gimme a buck and I will tell you the answers to your troubles.

The only reason a person wants to know the future is so they can control it and that is never ever a good thing. Rather find out from someone who is really gifted if the moment you are in is the right one for you. And even then, should they answer that for you?

Knowing the future, ruins it. How can we, learn and grow if the answers are laid before us? Can someone with psychic abilities help you here and now? Yes, if they are real. Perhaps let them take a moment to see into you and reaffirm for you what you have forgotten or to show you want you yourself can not see about HERE and NOW.

There are no short cuts. There are no reasonable set in stone futures. One choice changes everything.

Sometimes a gifted one with real sight can connect with you to show you things you haven't resolved. Much like a therapist but on a more spiritual level. Don't underestimate the people who have the gift based on those who say they do and don't.

Like anything in this life, there's the real thing and then there's its shadow.

CheshireCat
10-19-2007, 01:06 AM
But to your point, there will always be conclusions later disproven (polywater and cold fusion immediately come to mind - and this is not a criticism of science, quite the contrary - testing others' claims and conclusions is one way science works), but over the long term, the knowledge generated by scientific investigations and correctness of scientific conclusions has increased hugely with time.

Look, I have a lot of respect for science. But I also have a lot of respect for the abilities of the human mind -- the extent of which I, personally, believe we haven't even begun to explore.

We're writers. We should be able to use our imaginations to envision possibilities.

Because if we can't suspend our own disbelief at least long enough to consider those possibilities without tripping over whatever "facts" are currently accepted by science, then how can we expect to persuade our readers to do so?


This is a bad example of "the changes in science." The method(s) used to categorize planets is hardly science. The definition (new or old) of a planet is pretty much arbitrary. There's no reason to think an independent civilization would categorize such bodies the same way we (or the international astronomical society, or whatever it is) do or did.


As far as I'm concerned (Giant Red Flag Alert: Personal Opinion), a great deal of scientific methodology is arbitrary. That doesn't change the "fact" that objects and theories and beliefs in science are changing, pretty much, all the time.

IMO, that's what science is supposed to do. Sure, there are what various sciences consider to be absolutes, "laws" of physics and space and time -- and for all we know, every one of those will be considered by future generations to be as quaint and simple and even absurd as our view of the "superstitious" beliefs of most ancient cultures.

After all, we evolved and learned and proved them wrong.

Who's to say our descendants won't, one day, prove us wrong?

Hey, I make up stories for a living. Everything I do is just some version of a possibility.

WittyandorIronic
10-19-2007, 01:37 AM
Some things have been claimed for a long time, and if there were anything to them, I'd think we would have found hard evidence by now.

I have to say, that IMHO this is an exceedingly false concept.

Didn't they just prove, through scientific research, that cranberry juice actually helps women heal from UTI's? And how long has the medical community claimed that all herbal cures were bunk? (only like, 200 years, right?) The same community that ignored acupuncture as being crazy, and now claims that the endorphin releasing process can aid arthritis/chronic pain sufferers?

The scientific community makes new, and proves previously asserted theories wrong, all the time. I mean, you really want me to believe that we haven't discovered all the insects in the world, but we have that whole sixth sense thing figured out?

Carole
10-19-2007, 02:32 AM
I can't understand how a person can say that psychics are bogus. There are bogus psychics, but all of them? That's a bit hard to swallow.

Like with many topics of discussion, some can believe something is valid or fake based only on what they have personally experienced. I remember once hearing someone talk about angels. They said, "If a person has seen an angel, no one can ever convince them that angels aren't real. If a person has never seen an angel, no one may ever be able to convince them that they are."

That's all well and good, but what if a person has experienced a reading and it was totally off? It certainly happens and it would make a person inclined to think that reader was fake. But does that mean all readers are? Not unless all Ford Explorers are bad because mine was. There are other Ford Explorer owners who haven't had a bad experience.

I have a strong distaste for blanket statements, especially those involving something I have personally experienced to be opposite. I'm guilty of them like everyone else, but I try very hard to stay open minded.

Ava Jarvis
10-19-2007, 03:43 AM
If you admit that psychics exist, then everything is SPOOKY.

I do read tarot cards, but just for myself. I tend to do a fair bit of bibliomancy through the I-Ching as well, which is only fitting as I'm a writer. :) For me, divination is a way to make mirrors that talk back; to tease the subconscious out. It's not any more worrisome or weird than interviewing your characters and discovering things. The human mind is one big association engine.

The night before 9/11, I turned up the Tower in a spread I was doing because the state of politics was getting to my head and I wanted to have some fun teasing out my subconscious. I think that was just coincidence. The Prince of Pentacles after that; it's the Crowley Thoth deck, so it was a man on a carriage being pulled by two bulls running out at you head-on. Somewhere after that it ended with whatever Sword minor in the Thoth deck that stands for "Science", and who knows what was up with that.

All coincidence, but sure teased out my subconscious for days afterwards. And even now. For me, divination is story-telling... whatever else it is, I don't know.

I have a friend who does Tarot card readings that are scary accurate. But he doesn't call himself a psychic.

truelyana
10-19-2007, 03:54 AM
Everyone is connected within a huge field of energy in this world. Some people are able to tap into their inner intuition more then others, this is because they are more in tune with the inter connections that surround them. Being able to truly light themselfs, they can easily pick up on others. I know I can as I am an intuitive being and know when things are going to happen before they do, as I place myself in that field. For me psychic abilities have always been natural.

totidem_verbis
10-19-2007, 04:56 AM
what does a psychic (real) sees and feels? For me, I just can't imagine -- much as a person who has never smelled garlic couldn't imagine the odor... Someone please explain.

I think that varies by person.

I'm not a "real" psychic going by the gist of the definition in this thread but I've had a couple psychic experiences via clairaudience and dreams.

