Does the Mind Extend Beyond the Body?

The science behind telepathy is more compelling than you might think.

Zac Whelan
By Zac Whelan
7 Min Read
Does the Mind Extend Beyond the Body?
Image: Adobe Stock

Have you ever thought about someone, be it a friend, work colleague or family member, and moments later, they call or message you? Or have you ever felt someone staring at you; their eyes burning the back of your head?

As it turns out, over 80% of people — including children — report experiencing these phenomena; something they cannot explain, according to British biologist and parapsychology researcher Dr Rupert Sheldrake, a former Research Fellow of the Royal Society, London.

These unexplained telepathic “human abilities” — like the ability to preconceive someone’s phone call, dubbed “phone call telepathy”— Dr Sheldrake claims, are not paranormal, but a normal part of our biological nature. And animals share the same abilities, according to his research.

“Our minds have fields that stretch out in accordance with attention and intention, far beyond the brain,” Dr Sheldrake says. “That means if you look at somebody from behind and they don’t know you’re there, then they might be able to feel you.”

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Picture this: the brain and mind work in a similar way to a mobile phone. The mobile phone (hardware) is the brain and the data (signals) that it receives is our consciousness. When a phone is close to another phone, they can detect one another and even communicate.

Dr Sheldrakes’ findings show that these unexplainable abilities extend beyond the possibility of mere coincidence, also.

Experimental evidence

In one of his many experiments, Dr Sheldrake and his team employed four callers, one of whom was selected to call a chosen participant. The participant was then tasked to guess which out of the four callers was going to call — without any prior knowledge.

Statistically, the participant has a 25% probability of randomly guessing correctly. But Dr Sheldrakes’ experimental findings show the probability is — in fact — around 50%. Contradicting standard statistical probability and indicating that something else —unknown to researchers — might be going on.

“We have been brought up to believe that the mind is located inside the head. But there are good reasons for thinking that this view is too limited,” wrote Google TechTalks. “Recent experimental results show that people can influence others at a distance just by looking at them, even if they look from behind and if all sensory clues are eliminated.”

Interestingly, Dr Sheldrakes’ work has highlighted that many cultures spanning many centuries have reported the same unexplainable telepathic abilities. “Not because they’d been brainwashed into believing it, but because they’ve experienced it,” he says.

Who is Dr Rupert Sheldrake?

Dr Sheldrake is a controversial figure in the science community — for obvious reasons. But with over 90 published technical scientific papers on topics like biochemistry, philosophy and natural sciences, with close to 3,000 citations and 9 books to his name, he is about as legit as it gets.

What’s more, on ResearchGate, the largest scientific and academic online network, his RG score of 34.4 puts him among the top 7.5% of researchers, based on citations of his peer-reviewed publications.

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From 2005 to 2010 Dr Sheldrake was Director of the Perrott-Warrick project for research on unexplained human and animal abilities, funded by Trinity College, Cambridge.

“The Sense of Being Stared At: And Other Unexplained Powers of Humans Minds,” his most recognisable work, draws on more than 5,000 case studies, 4,000 questionnaire responses, and the results of experiments on staring, thought transference, phone telepathy, and other phenomena reported by over 20,000 study participants. Not only has Dr Sheldrake worked on telepathy but a range of other research fields, too.

These include cellular biology, consciousness and Morphic Resonance — a hypothesis formulated by Dr Shldrake; the process whereby self-organising systems inherit a memory from previous similar systems. In its most general formulation, morphic resonance means that the so-called laws of nature are more like habits.

Although branded as a pseudoscientist, Dr Sheldrakes’ findings — at a minimum — have opened the door to questions researchers never thought to ask. To quote the man himself: “science at its best is an open-minded method of inquiry, not a belief system.”

Does the Mind Extend Beyond the Body?
Dr Rupert Sheldrake pictured above — Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Thought transference

Despite what you may think of Dr Sheldrakes’ research, scientists alike are making remarkable leaps towards Star Wars-level Jedi mind powers.

Recent research led by Harvard scientists has shown that telepathy is possible, using a brain-to-brain interface to transfer simple mental messages from one person to another. What’s more, they also showed that the same can be done between humans and animals.

“You can actually transmit information directly from one brain to another brain without intervention of the senses,” said neuroscientist and CEO of Starlab Giulio Ruffini. “The next step would be to try to find more powerful techniques to send more complex information,” he added.

Because the brain functions and sends messages to the body using electric signals, it is not hard to imagine a future where we all use artificially telepathic, brain-to-brain communication methods. Take Elon Musk’s Neuralink for example.

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Researchers are only beginning to understand the true power of the human brain and mind. So the next time you have an unexplainable telepathic brain moment, be sure to record it down somewhere and come back to this article to review.

Zac Whelan
Posted by Zac Whelan Founder & CEO at CONTX Media
Zac Whelan, an Australian art, science and technology lover, spends his spare time drinking gin and pondering on how today's innovations will impact the world tomorrow. A business law graduate from the University of Western Australia, Zac has extensive experience in social media marketing, online journalism and avoiding sharks at the beach.
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