Materialist Western countries usually refuse supernatural or paranormal abilities as imagined, unrealistic and unproven. The Church is not keen on them either, although there are some exceptions. Some Christian churches use remains of these ancient rituals, such as exorcism.
Paranormal phenomena and abilities are usually associated with witchcraft, magic and fear of the unknown.
Extrasensory Perception and Clairvoyance
Extrasensory perception is perception in a non-traditional way based on a different approach to it than the five senses well-known to us. That is why it is sometimes called the sixth sense. It is based on senses not described before, or on such a power that allows this type of transmission. Extrasensory perception is subject to both interest and intense research; however, this ability has not been confirmed or disproved yet. Extrasensory perception is tested in an experiment where the tested person is seated so as not to see certain symbols and they are trying to perceive them with their extra sense. The term extrasensory perception also includes abilities of telepathy - transmission of thoughts - and clairvoyance - foreseeing future events.
According to parapsychologists, these extrasensory contacts and transmission of thoughts may work between people mutually as well as between animals or plants, even inanimate objects. The term "extrasensory perception" in English was coined by parapsychologist J. B. Rhine in 1927.
The ability of clairvoyance is part of all ancient religious systems. It is perceived as a part of common abilities of shamans, mages and other spiritual representatives of various cultures. Clairvoyance was always popular among the common folk. It was always the habit of the time to visit an oracle and consult the best possible way to go. At the same time, it was a thriving business, which may also lead to the current skeptical opinion on clairvoyance. However, even at present there are cases where techniques of clairvoyance are used. Secret spy services used to use clairvoyance or police services in searches for missing persons, children, etc.
Pythia, an Oracle of Delphi, is a known ancient prophetess. She lived in the 7th - 6th century B.C. and according to preserved sources, she delivered her oracles in frenzy. A common term of prophetesses of this time is "Sibyl" (from Latin Sibylla, meaning prophet, old man, etc.). However, delivering oracles was not a speciality of women, there were also male oracles. They were called Baks, although we only know so much about them, many documents were not preserved. In the 16th century, the notorious oracle Nostradamus appears in France. Within Czech history, we should mention a renowned Sibyl Libuše (Libussa), daughter of Krok, whose most famous oracle is the one about founding the city of Prague.
There are more people who have experienced clairvoyant or telegnostic prescience. They can be dreams depicting situations which may later happen in real life. We are also familiar with so-called hunches, forebodings of something bad happening. Such hunches are usually accompanied with a sort of sign and feelings of anxiety.
Clairvoyance is related to telegnosis - knowing something at a distance. It differs from telepathy because it is not a transmission of thoughts between two people, but a transmission of information from the spiritual world which go from the past to the future.
Seeing into the future, clairvoyance is a classic part of mythology, religion, shamanism or magic. It is one of the most frequent magic things.
Extrasensory perception is subject to intense research; however, it has yet to be proven or disproven experimentally. There are various theories of enhanced sensitivity of certain individuals, a theory of complex energy field with a compound of information transmission, etc.
It is one of generally known paranormal abilities, entailing transmission of information from our mind remotely into a mind of another human or animal. Telepathy often occurs between a mother and her child or between partners. Some natural nations consider telepathy a perfectly common matter and part of life and they communicate e.g. using trees, etc.
The strongest experiences of telepathy occur during accidents and extreme situations that endanger our loved ones.
Telepathy is mentioned in mythology and it is a part of various religious experiences. The term was coined by Frederick Myers, the founder of the Society for Psychical Research. However, telepathy still remains a mystery for modern science and exact research.
Psychokinesis is the ability to move objects using only your mind. If we do not know what is causing such movement, we talk about telekinesis. Psychokinesis is a popular theme and feature in movies, books and computer games. Psychokinesis is an umbrella term which also includes levitation (flying), teleportation (moving from one place to another), controlling magnetism, influencing course of events, etc.
Psychokinesis usually occurs in various stories and myths. E.g. in Arthurian legends, Merlin the wizard occurs, who was able to move Stonehenge from England to Ireland with his mind according to a legend.
