Monday, December 04, 2006

Do You Perceive Extra Sensorially?

Recently, my friend Madas wrote a post in which she described what seemed like a possible psychic connection between her and her brother. She had some very uncomfortable feelings about her brother, difficulty sleeping, and bad dreams for several days. Finally, she called him, and he told her that he was very upset that one of his friends had died of a fall from a high window. As part of this post, I would like to share an excerpt from a comment that I wrote in response to her post:

"Some people seem to somehow know when someone they love is suffering. Do you feel a very strong emotional connection to your brother (I am guessing the answer is yes)? Perhaps you somehow sensed his deep sense of loss from his friend's passing. I am not superstitious either, but I have had repeated experiences that make me wonder if I have some sort of minor ESP talent. What has happened many times over the years is that I will have a silent thought in my mind and then several seconds later another person will say the exact same words. My mother has told me a number of times that she has had the same experience too. On top of this, the same thing will happen between myself and my mother. I will think it and she will say it, or sometimes I will see an image in my mind and she will then talk about the thing that I mentally saw. This sort of thing used to freak me out a bit, but it happens so often that I am quite used to it. I have even tried to rationalize how this might be possible. It is a well documented fact that the human brain can produce measureable electromagnetic fields. Each neuron produces a tiny field when it activates to stimulate adjacent neurons as a thought or stimulus to move the body occurs in the brain. At any given moment, millions of neurons are "firing", as a neuroscientist would say. These millions of little electromagnetic fields add up to produce a significant and measurable EM field. Maybe it is possible that such a field could influence another person's brain over a short distance. The analogy to physics that I like to relate this to is called induction. If you pass a current through a loop of wire that is located near but not touching another loop of wire, a current will be induced to flow in the second wire by the magnetic field generated by the current in the first wire. Anyway, I'm probably getting way too technical here and a real neuroscientist might think I was crazy! So much for my theory of short distance telepathy. Now, how could two minds communicate over a long distance? Well, I haven't got a clue. In fact, such a concept defies rational explanation, as far as I am concerned. Nevertheless, some people believe that they can do it. Considering my own experiences, I am at least willing to be open minded and not dismiss the possibility."

I have told very few people about my experiences because, quite frankly, I doubt that many people would believe me! Ever since my early teen years, I have thought of myself as a very rational person, not given to magical thinking or beliefs based on emotion rather than reason. I can't remember when I had my first experience with what seems like mind reading or thought transference, but for many years I was very resistant to the idea that it was really happening. I kept trying to convince myself that it was just coincidence. However, at some point, it was happening so frequently, that I just couldn't dismiss it out of hand anymore. Now, I should make it clear that this does not happen with everyone. Also, it has happened with people that I am related to, people who are my close friends, and people that I hardly know at all.

A few years ago, something happened that I could hardly believe. I was playing the child's game of Rock, Paper, Scissors with someone that I had known very closely for many years. For those of you unfamiliar with the game, rock is represented by a closed fist, paper by an open hand, and scissors by a two fingered victory sign. The winner of a round is determined as follows: paper covers rock so paper wins; scissors cut paper so scissor wins; and rock smashes scissors so rock wins. If both players "throw" the same shape, then the round is a draw. Normally, I don't play child games very often, but this occurred after we had watched an episode of the SciFi series Farscape. The main character on the show played the game with his artificially created twin self (it was a fun but wierd series!). The character and the twin apparently had a psychic bond because they kept throwing identical shapes in the game. For example: Rock/Rock; Paper/Paper; or Scissor/Scissor. Well, when we played the game that night, the same thing happened to us seven times in a row, and we only played for seven rounds! We were both astonished at the improbability of such an occurrance! A few days ago, I did some research on probability theory and learned how to calculate the odds against what happened. For each round of the game, there are nine possible combinations of outcome. Three out of the nine (0.3333) result in a draw. So, the odds against what happened are: 0.3333 raised to the power of 7 which results in one chance out of 2187. Those are pretty long odds against what happened! Well, this weird occurrance was only one out of many events that I and this person experienced over the course of many years. It often happened that I would think something and she would say it seconds later.

