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erichw1504's avatar

Do you believe you have extrasensory perception (ESP)?

Asked by erichw1504 (26420points) November 16th, 2009

Extrasensory perception involves reception of information not gained through the recognized senses and not inferred from experience.

Do you think you have or have had this ability? Have you ever experienced something that may have been ESP? Is so, what happened? Can you explain it? Do you think ESP is real or just a hoax?

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35 Answers

derekfnord's avatar

I have had this ability at least once. A precognitive dream 23 years ago (details follow below). I don’t have a good explanation, other than to assume that it must be possible to obtain information in some not-currently-understood way, albeit not a way that is not controllable or usable on demand (at least in my case).

I went to high school in Antioch, CA, and graduated from Antioch High School in June 1986. Antioch’s nearest neighboring town is Pittsburg, CA, home of Pittsburg High School. As of June 1986, I had never gone to Pittsburg High, didn’t know anyone who went to Pittsburg High, and had only set foot on the campus of Pittsburg High once in my life (attending a football game in my junior year).

In the weeks following graduation, still in June 1986, my then-girlfriend and I were housesitting for a friend. One night, I dreamed that I had auditioned for the play, The Crucible. In the dream, my girlfriend and I were leaving her father’s business office and driving to Pittsburg High School to see if I had been cast in the play. We were going to Pittsburg High because that’s where the cast list was going to be posted.

When I awoke, I told my girlfriend about this strange dream. It was very lifelike, but it made no sense. I had been active in drama in high school, but all the other elements were out of place in typical dream fashion. After all, I had just graduated high school, and never attended Pittsburg High anyway, so why would I be doing a play there now? The Crucible was one of my favorite plays, but I didn’t know of anyone producing it at the time, Pittsburg High or otherwise. My girlfriend’s father’s office was in Pittsburg, but it’s not like either my girlfriend or I worked there. I probably only told my girlfriend about it because it was such a vivid dream.

Time passed. I moved away from Antioch for a month or so, but moved back in September 1986. By then, my girlfriend was working for her father, and attending the local junior college (Los Medanos College, in Pittsburg). One day while escorting her to class, I saw a flyer on a bulletin board announcing auditions for the fall play. The play was The Crucible. (Of course, at this point, I wasn’t consciously thinking about the dream from months before.) I auditioned. As it turned out, the college’s theater was too small to house a full stage play, and it was being directed by Pittsburg High’s drama teacher, so naturally… it was being staged at Pittsburg High School.

So there we were, several days after the auditions. I’m in the car with my girlfriend, and we’re leaving her father’s office (where she now worked) to go to Pittsburg High School to look at the cast list of The Crucible and see if I made the play! It was exactly like the dream!!

And thing that separated this from your typical deja-vu is, I had a “witness.” My girlfriend had been with me when I had the dream, and I had told her about it right after I dreamed it. Then, months later, she was with me again when the events seen in the dream occurred, and she remembered my telling her about the scene months before. And all elements of the dream that made no sense at all in June 1986, turned out to make perfect sense in September 1986.

So I didn’t just have some vague feeling that I’d seen some event in a dream. I knew I’d seen it in a dream, I remembered when the dream had been, I had told someone else about the dream at the time that I’d had it, that person remembered me telling her about the dream, and that person was also with me when the events of the dream took place in real life.

Just to make sure I hadn’t subliminally seen an early flyer for The Crucible months before, I checked with the drama dept. At the time of my dream in June, no flyers had been made, the play had not been chosen, the director had not been chosen, and the venue had not been chosen. So there’s no way I could have just seen this somewhere and worked it into a dream.

So while I don’t gullibly believe in everything that anyone claims is psychic phenomena, I do know that in some cases it is possible in some unexplained way. Because the details of my dream were so specific and so seemingly-unlikely, yet came true anyway, “random chance” is a nearly-impossible explanation, in my opinion… more impossible than some as-yet-unexplained mechanism for seeing future events.

noraasnave's avatar

I have dreams that happen in real life sometimes as much as a year or two later. I had a dream that I woke up with a strange lady that I didn’t recognize. I had dejavu a year later and the women in my previous dream was my 2nd Wife. I dreamt of her when I was in bed with my 1st wife. Talk about a crazy dream!

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gailcalled's avatar

Occasionally thoughts or experience catch up with coincidence. I was watching Jeopardy the other night and thinking about Cormac McCarthy’s novel, The Road.. The next answer, selected at random by a contestant, had “What is The Road? ” as its question.

I had a 30” frisson.

erichw1504's avatar

@gailcalled I also have those kind of experiences with music. I’ll be listening to a song in my head before turning on the radio, and there it is, playing on air!

tomnoel's avatar

no everyone has the same size brain about 8lbs .

gailcalled's avatar

@erichw1504: I bet that you listen to dozens of songs and hear one or two only occasionally. It is startling and thus feels like ESP.

Similarly, I will think about someone and then the phone will ring. And there he is. But I forget about the dozens of other times I answer the phone.

Psychedelic_Zebra's avatar

As a paranormal ‘gift’ I feel it is widely misinterpreted. As an actual ability inherent in humans, I am skeptical, for various reasons. It doesn’t seem to be proven through double-blind scientific trials, so I think it may simply be wishful thinking or the case of getting what you wish for through manipulation of your desires.

as three-quarters of the name of a cable sports channel, yeah, I believe that much.

cyn's avatar

I had experienced it before. I think.
I was in class last year and the teacher made us read a chemistry book. The people he picked to read were random. I was really bored and in my head I was playing a guessing game.
“Say Josh, say Josh.” The teacher picked Josh.
“Say Rose, say Rose.” He picked Rose.
“oh shit he’s going to pick me!” He picked me to read. I was in complete shock, my neighbor had to read for me. This guy was taking a nap. I sense that the teacher was gong to pick him next to read. On my head I was screaming. “WAKE-up, Wake-up you lazy-ass.” The teacher picked him.