One experience occurred when my father was terminally ill. He had been rushed to the hospital and I was caught in traffic on the interstate. I had no idea of his condition and couldn't get a hold of anyone at the hospital. I was flipping out until I "heard" the word stable loud and clear in my mind. It cut across all the other thoughts running through my head and I knew he was okay. I arrived at the hospital a half hour later and he was in stable condition. Perhaps it was my subconscious speaking up but I clearly "heard" the word and it wasn't my thought, if that makes any sense.

I also had a dream about when my father was going to die four months before it happened. He died on that day.

Lots of weird stuff happened around my father's illness and death.

:Shrug:

ETA: I've been told that everyone has psychic abilities. The trick is to be open to the messages you receive. Open meaning not discounting strange thoughts or visions or whatever you experience and not being afraid.

If anyone wants to test out their psychic ability there's gotpsi.com

Mac H.
10-19-2007, 05:33 AM
I just said some of the most learned men of their day once believed the earth was flat. Not all of them, but some. And they did.Are you really sure of this? I can't think of any examples. Can you name one?


Some of the most learned men of their day also believed the sun revolved around the earth. Want to dispute that?I know other people don't agree with me, but I still believe the sun goes around the earth - taking the earth as a fixed reference.


My point, which you apparently dismiss, is that "scientific" knowledge is constantly changing Absolutely. That's why people keep doing scientific experiments to find out more.


.. and not always on a consistently-more-accurate basis.I'm sure there are examples of this, but the ones you gave aren't right.

An example of scientific knowledge about eggs would be 'a hen's egg contains xx % of a particular chemical. The whole 'good for you' or 'bad for you' is more tended towards fashion interpreting the latest figures.

And, as has already been pointed out, whether Pluto is a planet or a big rock has nothing to do with science ... it is like arguing whether Antarctica is a continent or an island, or whether rap should get categorized as poetry, music or noise.


As for the "myth" that humans use only 10% or thereabouts of our brain's capacity, I'm sure you can trot out studies "proving" it's nonsense.It isn't a matter of 'proving' that it is nonsense - it was just a phrase used to market a memory learning technique last century - there wasn't any study done ... it was just an advertising catch-phrase (Kinda like 'Diamonds are forever' - there wasn't a scientific study on this .. just DeBeers wanting to convince people to use diamonds for engagement & wedding rings instead of the more traditional stones)


Just as I can trot out studies "proving" there are large sections of our brains that are not being used in any way we can scientifically define or understand.Are you sure? We don't know the full function of ANY bit of the brain, but we certainly know that every bit is being used in some way that we can understand.

I agree, though, that many of the 'professional skeptics' come across as being very sad, small minded people.

Clearly we don't know the truth about everything. But I'm not sure why we can't agree that science is a great technique for LEARNING more. The proof of that is all around us - technology.


It must feel nicely superior to be utterly convinced .... No room for doubt.I'm curious - is there room for doubt in your world? I get the impression that on this issue you are utterly convinced that you are right. Is that correct?

I'm fairly sure I'm right ... and I'd certainly rather live in the world that science has created - without it I wouldn't have running water, disease control or medicine.

Is that so bad?

Mac

WittyandorIronic
10-19-2007, 05:51 AM
thx for the link, btw

CheshireCat
10-19-2007, 06:24 AM
I'm curious - is there room for doubt in your world? Aren't you utterly convinced that you are right?

Actually, there's all kinds of room in my world for doubt. I'm not convinced of much of anything in absolute terms. So, no, I'm not convinced I'm right. I'm not convinced you're right. Hell, I'm not convinced Einstein was right.

Why should I be? Discussing possibilities is a lot more fun.

preyer
10-19-2007, 07:14 AM
'Just so you know, this completely invalidates any other point you MIGHT have been able to make.' ~ why? for asking why it's usually women who believe in this? assuming for a second it's a sexist remark, it doesn't invalidate anything except in the minds of those people who have to agree with everything or nothing at all. hey, way to be open-minded.

Quote:
Originally Posted by preyer
'The most learned men of their day used to believe the world was flat.' ~ when was that, cat? certainly not in columbus' day. it's a myth people in general thought the world was flat five hundred years ago. certainly some did, but some people believe the world is flat today.

I didn't say five hundred years ago, preyer, or in Columbus's day, or any other specific time; I just said some of the most learned men of their day once believed the earth was flat. Not all of them, but some. And they did. ~ no, you didn't specify any date at all, cat, that's why i assigned one. 'of their day' is, imo, so vague that it belongs in the newspaper horoscope section.

Some of the most learned men of their day also believed the sun revolved around the earth. Want to dispute that? ~ depends on what 'day' you're referring to. the dark ages? no, i wouldn't dispute that some believed that.

My point, which you apparently dismiss, is that "scientific" knowledge is constantly changing, and not always on a consistently-more-accurate basis. ("Eggs are good for you!" "Eggs are bad for you!" "Eggs are good for you!") Pluto used to be a planet; astronomers were sure about that for -- What? -- seventy or eighty years? Now, not so much; it's apparently a dwarf planet or an asteroid. ~ no, i'm not dismissing scientific knowledge is always changing, but here's the difference: scientific, which for some reason you put in quotes as if it was quackery, knowledge is based on facts as they stand at the time, not wishes and fantasy. science follows a method. the introduction of new evidence may result in a new outcome... but the same scientific method is followed.


Quote:
Originally Posted by preyer
some people don't believe there was a moon landing or in evolution (this in particular is subject to people's arguments based in their own 'truthiness' but no real factual evidence. creationists (using that term loosely as their are several stripes) cling to their beliefs and nothing else, and would even have us think that evolution is something scientists debate constantly, when the fact is evolution is fully accepted by the scientific community.

