“THIS IS WHERE YOU BEGIN TO ESTABLISH A NEW AND SUPREMELY IMPORTANT RELATIONSHIP WITH THE UNCONSCIOUS LEVELS OF YOUR PSYCHE.”
I wouldn’t go so far as to say I have a library- I wish, I wish, I wish I had the money or the space for a proper library of defiantly non-digital knowledge in printed form- but I do have a lot of books. A sufficient number, in any case, to occasionally wonder WTF some of them are doing on my book shelves and how they got there.
‘The Development of Psychic Powers’ is one of these books. Although I would buy it from a second-hand book shop, I know that I didn’t.
A sticker on the back reveals that it was originally bought from Magis Books in Loughborough (who are still in business) and I’ve definitely never been to Loughborough or to anywhere else in Leicestershire. The copy I have is the ninth (!) printing of a 1981 publication.
The content is fairly laughable and also surfing the fringes of the Trade Descriptions Act, since it’s not really about developing psychic powers. Most of the activities involve Zener cards, pendulums, dowsing and similar activities that might have given stoned teenage girls a giggle in their bedrooms during the late 70s or early 80s. We’re not talking about The Exorcist or any Scanners-type activity here.
The harmless, non-supernatural banality of it all makes it even funnier that a previous owner has gone through the book earnestly marking up paragraphs and key sentences as if the whole book was an absolutely mind-blowing revelation. Probably if you were stoned it would be, but on the other hand when somebody is stoned pretty much everything seems like a mind-blowing revelation to them: carpet, their own fingers, etc.
I do, however, really dig this cover. It’s a classic of bad photography. She looks like the photographer just let a tree branch whip back and whack her in the forehead while they were walking through the woods. She already thought the whole thing was a stupid idea. To me her expression is saying “You dick, don’t take pictures of me, help me. My vision is blurred. Am I bleeding?”
Or she’s having a Valley of the Dolls crisis and a photographer just randomly found her wandering in a daze through the forest with a handbag full of Quaaludes.
Furthermore, this photo has no apparent connection to the book’s subject, unless her pose is intended to communicate that she’s now got psychic powers popping uncontrollably out of her head and she’s a bit vexed about the whole thing. And if they were trying to sell their lame book with an unrelated image of an attractive woman… she’s not bad, but they could have done better.
On the plus side, having read this book I now have psychic powers and I’m exploding your head with my psychic powers.
A handy record sheet for your seances! Who hasn’t wished for one of those after a busy night in a darkened room? It’s so easy to forget your Energy arousal when you’re communicating with discarnate entities. There’s something a bit Dungeons & Dragons about this record sheet. Roll 10+ on 1d20 to avoid being possessed by the spirit of Oscar Wilde and compelled to make quips about sodomy for 1d6 hours.