Uri Geller.

The scientific approach to telepathy is more than a hundred years old now.  Its great ancestor is the Frenchman Richet, the first President of the Union metapsychique internationale.  From the beginning of the XXth Century, he untiringly leads the investigation through all those who manifest clairvoyancy gifts, and analyses the diverse cases with the aim of finding, in a rigorous manner, the mechanisms of thought transmission, of the “sixth sense”, as it was then called.  But he also gives a global explanation, by a poetic comprehension of the matter, breathing in unison with the Conscious.  A Conscious which is in permanent expansion in the Universe, and which transmits “all the vibrations of reality” to thinking people.  He thus opens the way for the American Rhine, who proves that distance does not alter the telepathic message, and that, on the contrary, it is at a distance of 500 kilometres or more that perception is at its best.  If telepathy is not affected by Space, is it affected by Time?  Rhine then asks.  He proves that it is not, and that certain messages are received before they are even emitted.  This is the case for Uri Geller, who directly perceives images which appear on a television screen.  This is no longer telepathy, but clairvoyance.  The paranormal information arrives without there being any need for it to pass through a person who emits this information.

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The crucial question of knowing when an experiment begins and when it ends is therefore a stumbling block in the bewildering problem of precognition.  Until then, attempts had been made to explain telepathy by the schema of radio wave function.  A very limited schema, by the way, for all telepathic exchanges are sooner or later infiltrated by clairvoyance:  when Rhine asks his telepaths to read cards bearing symbols such as a cross, a circle or a star, it frequently happens that the subject perceives the preceding or the following card.  As the person is not looking at the cards at this moment, it is necessarily a sort of divination which, for the moment, is totally inexplicable…

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The Russians were the most advanced in this domain.  They worked a lot on precognition, notably to try to teach pilots of space vessels to detect obstacles in the sideral vacuum, or enemy rockets, by precognition.

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The Americans multiplied their experiments, but seem to have remained at the hypothetical stage.  Targ and Puthoff, notably, have worked with extraordinarily gifted clairvoyants.  Certainly more gifted than Geller.  The most prodigious was certainly Ingo Swann, a New York artist.  He could describe places that he had never seen.  Targ and Puthoff indicated geographical longitudes and latitudes to him, Ingo settled himself comfortably on a sofa and immediately began:

“2 degrees South, 34 degrees East…, I’m above a big stretch of water, it’s a lake, the altitude is high…”

These co-ordinates are those of Lake Victoria.

“64 degrees North, 19 degrees West…, I’m above the ocean, I see a volcano in the South-East…”

These co-ordinates indicate a point above the Atlantic, twenty miles from the Hekla volcano.

“60 degrees North, 90 degrees West, I’m in the middle of the sea but I see pine trees to the North.”

The co-ordinates of Hudson Bay.

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The researchers thought at first that this was a simple case of telepathy but they found that telepathy had nothing to do with it.  They put together a fabulous project that they baptised SCANATE, which roughly means “exploration by co-ordinates”.  Their principal objective was precisely to mix up all possible telepathic influences, and this is how they went about it:  firstly, all the targets around the world were chosen by the ordinary employees of the Stanford Research Institute, and by researchers belonging to other laboratories.  Right to the end, those who were participating in the experiment were kept in ignorance of the chosen co-ordinates.  Lastly, the researchers had details described to them which were not found on any map, such as houses, pylons, bridges…

One day, a physicist stationed at the other end of the United States, and completely sceptical about the eventual results of the project, was asked to telephone the following co-ordinates:  49 degrees 20 minutes South, 70 degrees 14 minutes East.  On his orange sofa – a colour that inspired him – Ingo Swann immediately began.

“I see an island and a mountain rising through a layer of clouds.  The terrain is rocky, little plants are growing there…  There are a lot of clouds and it is very cold…  I see buildings arranged symmetrically.  One is orange, it is dominated by a radar antenna and a round disc…”

Ingo then starts to draw a map, which he comments like this:

“Night is falling.  There is an orangey light in the West where I see hills.  To the North, I see a landing-strip and to the East, far away, the ocean.  Now I’m at the edge of the water…  waves are breaking over the rocks, and now there appears to me a basin of sand traversed by a river with many birds flying over it.  Oh!  A high cliff, and a promontory…  Over there, a lighthouse perhaps…  But I really don’t feel like flying over this rocky zone, which is, by the way, very indistinct!”

The map that the paragnostic had drawn was that of the French island of Kerguelen, in the Southern Indian Ocean, and its outline is much more precise than that done by Cook two centuries earlier, or by Tremarec, who discovered the island…  Of course, all the details mentioned are exact, as a very detailed enquiry was able to determine later…

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Dr Charles Richet was one of the foremost physiologists of his time.

No explanation has been given.  However, since this study, we know that this form of vision at a distance is suscitated by the right hemisphere of the brain.  We already knew that both hemispheres of the brain had functions and aptitudes which were completely different from each other.  The left is specialised in analytical and logical activities, the right, in intuition, and the global and poetic comprehension of things.  And, above all, the left hemisphere better measures Space, the right, Time.  Space and Time are the fundamentals of the Conscious, and the brain has an equal need to apply both of its parts to them.  This well proves that, for the most difficult problems presented to the human species, the scientist needs the artist, and that no creative work is possible without the complementarity of the rational and the intuitive.  Charles Richet’s genius was to understand, as early as 1908, that his hypotheses would remain, for the essential, “buried in darkness”, if he couldn’t manage to embrace this “immense intelligence, on the surface of which we live” by scientific experimentation.  It is true that this winner of the Nobel Prize in Medicine had begun his career by writing an excellent book of poetry.

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To be continued.

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