Have any of you heard of a famous mentalist who bills himself as
The Amazing Kreskin? When I was a kid, he had a TV show in which he would perform various mind reading tricks. At the time, I thought it was all fake, but like an excellent magician, I couldn't figure out how he could do what he did. Well, he claims to actually be able to read people's minds. Considering my experiences, maybe he really can! So, have any of you had any strange experiences that you were afraid to tell anyone about? Now is your chance. I promise you will receive no ridicule from me! :)

A Few Unrelated Notes:

My friend
Kyubai, who lives in Baghdad, is conducting a little experiment in virtue. The first virtue in the experiment is "Respect". There are no particular rules, we are just trying to think about showing respect to other people. I promised Kyubai that I would mention it in my blog. You can read about it at his blog if it sounds interesting and you would like to work on your virtuous capacity.

I wrote a new post for my Apolitical blog. It is a letter to my U.S. Senators urging them to take some action to help reduce the level of violence in Iraq. I also asked them to check out the writings of three outstanding Iraqi bloggers. Who knows, they might just listen to my suggestions if they can tear themselves away from re-election fundraising!

17 Comments:

Blogger aNarki-13 said...

can i state my theory?
if a person A is physically near person B for a sufficient amount of time, and at the same time having a close mutual connection,

i think they will start to be "in-synch" to an extent, that is: they would think alike, reason alike, talk alike, even develop similar habits..
(this is due to our need for community, and the best way to "fit-in" is to emulate)

so,these two similar minds, in tune, would communicate with each other non-verbally (we all know of it and have seen it.. for example: ALL successful teams in ANY team sport are the ones who have excellent communication skills, verbal and otherwise)

this effect extends (to a greater extent) to the experience you described!

(Plus, not all of people have this, because some of us are just plain dumb :)) no seriously! i think someone already proved that there are certain people with more "sensing" abilities than the general populace)

as always, great post!

12/04/2006 11:07 PM  
Blogger Dr O2 said...

this has happened numerous times between me n my bro. We actually say many things together at the same time with the same exact words! or all of a sudden we start singing the same vers of a particular song breakin total silence!! My theory is based on "experience". in my openion the probable reason is that people who live together experience the same events & therefore have the same perceptions abt various events!

12/06/2006 3:02 AM  
Blogger Kyubai said...

Nice post, well what ur friend Madas wrote was almost true it is true that very thing in the world has a certain frequency that if another thing is tuned to it they can resonance and so have the same behavior or feeling it is rare to happen but it is not impossible it has nothing to do with magic or any supernatural cause it is simply a rule of nature I’ve once lock such matters up when I was researching the possibility of reincarnation since I know that it is impossible to happen yet there was certain events that a guy walks into a place that he has never been in yet he knows some detailed info about that place so after research I concluded that it happens when that person resonate with the place or with another person that knows of the place.
So the fact that ur friend may be able to resonate with her brother or mother is quite likely to happen since they r members of the same family and lived for while with each other but I repeat it can happen to certain people not all of them.
Well this is surely an interesting subject but I don’t want to prolong my comment so I shall stop here.

12/06/2006 9:13 AM  
Blogger madas said...

David,

That was an interesting post, i like aNarki-13 theory, it makes so much sense. However I still believe that people might have abilities that modern science still can't explain. Which actually reminds me that long time ago went to see a fortune teller, and I still get shocked about the things she said, because till today something happen. Now i know this is silly, but maybe just maybe there are people who possess certain powers or abilities that are beyond our understanding... anyway i have been working the whole day on preparing job descriptions and my brain is swirilling with highly accurate data!

12/06/2006 12:15 PM  
Blogger David said...

Anarki, of course you can state your theory! :) I think your theory is quite accurate. People in general are sensitive to the feelings of others (with the exception of sociopathic personalities). Definitely, the members of a winning team will be in-synch with each other and supportive of each other. Good communication is certainly an important factor. I think that what you are describing could be termed "empathy". It is the ability to read a person's emotions by observing facial expressions and other body language clues. Most people who have high empathy for others use this sensing ability at a mostly unconcious level. If we see a sad face, we might also feel sad, for example. Some people are very sensitive to tone of voice, as well. I think that the sense of empathy is mostly rooted in observation of physical signs. However, if it is possible to transfer thoughts from one person to another, why not emotions, as well?

