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ESP…and how I forget to use it

Last night, before I went to bed, I was drinking a glass of water, and this little voice said to me, “You should fill up your water bottle now.” I shrugged it away thinking, why would I do that? I never do that. And I went to bed.

When I woke up this morning and turned on the faucet, my water was brown.

Extrasensory perception (ESP), according to Wikipedia, involves reception of information not gained through the recognized physical senses but sensed with the mind. The term was coined by German psychical researcher, Rudolf Tischner, and adopted by Duke University psychologist J. B. Rhine to denote psychic abilities such as telepathy and clairvoyance, and their trans-temporal operation as precognition or retrocognition. ESP is also sometimes casually referred to as a sixth sense, gut instinct or hunch, which are historical English idioms. The term implies acquisition of information by means external to the basic limiting assumptions of science, such as that organisms can only receive information from the past to the present.

I could tell you countless stories like this. About my ESP and how I forget to use it. You would think I would have learned by now, right? Sometimes I imagine this ESP as some sort of cosmic fairy that hangs out around my shoulders so that it can whisper smart somethings into my ear. And when I ignore it, I see this little being air-kicking me (yes, that’s like ‘air guitar’) in my head and threatening to go elsewhere, blowing some steam off at the gym and then coming back to try to make me listen again.

Interestingly, it’s the same voice that tells me I should really ‘write that last thought down’ and the feeling of actually listening to the voice is quite similar to the feeling when my brain, heart, fingers and keyboard become one and the writing flows effortlessly. It’s a deep tuning in. I wonder if it’s connected to my conscience or my ego or my subconscious.

Do I have this ESP because I’m such a staunch Cancerian? Because I’m a woman? Because I’m a writer? Because I’m me? I don’t know, but I’ve always wanted to. When we’re young and we recognize that something cool like this happens to/for us – and we’re able to see that it might be above the norm – we tend to think we might be special. I’m realizing as I write this that I have no idea if that’s true.

So, I’m asking you…do you have ESP? How does it manifest for you? Is it connected to your writing or creative pursuits? Do you forget to listen to it? And has it not given up on you despite your ignorance?

Also, and most importantly, tell me if you just knew I was going to write about this today. How freakin’ cool would that be…

Image credit: gruntzooki

Join the discussion 17 Comments

  • --Deb says:

    I do. I’ll be driving along and think, “I should watch my speed here,” round a corner and see a police car lurking. I answer questions Mom is thinking about asking me ALL the time. (It drives her nuts, which is kind of a fun little side bonus.)

    And do you really want to hear about all the times I’d think, “I should really take a picture of the Twin Towers on the horizon while they’re still there,” only to tell myself, “Don’t be ridiculous. Where are they going to go?”

    Hey, thought waves are electronic, and our brains are more highly evolved than we realize …it doesn’t surprise me at all that they’re picking up things our conscious minds poo-poo at. The trick is learning to listen.
    .-= –Deb´s last blog ..Sometimes You Don’t Need Words =-.

  • Aaron Pogue says:

    I believe in all kinds of magic, and I get in the habit of forgetting to use mine, too.

    As far as ESP, though (esp. of the sort of you’ve described here), the Richard Dawkins book Unweaving the Rainbow does a good job presenting a scientific explanation of it (without, at all, discarding the importance of it). He says that humans exist within an environment so flooded with information that we couldn’t possible consciously process it all, so we have all sorts of extremely clever filters that only present information to our minds that we’re actually going to need.

    Most of those filters are handled by what we call the subconscious, which excels at pattern recognition and prediction. Sometimes the pattern presents us with sensory evidence (like if you’d just happened to notice the road crew working on the water main right before getting home last night).

    Sometimes the pattern can pick up on something, though, even without a big blunt explanation like that. Some aspect of your environment suggested that chances are good tomorrow will be a brown-water day, and your pattern-recognition software passed that info along. Times like that, it just gives you a hunch. The whole point of that system is to inform your behavior, so even without an explanation, that hunch is achieving the same ends. (If you follow it, anyway).

    That makes a lot of sense to me. It also suggests (in answer to your question) that we writers are going to have stronger ESP than the general population, because we strive to develop and connect with our subconscious more than most.
    .-= Aaron Pogue´s last blog ..Strip Poem (Technical Writing Exercise) =-.

  • Perhaps because I too am a woman, an artist and tres Cancerian–I went through much of my early life thinking everyone had this (to me) un-defined thing. Then as a school child I heard about ESP, and even did a (not wonderful) science project. So from time to time I read articles scientific and non–but mostly I’ve learned to give to those messages. Because when I don’t–the water is ALWAYS brown the next morning!!
    .-= Julianne Fuchs-Musgrave´s last blog ..Cross Here =-.

  • Alisa Bowman says:

    I don’t know if I have ESP (ie as defined as the ability to see into the future), but I am keyed in to my gut feelings, and I do trust them to alert me to information that my brain–for whatever reason–might be ignoring. For instance, I might sense that my mother is feeling lonely. This isn’t exactly the same thing as ESP because rationally I could figure something like that out, too, but, for whatever reasons, I missed it.

    I do very often find that I can be thinking about someone and then my phone will ring and it will be that person. That’s always a little twilight zone.
    .-= Alisa Bowman´s last blog ..What’s Stopping You From Saving Your Marriage? =-.

