Esp Essay, Research Paper
Appearing on television bending silverware and moving objects without physical contact, Uri Geller claims to have telekinetic powers. Mr. Geller, unlike most, is very open with these powers making Geller a common name in the quest for telekinetic knowledge. In tribute to Geller s powers, Nintendo recently came up with a new Pokemon trading card by the name of Kadabra in the United States. This Pokemon has the power to wield spoons and give headaches to his enemies, both of which Geller claims to be able to do. In Japan, this Pokemon is also knows as Un-Geller , and when translated to English, means Evil Geller . Uri Geller claims this is the misuse of his name because he only uses his powers in good use, not to fight his enemies. Angered by Un-Geller , Uri Geller is planning on suing three different Nintendo companies for up to 100 million dollars, or at least giving them some bad headaches ( Not the Good Silverware! Psychics Get Bent Out of Shape , 1). As one can tell from this story, most people don t take it seriously when somebody openly claims to have ESP. Two-thirds of the American population are skeptic of such ESP powers and only one in five Europeans actually do believe that ESP isn t just some huge hoax (Stop Making Sense, 2). Although most disagree, ESP is actually a big, although controversial, part of some people s lives and should probably be taken seriously. There are three major categories of extra sensory perception: clairvoyance, telepathy, and telekinesis, or psychokinesis. More people should be knowledgeable of these three techniques because they can be very significant skills that a skeptic may even be able to learn and use in his/her every day life.
The first major division of ESP is telekinesis, also known as psychokinesis, also known as PK. Psychokinesis comes from the Greek words psyche and kinein. Psyche means breath, life, or soul and kinein means to move ( Schmeilder, 1-2). Using that definition, one can see that telekinesis is the capability to move objects not with physical contact, but with the mind willing and influencing the object to move, or reshaping objects using the mind s energies ( Telekinesis , 1-3). There are two types of PK: macro-PK, and micro-PK. Macro-PK is observable events, such as lifting an object without touching it. Micro-PK are the subtle effects that the naked eye cannot observe, like subtly changing the temperature of a room (Schmeilder, 1-2). Telekinesis can happen either deliberately, by concentrating and eventually moving an object, or spontaneously. When telekinetic powers happen inadvertently, some people often confuse this as done by poltergeists or other ghosts. In the Middle Ages, they even thought the devil was the cause (Schmeilder, 1-2). The frequent happenings that occur during seances are levitations, miraculous healings, luminosities, apports, dematerializations, materializations, table tipping, raps, and appearances of ectoplasm and pseudopods, and are caused by telekinetic powers spontaneously (Schmeilder, 1-2). Many people try to use telekinetic powers to move objects at home and may get frustrated because it s not working (Telekinesis 1-3), but, some believe that everyone has the power to use this endowment, and practice makes perfect ( Koda on Telekinesis 1-3). Here are some tips that may account for why telekinesis is not working:
1.) Stress can either stop telekinesis because one s not completely focused on the task at hand, or help telekinesis because of all the harnessed anger building up.
2.) Telekinesis may not work because there is really no need to drag a pencil across one s bedroom floor.
3.) One may not be completely relaxed, but ought to be.
4.) One is supposed to have telekinesis experience naturally.
5.) One should try having fun with telekinesis and not get frustrated when it doesn t work.
6.) One may be self conscious staring at a piece of paper trying to concentrate on it so long, but such distractions may make it hard to concentrate on moving the object ( Telekinesis 1-3).
Although many people want everyone to believe in telekinesis, it is hard to believe and actually try it out for oneself when there is no evidence that is actually possible. A lot of research is being done to try to find out if telekinesis really is a skill that one can put to use. At the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research laboratory, many experiments are taking place. One experiment is an electric diode produce at random equal numbers of positive and negative pulses. The machine counts the pulses and how often the pulses alternate from positive to negative. A volunteer concentrates on changing the pulses that match the pattern. 1 in 1000 people were successful, the probability was only 1 in 5000. This test shows some evidence that the mind may influence some things (Begley 2). After tapping into the database of a Las Vegas casino, students is Las Vegas found that 4 out of 5 jackpot winnings occurred on a night of a full moon. Nights with full moons are said to be nights when psychic powers soar (Begley 2). Some say that magnetic fields surround every object on earth, and a force acting with these magnetic fields are what makes the objects move at the will of a person (Koda on Telekinesis, 1-3). Skeptics say that there is no such field, and that there are four fundamental forces: gravity, electromagnetism, weak and strong nuclear forces, and none of these forces account for the force used in ESP ( Science and the Paranormal 57). As one can see, there is still question to whether telekinesis exists or it doesn t. The people who think it does exist are stong in their beliefs, but so are the skeptics.
