In my dreams, I could move things even if my fingers don’t touch them. In the waking world, this is called “psychokinesis” or, more commonly, “telekinesis.” And as is usually the case with things that sound superb in the waking world, psychokinesis is a huge steaming pile of bullshit.
In the dream world, if I concentrate just a tiny bit, my brow furrowed into a little knot, the thing I’m looking at starts to move as I please. I think one time I was able to play a prank on someone by moving their bag away from them so as to hide it, and another time I might have even been able to stop a robbery by deflecting bullets or stripping away some flabbergasted robbers’ handguns. I seem to remember once I also did something perverted to a poor lady with this wonderful ability of mine–how could I not? I can’t recall clearly. With dreams, one couldn’t be sure, so delicious are their details that the devil devours them as soon as one opens their eyes.
If you haven’t had one of these dreams, I feel it’s my duty to tell you that using this ability feels so amazing–exhilarating–that after having dreamt such a dream, one couldn’t really deny themselves foolish attempts in the real world. Hey, despite the insanity and impossibility of it, what if it somehow works? Many a time I’ve found myself sitting in a toilet, the drip, drip, drip of water echoing in the four corners of the bathroom, and me doing my darndest to turn the goddamn faucet with my mind.
Oh, I try.
I’ve tried since I was a young boy.
I’ve tried to move heavy stuff like TV sets and light ones like dried leaves on the ground, unsurprisingly, to complete and utter failure (which, frankly, hasn’t fazed me). I remember there was one fine day in my youth (a day so fine that the sun seemed to take forever to set) that I spent maybe an hour or two, or three, sitting on a curb, trying to move fallen dried leaves of a santol tree; pushing, lip-biting, perspiring, willing those brown, crumpled leaves to move even just an inch, even just to wiggle under the tremendous force of my brain. Not even the wind consoled me with the illusion of success.
Some tired days, maybe when grey skies whisper strange mysteries through the thinnest drizzle, I test the reality of it all by flushing the contents of the toilet bowl with my thoughts. If my piss flushes down through a mere wish, I’ll know I’m dreaming. I realize this sounds crazy but if a third of our lives is spent sleeping, then at any point in time, there’s one out of three chances that you are actually dreaming. One could never be sure, so it helps to check.
Of course, all this would be unforgivably foolish if not greater minds have also seen the vast potential of influencing objects physically from afar. And I’m not talking about magicians and street performers in India though those minds are remarkable in their own way, too. In 1984, no less than the United States National Academy of Sciences itself, at the behest of the US Army Institute, formed a scientific panel to see if there’s sufficient, solid evidence for psychokinesis. Learned men fussing over lunacy. As usual, since the US government was involved in some capacity, this was, in reality, not about any metaphysical truths the proving of psychokinesis might open up for discussion, but about missiles and things that hurt other people efficiently. One cited purpose was to assess if psychokinesis could be used to remotely jam enemy weaponry. Maybe choke communist generals at their tables during supper, too, who knows?
This whole odd business was serious enough that it took three years before conclusions could be published. I guess they didn’t want to leave the slightest trace of doubt for pathologically creative folks to fashion into another magnificently dumb conspiracy theory.
And yet despite their negative findings, scientists, philosophers, and other combative blokes by profession have since then continuously tried to reiterate what we’ve known all along–that psychokinesis simply cannot exist. A fellow by the name of Mario Bunge (who’s both a physicist and a philosopher and is therefore doubly combative) wrote that “psychokinesis… violates the principle that mind cannot act directly on matter. (If it did, no experimenter could trust his readings of measuring instruments.) It also violates the principles of conservation of energy and momentum. The claim that quantum mechanics allows for the possibility of mental power influencing randomizers… is ludicrous since that theory respects the said conservation principles, and it deals exclusively with physical things.”
While the supreme vehemence by which Mario brought down that scientific and philosophical hammer is appreciated, I would like to make it clear now that the subject doesn’t even require this much preoccupation. Not that telekinesis is obviously, unequivocally stupid (it is); but because, after thinking this through, I’ve decided it won’t have any significant practical use for the common man were it real.
Sure, it might be a tad convenient to start preparing a cup of coffee while I’m still in bed in the morning, but actually, that would ruin another otherwise sweet “five minutes” going back to sleep. Tripping random people on the street whose mug doesn’t strike me well could also be entertaining but I bet the novelty fades after a while or as soon as somebody gets seriously injured. Breaking into a bank, robbing stores, and lifting ladies’ skirts all seem at first exciting, but honestly, my fragile conscience wouldn’t let me. I am as hopelessly trapped by my decent upbringing as I am by the laws of this universe.
Psychokinesis wouldn’t help me finish my reports earlier and make them seem less useless to me or make me unaware that a whole troop of suits grows infinitesimally richer than me doing nothing as I’m telekinetically processing these reports. It wouldn’t make the commute to the office less stressful. Wouldn’t make my relationship stronger, allow me to avoid unhealthy habits like eating unholy amounts of a fried pig’s face, give me more days off, make me more confident in front of women, cure my virulent insecurity and fatal pride, protect me from the accursed flu cycles, or make me feel as loved and wanted as I insanely need to be.
In truth, it’s a pointless ability. One’s probably better off having the power to fly or turn invisible if one’s to profit from freakish talents. And this is also, I think, the reason why my mind is obsessed with dreams of magically pushing and pulling objects–because it knows deep inside that psychokinesis only has real value in the realm of pure thought; here where external things do have unseen but unbreakable strings tied to the one perceiving; and one need only to focus in order to tug at those strings to force the world to bend to one’s will. What this also suggests to me is that this is a longing of the mind to reach this perfect state, an ideal state where the mind and the world are not two sides of a coin that will never meet. Psychokinesis only has currency here and only truly desirable in this world.
Outside, matter rules over matter. The mind is nothing but a word used to ascribe the illusion of power to a person no different to a feather blown hither and thither by ruthless winds. No force is strong enough to stop attracted atoms from bonding together or two tarnished lovers from leaving each other. There’s no power greater than the brute strength of time whose very purpose is to exhaust our energy, pulverize our bones to dust, and disintegrate all our silly paranormal and scientific notions alike as if to cleanse the earth of our offensive nonsense. And gravity will keep on pulling things to the ground–apples, leaves, the stars, absurd fantasies and dreams.