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  • Telepathy

    Dear Family and Friends,

    As an obvious companion to the Thread on Telekinesis (link),

    I start this Thread on Telepathy.

    Feel free to start with a question, your personal experience, what-have you. If no one else wishes to start, I will shortly.


    Charles David Chalmers
    Brunei Darussalam

  • #2
    A time-honoured way of beginning a discussion is the clarification of terms.

    quoted from WikipediaTelepathy (from the Ancient Greek τῆλε, tele meaning "distant" and πάθος, pathos or -patheia meaning "feeling, perception, passion, affliction, experience")[3][4] is the purported transmission of information from one person to another without using any of our known sensory channels or physical interaction.

    For starters, any questions or comments about that definition? Any additions, subtractions or alterations needed?

    Charles David Chalmers
    Brunei Darussalam


    • #3
      Very interesting subject, Charles. I have my own theories (and experiences) regarding information transmission without the use of the physical senses. Maybe we can add this at an appropriate point of this discussion.
      Sifu Andrew Barnett
      Shaolin Wahnam Switzerland -

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      • #4
        About the definition....

        I'm interested in the definition to start with, "without using any of our known sensory channels". I might infer the “known” channels to be sight, hearing, touch, taste, smell, though in the area of energy this definition is limited. Another example of the classic scientific attitude of what can't be measured, doesn't exist.

        I certainly believe telepathy is possible, perhaps heart to heart transmission is an example?

        Moods and emotions can be felt through the field, which we experience in everyday life not only through language but in feeling and adopting moods of others. During my NLP training we did an exercise where one person thought of a situation/memory which brought up some emotions, and another person adopted the same posture and breathing pattern and then felt an emotion within them, and attempted to identify it. Often, not only the emotion was identified, but in many cases the actual memory/situation which caused it. The stronger the emotion, the easier the situation was identified, it seemed. So for me, this fits with the definition.

        I’m sure it’s quite common for thoughts to come up seemingly simultaneously during a discussion and be voiced at the same time (not simply completing sentences, but whole ideas or trains of thought coming to the fore as one person is about to raise it and another is feeling it too). If that makes sense?

        Communication with beings we can’t see such as angels, guides, deities, etc must surely take place in a way akin to or actually as telepathy.

        I personally believe telepathy is possible, though my experiences are perhaps on the periphery of what is possible. My belief is that the capability exists in us all, and that it can be enhanced and developed either specifically or as a by product of other training which raises awareness, such as meditation, the Shaolin arts and other spiritual practices. I also think that the Western conscious-minded world of logic, sense and measurement naturally restricts the development of such capabilities of which might otherwise be more commonplace in the majority.

        I’m interested and curious to follow this discussion and what others have to say about the subject. In fact, I can feel fingers at the keyboards as I write!
        With love and Shaolin salute /o

        "Your purpose in life is to find your purpose & give your whole heart and soul to it." - Buddha

        Gate gate pāragate pārasaṃgate bodhi svāhā.


        • #5
          I'll take the devil's advocate position then. I personally don't believe in telepathy, because I have never experienced it, and I take seriously Sifu's advice, passed on from the Buddha, to "Accept nothing on faith alone."

          However, I have had other experiences, which if I had not had the experience myself, and someone else did have, and related it to me, I wouldn't believe it. Hence while I think it is good to be a sceptic, it is also good to retain an open mind to some degree.

          I would like to add one thing though. Many of us have had the experience where we were thinking of someone, and then the phone rings, and it is that person! And we think "Oh my God, I'm telepathic!" Well, no. As the scientists and sceptics explain well in their books, the sheer mathematics mean we have lots of friends, we get lots of phone calls, we think about various friends a lot, and hence these coincidences are almost bound to occur sometimes, it would be far stranger if this experience never occurred. We forget about the countless thousands of times we were thinking about those people and the phone didn't ring!


          • #6
            Telepathy, as defined by Wikipedia, is often manifested by powerful Hindu gurus such as Neem Karoli Baba (Maharaj-ji).

            Below is an excerpt from "Polishing the Mirror: How to Live from Your Spiritual Heart." Ram Dass first meets his guru, Neem Karoli Baba, in India:

            Maharaj-ji looked at me and said something that was translated as, “You came in a big car?” He was smiling.

