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Robert Egby

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By Robert Egby   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Thursday, July 16, 2009
Posted: Thursday, July 16, 2009

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A Review of Telepathy, thought transference and how this, the modality of spirit, is still under enquiry.



 It was a chilly March evening in 1977 and I was feeling crushed and tired standing on a commuter bus in Vancouver. People read books, snoozed, or conversed in muffled voices above the sounds of the bus’s diesel. I clung to the passenger rails. Suddenly a voice came out of nowhere: “Bobby...Bobby...”  It was as clear as a bell. I twisted round. It sounded like my father. But he was in England, half way round the earth. Naturally it wasn’t him. I felt foolish.


The voice came again, urgent and insistent. “Bobby...I just wanted you to know I love you, son.”


Confused and shaken by these vivid thoughts, I reached home. A few minutes later, my sister Diane called from Bournemouth, 7,000 miles away in England. “Dad died about half an hour ago,” she said. “He asked for you.”


Telepathy or thought transference, or as the Russians call it, biological communication, is the inter-communication between mind and mind, or as one used to consider in the early days, between brain and brain. When one considers all the various aspects and classifications of psychic phenomena there is none that succeeds in attracting attention more than telepathy, or thought-transference. No, it’s not mind-reading as some of the uninformed might readily suggest.


Early researchers realized there is practically no department of psychic phenomena on which it has not some bearing. Having said that, it is also recognized by clinicians and scientists that telepathy can stand alone as a field of psychology, where researchers can work unhampered by an “unknown”  spirit world, which would automatically draw sharp criticism from orthodox quarters.


Thought-transference was practiced by the ancients, but it was only with the advent of modern Spiritualism and the study of psychic phenomena that serious attention was given to telepathy, as F.W.H. Myers termed it.


Professors Crookes and Barrett  did some early work, and both submitted reports  to distinguished organizations -- Crookes to the Royal Society, and Barrett to the British Association -- and both received blunt rejection, because they did not denounce Spiritualism.


The Society for Psychical Research was founded in 1882, and much of its early research work was devoted to an experimental investigation of thought-transference because they believed it demonstrated survival. Over the years, various researchers, some of them distinguished people,  conducted research into telepathy and extra-sensory perception (ESP).


The three principle aspects of telepathy that have lent themselves towards study are Waking, Dream and Hypnotic States. These three are suitable for  laboratory testing which involves “control situations.” These were subjected to research by Dr. Joseph Rhine at Duke University through the 1960s and into the 1970s.


There is another state that scientists find difficult to study and that is Spontaneous Telepathy. It is akin to Crisis Telepathy, which incidentally provides the most accurate and most often recorded. Such was the case involving my father.


The best telepathy demands emotion and researchers find that difficult. This point has been raised over the years, but none so pointedly as that given by Mrs. Hewat McKenzie at the British College of Psychic Science in October 1929. “We notice that the emotions are often concerned in successful transmission, but there is nothing so difficult to repeat as an emotional experience,” she said. And that brings up the question of repeatability.


Is telepathy possible through spirit communication? Considerable study has been done since the days of Crookes, Myers, Lodge, Barret and Hyslop, and continues to this day. The problem exists in what is known as the “repeatability factor.”  Telepathy, as it is recognized, requires mind-to-mind transmittal. However, there are those who feel that spirit communication to mediums and others on the earth plane, is also a form of telepathy.


Emanuel Swedenborg wrote of spirits communicating with each other by thought processes, and the psychic researcher and author Hereward Carrington wrote “...if disembodied spirits converse with one another by this means, it is only natural to suppose that this is frequently the method of communication resorted to between embodied and disembodied spirits, and all trance-mediums know this.”


Although all credit for publicizing telepathy and ESP must go to the Rhines and their prolonged studies at Duke University in the 1960s, telepathy was not a stranger to the average man and woman prior to that.


The highly esteemed American socialist and author Upton Sinclair, much against his publisher’s wishes, wrote a book called “Mental Radio,” -- another name for telepathy. Sinclair’s wife, Mary Craig Sinclair, had been studying telepathy and psychic phenomena, and one day, she was sitting quietly doodling while her husband was in the next room reading.  Mary made a drawing of a well defined clover blossom, noting it was red. Her husband entered, noticed the drawing, and exclaimed:  “I have just read a passage which said: The red clover had blushed, and he would return home with a handful of clover blossoms.”


From that point on, the Sinclairs conducted many experiments and research in telepathy and clairvoyance, and Upton Sinclair had the book published under the title “Mental Radio.” The year was 1930.  The book was translated into European languages, and in the introduction to the German edition was written: “The results of the telepathy experiments which are carefully and plainly described in this book, stand surely far beyond what an investigator of nature considers possible.”  The writer? Albert Einstein wrote a very compelling introduction.


What causes telepathy? How does it work? During Mesmer’s investigation into animal magnetism, it was generally believed that a universal fluid joined all living things. Mesmer found that telepathy occurred while clients were in a trance state, hence it was assumed telepathy and mesmerism were inseparable. Professor Charles Richet, a French physiologist demonstrated that telepathy could occur apart from the state of mesmerism or hypnosis, as it was later termed. You can have waking telepathy, said Richet. Well, he’s both right and wrong.


There is a fine line between a waking state and hypnosis. If you measure brain activity with an electroencephalograph (EEG) there are four primary brain wave patterns - Beta, (14-33 cycles per second)  which is the normal waking consciousness, Alpha (8-13 cps) which is light to medium hypnosis and meditation, also the Sunday morning half-awake, don’t-have-to-go-to-the-office feeling. Theta (4-7 cps)  is the first and intermediate levels of sleep, deep meditation, deep trance, dream state, and Delta (1.5-3 cps) is deep, profound sleep.


Our average Beta level is 21. It’s higher if stressed and you are driven by a demanding occupation. However, when we day-dream, even when driving a car, the Beta level drops close to an Alpha state. It also happens when we watch a good movie, are absorbed by a musical concert or play, or are watching a good television show. When a person is relaxed, they are conducive to concentration and new learning. That person is open to suggestions. Major marketing firms know that, hence repetitive advertisements on the screen.  You may well think you are wide awake, but you’re also in light Alpha, one of the best stages for receiving psychic messages, even telepathy. So was Professor Richet, right or wrong when he said you can have waking telepathy?


People who are highly stressed in the waking state are unlikely to receive telepathic messages. Mediums, although to all intents and purposes are awake while delivering messages in Spiritualist churches, and working in an altered state of consciousness, the Alpha State, or close to it.


Research into telepathy continues to this day. Laboratory conditions have changed since the Rhines worked at Duke University. They use computers for analysis and even provide an opportunity for visitors to work in ESP.  


The Koestler Parapsychology Unit at the University of Edinburgh is researching ESP on the internet, and can be found at In fact, earlier this year they were awarded a grant from the Bial Foundation to investigate recurrent paranormal experiences including alleged poltergeist experiences. The study will start Autumn 2009.


A fascinating point: The years may have changed since the early researchers presented their findings, but the attitude hasn’t. Only a handful of years ago a major study at the Koestler website:


“Most academic psychologists do not yet accept the existence of PSI, anomalous processes of information or energy transfer (such astelepathy or other forms of extrasensory perception) that are currently

unexplained in terms of known physical or biological mechanisms.”


Crookes, Myers, Lodge, Richet, Rhine, Moss, Garrett, and a host of others, must be shaking their astral heads in wonderment. Perhaps regarding our ESP development with a sigh! It's how spirits communicate.









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