I’m not really sure where I stand on the whole psychic business. I guess it’s about where I stand on the "God" business, which is to say, if I had to choose between absolutely believing in it and absolutely not believing in it, I’d go with the former; but in everyday matters, in any given moment, I’m perpetually stuck in a state of "I don’t know."
My mother is an absolute believer in psychic readings and the like; the stacks of books on the subjects in our house testify to this. Having grown up listening to her talk about chakras and auras and pranic healing and animal communication and mind reading and reincarnation, etc., it’s hard for me to now dismiss it all as nonsense. All the same, with a good portion of my academics deeply rooted in science, it’s equally hard for me to embrace.
Since having seen "The Matrix," I always think back to that scene when Neo has just rescued what’s-his-name (Morpheus?), who tells him, "See? I told you you were The One!" and Neo’s like, "No, no I’m not, the Oracle said I’m not The One!" and what’s-his-name replies, "She told you what you needed to hear."
And I wonder, is that how all psychics operate?
Here’s the thing about the future, According To Me: it’s impermanent and subject to change with each passing moment. I like to subscribe to the theory of infinite universes, a byproduct of which is infinite futures. Assuming this is true, it’s therefore impossible for a psychic to give you a concrete reading of your future, as it cannot be determined which of your infitite futures will actually come to pass.
Factor into all of this the self-fulfilling prophecy, and you’ve got a true dilemma on your hands.
Say, for example, the psychic tells you that in two months’ time, your lover is going to up and leave you. Say you believe her and you go home, paranoid and hypersensitive to everything pertaining to your relationship. Say your overactive imagination kicks into overdrive and you start thinking about two months from now and how hard it’s going to be, living without the person who has been your closest companion for so many months or years now, and suddenly you start withdrawing from your lover– you figure, the more distant you are, the less painful it will be to finally lose him or her. You keep withdrawing, keep wallowing in the bleak thoughts of what is supposedly to come, and you lover tries to console you, tries to figure out what’s going on, but you refuse to open up.
This goes on for two months. You lover, frustrated with your distance and your constant tears and your refusal to communicate just what the hell is going on, finally snaps and breaks things off.
And you think to yourself, My god, the psychic was right.
But was she right? Or did you bring it upon yourself?
I don’t like to believe psychic readings, mainly because I like to believe I have power over my own life, I have power of my life’s direction. The most I will budge when it comes to giving up this power is, I’ll believe that my life has predestined checkpoints, but it’s up to me how I get to each checkpoint.
All the same, there’s a nagging little voice at the back of my mind that wheedles at me, tells me that the psychics are right and I just don’t want to admit it because I don’t like what they’re telling me. Of *course* I don’t like what they’re telling me– who in their right mind would enjoy hearing bad news? Who would enjoy hearing that the foundation upon which you’ve built towers of dreams, is flimsy and will disappear completely in a short matter of time?
The worst of it all is, when you do start to think that maybe, just maybe, she was right– and you start justifying her words. You start to find little shreds of evidence that back up her predictions. You start to look for more shreds of evidence every day that further back up her predictions. And you start to lose it all over again.
It’s borderline ironic, really. Going to a psychic has only made me less unsure of my future.