Explorer Sir Hubert Wilkins once went on an Arctic expedition in which he co-operated with researcher Harold Sherman. Over 68 nights he would spend a little time trying to communicate the events of the day by thought to Sherman in New York. Records of the test show that Sherman wrote some incredibly accurate notes.
This was one of the most celebrated cases of telepathy, the believed ability to receive messages in the mind from another mind. A term coined by Frederic Myers in the 19th century, it is usually called extrasensory perception, or ESP, today; although the latter also takes in clairvoyance and precognition.
Classic examples of telepathy which most people have experienced include foreknowledge of someone about to phone you, or thinking about someone then seeing them. Sceptics deny this is telepathy, but merely coincidence.
J B Rhine began the first ‘scientific’ analysis of telepathy in the 1930s. Using packs of 25 cards with 5 sets of five symbols, subjects would try to guess which symbol another person had turned over. The number of guesses above chance suggested ESP.
By the 1970s, the Ganzfeld became popular, where a person is placed in sensory deprivation and asked to speak his thoughts whilst another person concentrates on sending images of a picture he is looking at. Evidence has been patchy.
Theories to explain telepathy have included the idea that messages are carried on radio-like waves, or are a product of pheromones, or airborne hormones. All such ideas have been discounted.
Others opt for more esoteric explanations, such as Carl Jung’s ‘collective unconscious’; a level of mind below the personal and arguably connecting minds together. Quantum mechanics allows spontaneous action, suggesting an answer may also exist here.
Click link, below, to return