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Tuesday, 11 September 2007 11:24

ESP: What do we need to do?

PEJ News - Richard Warpole - The word 'Extra' in Extra Sensory Perception was originally used because The Empiricists had decided that as far as science was concerned, there were only five senses. What they were saying was that if it can't be measured, it doesn't exist unless it was in the realm of God.

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However, even God's existence was being questioned, the possibility of something beyond our taste, touch, hearing, smell and sight, a crude belief system held by naked savages. The Age of Reason held sway, and if you didn't burden yourself with the conventional ideas you were beyond the Pale, couldn't cut the mustard, below the salt. You would be avoided, not invited to dinner any more, etc. etc. etc.

Today, a small but growing number of scientists at least allow the possibility of the existence of ESP. There has even been a bit of funding for experiments, particularly since the old Soviet Union had a well-funded research program going, to use ESP for military and diplomatic ends. Most of the results, apparently, were ambiguous, while other research was found difficult to apply.

Anecdotal info on ESP is fascinating. South African Laurens van der Post, an exquisite writer, talked the BBC in the early 1950s into funding his trip into the Kalahari Desert, complete with film crew, to make a documentary on the lives of the Bushmen. That documentary became a standard by which other work is now judged.

During the trip, in camp one day, one of the Bushmen told him that so-and-so was coming, from which direction, and how long it would take for him to get to the camp. Though van der Post took up station with his binoculars, it was several hours before he spotted the person wending his way through the bush. This ability, the Bushmen said, was not in the least unique.

Another recorded and verified set of stories come from Australia. Years ago, on isolated ranches where the only form of communication with the rest of the world was by ham radio, First Nations people working there would sometimes go to the rancher and tell him that so and so from his family was dying, and that the worker wanted to go to that person's side. The message had not come through the radio, and yet the worker knew details, and was invariably right.

There was an interesting study done a few years ago. Subjects were exposed to a series of 45 second segments. At a point randomly selected by computer, a noise was made. Subjects' brain reactions were measured, and researchers discovered something inexplicable: reactions started before the sound was made. No explanations were offered.

Animals apparently have some form of ESP. An anecdotal phenomenon was recorded in the nineteenth century, mainly in England, where dogs would start howling for no apparent reason. It was discovered later that the dogs reacted at the moment of death of their soldier-owners away on missions. If other animals besides us have the ESP capacity, then we should review what we think of it.

I've had two outstanding experiences of sensations beyond the five senses, involving animals. In the first, I was driving in Toronto when some small birds flew in front of me at bumper level, and very close. I had no time to brake or swerve, and felt a small whitish thing pass through my body. When I got home, I found the body of one of those birds on the bumper.

The second one was about a dog with whom I 'd lived years before. We'd been very close, reading each other's emotions and responding to them. Years after we'd gone our separate ways, I felt the same kind of experience as with the little bird, but this time with that sense of Gypsy's presence. Counting the years, it was about the time he would have gone. I found out much later that in fact he was dead, but could not confirm he had died when I felt him go.

There is another phenomenon which, if it is related to ESP, shows much promise of being analysed scientifically, and that of the ancient Japanese art of healing, Reiki. I include it because the practitioner can heal the patient at a distance. This is one thing that can be measured - at least in terms of brainwaves, and the intensity of the illness.

I'd like to propose a hypothesis: ESP is something that exists and is universal, though not present all the time everywhere.

However, we need to discover by what rules it operates before we go much farther.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 11 September 2007 11:24
 

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