Jul 20 2011

How Easy Is It To Read Minds or Control Others?

Clairvoyance is not another of many mind tricks, but is rather the ability to see that which is unseen, and is a more technical term than used by those who call themselves mind readers, or who otherwise claim to have the ability of mind reading. The word literally means “clear vision” and denotes the capacity to perceive or understand that which is not accessible to the “regular” senses. This could be  hidden object, an occluded fact, or various other potential realities; however, in popular usage, clairvoyance usually connotes such mind tricks as the ability to see into the interior lives of other people, pick up on their emotions and thoughts, or even gather insight into the person’s past or future. Rarely does it infer the use of mind control or to actually influence others through telepathic or extrasensory means.

Reading minds according to mind readers who claim the ability to do so is not as simple as listening in on a conversation. Thoughts and feelings may come to mind readers in a variety of ways, expressed symbolically, or as an intense emotion, or as a general feeling – not necessarily embodied in clear words and concepts. Some clairvoyants claim that everyone receives these messages, but that their particular gift is the ability to recognize and interpret them with clarity. Also, there is a hierarchy of information gathering that begins with gathering the hidden knowledge that subsides in the body:  movements, facial expressions, the cast of light in the countenance, and general body language. While skeptics claim that all mind tricks can be narrowed down to such interpretive skills, and that clairvoyance is merely a form of mind control for the gullible and the credulous, true clairvoyants accept these skills as the first stage of a deeper connection that culminates in reading the actual thoughts of others.

Thoughts themselves might be considered as the data in/data out that moves through the processing software of the mind, and should not be confused with the mind itself. We experience them as something akin to running streams of words – some half-rendered, others complete and rational, that come and go, often unbidden, sometimes carrying varying states of emotion or loaded with other associations. Thoughts seem to be directly connected to the physicality of the brain, the network of neurons that constantly fire, setting off millions of chemical processes, but they can also be of a spiritual nature interpenetrating the brain, causing the physical reactions. Reading another person’s thoughts may have something to do with the energy that connects all people. It stands to reason, therefore, that if those who have exercised their clairvoyant skills to mastery can pick up on thoughts, they might also be able to send their own telepathically can practice a sort of mind control over unsuspecting victims.

This is likely a vain concern. We process so many thoughts and feelings that it would take a massive amount of energy for any clairvoyant or sorcerer to direct so many thoughts into another person’s psyche so as to be able to control them, that the psychic would likely empty himself of his own identity, and therefore be incapable of actually controlling anyone. So the notion quickly becomes absurd.

Jun 15 2011

Telekinesis and Psychokinetic Powers

There are many mysteries implicit in the psyche of the human animal, unknown regions of the subconscious mind, and uncharted parts of the brain with innate functions yet to be exercised. Some people who practice a science of the mind claim to have the ability to perform what seem to be supernatural feats, but which ultimately have a rational explanation, even if it is beyond human reason.  The art of telekinesis, which is an aspect of psychokinesis, is the apparent ability to move objects (including oneself in the case of levitation) without using physical force, to exercise mind over matter by channeling energy from the mind, body, spirit and soul from the point of the body’s own centers of energy to influence the physical world around them.

Among these are those who claim to possess the power to bend spoons or read cards by merely manifesting the intent, and art or science of the mind that in a benchmark of parapsychological research.  Skeptics often allege that such feats are the product of sleight of hand, parlor tricks, and clever magic tricks that can be reproduced in a similar environment without controls, and definitely not an example of mind over matter. Believers, however, persist in their claim that the phenomena is real, that the subconscious mind retains innate powers that most people have merely failed to develop.

Such assertions are not the sole property of self-named psychics, paranormal celebrities, or even, indeed, magicians, but have an ancient root in many of the world’s religions. Some of the powers in that context include clairvoyance or telepathy, the ability to know the thoughts and intents of another person’s heart, communication with the dead, levitation, turning objects into living creatures or vice versa, and multitudes of other claims. In the Old Testament, Joseph interprets dreams and turns staffs into snakes. In the New Testament, Jesus is resurrected from death, and a later believer is baptized in one location and comes up out of the water in another, hundreds of kilometers away.

The science of the mind that can produce such feats as mind over matter, whether it arises from the subconscious mind or is a concerted effort of the mind, body and spirit, also is evidenced in numerous claims of healers, both in conventional religion and in animist or shamanic practices. Healers influence the physical aspect of the human body by casting out disease or miraculously generating new cells – in elaborate cases, bringing the dead to life. Modern practitioners sometimes refuse medical attention because they would see it as a denial of their faith in the power of the mind over matter and in God.

In any case, there is a connection between modern claims to psychokinesis, telekinesis and religious faith in the supernatural, although people in the latter category often critical and skeptical of the former. One might, however, consider the whole basis of spiritual life as a paranormal claim, the notion that there is more to existence than physical reality.

May 10 2011

Can You Read Your Lover’s Mind?

Contrary to popular belief, it may be possible that everyone has potential psychic abilities and the power to literally read each other’s mind. Hogwash? Maybe.

But the fact is there are ancient traditions in nearly every religion that are coming into clear focus in the ever-changing world of modern science, where it seems to be less clear from a genetic basis where one person end and the next begins. Sure, it seems clear to us as individual people, where the differences are noticeable, but genetic scientists would affirm that from the perspective of an alien visiting the planet earth from a genetic viewpoint there is only one human being, and the differences and variation in genetic disposition is really very minor to the point of irrelevance. Moreover, if this is the case, all human beings are essentially united; we all share the same essence and are therefore all a part of the same living, organic, system. Karl Jung built upon this idea when he theorized about a “collective unconscious” filled with archetypes and mythic configurations which are genetically transmitted and manifest themselves symbolically in our dream states.

