Every week, Fandango poses a “provocative question” (a question to make you think, but supposedly non-controversial). This week’s question is:
You’ve heard of extra sensory perception, right? You know, ESP. There are three forms of ESP.
- Telepathy — the transfer of information from one person to another without the use of sensory communication.
- Clairvoyance — the acquisition of information about places, people, or events without the use of normal sensory contact.
- Precognition — the acquisition of information about a future event that could not be anticipated through any known processes of inference.
So my question to you this week is:
Do you believe there is such a thing as ESP? Or is what some suggest to be ESP merely that there are people who are highly intuitive and are very good at reading people’s very subtle signals?
I do believe in it although I think there are people out there who fake it to cheat people. I would never go to one of those clairvoyants with (or without) a crystal ball. But I do think humans have a kind of tuition sometimes, perhaps inherited from our pre-human days that we suppressed once we had language and our brains got bigger. Something in the deep recesses of our mind that we generally have no use for. Animals use it all the time.
But it’s more than that. Some people do have the ability to anticipate happenings before they happen and without any clues about it. Perhaps certain individuals are more in tune with their subconscious mind or highly sensitive to the supernatural. I think it most often happens when it involves someone or something you care very much about. My single experience with precognitive ESP confirms my belief.
I was in a rocky marriage, living in northeastern Brazil. My husband taught at the local university. All my life, I had wanted at some point to have children. I had dreams about it – seeing myself talking or walking hand in hand with a girl. (I especially wanted a daughter.) But these were just dreams, with that sort of misty surrealism that dreams have, where you don’t really see the other people in the dream clearly, or things happen in them that cannot possibly happen in real life. Sleep is a time for your brain to rest and as it does that, I think it casts off all sorts of images and ideas that were swirling around in it and often puts things together in odd ways.
But my longing for a child led to my one ESP experience (unless you consider deja vu or out -of-body experiences to be ESP, which I don’t). One night I had a very vivid, clear dream. It was not dramatic, it was simple. But I knew where I was and who I was talking to.
I was sitting on a couch on the screened porch of my family’s summer home. I remember the couch – very firm, white faux leather, which had a bedspread thrown over it. Across the room from me was a toddler, a small boy rummaging in a box of plastic sandbox and lake toys. I called to him in Portuguese: “Jayme, vem cá.”
He stood up and turned around to look at me and I saw his face, clear as day. He had curly light brown hair, and one curl was particularly long and fell down over his forehead.
That was the entire dream! Just that simple scene. It was so realistic that when I woke up, I had goosebumps! I told my husband. He thought my dream was really cool and believed it too. We had discussed perhaps having a child, but he wanted to wait until we lived someplace with better health care facilities. His job at the university was only for two years.
That happened in 1980, five years before I gave birth to my one and only biological child. The summer home wasn’t in Brazil, it was in northern Wisconsin and everything in the scene was exactly as it was at the cottage at the time, even though I was living in a country and climate far away and different.
I forgot about the dream until I got pregnant. From the time I got pregnant, I knew I would have a boy because of that dream. I had an ultrasound at about 4 months and from the position of the fetus, the doctor was able to tell that it was a boy. (The image was fuzzy and the one thing I saw clearly was the backbone. But the doctor pointed out a dot on the screen and said, “That’s his penis.”) Before he told us, though, he asked us what we wanted.
“We want a girl, but we both think it will be a boy,” I said.
And it was. My son, at two years old, looked exactly like that little boy in the dream. The only thing I knew in 1980 was the name we would give to a child if it was a boy. Jayme was my husband’s grandfather, a doctor in Rio de Janeiro, whom everyone loved and respected, and we wanted to pay him homage.
I never had another vivid dream about a child. But that was what convinced me that occasionally, some people can see something in the future. I don’t think it is something they set out to do. It just happens. I am not an easy person to convince to believe in something I can’t see or prove. But I’ve heard other people’s stories of “seeing the future” or having a near-death experience, so I strongly believe that ESP, at least the precognition type, is absolutely real.