My latest TV obsession has brought me to the topic of today's column: psychics.
In "The Mentalist," the main character is a self-professed former charlatan, or fake psychic, who turned over a new leaf to pursue murderers with his nontraditional methods. In other words, he cons bad guys.
The show does a good job of leaving enough ambiguity to neither confirm nor deny the legitimacy of psychic ability, and the phenomenon is something I've always been intrigued by.
If you look in the white pages (or online), you'll find plenty of listings for psychics. If you frequent certain eclectic gift shops, you'll find a few more. Virtually everyone knows at least one person who has seen something, heard something, felt something or even dreamt something unexplainable.
Maybe you've taken pictures - or know someone who has - that contain strange glowing balls or vapory outlines and other such things. Maybe you "knew" something before you knew it to be fact, or maybe you know someone who did.
I was listening to the radio on the way home from work early Thursday, and 570AM Coast to Coast had an interesting topic: Author Frank DeMarco claimed to have frequent discussions with Ernest Hemingway, who died in 1961. Yes, he talks to his ghost.
DeMarco, who was also promoting his book, "Afterlife Conversations with Hemingway," said most people have the ability to talk to those who have passed beyond. I don't know if that's true or not, but I think it's a fascinating possibility.
Don't get me wrong - I'm probably more apt to believe in psychic ability than to disbelieve it. Maybe I'm looking for a reason to believe it, or maybe I just want to believe it. Everyone has their reasons.
One of my reasons stems from the fact that there are so many things that happen that can't be rationally explained. I've heard accounts from trustworthy people that send chills down my spine. I have talked to people who claim to have perceived angels, demons, spirits and everything in-between. Some I believe, some I don't.
I've never talked to a ghost. I've never been able to read someone's mind or predict that something will happen before it does.
I have picked up the phone to call my mom right at the moment my phone rings with a call from her. That happens quite frequently.
I once walked into a dark hallway at my parents' house and flinched because I thought I was going to walk into my mom or dad, but the figure vanished when I flipped on the hall light (and I found my parents were asleep in their bedroom).
I've been napping, about to fall asleep, when I felt a falling sensation and jerked awake. This happens to most people, and there are several theories as to why. Some say it has to do with brain activity during REM or a muscle jerk, but others say it is a precursor to an out-of-body experience.
I've taken pictures that contain floating orbs. Some say they are just dust particles, reflections, moisture in the air. Others say they are indicitive of spiritual activity.
Do psychics really exist? Do we all have untapped potential for things like extrasensory perception (ESP)? Are there really ghosts floating around, unbeknownst to most of us as we go about our daily routines? I don't know.
I know there are many people who require proof to believe in things of a supernatural or even spiritual nature. But I choose to believe in the possibility, until it's proven otherwise.
Do you believe in psychics? Tell me at email@example.com or comment on this story at tribtoday.com.