Telepathy, another area of ESP, is when a sender concentrates and sends a message in thoughts to another recipient who is concentrating on receiving the message ( Telepathy and Telekinesis 1). Some believe that if everyone tries hard enough to harness these skills as much as some people do, it will be a way for everyone to communicate no matter if they re blind or deaf or no matter how far away they may be ( Telepathy and Telekinesis 1). According to Lorrin Harvey, there is a link between artists, musicians, actors, and dancers, and telepathy. Many laboratories test people by having the receiver recline back in a chair with half ping pong balls strapped to their eyes listening to white noise on a headset. In another far away room, the sender concentrates on an image chosen at random by a computer. This session lasts for about thirty minutes, but at the end of half an hour, the receiver explains to the experimenter exactly the images that he or she is thinking of. The computer chooses three other images at random and mixes in the chosen image that the sender concentrated on. The receiver then chooses the image out of the four that best depicts the images that were going through his or her head. The probability of someone choosing the correct image would be 25%. But, when music students were put to the test, 6 out of 8 students selected the right image and 4 out of 10 drama students picked the correct figure. This shows a drastic bond between artistic people and mental telepathy (Harvey 1). A higher number of people who pray say they have experienced some sort of mental telepathy than people who don t pray. This is most likely because they have had experience for a long time communicating mentally between themselves and the higher being that they believe in (MacDonald 1). Along with artists and people who pray more often, people who report having had telepathic occurrences also have other similarities between them. More women seem to report happenings over men, and simply because it s a different generation, younger people seem to be more in touch with ESP and report more incidents than people from former generations (MacDonald 1). People with higher education levels, resulting in more open minds, seem to have more experiences with ESP, as well. Along with that, they are poor at assessing probabilities, more willing to identify meaningless shapes as meaningful, and are less dominated by the left hemisphere of their brains ( Stop Making Sense 2). Many people claim to have ESP, but there is no real way of knowing whether someone is telling the truth, or if he/she is just lying to make himself/herself a celebrity. Even children like to tell their friends they have extra sensory perception by playing games such as these three:
1.) This game takes two people. Person #1 will step out of the room while person #2 will have the rest of the group choose one person out of the group. Person #1 will walk back into the room and automatically pick the chosen person. This works because person #2 will try to sit exactly like and mimic the chosen person. Person #1 will look for the person who is sitting exactly like person #2.
2.) This game also takes two people. As before, person #1 will step out of the room while person #2 helps the group pick out any object in the room. Person #1 comes back in the room. Person #2 will ask person #1 if it is many different objects in the room, and person #1 will answer no to every object it s not, and yes to the object it is. Person #2 will ask person #1 if it is a white object, he will say no, and person #1 will know it s the next object.
3.) This game takes two people. Person #1 will leave the room. Person #2 and the group choose a number. Person #1 will come back into the room and put his hands on person #2 s head like he is reading his thoughts. Person #2 will clench his jaw as many times as the number and person #1 will know the number. (Highlights for Children, 1-2)
Just like children, adults will try to cheat researchers to believe that they have ESP to make headlines. Like Carl Sagan said, Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence . There is no evidence that the data that researchers come up with haven t been set up by some sneaky person pretending to be psychic (Begley 1). Although people are skeptical of person to person mental communication, there is now software for computers that react to a person s thoughts. This software is called MindDrive and includes a remote control looking device, a fingertip skin sensor, and DOS software program. The fingertip measures the skin s temperature, heart rate, and electrical impulses reading them as commands. There are combinations of 80 different skin responses that almost make this computer read one s mind (Smith 1). The US government is funding research that makes planes that respond to a pilot s brainwaves. Although they are close to having this technology, it will take decades before it is put to use. The government will also be using this technology for quadriplegics to control their electrical wheelchairs and for amputees to control their artificial limbs (Smith 2). Even though some don t believe in telepathy from person to person, the idea of telepathy has helped people come up with new useful technology. We may never know if telepathy is really possible, but the concept of it may help up in the future.
