What is A Clairvoyant?
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Clairvoyance: Noun from late 17th century French [clair (clear) & voyant
(seeing)] - is defined as a form of extra-sensory perception whereas a
person perceives distant objects, persons, or events, including
perceiving an image hidden behind opaque objects and the detection of
types of energy not normally perceptible to humans (i.e. radio waves).
Typically, such perception is reported in visual terms, but may also
include auditory impressions (sometimes called clairaudience) or
The term clairvoyance is often used broadly to refer to all forms of ESP
where a person receives information through means other than those
explainable by current science. Perhaps more often, it is used more
narrowly to refer to reception of present-time information not from
another person, there being other terms to refer to other forms:
telepathy referring to reception of information from another person
(i.e. presumably mind-to-mind); premonition and precognition that refer
to gained information about places and events in the future. The terms
clairsentience and remote perception are often used in reference to psi
phenomena falling under this broader context.
As with all psi phenomena, there is wide disagreement and controversy
within the sciences and even within parapsychology as to the existence
of clairvoyance and the validity or interpretation of clairvoyance
related experiments (see Parapsychology).
Clairvoyance through history:
There have been anecdotal reports of clairvoyance and claims of
clairvoyant abilities on the part of some throughout history in most
cultures. Most of these episodes are experienced during young adulthood.
Often these have been associated with religious figures, offices, and
practices. For example, ancient Hindu religious texts list clairvoyance
as one of the siddhis, skills that can be acquired through appropriate
meditation and personal discipline. But a large number of anecdotal
accounts of clairvoyance are of the spontaneous variety among the
general populace. For example, many people report instances of "knowing"
in one form or another when a loved one has died or was in danger before
receiving notification through normal channels that such events have
taken place. Similar presentiments that are not eventually fulfilled are
soon forgotten, however. While anecdotal accounts do not provide
scientific proof of clairvoyance, such common experiences continue to
motivate research into such phenomena.
Clairvoyance was one of the phenomena reported to have been observed in
the behavior of somnambulists, people who were mesmerized and in a
trance state (nowadays equated with hypnosis by most people) in the time
of Franz Anton Mesmer. The earliest recorded report of somnambulistic
clairvoyance is credited to the Marquis de Puységur, a follower of
Mesmer, who in 1784 was treating a local dull-witted peasant named
Victor Race. During treatment, Victor reportedly would go into trance
and undergo a personality change, becoming fluent and articulate, and
giving diagnosis and prescription for his own disease as well as those
of other patients, and forgetting everything when he came out of the
trance state. All this is in a manner reminiscent of the reported
behaviors of the 20th century medical clairvoyant and psychic Edgar
Cayce. It is reported that although Puységur used the term
'clairvoyance', he did not attribute any of this to the paranormal since
he accepted mesmerism as one of the natural sciences.
Clairvoyance was in times following a reported ability of some mediums
during the spiritualist period of the late 19th and early 20th
centuries, and was one of the aspects studied by members of the Society
for Psychical Research (SPR). Psychics of many descriptions have claimed
clairvoyant ability up to the present day.
While experimental research into clairvoyance began with SPR researchers,
experimental studies became more systematic with the efforts of J. B.
Rhine and his associates at Duke University, and such research efforts
continue to the present day. Perhaps the best-known study of
clairvoyance in recent times was the US government-funded remote viewing
project at SRI/SAIC during the 1970s through the mid-1990s.
Results of some parapsychological studies, such as the remote viewing
studies, suggest that clairvoyance does not exist - the original "remote
viewing" study was discontinued by the Stanford Research Institute due
to lack of evidence. However there are as yet no satisfactory
experiments designed that cleanly separate the various manifestations of
ESP. Some parapsychologists have proposed that our different functional
labels (clairvoyance, telepathy, precognition) all refer to one basic
underlying mechanism, although there is not yet any satisfactory theory
for what that mechanism would be.
Clairvoyance as a term has its origins from the French word claire, which
means "clear", and voyance, "seeing". It literally means 'clear seeing'
There is ongoing criticism and debate of all these results in the
Developing clairvoyant abilities:
Current thinking in clairvoyant circles posits that most are born with
clairvoyant abilities but then start to turn them off as children are
brought up to adhere to demonstrable social norms. Numerous institutes
offer training courses that attempt to revive the abilities present in
those early years.
Another school of thought claims that our "sixth sense" grows when we do
spiritual practice. With regular spiritual practice done according to
basic spiritual principles we increase our spiritual level and are able
to perceive and experience the subtle world to greater degrees.
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