Like his on-screen alter ego, The Mentalist star Simon Baker seems to also be a skeptic. Patrick Jane, the title character of CBS’ The Mentalist is a former John Edward-esque stage psychic who after suffering a crisis of conscience, has given up his con artist ways and now uses his keen stage mentalist talents to help solve homicide cases. And because he knows all too well how easily manipulated people are, Jane has made it clear on a number of occasions that he does not believe in psychics or gods. But as it turns out, the actor who portrays Jane, Simon Baker, also doesn’t believe in the supernatural…sort of.
“I believe in belief,” said Baker, the native Australian who has the lead role in The Mentalist, playing Patrick Jane.
“I believe in belief, in the sense that, whatever works for you,” Baker continued. “The idea of believing in something is really about focusing, concentrating energy toward something in a positive way, right? Is that what believing is?
“I believe that you can, through committing to something in your mind and your body, it can exist for you. Do you understand what I mean?”
Uh … sort of … I guess.
“I don’t,” Baker said.
He then took one more crack at summing up his views succinctly.
“I don’t believe in psychic powers,” Baker said. “But that’s not to say they don’t exist.”
Hmm, still clear as mud.
He’s very unclear but I think what he was trying to say was that as with, say, the Orson Welles War of the Worlds incident, believing can be seeing. In other words, if you believe in something strongly enough, you can delude yourself into seeing it.
Though it’s also possible that he’s saying something else entirely and is endorsing some wacky Deepak Chopra-like idea that believing in something can literally cause that belief to literally manifest in the world.
I really hope he meant the former and not the latter.