Do Psychic Powers Exist?
This question tends to crop up whenever I talk to people about cold reading... so I thought I would address it here!
First of all, let me repeat a point that I make on the 'Ethics' page: not all people who give readings claim to be psychic, and not all people who claim to be psychic give readings. The two terms may overlap, but they are distinct.
So... do psychic powers exist? It seems to me that there are two rival schools of thought, and there are problems with both of them.
Some say, 'Psychic powers definitely exist'. The problem with this view is that there is very little credible, peer-reviewed scientific evidence to support it.
Some say, 'Psychic power definitely do not exist'. The problem with this view is that in every era in human history, and in every part of the world, you find people reporting 'psychic' experiences of one kind or another. That's an awful lot of human experience and testimony to simply ignore or dismiss as meaningless.
My view is that it's a mistake to say that psychic ability is a thing, like the chair you're sitting on, that either exists or doesn't exist. My view is that psychic ability is a construct of emotion, experience and perception. I maintain that the truth is best expressed in eleven words: 'Psychic powers are as real as you want them to be'.
The good thing about this view is that I don't ask you to take my word for it. All the available evidence supports this view, and none of the available evidence contradicts it.
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