I don't happen to be a Creationist of any stripe and personally find their "arguments" a rather pointless determination to confuse faith with science or merge the two but, again, that wasn't my point.


Quote:
Originally Posted by preyer
*** people are also under the misunderstanding that the church 500 years ago did everything they could to destroy scientific endevours when the truth is the church was one of science's biggest supporters and benefactors. or that we only use 10% of our brains, which is complete nonsense, too.

I could give you an argument that religious leaders have always tried to control information, but that isn't what this thread is about. ~ i never said anything about controlling information, i said preventing that information from ever being discovered in the first place.

As for the "myth" that humans use only 10% or thereabouts of our brain's capacity, I'm sure you can trot out studies "proving" it's nonsense. Just as I can trot out studies "proving" there are large sections of our brains that are not being used in any way we can scientifically define or understand.

Which, again, rather "proves" my point. ~ i don't see how. we use more than 10% of our brain's capacity. that's a factual statement. any study you can provide proving only 10% of our brains are being used, well, heh heh, that would be cool, but i'll stick with my sources on this one.


Quote:
Originally Posted by preyer
why is it that the vast majority of people who believe in this stuff are women? make that out to be a sexist statement if you want, but it's true. or is it 'womens' intuition' that's psychic connections?

And here's where you totally lost any credibility on the issue (and others, actually) as far as I'm concerned. ~ right, because this one statement proves the others wrong? oh, but, wait, i asked a question which is conveniently unanswered. ah, yes, then i must be wrong. ne'ermind the fact that it's true, i shouldn't have said it?

I'll just go tend to my knitting and emotional soap operas and leave you ruthlessly logical and unemotional men to your learned debates, shall I? ~ and make me a sammich. seriously, does this suffice for any kind of answer?


Quote:
Originally Posted by preyer
all my opinion, mind you. like i've always said, though, people believe whatever fantasy makes them happy.

A statement which reminds me of that guy who founded Skeptic magazine. He's interviewed a lot about matters of myth, legend, and the paranormal. Smart guy, without doubt. And absolutely, unequivocally convinced that it's all BS. Every last bit of it. If it hasn't been scientifically "proven" by his standards -- and his are higher than most people's IMO, even a lot of scientists -- then anybody who believes it is simply deluding themselves. He does not even allow for the possibility that "science" may discover a whole new reality tomorrow or next year or a century from now. ~ that's a great magazine. maybe he's like me in that this 'science' has had thousands of years to prove itself and it's done not much more than serve as a fun parlour trick. again, 'science' is in quotes ~ can i deduce that since the scientific method hardly bears fortune-telling and the ilk out, then 'science' is a dirty word? besides, my statement is entirely true.

some would say, 'oh, you can't prove or disprove tarot cards or that stuff using science.' science disproves it quite a bit, i'd say. 'but, oh, you can't put a person in another room from a subject and get accurate results because the 'reader' has to *feel* the other person.' uh, okay. so, basically, the arugment some people have is it's impossible to test for these things under scientific conditions. some will say that's a reasonable assumption, others would say it's a convenient argument. these arguments are nothing more than pre-emptive strikes designed to dismiss science's ability to gauge the reality of the situation. not that it would matter, people would still believe in it anyway. that's my point.

Which science has a way of doing.

It must be a very comfortable world he lives in. A very safe world. It must feel nicely superior to be utterly convinced that You Know the Truth About Everything. No room for doubt. ~ how nice it must be to be you, too, for that matter. a couple of adjectives come to mind here, but since i'm such a nice guy and i like you, cat, i'll bit my tongue.

It's the last part that makes me feel sorry for him. ~ why should you feel sorry for anyone? least of all him. he's asking people to prove what they believe. you've got it all wrong, cat ~ he, myself, and many like him/me/us aren't looking to disprove anything. there's nothing to disprove since it apparently doesn't exist to disprove. we want proof so that it becomes part of our philosophy. and a lot of people think philsophers are always trying to disprove God, where it's the exact opposite. that's as much a fallacy as saying most scientists don't believe in God.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go off and have a hysterical fit because my views and judgments and opinions were shot down by a Superior Male who, clearly, knows better than little 'ole me. ~ where's that sammich? anyway, way to make me out to be some raving sexist for asking a question for which you did nothing but rant against, but sure didn't take the time to attempt to answer. the least you could have done was say, 'because women are more psychic than men.'

'Cause I'm just a weak-minded, easily deluded woman, don't you know. ~ if you say so. i certainly never said that. are you denying that it *is* women who believe in this stuff moreso than men? beyond the fact that your response was purely based on emotion, offer me any kind of evidence to the contrary to show i'm wrong.

here is a set of key words; emotion, sensitivity, feeling, belief. here's another set; facts, method, theory, system. which set belongs to 'unprovable' (or so they'd say) fantasy and which belongs to science?

don't get all riled, folks: i'm sure the government is still spending millions of dollars on psychics to tell them what's inside a soviet bunker based on satellite photos and forrays into the area, even if it does take said psychic weeks to come up with a feeling, er, answer.

i appreciate that your father was a 'precog.' i'm going to call you a sexist (why not, i'm being labelled as one, lol), because men are better at math, therefore it's only natural that they'd be better at processing statistical information. lol, i crack me up.

'Some things have been claimed for a long time, and if there were anything to them, I'd think we would have found hard evidence by now.'

I have to say, that IMHO this is an exceedingly false concept. ~ i'd have to agree with ben on this one. it's not like science hasn't been looking for evidence. million dollar rewards have been offered for proof. hard to believe not a single person wouldn't want that, and not only for the fame and fortune, but to prove once and for all it exists.