We can also mention pyrokinesis, the ability to control fire with one's mind, light a fire remotely, etc.
Channelling is communication with beings from other worlds and dimensions. At present, it has become a fairly popular and extensive branch of esotericism. Supernatural creatures include angels, archangels and other spiritual beings, or aliens. In history, we encounter channelling in Biblical stories where various Biblical characters communicate with spirits, angels, the Devil and God. Channelling with various spirits also takes places in shamanism.
It is an ability to learn and "read" information about a given person from an object belonging to him/her, e.g. a watch. A talented individual should be able to see images related to such an object, either in the past or in the future. Reading from objects has its ancient magic roots; according to some sources, natural people used to use it and in some regions of Africa and America it is still used for searching missing persons.
Foreseeing the Future, Clairvoyance
Foreseeing the future is one of the paranormal abilities tolerated by the Western culture. It may be caused by the fact that some stories on it are backed up in the Old Testament and later also in the New Testament. Foreseeing and making prophecies may take place in a myriad ways, such as reading cards, stones, a crystal sphere and many others.
Foreseeing the future transcending all religions and cultures appeared in Europe in the 13th century. The most renowned prophet in history is Muhammad, the founder of Islam. The New Testament considers the ability to make prophesies a supernatural ability given by the God.
Bilocation - Being in Two Places at Once
It is the ability to be in two places at the same time simultaneously and it appears throughout the world's culture, being associated with magic abilities. We encounter bilocation described both in shamanism and in Christianity.
The phenomenon of bilocation is sometimes called fluidic duplication, bicorpocity, exteriorization of the astral body, astral body projection, out of body experience, out-of-body experiment, etc. Such a phenomenon occurs especially under special circumstances, mainly in a state of spiritual weakness - during sleep, hypnosis, state of being unconscious, under general anaesthesia.
The ability of bilocation was accredited to the famous philosopher Pythagoras, various Christian priests, shamans and spiritual personalities.
Postcognition - Retrocognition
It is the ability to "see" an event after it had happened in distant past. Sometimes, criminalists strive to use it experimentally to search for crime victims or to clarify events that occurred during the crime. Such an ability to search for lost objects or persons is a part of the basic arsenal of shamans and mages.
Astral Travel - Astral Projection
Out of body experiences (O.B.E.) - astral travel is described to have taken place in many periods and cultures.
The O.B.E. phenomenon may occur even during rest, meditation or under the influence of some drugs, but also during a completely common activity. However, such an experience may also occur under more dramatic circumstances, such as moments on the edge of death, during a cardiac arrest or a severe accident, etc. There are very few people who are able to experience it of their own will or are able to control an occurrence of such an experience. This is usually possible only after a longer period of training.
These people even describe the possibility of levitation and going through objects, walls and people. Astral travel experience is usually described as very real and live and people who have been through it often have feelings of deep affection, change in their inner values or faith and the entire view on life. It is allegedly possible to travel within our physical world, visit relatives and friends, or even to travel further from the physical world, in a higher astral sphere.
The concept of astral travel has been recorded already during the period of Ancient China and other ancient cultures.
The topic and ability of leaving one's physical body and travelling is frequent in shamanism, in the history of magic, in Islamic mysticism - the term "astral" is therefore sometimes described as homogeneous or ethereal.
Science sees astral travel and astral projections as mere fruits of imagination or a dream condition. Experience described by people who have been through near-death experience or mental travel speak contrary to the scientific skepticism. Later, these people were able to give information about places of their out-of-body-travel and events occurred there; their experience matched the reality of the given place and time.
All these anomalies can also bring us to the thought that projects and ideas of people like Giordano Bruno, Galileo Galilei, Leonardo da Vinci or Jules Verne were regarded as fantasies, hallucinations and oddities at the beginning to become undeniable facts much later. Albeit small, there is a possibility that in time, science will become able to clarify even phenomena such as astral travel.