The Scientific Evidence For Psychic Empath Phenomena
The extra-sensory paranormal ability of clairempathy or ‘psychic empathy’ is not yet recognized in mainstream science, but that does not make it any less bona fide for the highly sensitive people who experience these empathic psychic phenomena as a daily reality. Despite the lack of academic interest, and contrary to widespread skepticism, there is a growing body of anecdotal evidence and a significant collection of scientific data steadily gaining momentum to offer intriguing clues to the psycho-physiological experiences of empaths, intuitives, sensitives and psychics all over the world.
I am a clairempath. I feel what other people feel. I experience inexplicable extrasensory perceptions of other people’s emotions, mood states, subconscious motivations, and even their physical or medical symptoms. It happens without me having to see them, or knowing anything about them. Touching others, or being in close proximity to them, elicits more intense empathic perceptions , but it is not necessary for me to have direct contact or personal interaction with others in order to have a direct experience of their underlying feelings and intentions.
Empathic psychic ability or clairempathy is a clairsentient psychic ability. Clairsentience refers to the ‘clear’ sensing or feeling of extra-sensory information. In my experience this process of sensing is due to some form of energy transfer between me and other people. There is an energy interaction or energy exchange that takes place between me and them. I experience these vivid psychic or paranormal impressions of other’s energy on a daily basis, and I utilize it to the best of my ability in my work as a professional psychic medium, consulting with clients all over the world.
The term ‘sentience’ refers to awareness, or consciousness of a sensation or a feeling. Sentience does not involve thought, or logic, or reason. It involves spontaneous feeling or sensing, instead of rational thinking or deduction. Clairempathy therefore is an energy perception, or sentient response, that has no rational or logical origin. It is a form of perception which is experienced as a tactile, physical sensation... or an emotional feeling. My clairsentient or clairempathic experiences are uncanny and very real, as many of my friends, family and clients will attest.
In exploring the limits of consciousness...we are indeed challenged by the spirit of our own epoch. In spite of the persuasiveness of conventional wisdom, consciousness may in fact have transtemporal aspects, and if so, the hard problem of consciousness takes on a mysterious new gleam ~ Dean Radin
As is the case with all forms of extra-sensory perception (ESP) and paranormal ability, clairempathy or ‘psychic empathy’ is not yet recognized by the mainstream scientific community. However, that does not make it any less bona fide to me. For me it is a daily reality, despite the lack of scientific evidence to explain or justify my (sometimes traumatic) personal life experiences. And contrary to persistent mainstream skepticism regarding the existence of empaths and psychic phenomena, there is a growing body of anecdotal evidence and scientific data gaining momentum in this highly neglected field of study.
Liberated by globalization and social media technology, a rising international community of empaths, psychics, energy healers and highly sensitive people have been sharing in recent years their often deeply personal experiences of these so-called paranormal or ‘supernatural’ phenomena.
Online forums, social media support groups and consultation services for this purpose are expanding in cyberspace, as more of us are coming together to exchange information about our empathic psychic experiences.
Our real life stories are increasingly coming out of the ‘paranormal closet’ and into the public domain. This growing collection of anecdotal evidence cannot be disregarded or ignored indefinitely. English author Quentin Crisp famously stated, “In an expanding universe, time is on the side of the outcast. Those who once inhabited the suburbs of human contempt find that without changing their address they eventually live in the metropolis.”
Psychic ability, extra sensory perception (ESP) and paranormal phenomena remain neglected fields of study in scientific research, for various reasons. The good news is that at least some new scientific evidence has been emerging over the years to offer clues towards a future technical understanding of psychic sensitivity, clairempathy and related empath experiences. Below are some of the more significant scientific discoveries in this arena.
Synesthesia, oddly described by some in the medical community as a ‘disorder’, is basically the extraordinary ability some people possess to simultaneously perceive something through more than one of the senses. Perception with one sense triggers a simultaneous and corresponding perception in another sense. For example, synesthetes can ‘see sounds’ or ‘taste words’ or ‘feel smells.’ In some forms of synesthesia the person might perceive symbols, shapes, letters, or numbers with an accompanying sensory perception of color, flavor or smell.
Mirror-touch synesthesia and pain synesthesia are versions of this phenomenon which causes the synesthete to feel a similar sensation in the same part of their body as another person. For example, seeing someone else being pinched on their cheek, would cause the synesthete to feel a similar sensation on their own cheek. Scientific studies have not only provided clear evidence for the existence of this type of synesthesia, but have also shown that it correlates with extraordinary or heightened empathic ability.
Some researchers not only believe that both the human brain and heart generate significant electromagnetic energy fields, but that the heart is in fact the most prominent source of biocurrents in the body. For example, one study measured in an electrocardiogram (ECG) the heart’s electrical field as being about 60 times greater in amplitude than that of brain waves. There is still controversy and disagreement on this subject, but as new technology emerges we will hopefully find a new ways to study electromagnetic processes in the human body.
The ultimate question this hypothesis raises is whether the human body merely processes incoming electromagnetic information via the five senses, or does the heart and mind also send out electromagnetic information about our thoughts and feelings? In other words, are we merely receivers of electromagnetic stimuli, or do we also generate and transmit electromagnetic data to the world around us?
For example, one study provided intriguing evidence that an exchange of electromagnetic energy produced by the heart occurs when people touch each other, or are in close proximity to each other. The electrocardiogram (ECG) signal of one person was shown to register in another person’s EEG, as well as other areas of the other person’s body. The signal was strongest when the subject were in direct contact, but was also detectable when they were in close proximity to each other, without any physical contact.
