Our thoughts can't be read? Then how is this (alleged) power possible among mystics?

It is said that the devil can’t read our thoughts, but I was reading a disturbing story about occultic powers people can obtain through meditation and self-realization.

One is the ability to read thoughts.


"Traditionally there are eight main yogic siddhis. You can get details in Sri Yukteswar’s book, The Holy Science.

Yes, Yogananda had siddhis. Close disciples witnessed them at times.

Peggy Deitz witnessed him levitate; Swami Kriyananda writes how Yogananda knew his every thought, and everything he had done at a distance;"*

This Yoganda also did “miracles” similar to Jesus. How can this be?

  • Tulsi Bose saw him resurrect a dead person; he healed many seriously sick persons; Brother Bhakananda witnessed how the Master materialized carrot juice, filling many glasses miraculously from an almost empty pitcher; and so on.*

Yes, he knew the future, and could also see the distant past: persons’ previous incarnations."

If these alleged powers are true, then wouldn’t that kind of prove the teachings of our faith wrong?

Such powers are easily conjured through demonic smoke and mirrors.

If Hinduism had that much occultic power behind it, I’d expect it’s adherents to hold a lot more power than they do.



If these alleged powers are true, then wouldn’t that kind of prove the teachings of our faith wrong?

The evil one cannot read our thoughts but he can make a good guess at them.

The teachings of our faith will never be proven wrong; the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, our Lord Jesus Christ incarnate rose from the dead, glorious and triumphant! When we go to him with repentant and humble hearts, He feeds us with His Risen, glorious Body.

There are many false leaders. Stay with the One who loves us and suffered so much for us.

You nailed it with “alleged.” There is no more proof of Hindu “miracles” than there is of Benny Hinn “miracles.”

And no one - not even Catholics - are raising the dead or reading minds. Jesus was a notable exception, of course!

Some are fake, but not all of them, there have been quite a few ‘miracles’ and healings done by less than devout people, then again, Jesus warned us there would be MANY false prophets that come, some showing great signs and wonders.

Its not that surprising to see such a mixture of these false prophets and of course the ones who try to fake it.

Knowledge of the unknowable is a sure sign of demonic activity. Stay well clear.

Really? I doubt it. I do a lot of reading and have yet to see anything about real miracles, but a whole lot about fakes.

Someone wise once said something to this effect:
“Seeking after big time abilities and experiences is a sure guarantee you won’t find them.”

Genuine mystics do not go looking for these things. Or so it seems from the lives of the saints.

Magicians can do some amazing things. Remember Moses before Pharoah when he thru down his staff and it became a snake. And the other attendants to Pharoah did the same thing.

Bringing back the dead is not particularly unusual if they died a natural death, and not a violent one. There were times when people were buried with a bell on the outside with a string attached running into the coffin. This was done so that if the person began to breath, he could ring the bell on the outside to let people know to dig him up. There were quite a few people who have been buried alive. So raising this kind of person back would not be a problem. And there is also a chemical that will make a person look like they are dead for a brief period of time.

In the case of Jesus when he was buried he was definitely dead because of the violent nature … a spear thru his heart. And in his case, noone brought him back to life but rather he rasied himself up. Noone has ever done that. How could a dead person bring himself back to life? … unless he was God.


If these alleged powers are true, then wouldn’t that kind of prove the teachings of our faith wrong?

No, I don’t believe so. It is not likely the mysteries of the Catholic faith could be “proven” wrong. The mystery of the transubstantiation of the Eucharist would be a good example. Science could not possibly “prove” this mystery of the faith to be false, and this is the result of the limits of science and not of faith and belief.

I guess another questions is since the devil can’t read thoughts, then how can people through demonic influence read them. Doesn’t that seem like a contradiction?

Read this: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cold_reading

Who said that the devil can’t read thoughts? If you look into stories of exorcism there are instances of the devil in the possessed person mentioning hidden information of the people that are present, including the exorcist.

Hidden information doesn’t equate to reading the mind!

I’m sure everybody’s online passwords are hidden, but if a hacker found them he’d have done it without reading a mind.


The evil one and his comrades know the sins of others by observation since day one. They tell each other.

In all the books about angels I have read,( with regard to their reading thoughts), it is said no they cannot. I believe we get most of our information from St. Thomas Acquinas.

If they seem to read thoughts it is because they can usually tell by the demeanor and “body language” of the person. (Just as at times, we humans can.)


If these alleged powers are true, then wouldn’t that kind of prove the teachings of our faith wrong?