Didn't they just prove, through scientific research, that cranberry juice actually helps women heal from UTI's? And how long has the medical community claimed that all herbal cures were bunk? (only like, 200 years, right?) The same community that ignored acupuncture as being crazy, and now claims that the endorphin releasing process can aid arthritis/chronic pain sufferers? ~ i think the 'medical community' here needs to be compartmentalized and not confused with pharmacutical companies' propaganda. i doubt you'd find a doctor around now (or ever really) would would say certain herbs and concoctions NEVER work. they would, however, argue that 'real' medical is more effective. sure, your doctor isn't going to prescribe a spoonful of vinegar to treat your acid reflux even though you really can do that yourself, because some pharm co. is paying him to push their pills. i don't trust the 'medical community' one bit, but that's because i think it's entirely profit-driven. the people who are actually attempting to prevent/cure disease, those people are completely not against studying natural cures.

The scientific community makes new, and proves previously asserted theories wrong, all the time. I mean, you really want me to believe that we haven't discovered all the insects in the world, but we have that whole sixth sense thing figured out? ~ science changes constantly. what more do you want? when science proves to the best of their current ability that the time to visit vegas is when venus is in the sixth house, i'll consider it.

astrology is utter bullshit.

'Why should I be? Discussing possibilities is a lot more fun.' ~ you know what's even more fun? making me that damn sammich!

Cassiopeia
10-19-2007, 07:28 AM
Whoa, did I take a wrong turn and end up in TIO? ;)

preyer
10-19-2007, 07:51 AM
no, cass, this happens every time someone brings up these perpetually hot-button topics, it just doesn't matter in what forum they occur. i think i've had this debate in the sci-fi/fantasy sub-forum at least once here, and countless other times elsewhere. it'll happen again. if you move this to TIO, you might as well move countless other threads there, too, and that would make TIO the most popular forum by default at AW.

i know you know this, i saw the smiley. :) let's see if i can get someone riled up by asking a simple question, eh? let's say about vegetarians. (and watch, this will be the one time i ever ask that question and it *not* create chaos, lol.)

Shweta
10-19-2007, 07:56 AM
Are you sure? We don't know the full function of ANY bit of the brain, but we certainly know that every bit is being used in some way that we can understand.

I'd say it's more like every bit is being used in ways that we don't begin to understand, and maybe cannot ever consciously understand, because it's just that complicated and brain function isn't terribly localized. But we can make computer models, and we can do studies, and figure out a bit more all the time.

As for the women, um, I think there are two possible things going on. One is that it seems that there's a correlation between artistic-ness (for want of a better word) and belief in weird stuff, (and in the case of one study, between art and performance on a psychic test, but there were very few subjects). There might be a gender skew there.

What's more likely, to me, is a cultural effect. Culturally in many places the men are supposed to be tough and skeptical and are more likely to get laughed at if they have teddy bears/talk to their plants/believe in psychic powers/etc. Men are seen as being the logical ones, and there's a huge pressure on them not to step out of that role.

Whereas women get one of the few advantages of not being the prestige gender -- if we believe strange things it normally gets shrugged off. Side effect of not being taken seriously.

preyer
10-19-2007, 08:19 AM
thanks for offering, shweta.

i'd agree that women in real life aren't taken as seriously, though i'm prone to think your conclusion should be reversed. that is, it's not so much women aren't taken seriously and therefore can believe what they will as much as a man won't take her as seriously *because* she believes in this stuff. so, i don't think the skew is a side-effect as much as it's a cause.

i'm not quite so sure that men don't believe in psychic powers. us men certainly put enough witches to death. so, i can't really say it's mens' propensity not to believe in the occult because i don't think that's true. in other words, just as many men have faith as women. however, there's a funny distinction between having faith and not trusting in chicken bones tossed onto the ground (at least in our culture. i would cede that in a voodoo culture as many men believe as women. i think we should note, too, that these are usually pretty uneducated populaces.)

in our industrialized civilization, women get the exact same education as men. obviously, education isn't the only factor. are women more gullible then men? no, i don't think that's true, either. is there something inherit in the emotional construction of women that makes them have faith in this stuff more than men? no, i think the concept of religion knocks that out. or is there even a skew? i think there is, i just don't know why.

Cassiopeia
10-19-2007, 08:30 AM
no, cass, this happens every time someone brings up these perpetually hot-button topics, it just doesn't matter in what forum they occur. i think i've had this debate in the sci-fi/fantasy sub-forum at least once here, and countless other times elsewhere. it'll happen again. if you move this to TIO, you might as well move countless other threads there, too, and that would make TIO the most popular forum by default at AW.

i know you know this, i saw the smiley. :) let's see if i can get someone riled up by asking a simple question, eh? let's say about vegetarians. (and watch, this will be the one time i ever ask that question and it *not* create chaos, lol.)

*giggling*

You pot-stirrer you!

Shweta
10-19-2007, 08:30 AM
I think the concept of religion actually supports my hypothesis.

Men and women are equally likely to believe in something they can't prove if it's the social norm. (And for that, most people don't understand the sciences to the point of being able to prove [fail to disprove] anything; it's not just religious belief)

I think women are more likely to believe in something they can't prove if it's not the social norm. So are college-age people - another group that gets scoffed at too often.

This difference, if I'm right, is more likely to be social than cognitive.

I think you're right about it being a possible cause as well as a possible effect; but I know I don't believe in weird stuff because other people do. I believe in weird stuff, entirely against my own science-geek wishes, because said weird stuff keeps happening to me. But I think if I were male I'd be much less willing to admit that, even to myself, because I'd stand to lose more social credit.

Women are socially assumed (and thus socially allowed) to be irrational. I don't approve of this. But it seems to be a relevant thing.

