The purpose of this file is to serve as a guide for conducting experiments in telepathy or thought transference, over the BBS. First, some general background material on the theory of telepathy is presented. Then, the concept of the experiment is discussed. Finally, specific details for scheduling, conducting, reporting, and analyzing the experiment will be given. This file includes a material adapted from books titled, “How To Read the Aura, Practice Psychometry, Telepathy, and Clairvoyance,” by W.E. Butler, and “Natural ESP,” by Ingo Swann.
In order for an experiment in telepathy to be successful, a necessary condition is that the participants come to the subject with at least some belief in its possibility. Our belief may amount to nothing more than a mental endeavor to be neutral in our approach to the subject, or it may be a firm faith that telepathy exists. But if a participant rejects out of hand the possibility of psychic phenomena in general or telepathic thought transference in particular, it is guaranteed that the experiment will not succeed. It is best if the participants not only believe in telepathy but actually WANT it to occur.
It is usually thought that it is necessary for the sender to “concentrate” for a fair length of time on the thought image to be transmitted. This is not so. The period of time in which the sender is active need be only a fraction of a minute; indeed, hard concentration over a considerable period of time may actually prevent any thought transference.
The actual machinery of the telepathic faculty is in the subconscious level of the minds of both the sender and the receiver. The image must be transmitted from the conscious mind of the sender into his subconscious, on the one hand, and on the other to transfer the image from the subconscious to the conscious mind of the receiver. All that is required of the sender is that he form as clear a picture as possible of the thought to be sent, together with the emotion connected with it. It is the lack of this emotional charge which so often causes the telepathic sensitive to fail. However, it is also necessary for the sender to be physically relaxed, and there are various techniques, such as breathing exercises, to facilitate relaxation. Having attained the relaxed state the sender is ready to transmit the message to the receiver. There should be no straining to send the thought. All that is necessary is to have as clear a mental picture as possible. This picture can be built up by visualizing it clearly in one’s mind.
Sitting in the relaxed condition, and asserting his intention to transmit, the picture or image in his or her conscious mind will be imposed upon the sensitive subconscious levels of the mind and will be open to the corresponding levels of the receiver’s mind. From there it will, when the conditions are right, emerge into the receiver’s conscious mind and be recorded by him or her. We have said when the conditions are right, for there may sometimes be a curious time lag which is often observed in this telepathic work. The message is received at the time it is sent, but for some reason or other, it is delayed, or totally suppressed. This has to do with the activities of the conscious mind of the receiver. How this is done is largely a matter of psychological type. It may be an inner voice speaking, or a visual image may be seen. Sometimes it comes as a clear and definite knowledge — without any image at all. Sometimes it may be a strong mental impression. Yet again it may not come into the receiver’s conscious mind at all, but may emerge through what is known as “automatic writing”.
It is important to address the factor of distance. If the sender transmits the message with the thought that the receiver is quite close to him, it stands a better chance of being received. We are used to regarding our surroundings as separated from us by space or distance, and, of course, normal life on earth could not be carried out if we were to ignore this factor of distance. The trouble is that we tend to project the idea of physical distance into the non-physical area in which we are conducting our telepathic experiments. We are used to thinking of ourselves as encapsulated beings — units of life that are separate from all other units — but experience in the use of the telepathic and psychic faculties soon convinces us that there are aspects of our inner nature that are always in some kind of actual contact with all other life units. This being the case, if we think of the receiver as being separated by distance from the sender, then the results we obtain will be affected by that belief, the idea of sending the message over a distance will cause us to think of it in terms of limitation, and we may inwardly doubt whether we can project our thoughts so far. The subconscious mind, ever willing to carry out the slightest suggestion from our conscious mind, will, therefore, respond by limiting the results of the experiment. If on the other hand, we think of the receiver as being near us, then the subconscious will again oblige, and will not allow the impression of distance to interfere with the results.
It is important also to consider the physical environment of the participants during the experiment. It is most important for the participants to be as physically comfortable as possible, although not lying in bed and on the verge of sleep. The overall environment should be quiet and dimly lit or dark.
Finally, and most importantly, both the sender and the receiver should be emotionally calm; there should have been no heated exchange of views before the start of the experiment. This point is critically important, for such emotional upset weakens the emergence of the psychic faculty, or, if it does manage to appear, it may well pick up and transmit the emotional ideas instead of the image which should have been sent. This will still be an example of telepathy, but not an example of controlled experimental work. We are not saying that such emotional telepathy is wrong since most spontaneous telepathy has an emotional content. What we are saying is that in controlled experiments this emotion tends to interfere with the results.
One of the most important conditions of experimental telepathic work is patience. So many people who attempt to work in the field of ESP, telepathy and psychic phenomena in general, fail to realize that results are not, as a rule, obtained at the first sitting — or the fifth, and for this reason are apt to drop the whole subject in disgust. I heard it stated recently, “Telepathy? Oh, yes, I’ve tried five experiments, but got nothing. I doubt whether it ever happens.” What such people do not understand is that just as we have the physical organs of the senses, so it may well be that there are similar super-physical organs through which the mind receives, and reacts to, impressions derived from a super-physical source. The physical sense organs have evolved over millions of years, but perhaps the super-physical sense organs are not so highly developed. Here and there, however, and in an ever-increasing degree, people are emerging in whom these deeper senses seem to be active, and even though, in some cases, these senses do not normally surface in the waking mind, they need very little stimulus to do so.
