A Sixth Sense

The Possibility of Extrasensory Perception Powers


Morgan Kasel, graphic edited by Paige Hert

The word dopplegänger literally means “double goer” in German, referring to the thought that one’s unbiological twin is merely a ghost or whisper of themself. 

Ally JohnPress, Reporter

Telepathy. Clairvoyance. Precognition. Retrocognition. These are all supposed types of enhanced mental abilities, or extrasensory perception. Extrasensory perception (or ESP) can be defined as a sense entirely beyond the normal five. However, unlike the certainty that accompanies senses such as sight or touch, ESP consists solely of thoughts, feelings or urges within one’s mind. 

There are various classifications of ESP, but the most known are listed above. Telepathy is the ability to read minds; clairvoyance is the ability to see events happening elsewhere in one’s mind. Precognition is seeing the future whereas retrocognition is perceiving the past. Some lesser known abilities are mediumship, which is channeling dead spirits, and psychometry, which is the capability to read information about someone by simply touching an object. 

The idea of ESP has been around since the beginning of civilization under many names, but Joseph Banks Rhine, or J.B. Rhine, was the first to research the phenomenon at Duke University in the 1930s. His use of Zener cards, cards with various colored shapes, were used on patients. They attempted to predict what design the card had printed on it while the card was sealed in an envelope. His book, “Extra-Sensory Perception,” was published in 1934, which brought more public attention to his new ideas. 

There are also other, more recent conclusions about ESP. Some of the most famous research concerning ESP was done by Daryl Bem, who conducted multiple experiments concerning memory and one’s ability to predict an image hidden by something. His Ganzfeld experiment attempts to prove the existence of psi, the unknown factor in extrasensory perception that is unexplained by science. 

Personally, growing up in a household where attempting to open your third eye is common, I think ESP isn’t a stretch. My experience with it isn’t personal, however, as I believe that my dad’s mentor, who will be named Raymond in this article for the purpose of respecting his privacy, truly does have special powers. My dad always makes phone calls to this man who lives in northern California, a man who takes living off the land to the next level, a man who I seriously think can understand any living thing anywhere in the world. Crazy right. I haven’t even met or talked to the guy and he can tell my father how I’m feeling and if anything is wrong with me. Sometimes I hear things about myself relayed from my father to me that I wasn’t even aware I was feeling.

About a year ago, my dad was bitten right on his lip when a neighbors’ dog lashed out unexpectedly. I talked to my father more recently about his experience to get a better insight into what really went down, and he described his range of emotions during those first few moments after he was bitten. At first, he was scared. Then, angry beyond measure. He told me he had hit his breaking point, but in a brief moment of clarity right before he felt he was going to do something bad, he called Raymond. Then as quickly as the anger had come, it dissipated. He was calm. Just like that. My dad had had no idea what the heck just happened, and hearing this myself I was a bit skeptical.

Obviously, after the events had settled down, my dad was curious as to what changed his attitude so powerfully yet so simply. He called Raymond again. What my dad relayed back to me was that Raymond had literally thrown him into an alternate timeline, one where he wasn’t angry and at a place in time with an accelerated healing process. Now, I know exactly what you’re thinking. Huh? What? Yeah. Like I said earlier, I was doubtful, so I asked some follow-up questions about how my dad’s lip had healed, just to see if it truly did get better faster because of this supposed “extra healing energy.” When he went to the emergency room, the attending doctor told him his lip was pretty bad. He was hesitant to perform surgery, as he wasn’t sure what to do, and he told my father to come back the next day. However, when my dad did return, the doctor was shocked. My dad said that he had told him his lip looked 100 times better. It sounds crazy, I know, to believe that my dad really had experienced a transition between realities. The more I listened to my dad’s stories about his experiences with Raymond, the more I believed in extraordinary abilities.

Another experience close to me involving ESP was with my neighbor and her older dog. Her dog had been diagnosed with a certain heart problem, and she had noticed he was struggling with breathing and moving around. She began researching possible remedies and discovered a Japanese healing technique called Reiki. This technique, also known as “hands-on-body healing,” is used to alleviate stress or other health issues. In the case of my neighbor, she channeled her love and energy to her dog through a hug. Although the practice doesn’t have any scientific evidence to back it up, the next day she noticed her dog was seemingly better. He wasn’t breathing heavily and overall seemed normal, and was no longer showing symptoms of pain. This leads me to believe everyone has a spiritual energy that can be used to restore other beings.

However, there are critics of the ESP theory. Investigator of the paranormal, James Randi, focuses on the statistical aspects and probability of the experimental results dedicated to proving ESP, and attempts to debunks its claims. One of the biggest aspects for disproving its existence is the difficulty of replicating results in experiments, as stated by Live Science. Others state that if ESP does exist, it is weak and hardly testable. Technically, yes, there is no rock-solid evidence supporting the existence of ESP, but that doesn’t stop me from believing in it. 

Nevertheless, whether you believe in psychic powers is up to you. But, just imagine if somebody could read your mind or predict the future… Whatever the future may hold, ESP certainly is an interesting topic, and I definitely believe there is more to our mental capabilities than has been researched and discovered. Whatever these extraordinary powers may be, possibly just a figment of imagination or indeed a new sense, it is quite the revelation.