            That was the one topic I didn’t want to talk about. We had borrowed the Land Rover from my friend. I felt responsible for it. Still smiling, Maharaj-ji said, “Will you give it to me?”

            I started to say it wasn’t my car, but Bhagavan Das jumped up and said, “Maharaj-ji, if you want it, it’s yours.”

            I sputtered, “You can’t give him that car! That’s not our car to give away.”

            Maharaj-ji looked up at me and said, “Do you make much money in America?” I figured he thought all Americans were rich.

            I said, “Yeah, I made a lot of money in America, at one time.”

            “How much did you make?”

            “Well, one year I made $ 25,000.”

            They all calculated that in rupees, and it was a sizable amount of money. Maharaj-ji said, “Will you buy a car like that for me?”

            At that moment, I thought that I had never been hustled so fast in my life. I grew up around Jewish charities. We were good at shaking the tree, but never this good. I mean, I hadn’t really even met this guy and already he’d asked me for a $ 7,000 car. I said, “Well, maybe.” This whole time he was smiling at me. My head was going around in circles. Everyone else was laughing because they knew he was putting me on, but I didn’t know that.

            He said we should go and take prasad, “food.” We were taken down to the little temple and treated royally and given beautiful food and a place to rest. This was way up in the mountains— no telephones, no lights, nothing. After a while, we were brought back to Maharaj-ji.

            He said to me, “Come, sit.” He looked at me and he said, “You were out under the stars last night.”


            He said, “You were thinking about your mother.”


            “She died last year?”


            “She got very big in the stomach before she died.”

            “That’s right.”

            “Spleen. She died of spleen.”

            He said “spleen” in English. When he said “spleen,” he looked directly at me.

            At that moment, two things happened simultaneously. First, my rational mind, like a computer out of control, tried desperately to figure out how he could have known that. I went through every super-CIA paranoid scenario possible, like, “They brought me here, and this is part of the mind-screw thing. Or he’s got this dossier on me. Wow, they’re pretty good! But how could he know that? I didn’t tell anyone, not even Bhagavan Das …,” and so on. But no matter how grandiose I got, my mind just couldn’t handle this one. It wasn’t in the instruction manual. It was beyond even my paranoid fantasies, and some of them were pretty imaginative.

            Until then, I had an intellectual position on anything psychic or super-natural that happened. If I heard about it secondhand, I would say, as any good Harvard scientist would, “Well, that is interesting. We certainly must keep an open mind about these things. There’s some interesting research being done in this field. We’ll look into it.”

            Or if I were high on LSD, I as the observer would say, “Well, how do I know I’m not just creating this whole thing out of whole cloth anyway?” But I wasn’t under any chemical influence, and this old man had just said “spleen.” In English. How did he know that?

            My mind went faster and faster, trying to figure out how Maharaj-ji could know this. Finally, like a cartoon computer with an insoluble problem, the bell rang and the red light went on and the machine stopped. My rational mind gave up. It just went pouf!

            Second, at that same moment, there was a violent wrenching, a very painful pull in my chest, and I started to cry. Later I realized it was my fourth chakra, the heart center, opening. I looked up at Maharaj-ji, and he was looking back at me with total love. I realized he knew everything about me, even the things I was most ashamed of, and yet he wasn’t judging me. He was just loving me with pure unconditional love.

            I cried and I cried and I cried and I cried. I wasn’t sad and I wasn’t happy. The closest I can say is that I was crying because I was home. I had carried my big load up the hill, and now it was all done. The journey was over, and I had finished my search.

            All that paranoia washed out of me, and everything else too. I was left with just a feeling of fantastic love and peace. I was in the living presence of Maharaj-ji’s unconditional love. I had never been loved so completely. From that moment on, all I wanted was to touch Maharaj-ji’s feet. Later Maharaj-ji gave me a spiritual name, Ram Dass, which means “servant of God” (“ Rām” is one of the Hindu incarnations of God, “Dass” means servant).

            Dass, Ram; Das, Rameshwar (2013-08-01). Polishing the Mirror: How to Live from Your Spiritual Heart . Sounds True. Kindle Edition.
            Last edited by DarkCosmoz; 3rd January 2016, 05:35 PM.