Such people make the best receivers, and since the use of a faculty strengthens and widens its scope of action, these natural sensitives prove most useful. It is not always possible to say whether a particular percipient is telepathic, an only repeated experiment will give this knowledge. One thing is clear, however, as has been found from long experience in this field: these people will be found to be particularly sensitive to outer conditions such as lunar, solar, atmospheric, and emotional. This sensitivity to outer conditions introduces an element of continual uncertainty as to results. Indeed, it may well prevent any experiment from being successful, until it has been controlled. It is very important that those who take part in these telepathic experiments should realize that both those who send and those who receive are human beings and are therefore liable to emotional reactions that can affect the success or failure of the experiments.
For this reason, it is suggested that a series of twenty-five trials should be made without either sender or receiver being told of the number of “hits” or “misses.” This will prevent their getting unduly discouraged at the high percentage of misses common in the early stages of experience. By using a unit of twenty-five trials at a time it is easy to check the percentage of successes and failures. Usually the latter is much greater unless you have had the good fortune to get two people who are strongly sensitive, and who are emotionally compatible. This emotional sympathy is usually a sign of an inner psychic sympathy, or rapport.
If possible, a team of three or four pairs of senders and receivers should be chosen, and the various permutations should be worked out until it is found which sender works best with which receiver. These two will constitute the first line of research. It must, however, be remembered that the faculty grows with use, so the other members of the team should be paired off, and act as senders and receivers, in another set of experiments. Their percentage of failures may be greater than those of the first set of sensitives, but any faint telepathic reactions will be strengthened by practice and a second team may be established. With time, the second team may well become very successful, and again, the value of patience is obvious.
It has been observed by those who have studied the results of psychic experiments such as these, that the percentage of failures tends to increase when the subjects become bored. This is always an uncertain factor since people vary greatly in their reactions. When the experiment has lasted too long, or for other reasons they lose interest, the mistakes begin to pile up, until there is practically no success at all. If, however, the experiments are not carried on too long at any one time, and if the subject matter of the messages is made interesting, the percentage of successes begins to rise. When telepathic rapport between two individuals has been developed and stabilized, however, the percentages of success will normally increase, and with practice, the experiments will become more or less independent of the emotional and other factors which formerly prevented their successful working. These adverse factors will never be entirely overcome, but they will not get in the way as they formerly did. Also, the way in which they affect the results will have been found and can be allowed for in any experiment.
The subconscious mind is primarily a “picture consciousness” and responds far more readily to images of objects than to abstract ideas. By images we do not, of course, mean visual images alone, but include those which are built up by the other senses such as touch, taste, hearing, and scent. If the message to be sent contains more than one of these sense pictures, it will have a much better chance of being recorded by the receiver. Whatever picture is used for the development of concentration, it should be as interesting as possible, and, like the messages of telepathy, should preferably include some of the “picture” produced by the other senses.
The same principle applies to telepathic transmission. An example would be if the sender was told to send a picture of a rosebush in full bloom. Not only should the visual picture be held in his mind, but also the scent of the blossoms, the crispness of the leaves, the softness of the petals, and the sharp prick of the thorns on the branches.
However, the pictures or objects used should at first be those that are relatively simple and easy to recognize. The less information your ESP faculty has to process, the easier the task will be. To our eyes, all objects are more or less familiar and easy to recognize. But the telepathic faculty processes bits and pieces of information, and the more of these there are about the target, the more difficult the effort will be. If you use a complicated target at first, you will probably
The sensory picture, which as a rule is the basis upon which the telepathic impression is based, can be transmitted more effectively if it is isolated from its surroundings. Otherwise, some of these surroundings may be transmitted unconsciously, and, not being included in the image it is desired to send, although they are received by the receiver, may easily be dismissed as of no consequence, and the experiment deemed a failure. In reality, it may have been a decided success as far as telepathy goes, even though the intended picture was not received.
One method of isolating the picture to be sent is to use the artist’s trick of putting the hands around the eyes so as to shut out all surrounding images except the one you require. Another form of this is to construct a hollow cardboard tube through which the picture is gazed at.
The sender concentrates upon the object or picture, examining it carefully, with a deliberate intention to transmit it to the receiver. In a quiet, relaxed way, he continues to look at it. There must be no strain whatsoever, whether physical or mental. At the same time, he should quietly assume in his mind that the receiver is actually in the room, quite close to him. The stronger this assumption becomes, the better for the success of the experiment. To assume the close proximity of the receiver has a very real effect, as the doubts and inhibitions about the projection of images over a distance will have been removed temporarily from the sender’s subconscious.
