Berkeley hotels

My Psychic Powers: A True Story

Keeping in mind that I have no credibility, this is the real story of my psychic powers, which I don’t believe. The reader can decide if I have psychic powers or not. I already told you that I don’t believe in them. I used to but not anymore. However, even though I stop believing, psychic things keep happening, which is deeply irritating.

In chronological order:

Porky Pig Clairvoyance, 1st-2nd year (?)

Family trip to Florida. A full-page ad on the back of a comic book blew me away. I read it on my hotel room bed in a block of sunshine, the sounds of the ocean in the distance. The ad was for a book on the development of psychic and magical powers. There was fine print about powers, psychic ways to make money, etc. I read every word, thinking it was real or it could be.

Then I remember Dad was driving and I was in the front seat with him. It was just the two of us. Florida seemed particularly filled with road signs. A random thought crossed my mind as the shops and restaurants flashed by: a Porky Pig line of dialogue. No surprise there. It was fleeting and I paid no attention to it. Within minutes we passed a barbecue with a counterfeit Porky Pig on its signage. I said, “Hey, I just thought of Porky Pig and here we are walking past this sign! It’s psychic!

” You think ? Dad asked, pleasing me.

I thought so. Now I knew: I had psychic powers.

Psychic dream prediction star wars2nd year

Impossible memory. When the first star wars movie came out in 1977, I thought I predicted it in a psychic dream. I was seven years old.

It was the year my family moved from Maryland to New York State. The teacher told the class that I was moving and I left just before Christmas. The classroom wall calendar in Maryland said December 1976. Then my family celebrated the holidays in New York.

Five months later, at the end of May 1977, I graduated freshman and star wars came out of. The whole family went there: mum and dad and us three children. As we walked through the parking lot toward the theater, I announced, “I dreamed about this movie when I was little!”

Dad recognized me without engaging with an “Uh-huh”. Maybe he thought this psychic power thing was going too far.

But the memory of my psychic star wars dream was clear to me, and remains clear fifty years later: I am a small child sitting on the floor watching TV. An advertisement for star wars plays: Darth Vader’s face, then Luke and Leia swing in a grapple line.

These days, I don’t believe it was a psychic dream. The dream was a memory of seeing an advertisement for the film, before its release. In the dream, I am about three or four years old, younger than when I dreamed it – which explains my confusion. When I announced “I dreamed about this movie when I was little”, the truth was probably closer to “Last week I dreamed that I was a few years younger watching TV.”

But there’s something I can’t reconcile: the frame of the dream. It takes place in a house I wouldn’t live in until fourth grade. It would have been impossible to dream of this house before star wars came out of. I’ve been confused about this dream all my life. Confused – or psychic.

Box Turtle Clairvoyance, Grade 4

I found a box turtle on the road. I took him home, kept him in an open box in my room and fed him vegetables. One day he escaped. Standing on tiptoe, he went over the wall. And I couldn’t find it. It must have been somewhere in the house, but I checked everywhere I could think of.

Then I remembered: I could use my psychic powers.

It was worth a try. I sat cross-legged on my floor and struck a meditative pose. I closed my eyes, I cleared my mind. An image came: the turtle in a dark wooden corner. I thought: where was this space? It struck me – between my bed and the wall was a wooden bookcase. I had books by the bed there and my alarm clock – but the bottom shelf wasn’t used and it was facing under my bed. I had checked under my bed, but realized I hadn’t checked very well. I looked and the turtle was in that dark wooden corner. It was exactly like my vision, and I knew: I was psychic.

Psychic Shield Abandoned Just Before a Car Crash, Grade 7

Mom used to take me back to the orthodontist. I used to play a game when I was in the car that I didn’t tell anyone about: I imagined projecting a psychic shield around the vehicle, protecting it from crashes. The shield was not telekinetically strong, rather it affected probability. When I raised the shield, the risk of a crash dropped dramatically.

It was fun and I even believed it. But ultimately, it was the self-soothing behavior of an anxious teenager. And after a while, I couldn’t get into a car without projecting psychic shields, and that bothered me. I thought, “This is getting silly; I should stop playing this game so I can relax, they’re not real anyway. So I lowered the shields.

