Your Sixth Sense and Beyond
by Ron Kurtus (revised 7 October 2000)
We know that humans have five basic senses or ways in which to detect signals coming from the world around them. Those five senses are: sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch.
There also seems to be a 6th sense—a psychic sense—that many people possess. People with this sense claim to be able to predict the future, sense spirits, and even read others' minds.
Questions you may have include:
- Do people really have a 6th sense?
- What can you do this sense?
- How can we verify or use our 6th sense?
This lesson will answer those questions.
Is there a 6th sense?
Many people have experienced dreams, visions, or unexplained feelings where they could predict some future event, sense a spirit or presence of something or someone, or even read someone else's mind. This happens to so many people--especially concerning sensing future events--that it cannot be overlooked as a possible sense for which scientists simply don't have an answer.
It certainly is a possibility
In the School for Champions, we advocate having an open mind about all subjects and possibilities. We also advocate having the curiosity to investigate these things.
With that viewpoint and with all the evidence concerning a 6th sense, it certainly seems like such a sense must exist. Until proven otherwise, we will continue to accept the possibility that we all have a 6th sense and that some people seem to be able to use it better than others, just like some people can better vision or more sensitive hearing than others..
A sense, not a power
Remember that this is a sense, where we are able to detect outside energy or signals. Nothing is mentioned here about having some special power or being able to influence events or other people. That is a different subject, not covered here because of the lack of evidence.
Looking into the future
Looking into the future is the most common 6th sense ability people seem have. Some seem to be able to predict the future through their dreams, others get a strange feeling that something will happen just before it does.
Strange feelings about future
Some people have had the feeling that something will be happening soon. Occasionally, they know exactly what will be happening. For some reason, they usually are predicting something bad. Perhaps that is because disasters are so emotionally traumatic.
There are numerous stories of dogs who have warned their owners of some impending disaster. Somehow these animals knew that something bad might happen soon.
In China, they have noticed that many barnyard animals get nervous days before an earthquake occurs. They have actually been using this as a means to predict earthquakes. It is possible that these animals have been using some sort of 6th sense in predicting the future, but it is more likely that they may be feeling subtle vibrations in the earth instead. Some senses in animals are more sensitive that those in humans, (See The Limits of Your Senses.)
Dreams about future events
Many people have had dreams that later came true to a degree. This is called déjà vu. In history, there have been prophets who predicted future events from their dreams.
I've had a number of déjà vu dreams myself. One I vividly remember is that I had dreamt of going to the Cannery Row section of Monterey, California. I did not live near there and had never been in that area before. A few months after the dream, I had an opportunity to visit the area. I remember when I turned the corner to approach the Cannery Row, I saw the buildings almost exactly as I had dreamt them! It was a scary feeling to see my dream unfold.
Abraham Lincoln is said to have dreamt of his death, days before he was assassinated.
Others predicted the future
In the early 1900s, a man named Edgar Cayce was known for being able to predict future events through going into a trance or when he dreamt while sleeping. He wrote numerous journals on his dreams, that are still being studied today.
Although many of Cayce's predictions came true, when he tried using his visions to invest in the stock market, he and his supporters lost a lot of money.
Also, Nostradamus made a number of predictions of future events, many of which have come true. It is not certain whether he gained his insight through dreams or some other method.
These days there are telephone psychics who tell people their future for $3.95 a minute or more. (Of course, they talk reeeeeaaaaal slow.) It is unlikely that anyone trying to make money through predictions can actually provide something of value. They often follow a script or use psychology to let people tell what they want to hear.
Feeling or seeing spirits
One type of sixth sense that a few people claim to have is the ability to sense the presence of spirits or ghosts of dead people, and some have said they have actually seen such apparitions.
Do ghosts really exist?
Now there are Bible stories of people seeing and hearing spirits and angels. Often that happened in a dream. The big question exists is whether people actually come back from the dead as spirits or ghosts and if they want to communicate with the living.
If it is true, is feeling the presence of these spirits or seeing them part of a 6th sense or is it something completely different?
Psychics make money
Because there is interest in communicating with dead loved ones, there are so-called psychics who make money by holding séances to let others hear from their dead relatives. They often use trickery to fool their customers.
Reading others' minds
It sure would be fun to be able to read the minds of other people. One view of an extra psychic sense is that ability. A small number of people claim to have the ability to read another person's mind. There are so many other factors that can help a person do this, that it is questionable if this is some sort of 6th sense.
Just as an animal can read your body language and odors to tell if you are afraid or not, so can people get indications from these factors (see Sensing Fear or Danger).
I've seen magicians and mentalist whose tricks seem to indicate they can read people's minds. They use a good ability to read body language, a knowledge of human nature, and the power of suggestion to make it seem like they are reading minds.
If you know the person very well and are in tune with each other, you can often tell what he or she is thinking in many situations. This may be because you both think alike, although there is the possibility that you are actually reading his or her mind.
If there is a way to read another's mind, a possible answer is that there are mental waves created that some people can sense. Or, since the mind works by electrical signals, perhaps it is possible to sense those signals and tell what the other person is thinking.
Medical researchers can tell when a person is looking at something or is listening, though detecting electrical signals from different parts of the brain. They cannot yet tell what people are thinking through their devices, but they can detect brain responses.
Verifying the 6th sense
How can we prove that the 6th sense exists? Scientists require that for some phenomenon to be verified, it must be measurable and repeatable. The problem with the 6th sense is that it is very difficult to repeat experiments with it. Most people do not seem to have control over the sense, where they can turn it on at will. In fact, the harder a person tries to use his or her 6th sense, the less it seems to work.
On the other hand, there seem to be so many people who have experienced these strange happenings or have abilities to sense things that can't be explained. This indicate that there must be something to the idea of a 6th sense.
Besides the standard 5 basic senses, there may also be a 6th sense, where people can see into the future either through some feeling or through a dream or trance. Included with that sense are the possibility of seeing spirits and reading minds. Those seem more questionable. It is difficult to verify the 6th sense, because it is not predictable.
Use your senses to optimize your experience on Earth.
Resources and references
Precognition - Perception of the future
Premonition - Warning of future event
Intuition: Precognition and Information from the Future - Studies from Princeton University
ESP (extrasensory perception) - From the Sceptic's Dictionary
Future Dreams Interpretation Precognition - From dream analysis site
Questions and comments
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Your Sixth Sense and Beyond