There probably isn’t a human on the planet who couldn’t describe at least one occasion in their life where they knew something without having any idea how they knew it. We have probably all used terms such as ‘sensing something isn’t right’ or having a ‘gut feeling’. Most of us have experienced moments where we have finished some-one else’s sentence or known what they are going to say next. Much of this can be (and often is) put down to knowing some-one well, their patterns, habits and ways of thinking and doing, or reasoning something out using our intellect and common sense. All of those things can explain some of it but not all of it – those other times, many believe, are down to innate telepathic or empathic powers or both.
What is Empathy?
Empathy is the transference of emotions and sensations from one person to another. Each of us, unless we are unhealthily Narcissistic, have some level of empathy within us and the ability to sense the feelings of others based on verbal and non-verbal signs; we typically use it on an almost daily basis.
We are told that spoken language is responsible for just 20% of the way we communicate. The rest is by body language and other means including our natural empathy. It is often easier for us to empathise effectively with those we know well such as family, friends and lovers. We already have stronger bonds with them; we know their story and what they have been through and when we love some-one we will often truly hurt when they hurt and be joyful when they are joyful.
Empathy is not the same as sympathy. Sympathy is when we feel sorry for some-one without actually experiencing what they are. Empathy is when we truly step into some-one else’s shoes and feel what they are feeling along with them.
For most of us, empathic senses come and go to lesser or greater degrees but in some people the empathic ability is greatly developed, allowing them to pick up on the feelings and emotions of those around them more acutely. These people are sometimes referred to as psychic empaths or just simply empaths (You can talk to one to see what they are all about). If you have ever read a really well-written book or watched an especially well-made film in which another person is suffering and found yourself crying then you have experienced empathy. We are not just simply feeling sorry for the character – we are feeling what they are feeling and seeing the world through their eyes. This is what empaths do but via a vastly accelerated short-cut.
How Empathy Differs From Telepathy
The most basic difference between telepathy and empathy is that empaths feel not think. Emotions come from another place to thoughts. We can feel anger/pain/grief/joy and so forth without actually consciously thinking at all. Empaths are not reading minds or thoughts they are sensing. Some empaths also have the ability to ‘read’ physical pain in others, sometimes experiencing it themselves and are able to accurately locate pain sources. There are those who consider empathy to be a form of telepathy BUT the majority of people, including most of the empaths themselves it would seem, think the two are very different. Lines may become a little blurred where some-one has both telepathic and empathic abilities.
Usually empaths only ‘receive’ unlike telepaths who may use a two way process – both transmitting and receiving. There are cases where empaths can transmit out – known as emotional telepathy – but this is rare. Also, telepathy tends to take a much more active role whereas empathy is often passive. In fact, for many empaths, certainly until they learn to control their ability, their empathic powers can feel like a curse or affliction. Empaths cannot help but ‘hear’ the emotions of those around them. Even with their eyes shut and ears blocked – with a total lack of all verbal and visual signals – they can feel completely swamped, overwhelmed and bombarded by having to experience the emotions of others. Telling them to ignore it would be like asking us to walk down a street and not hear the traffic – we don’t mean to, we just do. It is involuntary. Being in crowded places can be completely unbearable for some empaths – like being drowned in an unstoppable cascade of emotions.
Empaths can quickly become drained and overwrought when surrounded by so much emotional soup. This is something akin to when we wake from a terrible dream. On waking we know the dream wasn’t real but we are still left with a hangover from the emotions of fear, pain or grief which we actually went through as if they were real.
Life can be very, very difficult for empaths and many, especially those who don’t really know they are empaths or understand their ability, spend a lifetime trying to filter out and block the emotions of others.
Those empaths who have learned to manipulate their abilities according to self-will and purposeful intent tell us that there are many advantages. Empaths can be tricky to deceive for example or hoodwink because they can feel another’s motives and intent.
What is Telepathy
The term ‘telepathy’ was coined in 1882 by the founder of The Society of Psychical Research – Frederic W. H. Myers. It pertains to mind and thought and involves the transference of thought from one person to another without speaking or visual prompts of any kind. Along with reading minds, a highly developed telepath also has the ability to alter the thought processes of another individual.
It is believed that each of us has within us the capacity for telepathy but not all of us know how to develop it or control it at will. Most people can tell a tale about a phone call received exactly at the moment they were thinking of that particular person; maybe instead some-one from way back, who had been on their mind on and off for days, suddenly rings them out of the blue or appears at a party or in the street. Similarly, each of us has probably had the experience where we just know some-one is staring at us even though our back is to them; on turning we discover we are spot on. Or maybe we have stared at some-one, willing them to look up, which they do seconds later, meeting our eyes directly even though we may be in a crowded place.
