August 02, 2010
The first week of August is Psychic Week and the Excelsior Springs Branch is celebrating this week by displaying a variety of books on the subject which can be found in the Dewey numbers 133.8 and 615.8.
A psychic is a person who professes an ability to perceive information hidden from the normal senses through extrasensory perception (ESP). The word psychic is derived from the Greek word psychikos ("of the mind" or "mental") and refers in part to the human mind or psyche.
Elaborate systems of divination and fortune-telling date back to ancient times. Perhaps the most widely-known system of early civilization fortune-telling was astrology, where practitioners believed the relative positions of celestial bodies could lend insight into people's lives and even predict their future circumstances. Seers formed a functionary role in early civilization, often serving as advisors, priests, and judges. There are many types of psychic abilities including aura reading, clairvoyance and dream interpretation.
The use of psychic abilities as a plot device or super power is common in fiction. Psychic abilities in science fiction are frequently depicted as inborn and heritable, as in Alfred Bester's The Demolished Man, A. E. Van Vogt's Slan, Anne McCaffrey's Talents & Tower and the Hive series. Some famous contemporary psychics include Miss Cleo, John Edward, and Sylvia Browne, who have many books in our library collection.
Have you ever had a psychic experience? Do you know anyone who has?