Essential epiphanies are unspoken of. They occur in the chasms between imagination and realness. Throw them into a cave of language, and they come undone. Every child has experienced the desperation when she tries to tell her dreams. She senses most of what she dreamed will remain arcane. In the end, she tells a story so she can at least share fragments of what really happened.
The nuances and subtleties are lost, the meaningful and unique fragments. The ones that matter. Over time, we unlearn how to listen and not listen at the same time, how to see and not see at the same time, an ability that’s acquired by dreaming and allows us to “know things” — but rarely survives consensus reality. The psychic part of us dies.
Eventually, we become out of touch with our subconscious mind. We ignore its messages as we’ve forgotten how to read them. Instead we learn to live with the notions of coincidence, synchronicity, or intuition. Perhaps we try to heal through meditation, but even then the way back to this ‘paranormal’ realm is a matter of chance.
Yet in some ways, we stay connected to this ‘other world’. We tell stories and pretend certain things happen only there. Science fiction and fantasy. Some writers and filmmakers though weren’t that sure their stories are just figments of their imagination. Philip K. Dick, for instance, told of visionary experiences and precognitive visions¹.
“The real significance of our capacity to imagine stories, as we have seen, lies in the extent to which they emerge from some part of the mind which is beyond the storyteller’s conscious awareness. To a great degree stories are thus the product of a controlling power which is centered in the unconscious.” ~ Christopher Booker²
In 1930, the American author and Pulitzer Prize winner Upton Sinclair published his book Mental Radio. It documents experiments on the psychic abilities of his second wife, Mary Craig Kimbrough, who, in Sinclair’s words, “was the most conscientious and morally exacting person [he has] ever known. Loyalty to the truth was her religion.”
Sinclair had made 252 drawings, further 38 were prepared by his secretary. Sinclair’s wife, without any contact to anyone throughout the tests, tried to duplicate these drawings. According to Sinclair, out of the 290 drawings, Craig successfully duplicated 65 of them (approx. 23 percent), 155 were “partial successes” (approx. 53 percent), and 70 were failures (approx. 24 percent).
Sinclair thought “a million years would not be enough for such a set of coincidences”, and Albert Einstein noted in his preface:
“The results of the telepathic experiments carefully and plainly set forth in this book stand surely far beyond those which a nature investigator holds to be thinkable. […] In no case should the psychologically interested circles pass over this book heedlessly.”³
Prevailing science discounts most, if not all, accounts of ‘paranormal’ experiences and incidents. It struggles to articulate realities beyond the palpable, provable, falsifiable and repeatable. Beyond the material. It has no tools to comprehend the deeper knowledge that’s available through the subconscious mind, and its abilities.
The ‘what must not be, that cannot be’ world view is a protective shield. It protects the rational mind from being harassed by the yet unexplained. It protects a materialistic society from the unpredictable and ultimately uncontrollable. The instinct of self-preservation.
Phenomena like telepathy are not explicit. When you read someone’s mind, you don’t hear words. You don’t see images. It’s not a movie. There are subtle impressions, transient and faint — the moments when you’re aware and not aware at the same time. Like the things you see from the corner of your eye; they ‘disappear’ as soon as you try to look at them.
The rational mind tends to dismiss these impressions. Explain them away. Instead, we should let them in. I’ve noticed these impressions are meaningful when I don’t analyze them the moment they occur. They’re there. They have their time and place. Often they prove to be useful when I least expect it.
Perception changes. It re-acquires its ‘extrasensory’ features, as it were. The subconscious mind will do most of the work, if we let it, and if we notice it. If we communicate. It’s not about proving something. It’s about tapping into knowledge we hide from ourselves. It takes patience, and courage.
For a time, there will be no words to describe the experience. It doesn’t matter. I found it connected me to others in new ways, expanding empathy and compassion. I’m not a mind reader, but I believe we have a dormant telepathic ability. We’d be better off (re)cultivating it ourselves — naturally — before technology does it for us.
The Exegesis of Philip K Dick; Philip K. Dick; Gollancz (2012)
The Seven Basic Plots; Christopher Booker; Continuum (2004)
Mental Radio; Upton Sinclair; Hampton Roads (2001)