This being the case, it isn’t a far jump to conclude that having psychic abilities is not only possible, but probable. Psychic abilities may even play a role in the experience of empathy, or the almost manic thrill of being in love, wherein many couples have claimed the ability to read each other’s minds, know how the other is feeling, and experience the beauty and thrill of existence through the subject of one’s love.

Such an idea is not unfamiliar to the world. Kundalini Yoga, for instance, uses its varied positions of Tantric sex, as a method for mutual communion and the awakening of the energy centers of the human body, which are thought to enhance psychic abilities as well.

Jan 19 2010

3 Psychic Cases That Can’t be Explained by Science

psychic powers

psychic powers

“There’s a 30 percent chance that it’s already raining,” proclaimed Karen Smith immediately preceding her professing her abilities for harnessing her ESP…N. Might I add that she was standing in the rain as she made her miraculous prediction? Ok, so maybe the movie ‘Mean Girls’ isn’t the best example of legitimate displays of psychic abilities. Heck, maybe the vast majority of people who claim to have psychic abilities don’t actually have them; but if some semblance of psychic powers didn’t exist at all, it would be awfully hard to justify all the hype surrounding them throughout several decades, and even centuries. In fact, even though it is unarguably difficult (if not impossible) to scientifically prove the existence of ESP, it has been said that the main reason it cannot be disproven, in the absence of overwhelming evidence for either argument, is simply because of the widespread belief in their existence.

Beyond simple claims and speculations, there are a few standout cases that seem just a little too real for the majority of people to argue against. Scientists and researchers have tried to prove and disprove these cases, but as it stands, there has been no concrete prognosis either way. Like a 7-year-old’s belief in Santa, sometimes it’s better to just leave it up to the imagination. So, without further ado, here are 3 psychic cases science just can’t explain.

1. Animal Psychic Abilities

Animal pyschic

What? No, your dog probably can’t tell you what your next big career move will be (if he does, send Rover my way). But some dogs might be able to tell you when the grim reaper has come knocking on a loved one’s door. Think that’s just as creepy? Yeah, you have a point. But in the true spirit of the phrase “truth is stranger than fiction,” there have been several reported cases of dogs hysterically barking and howling at the exact moment of death of a loved one. And they don’t have to be in the same room either. As Ann Lidel, owner of an intuitive Newfoundland, explains, her mother was in the hospital ill when her dog, at home with her at the time, started to howl in a tone she had never heard before.

Ann must’ve been as intuitive as her clairvoyant companion, because she immediately understood that her dog was howling to signal the death of her mother. She called the hospital, which confirmed her suspicions. Her mother had died the exact minute her dog began to howl.

This is just one of many cases in which a dog has gotten its non-existent panties in a wad over the death of a human. Even stranger are the animals who seem to seek out death like a 15 year old football player seeks out a freshman cheerleader before the homecoming dance.

The most solid example of this a seemingly morbid (emo, if you will) cat named Oscar. This particular pet psychic lives in a nursing home and has a sick sense for when residents are nearing their final hour. Just before the death of any given person, Oscar hops up on their bed for one last cuddle. So considerate of him to keep them warm in their last minutes on earth. Oscar’s sense has proven to be so accurate, that the employees of the nursing home have given up on questioning it and learned to trust it, even going so far as to call for the family members of any patient who receives this notorious visit from Oscar. While some have argued that it could be possible for cats’ fine-tuned sense of smell to allow them to identify a very subtle change in metabolism right before a human’s death, this has yet to be proven. This leaves the psychic abilities of emo cat and distressed dogs’ holding strong at their status of “unexplainable by science.”

2. Telepathy

Used by superheroes and desired by desperate college exam-takers, telepathy (or “biocommunication,” as the Russians like to call it) is another subject of much scientific research. Dating back to the 19th century, it still has yet to be disproven, or even clearly defined; making it strikingly similar to the mystery surrounding disappearing socks in the wash cycle. Many attempts to explain this phenomenon have claimed that it is simply a way of combining multiple sensory clues to form a vision or thought. Ah, but it couldn’t be this easy. Several cases have put this theory to rest by displaying a transfer of thoughts across long distances (which more appropriately fit the word “telepathic,” as it literally means “affected by distance).

3. Psychic Twins

No, they have not been featured in a Budweiser ad yet…at least we don’t think so. Of all psychic phenomena, it would be safe to say that individual accounts of psychic abilities between twins are among the most highly documented. Beyond the recently famous psychic twins Terry and Linda Jamison (they were on the Tyra show, they have to be legit!), records of uncanny connections of twins have become so common, they’ve almost crossed the line from supernatural, to just-plain-natural. From stories of twins being adopted at birth by different parents, living completely separate lives, and later reconnecting to discover that they had the same hobbies, same career, and both married men with the same name; to stories of one twin experiencing severe cramping at the very moment the other twin went into labor (sounds like an unfortunate twist on sympathy pains).

With all of the documented cases out there, this phenomenon might be closest to being scientifically proven, as there have been a few studies in which twins were separated and one was exposed to different distressing stimuli, resulting in a definite reaction of distress to the isolated twin who wasn’t exposed. That being said, there have not been results statistically significant enough to prove these theories for sure. And so the story goes, psychic abilities of twins are placed back on the “unproven” list. But really, is there any other place to be?

So now it seems that we’ve talked about a lot and proven nothing…wait, is this a political debate? But really, what is life without the great sport of debate, and emo cats, telepathics and psychics?