An Introduction to Telekinesis

The concept of telekinesis—the ability to use the power of thought or focused intention without any physical intervention to induce movement in objects at rest or influence the movement of objects and physical systems already in motion—is often relegated to the realm of science fiction and paranormal-themed movies. But even though telekinesis seemingly contradicts the laws of physics, there is evidence to suggest that our understanding of those laws may be incomplete. Based on what do know, however, research and development is under way that could make telekinetic activity not only possible but part of our everyday lives. 

How is telekinesis possible?

In discussing how telekinesis might be possible, it’s important to draw a distinction between telekinesis as a paranormal phenomenon and telekinesis as an ability available to us by harnessing the power of technology and scientific innovation. 

The concept of telekinesis has been around since ancient times. Author and esoteric researcher Graham Hancock speculates that while modern humans are very good at using technology to achieve goals, our focus on the material realm may have let other abilities subside to the point that the vast majority of humans are “asleep” to the fact that we can make the effort to nurture such powers.

“Perhaps we’ve allowed other faculties of the human mind to lapse in the process,” Hancock said in a 2016 interview on telekinesis, telepathy, reincarnation, and other topics. “We’ve become dependent on mechanical technology and other faculties of the human mind, which are spoken of in traditions all around the world. Faculties of telekinesis, for example, to move objects with the powers of the mind, of telepathy and so on and so forth, are spoken of again and again in ancient traditions.”

Hancock goes on to say that by focusing so heavily on technology, it could be that we’re undermining the human capacity to achieve telekinesis and other abilities considered paranormal. Maybe, Hancock opines, we’re “just forgetting what else we might have done if we’d gone a different way.”

Can science make telekinesis real?

Stepping away from the idea of telekinesis through mind-power only, we find that recent scientific innovations have helped pave the way for telekinetic capacities through brain implants and other technology. It may not be what we think of as supernatural, but it could give people useful abilities they do not currently possess.

Andrea Stocco, a psychology professor and co-director of the Cognition and Cortical Dynamics Laboratory at the University of Washington, puts it this way: “If you are satisfied with calling ‘telekinesis’ the operation of remote robotic arms through radio or wired signals, or the control of software objects (cursors on a screen, phone apps), then all of these things are certainly possible with brain implants.”

In the case of at least one person, Tan Le, her childhood desire to be able move things with her mind led to an interest in developing technology that could make it possible. Le founded the brain research company Emotiv, which has developed technology that, among other things, has enabled a quadriplegic man to drive a Formula One race car by way of his thoughts. She envisions wider development of technologies that could make telekinesis—or at least telekinetic-like abilities through scientific innovation—far more common than it is today.

Can paranormal telekinesis be explained by science?

“Explained” may be too strong of a word, but there are scientists who are more than willing to entertain the idea that just because we don’t currently understand how telekinesis in a paranormal sense could be possible, that lack of understanding does not make it impossible.

One such individual is Dean Radin, the chief scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences and the author of several books, including Real Magic: Ancient Wisdom, Modern Science, and a Guide to the Secret Power of the Universe, which deals in part with the topic of telekinesis. Radin has studied telekinesis and other paranormal phenomenon for decades.

In a 2018 interview, while discussing the belief that intention or focused thought can only affect subatomic particles, as some experiments and observations have indicated, Radin said that progress in explaining the mechanism behind phenomenon such as telekinesis is happening in “baby steps” rather than in one fell swoop. “Our assumption that we can only influence things at the microscopic level is, in a sense, an affectation. It is part of an assumption that maybe it’s OK to do that because it’s so small and it’s so far away from our everyday life that maybe that’s what’s happening.” Radin sees the notion that only subatomic particles can be influenced by nonphysical means as simply one step along the way to gaining a fuller understanding of telekinesis, telepathy, and other phenomena currently relegated to the realm of the paranormal. 

Radin and other scientists who study telekinesis and other paranormal concepts—despite the materialistic worldview so common to foundational scientific assumptions—may not have all the answers. Still, the “baby steps” brought about through their research could one day lead to a much better understanding of the laws that govern the universe and the human capacity for making use of those laws to live fuller, more meaningful lives. 

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