I shot up from the couch as if I’d mistakenly sat on someone’s lap. The morbid thoughts fluttered behind me, falling like a cloak from my shoulders. Shivers rippled up and down my neck and arms. With a rush of adrenalin, irrational thoughts of ghosts flooded my mind.

I wish I could say that this little shocker was a turning point. The moment it finally dawned on me that I was attuned to psychic wavelengths — memories and emotions — emanating from inanimate matter. But no, I admit that even as I stood staring back at the old orange couch tufted with its golden fleurs-de-lis, I still didn’t connect that physical object with the mental images I was receiving. I was baffled by these thoughts that were so clearly not my own. Tellingly, though, whenever I used the couch in the days following that incident, I deliberately sat at the other end. Although it was more uncomfortable, it was at least free of another person’s thoughts.

I have no defense. I freely admit that in ordinary mental states I can be as dull as old boots. No matter the mind-expanding experiences of precognition and the Endless Waves of Time. Forget the booming disembodied voice that incessantly questioned my course in life. Not even the plain-as-the-nose-on-my-face sensory data radiating from just about everything in my apartment. Not one single extraordinary event tipped me off that something very bizarre was going on.


My occasional thick-headedness aside, I believe that many people have extrasensory perceptions to one degree or another. Clairvoyants and other psychic adepts who can access higher levels of sensitivity are unfortunately pigeonholed as “special” (or loonytoons, depending on who’s making the call). But type-casting is patently inane, and in this case largely the result of ignorance of our own real potentials. Because most of the Western world ignores the existence of senses beyond the common five, there’s a likelihood that reception of empathic or other psychic data can be misconstrued by recipients and observers alike. But with the increasing number of pharmaceuticals being marketed in the U.S., Britain, and Europe to enhance or suppress unaccountable mind states, hope fades for distinguishing chemically influenced mood swings from undiagnosed psychic abilities.

Continuous sensitivity to people, places, or things, whether positive or negative, sudden joy or sudden tears — any sort of non-causal state of mind could be unidentified psychic input. But without widespread educational efforts by psychologists, and other analysts properly trained in the mind’s paranormal (or psi*) potentials, acknowledgment of the reality of human psychic energy will likely remain in the gothic shadows of occultism. Real understanding of ourselves will continue to be borderlined, and the very subject itself identified only with those “psychic hotlines” of late night television.

*Pronounced “sigh.” Collective term for paranormal. From the first letter of the Greek Psyché: Y