Most of us are at least a little bit skeptical of anyone who claims to be able to read minds. Some of us have deep-seated doubts as to whether such a thing is even possible.
Of course, most so-called psychics are nothing more than charlatans out to make a quick buck. Some are skilled entertainers, who leave their subjects with at least a little value for the price of admission. Most, though, are outright frauds.
But, there is always the grain of quandary, the tiny speck of wonder in the back of our minds that wants to believe in the impossible, that wants the magic to be real. There is a small part in each of this that asks: might there be someone out there who really has such a gift? Can it be true?
I’m here to tell you: it is.
Here’s two ways a legit “psychic” could work.
First, there’s the ‘interpreter’, a person who can read a person’s body language and responses to psychological prompts so well that he or she seems to have the magical ability to read and/or control the subject’s mind. Take the TV show “Mind Control”: the host, Derren Brown, uses his amazingly deep understanding of the human mind to seemingly ‘pull’ thoughts out of peoples’ heads. Sometimes he reverses the techniques and plants suggestions, live on camera.
One notable example was a case where he convinced a celebrity that the gift he wanted most for his birthday was a BMX bike – which was not the truth. Using subliminal cues alone, Brown managed to re-write his guest’s memory, making the mind believe that his suggestions were the truth, and the information that had been there before were nothing more than a mistaken false memory.
Brown is so gifted at reading peoples’ reactions that he is actually able to pick up on their worst fears, their darkest secrets, and their happiest memories, just from their responses to his psychoanalytical prompts. To all appearances, he can read what is on his subjects’ minds.
The other way for a mind reader to be real is the literal version. Current theory suggests that brain waves are responsible for the coordination of brain cells into the cohesive thoughts we experience as consciousness. It is also quite likely that the pattern of a person’s brainwaves serves as a kind of ‘key’ to unlocking memory.
If this is the case, then a person who is able to ‘sync up’ with another person’s brainwaves would, in effect, have a kind of limited access to the subject’s thoughts, and even some memories.
The concept isn’t so far-fetched as it may seem. Consider two good friends, who spend a lot of time together. As time goes by, they’ll occasionally finish each other’s sentences with increasing frequency. One might even suggest that they begin to ‘think alike.’
It is entirely possible that as people form close bonds, their brain wave patterns begin to shift, becoming more and more similar. Of course, they’ll never be identical; every person has a unique life experience, which, in turn, shapes a unique thought pattern. Still, it is highly probable that the majority of people have, at some point in their lives, experienced this exact form of minor ‘telepathy’.
So, theoretically, it is conceivable that a few people in this world might have a chameleon’s gift, at least as far as brain waves are concerned. They may be able to reconfigure their own thinking to match that of another person. The specifics of such an ability, and its limitations, are presently unknown. However the possibility remains – some psychics may, in fact, be real.
Given that, we should, of course, remain skeptical about any specific practitioner; the vast majority of ‘mind readers’ possess no skill more sophisticated than the typical smoke-and-mirrors illusionist. However, the possibility is there, no matter how slim. How can anyone ever be *sure*?