psychic abilities

Could you have psychic abilities? Have you ever had a prophetic dream or a premonition?

Did you ever seem to know that something would happen to you or a loved one in advance? Have you ever felt like you predicted a major world event?

Claims of psychic abilities have a long and controversial history. A look at ancient literature will present you with a plethora of characters who supposedly had psychic abilities. Cassandra in Homer’s Iliad prophesied the outcome of the Trojan war, and several prophets in the Old Testament claimed to have a direct line to God. Historically, many supposed psychics have gained legendary status: we have all heard of the prophecies of Nostradamus, which people continue to believe in to this day. This is not a new phenomenon or a fad.

What kinds of psychic abilities might people have?

Psychic abilities are divided into the 4 main intuitive gifts:

1. Clairvoyance

Clairvoyance, which means ‘clear sight’, is a psychic ability through which the psychic individual supposedly intuits information through visions. This is the most well-known type of psychic ability. We often meet self-proclaimed clairvoyants on the high street or working at psychic fairs. They claim they can see what a person is experiencing and even that they can predict a person’s future.

2. Clairaudience

Clairaudience, or ‘clear hearing’, is a phenomenon whereby the psychic person apparently receives information that couldn’t be gained through ordinary perception through hearing. This is like clairvoyance, the only difference is that the information comes in the form of voices from a supernatural source.

3. Clairsentience

Clairsentience, or ‘clear feeling’ is associated with another phenomenon that is more widely recognized these days called intuitive empathy. It’s a heightened state of sensitivity  to the feelings of others – an ability to feel exactly what others are feeling, even to the extent of making the psychic person physically ill.

4. Claircognizance

Claircognizance, or ‘clear knowing’, is a phenomenon wherein the psychic person supposedly knows something that they have no way of knowing. Claircognizants claim that they know when a person is genuine and trustworthy or the contrary, and that information just comes into their heads from nowhere.

Many people claim to have more than one of these abilities simultaneously.

What about Scientific Explanations?

People who have experienced psychic phenomena find it frustrating when scientifically-minded people dismiss their experiences outright as lies or an overactive imagination. There’s some evidence to suggest that psychic abilities may be present in all people to some extent. Nonetheless, scientists, on the whole, remain highly skeptical.

It’s important, however, to take note of alternative and more scientific explanations for such phenomena.

Why? – Because it can be downright dangerous to live life under illusions for the following reasons:



1. Life is too short to sit around waiting for something good to happen based on psychic information rather than actively going after the things we want.

2. If the supposedly psychic information you receive is negative, it could lead you to be fearful and paranoid about people and events. It could also make you reject people based on assumptions that could be false.

3. It’s dangerous to make decisions based on psychic information. There’s no way you can know if the information is true or false. This is your life – it’s not a game. The decisions we make have real consequences.

4. All of the psychic phenomena in the list could, if a repeated feature in someone’s life, point to a psychological disturbance. There are various disorders that can give us the impression we see and perceive things that don’t appear in reality.

 The problem is that although these impressions are very convincing, they conflict with reality and this can cause serious problems in our lives and relationships.

For example:

  • Paranoid schizophrenics often believe they know that people are saying terrible things about them behind their backs. The mother of a friend of mine was a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic. She claimed to be a clairvoyant and clairaudient, and she made many seemingly accurate observations. At other times, however, she was violent to her loved ones because of the visions she had.
  • Erotomaniacs believe that they know that the object of their love is also in love with them despite all appearances to the contrary. This can result in stalking and sometimes end in tragedy.
  • People with borderline personality disorder are terrified of abandonment. They often claim they can read the minds of their loved ones, and thus believe they know for certain that their partner is about to leave them. This creates a pattern of unstable relationships in which the sufferer creates situations in which they’re rejected or abandoned because of the erratic behaviour caused by these false perceptions.  

Personal encounters with psychic phenomena

At this point, I’d like to recount a personal story.

I was once walking down the street at 19 years old, having recently gone through a very painful break-up.

I was, as people often are in such situations, vulnerable to any suggestion that I might be happy in love again. I was stopped by a gypsy, right there in the street, who proceeded to give me information that seemed so accurate I was spellbound.

You have been through some trouble recently’; ‘You have lost weight’; ‘You have been pining over the loss of a loved one‘, and other such things that were all absolutely spot on.

She then told me my future.  I was hooked in by this point and listening intently.

I would ‘be married at 28 to a man who would be dark but not black’ and I would have ‘three children, all boys, one of which would become a footballer’.

At this point, I was so grateful for the hope I was given that I handed all the money I had in my purse over to the woman without even being asked. Nevertheless, I am now a good few years past 28, unmarried, and childless.

So I willingly contributed to defrauding myself through my own credulity and hopefulness. Sad but true.

But, equally, I have heard  claims of psychic abilities from people I trust implicitly, including my own mother. She once had a dream that her brother, who lives on the other side of the Atlantic, in Texas USA, had been in a road accident. She called her brother immediately the next morning, having been shaken terribly by the dream. Indeed, he was in hospital. Indeed, he had been in a road accident. We can’t so easily dismiss the claims of those we know and trust, and there are many of them.

In the end, there could surely be something to claims of psychic phenomena that scientists and psychologists are not yet in a position to understand. The human mind is still a great mystery to science. Nevertheless, we must be extremely cautious and skeptical when applying knowledge supposedly gained through supernatural means to our own lives.

Do you think you might have psychic abilities? Have you had any experiences with psychics that you can share with us?



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Caroline Hindle

Caroline Hindle

Caroline Hindle is a freelance writer, editor, and translator living in Athens, Greece. She has an MA in Ancient World Studies, but has a wide spectrum of interests, including philosophy, history, science, literature, politics, morality, and popular culture.