“I was just thinking about you and you called!” How often does this happen in our lives? This is what we call telepathy, very randomly without actually acknowledging the vast concept of the psychic powers that exist. No, presuming that you have paranormal powers because of this Synchronicity is not how it usually works like. This is why the concept of Psychic powers has been used very randomly without plunging into the deeper science of this subject.
Psychology as you all know brings up this rush of excitement in our minds because quite obviously like we’re not completely aware of ourselves, neither is the brain and hence always attempts to know more about it. A person possessing psychic powers as most theoretically explained is a one who professes an ability to perceive information hidden from the normal senses through extrasensory perception (ESP). It is also used to describe theatrical performers who use techniques such as prestidigitation, cold reading, and hot reading to produce the appearance of such abilities.
Prestidigition in simpler terms is your run of the mill stage magic which conjurers use to trick or deceive the audience through illusion. Cold reading enues a set of techniques used by mentalists to imply that there is much more of the other persons information that the psychic has in store than he normally would. This is a form of trickery where without prior knowledge the psychic can obtain a great deal of information by analyzing the persons body language, religion, age, gender, level of education and other such aspects. It revolves around high probability guesses largely based on an interesting phenomenon called the Forer effect.
Hot reading is basically working very much in conjunction with cold reading except it involves actually extracting information about the client beforehand through sources unbeknownst to the person and supplying them data, where the client is completely taken aback at the marvel that the psychic is. So the next time you tell a random stranger what you ate last night before an appointment at the psychic, think twice.
Moving on to the list of psychic powers we come to our classic, “Wingardium Leviosa”. To the audience who has been acquainted with the magical world of Harry Potter will know that the above used phrase is an example of Telekinesis. This psychic power has been used in a lot of entertainment media like The X-Men, The Marvel and DC universes and several TV series such as The Tomorrow People and the most recent and critically acclaimed Stranger Things. Telekinesis, is an alleged psychic ability allowing a person to influence a physical system without physical interaction. A quality most people yearn to possess, since no one wishes to get off their couch in the middle of a Netflix episode to get some water.
Another topic closely following this one is Psychokinesis or PK. Magicians have successfully simulated some of the specialized abilities of psychokinesis, such as object movement, spoon bending, levitation and teleportation. And one of the biggest connoisseurs in this field is Uri Geller.
URI GELLER is an Israeli illusionist and self proclaimed psychic. Geller has claimed his feats are the result of paranormal power that has a probable extraterrestrial connection.
In February 2008, Geller stated in the TV show ”The Next Uri Geller” that he did not have any supernatural powers, before winking to the camera.
A study was commissioned by the United States Defense Intelligence Agency as part of the Stargate Project and conducted during August 1973 at Stanford Research Institute by parapsychologists Harold E. Puthoff and Russell Targ where Geller was isolated and asked to reproduce simple drawings prepared in another room. The experimenters concluded that Geller had “demonstrated his paranormal perceptual ability in a convincing and unambiguous manner”. Writing about the same study in a 1974 article published in the journal Nature, they concluded that he had performed successfully enough to warrant further serious study, coining the term “Geller effect” to refer to the particular type of abilities they felt had been demonstrated.
More phenomena which are examples of PK are Apports – The alleged paranormal transference of an article from one place to another, or an appearance of an article from an unknown source, Levitation – the rising of a human body and other objects into the air by mystical means or meditation, largely known to be influenced by spiritual activity, Psychic healing – a branch of alternative medicine based on a belief that healers can channel healing energy into a patient and effect positive results using several methods where the patient and healer are in different locations and Thotography – the claimed ability to “burn” images from one’s mind onto surfaces such as photographic film by psychic means which is closely related to neologism used in the horror film The Ring. Thotography basically means to sketch thoughts on paper (in the form of negatives) exactly like how light is sketched on paper as photographs.
All of these Psychic Powers are actually termed as Pseudoscience since all these paranormal and unusual theories are not certified or approved by science.
The ideas of psychokinesis and telekinesis violate several well-established laws of physics, including the inverse square law, the second law of thermodynamics, and the conservation of momentum because of this, scientists have demanded a high standard of evidence for PK.
Physists who have investigated parapsychological claims, have written that an unknown fifth force causing psychokinesis would have to transmit a great deal of energy. Renowned physicist John Taylor states, “The energy would have to overcome the electromagnetic forces binding the atoms together, because the atoms would need to respond more strongly to the fifth force than to electric forces. Such an additional force between atoms should therefore exist all the time and not during only alleged paranormal occurrences.”
I’d like to quaint you all with a popular analogy from the Bible where animal terminology is used. The shepherd sorting through his flock to separate sheep – representing those nations that believe in God and those who do not, as goats. Hence here, we divide the population into those who believe Psychic powers exist and those who don’t into sheep and goats respectively.
A 1998 survey of 1000 adults in the UK showed that one-third believed in fortune telling, half believed in telepathy, and a whopping two-thirds agreed with the statement that some people have powers that science cannot explain.
Psyche means of the mind, body and soul hence gives considerable powers to each and every individual to be as gullible or as staunch in being a sheep or a goat.
Let’s give some scientific base to the existence or non existence of Psychic Powers.
Study after study suggested that ‘sheep’ saw paranormal events where there were none, simply because they were worse at judging probabilities and randomness. It turns out that the kind of thinking involved in belief in the paranormal helps us carry out a range of important cognitive tasks, from spotting predators to recognising familiar faces. Sheep also tend to be more imaginative and more creative. Some psychologists even think that people who believe they have paranormal powers such as telepathy, dreams that foretell the future, or other forms of extrasensory perception (ESP) might actually be accessing information stored in their subconscious without realising it.
The talents of these sheep include the ability to perceive meaningful patterns. Pareidolia is one such example where people claim to see images of the Virgin Mary and it is auditory as well, where, by detecting electronic voice phenomena (EVP) supposed messages from the dead are recorded.
The tendency to spot these patterns in life states the relative dominance of the right brain over the left. The people who believe in psychic powers and are inclined to supporting their mysterious existence have the creative side of their brain more effervescent and hence are skilled at making connections between disparate concepts, as stated by Brugger in a study conducted in 2000.
All said and done, Psychic powers have been seen and known to exist among mankind since time immemorial even though they consist no scientific support as such. The topic is as controversial as it is interesting, since undiscovered treasure always attracts more attention. But anyone of you out there, thinking and wondering if you’re probably the lucky one to possess any, I’m putting a fact out there –
The James Randi Educational Foundation offered the One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge to any accepted candidate who managed to produce a paranormal event in a controlled, mutually agreed upon experiment leading to eventually prove psychic powers.