Most of you know I am rational and analytical to a fault. One of many mantras that floated through my childhood was “Trust but verify.” [This, of course, coexisted with forced church attendance, so I guess I should have taken it with a truckload of salt.] My Italian temper flares when my German lust for rules and discipline is thwarted. I have always scoffed at ghost stories, fortune tellers, tarot readings, horoscopes, and most other paranormal, supernatural, or new-agey beliefs. But for the past few days I’ve been proofing a book about ESP, written by a neuropsychologist at Harvard Medical School, and I’m starting to question some of my convictions about the validity of phenomena such as mental telepathy, clairvoyance, telekinesis, and the like. I never knew that so many laboratory studies, most of which have produced statistically significant results, have been conducted (many of which, also, were commissioned by the CIA and have only recently been partially declassified–guess I need to revisit my conspiracy theory beliefs, too). What makes the scientists–and my proof-lovin’ mind–crazy, though, is that while they can reliably reproduce all sorts of unexplainable phenomena, they still can’t, well, explain any of it, any more than they can quantify what constitutes consciousness. So I’m wondering: How many of you believe in ESP, mental telepathy, portents, and the like? Why? Have you had such experiences? What would you attribute them to? Yuliya, I’m especially hoping you weigh in on this, seeing as you’re my resident Brain Expert.

Advertisements