Within two minutes, someone backed into the road from a driveway, and mom boneed them. Everyone was fine. We called a tow truck while I struggled with the reality of my psychic powers.

False positive #1

What has become clear over the years is that my psychic powers were unpredictable, and therefore impractical. I might as well not have any psychic powers at all. I have also been subject to false positives.

For example: in 8th grade, I fell off my bike after being nearly run over by a truck. The wind cut off me and I just lay there, people gathering around. I told them, “I dreamed this… I dreamed this…” That’s when I heard someone say, “OK, he’s in shock. Later, I understood: I had not dreamed it. The jarring near-miss got me babbling, that’s all. It wasn’t psychic powers, it was shock as an altered state of consciousness.

False positive #2

Years later, in California, I had another false positive. I was about 25 years old and had spent my youth in a strictly scientific view of the world. But I continued to date women who were interested in astrology, and one of those temptresses made me read New Age books. From there, my psychic powers manifested in synchronicity and intuition. I thought coincidence was the voice of the universe and its cosmic meaning could be revealed through intuition.

I was trying to win the Xeric Comics Scholarship so I could self-publish a project. I submitted my grant application and waited. Shortly after, I saw something random that reminded me of my comic book – and just like that, I thought the universe had confirmed that I would win the grant. Over the next few weeks I walked around so proud of myself for winning it. Then the list of winners came out and I wasn’t on it. It crushed me. The universe may be trying to say things, but my intuition was nil. The great synchronicity turned out to be a mere coincidence. Psychic powers? Bah !

Telepathy with a cat by a trained medium

Around this time, a buddy came to visit who was taking literal clairvoyance classes at Berkeley. We ate mescaline. I tried to be open-minded with him as the trees looked on with animistic faces from the park across the road. My friend explained to me the techniques he had learned which all seemed ridiculous to me. For example, to try to get someone’s attention, they were taught to visualize by giving them a rose. He did a demonstration on the cat, which had its back to us, but of course it turned its head after he concentrated for a minute. He said, “See? I sent her a rose!

I didn’t argue but thought, “It was just a visualization exercise with no power over cats.” Why does it have to be a rose? There’s no way to validate it and there never was…” The courses he was taking were indistinguishable from a scam. I completely gave up the psychic powers.

Psychic Readings $5

Then I fell in love and got married. You guessed it, she was into astrology. I was new against the whole thing, but we made it work for a minute. This New Year’s Eve, my wife said, “Let’s do a psychic reading!” It’ll be fun!” So I let her drag me there. It was a tenement house with a sign out front: “Psychic Readings $5.”

We walked in and met Miss Zelda or whatever her name was. First, my wife did a reading in the special Miss Zelda reading room. I sat in the waiting room thinking how broke we were and how that $5 reading was actually two readings, and we really needed those ten bucks. But I wanted to make my wife happy.

I then finished reading. I asked Miss Zelda about my career as a cartoonist because that was the only thing I wanted advice on. She told me that I had to change my priorities because my energy was completely ruined. (She probably told all the skeptics that.) Then she gave me a chance for an extra reading – a paid extra special reading. I refused.

In the car on the way home, my wife said she chose to get the extra reading. I asked, “Oh really? How much did you give her?” “Thirty dollars,” she said. I replied, “THIRTY BUCKS?!?”

Talk about a scam. The “further reading” is clearly where the Miss Zeldas of the world make big money. Psychic powers had officially become a pain in my ass.

30 year old remote viewing bikini

Fast forward a few years. My wife and I moved to Duluth and made some work friends. One of them was a colleague whom I will call Mary. Mary and I had another friend from work who I will call Donna. And Donna and I had crushes on Mary. Nothing serious, I was happily married. But Donna and I joked about it. It was innocent fun among friends.

Mary had the day off and I left work to take a break. During this break, I thought lazily, “I wonder what Mary would look like in a bikini?” Which may not look so innocent. But it was just a passing thought among many passing thoughts, and I paid no attention to it.

When I got back to work, Donna said, “Hey, you missed it – Mary was right here in a bikini!”


An index of Jim Richardson’s essays can be found here.