The procedure to be used by the receiver is slightly different. He should be in the same relaxed condition as the sender. Maintaining calmness might not be possible for the first few trials. We tend to anticipate, to get worked up, feel that we are going to fail, or feel that we are “hot” and will get the target right away. It might take a few trials to bring about a detached poise, a sort of disinterest. When you can achieve this, the telepathic process will work its best. This calming procedure doesn’t mean that you have to spend a half hour preparing yourself, trying to put yourself into a semi-trance. Try to conduct the trial like you would any other task that involves all your attention for a few moments.
Now, for about five seconds, he deliberately reaches out to the sender, with the intention of receiving from him the message being held in his brain. Then the receiver should rest quietly and wait for any impressions that may come to him. These he should describe aloud if possible, perhaps into a small tape recorder. He should at the same time write down the impressions, and make a drawing of any image he receives. He should also record any sound, scent, taste or tactile impressions he receives as a background of the main impression. The picture drawing is much more than just a sketch of your conscious impressions. You will find that the picture drawing sort of draws itself, frequently without any decision-making characteristic or consciousness. It is not a matter of actually focusing on the target material consciously. It is more a function of just “spotting” the incoming information that is trying to get along up the pathway. Sketch it out simply, even rather quickly.
The incoming telepathic information can get lost in the quagmires of consciousness. It gets added to, manipulated, thwarted, occluded, changed. The semiautomatic picture drawing undercuts all these complications. The picture drawing provides both a record of your experiments, and will show you which information your telepathic faculty is coping with, and which information it is not.
To do all this will obviously take several minutes, and ten minutes to a quarter of an hour may be allowed. The impressions arrive in one block in the receiver’s subconscious, but they take time to filter into his conscious mind, and for this reason, time must be given. Some impressions may not come up until several hours later, and it is this delayed reception that frequently complicates these experiments. Later on, some of these delayed impressions will emerge under some new conditions. So the receiver should note down any irrelevant thought images which suddenly pop up from nowhere, and because of the tendency for these impressions to fade quickly, it is helpful if he writes them down as they appear.
One of the drawbacks of conducting telepathic experiments in a conventional way, that is, with face to face contact, is the risk that the subjects and the coordinators may inadvertently and unconsciously exchange information relating to the image to be transferred. That is, through subliminal, nonverbal communication, data on the desired result may be sent between the participants, invalidating the experiment. This information must be initially unknown to the receiver. Another drawback is that there must be a place to meet and to conduct the experiment, and at least some of the participants must travel to that place, a time-consuming and sometimes inconvenient chore. The use of a BBS eliminates these problems and allows the experiment to be conducted with a maximum of convenience and a minimum of time. The sender and receiver may even be anonymous to each other, completely isolating the thought transference process from other factors.
Information on interested subscribers to this BBS will be collected and experimental subjects will be paired off, identifying discretely to each whether he or she is to be the sender or the receiver. A series of twenty-five trials will be conducted for each such pair, each trial lasting for five minutes and taking place during a separate day so as not to tax the subjects. Although the subjects will not know each other and will be in separate locations (their homes, nominally), it is critical that the events be synchronized as closely as possible. Each subject is asked to use a highly accurate (quartz) timepiece and to call the telephone time reference (844-2525) to set their timepiece shortly before each experiment. The sender will attempt to transmit and the receiver will attempt to receive during a pre-scheduled, precise five-minute interval.
The schedule of these sessions will be sent beforehand to all subjects via this BBS. As soon as practicable after each session, the sender and receiver should log on and send a PRIVATE message to the experiment Director (Alf Erikson) describing in detail their impressions. A post office box will be established to receive any drawings or other hard material that the subjects wish to provide.
Senders should select the image or object to be telepathically transferred, beforehand, and should inform the experiment Director what it is, again using PRIVATE messages. The image/object may be repeated for several trials or may be changed from trial to trial, depending on circumstances. Enough time will be allowed between trials to account for subscribers’ capabilities to log on to this BBS for sending and receiving messages. We are not in a hurry.
After each set of twenty-five trials, experimental data will be analyzed and posted on this BBS for all to see the results. Participants who wish to continue will then be paired off with others, or successful pairs will be continued, as appropriate.
Interested subscribers of this BBS are asked to inform the experiment Director, via private message, whether they would feel more comfortable as a sender or as a receiver, or as either. They should also specify what dates, and what time frames during those dates, over the next 30 days, they would be willing to devote to the experimental trials. For example, a participant might say that she is available weeknights between 8 PM and 9 PM, and weekends from 12 noon until 5 PM. Senders and receivers will be matched according to as their availabilities overlap, and the experiment Director will select five-minute intervals within those overlaps and inform each subject on the schedule for all twenty-five trials.
Participants are asked to be sincerely interested in telepathy and to reliably adhere to the agreed schedule. They are also asked not to attempt to discern each others’ identity before the trials. After all, trials are completed, they will be introduced to each other and encouraged to compare notes. It is also important for participants to maintain a positive outlook, and to avoid thoughts or feelings of doubt from other individuals with whom they may be associated, as this may inhibit their telepathic response.
Results of this project will be made available to a wide audience.
To the experiment Director’s knowledge, nothing like this has ever been attempted before, and it is a unique “first” in the history of psychic research. The potentialities of this sort of experiment are as boundless as they are exciting.