Claircognizance may not be the most glamorous psychic ability, but it is arguably the most underrated and misunderstood of all the psychic senses. On the surface it appears lackluster as a sixth sense, but it is actually a profound and powerful psychic gift. Claircognizance is often also a source of much amusement and even hilarity in my work as psychic medium. And that’s not all… it also happens to be the psychic ability that most frequently gets me into a lot of trouble in my personal life. Why? Well, because I tend to know stuff that I am not supposed to know!
This intrinsic psychic knowledge does not turn up as a result of logical deduction, reasoning, or direct observation using the normal senses. Instead, the gifted claircognizant perceives sudden, spontaneous flashes of insight. They unexpectedly know certain facts, or they have an instant understanding regarding a question or a pressing life situation. The information basically arrives like a clear message directly delivered to the psychic’s conscious mind, without any preceding logic, thought process, or reasoning. Unlike the legend of a young Isaac Newton, who allegedly discovered gravity when an apple hit him on the head, the claircognizant psychic does not need any external ‘falling fruit’ to get his inspired ideas. The information just spontaneously rises to the surface of the mind.
Precognition or prescience, on the other hand, refers to a prior knowledge of future events. It is the prophetic ability to identify the outcome of future events, or to know what will happen… before it actually happens. Precognition is sometimes also called future sight or prophetic vision and therefore often confused with clairvoyance (psychic seeing). Although psychic knowing can be accompanied by clairvoyant visions and mental imagery, the claircognizant psychic does not necessarily always ‘see’ the future outcome in his mind’s eye. Instead, he just knows what will happen, or why it will happen, and so forth. Precognition, in my experience, is also associated with other paranormal phenomena, such as déjà vu and precognitive dreams.
For me, the experience of claircognizance is mostly a subtle, spontaneous knowing. It is similar to the free recall of my own memories and personal knowledge, but also very different in the sense that it is foreign, unfamiliar knowledge that shows up in my mind, which is typically from beyond the realm of my own experience. I basically know spontaneous things about complete strangers, in the same way I know things about myself. But the things I know about them is not necessarily related to anything I have experienced, or already know myself. At times, claircognizance can also be very dramatic in the form of amazing ‘aha’ epiphanies and unexpected ‘light bulb’ moments.
There have been countless occasions over the years where I would tell a client something factual, and often extraordinary, about themselves or their life, and they would gasp with breathless surprise, “Oh my word, how on earth did you know that!” Sometimes they are truly shocked, puzzled, perplexed, even disturbed that I would know such deeply private things about them. Some folks simply become downright suspicious, especially those who have never been exposed to genuine psychic work. Yes, believe it or not, but sometimes a psychic can be ‘too psychic’ for some people’s liking!
And after all these years of working professionally as a psychic medium, I still don’t always know how to respond appropriately to such astonishment. In the early years, I used to just giggle nervously, not knowing what to say. Or I would be so taken aback that I would just remain silent… somewhat embarrassed and completely gob-smacked. These days, I just say, “Uhm, is that not why you contacted me… because I know things?”
My discomfort in these moments probably stem from the many unpleasant childhood experiences I had in this regard. I used to be that annoying, nosy little kid who would blurt out adult secrets. And I had a knack for spilling the beans at the most inappropriate time… usually about matters nobody was supposed to know about. Soothsayer of the tribe, indeed! Of course, this landed me in serious trouble on several occasions… and it still does sometimes. These days I don’t get punished by my parents for it anymore, but it does complicate my friendships, social interactions and family life.
The reason I am usually confident to stick out my neck about the claircognizant stuff I know, is mainly because the mental information I perceive is usually supported by a strong sense of knowing that the information is valid, accurate and true - despite the lack of any logical explanation or physical evidence. As a rule psychic knowing is typically confirmed by an underlying clairsentient sensation, or an empathic feeling, or accompanied by a strong intuition, such as a ‘hunch’ or a ‘gut feeling.’ For example, when I know something really disturbing about someone, I would not just know some of the factual information, but I would also get ‘goose bumps’ or feel a shiver down my spine, while the hair on the back of my neck stand on end. I call this sensation ‘getting the heebie jeebies.’ What I know is therefore echoed by what I sense or feel.
The fact that psychic knowing is typically supported in this way by the other psychic senses, is the very reason why claircognizance is often misrepresented or misunderstood in the field of psychic work. Claircognizance is very frequently described as a form of sentience, empathy, or intuition. But feeling an emotion or an intuitive hunch, or sensing a foreboding or presentiment about something, is not the same as actually knowing something. Many empaths, for example, believe their experiences to be examples of claircognizance, while what they are experiencing is actually clairsentience (sensing) or clairempathy (feeling).
This also clarifies the fundamental difference between precognition and premonition. The two terms are often used interchangeably, but they actually refer to two distinctly different psi phenomena, which are associated with distinctly different psychic abilities, or ‘clair senses.’ A precognition (advance knowing, foreknowledge) is a cognitive, cerebral, mental, intellectual knowing. A premonition (advance warning, foreboding, presentiment) is a non-cognitive, affective, emotional, intuitive sensation, or feeling.
For example, we sometimes have an ominous gut feeling that something really bad is going to happen, but we have absolutely no idea what it might be? We only figure it out once it actually happens. This is a classic example of having a premonition. It is just a sensing or a feeling. But sometimes we know beforehand that someone is going to call us, and then the phone rings and it is the person we expected. This is an example of precognition. It is an accurate prior knowing. We know a specific person would call us, and they did.
I further believe this metaphysical process of extra-sensory ‘data download’ to be the basis of all forms of mediumship, psychic ability, prophecy, channeling, artistic inspiration, technological invention, and scientific innovation. Sometimes the data arrives as visions (clairvoyance), sounds (clairaudience), sensations (clairsentience), feelings (clairempathy), smells (clairolfaction), or tastes (clairgustance). And sometimes it simply shows up as mental thoughts or factual ‘knowings.’
Claircognizance, like all of the psychic abilities, is therefore a form of divine inspiration. In ancient Greek mythology this process was believed to be the work of inspirational goddesses known as the Muses, but the phenomenon is best expressed in the words of the famous German composer, Johannes Brahms, who said: “The powers from which all truly great composers like Mozart, Schubert, Bach and Beethoven drew their inspirations, is the same power that enabled Jesus to do his miracles.” It also reminds me of the French composer Charles-François Gounod, who was once asked how he came up with all his beautiful melodies, to which he replied: “God sends me down some of his angels and they whisper sweet melodies in my ear.”
© 2018 Anthon St. Maarten