            • #7
              Here are Sigung's comments about telepathy:

              Telepathic abilities are true. When one develops his mind, like practicing high level chi kung such as those taught in our schools, he can attain telepathic powers. When one is so blessed to have usch powers it is very important for his own good to use the powers ethically and wisely.

              We in Shaolin Wahnam know this very well. Hence, Shaolin Wahnam members would not abuse their powers. It is for our own good.

              If a person with such powers abuses them, it is inevitable that his evil deeds will be bounced back to him. There is nothing superstitious or even religious about this. It is a cosmic truth, and can be readily explained by science.

              Scientists know very well now that what we call “objective” reality is actually a creation of mind. Before a person can commit any evil deed, it is first conceived in his mind. The evil thought soils his mind with evil imprints. When the time is ripe these evil imprints will manifest as evil happenings to him himself.

              A very rough analogy is a camera. If you expose your camera to ugly scenes, the pictures developed will be ugly because of the ugly imprints on the film.


              Yes, if you practice high-level chi kung, your mind can be developed to a level where you can read people's thoughts if you want to. But we don't do that as we consider it morally wrong. Many people have enough trouble managing their own thoughts. Why should they add to their trouble with other people's thoughts?

              In our sparring practice, some of our students sometimes know beforehand what attacks their sparring partners would use. This is because their mind is so calm and clear that they can pick up the mental impulses of their sparring partners. When they enter a room full of people, without looking at the people, they can tell who are friendly and who are hostile. It is not that my students attempt to read their thoughts. They just pick up the mental vibrations of these people.

              In the past, kungfu masters could catch arrows shot at them. This was physically impossible. By the time they saw the arrows with their eyes, it would be too late to move their hands to catch them. Then, how did they accomplish the feat. They sensed the arrows with their mind, and they moved in energy flow, which was almost at the speed of thought.

              We in Shaolin Wahnam are not at the level of the past masters who could catch arrows. But many of us could sense attacks without looking at them. If you view the videos of our Special Wing Choon Course you can find some showing course participants sparring while being blind-folded. Indeed some participants told me they found it easier to respond correctly while being blind-folded than with their eyes open because without the interference of sight they could sense better with their mind. These videos show their training after a few hours. If they spend, say, six months to practice blind-fold sparring, their skill will be much higher.


              Now, what are some useful exercises to develop psychic powers such as telepathy? Personally, Small Universe, Big Universe and Cosmic Breathing have enhanced my abilities to feel energy around me because it develops the Third Eye. The Third Eye chakra is known to be linked to many different psychic abilities. I would know if an area is sacred or if a powerful Qigong master such as Sigung is a block away or in the building. Occasionally, I have picked up thoughts here and there but never anything concrete to be truly telepathic.

              Best wishes,


              • #8
                Originally posted by drunken boxer View Post
                I personally don't believe in telepathy, because I have never experienced it,
                Excellent point! I also feel that way about Africa. Because I've never experienced it, I don't believe in it.

                Ironically Yours,

                Charles David Chalmers
                Brunei Darussalam


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Charles David View Post
                  Excellent point! I also feel that way about Africa. Because I've never experienced it, I don't believe in it.
                  I do believe in Africa. I've seen excellent evidence of Africa, even met some Africans, and am friends with some of them.

                  I even believe in dinosaurs, because there is evidence of dinosaurs as well.

                  I don't believe in Atlantis because there is no evidence of atlantis.

                  I believe that human beings can believe in things that don't exist, very strongly!

                  I could point at some excellent reading on the matter, but on the whole I don't think it would be beneficial at this stage.

                  A more interesting example to me, perhaps, would be nuclear weapons. Before the first nuclear weapon was detonated, or before the first nuclear fission energy-releasing reaction/explosion would I have believed in such a weapon, based only on the scientists theories, calculations etc? I don't know the answer.


                  • #10
                    There have been a couple of threads come up lately where I have discussed scepticism, but I kept forgetting to make one particular point.

                    I've always considered scepticism to be a good position to take, and I don't mean "Scepticism is good, even for someone who wants to help spread the arts of chi kung and kungfu." I mean "Scepticism is good, especially for someone who wants to help spread the arts of chi kung and kungfu."

