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TELEPATHY Many claims have been made for telepathy

The power of one mind to communicate directly with another without the aid of the five senses. Scientific proof for the existence of such powers is, however, difficult to obtain.

Q I have heard people talk about ESP. What exactly does it stand for?

A ESP stands for extrasensory perception - that is, knowledge which is acquired by means other than through the five senses It is also sometimes referred to as psychic power or paranormal activity. The term ESP is generally held to cover three main phenomena said to occur without the intervention of the senses or any previous knowledge. These are: telepathy, or the awareness of the thoughts or feelings of another person, perhaps at some distance; clairvoyance, or the visualization of an object or event out of sight as it is or as it is happening; and precognition, the foreseeing of an event in some detail before it takes place. Another ability sometimes included under the heading is psychometry, orthe ability to draw information about a person from some Inanimate object connected with him, such as a watch or a ring

Q My friend and I spend a lot of time together and find we are frequently thinking the same things. Is this telepathy?

A It may just be that you have grown to think very like one another because you share so many everyday experiences and conversations. Sometimes we can anticipate how another person will react to a situation and even the words they will use because we know them so well. Real telepathy is very hard to test. If you are interested in performing some experiments you can get a special pack of cards which will help you.

Q I dreamt of a flood and a few days later there was one near where my parents live. Was this precognition?

A Many drearY'ls ~:c~ seem


coincidental If t ~a::: ::::?:?~ "S ~ heavily you may rs.:? ::::?:?~ :.C about the possibii·t ::" a " ::::::: anyway - hence yov:::":?a~~ ... ~st about all your dreams c" :? :?~~s which have never actua. ~s <:? place?

Just occasionally, you may have the strong feeling that someone you are close to emotionally is thinking about you, or that something has happened to him ­even though he is far away. You check, find it to be true and you wonder if it is an example of telepathy.

Sometimes, too, it happens that you are considering telephoning someone you haven't spoken to for a long time and just as you are about to dial the telephone i'ings with a call from that very person; or you have an unusual idea which the per~ son you are talking to expresses the moment before you. Of course, all these occurrences could be ascribed to chance. We all conveniently forget the many times we were wrong or when such coinci ~ dences did not take place.

Do we all have telepathic powers? There do seem to be some people with an extra sensitivity to what others are thinking and feeling at long distance and

Dr Carl Sargent of Cambridge University prepares a subject for telepathic testing. The machine produces 'white noise', thus obliterating all disturbing sounds.

who have come to rely on what they call their 'impressions', even if they cannot produce a rational explanation for what they have experienced.

Some believe that we all have such a power buried in us but that we have mainly lost the ability to use it because there has been little need for it in the kind of world we live in. They point out that young children generally rely more heavily on intuition and are more recep~ tive to moods and atmospheres than adults because it is often all the infor~ mation they have to go on. Later. whe,~ they begin to acquire rational explar:.­at ions for events and behaviour :hev :: so: confidence in these intuitiw ~y .• ,'o:~­which almost always". So :=-.7:' grow older,

D. D. Home (top), a well-known Scots medium, held seances for many distinguished Europeans. He was expelled from Rome for sorcery in 1864 but subsequently found scientific approval in Britain. A classic test once widely used by scientists to try and determine telepathic powers involves Zener cards (above). Each card is printed with a symbol, which a 'sender' attempts to transmit to a 'receiver'. In a more modern experiment, a sender draws a picture which a receiver tries to reproduce. A typical result is shown right: the drawing transmitted is on the left; that received is on the right.

Scientific testing

There have been many attempts to test the powers of telepathy scientifically. One method which has been widely used is called the Ganzfeld technique. The as­sumption behind these experiments is that a person is likely to be more receptive to telepathic communication if

distracting noises and visual stimuli can be excluded, leaving the subject's mind completely free to relax.

In a typical Ganzfeld experiment two people are used as subjects, one to 'send' messages and the other to 'receive' them. They are each placed in rooms some dis­tance apart with no means of communi-

cation between them. The 'receiver' has his eyes covered and through earphones hears 'white noise' - a soft, unobtrusive mixture of all sound frequencies. A red light in the room produces a pinkish background light; the area may also be surrounded by earthed wire mesh to keep out radio and television signals.

