Psychic abilities...could they be real?

I use to be ‘into’ this sort of thing for a long, long time. I found myself watching a program on Tv tonight called ‘Psychic TV’. The problem with this particular show, I think, is the apparent psychic keeps on talking and the person asking the question is not there or on the phone etc, the question is usually via e-mail. So, tonight a lady said she was pregnant with her 3rd child, and not married yet. Will he ask me to marry him finally and will the birth of our child go smoothly?

The psychic answered yes she felt he would propose to her soon and also she felt the lady with the questions had to ‘put her feet up because she saw some possible swelling. Also headaches, and to be aware of this’.

Um…well, she is pregnant and it is very likely she will end up with swollen ankles, and headaches, very common too I’d say.:shrug: I found this answer to be ridiculous and something I think I could have answered for this lady for free…hehehehe. I think it’s possible for some people to have abilities in this area, but most of them come across as frauds, they seem so fake.

I know I am posting this question on a Catholic forum, so many will not believe. I have to admit I have become increasingly skeptical of this sort of thing of late, …what do you think, possible or not?

Yes and no.

Because man is an enfleshed soul, he gains new knowledge of the universe principally though his five bodily senses. The soul cannot sense anything directly.

Knowledge, however, can be infused directly into the mind by God, or an angel can enlighten us about something we partially understand.

No one, including an angel, can know the future except God. Therefore if someone knows the future, he is getting it from God, not from psychic powers. God never lies, so if someone predicts the future and gets it wrong, he is either making it up or is being fooled by a bad angel.

Angels, however, are able to understand anything as it is in itself and are able to make educated guesses about the near future and in many cases the distant future. Although they are not able to read our minds, they can read our body language and therefore can make solid guesses about what we are thinking.

Now as for the call-in psychic show, if you sit back and take in the big picture, you would see that the psychic said something you can say to any pregnant mom.

The internet is replete with psychic-debunking resources not the least of which is the famous case of James Randi debunking Peter Popoff.

It doesn’t matter if they are real or not.

Using psychics and mediums, divination, conjuring, magic and sorcery all show a desire for control and lack of trust in God’s providence.

Real or not, we should stay away from such practices.


I think TV shows and that sort of thing aren’t very good for figuring out what;'s real and what’s not. Here is a paper on the topic: Statistical Evidence for Psychic Functioning that assesses controlled and replicated experiments. First two paragraphs of the abstract:

Abstract - Research on psychic functioning, conducted over a two decade

period, is examined to determine whether or not the phenomenon has been
scientifically established. A secondary question is whether or not it is useful
for government purposes. The primary work examined in this report was gov-
ernment sponsored research conducted at Stanford Research Institute, later
known as SRI International, and at Science Applications International Cor-
poration, known as SAIC.

Using the standards applied to any other area of science, it is concluded that
psychic functioning has been well established. The statistical results of the
studies examined are far beyond what is expected by chance. Arguments that
these results could be due to methodological flaws in the experiments are
soundly refuted. Effects of similar magnitude to those found in government-
sponsored research at SRI and SAIC have been replicated at a number of lab-
oratories across the world. Such consistency cannot be readily explained by
claims of flaws or fraud.

It’s a very long paper, but worth the read. You might also look at this site for research done at Princeton: PEARS click on “experiments” and on that page scroll down to “remote viewing.”

This is what our church teaches regarding this subject. From the Catechism of the Catholic Church: "2116 All forms of divination are to be rejected: recourse to Satan or demons, conjuring up the dead or other practices falsely supposed to “unveil” the future.48 Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance, and recourse to mediums all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and, in the last analysis, other human beings, as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers. They contradict the honor, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone. "

Its an act, and scary to boot. Tell me I am going to get a disease in a couple years and it will go into my subconscious mind and I will probably get it. We are not to know the future. We are not to get into astrology either.


I second this…

I think some people have psychic abilities especially mothers. Sometimes they just know. My kids use to ask me how I knew something and I would tell them I don’t know, I just did.

Anna and Simeon were two elderly people in the temple when Christ was brougt for His presentation. I think Anna was blind. Both declared Him to be the Messiah and Simeon went on to tell Mary her heart would experience great sorrow. Yes, they were led by the Holy Spirit. I think other people are too. You just have to discern those who are not.

I don’t care if it’s real or not. Foreknowledge of the afterlife and the future belong to God and not to us, so why delve into something not made for us?

Originally posted by aicirt
I think some people have psychic abilities especially mothers. Sometimes they just know. My kids use to ask me how I knew something and I would tell them I don’t know, I just did.

I think this is because of our guardian angels, a Catholic teaching I think too few of us forget about. Anyone willing to back me up?

