What is clairvoyance?

Clairvoyance (from the French in the seventeenth century Clair meaning “transparent” and voyant meaning “seeing”) is the ability to obtain information about objects, people, places or physical events through different means to the known human senses, A form of extrasensory perception. The existence of psychic abilities such as clairvoyance are very controversial. Parapsychology explores this possibility, but the existence of the paranormal is not accepted by the scientific community. Within parapsychology, clairvoyance is used exclusively to refer to the transfer of information hidden by the clairvoyant. It differs from telepathy in that information is obtained directly from an external physical source, rather than being transferred from the mind of one individual to another. Out of parapsychology, clairvoyance is often used to refer to other forms of anomalous cognition, more often to the perception of events that have occurred in the past, or to occur in the future (known as retrocognition and precognition) , Or to refer to communication with the dead.

Clairvoyance beyond the senses Like most paranormal beliefs, humans have demonstrated a belief in clairvoyance for centuries. Clairvoyance is the ability to experience life beyond the five senses and for that reason, it is often called the “sixth sense.” The Theosophical Society was founded in 1875 with the aim of investigating, studying and explaining mediumistic phenomena. Charles Webster Leadbeater (1854-1934), an active member of the Theosophical Society, defined clairvoyance as “the power to see what is hidden in view of ordinary physics.”

Clairvoyance through history

Marquis de Puységur In most cultures there has been evidence of clairvoyance and the abilities of clairvoyance throughout history. Most of these episodes are experienced during adulthood. Ancient Hindu religious texts called clairvoyance as one of the siddhis (skills that can be acquired through meditation and appropriate personal discipline). Many people have reported cases of “knowledge” in one form or another, when a loved one has died or was in danger before it happened. Clairvoyance is one of the phenomena that have also been observed in the behavior of sleepwalking, people who were hypnotized and in a state of trance. The first recorded case of clairvoyance in a sleepwalking person is attributed to the Marquis de Puységur (1751-1825), disciple of Mesmer, who in 1784 was treating a local peasant named Race Victor. During the treatment, as reported, Victor was in a trance and subjected to a change of personality, becoming an expert in medicine able to give the diagnosis and prescription of his own disease, as well as those of other patients, to forget about All out of the trance state. Although Puységur used the term “clairvoyance”, he did not attribute anything that happened to his patients to the paranormal phenomenon since he accepted mesmerism as one of the natural sciences.

Clairvoyance became especially famous in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, during the spiritist period, being one of the aspects most studied by members of the Society for Psychical Research (SPR). While experimental clairvoyance research began with SPR researchers, experimental studies became more systematic thanks to the efforts of J.B. Rhine (1895-1980, pioneer of parapsychology) and his associates at Duke University, continuing his research efforts to this day. Quite possibly, the most well-known research on clairvoyance in recent times was funded by the US government, called the “Remote Vision Project” during the 1970s through the mid-1990s. The research suggested that clairvoyance did not exist, but it should be said that the study continued on the part of the Stanford Research Institute due to lack of valid evidence. Some parapsychologists have proposed that different functionalities such as clairvoyance, telepathy or precognition refer to an underlying basic mechanism, although no satisfactory theory yet exists.

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