Phenomenon of Extrasensory Perception (ESP)

Phenomenon of Extrasensory PerceptionThis phenomenon means perception without the use of the five senses and is usually abbreviated to ESP. The principal manifestations as recognized by science are as follows:

1. Mental Telepathy or thought transference from one person to another (or others) – that passage of thought being the only means of communication. Scientific studies show that distance is not nearly as important as the sensitivity of the telepathists.

2. Clairvoyance – as far as science is concerned means being able to see through matter, for example seeing with “X-ray eyes” what is inside a package.

3. Precognition – being able to foretell the future – to predict an event or experience before it actually happens.

4. Psychokinesis – to effect a material change in an object or energy system by thought. An example would be in throwing dice and “wishing” the correct number to appear. Psychokinesis (PK) has the least support and is yet to be considered scientifically valid.

Far more has been accomplished in these areas by foreign scientists than by their American counterparts. Read “Psychic Discoveries Behind the Iron Curtain” by Sheila Ostrander and Lynn Schroeder.”

While PK has the lease scientific support, mental telepathy has, by far, the most. Dr. J. B. Rhine of Duke University, who toiled for many years in the investigation of telepathy and ESP, is probably more responsible for this acceptance than any other man.

This does not mean that psychology, in total, accepts ESP generally or telepathy in particular. There are disagreements within the ranks mainly because so many claims of ESP have proven false when put to the rigid test of science.

However, in Russia, according to the authors of “Psychic Discoveries Behind the Iron Curtain,” extensive research has been done and data accumulated to convince the most cynical observer of ESP’s validity.

It is obvious that the so-called “Iron Curtain” countries are advanced over the western world in this endeavor. Here, the various branches of science cannot agree as to the truth of any branch of ESP and much more research will be required.

It is highly desirable for students to
keep an open mind in this area.

There have been remarkable demonstrations indicating that man possesses mental capabilities he has yet to recognize or even accept.

What is sorely needed is more research and methods of a more sophisticated nature in the future scientific investigation. Statisticians are inclined to display “majority” failures and neglect the isolated or “unusual” exception.

In some support of ESP, it has been said that “sensitive subjects in the Rhine laboratory appear to be equally successful at clairvoyance and telepathy, but the English subjects appear to be good at telepathy and not at clairvoyance.” This is from “Introduction to Psychology” from research data compiled by Seal and Bateman, 1954. The authors point out with these differences the “lack of systematic consistency in the phenomenon.” This does not deny ESP but simply points out the failure by science to agree on methodologies or new techniques for more penetrating investigations.

The professional hypnotist is more or less left on his own when it comes to ESP and should use his common sense and whatever sound scientific knowledge is available before making either any rash commitment or harsh unyielding denials. As the authors of Introduction to Psychology comment “There are many reasons for reserving judgment on these phenomena, but a prime condemnation of the experiments is unjustified. The experiments raise interesting issues about the criteria by which scientific credibility is established.”

It must be remembered that scientific findings are constantly being revised, enhanced, broadened and enlarged upon. Furthermore, scientific investigations of a special interest will inevitably spawn discoveries in either allied subjects, or lead to additional and valuable new facets of understanding.

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