Different Kinds of Telepathy
There are two very distinct types of telepathy which take the form of passive and active. Each of us is transmitting thoughts constantly. Passive telepathy simply scoops these up, much like some-one listening to the radio who just turns on and then hears what is being sent out. No action is required as such on the part of the telepath which is why it is known as passive telepathy.
This type of telepathy is most typically linked to surface thoughts and furthermore, for some-one with telepathic abilities, this skill can be tricky to turn off at first. Imagine trying to sleep or concentrate while some-one in the next room turned a stereo to full volume and you might have some idea.
Active telepathy on the other hand requires the telepath to enter into an individual’s mind with specific intent and typically buries deeper to get at rather more hidden thoughts and memories. This can feel very invasive and the subject may be acutely aware of what is happening.
The term coercive telepathy refers to a process by which a telepath will enter another’s mind and change it in some way, perhaps causing them to think thoughts which are not their own.
While many of the most skilled telepaths have been very aware of their abilities most of, if not all, their lives, there are also many books, DVDs and resources which aim to teach the development of telepathic abilities to those of us who need a little guidance or are interested in mastering the skill.
Telepathy and Empathy as Psychic Tools
Psychics and telepathy – telepathy is described as a psychic skill but it doesn’t necessarily follow that all psychics are telepathic. With minds already open and connected to higher realms, it can be comparatively easy for a psychic to develop telepathic skills and many seek to do so but it is not always utilised in direct connection to their other psychic powers. For instance, a psychic reading which relied solely on telepathy would have little value. All we would get back was a direct telling of our own thoughts, fears and desires with no reference to higher realms – not particularly useful. This would of course make us think the psychic was spot on but would give us no insights or help us move forward.It is for this reason that many psychics keep any telepathic ability hidden. Not because they intend to use it immorally – although those people do unfortunately exist – but for fear that is what people would think.
A good psychic reading will inform us of past, present and future and the psychic performing it will be channelling messages from Spirit and other worlds, not simply telling us what is in our heads.
Coercive telepathy – that in which the telepath puts their ideas into another’s head – can be used for beneficial purposes but many practitioners advise against it, telling us this has limited value and is linked to potential risks for the receiver. Ethically, this should only ever be done with the ‘owner’s’ consent and besides, telepaths tells us it is actually quite difficult to get into a mind at any depth unless the subject allows you in.
The bottom line is coercive telepathy in psychic practices is not common practice and not typically part of any type of psychic reading.
It is a commonly held misconception that hypnosis and coercive telepathy work from the same principles. Hypnosis is something else entirely which works through suggestion to the subconscious. Only a very immoral hypnotist would use any type of telepathy in their treatments.
Psychics and empathy – with regards to empathy, the fact of whether or not an empath is psychic is not agreed on. Some say empathy is a form of telepathy which means they are psychic – another school of thought tells us empathy is a spiritual experience but not necessarily a psychic one. Whichever school of thought you subscribe to, the fact exists that many, although not all, psychics do have developed empathic abilities which can help them give more accurate readings forged from a greater understanding of their client. Additionally, a psychic empath – that is, one whose empathic abilities transcend the normal levels of empathy found in many of us – may be able to detect, read and feel energy fields and auras at an enhanced level which will also aid them in their readings.
Telepathy and empathy with friends, family and lovers – both empathy and telepathy are usually accepted to be enhanced between close family members, intimate friends and lovers. If we already have special bonds or links spiritually and emotionally, both telepathy and empathy occur more naturally. This isn’t simply because we know them better, are familiar with their non-verbal signals and have personal insight into their thoughts and beliefs – it is also because we are more in tune with each other’s energies which opens esoteric communication channels more easily.
This doesn’t necessarily lead to the conclusion that we must have a close relationship with a psychic in order for them to deliver high quality readings. A skilled psychic can access higher realm information for you and doesn’t need to be close to the subject to give it any greater value. However, it is important for us to feel ‘right’ with the psychic we choose if we wish to get the most out of the experience. This may manifest itself as instinctive trust, a sensation of being able to relax or just simply that ‘gut’ feeling we mentioned earlier. Imagine trying to get the most out of a medical consultation if we felt an aversion to our doctor. – it’s the same principle.
Not all people are destined to click – it is a natural and normal part of life that some people draw us and others repel us; not always because they are bad or good but simply that our meeting energies don’t harmonise well.