Kerr
10-19-2007, 08:31 AM
I had a reading when I was 18. A lady I worked with told me that I already knew the man I would marry. He had dark hair, etc., and we would be married within the year and have two children together.

I had no boyfriend at the moment and no idea who she could be referring to, but a month later, I went on a date with my best friend and whallah!

I didn't know what I believed then, but over the years, I've become a believer. A girlfriend for over thirty years told me peoples thoughts just jumped out at her, almost like listening to the radio. Once she offered aspirin to a customer in the restaurant because her head would start to pound when she walked past his table. She read cards over the phone for a time, but gave it up when her phone started ringing non-stop. After having known her for years, she told me in confidence that she still gave readings, people came to her for advice all the time. They just didn't know.

My OH comes from a family of psychics. I've heard stories about several of them, some real scary stuff. Once, when we were first together and he was still doing a lot of drinking and was sleeping it off, something moaned in the hallway outside the bedroom door. We were the only ones in the house. I pulled the covers up almost over my head like I was two years old. I told his mother and she said if it happened again, I should bless the spirit so it can move on.

I could go on and on, songs, picking up a phone to wait for the ring, the feeling that he is always several steps ahead of me. At first I was creeped-out yet fascinated. It should have given me plenty of horror to write about, but instead, the unknown that used to terrify and stir my imagination has become almost commonplace. According to both of them, this is an ability we all share but no longer need. I guess it's like eyesight, but I wear glasses.

Kerr
the dark one

maestrowork
10-19-2007, 12:32 PM
I've had a few "psychic" moments of my own to make me know that however very skeptical and scientific I am, I don't rule out anything like that or dismiss it wholesale. It's just one of those things that is hard to believe and understand if you have never experienced it. Like I said, if you've never been near garlic how do you know what it smells and tastes like? You just don't, but it doesn't mean garlic doesn't exist.

One of my psychic moments freaked me out because I didn't know what to expect. I was walking from class to my apartment and suddenly I had this weird feeling that a specific person I knew was nearby. Out of curiosity I turned and looked, and was surprised to see that person walking 50 yards behind me. Now call it coincidence or intuition or whatever, but I knew what I felt, and it did kind of freak me out when it happened.

There are a few more things that I would be unfair to just chalk up as luck or coincidences. So, while I'm still skeptical, I'm open to the possibilities.

wordmonkey
10-19-2007, 04:07 PM
Everyone is connected within a huge field of energy in this world. Some people are able to tap into their inner intuition more then others, this is because they are more in tune with the inter connections that surround them. Being able to truly light themselfs, they can easily pick up on others. I know I can as I am an intuitive being and know when things are going to happen before they do, as I place myself in that field. For me psychic abilities have always been natural.

That's the FORCE!

Are you....

...a jedi?

AWESOME! :D

PattiTheWicked
10-19-2007, 05:09 PM
I look at it this way -- although I'm a logic-based person, there are a lot of things I don't understand. However, I know they exist because I've experienced them myself. I'm not a drug addict, a mental patient, or a conspiracy theorist. I'm an educated, sensible person... who has experienced things I can't explain. All I can chalk it up to is the idea that there's some stuff we just can't explain yet. Maybe in a couple of centuries we'll be able to, but for now... well, what's that quote from Shakespeare?

"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

I think that pretty much sums it all up.

preyer
10-19-2007, 05:50 PM
'I had no boyfriend at the moment and no idea who she could be referring to, but a month later, I went on a date with my best friend and whallah!' ~ viola, you self-fulfilled the prophecy you wanted to fulfill. and did you have those 2.3 children?

'I'm not a drug addict, a mental patient, or a conspiracy theorist. I'm an educated, sensible person... who has experienced things I can't explain. All I can chalk it up to is the idea that there's some stuff we just can't explain yet. Maybe in a couple of centuries we'll be able to, but for now...' ~ everyone is addicted to something. and my friend who swears people are following him because of his beliefs is quite educated, but just happens to be a paranoid schizophrenic (sp, sorry, it's early in the morning). are there things science can't explain? of course. but, that doesn't mean it hasn't tried. again, there always seems to be a reason why these things can't be proven under repeatable, scientific conditions. i'm told the best criminal psychic is about 40% right (which i'm tempted to check out ~ my source on that is dubious). that's a great % at hitting a baseball, not near good enough to be proven scientifically in this case.

education has little to do with it, imo (so i'm amending the previous assertion because i wasn't clear on what i wanted to impart there, so i'm hoping the following will clear that up a bit). there are certain con-games that work better on certain people. i've read where doctors are particularly susceptible to 'the spanish prisoner' con. whenever someone already has a predisposition towards something, they'll form results and conclusions to fit. invariably, believers always say 'have and open mind.' ironic, that, considering how most of them already had their minds made up before walking through that door for the first time.

have i ever experienced deja vu? yes. are there supernatural forces at work? i highly doubt it. have i 'sensed' someone behind me? of course. is my ESP working really well that day? uh, no. does the fact that i can think of a simpsons episode and it appear on t.v. that week mean i'm altering the course of the universe? gimme a break. assigning supernatural abilities to luck, coincidence and quirky/weird/freaky phenomenon only proves a theory of 'possibility' (read: fantasy) a person already believes in and is search of 'evidence' for. it's not one bit different than a religious person praying for their dying so-and-so and that person making a 'miraculous' recovery, thus 'proving' the existance of God. nevermind the other instances of people praying to entirely different gods and achieving the same results.

and then you'll have some nutty 'scientist' out there who'll say mankind used to have all sorts of psychic abilities and that's the only reason man survived living in caves and fighting sabretooth tigers for a living.