                    You know how they say that kids who have started to have problems getting involved with crime, never listen to teachers and people like that, but when older peers who have also had previous problems with crime speak to them, they listen to them. I hope that sceptics might listen to me about chi kung and kungfu, for similar reasons.

                    To me, for example I know people who believe in reiki, crystals, God, ghosts and all kinds of things like that. In the past, when such people have told me they believe in things like yoga, pilates and chi kung I thought "Well of course you do, you believe in anything, whether it is real or not."

                    Whereas I think certain people could be more easily reached by someone like me, who believes in none of that stuff, yet believes in chi, internal force, chi kung and kungfu. I know not everyone will see it that way, which is of course fine and understandable, I'm not Einstein


                    • #11
                      You Are Being Unscientific


                      I wonder if "I don't believe in Telepathy" means "I believe that Telepathy doesn't exist"? Or if there is some other meaning. Please clarify.

                      Of course the Africa example is very poor, as one would have to be daft to not believe in Africa because one hadn't been there. But the same question could apply to, for example, Pluto. Or atoms. Do you really not believe in anything you don't have direct proof of?

                      Also, how do you know there is no evidence of Atlantis? That seems very unscientific, or at least linguistically sloppy to state with such conviction "There is no evidence of Atlantis." I thought it was pretty a standard scientific principle/procedure not to categorically state the non-existence of something.

                      Respectfully, you are sounding more like a dogmatist, or orthodoxist, than an open-minded man of science. Not that we all have to be open-minded men of science, but in my experience that is exactly what Sifu teaches us to be.

                      Using the established procedure of science, I hypothesize: "Telepathy exists." And now I work to determine if my hypothesis has validity.

                      Using unscientific methods one declares: "This thing does not exist!" And there is never any way to know for certain if that hypothesis is correct.

                      Siheng, you are being unscientific.


                      Charles David Chalmers
                      Brunei Darussalam


                      • #12
                        Charles we have a difference of opinion and I think that's fine, we are allowed to believe different things, despite what people on other forums may say about us. The sort of questions you have put, this kind of argument, I have had it a few times on discussion forums and so forth, and seen it played out multiple times by many others. I have tried to read folks on both sides of the argument. We could repeat it again, but I would prefer to refer you to books that put it much better than I could, and much better than I have seen anyone else do.

                        I would rather not do that though, for a couple of reasons, and I will tell you why. The books I speak of are from people who I consider to be highly intelligent, who make very strong arguments, and they are very hard hitting on anything unscientific, that is why I mentioned earlier that they need a strong constitution to read. I am not sure if I have ever heard them specifically argue against chi (other than against empty force), though I think there are books where people do. Those books, in my opinion, would not challenge your or my belief in chi as we have experienced it and experience it every day, so obviously no mere book will change our minds. But, in my opinion, if someone was thinking of getting involved in our arts for example (and other arts/practices) I think those books could dissuade a lot of people. Or even just a few people. So I would prefer not to take the chance. Hoping you agree with me on that, or at least respect the reason.

                        The other reason is that these arguments get long, and rarely does either side change their mind. Ie after our discussion, you will still believe in telepathy I would say (or retain whatever thoughts you have about it now) and I won't believe in it, based merely on discussion. For example you, or someone else, may believe in ghosts, I don't. Neither of us will change our mind from discussing that. But if I ever see a ghost, I am sure I would change my mind, and the same with telepathy.

                        One thought did occur to me, that I should include in the spirit of fairness, and which goes against the tendency to try to win the argument, which is that I had an experience once, that arguably could be called almost a sort of telepathy. I spoke to Sifu about it, and I think it might be included in a q+a. I can't actually remember if it is already in the q+a or might be included later. I have read and re-read Sifu's reply to it many times, but can't remember if this was always in his email to me or if it reached the q+a series yet. This experience, if not textbook telepathy, was just as 'outlandish' as that. If it had happened to someone else and they related it, I would have difficulty believing it. If you think I am closed-minded now, you should have seen me before things like this happened! I like to think I follow the maxim of the famous 'economist' John Maynard Keynes "When the facts change, I change my mind*."

                        *As an off-topic sidenote I like to think he would have changed his mind about his economic theories had he lived longer!