English twins Freda and Greta Chaplin cannot bear to be separated; the extent of their interdependence includes speaking the same words simultaneously. This trait astounds and baffles everyone with whom they come into contact. Unfortunately for science, no-one has yet been able to investigate their means of communication, which is possibly due to telepathy.

The 'sender', on the other hand, is not shielded in any way because it appears that the sending process is more suc­cessful when the sender is alert and re­acting normally. He might be given a series of connected words, for example, randomly selected to prevent the pos­sibility of fraud, and try to transmit thought 'pictures' based on the words. Al­ternatively, he might be given a number of pictures and try to convey what it is that he sees.

The receiver tries to pick up the thoughts or images from the sender and then records his description. They can

During his lifetime the famous Dutch psychic Gerard Croiset applied himself to helping the police of different countries in their investigations. Much of his work involved the search for missing persons.

then be compared by an independent judge to see if there are any similarities.

Of course, many scientists are sceptical about such experiments, however scrupu­lously they are carried out. Others are convinced that the large number of suc­cessful results, which they claim are statistically significant, show that tele­pathy does exist as a means of communi­cation. They believe it is an area which merits further research.

Clairvoyance and precognition Another faculty which, it is claimed, operates independently of the five senses or of any previous knowledge is clair­voyance. It is the ability to visualize something accurately that is happening out of sight, perhaps many thousands of miles away. A case that is often quoted is that of Emmanuel Swedenborg, the 18th­century Swedish philosopher and scientist. While in Gothenburg he saw in his mind and described a fire 300 miles away in Stockholm. News of the fire - which had broken out at the time he visualized

~ it - reached Gothenburg two days later.

E= A variety of tests has been devised to .g try to demonstrate scientifically the ~ existence of clairvoyance. In the 1930s a ~ special pack of cards was designed; these would be shuffled and placed face down­wards on a table without anyone seeing ~ them. The experimental subject would ~ then try to visualize the exact sequence.

An allied power is that of precognition, or foreknowledge of an event. It appears that this sometimes takes the form of a vivid dream or very clear mental picture of something taking place. It differs from an imaginative fantasy in its clarity. This is the most difficult power to test unless the person writes or records a description of the event in the presence of an indepen­dent witness.


Many identical twill"; ar" ,,:-

often seem to be able c ~: ~'.:-­without language. Where: because they have the S2~' . .c make-up or whether they are :r. communicating through telepad'"c ~' . .c.c~ not at all clear. Certainly a r .. -=.~:' strange things have occurred t': :'. twins which to some people see~. ~. than just coincidence.

For example, there is the case .: :. 60-year-old brothers, one in Eng-I8.~.::: : one in Australia, who each damage:: :: . .c Achilles tendon in the same we~: .~.-:. ~ perhaps strangest of all, anew ly r:'. ~.::'. c : identical twin living in London v;}-.: '_.' denly developed an agonizing pai:-.r - , side. His wife was contemplating CO":

an ambulance when a friend tele:J::". > : to say the twin brother in Wales h8.G_ -' been rushed to hospital for an emer",er. appendix operation. The London t·.' pain then vanished.

Recent studies in America of ider.::. twins who were separated at bi,,::". shortly after have thrown up so ;::C.r" coincidences that even the normally S~'-=~' tical have wondered whether there '."­not some other factor at work.

One outstanding example is the . :'.e· can pair of twins, both called James. '.':::".' were separated at the age of five ee,> They had each married a girl ca: . .c::' Linda, divorced her and married so;::e:~ . .c called Betty. They had each called :::...-= first son by the same name, had "5~',,~. their boyhood dog the same name. c. .. dayed very close to each other as ad·-=..:' had had similar jobs and the same eE.::r.z and drinking habits, the same iE:-;e~sc' and mannerisms. And when the' ~' . .c­after so many years apart. they ye,'e 8. - . .c to finish each other's sentences. s'~ c were their ways of thinking.

Taken from The Marshall Cavendish A to Z GUIDE IN WEEKLY PARTS, DOCTOR’S ANSWERS: PART 85, TELEPATHY, Page 2337 to 2339.

(Sorry. Due to the urgency of education on this site, spelling will be corrected at a later stage….All photos in the script have been left out)

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