Those things on tv are just scams. There are people who are gifted by the spirit to see such things, but they are very rare. There are also those to practice things which are “not beneficial” to gain such abilities.

Real genuine psychic people, are normally followers of their own respective religions, and normally live away from the society: not boradcasting themselves on tv or through different media.

Sorry to disagree with some of you, but true psychic ability doesn’t have to be connected with the devil in any way. I’ve had some experiences, unexpected, and certainly never requested. They were simple, but definitely not coincidental. I remember one time while I was reading the newspaper, suddenly saying to myself, “You’d better straighten things, the neighbor will be ringing the doorbell any minute.” One minute later the neighbor was ringing my doorbell. He had never visited before, so I had no way of anticipating a visit from him. I had spoken to myself matter-of-factly, not in a “maybe he’ll be here” way. I knew he would be there. Other insignificant things have come about, too, just as unplanned. There is something apparently going on with the sending of brain waves. I haven’t studied the topic, so I have no real knowledge of how this can be. It’s not alarming when these things occur, but somewhat surprising, since I haven’t asked for this knowledge. If psychic knowledge comes to me, as it has on some occasions, then there must be some people who are far more gifted in this ability than I. They probably haven’t asked for the gift, either. I don’t advise people to study the occult, it’s demonic to me, but I cannot deny that there is true psychic ability. I think it must be a God-given gift.

I’ll second that! :thumbsup: Whomever is responsible, the person receiving the message still is privy to knowing something in the future. I think one can achieve this through prayer or being open to an angel’s intercession.

I’ve known people who just knew they were going to die and one knew when her funeral would be. None sought a fortune teller. They just knew and it happened.

I just wish I knew why someone would need to know the day they would die. Sounds terrible.

They didn’t ask to know, they just knew. Hospice nurses deal with it all the time.

Here’s an example: husband watching by bed of dying wife who suddenly gets up from the bed (was not mobile until this happened), walks to the doorway calling, “Yes, Dad,” followed by her spouse who is trying to get her back to bed. She turns back on her own. Husband asks her, “Why did you want to go out in the hall? You shouldn’t get up.” She replied, “Dad is calling but said it isn’t time yet but soon.”

I posted some interesting links to some scientific info on psychism, which is thought by more and more to simply be a trait that many have, probably most, and like any trait, it varies from person to person. I don’t think the trait is God-given, I think it’s genetic and enhanced or repressed by environment and practice. Prayerful practice seems to enhance psychism in many people.

You’re right about psychic ability simply being a trait that some have in greater depth than others, but since all of our genetic attributes are given to us by our Creator, they have to be God-given. I’m not sure what you are saying when you state that prayerful practice seems to enhance psychism in many people. Are you saying that prayerful people exhibit more signs of being psychic, or that praying for psychic ability seems to be rewarded?

It is my understanding that authentic scientific research into paranormal activity is permissible within certain boundaries. Those boundaries–working from memory–include that the researcher must not engage in speculation or activity which specifically endanger their own faith. Nor should the purpose of research step outside the bounds of what’s permissible to do. No willful contact of disembodied spirits, for example. A researcher into Electronic Voice Phenomenon, for example, is free to put microphones into a vacant building where unusual events take place, just to see if something is captured. If the EVP researcher tries to communicate with spirits while recording a vacant room–“If there are any spirits out there, please speak to me”, for example–they’ve crossed a line from merely observing to interacting with the supernatural. As regard potential psychic abilities: if these are being measured and explored with an eye to identifying underutilized natural human abilities the research may be acceptable.

The bolded part.

About this:

You’re right about psychic ability simply being a trait that some have in greater depth than others, but since all of our genetic attributes are given to us by our Creator, they have to be God-given.

Yes, but as much as my toenails are also god-given, I don’t think they are a special gift of the Holy Spirit. Some folks think that psychic ability we see in Saints is because they were saints, or, on their way to becoming that. They see psychism as supernatural instead of inherent.

I think it’s important to get past that because it leads a lot of people into “WHY do I know this?” kind of thinking and makes them feel different from others. Just because you know by psychic insight that your neighbor is having an affair, really doesn’t mean you are supposed to do anything at all with the information. Just as you might accidentally spot the neighbor and lover somewhere and get the information in a more common way. IOW, every psychic experience isn’t God directly putting information into your mind with some Divine Intention.

What psychics do is something called cold reading. So far, so called psychic abilities have done nothing to help predict anything or solve crimes, or anything else that could possibly be useful.

I don’t have the heart to do it myself, but there is one foolproof way to out a psychic. You ask them if they have psychic abilities and if they say they do, crack them across the face.

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