                        • #13
                          Next Step in the Scientific Method: Establishing Theories vs. Shaolin Methods

                          Hi Paul,

                          Regarding Skepticism: Thanks for your reply, but you didn't answer my question, Is "I don't believe in X" the same as saying "I believe X doesn't exist," which not-answering is of course okay. But honestly, to reiterate, I find the formula, "I don't believe that x exists," is inherently anti-scientific. Similarly, it is anti-scientific to make a negative hypothesis, i.e. "Chi does not exist" because such a hypothesis is unprovable, and thus counter to scientific method. It is simply not scientifically possible to assert the non-existence of something.

                          So, you say that skeptics "are very hard hitting on anything unscientific", I say their assertions and methods are unscientific, but merely represent a kind of conservative pseudo-science which still regressively positions itself counter to religion, etc. But, regarding skepticism, you appear to know more that me about that field, so I will bow out of the argument, which, as you say, may be pointless.

                          Regarding a Scientific Approach to Telepathy: If we don't wish to argue the points above, and rather, work together with my hypothesis, which I invite you to do, the next step is to establish a theory regarding Telepathy. If you wish to play devil's advocate to your devilishness, you could articulate what that theory, or those theories might be. Care to? (It appears that the foundation for such theories is above, in Sifu's writing.)

                          Regarding a Shaolin Approach to Telepathy:

                          I have personally experienced an increase in my ability to predict, intuit, know other people's minds. None of them on their own are are impressive or conclusive, but taken together, it just take it as matter-of-fact that Telepathy exists. To even present these instances as evidence or proof is not the point, and in fact would be laughable by modern, scientific standards, which often dismisses anecdotal evidence, which is why I don't bother. Telling you I knew my son's bowling score before he told me is not likely to convince you, or anyone else of the existence of telepathy, nor is it even likely to convince me. But if I trust my sifu, which I do, I am more likely to say, "Oh, the fact that number just popped into my head is probably a result of growing telepathic power." Or it is a coincidence. Does it matter, really?

                          Q: The next step in the Shaolin approach?

                          Anyway, Paul Siheng has introduced an interesting diversion which probably does deserve its own thread, "Shaolin vs. Scientific Methods" or "Science vs. Skepticism" or "Inductive vs. Deductive Methods."


                          Charles David Chalmers
                          Brunei Darussalam


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by drunken boxer View Post
                            rarely does either side change their mind.
                            Actually, I fully intend to change my mind every discussion I go into. I love learning, I love making mistakes and being wrong. I love meeting and talking to people who know more, have seen more, and are able to help me see my errors. If someone is making a mistake, I sometimes even try to help them, though many people take that as a threat. Like the meme I saw recently: "It's hard to win an argument with a smart person; but impossible to win an argument with a stupid mofo."

                            Originally posted by drunken boxer View Post
                            Ie after our discussion, you will still believe in telepathy I would say (or retain whatever thoughts you have about it now)

                            Whoaa! I never said I believed in telepathy. In what I wrote, I was just being scientific, making a hypothesis, and keeping an open mind. What made you think I believe in telepathy? It must have been telepathy!

                            and I won't believe in it
                            Your mental set surprises me. But I understand that you get something out of it, and it is important for you to hold onto and espouse this belief. I prefer both science, and Shaolin, to skepticism.

                            On topic: May I suggest that your inability to personally experience, or rather, acknowledge and verify your experience of telepathy has to do with your stubborn denial. Like how you try to explain away the possible telepathic experiences you have had as "mere coincidence."


                            Charles David Chalmers
                            Brunei Darussalam


                            • #15
                              Wow, so many words about a thing everyone is using almost daily!

                              You never before thought of someone you haven't seen for months, and just in this moment the phone rings, and it is him?
                              You never before had a dream about some situation which would happen later?
                              You hever had this feeling "This is no new scene to me, I have experienced it already" though you didn't?
                              You never before thought of some subject not discussed earlier between you and your partner, and just in this moment your partner begins to speak about it?
                              You never before did something you have never done before - just to find something you have looked for for a long time?

                              The thing is, people are often not aware what they are doing. They are living without much awareness. If they would be aware they would see how much telepathy is part of our life. Naturally.
                              ... alles, alles, alles ist doch auf Liebe aufgebaut ..." (Ellen Auerbach, 1997)