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Is interspecies telepathy possible?


One of the few scientists seriously researching telepathy argues that the phenomenon is quite common, especially between animals and their owners.

Historically, science has spurned the study of telepathy. Extrasensory perception is often relegated to the sphere of quackery and superstition, long ago surpassed long ago by the edifying rigor of science. Common experience, however, would seem to object: many people still report experiences that suggest telepathic communication does happen.

Considered a heretic by many, former Cambridge biologist Rupert Sheldrake is one of the few scientists with serious academic credentials who has dared to research telepathy, focusing on the communication between pets and their owners. Forty-eight percent of dog owners and thirty-three percent of cat owners in the UK and the US say they have experienced telepathic communication with their pets. The most common phenomenon is the anticipation by pets of their owners’ return home. Other commonly reported instances of seemingly telepathic animal behavior are anticipation of their owners leaving the house, anticipation of being fed, cats who flee the minute their owner thinks of taking them to the vet, dogs who anticipate being taken for a walk and animals who get excited when their owner telephones home before the call has even been answered.

Sheldrake is aware that many of these phenomena can be straightforwardly explained by cues in everyday routines, subtle sensory signals, random coincidences, selective memory and owners’ excitable imagination regarding their pets. Precisely because of this, Sheldrake has conducted many meticulous scientific experiments to test and measure these responses.

One of the most exceptional cases was the dog Jaytee, who participated with his owner Pam in more than 100 video-recorded experiments. Sheldrake devised a number of control scenarios: he had Pam come home by unusual means (bicycle, train or taxi), and, by means of a telephone pager, he also had Pam set off for home at randomly selected times. Jaytee’s behavior anticipated Pam’s return at the exact moment she started for home. According to Sheldrake, the odds against this being a chance effect are more than 100,000 to 1. The only explanation for the dog’s reaction to Pam’s silent intention, dozens of miles away, seems to be telepathy.

Telepathy from people to animals usually occurs only when there are close emotional bonds. This may well be an important factor in human telepathy too. My hypothesis is that these bonds depend on fields that link together members of a social group, called social fields. These are one type of a more general class of fields called morphic fields (described in detail in my book The Presence of the Past). These bonds continue to link members of the social group together even when they are far apart, beyond the range of sensory communication, and can serve as a medium through which telepathic communications can pass.

Morphic fields may also underlie the sense of direction. Animals are not only linked to members of their social group by morphic fields, but also to significant places, such as their home. These fields continue to connect them to their home even when they are far away, rather like invisible elastic bands. These bonds can consequently give directional information, “pulling” the animal in a homewards direction.

The theory of morphic fields is one of Rupert Sheldrake’s most interesting contributions to modern science. It offers a lens through which we can explain telepathy, collective consciousness and the accelerated evolution of a species. Sheldrake argues that every species shares a field of information with every other member of that species. This is a sort of bodiless, communal memory which we can tap into from a distance. Every member of a species is instantaneously interconnected with all the other members of their species and everything that happens to one happens to all, with more or less resonance depending on the intensity of the connection to that individual. A fascinating theory which will hopefully be explored further.

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