Consciousness to Consciousness: Telepathy

Telepathy is the parapsychological phenomenon of transference of thoughts, information, and ideas from one individual to another without the use of the five senses. The word telepathy comes from the Greek tele and patheia, meaning “distant” and “feeling,” respectively. F. W. H. Myers, a classical scholar, coined the term in 1882. He was also the founder of the Society for Psychical Research in the United Kingdom, which is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the study and research of paranormal or psychic phenomena in an unbiased way.

The transference or communication of thoughts in telepathy is said to happen through psi, or the “mind soul,” which facilitates paranormal cognition. Deductions from bodily gestures, body language, or physical observation do not count as telepathy. Telepathy is pure mind communication, unaided by our senses.

Types of Telepathy

Telepathy can be broadly classified under two categories: intentional and spontaneous communication. Intentional communication involves transference of thoughts by the sender through mind concentration in an effort to pass on the thoughts to the receiver, who may or may not be aware of this intent of the sender. Such communication can be more successfully carried out on hypnotized subjects. Spontaneous communication, on the other hand, refers to unintentional transfer of thoughts or ideas from one person's mind to another's. This includes intimation of illness, danger, or distress, despite physical distance and no sensory communication between the subjects.

Another common classification is precognitive, intuitive, and retrocognitive telepathy. Precognitive telepathy refers to instances where you, as a receiver, get information about the future of the subject. Similarly, intuitive and retrocognitive telepathy is the transfer of information to the receiver from the present and past of the subject.

Telepathy Versus Clairvoyance

There have been several debates surrounding how the parapsychological phenomena of telepathy and clairvoyance are different. Clairvoyance refers to the ability to see into the future or past and know what will happen to an object, individual, or at a particular place.

Though there is no consensus on how the two are different, the key distinction often cited is based on the source of the information. In the case of telepathy, the source of information is the mind of another person, while in clairvoyance it is a direct external intangible source. It is believed that a clairvoyant taps information from a spiritual realm or a larger consciousness.

Scientific Studies, Discussions, and Evidence

Like other forms of parapsychological phenomena, telepathy too has been the topic of many studies. Several experiments and research studies have been conducted to prove or disprove the existence of telepathy. Interestingly, supporters of telepathy not only come from believers in the paranormal, but also from the scientific community, which has researched the subject extensively.

One of the earliest studies conducted in the area was by John E. Coover, a psychologist from Stanford University, in 1912. He did a number of telepathic tests involving guessing playing cards, with results pointing toward the existence of telepathy. Starting in 1927, J. B. Rhine from Duke University conducted several ESP (extrasensory perception) tests, which included telepathic experiments following stricter protocols. Results of these experiments were published in his book, Extra-Sensory Perception.

Since then many other experiments and studies have been conducted in this field. The Ganzfeld experiment, devised by Wolfgang Metzger in the 1930s, is one of the most notable experiments that have established the existence of the phenomenon. This experiment has offered some of the strongest quantifiable results to date about telepathy.

As telepathy is an extrasensory phenomenon that transcends time and space, its explanation within our current understanding of physics and science may not be possible. However, researchers and physicists are trying to understand telepathy within the realm of science. Some recent efforts have also tried to link telepathy to quantum physics.

The proponents claim that our mind provides a platform for electrical and quantum impulses, which can be received by other minds. Recently, a group of Chinese researchers developed a primary model of how quantum telepathy would work. Their argument is based on the fact that if you bring consciousness into the picture, the premise of nonlocality in quantum theory can be challenged, and quantum superluminal communication will be possible.

Telepathy, Technology, and the Future

In the future, the concept of telepathy may see a convergence with technology. Scientists claim that cybernetics will enable a connection of two human minds using computers, and the future may see increased use of such technology for communication. This may not be telepathy in the purely psychic sense of the concept, but it would certainly see more and more application in the future.

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