An Introduction to Psychic Abilities

Job applicants are rarely if ever asked to list psychic abilities on their resumes, but that doesn’t mean everyone would be at a loss for words if the topic came up during an interview. A 2005 Gallup poll found that roughly three-quarters of Americans believe in at least some paranormal power, including phenomena like telepathy, clairvoyance, and precognition

Twenty-first-century Americans are not the only ones who believe in psychic abilities; numerous cultures from around the world have long believed that psychic phenomena are real and continue to maintain a belief in the paranormal today.

What are psychic abilities?

Psychic abilities are talents, skills, and capacities that cannot be explained by the laws of physics as they are currently understood. These abilities can range from a “gut feeling” about something that later proves true to a precognitive dream foretelling an event that had not yet happened at the time of the dream. They can emerge on a regular basis, or extended periods of time can go by between psychic events. 

Do psychic abilities really exist?

One difficulty with scientifically verifying the existence of psychic abilities is that psychic phenomena don’t always lend themselves to repeatability in the context of controlled studies. 

If someone has a strong urge to take the long way home for no apparent reason at all, and only later learns a major traffic jam would have delayed them for two hours had they taken their usual route, does that mean they will experience that same inkling the next time a traffic jam looms? Maybe so, maybe not. 

Still, that doesn’t mean their hunch to use another route was not psychic in nature. Just as some of the best baseball players only average a base hit in every third at bat, even those people with the highest levels of psychic abilities may not always connect on every hunch or intuition

Nonetheless, several prominent researchers and journalists have drafted books outlining why they believe psychic abilities do indeed exist. Some notable books include The Reality of ESP: A Physicist’s Proof of Psychic Abilities by Russell Targ; Entangled Minds: Extrasensory Experiences in a Quantum Reality by Dean Radin; and Psychics, Healers, and Mediums: A Journalist, a Road Trip, and Voices from the Other Side by Jennifer Weigel. 

In the 1930s and ’40s, Joseph Banks Rhine conducted experiments on psychic abilities at Duke University, coining the term “extrasensory perception,” or ESP, in the process. Rhine and coauthor J. Gaither Pratt published Extra Sensory Perception After Sixty Years: A Critical Appraisal of the Research In Extra Sensory Perception in 1940. 

Who has psychic abilities?

Psychic abilities have been reported by people of all ages, from parents who suddenly feel like their child is in danger and act in time to prevent a tragedy to children who provide details about past lives without any identifiable way of having acquired the information that proves accurate. 

Psychic abilities can vary in their consistency, even in the same individual. Someone who has a clairvoyant experience at age twenty, for example, may not experience a similar event for a decade or more, if ever, or they may have many such experiences in a relatively short time.

Are there ways to develop psychic abilities?

An interest in developing one’s psychic abilities is a good first step. Being attentive to thoughts, impulses, and dreams—sometimes with the assistance of a mindfulness practice or a dream journal—can provide clues to psychic activity or help people recognize any “hits” that they may have otherwise overlooked. 

Meditation can be another route to help calm the mind and allow more receptivity for conscious awareness of anything that may point the way toward honing one’s psychic abilities. 

Books on the topic of tapping into one’s own psychic potential include The Awakened Psychic: What You Need to Know to Develop Your Psychic Abilities by Ambrose Kala; Psychic Senses: An Essential Guide to Developing Your Psychic and Medium Gifts by Colby Rebel; and The Psychic Pathway: A Workbook for Reawakening the Voice of Your Soul by Sonia Choquette.

Psychic, astrologer, medium, and author Sandy Anastasi has developed her own eponymously named system to help people develop their psychic abilities. She explains the fundamentals of the Anastasi System in this video.

What are some everyday uses of psychic abilities?

While the mechanism that makes psychic abilities possible has not been identified, that doesn’t stop people all over the world from consulting psychics, empaths, medical intuitives, shamans, and others who purport to tap into the psychic realm.

People grieving the loss of a loved one have gone to a medium or psychic who offers a message so narrowly focused that, at least in the hearts and minds of the bereaved, there is no doubt it came from the recently departed.

Police departments in various cities have sought out and used the services of psychics for help in solving crimes, sometimes with great success. Even some detectives who do not consider themselves psychic in the usual sense have reached investigative breakthroughs by following their own intuition down unconventional lines of inquiry.

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