Monday, January 30, 2006


Telepathy is the power of one to send thoughts from one person to another without the intervening bother of speech or the written word. It is mind-to-mind communication, which some parapsychologists say transcends the normal bounds of space and time. In other words, Telepathy is instantaneous, some even saying faster than the speed of light. “Telepathy” comes from the Greek components, tele meaning “distant: and patheia meaning “feeling” or “perception.” Telepathy is one of the commonly described paranormal powers, which include clairvoyance, precognition and psychokinesis.

The term, Telepathy, was coined in a ground-breaking parapsychological work called Phantasms of the Living by Edmund Gurney, Frederick Myers and Frank Podmore, members of the British Society for Psychical Research. This study contained some anecdotal cases of Telepathy.

Probably the first public attempt to demonstrate the existence of Telepathy was undertaken by J. B. Rhine at Duke University with the use of his famous ESP cards, created by Karl Zener, a psychologist colleague of Rhine. The 25 card deck embodied the symbols of a star, a wave, a cross, a star and a circle and was shuffled by a machine, creating one of the earliest tools for mathematical research into the existence of Telepathy and ESP.

In 1930, the famous author and muckraker, Upton Sinclair, published a work about Telepathy called Mental Radio, a work which chronicled experiments between himself, his friends and his wife, who seemed to be able to receive mental impressions of sketches made dozens of miles away through Telepathy. Sinclair, whose great classic, The Jungle, created reforms in the Meat Packing industry, had the kind of prestige to awaken many people to the hypothesis of Telepathy in every day life.

In the 1960’s, a more ambitious program to research Telepathy was undertaken by Dr. Stanley Krippner and Montaque Ullman in the Dream Laboratory in Maimonides Hospital in Brooklyn, New York. Ullman and Krippner wanted more selective involvement between the sender and the recipient and chose specific images which were transmitted by the sender to the receiver in a dream state through Telepathy. The subject’s dream state condition was verified by Rapid Eye Movements. Krippner and Ullman concluded that the subjects' dreams did often contain the transmitted images and there was a positive result, indicating the possibility of Telepathy.

Another set of promising experiments in Telepathy began in the 1980’s when the Ganzfield experiments led to sensory deprivation being a component in the testing of a transmission between a sender and a receiver. Perhaps these experiments in Telepathy, whose value has been debated, will show more clearly the conditions under which telepathic transmission could take place. In the meantime, scientists, utilizing quantum mechanics and string theory are trying to evolve new concepts to be able to explain Telepathy.