The word psi is not familiar to most people, and many will ask you to spell it. It is a Greek term meaning the “unknown” or the “unexplained.” It has become a usable word for abilities that science is only beginning to understand. A new branch of traditional science is forming to better understand psi abilities. The basic ESP skills break down into just four major areas: Remote Viewing (clairvoyance) —The ability to gain information from no apparent source Psychometry (psychic touch) —The ability to gain information while holding an object Precognition/Retrocognition —The ability to gain information from future or past (pre means “before”; retro means “past”; cognition means “understanding” or “knowing”) Telepathy (mind meshing) —The ability to gain information by meshing one mind with another (between persons).
All of these skills are already yours, even if you do not realize it, and can be developed to be more useful to you. Most of us have experienced something we do not under¬ stand. We may have known when someone would call us, or guessed who was calling when our telephone rang. Police of¬ ficers often describe their experiences as gut feelings or hunches, while pilots say that no matter how complex their cockpit instrumentation, they still fly “by the seat of their pants.” Good doctors and nurses admit their ability to sense when a patient is “going bad” and that they may lose them. Fine salespersons usually know when they are getting close to making a sale.
All of us use this sensitivity in one way or another, yet we do not call it psychic. We do not realize that it is. Oddly, some of my best students over the years have been drawn from these four groups of people—police, pilots, med¬ ical personnel, and salespeople. The person most likely to be able to develop these abilities usually has high intelligence, good comprehensive skills, and logical thought processes. Instinct has its place, but logic is even more important. Instinct may warn you that something is wrong or should be looked at more closely, but logic will allow you to discover what that something is.
Many confuse ESP with contacting spirits, seeing ghosts, using a Ouija board, or something supernatural or occult. It is none of these things. Most misperceptions come from the mists of human history, where that little something beyond common understanding had to be mystical. In the same way, Galileo’s invention of the telescope almost got the man burned at the stake, because few people of his time understood that his invention was the first step in a new science. What man does not understand he usu¬ ally condemns.
It is important, in beginning your own search for expansion and fuller usage of the mind you already have, that you understand first of all that the letters E S P do not represent extra sensory perception, but extended sensory perception. It is, pure and simple, a means of extending senses you already have to make a welcome and useful addition to your life. I coined this major difference in meanings in the mid-1960s, as it was ap¬ parent that no extra sense was involved, but a sharpening of the ordinary senses far beyond what was considered possible. It is still not widely known that these sharpening procedures can be taught, like any other skill, and may be learned by anyone who wishes to discover their own perceptive abilities. In those early days, my voice was the only one saying “ESP can be learned.
It can be taught.” Everyone knows that we already have at least five senses. We see, we smell, we hear, we touch, we taste. We feel, we experience, we live. Receptive centers within the brain act as our sensors, receiving a stimulus of one of these kinds. If there were no odors, we could not smell. If there is no light, we cannot see. These brain centers and sensors have been clearly mapped by scientists, because injury to some portion of the brain often results in loss of the senses controlled by the particular area. In this way, what was a mystery in the past— how we smell, for instance—is explained as a function of a tiny portion of the midbrain.
Science has also found receptors in the mouth that are actually a type of taste bud, which are responsible for our ability to smell odors, bad and good. Scientific books of only a decade ago are not this specific. Not as well known is the fact that the sense of smell can be sharpened far beyond what we believe to be possible, so that a perfume expert, for instance, may be able to recognize ten to twenty difference essences in a given perfume. This human sense can be heightened to a point of extreme ability to perceive all of the “heart notes” and “grace notes” in a scent. There are other industrial applications for heightened abilities to discern specific fragrances and odors, but this is the most well known. Less well known are scientific tests during which mothers in Australia were able to identify their own two-day-old babies merely from smelling their receiving blankets. In an earlier test conducted in the United States, a group of married women was able to pick out a T-shirt belonging to their own husbands from a pile of shirts.
Another sense known to be capable of enhancement is the sense of taste. A wine is usually chosen because it tastes good to you. It is considered dry or sweet depending on what im¬ pression it leaves on the tongue and the sensors of the mouth and tongue. A number of people in various countries, especially in France, have trained their sense of taste to the point where they can discern accurately what year the wine was bottled, from which vineyard the grapes came, and even which vintner grew those grapes. The ordinary person may visit a wine- tasting party or art exhibition where wine and cheese are served and never give a thought to the fact that some individ¬ uals must be able to make such accurate identifications as part of their jobs.
Unlike secret agents, there are a number of persons in coffee-producing countries who are able to tell which nation produced the beans in any particular coffee or blend. Some are claimed to be able to identify the grower of the beans, but I have not seen this personally demonstrated. Commercials for Colombian coffee often show Juan Valdez’s coffee being lauded as smoother or more satisfying than complicated blends preferred by sidewalk connoisseurs of this hot beverage. Most of us drink our morning cup unaware that almost all of the instant coffees are produced from African coffee beans, much bolder in taste than South American.
These beans come from Angola and are considered by some to taste harsh or much stronger than those from other countries. The stronger taste of this coffee bean survives the drying processes necessary to make instant coffee. It is a fact that such differences in coffee and the ability to taste test them provides income for men and women who have been able to train their sense of taste and extend it beyond the ordinary. Such abilities would not be considered occult or supernatural, right? In the past, methods of improving comprehension through the sense of sight enabled people to scan a page so rapidly that in only seconds rather than minutes they understood the information on that page. President John F. Kennedy was one of those people. Speed-reading is not taught widely at this time, probably because of the advent of computers and television.
Our eyes do learn to scan, however, and to recognize what is familiar. If an object in our personal space—an office or bedroom, for example—has been moved from its familiar placement, we will notice immediately. We do not realize we are scanning at all until the displaced object catches our attention.In a crowd, we scan for familiar faces. While watching a game on television, some will say they can clearly perceive the flight of a tiny golf ball on its way to the putting green. Others cannot see it at all. Fans’ difficulty in seeing a hockey puck going into a goal has resulted in a change in the color of the puck and various changes in its composition, as well as a small light that goes on when a goal has been scored. With¬ out this, even some players on the ice cannot tell whether the puck has entered the net. A veteran golfer will tell you that he can pick out his own ball in flight to judge where it will land.
They have trained their eyes beyond the capacity of most people. Knitters will tell you that they can discern such tiny varia¬ tions in color that they will discard a dozen skeins of yam until they find one that is a perfect match. There are many such uses of the sense of touch as well, one of the most common the ability of the blind to read Braille as rapidly as their fingers can move across the tiny bumps that represent letters.
So it is completely normal to be able to train our senses to a high degree. Persons without sight were once thought to have enhanced their abilities to hear or to sense beyond those of other persons, but in recent years they have denied that this is so. In some aspects of my own work, I have found that the enhancement of one sense is perfectly natural when a person has been deprived of another major sense. The ability to use ESP begins with the enhancement itself. It is in the sharpening of one or more natural abilities and senses that the development of what is considered psychic takes place. We must understand this to initiate our own enhancement.