Hermione and Her Little Group of Serious Thinkers/An Example of Psychic Power
AN EXAMPLE OF PSYCHIC POWER
HAVE you thought deeply concerning the Persistence of Personal Identity?
We took it up the other evening—our little group, you know—in quite a thorough way—devoted an entire evening to it.
You see, there's a theory that after Evolution has evolved just as far as it possibly can, everything will go to smash, but then Evolution will start all over again. And everything that has happened before will happen again.
Only the question is whether the people to whom it is happening again will know whether they are the same people to whom it has happened before.
That's where the question of the Persistence of Personal Identity comes in. Frightfully fascinating, isn't it?
For my part I'd just as soon not be reincarnated as to be reincarnated and not know anything about it, wouldn't you?
Of course, one's Subliminal Consciousness might know about it, and give one intimations. I've had intimations like that myself—really!
I'm dreadfully psychic, you know.
Sometimes I quite startle people with my psychic power.
Fothergil Finch was here the other evening—you know Fothergil Finch, the poet, don't you?—and I astounded him utterly by reading his inmost thoughts.
He had just finished reading one of his poems—a vers libre poem, you know; all about Strength and Virility, and that sort of thing. Fothergil is just simply fascinated by Strength and Virility, though you never would think it to look at him—he is so—so—well, if you get what I mean you'd think to look at him that he'd be writing about violets instead of cave men.
"Fothy," I said, when he had finished reading the poem, "I know what you are thinking—what you are feeling!"
"What?" he said.
"You're thinking," I said, "how wonderful a thing is the Cosmic Urge!"
Thoughts come to me just like that—leap to me—right out of nowhere, so to speak.
Fothy was staggered; he actually turned pale; for a minute or two he could scarcely speak. There had been scarcely a word about the Cosmic Urge in the poem, you know; he'd hardly mentioned it. "It is wonderful," he said, when he got over the shock; "wonderful to be understood!" And you know, really—poor dear!—so many people don't understand Fothy at all. Nor what he writes, either.
But the strangest thing was—I wish I could make you understand how positively eerie it makes me feel—that just the instant before he said, "It is wonderful to be understood!" I knew he was going to say it. I got that psychically, too!
"Fothy," I said, "it is absolutely weird—I eaves-dropped on your brain the second time!"
"Wonderful!" he said, "but the still more wonderful thing would be——"
And before he could finish the sentence it happened the third time! I interrupted and finished it for him.
"The still more wonderful thing would be," I said, "if it were not so."
"Heavens!" he cried, "this is getting positively ghostly."
And you know, it almost was. Not that I'm superstitious at all, you know, in the vulgar way. But in the dim room—I always have just candlelight in the drawing-room—it fits in with my more reflective moods, somehow—I believe one must suit one's environment to one's mood, don't you?—in the dim room, all those thoughts flying back and forth between my brain and his gave me a positively creepy feeling. And Fothy was so shaken I had to give him a drink of Papa's Scotch before he went out into the night .