What is extrasensory perception (ESP)
Extrasensory perception (or ESP) is the ability to
acquire information through non-ordinary sensory channels. Sometimes it is
referred to as "gut instinct," "intuition," a vague "knowing," the kind of ESP
one is able to do is often a reflection of need (i.e. what's important to you).
Thus, soldiers, firefighters, and police officers may develop psychic abilities
as adults to help them survive. Often considered (perhaps wrongly) the
"receptive" side of psi, it includes such things as:
TELEPATHY: the mind-to-mind transmission of information.
this is where a psychic medium directly acquires mind-to-mind
information from a non-human (or non-living) source, whether a discarnate spirit,
extraterrestrial being, or other form of intelligence such as a dolphin.
literally "seeing" a distant place, which now days may involve remote
viewing (a set of techniques for acquiring that information).
- CLAIRAUDIENCE: literally "hearing" ESP information, i.e. it comes as sound.
- CLAIRSENTIENCE: "feeling" ESP information in the body.
- OUT-OF-BODY EXPERIENCES (OBEs): often considered "astral" travel, it is the
experience of your consciousness being at a different location than your
- PRECOGNITION: which can involve "seeing" or other wise "knowing" the future, often
this may involve dreams.
- PSYCHOMETRY: being able to sense information that appears to be somehow stored on
objects (or sometimes locations as "place memory").
- RETROCOGNITION: viewing past places and events, very handy for archeologists and
ESP appears to be a
universal, if often weak, ability. Some factors seem to promote it, such as
feelings of close emotional connection to another person, place or thing.
Altered states of consciousness, such as hypnosis, meditation and dreaming,
also appear to enhance ESP.
There have been a number
of studies on ESP over the years, starting with the classic ones of guessing
which symbol is on a card (known as Zenar cards or ESP cards) as shown in
the image above. Since many psychics state it is hard for them to "get"
numbers or "read" things with ESP, such images and photographs have been
more commonly used as targets. In recent years, static photographs have
often been replaced with videotape images. Many feel that if such pictures
carry an emotional impact (such as a war image) they many be easier to
Altered states of
consciousness have been used to enhance psychic abilities for millennia. In
ancient times, people often went to special shrines or locations to have
prophetic dreams. The dream state, and those on the edges of sleep, are
still considered to be very psi-conducive (i.e. they make it easier to get
psychic information). Meditation and hypnosis have also been noted to be
good states for getting ESP. One form of altered state that has been used a
lot in the laboratory in controlled situations is that of sensory
deprivation in Ganzfeld experiments. Basically these studies involve
placing a participant in a comfortable position (often lying down) with ping
pong ball halves placed like goggles over their eyes (with colored light -
often red - shining into them) and white noise piped in through headphones.
The idea is to create very even, but unpatterned, sensory stimulation. This
technique seems to facilitate successful ESP.
One of the more
intriguing experiments on precognition has involved monitoring participant
electrodermal activity (also known by the older term of Galvanic Skin
Responses, or GSR), such as is used in polygraph (lie detector) testing.
What Dean Radin, Dick Bierman, and other experimenters have found, is that
when you show an audience a slideshow of photos, some pleasant and others
upsetting, people will respond to the unpleasant ones a moment BEFORE the
images appear on the screen. This suggests that on some level they knew what
was coming -- in essence, precognition.
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