The third major section of ESP is experiencing people, events, or happenings using senses beyond our normal five, or clairvoyance. Sometimes being called the sixth sense or seeing with the third eye, clairvoyance gets across its ideas by seeing images, colors, and animated scenes (Crystal 1). Sometimes, clairvoyance can also mean the seeing of discarnate spirits (Shepard 168). There are three classes that relate to clairvoyance; retrognition, premonition, and present events. If someone sees events that happened to someone else sometime in the past, it is called retrognition clairvoyance. Seeing events that will eventually take place in the future is called premonition clairvoyance. Then, there is the clairvoyance of happening incidents where something is going on far away from someone, and somehow, without using the normal five senses, one is aware of the occurrence taking place (Shepard 167). Clairvoyance can come to someone in his/her conscious mind out of nowhere, but more often than not, people have clairvoyant experiences when they are dreaming or under a trance ( Science and the Paranormal 12). Using a crystal ball or putting someone under a trance can induce clairvoyance by suggestion, but clairvoyance can happen spontaneously without any warning as well (Shepard 168). According to the Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology, there are four subdivisions of clairvoyance: X-ray clairvoyance, medical clairvoyance, travelling clairvoyance, and platform clairvoyance. X-ray clairvoyance is the ability to see into closed packages like letters, or boxes, or even rooms. Many people claim to be able to read letters or know what letters are about even before they re opened. This may have something to do with knowing whom the letter s from, knowing that you could maybe guess what the letter s about. Another type of clairvoyance is medical clairvoyance. This subcategory is when a doctor, or just anybody, can see into someone s body and diagnose whatever illness he/she may have without any previous knowledge of symptoms or anything of that sort. The subsection travelling clairvoyance is a more common type of clairvoyance that most say they have witnessed or even experienced themselves. Travelling is when one travels mentally to a distant place and witness a scene taking place that one has never seen before and had no way of ever seeing with normal senses. The final section is called platform clairvoyance and is probably not often associated with what people normally believe to be clairvoyance. This type of clairvoyance is the seeing of spirits (Shepard 168). Some say the third eye is responsible for people being able to practice the above types of clairvoyance (Crystal 1). According to Ellie Crystal, this third eye they are speaking of is a real gland that does exist inside of your brain called the pineal gland. The pineal gland is located towards the back of the brain almost center inside of the head. Originally, this gland was made the size of a ping pong ball due to it s frequent use. Since we no longer use the pineal gland as much as we used to, the gland shrunk and is now only the size of a pea. Being round with an opening on one portion with a lens for focusing light and being hollow with color receptors inside, this gland got its nickname because it really does resemble an eyeball. All the understanding and geometries of the beginning of reality are held inside of the pineal gland. Right after the creation of time, we supposedly lost our memories and forgot how to access this part of our brain which is why we don t know all the geometries and understandings of life. Also, after losing our memories, we forgot how we used to breathe and began a new breathing technique. After we started breathing through our nose and mouth and not through our pineal gland, we stopped using the pineal gland as much and it became weak and unable to use after a while. Some are still able to access those memories and still use clairvoyance as a result, but most people have just forgotten that this way of communication ever existed, if it ever did (Crystal 1). Many different kinds of people claim to have the gift of clairvoyance. Even though there are more differences than similarities, there is some resemblance in the people who say they possess this ability. Mostly, these people are not financially secure, and if they are, they aren t satisfied with how much they have and want more. This is because people who can t control how much money they have want to be able to control some things in their life and this would be one other thing they could control. African Americans are more likely to say they have the power than white people do. This may be because it is more socially acceptable for African Americans to possess ESP than for someone belonging to the white community. Also, younger people are more likely to believe that they have the capability, and this is simply because of the generation difference (MacDonald 1). Supposedly, traumas, such as near death experiences, ET abductions, high fevers, serious accidents, and blows to the head, trigger the ability to have clairvoyant experiences (Crystal, 2). Although many claim to experience clairvoyant visions and dreams, skeptics still aren t willing to believe. If someone claims to have had a dream that came true, a skeptic would simply say that it was a coincidence. That person would have had thousands of dreams that never came true and maybe one a lifetime that actually did come true. This shows that it was just a chance and people never pay attention to their unimportant dreams, but only pay attention to their dreams that come true ( Science and the Paranormal 12). During lab experiments testing the validity of clairvoyant experiences, someone lies reclining in a chair relaxing with half ping pong balls strapped around their eyes listening to white noise on a headset. Someone concentrates on a picture in the other room. After a while, the person testing guesses out of four objects, which one the other person was concentrating on. Skeptics say that everyone involved in the experiment is influencing the results of the test because they all want clairvoyance to be true, so the data can t be substantial ( Science and the Paranormal 63). As one can see, there are many reasons that one may believe in such things as clairvoyance, but at the same time, these happenings may just be chance. Clairvoyance is still a very disputed subject.
Ergo, there is still a lot of controversy when it comes to whether ESP is a reality or a fiction of people s imaginations. No matter what, believers still won t be taken seriously by non-believers, as Uri Geller and the Pokemon . But, there is still the small chance that clairvoyance, telepathy, and telekinesis really do exist and non-believers are missing out on something that could really be useful to them. Long distance communication would cost nothing, two people could talk back and forth with their minds. Lazy people could get even lazier and would never have to move a muscle by telekinetically bringing to them everything they needed. People could know what everyone else s future was just by using their pineal gland more often. Nothing would be a surprise anymore. If it is true that everyone has such powers and everyone could use them like we use normal eyesight, our lives could be much easier. But, there is always that doubt that ESP never did and never will exist, and people who claim to possess such powers aren t telling the truth. Researchers will still experiment, and someday we may have the proof that ESP does exist. But, then again, it may not exist and researchers are wasting their time trying to find out that clairvoyance is a coincidence, telepathy is a hoax, and everyone who claims to have telekinetic powers are liars. Clairvoyance, telepathy, and telekinesis continue to be three very controversial subjects.