Monday, June 20, 2016

The Mind Is A Powerful Thing

Personal opinion warning: Because of the widespread and blatant fraud that surrounds so many professional psychics, fortune tellers and mediums, I don't have confidence in this aspect of the mysterious.  I believe in premonitions, intuition, bursts of insight, predictive dreams and prophetic visions. But it just seems to me that in my personal investigations of the matter, the pros have to resort to trickery in order to make and maintain a reputation.

The story I am about to relate, which was reported by the Associated Press back in 1965 and based on an article in the British Medical Journal, concerns a fortune teller who accurately predicted a woman's death.

The prediction was 38 years old when it came to pass. A five year old girl was told "you will die when you're 43." How nice to say such a thing to someone so young! Only that girl and her sister knew about this prophecy.

Fast forward 38 years and the little girl, now a woman, is facing a minor operation. Yet, having lived with the fortune teller's prediction, she confided to her sister that she felt she wouldn't wake up from the anesthesia. And when the day came for the operation the unnamed woman also told a nurse she was sure she was going to die.

Shortly after the operation was completed internal bleeding began and the woman lost consciousness and died. The doctors found no apparent reason that this happened.

The British Medical Association opined that

"There is no medical explanation to account for this. It seems rather like the case of natives who die on the date at the time which doctors predict."

Yes, I would say, exactly like that.

The doctors who performed the operation offered this:

"We wonder if the severe emotional tensions of this patient superimposed  physiological stress of the surgery had any bearing on her death."

Which brings me to the title of this post: The mind is a powerful thing.

Hey, I'm as skeptical as most people about such long term predictions. (Perhaps that's because I'm not a fatalist.) But here it is. Just as I firmly believe in the placebo effect, in mind over matter (to a reasonable extent), I believe a prediction like this can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Just as positive thoughts bring positive results, so negative thoughts bring about negative results.

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