Sometimes it’s simply better to not know

Is ignorance really bliss?

Over the years, many people have told me yes, it is. For the longest time, I disagreed. I was always taught to believe that the truth was more important.

To me, the thought that ignorance is bliss seemed ignorant in itself.

That all changed for me on May 13, 2008.

On a whim, I decided to see a psychic. I was lacking direction in my life and a friend had recommended the individual, so I figured it couldn’t hurt.

I had been to psychics before and the routine was always the same.

First, it would begin with a prayer, mantra or meditation. A mystic ritual would follow, and then I would ask whatever questions I wanted within the time allowed.

Every time I went, I made sure not to reveal too much about my personal background to test the psychic’s validity. After all, I’m a skeptic at heart.

The things they said were always fairly convoluted and extremely subjective. At times, their predictions were way off. So, I always took it lightly.

As an example, two friends and I once went to a woman who told each of us separately that we were going to go to New York City for various reasons. None of us ever made it to the Big Apple.

This time was different, though. In the 20-minute session, the man explained things about me, my friends and my family that a total stranger could not have known. Afterward, he went on to explain aspects of my future.

It was rather eerie — yet inspiring.

He predicted that I would have a major change in my job within four weeks. Three weeks later, my office moved from Crystal Beach to Oldsmar.

Another prediction was about my financial situation in August. The psychic explained that I would be coming into a lot of money, but a lot would be going out.

I started my first full semester at USF in August with the help of student loans and my mom’s wallet. So, logically, my income increased drastically with federal aid, while tuition and living expenses ate away at my newfound income.

A third prediction was about my love life. The psychic explained that my girlfriend and I would split up by Halloween and that I would initiate the breakup.

In the final weeks of August, I was overwhelmed with the thought of Halloween’s approach. I finally confessed the ominous prediction to my girlfriend, which weighed heavily on both of us throughout September. Ultimately, I felt compelled to end the relationship in October since the relationship was becoming consuming.

The psychic had no information about my job, financial situation or schooling, and no way of knowing that I was in a relationship.

Later in the reading, he went so far as to explain the grotesque circumstances surrounding my death and specify at what age I will die. On a brighter note, he also explained that I will meet my soul mate — if such a thing exists — in June 2009.

He went so far as to reveal her eye color, hair color, astrological sign, hobbies and whether we knew each other already. The details of the soul mate prediction, compared to the other three predictions, leave a lot for the psychic to get right — or wrong. I suppose his validity will truly reveal itself this summer.

I am still torn. The things the psychic shared with me were very compelling. It seems possible that much of what he said was lucky guesswork and that all of the borne-out predictions are mere coincidence. However, the odds of such a series of coincidences do not seem plausible to me.

Is this the power of suggestion, self-fulfilling prophecy, coincidence or the true workings of a psychic?

I may never know.

I went into this experience wanting to know what lies ahead. In this case, my curiosity and quest for knowledge got the better of me.

Do we really want to know the future? Maybe it’s better to be unaware, living each day as it comes.

The desire to probe the unknown and try to see the future is inherent in humans. Sports fans do it with playoff bets. Forecasters do it with the weather. Chances are, someone reading this may want to know his or her own future at this very moment.

If you do, my advice is this: Sometimes ignorance is bliss.

Jeremy Castanza is a senior majoring in economics.