There is no doubt in my mind that there is a hidden power in the human brain. A power that most humans aren’t even aware they possess, a trait so powerful that it shapes entire lives…

I’m talking of course about the power of self deception. You’d have to be delusional to believe you have psychic powers…unless of course, you’re Lil K. That kid is obviously psychic. Look at him go! His head is definitely big enough to have hidden abilities locked away inside it! I sure as shit hope he got some special psychic talent to make up for what amounts to a hideous physical deformity.

Maybe some day he can use his powers to reshape his giant square head…that would be pretty useful!

For thousands of years, humans of all cultures have claimed to possess powers beyond the everyday. Whether it is the ability to commune with the deceased, the power to see into the future, or any number of seemingly paranormal attributes, you can bet someone somewhere has tried to convince others they and they alone are able to assist their fellow man with it…for a small fee of course. These individuals have offered innumerable explanations for such amazing abilities, from the religious (God or gods have given them this gift) to the secular, (something biological they possess) to the really weird (aliens!).

The problem with all this is that science has never been able to prove any of it, not even with fat rewards like the one offered by James Randi, a world renowned skeptic of all things paranormal. Even with one million dollars on the lines, nobody has ever been able to pass the preliminary tests the JREF has created to assess these claims of psychic power. That seems a little strange right? There are tons of psychics out there! There are the big ones that get on TV like John Edwards the fellow that communicates with the dead. There are lesser known, but still fairly popular individuals that write books and give seminars on the subject of psychic powers. There are those little small town psychics that you see in middle America, working out of their homes. There are even phone psychics that can tell you the future for just a few dollars a minute! Remember Miss Cleo? That chick HAD to be psychic, right?

As it turns out, not so much. None of these people have ever been able to prove anything they claim in the lab, if they’ve even tried. Most of the successful psychics out there even give themselves away through the legal documentation they’re forced to provide for themselves. That John Edwards guy even has an NDA that all audience members are forced to sign before they can enter the staging area! Phone psychics are forced to tell you that their services are for “entertainment only” and that they should not be taken seriously. That’s not exactly a glowing recommendation of their own product now, is it?

So what’s the deal? How can these people become so successful without ever proving themselves to the scientific community? How have some humans made a living off of others by way of psychic abilities for thousands of years? The answer is simple: delusion. People want comfort about the future. They want to know what’s around the corner, they want to feel comforted by the thought that someone somewhere has the answers and that those answers are simple. Unfortunately, the universe we live in isn’t a simple one, our lives and the lives of all living things are incalculably complex.

While the thought of an ever changing, complex, and difficult universe may frighten and scare some people, there is solace in the idea that everything changes. As long as we can embrace change, we can continue to grow as individuals. No rut, no bad luck is ever permanent. There is always a path to better things.

Everything changes.

Why not embrace it?

EDIT: Since there seems to be some confusion, this post is not about religious experiences nor is it about ceremonial or ritual magic. It is specifically about claims of being able to perform paranormal phenomena and even more specifically about using those claims for money or to mislead others.