Psionics?Since when?

I will give a brief history about…

  • Telepathy

2000 B.C.

In the oldest dream book extant, the Egyptian papyrus of Deral-Madineh dating back to 2000 B.C., there are examples of divine revelation. The Egyptians practiced dream incubation, i.e., sleeping in temples in a deliberate effort to induce divinely inspired dreams which would supply answers concerning the state of health and the future of the dreamer. Oracular dreams even affected affairs of state.

R.K. Woods (The World of Dreams, 1947) notes that the Egyptians tried to communicate with others through their dreams, believing that homeless spirits carried the message. This suggests that there was some familiarity with the idea of telepathic communication

One well-known dream, possibly suggestive of telepathic influence, is the dream of Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 2:1-35). The king awoke one morning and was unable to remember a dream he felt was oracular in nature. His dream interpreters were frustrated. When Daniel was consulted, he turned to God in prayer, and Nebuchadnezzar’s dream was revealed to him in a night vision. He then related the dream to Nebuchadnezzar, who recognized it as his own.
460 – 370 B.C.

The ancient Greek philosopher Democritus put forth the wave and corpuscle theories to explain telepathy. This began what may be called the naturalization of the supernatural dream.

Democritus (460-370 B.C.) is credited with the first physical theory of dream telepathy (Dodds, F. R. The Greeks and the Irrational. London: Beacon Press, 1957.)

His view of telepathy is derived from the thesis that everything, including the soul, is made up of innumerable, indivisible, minute particles called atoms. These atoms con­stantly emit images of themselves, which in turn are composed of still other atoms.

He postulated that the images projected by living beings, when emotionally charged, could be transmitted to a dreamer (percipient). When the images reached their destination, they were believed to enter the body through the pores. Images emitted by people in an excited state were especially vivid and likely to reach the dreamer in an intact and undistorted form because of the frequency of emission and the speed of transmission.

The importance he assigned to the emotional state of the agent or sender is certainly in keeping with both present-day anecdotal and experimental findings.

Mark Twain experienced telepathic communication with a friend, William H. Wright.


“Telepathy” is derived from the Greek terms tele (“distant”) and pathe (“occurrence” or “feeling”). The term was coined in 1882 by the French psychical researcher Fredric W. H. Myers, a founder of the Society for Psychical Research (SPR). It first appears in his article in the Proceedings of the Society of Psychical Research I, 2:147. Myers thought his term described the phenomenon better than previously used terms such as the French “communication de pensees,” “thought-transference,” and “thought-reading.”

Research interest in telepathy had its beginning in mesmerism. The magnetists discovered that telepathy was among the so-called “higher-phenomena” observed in magnetized subjects, who read the thoughts of the magnetists and carried out the unspoken instructions.Soon other psychologists and psychiatrists were observing the same phenomena in their patients.

Sigmund Freud noticed it so often that he soon had to address it. He termed it a regressive, primitive faculty that was lost in the course of evolution, but which still had the ability to manifest itself under certain conditions.

Psychiatrist Carl G. Jung thought it more important. He considered it a function of synchronicity (1). Psychologist and philosopher William James was very enthusiastic toward telepathy and encouraged more research be put into it.”

Interest in telepathy increased following World War I as thousands of bereaved turned toward Spiritualism attempting to communicate with their dead loved ones. The telepathic parlor game called “willing” became popular. Mass telepathic experiments were undertaken in the United States and Britain.

In 1917, psychologist John E. Coover from Stanford University conducted a series of telepathy tests involving transmitting/guessing playing cards. His participants were able to guess the identity of cards with overall odds against chance of 160 to 1; however, Coover did not consider the results to be significant enough to report this as a positive result.”

Another influential book about telepathy in its day was Mental Radio, published in 1930 by the Pulitzer prize-winning author Upton Sinclair (with foreword by Albert Einstein). In it Sinclair describes the apparent ability of his wife at times to reproduce sketches made by himself and others, even when separated by several miles, in apparently informal experiments that are reminiscent of some of those to be used by remote viewing researchers in later times. They note in their book that the results could also be explained by more general clairvoyance, and they did some experiments whose results suggested that in fact no sender was necessary, and some drawings could be reproduced precognitively.

During his 1930 ESP experiments J. B. Rhine also made some discoveries concerning telepathy: It was often difficult to determine whether information was communicated through telepathy, clairvoyance, or precognitive clairvoyance. He concluded that telepathy and clairvoyance were the same psychic function manifested in different ways. Also, telepathy is not affected by distance or obstacles between the sender and receiver.


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