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What is telepathy?

Telepathy would be a form of “direct communication of thought between 2 minds”. This last term is ambiguous insofar as it designates a great diversity of meanings. What is its relation to the body? Is it the fact of human beings alone?

An Síceolaithe define telepathy by ” the expression of the feeling of communication at a distance by thought “. They prefer to focus their assimilation of the phenomenon, in accordance with their profession, on feelings, impressions, subjectivity, which brings it closer to the pathologies and chronic delusions with which it is sometimes encountered.

In a thesis on the subject, Michaël De Bona provides a convincing definition: “ The sharing (or the communion) of more or less vital information (perceptions, knowledge or thoughts) between animated or even intelligent organisms; regardless of distance and time; voluntarily or not, and by a process whose seat would be, in human beings, consciousness, but which rational foundations are still lacking today. “Still according to the author, telepathy could occur as a result” learning or meditative techniques [...] states of emotional or affective “crises”, and translatable into actions '.

Synonyms of telepathy

There are many possible synonyms for the word ” telepathy “. We list in particular “telepsychia”, “telesthesia”, the famous “transmission of thought”, “scanning”, “reading of thought”, “mental telegraphy” or “influence at a distance”.

The word “telepathy” was invented at the instigation of the Société pour la Recherche Psychique (SPR) in 1882. It was taken up in 1891 by Edmond Huot de Goncourt in his Journal, then by Jean Giraudoux in Suzanne in 1921. In 1937, Edgard Tant tells the story of a woman perceiving the death of her mother from a great distance. 

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Beliefs and Practices Related to Telepathy


According to many beliefs, certain animals such as cats, dogs or horses are capable of foreboding about future catastrophes, be they earthquakes, avalanches, diseases or heart attack. This propensity to anticipate events would be independent of the distance that separates them from their master according to the author Raoul Montandon who cites several examples to support his thesis.

The perfectly synchronized flights of some large birds have led some authors to believe that they may be gifted with telepathy.


Twinning is often presented as a telepathic couple, especially when it comes to verbal addresses. The author S. Beverin speaks of “telepathic dynamics” to explain this phenomenon found within the same family.

Telepathic controversies

Some magicians claiming to be gifted with telepathy actually use a technique called the cumberlandisme, named after an English magician of the XNUMXth century. Their apparent telepathic ability is nothing more than a perceptual hypersensitivity to the physiological changes of their guide during the experience.

The most common example is this number where a subject manages to give the number of a bank card or an identity card using a complex voice or lexical coding.

« I am not like some who believe that present day science has already found absolutely everything, that there is no longer room for anything. Only the problem is to manage to convince of the existence of the phenomenon, what. And to sort out what is actually something honest, or what is… Or stuff, eh. Because, we know very well that, remote transmission, you had Miroska (…). They were people who performed in cabarets, music halls, etc. And it was extraordinary. (…) So the woman was on the stage, and her sidekick was walking around the room, and then he would take documents, or he would give a letter, an identity card. And he was asking Miroska to read the document, and she would read the document that she had never seen. There was no complicity. Textually. Identity card numbers. Absolutely everything. The bank account number. Anything. And it worked all the time. So how did it work? They never revealed it. It was a trick. It was probably in the language and in the intonation, but it was extremely difficult to focus. So I mean that that, that can also seem, perhaps to be classified in the telepathy, as you indicate it (…). – But it is rather to rank in Cumberlandism, that. That is to say, non-verbal languages ​​which are developed between two accomplices. »

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More than 30% of the French population have already used mediums (fortune tellers, fortune tellers, etc.), whether the initial goal is fun, curiosity or a call for help. Most often, these people are satisfied with the content of the session, although some do not validate the psychic skills claimed by the mediums. Several studies show, moreover, that the apparent success of mediums can be explained by the exploitation of various banal, although subtle channels of communication, which are called “cold reading” and with which a prolific pseudopsychic literature is associated.

Some authors like Joseph Banks Rhine, believe that the evolution of life is moving inexorably towards the development of telepathic capacities to the detriment of traditional sensory capacities. Regardless, current knowledge of parapsychology is still very sparse: it would not be surprising if several secrets are revealed in the decades to come about these telepathic abilities.

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