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Thursday October 21, 2004: Thoughtcrimes Part Three

         So, how realistic is THOUGHTCRIMES? I notice the writers cover themselves by saying the main character is one of a kind,  able to pick up everyone's thoughts. I'll give them credit for producing a character that they can use in a series. What better hero -- a perfect weapon against terrorists, someone who can instantly extract information without ever touching the criminal?

           I question a grown psychic who is unable to keep out everybody else's thoughts. I don't think people need worry about scanners or telepaths walking around, eaves-dropping on one's deepest, darkest thoughts. To be really honest -- who would want to listen to the garbage going through most people's heads? Most psychics develop their own blocking systems, early in life.

          I did know a psychic who worked at developing the talent and by his early twenties, claimed he could read almost anyone's thoughts or put his thoughts into almost anyone's mind. He went on to become a lawyer -- which is a rather scary prospect and the closest I could come to the THOUGHTCRIMES character.

            Joe confided his ability when we'd been on a date and the issue of being psychic had come up. I'd been thinking about the psychic group from college, but had not wanted to talk about those memories. I was tip-toeing around the subject of my own psychic powers, trying to find general terms for human potential.  Joe brought up the subject of his ability because he found me strange: it was the first time he'd run into someone who could block him out of their thoughts. I hadn't set out consciously to block anything; in retrospect it wasn't that hard to insulate thoughts.

          Later that evening, I relaxed and opened my mind, observing the night sky. My mind was still and quiet when the thought suddenly appeared, "I should drop out of college and marry Joe; all I really want is to be a housewife and raise a family." At the time I was considering graduate school. Joe's ideas could have been talked about in the open; there were a lot of positive elements to the relationship. Instead, red flags went up.  Joe was caught off guard when I called him on it and, not surprisingly, the relationship went downhill shortly after. Had Joe known me better, he could have framed his thoughts in a manner which mimicked my own patterns of logic. If he knew me better, I might never have recognized his intrusion.  That realization destroyed the trust needed to build a long-term relationship.
        The experience convinced me more than ever that people need the privacy of their thoughts. I created my own ethical code and restrictive barriers to keep out of other people's heads. If I picked up stray thoughts, I learned to ignore them. 

          Still, it was not uncommon; if I ever did mention to people that I was psychic-- their first response was invariably "Don't read my mind."  I believe Joe was the exception to the rule, but wonder if the public's impression is that every psychic would probe for dirty, embarrassing secrets, given half the opportunity.  To be continued..............

Posted on Thursday, October 21, 2004 at 04:53AM by Registered CommenterThe Skeptical Mystic | CommentsPost a Comment

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