Second thoughts on the sixth sense | Daily News

Second thoughts on the sixth sense

According to Kettelkamp, the commonest of those ‘meta-communication’ or extra sensory perception is probably telepathy. This term comes from the Greek words ‘tele’ and ‘pathy’, which means ‘distant’ and ‘feeling’. It is used to describe an incident in which a person receives information from the thoughts of another person in another place. 

The terms such as ‘forecast’, ‘foretell’ and ‘prediction’ are quite familiar to most of us as implying the meanings related to the future. But the terms have been extended in concept and meaning with words that may be used as clairvoyance, third eye, extrasensory perception (ESP), sixth sense and telepathy. These terms denote a special branch of study relating to a certain degree of psychic powers that have been developed by individuals based on their inherent cultivation of spirituality and/or meditation.

As far back as 2002, I found a book titled Sixth Sense lying in a car-boot sale in London, written and illustrated by Larry Kettelkamp, a lesser-known writer. Over the years, he had been experimenting on the subject of psychic experiences.

Unusual experiences

According to Kettelkamp, the term ‘psychic’ literally means ‘of mind and/or soul’. The term also has come to be used for a whole range of unusual experiences from mind-to-mind communication to mind over – matter – occurrences. The communication scholars have denoted the subject area as ‘metacommunication’ experiences. As such, the subject area is not regarded as a comprehensive discipline.

‘Sixth Sense’ deals with such experiences. It seems beyond the regular senses and activities of one’s normal senses like the eye, ear, nose, mouth and touch. They are hard to observe and even harder to explain. But it looks as if those who are interested in studying them have found or unearthed perhaps a vast area of knowledge that goes into the study of communication sciences.

According to Kettelkamp, the commonest of those ‘meta-communication’ or extra sensory perception is probably telepathy. This term comes from the Greek words ‘tele’ and ‘pathy’, which means ‘distant’ and ‘feeling’. It is used to describe an incident in which a person receives information from the thoughts of another person in another place. The emphasis is laid on that it is felt strongest when intense emotional feelings are involved. One of the most famous experiments in the area of telepathy was carried out by two men, Harold Sherman, an American author and psychiatrist, and Sir Hubert Wilkins, an English explorer, who had a common interest in the study of extrasensory perception. The experiences resulted in the book titled as ‘How to Make ESP Work for You’.

Telepathic impressions

But I have not had the chance of reading that work. It is recorded that the term ‘Sixth Sense’ had come from these experiences. Sherman and Sir Hubert found that the accuracy of the telepathic impressions had little to do with the extent of the distance between them. The impressions had been most accurate when there was a strong emotion involved. They too have the experience in conveying diary notes kept by them, that eventually looked like a series of dialogues ensued between them.

Followed by the studies, the writer shows how the well-known writer Upton Sinclair and his wife too devoted time to the study of telepathy and extrasensory perception. Sinclair is said to have found that his wife was able to pick up their thoughts unusually well. They worked out a series of experiments in which Sinclair would make a simple drawing and his wife, without seeing it would try to make a copy of the same. In some of those experiments, Sinclair was in a neighbouring room with doors closed and could not see her husband’s drawings. In others, she was as far as forty miles away. The distance seemed to have no particular effect on the findings.

After nearly 300 tests had been made, Sinclair wrote a book about the experiments titled ‘Mental Radio’ followed by the notes comes the term ‘clairvoyance’. This is sometimes known as ‘second sight’. The term comes from the French words meaning ‘clear vision’. But here it is the mind rather than the eye that does the seeing.

ESP experiments

As Kettelkamp notes, the best book written so far, this subject is titled as ‘Hidden Channels of the Mind’ by Dr Louisa Rhine and her husband Dr J B Rhine conducted their studies in extrasensory perception. As I remember well, the late Dr D V J Harischandra of Karapitiya Hospital used to talk to me about some of these types of ESP experiments conducted by him. As a true-to-life example to explain the concept of the sixth sense, Kettelkamp lays down the following event.

“In one case, a married couple had gone to the theatre. In this particular theatre, there were, under the seats, round cushions, there were holders for men’s hats. After the show, the couple stopped for a soda. Then the wife suddenly noticed that the blue Opel stone was missing from her ring. They went home very depressed. Next morning, the husband left the home early saying that he had an errand to attend to. Without telling his wife, he went directly to the theatre.

Then later on the husband had explained what made him do so in the following words. “In a dream, I saw that night a large round, black thing, and I thought of those hat cushions in the theatre.”

When he located the seats, they had used the night before and looked beneath them there just exactly as in the dream were the two black objects side by side. He found his wife’s missing blue Opel.

The short study of Larry Kettelkamp, Sixth Sense, first published in London, in 1973, is highly readable research work running to 95 pages with illustrations by himself. In his work, he takes the reader into the realms of futurism, spiritualism, creativity, memory and how it works for one’s benefit and understanding why ‘PSI’ means with special reference to psychology and psychic powers.

All in all, a reader may find as the writer implies that one can carry over these activities, test and studies as laid down in the pages into the day to day life. The awareness is normally better off than being in ignorance as the writer says: “The final proof will be its usefulness to you and to others.”



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