'but, preyer, what about animals having a sixth sense and able to predict natural disasters?' it's flat-out rubbish.

ray, today is your lucky day. that pain you feel will subside a lot, so you'll be able to get things accomplished. be sure to act on it. you will see an attractive brunette today, so be sure to introduce yourself. you're lucky in love today as long as you don't mind this person having a child. you will be around more water today than usual. there's a good chance you will talk to a friend you've not spoken directly to in years. the number three will pop up often, so pay attention. doubts about your future will be clearer tomorrow, concentrate on today.

'but, preyer, everyone has psychic abilities to some degree.' yeah, right, and people in salt lake city routinely wake up shouting, 'i'm a muslim!' we're all conditioned and brainwashed into believing certain things from birth. that same hindu would be christian were he born somewhere else and his experiences different.

here's a little 'psychic' game you can play. next time you're in a room with other people, pick a person who's not paying attention to you at all, and kind of stare at them without them knowing. when that person finally stands up, notice that they'll give you a look. if that's not indesputible scientific evidence of psychic ability, i don't know what is.

'but, preyer, you have to experience it to understand.' let me say this about experience: i've known my share of religious zealots who'll swear up and down to have had a religious experience. great. i can also turn on my t.v. and find plenty of people around the world who have had profound religious experiences, too, be they hindu, muslim, christian, pagan, whirling dervishers, snake handlers, buddhists, new agers at the burning man, hebrew, whatever. i'll go out on a limb here and say there were plenty of people who had religious experiences that believed in ra, zeus, the moon goddess, elvis and monkeys made out of mud.

and yet there are cults of intelligent, educated people who believe the lock ness monster is real despite repeated searches and the loudly proclaimed fact that the person who took those famous photos admitted it was all a hoax. toss in the discovery of a fish thought to be extinct and the flood gates are flung open and 'possibilities' begin drowning out reason and facts. hell, i admit that *i* want to believe in the thing. at the same time, i know it's delusional to fuel my fantasy when every. single. bit. of. evidence disproves its existance. you've a better chance finding blackbeard's buried treasure (a ridiculous fantasy in itself) than finding the loch ness monster or anything other than coincidental evidence supporting astrology, phrenology, palm-reading, aura interpretation, astral projection, etc.. the idea here is that regardless of the amount of evidence disproving something, people will, gasp, believe whatever fantasy that makes them happy. minus out some extraordinary life-changing event, that mormon will likely die a mormon. i mean, there's nothing to *disprove* mormonism, eh? well, there's common sense, but, you know....

maestrowork
10-19-2007, 06:42 PM
preyer, your post is inflammatory. Please do not ridicule people who believe in such things. It's perfectly fine if you don't and say so, but there is no need to mock others.

Thanks.

preyer
10-19-2007, 07:12 PM
where was i mocking anyone? in the 'but, preyer...' part? i've done that dozens of times and this is the first time i've ever been accused of 'mocking' anyone. i can only draw two conclusions: 1) i've gotten lucky all these years and no one has said anything about it or B) you yourself feel 'mocked'/'ridiculed.' wasn't my early post with the list mocking/ridiculing enough? cat's reply of 'oh, poor little ol' me, i'm just a shuckin' li'l girl who needs Big Smart Men to tell me how to think' *wasn't* inflammatory?

or was it when i gave you a horoscope? let be be clear on this: anyone who believes in those horoscopes you find in the local rag is being foolish. who was i mocking there?

you ask me and i've not been any more mocking/ridiculing in the last post based on a format i've done for years than i've been in most others in this thread, so, imo, the time to mention it was on page one. and not just me, either, so please don't single me out as being 'inflammatory.'

but, if possible, i'll cool it. next time, though, remember that this is what *always* happens when you bring stuff like this up.

maestrowork
10-19-2007, 07:22 PM
Bring what "stuff"? It's a legit discussion, and I'm trying to promote some interesting exchange here without telling others "oh, you're just foolish." I like your humor, preyer, but some of your language is snarky to other members who have expressed their beliefs.

And to answer your question, I do feel like you're mocking me (and others, specifically because you quoted them) even though I don't buy into this psychic/horoscope stuff as I so clearly stated in post one. But at the same time, I stated:


However skeptical and scientific I am, I don't rule out anything like that or dismiss it wholesale. It's just one of those things that is hard to believe and understand if you have never experienced it.

The idea of this discussion is to talk about this with an open mind.

tjwriter
10-19-2007, 08:13 PM
Really, it's quite possible for some people to be more "in tune" with things than other people. You see it all the time on a very physical level, so how can we say that it's not possible on a deeper level?

There is just too much we don't know to dimiss much. Things evolve and change, so something may not remain constant forever. The adage about there being an exception to the rule applies to almost everything. (You can say everything because, by theory, there is also an exception to this rule.)

How do I handle the precognitive espisodes when I'm driving at night and see the a shadow animal cross the road only to have a real animal show up on the road that I must avoid within a few miles? Nobody else can see it. It's all me. Yet it happened a lot when I drove at night.

I don't think we know enough to make a confirmed statement either way. So it's an individual choice. I've had too much happen to not believe.

Part the trend in this thread is that those who are fakes are the ones who proclaim loudly of their gift and make a bunch of noise. The ancedotes you read from people with real experiences show that most of those "psychics" don't mention it and keep mostly quiet. That alone tells me all I need to know.

CheshireCat
10-19-2007, 10:33 PM
cat's reply of 'oh, poor little ol' me, i'm just a shuckin' li'l girl who needs Big Smart Men to tell me how to think' *wasn't* inflammatory?

Gee, you think you're the only one with a sense of humor?


the idea here is that regardless of the amount of evidence disproving something, people will, gasp, believe whatever fantasy that makes them happy.

That's cool. You keep right on doing that, 'kay?