Omid, it sounds like you and your brother have some degree of psychic connection! Hmmm, you seem to think it is just coincidence based on shared experience. Well, perhaps it is. But, breaking silence by singing the same verse of a song? Well, that seems a bit improbable to me! I have an idea. Sometime when you are with your brother, you could think about something that only you know and not him. Think about it over and over in his presence and see if he says anything about it.

Kyubai, what you said about reincarnation is interesting. It reminds me of having the feeling of Deja Vu, which is feeling like you have experienced something or a place before. Sometimes I dream about a person or a place, and then at some point in the future, when I have a feeling of Deja Vu, I might remember that I dreamed something similar. This could just be a coincidence, but who knows, maybe we can sometimes get a glimpse into our own future.

Hi Madas, I am happy that you liked the post! :) I agree with you that people may have abilities that are beyond the ability of science to understand or explain. I have never been to a fortune teller, but it sounds like you went to a good one! I don't think it is silly to think that some people have special abilities. It is true that many claim to have them, but are just trying to make money by fooling people, but I believe that some people really do have special abilities. For example, there are some psychics who help police to solve murder mysteries. The ones that I have heard about don't ask to be paid in return for their help. So, I think that their abilities are real. It sounds like you have been working really hard! I hope that you can relax after work and have some fun. :)

12/07/2006 3:38 AM  
Blogger Lavinia said...

I agree that one can seem to have a supernatural/paranormal connection with a close friend or sibling simply from spending a significant amount of time with them.

My brother is my best friend. We tend to say the most obscure, random things at the same time, in response to things we might see or hear at the same time on TV for example.

But I do believe I've experienced strange and, thus far, inexplicable coincidences or "clicking" with family members, acquaintances and strangers.

I usually explain this to myself as "a vibe".

Growing up, I recall I could tell immediately if the new nanny at home was a goodie or a baddie. They are always nice with the kids in front of the parents, but something would alert me about whether they would get mean when our parents were away.

Its a very simple example, but I was never off.

I guess this could be explained away by saying I read body language or behaved in a way that forced the outcome, but I know this was not the case.

My experiences have shown me that there are "senses" and perceptions that reach way beyond what seems logical and what we currently know about the basic five senses.

Another, slightly disturbing example is from my youth, when I dreamt a male friend of the family came to visit our house, found me home alone and abused me. I was about 14.

Luckily, I have never been sexually abused. But you can imagine how that dream confused and scared me.

The person had never been any kind of predator as far as I knew. He had seldom visited us and at that point we hadn't seen him for years.

I woke up with a strange feeling about it all but carried on my day and went to school as usual.

When I got back home that day afterschool he was parked outside our house. I was all kinds of horrified. I didn't even open the gate. Instead, I lied to him and said I was on my way to study at a friend's house.

I said goodbye and walked to her house just up the road, utterly nauseaous.

This experience might not prove anything but the coincidences it presented and the feelings from the dream, were things I could not ignore.

12/12/2006 12:07 PM  
Blogger Tamara said...

Well, David... all I have to say is that it seems my life (or perhaps all life?!) is one endless tapestry of extrasensorial connections! Never a dull moment....

12/12/2006 11:22 PM  
Blogger David said...

Lavinia, you have certainly had some interesting experiences! I sometimes get "vibes" about people too. One example is that my mother once had a housekeeper who I just never felt completely comfortable around. She would talk a lot instead of working and she would ask a lot of nosy questions. I wouldn't leave things lying about that I considered valuable when she was in the house. Well, it turned out that she stole money from my mother twice! Well, maybe my assessment of her was just ordinary sensory perception, but something was just not right and I knew it. Your dream experience of being abused and the guy in the dream showing up the next day sounds really spooky! As I said to Kyubai, I have had the sense that there were connections between my dreams and later happenings, but never anything as specific as your dream.

Hi Tamara, your comment has stimulated a sense of drama in my mind! Wouldn't you like to share the story of your extrasensorial connections? Seriously, I would like to hear more!