  • Amanda says:

    ESP as a future prediction is something I’m fairly certain I don’t have, which would explain my excellent lack of common sense some days. But ESP as a link to the past? Fairly certain I’ve got that nailed.

    Okay Internets. I’m going to share something that I haven’t told anyone outside of my husband and a select few IRL friends because everything generally thinks I’m nuts when I say it. *deep breath* I’m 99% sure that I’m a clairsentient. I get flashes of memories whenever I physically interact with the world. Makes it tough to enter any sort of antique or second hand store; everything has stories and not all of them are good. I have to be careful about interactions with people that I don’t know, especially on public transit. But lemme tell you, when I hang out with people that I know and trust, the memories and vibes are excellent.

    Anyone want a hug? Haha.
    .-= Amanda´s last blog ..Collaboration trumps competition =-.

  • Janice says:

    Although I have more incidents of ESP, premonitions, gut feelings — whatever you choose to call them — than I can count, when they happen, they still leave me shaking my head in wonder and often, thanks. And with three teenagers, I’ve learned to be VERY thankful when they occur because they’ve proven to be timely and on-target every single time. Much to my teens’ dismay.

  • Mary says:

    I refer to it as my little voice or my intuition but it sounds very similar–and every time I ignore it, I suffer the consequences. I read something a few weeks ago about women who were attacked, raped, etc. almost always said afterwards that they had a “funny feeling” about going to a certain place, meeting a certain person, etc. and that if they had listened to that thought they would probably not have been attacked. the article went on to say that as women we tend to overrun such feelings with the thought we “shouldn’t think bad things about people, we should be nice” and that often that got us into trouble. I thought that was pretty interesting.

    yay for reminding me to listen to that little voice today ;-)
    .-= Mary´s last blog ..Foggy Day…. =-.

  • PicsieChick says:

    Yes, well, sometimes I’m smart enough to listen. lol.

    Like when, all in one day I’m lead to you blog post and this one, from two different directions.

    Go figure. Guess I’d better focus on listening.

    Hugs and butterflies,
    .-= PicsieChick´s last blog ..Hidden =-.

  • Julie Roads says:

    Mary – that is so interesting! We’re also trained to think negatively about ourselves for ‘being so paranoid’…

  • Julie Roads says:

    Thanks for sharing Picsie Chick!

  • Jed says:

    I don’t mean to be a stickler, but I think there’s a difference between ESP and “gut feelings.” Gut feelings are related to responses which have been conditioned by previous experiences. ESP is a more sophisticated phenomenon, related to the presence of a “sixth sense” which is independent of past experiences. I suspect “gut reactions” are more common and have a wider population of practitioners. ESP, however, is in that category of special gifts given to unique individuals. It will be important to distinguish between entertainment practitioners who identify hidden playing card designations and those who know long distance that there is a problem with a sibling or another loved one. My experience with ESP has been related to identical twins, leading me to believe that it is not only sensory but has a genetic foundation. Sorry to be so “heady” about a very interesting blog!

  • Andi says:

    I do have ESP, or at least a very close relationship with my gut. I can ‘t tell you how I know, but sometimes I just know.
    .-= Andi´s last blog ..French Friday – Parispoolza! =-.

  • Matt says:

    I might not be welcome here for my logical thinking, but I can’t help myself, so you’ll have to forgive me (I’m tres Taurean, and a guy, what can I say?)

    You shouldn’t forget that a lot of what we think of as our experience of life is actually filtered out. We only remember the important bits otherwise we wouldn’t be able to function at all. How many times did you think about changing the water before this event? The truth is you can’t know because you wouldn’t necessarily remember – it’s such a small thought. When you see the brown water, your mind digs that information up.

    A frequent example of this is when you’re thinking of someone and they call. What a coincidence, you think. But think about it. You probably think of 30 different people you know a day, that’s 210 a weel, 420 a month (roughly), and we’re surprised that one of these people (that you know anyway) happen to call when we think of them. Really we should be surprised it doesn’t happen more often!

  • Peggie says:

    Yes – you have ESP – intuition or whatever you want to call it. You ARE special. And yes, I think often of similar visions of it kicking at myhead and running off to burn some steam…

    This other thing you talk about is also a gift — the ability to write and combine your fingers moving and the message moving through you…in my line of work it shows up as something we refer to as the “lines of genius” on your pinky tip or it could be part of your life purpose (which also shows up on your right pinky fingerprint).

    As you may have guessed – the more you exercise this muscle the more effective it is — and not just to save you from brown water — but to give you the words (in your case as that’s your craft and your gift) to create a positive impact on lives. When you do that, you allow others to move forward in their purpose too.

    And yes, I knew you’d be writing about this (although until I found you on Awake at the Wheel I didn’t ‘know’ you) because I wrote about this this month too — about a week before you (in particular in reference to a bank which you also just wrote about — weird, huh?). The Universe works that way…so keep listening and keep doing and don’t beat yourself up when you ignore it or forget. That’s part of the journey.
    .-= Peggie´s last blog ..Changing Lives ain’t For Sissies =-.

  • Julie Roads says:

    Thanks, Peggie! I love this comment…thank you for reminding me that it’s all part of the journey.

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  • Fake Psychic says:

    It is a pity, that now I can not express – I am late for a meeting. I will return – I will necessarily express the opinion.

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