For the record, I don't happen to consider people idiots for believing in psychic abilities or Nessie or Bigfoot or astrology -- or that Elvis is alive, and JFK died because of a conspiracy, or that the Rapture is coming, or any of the thousands of myths, legends, superstitions, beliefs or theories floating around out there in the human consciousness.

I find a lot of it fascinating, not because I share the belief but just because I find it fascinating. I find a lot of it baffling. And I believe that our personal worldview is shaped by our experiences, all of which are different.

I like to hear about those different worldviews. I think I need to because, hey, novelist. If I can't convincingly argue a viewpoint with which I vehemently disagree, then all my characters are going to share my own views -- and how boring would that be?


Really, it's quite possible for some people to be more "in tune" with things than other people. You see it all the time on a very physical level, so how can we say that it's not possible on a deeper level?


That makes sense to me. It doesn't convince me psychic ability is real, but it makes sense. There's so much incredible variety in the human species that I honestly can't figure out how any possibility could be definitively ruled out. To me, to do so smacks of the most amazing arrogance that I find even that fascinating.

My own experience has not included many woo-woo moments. Never seen a ghost that I know of, never caught a glimpse of the future, never read someone else's mind or moved an object with the force of my will to do so. I get the deja vu thing a lot, but don't assign any undue importance to that.

I do believe that our species' tendency to toss us a human-shaped puzzle fairly often (savants, visionaries, musical or artistic genuses), argues fairly convincingly that there's a lot we don't know about the human brain and how it works.

Which is fine with me. I don't want all my questions answered.

Just most of them. Eventually. :)

PattiTheWicked
10-19-2007, 11:22 PM
Fortunately, people's belief in one phenomena or another has no bearing on whether or not it truly exists.

Cassiopeia
10-19-2007, 11:35 PM
Fortunately, people's belief in one phenomena or another has no bearing on whether or not it truly exists.

*I do believe in fairies! I do I do I do* ;)

Ain't that the truth? And it applies to pretty much everything.

Uh, the thing you said..not my silliness. :)

Tiger
10-19-2007, 11:40 PM
Maestro, that's amazing. Your reading could have been my reading...

maestrowork
10-20-2007, 12:08 AM
Maestro, that's amazing. Your reading could have been my reading...

But it was mine! Find your own tarot reading!

(a friend of mine at the party, who is also a writer, got a completely different reading. So we chuckled.)

Tiger
10-20-2007, 12:16 AM
But it was mine! Find your own tarot reading!

(a friend of mine at the party, who is also a writer, got a completely different reading. So we chuckled.)

No way. Yours works just as well, so I want it too. Didn't your mom ever tell you to share? :)

maestrowork
10-20-2007, 12:20 AM
You can have the "no financial success yet" part.

Tiger
10-20-2007, 12:24 AM
Aww... I wanted something I don't have yet!

preyer
10-20-2007, 12:51 AM
'Which is fine with me. I don't want all my questions answered.'

'That's cool. You keep right on doing that, 'kay?'

'Fortunately, people's belief in one phenomena or another has no bearing on whether or not it truly exists.' ~ i don't see how blind faith is advantageous to most people.

what's ironic here is those who keep saying have an open mind have already made up said open mind. despite any mountain of facts, an 'open-minded' person will not let go of their 'possibilities.' faith lasts forever despite knowledge, which makes it really more dangerous, eh? one asks for proof, the other allegiance.

interesting thing a customer said when i asked him about this stuff. he said he thought more black women believed than white women because it's a cultural thing. i'm leaving that one alone, because the lifetime channel is airing another episode of lisa williams: life among the dead. he added in parting, though, the part about forseers being instruments of the devil according to his bible.

interesting, what. can you call yourself a pious christian and get your fortune told and it not be sniffing around the devil's domain?

another customer i asked (the wife of a lazy preacher) said yes, much more women believe in it then men, and when i asked why, she didn't hesitate to say 'women are more sensitive.' i left that one alone, too, as she's a friend of my wife's.

Tiger
10-20-2007, 01:05 AM
You get to decide who's mind is open?

totidem_verbis
10-20-2007, 01:19 AM
preyer - this discussion really seems to be pushing your buttons. I take it you are skeptical about psychic phenomenon; however, you mentioned having experiences you cannot easily explain, i.e. the thinking about TV shows, etc. so why the strong reaction? What are your personal beliefs on the subject?

PattiTheWicked
10-20-2007, 01:29 AM
'Fortunately, people's belief in one phenomena or another has no bearing on whether or not it truly exists.' ~ i don't see how blind faith is advantageous to most people.

I don't see that anyone here has advocated having blind faith. It's simply that a number of us have experienced these phenomenon, and you're having trouble accepting that we've had these experiences. While I wouldn't expect someone to understand them who hasn't had them, I also think it's a bit snarky of you to assume that the rest of us are off our rockers, or suffering from "blind faith."


what's ironic here is those who keep saying have an open mind have already made up said open mind. despite any mountain of facts, an 'open-minded' person will not let go of their 'possibilities.' faith lasts forever despite knowledge, which makes it really more dangerous, eh? one asks for proof, the other allegiance.

So despite personal experience, we should stop and disregard what we've experienced because there's no scientific data to back up what we've seen and heard and felt? This has nothing to do with faith. It's about what we've experienced ourselves.

Besides, absence of evidence is not the same as evidence of absence.

WittyandorIronic
10-20-2007, 01:46 AM
I'm not going to discuss -my- personal experiences that led me to the belief there are times when we are psychically connected with others, and the future. why? because it is personal. But that it happened to me, trumps every single fact you can bring to the table, because it happened to me. It wasn't something as frivolous as knowing which TV episode was playing. It wasn't coincidence. And it wasn't something that you can dismiss by insisting it doesn't exist. /shrug although I think your arguments are a little over the top, as Patti mentioned, your disbelief does not negate my experience.
Your right. My mind is closed to the possibility of it not existing. Just like my mind is closed to the possibility that my faith is misplaced or incorrect. As they are -my- beliefs and faith, I'm alright with that.

