Since people can remember is the telepathy not named as such, but carries within it the greatest longing of man: the proof of the supernatural. By the end of the 19th century at the latest, however, the belief in telepathy had become popular throughout society. Today, scientists are trying to trace this ancient dream with the most modern means.
How Telepathy Got Mainstream
Basically, telepathy does not describe a single ability. Telepathic people are defined as having the gift of transmitting thoughts, feelings, or even commands to another person. In addition, this ability often also describes the hypothetical approach to telepathy.
The essayist and writer Frederic WH Myers coined the term in the late 19th century. In 1882, Myers and like-minded people founded the Society for Psychical Research. For the benefit of science, a sub-area of the still young discipline of psychology should be researched here: parapsychology.
Looking back, Myers was a child of his time. In Victorian England, by 1850 at the latest, pseudo-doctrines had established themselves in the bourgeois salons alongside the established sciences. The same was true of telepathy. In the course of the enormous technical progress of this time, many people were looking for a spiritual approach to the world.
Séances were held in which people sought contact with the long dead. So it happened that people in their living rooms sought the advice of great minds like Shakespeare. Edgar Allen Poe’s horror stories were hugely successful and symbolism became the zeitgeist.
Telepathy was perceived differently in those days than it is today. The long-awaited telepathy offered access far away from the fast-paced conditions of those days. On the one hand it was a place of refuge and on the other hand it corresponded to the prevailing optimism about progress, that man could achieve anything he puts his mind to.
limits and possibilities
And yet there are said to be scientists today who believe in telepathy. As chip.de writes, people with certain characteristics could be capable of such a gift. Interestingly, one quality is that one must believe in telepathic abilities. Empathy, i.e. emotional intelligence, also plays a major role.
Quiet places, meditation, yoga practices, even fumigation of the home are recommended to put oneself in that state of mind called telepathy. This is not that far removed from the descriptions known from the 19th century.
In addition, according to advisors, you should pay attention to your subconscious. The problem here: It takes years to even understand parts of the complex subconscious from your conscious mind. In everyday life (and as a rule), these areas do not remain closed to us for nothing.
Such tips are not recommended, especially for people with mental illnesses, because they can also bring traumatizing images of past experiences into consciousness.
Even the hint to visualize, imagine and auto-suggest with your eyes closed will not rain “telepathic abilities” from the sky. The practical tips offer more of a guide for meditative exercises, but not for the legendary telepathy.
How research and technology is tracking down telepathy
A look at science shows that telepathy could be possible in the future. As early as 2014, researchers succeeded in recording a person’s thoughts and transferring them via email to the brain of another test person.
In a 2014 experiment supervised by researcher Giulio Ruffini, among others, electromagnetic pulses interacted with the brain. A test person living in India thought of the words “Hello” and “Bye”.
The brain waves were recorded using an electroencephalography (EEG). The subject’s head was connected to metal electrodes. A binary code created in this way on the computer then sent these “thoughts” via e-mail to France, where they were received by a second person.
For this purpose, the code was converted into a so-called transcranial magnetic stimulation. The test person in France was able to recognize and interpret the words thought up by the Indian test person by means of flashes of light at the edge of his field of vision. The experiment thus achieved the same effect as telepathy, but had nothing in common with the participants’ supernatural abilities.
Thought transmission is therefore not a mystical magic power that is only available to a few people. State-of-the-art technology can theoretically send signals to other people through electromagnetic impulses. How much that has to do with the power of thought that Myers once had in mind remains to be seen.
The fact is that telepathy is also wishful thinking for experiencing control over oneself and one’s environment. No one can say for sure whether it would really be helpful or whether it would rather fall victim to abuse. Thanks to the latest technologies, however, we are already able to influence the human brain.
Elon Musk’s company Neuralink wants to offer brain chips for people with spinal cord disorders as early as this year. In addition, a look into the near future reveals that certain future technologies could pave the way for making precisely that paranormal experience of telepathy possible, at least technically.
Source: chip, own research, FAZ, YouTube | TEDxBCN – Giulio Ruffini