Lacroix's avatar

The most common way I experience it is that I’ll dream that a person will call me. This only happens when I haven’t had contact with the person for a long time. But rather than talk, we’ll both just sit on the phone in complete silence. I’ll get the sense of being too tired to talk while I have them on the phone. Within a week, I’ve always received contact from the person. Now, this doesn’t work with EVERY person that I’ve been out of touch with, but one friend has theorized I’m reaching out to the person I want to contact me, through “global thinking”, or whatever they’re calling it now.

I do believe in ESP, but I think it’s random, for the most part. Like a muscle we haven’t quite learned to control (ever been thrilled to realize you could flex a chest muscle you couldn’t before, but days later you’ve “forgotten” how to do it?). I believe most cases of ESP are our brains gathering dozens of tiny points of data, and in our subconscious mind piecing them together. Our brains are definitely capable of that, it’s why movies hire people to pay attention to the tiniest little details. You might not consciously know that Snow White’s fingers are bending too far backwards, but subconsciously you know something’s off.

Christian95's avatar

strangee! Last night I dreamed the solution to a very complicated physics problem which I’m trying to solve for 2 weeks now.And today my teacher told me the answers and it was exactly the same with my solve.So this kind of make me think and now I’m seeing this.hoooouuou. Maybe I’m transforming into a person which sees future(like in Minority report).Or maybe this was only a way for my brain to give me the answers that I couldn’t figure it out when I was awake.
Or maybe I’m receiving alien messages.
I don’t know,you choose what you think is most probable.

Justnice's avatar

I always tell people that I have a sort of sixth sense because I seem to know what people are thinking. I don’t hear it in my head but I just look at someone and I know what they are thinking. It’s really weird and it happens often. Of course I’m not saying that I can read peoples minds

LC_Beta's avatar

@Christian95 this has happened to me before with writing query codes and stuff that I couldn’t figure out during the day. I have woken up with the sudden realization of what I was doing wrong.

The_Observer's avatar

Yes, and I can use it extensively.

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augustlan's avatar

[mod says] Flame off, folks. Let’s get back to the topic.

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OutOfTheBlue's avatar

Being clairvoyant is a special gift and most if not all people have it at birth, some people are raised to think that it is all untrue so they never develop there ability by suppressing it, there brain learns to block it, this is more than likely why you here people say i have experienced it before but not a lot.

Some people are more clairvoyant than others as they are more receptive, the most common form of this is while in the dream state, i happen to have it a lot almost everyday while awake i can have up to five to 10 visions a day some times more, where does it come from? I wish i knew.

When i was young it used to happen and what i seen or knew was going to happen wouldn’t happen for weeks, months or some times years. i also wondered why it was happening and why i felt different than a lot of other people, i used drugs when i was younger to try and suppress it, then i figured out what it was and have worked on fine tuning it, and being more receptive, i can see or know something is going to happen and have it happen with in minutes or even seconds.

The first thing to do is acknowledge it, second thing to do is try and be more receptive, being clairvoyant is a gift and is very much real!

Btw, there are more forms of ability’s that are not just clairvoyant, i don’t care what science say’s either, i know for a fact it is true because i live it every day.

YARNLADY's avatar

Yes, I believe I do “know” random things about other people that I haven’t been told, and I frequently bring up things in my family that causes them to say “Mom (or grandma), get out of my head”.

filmfann's avatar

@erichw1504 The answer to the question you were going to ask, but didn’t, is Yes.

Beta_Orionis's avatar

My mom always knows who’s calling on the house phone (without any sort of display and thus no caller id,) answers “hi so-and-so!” and is NEVER wrong. Even when it’s a cousin from across the country who hasn’t called in years.

OutOfTheBlue's avatar

@Beta_Orionis Sounds like she is definitely “In Tune” and very receptive..

Beta_Orionis's avatar

@OutOfTheBlue Oh she is. There are a million other examples, but that’s the best and longest running example I can provide, the one which is least likely to be contested. I have my moments, but I’m nowhere near as receptive as my mother.

OutOfTheBlue's avatar

@Beta_Orionis This is all in theory of course, but i think as you get older and the more you accept it the more receptive you are, also meditating helps a lot with being in tune..

Beta_Orionis's avatar

@OutOfTheBlue Meditation definitely helps. Nothing like a quiet mind to amp up reception! Not so sure about the aging bit. My mom is falling out of tune as she gets older, but I think it has more to do with emotional issues than aging. I am only 20, so I’ll have to wait and see!

OutOfTheBlue's avatar

@Beta_Orionis Who knows, all i know is it is not a hoax.

Cruiser's avatar

Yes! Very much so! So far I have found I have the gift of clairsentience where I can feel peoples energy and energy blockages most specifically pain. I am a novice but my ability to do this is quite obvious to me and others. I have been told to further my exploration of my ability, but I lack the time and “teacher” to do so.

GiantKyojin's avatar

Scientists have never found any convincing evidence that such abilities exist. None of us actually can have abilities that do not exist. Some people want to believe in such absurd “kuso” and convince themselves that they have them. They are only deluding themselves, of course. We sane and logical people can only pity them.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Well…since it cannot be seen, held, smelled, measured, or heard it is a hoax and doesn’t exist, at least by Fluther standard. Outside of this collective, I can say for sure it doesn’t exist in some form however small.

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