For those of you familiar with Harry Potter–and is there really anyone who isn’t to some degree?–you may know about an incredible, magical skill that some witches or wizards have called Legilimency. It’s a skill that the witch or wizard uses to retrieve feelings and memories from another person’s mind, and it’s the means they use to witness memories and even detect lies told by another person.
Pretty cool stuff, if you ask me.
Of course, there’s a counter-skill to offset Legilimency to prevent thoughts or memories from being discovered, too.
Even more cool.
You could make all kinds of arguments that this kind of thing only exists in movies and television and books, that no one can read minds, and that no one could plant images or memories in another person’s head either. But what about lies. Do any of us have an innate ability to detect deceit without really trying?
I bet you could think of several interactions you’ve had over your life where you knew — just knew — that the other person you were with was lying. Maybe you recognized the lie through the other person’s body language, or maybe there were outright hints like perspiration or a facial tick or an inability to look you in the eye. But what about other times, and I know I’ve experienced this myself, when there were no obvious hints to clue you in and yet you just knew that the lie was happening? A situation where, on some baser level, you sensed that something wasn’t right and so your internal radar started humming.
See, I’m one of those people who thinks there’s more going on around us than what we see and maybe care to admit. I find it hard to believe that what happens in our life, and the interactions with the people around us, are only what we experience through our senses. Lies, I think, are no exception. Whether or not this ability exists in all of us, and some of us are just better at it than others, is certainly a reasonable question. But what if there’s more to it than that? What if it isn’t intuition, or gut instinct, or just being really good at reading people?
Yep. I know. It sounds sort of out there. But the fact is, many of us are used to focusing only on our everyday lives and the activities that are explainable and obvious. But there are numerous studies that have shown how we link to each other on an extra-sensory level. And what’s just as interesting is that people have reported instances in which they were able to sense something in another person without being told or clued in, and that weren’t part of a controlled experiment. And then, when attempts were made to replicate these experiences under controlled conditions, they couldn’t make them occur again.
Does that mean that these experiences didn’t happen? Are they just hoaxes and stories to get attention?
Sometimes I bet they are. But others? I’m just not buying it. There’s something to be said about sitting across the table from someone and having a conversation, and recognizing deep down inside that the person is being deceitful. Maybe it’s a bad taste in your mouth or a sour smell or a prickling sensation on your skin warning you that they’re not being truthful.
I think I just found an idea for my another book.
So what do you think? Fiction? Fact? Or a little of both?
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