Seems that you are referring to siddhis described in Patanjali Yoga Sutras, which he warns are to be avoided since they are detrimental to the goal of yoga which is neutralization of the modifications in consciousness. The main eight are:
*]Aṇimā: reducing one’s body even to the size of an atom
*]Mahima: expanding one’s body to an infinitely large size
*]Garima: becoming infinitely heavy
*]Laghima: becoming almost weightless
*]Prāpti: having unrestricted access to all places
*]Prākāmya: realizing whatever one desires
*]Iṣṭva: possessing absolute lordship
*]Vaśtva: the power to subjugate all

Catholic Encyclopedia:

…we are certain that
[LIST]*]God alone can perform those effects which are called substantial miracles, e.g., raising the dead to life,
*]that miracles performed by the angels, as recorded in the Bible, are always ascribed to God, and Holy Scripture gives Divine authority to no miracles less than Divine;
*]that Holy Scripture shows the power of evil spirits as strictly conditioned, e.g., testimony of the Egyptian magicians (Exodus 8:19), the story of Job, evil spirits acknowledging the power of Christ (Matthew 8:31), the express testimony of Christ himself (Matthew 24:24) and of the Apocalypse (Revelation 9:14). Granting that these spirits may perform prodigies — i.e., works of skill and ingenuity which, relatively to our powers, may seem to be miraculous — yet these works lack the meaning and purpose which would stamp them as the language of God to men.[/LIST]

Driscoll, J.T. (1911). Miracle. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.

Ben, I’m curious.

You seem to read a lot of things, and then use them to doubt some aspect of Catholicism.

Are you convinced in your own mind that Catholicism is false?

If yes, then are you posting these things for answers, or to spread questions in people’s minds?

If not, then do you understand that you have an obligation to avoid things that are seriously undermining your faith? In fact, it’s probably mortally sinful to purposely seek out things that are going to harm your faith, knowing full well what the result of that will be.

I’m going to be a little blunt. I think that a lot of the problems that you see are exceedingly tame. I can understand why they might bother a person, and I sincerely empathize with you if you’re struggling. I struggled for years and years trying to find some sort of religion.

But in this case, we have accounts of supernatural occurrences, and you present some sort of a fear that these alleged events pose a danger to the faith.

You even present an answer to this conundrum—diabolical influence—but you fail to really explain why it should be brushed aside. It’s almost as if this answer is simply assumed to be inadequate without explaining why.

So I’m going to challenge you.

What is it about the angelic or demonic influence that you think could not adequately explain such phenomena?

Now, you state that demons can’t read thoughts. Well, that needs to be qualified. Demons can put thoughts into our minds, and so they can know what we’re thinking. They can likewise interpret our words within a context that is based on knowing us extremely well—including our level of grace, our weaknesses, our past, our decision-making process—and thus be able to draw all sorts of conclusions. Perhaps they can even “see” various portions of our brain firing as we think, and thus have quite an understanding of what we possibly might be dwelling on.

Furthermore, the real kicker is this: people like those in the article, might actually want demons to read their minds, and there’s no question that an invitation like that might very well be accepted. Why should that be surprising? If a person tries to communicate with a demon, all bets are off. They may not know exactly what they’re doing, but all that is necessary is for them to have enough information to make a sufficiently free choice.

Also, the “miracles” that you mention: Ben, is there anything at all in Christian tradition that would be caught off guard by the notion that the demonic can imitate? Of course all demons and all angels can influence matter. Demons can physically make us sick, and they can physically remove sickness. They can make people appear to be dead, and they can take that away. They can influence the mental imagery in people, and make them see things that aren’t there—I mean, spirits don’t have bodies, but they can present themselves as having them.

But all of this is based on whether or not God permits it, just as any type of diabolical influence. Now, would God permit people who go after certain religions to consistently be tricked and fooled by demons? Sometimes, yes. God gives us graces out of His mercy. But God is under no obligation to continue to give mercy to those who consistently throw it away. Perhaps a certain person, frankly, has had enough chances for now. Maybe it’s time for them to be given what they want.

Moreover, there might be a good that God will draw out of this that cannot be seen from the beginning, but only from the end. Is there a reason that God permitted me to wander around through various religions before becoming Catholic? I can probably think of several, not least of which is the simple fact that I can talk to people who have temptations toward this or that faith tradition, and I can speak to them in a manner that at least understands somewhat where they’re coming from. I can understand, in at least my own way, both why something would be tempting, and ultimately why it won’t lead a person to truth.

How many millions of other reasons would God have in working out good from evil? That’s precisely why He permits all evil.

So again, what is it about this that bothers you?

Are you feeling some sort of pull towards all of this, and if so, why do you think that is? What exactly is the story behind all of these questions?

In my 42 years of being a devote Catholic Revert and Contemplative, I have found that true Mystics like Padre Pio, didn’t read minds in the way we think.

Instead, they had a deep understanding of the human condition and were able to understand where a person was spiritually. It was to this they responded.

For many who research into things like in the OP, i.e. reading minds, its driven by the ego which is the false self and should be rejected.


Isn’t the reference to ego as “false self” itself an Oriental reference of some kind?


Its part of all of the main stream religions and developmental psychology.

Archbishop Fulton Sheen spoke of the ego, the false self often in his teaching.

St John of the Cross described it as the “appetites.of the senses.” The term “ego.” wasn’t used back then.


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