Psychic powers – what are they?

Extra Sensory Perception (sometimes referred to and written together “extrasensory perception” or EPS for short) was well acknowledged in the past by the classical philosophers as Plato, who included them among the Gnostic powers beyond the regular importance of the 5 senses.

There have been times in classical history when these skills were revered and associated with the gods. But at times in later history to our shame, we remember that anyone who demonstrated sensory knowledge beyond the average range was likely to be burned at the stake by the ever zealous agents of the orthodox and most powerful religion of the time, Christianity.

Certainly there were periods in ancient history when the inherent skills of particular individuals were harnessed and they were trained as seers within the temples, as in ancient Egypt. The priests of this particular era were particularly well versed in matters of the spirit and those who were respected possessed exceptional wisdom, as we learn from records. The role of these psychics and visionaries was seen as a sacred duty. It was mostly young priestesses who were trained to serve the country in this way, just as most psychics today are female. In ancient Greece the Delphic Oracle was famous and her work aspired to help the people of her country.

In modern times our understanding of these faculties is limited. Psychic faculties are only just beginning to be seen for what they are; as specially extended senses. E.S.P has been a curiosity and somewhat of an embarrassment to people who value the material world and revere the observed material sciences as their gods.

Even the Church has had problems of various kinds, including explaining some of the exceptional powers displayed by individuals. One such perplexity being in cases of levitation. If a monk, nun or priest within the Church levitated whilst in intense state of prayer or meditation – and this did happen, although rarely, the presiding bishop was instructed to command the poor subject to ‘come down!’ It was judged that if their response was immediate, then they became subjects for possible sainthood. If they didn’t obey immediately they were branded to be ‘of the devil.’ And no one seems to know what occurred when the poor person didn’t know how to reverse the happening and remained stuck to the ceiling!

There has been and still remains considerable ignorance about the psychic and spiritual powers that manifest through people who are sometimes conscious instruments and sometimes completely unaware of what happens through their mediumship. However, in India and no doubt many other cultures, the individual ESP faculties generally known as Siddhis, are well recognized, each identified and prized as an exceptional talent to be used ideally for exceptional purposes in helping others.

Modern psychics who function as amateur explorers in areas that are sometimes of dubious nature and value are generally viewed rather skeptically by most of us. The casual visit to the ‘gypsy’ at the fair is usually seen as a lighthearted venture.

Dedicated professionals who have trained and wish to offer their skill and experience in service are a different matter. These include wonderful people who are employed, or who voluntarily offer, to assist people with personal issues and private consultation, or to aid in helping the community. Some have been successful in helping police investigation of missing persons as well as cases of criminal activity. Although not always publicly acknowledged, many people in public office or positions of responsibility also value the assistance of a psychic.

Some psychics better known to the public through some sensational issue are frequently those who have been accurate with prediction of various kinds. Each psychic usually has a faculty that is specially developed such as clairvoyance, clairvoyance or talents as seer or visionary. Public fascination with the subject continues. So does the serious work of those psychics with integrity, who have come to terms with their unusual abilities and have found ways of utilizing them for the benefit of others.

What is required now is that we co-operate with psychologists who are attempting to understand the subtler realms and to extend their knowledge about the human psyche. This will assist us all by helping to establish the psychic abilities as natural extensions of our senses. It will also help to make us more confident in utilizing the human faculties, which we may already have become aware of within ourselves.