12/13/2006 12:47 AM  
Anonymous mariamusic said...

Hi David,

The Rock, Paper, Sissor was my favorite game, and I most the time won. I still enjoy playing it and I still win!!!

I don't deny ESP; actually I quite trust is exists, but I'm very careful in calling my experiences ESP as I trust they are more likely my intutions.

Great Post and an interesting read.

mariam

12/18/2006 11:54 PM  
Blogger David said...

Hi Miriam, did you play rock, paper, sissor in Iran? If you usually win at this game, maybe you can ESP your opponents choice! :) I agree it is good to be careful, intuition is a very powerful kind of sense also.

12/19/2006 11:43 PM  
Blogger Dr O2 said...

well I am having somewhat the same case with a close friend recently. I strongly believe such things happen due to sharing the same experiences. You know, when they don know sth we are thinkin abt it really doesn happen like that coz there is no background info but the same situations lead to same responses from intimate people facing the same stimuli.

12/20/2006 4:13 PM  
Anonymous mariamusic said...

Yup, I sure did. I also thought that was an Irani game which has got introduced to the other countries!!
I think it was more practice and the fearless attitude of mine which helped me win. After a little while I read the other player as people usually follow patterns when they don't have time to think!

12/20/2006 11:50 PM  
Blogger David said...

Omid, I am sure that you are right for certain situations and perhaps that is the way of it for all your experiences. However, I have had this happen between me and people that I hardly know, and I might add, without any shared external stimuli. Still, there is just no way to know for sure what is going on!

Mariam, I just noticed that I misspelled your name above. Sorry about that! Did you ever play the variation of the game where "pencil" is added? Pencil writes on paper, sissors cut pencil, and rock crushes pencil. I didn't know that you could practice rock, paper, sissors! ;)

12/21/2006 12:31 AM  
Blogger Mehrabaneman said...

I have had many experiences much like yours and I usually do not talk about it because people won’t believe it. Now the issue is whether you think of something and it will happen or you have some extraordinary psychic power of knowing things ahead of time. Does the event happens because you are the observer and you focused on it or it would have happened and you knew it ahead of time?

12/26/2006 3:21 AM  
Blogger David said...

Hello Mehrabaneman and welcome to my blog. :) I am very pleased to hear from someone who has had similar experiences! You ask interesting questions. Sometimes I think that my experiences involve instantaneous thought transmission or reception. However, other times I wonder if I am seeing a few seconds into the future. A few months ago, I had a sort of premonition while driving down a road with a very sharp bend. I am quite familiar with the road and there is a three way stop just beyond the bend. As I approached the curve, I saw a man walking his dog ahead and to my right. I had a very strong feeling/thought that I should slow way down. So I did. A few seconds later, a car ran through the stop sign at fairly high speed, rounded the bend and had to swerve to avoid hitting my car. I am certain that if I had not slowed down, the car would have hit my car which in turn would have hit the man and his dog. I stopped my car and I felt a wave of simultaneous fear and relief wash over me. The man with the dog looked at me and raised his hands like "what the hell?!". I looked at him and shook my head. I opened my window and spoke with him briefly. We were both kind of shocked at the stupidity of that moron, but we were also very relieved that nothing bad happened!

Thanks again for your visit and I hope you come again. :)

12/28/2006 11:47 AM  
Blogger Lavinia said...

A little off topic.....I loved Farscape too. Pity it onky lasted 2 or 3 seasons, it was very creative. Those Leviathan ships were something else!

That peacekeeper chick (Catherine?) is one of the marooned travelers in Pitch Black.

Its been ages since I thought of Scorpius, his 'Dominatrix Barbie' & the Aurora machine. That thing used to make my eyes water!

1/11/2007 1:54 PM  
Blogger David said...

Hi Lavinia, I just discovered your comment. My favorite peacekeeper chick is Erin played by Claudia Black. I think it is really cool that she and the guy who played John are together again on Star Gate! Its funny, those two characters sort of hate each other. :) I haven't seen Pitch Black, but I think I know who you are talking about.

1/16/2007 9:19 PM  

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