Cassiopeia
10-20-2007, 02:26 AM
Dialog between those who believe and those who don't:

Unbeliever: No such thing.

Believer: Is too.

Unbeliever: Is not.

Believer: Is TOO!

Unbeliever: Prove IT!

Believer: Alright, I predict the next thing I say you will not believe.

Unbeliever: Okay.

Believer: There are such things as psychic abilities.

Unbeliever: Is NOT!

Believer: See I just proved it.

Unbeliever: Hey! wait a minute. Cheater.

Believer: See even when I prove it you don't believe me.

Moral of the story: Such things are not for a dog and pony show folks. Stop saying prove it. ;)

Silver King
10-20-2007, 03:09 AM
Here's a prediction you can bet on: If we can't stop making blanket statements about seers and non-seers, believers and non-believers, Christians, black women, white women, foolish people and so forth, and if we can't stop mocking the opinions of others, I believe this thread will meet an ignoble end.

preyer
10-20-2007, 03:10 AM
'Your right. My mind is closed to the possibility of it not existing. Just like my mind is closed to the possibility that my faith is misplaced or incorrect. As they are -my- beliefs and faith, I'm alright with that.' ~ this statement sums up what i've been saying in the later threads, that facts don't matter one single solitary bit when it comes towards people believing what they want to believe. that's why i said most of y'all's minds are already made up and are thereby closed to the possibility that you could be wrong.

hey, if i could predict with enough accuracy any frivolous occurance, repeat that and meet scientific standards, i'd be a very wealthy individual.

how are my arguments over the top? frankly, i'm disappointed with the lot of you besides for shweta ~ not a single person has mentioned near death experiences or psychic connections between twins.

'Besides, absence of evidence is not the same as evidence of absence.' ~ pretty line.

'So despite personal experience, we should stop and disregard what we've experienced because there's no scientific data to back up what we've seen and heard and felt? This has nothing to do with faith. It's about what we've experienced ourselves.' ~ how many people actually attribute phenomenon to the supernatural without investigating the scientific possibility of it? honestly, probably not that many. we could have this same discussion about ghosts and people swear up and down they've seen one without the slightest clue their 'ghost' is nothing more than an underground gas pocket.

i can't say you didn't truly experience what you claim (and neither can science) any more than you can prove it. nor, i think, can anyone deny the idea that people see things that aren't really there. throw in stress and a myriad of other factors and i wonder how many of these 'supernatural' experiences are simply the result of very mundane causes.

'I don't see that anyone here has advocated having blind faith. It's simply that a number of us have experienced these phenomenon, and you're having trouble accepting that we've had these experiences. While I wouldn't expect someone to understand them who hasn't had them, I also think it's a bit snarky of you to assume that the rest of us are off our rockers, or suffering from "blind faith."' ~ if you don't see any 'blind faith' happening, you're not reading the same thread i am, lol. i never once said every single one of you is off your rocker, so don't put words into my mouth. if anything, i'm the one making your only arguments.

'You get to decide who's mind is open?' ~ disagreeing with my analysis doesn't make it wrong. provide an argument for your statement. i provided an argument for mine.

'preyer - this discussion really seems to be pushing your buttons. I take it you are skeptical about psychic phenomenon; however, you mentioned having experiences you cannot easily explain, i.e. the thinking about TV shows, etc. so why the strong reaction? What are your personal beliefs on the subject?' ~ no, the subject matter isn't pushing my buttons at all. being the one singled out as the only making inflammatory statements does, however, grate on my nerves. strong reaction? i think it's just a debate, sometimes tongue-in-cheek on my end. being so often quoted in this thread gives the false impression that i'm really more into the subject, whereas i'm spending more space replying than much else, i think (i'd have to actually care enough to investigate that, though).

my personal belief? well, lol, i suppose i didn't make myself clear, but to reiterate:

astrology, palm-reading, tarot cards ~ 100% bullshit. you can literally achieve the same random results by asking a magic 8 ball enough questions.

psychic ability ~ 99.9% bullshit, giving .1% credence to truly unexplainable occurances just in case i'm wrong or science proves otherwise.

mind reading, astral projection, prognostication ~ please.

there are actually some conspiracy theorists out there who believe the designers of the one dollar bill (? ~ hm, maybe i'm wrong on the currency denomination) predicted 9/11 by folding the bill a certain way to make it look kinda sorta similar. yes, i will go out on a limb here and label these people morons. if i make two hundred vague statements about the future, 500 years from now people will hail me as the real deal.

whackados with serious judgment issues/holes in their life needing to find something to cling to but not classified as a cult, per se, the mentally ill, and the self-deluded aside, *and* putting aside any and all scientific data, methodology, and theories, i'm not above admitting there's not the 'possibility.'

at the same time, i hardly am going to hinge my life on it, either.

the odds of hitting the lottery are amazing. the odds of hitting it twice are astronomical. yet, it's happened. quite simply, if i see a parade of ghosts walking down mainstreet, chances are i'm having a bad day and my mind is messing with me. if i believe in ghosts, i might not be so surprised, but since i don't i probably need to visit the accupunturist for some stress relief.

preyer
10-20-2007, 03:15 AM
'Stop saying prove it.' ~ why, cass? you'd have everyone believe it's true. can not a single one amongst y'all come up with just one argument not based on anecdotal evidence or a 'you gotta see it to believe it' stance? come on, cat, you claim to be a novelist. well, novelists are supposed to have an imagination, eh? with all the supposed creativity in our midst, can't someone come up with *something*?

Silver King
10-20-2007, 03:17 AM
See? My prediction came true.