Clairvoyance is the ability to gain information about an object, physical event, or location through means other than the known human senses; it is a
form of extra-sensory perception (ESP). A person who has the ability of clairvoyance is known as a clairvoyant ("one who sees clear").
The term clairvoyant comes from 17th century French with clair meaning "clear" and voyance meaning "visibility".
Claims for the existence of paranormal psychic abilities such as clairvoyance are often highly controversial. Parapsychology explores and studies the
phenomena, but the existence of the paranormal is not accepted by science or the scientific community.
Within parapsychology, clairvoyance is used exclusively to refer to the transfer of information that is both contemporary to, and hidden from, the
clairvoyant. It is differentiated from telepathy in that the information is said to be gained from an external physical source instead of being
transferred from the mind of one individual to another.
Outside of parapsychology, clairvoyance is often used to refer to other forms of anomalous cognition, commonly the perception of events that have
occurred in the past or events which will occur in the future (retrocognition and precognition). It is a term also used to refer to communications
with the dead (mediumship).
Clairvoyance is also related to remote viewing, although the term "remote viewing" is not widely applicable to clairvoyance due to the fact that it
refers to a specific, controlled process.
Within the field of parapsychology, there is a consensus that some instances of clairvoyance are verifiable. Among the general public, between 25% and
33% of the US population say they believe in clairvoyance. During the Cold War, the concept of clairvoyance gained some support from both the US and
Russian governments, with both making several attempts to harness it as an intelligence gathering tool.
But, to skeptics, clairvoyance is the result of:
- Barnum Effects: the observation that individuals will give high accuracy ratings to descriptions of their personality that supposedly are tailored
specifically for them, but are in
- fact vague and general enough to apply to a wide range of people
- Confirmatory biases: a tendency to search for or interpret new information in a way that confirms one's preconceptions and avoids information and
interpretations which contradict prior beliefs
- Failures to appreciate the base rate of chance occurrences
There have been anecdotal reports of clairvoyance and "clear abilities" throughout history in most cultures, mostly associated with religious or
shamanic figures, offices, and practices. While anecdotal accounts do not provide scientific proof of clairvoyance, such common experiences continue
to motivate research into the phenomena.
The earliest somnambulistic clairvoyance is credited to the Marquis de Puységur, who in 1784 was treating a local peasant named Victor Race. During
treatment, Race would reportedly go into a trance and undergo a personality change, becoming fluent and articulate, giving diagnosis and prescription
for his own disease as well as those of others. When he would come out of the trance state, he would be unaware of anything he has said and done. It
is reported that though Puységur used the term "clairvoyance", he did not think of the phenomena as "paranormal", accepting the phenomena as one
of the natural sciences.
Clairvoyance was also a reported ability of some mediums during the spiritualist period in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It was one of the
phenomena studied by the Society for Psychical Research (SPR). Psychics of many descriptions have claimed clairvoyant ability over the years and up to
the present day.
Parapsychological research studies of remote viewing and clairvoyance have produced favorable results significantly above chance. At the Stanford
Research Institute in 1972, studies were initiated on a series of human subjects to determine whether participants (the viewers or percipients) could
reliably identify and accurately describe salient features of remote locations or targets. In the early studies, a human sender was generally present
at the remote location.
A three-step process was used:
Clairvoyance Associated with Senses
- Step One: random selection of target conditions to be experienced by the senders
- Step Two: viewing step; participants asked to verbally express or sketch their impressions of the remote scene
- Step Three: judging step; descriptions were matched by separate judges, as closely as possible, with the intended targets.
- The term remote viewing was coined to describe the overall process.
Types of Clairvoyance
Clairvoyance by CW Leadbeater
Relevant discussion threads on AboveTopSecret.com
Astral Projection vs. Clairvoyance
Attain True Clairvoyance to Assist Oneself in Life
Psychics and CIA
- Clairsentience (feeling/touching)
Form of ESP where a person acquires psychic knowledge primarily by means of feeling or touching
Psychometry is related to clairsentience
- Clairaudience (hearing/listening)
Form of ESP where a person acquires information by paranormal auditory means
Often considered to be a form of clairvoyance
Ability to hear in a paranormal manner
Indicates impressions of the "inner mental ear"
Can refer to actual perception of sounds which are not apparent to other humans or recording equipment
- Clairalience (smelling)
Form of ESP where a person acquires psychic knowledge primarily through means of smelling
- Claircognizance (knowing)
Form of ESP where a person acquires psychic knowledge primarily by means of intrinsic knowledge
Ability to know something without knowing how or why you know it
- Clairgustance (tasting)
Form of ESP that allegedly allows one to taste a substance without putting anything in one's mouth
Those that possess this ability are able to perceive the essence of a substance from the spiritual or ethereal realms through taste