Have you ever noticed that you experience similar sensations in your body when watching a highly engaging activity on television, for example someone participating in an extreme sport, or an actor fighting for his life in a horror film? Why is that when you see an athlete jump for a slam dunk, or a car going over a cliff, you can actually feel the sensation of your own heart racing, or your stomach turning?
Scientists attribute this experience to the existence of mirror neurons, a specialized type of brain cell in the frontal cortex. These specialized brain cells do not only respond when we perform an action, they also respond when we see someone else performing the same action. The neural mechanism is involuntary and automatic, which enables us to watch other people and instantly know what they are feeling or experiencing, without having to first think about it
Have you ever felt someone staring at you, and when you look up or turn around, you catch them in the act. Studies have shown that between 68% and 98% of the population sometimes sense the unseen gaze of another person. Known as Distant Intentionality, this feeling of being stared at has been demonstrated with varying degrees in research studies. A meta-analysis concluded that there are definitely hints of such an effect, but also a shortage of independent replications and theoretical concepts for this phenomenon.
Distant Physiological Correlations
Can signals travel between the nervous systems of two people who are not in direct physical contact with each other? Several scientific studies have demonstrated that the physiology of one person can affect, or elicit similar responses in another person’s physiology over a distance, without direct touch or contact. For example, in a study of extrasensory electroencephalographic (EEG) induction between identical twins, alpha rhythms were elicited in one of the twins as a result of mechanically stimulating such rhythms in the other twin.
Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen (EPR) correlations were also observed between two human brains when pairs of subjects were allowed to first interact with each other, and were then separated inside semi-silent Faraday chambers. One subject of each pair was then stimulated by flashing lights, which caused the other subject to show ‘transferred potentials’ similar to those evoked in the stimulated subject. In other words, the person not exposed to the light flashes had a similar response in their body over a distance.
Emotional contagion is a psycho-physiological phenomenon in which one person's emotions and behaviors have been shown to directly trigger similar emotions and behaviors in other people. It is an instantaneous and unconscious process of transmission, through which emotional states or moods literally spread like ‘social viruses.’
Interestingly, some people have a natural ability to transmit these mood changes to others, while some people are more susceptible to be ‘contaminated’ by them. Research also demonstrated that we seem to automatically synchronize our moods with each other in social settings, and that this plays an important role in establishing emotional rapport and ensuring smooth interaction with others.
Mass Psychogenic Illness
Mass Psychogenic Illness (MPI) or Mass Hysteria is a well-documented phenomenon in which a group of people, crowd or community experience a spontaneous outbreak of similar physical symptoms, behaviors, or psychological stress. Many such outbreaks have been documented in schools, work environments and communities all over the world. Scientists still have no viable explanation for this kind of collective obsessional behavior, or so-called ‘epidemics of the mind.’
For example, one of the more bizarre cases was 'The Dancing Plague' of 1518 which occurred in Strasbourg, France. Hundreds of frenzied people spontaneously started dancing in the streets, leading to several deaths due to heart failure, strokes or exhaustion.
Another documented case was The Tanganyika Laughter Epidemic of 1962 in which the villagers in several neighboring communities in Africa engaged in unstoppable laughter for months, after a group of students at a boarding school in Kakasha triggered the giggling. The villagers simply could not stop laughing, and some experienced pain, fainting, skin rashes, bouts of crying and respiratory problems.
All of us have experienced gut feelings, forebodings or intuitive hunches about future events that later turned out to be true. There is compelling evidence that the body’s perceptual apparatus may be continuously scanning the future, and that our bodies receive and process information related to intuitive perception. Experiments have demonstrated, for example, that the body can in fact respond to an emotionally arousing stimulus seconds before it is actually experienced.
Several studies have been done to measure whether the human nervous system is able to correctly anticipate future events. Some studies focused primarily on electrodermal activity (EDA), while others explored different physiological measurements, including functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and heart rate variability. All of them reported consistent results and demonstrated a small, yet statistically significant form of precognition or presentiment in the human nervous system.
One surprising study found that the human heart appears to receive and respond to intuitive information, and that a our heart rate slows down significantly prior to observing future emotional stimuli, as compared to calm stimuli. The human heart was shown to anticipate future emotional responses to external events. Not only is the heart apparently involved in the processing and decoding of intuitive or precognitive information, but it appears to be processed in the same way as conventional sensory input.
Researchers in the field of Neuroscience have used brain imaging and behavioral studies to demonstrate that the amygdala, a set of neurons located deep in the brain, is significantly larger in people who display traits of extreme altruism, or selfless compassion.
The amygdala, which plays an essential role in our processing of emotions and social functioning, has also been found to be considerably smaller in the brains of psychopaths, who are known for their extreme lack of empathy. Furthermore, it was also discovered that the brains of altruists are in general larger than that of the average person.
Empath experiences and psychic abilities are not the only unexplained phenomena that continue to challenge the modern scientific mind. A growing number of research studies have also yielded in recent years statistically significant results for other psi phenomena closely associated with psychic empathy, including telepathy, distant healing, survival of consciousness and mind-matter Interaction.
Furthermore, researchers are yet to produce feasible explanations for, among other, recorded events of paranormal activity, historic cases of premonition, the phenomenon of military intuition (described by soldiers as the ‘spidey sense’), the mechanism of déjà vu, a plethora of reported near-death and related metaphysical experiences, and the mystifying inner workings of the mind-body connection and the placebo effect, to name but a few. Just because these phenomena have not been measured or feasibly explained, does not mean they do not exist. The thousands of people having these experiences cannot all be deluded or functionally insane!
For the psychic empath extra-sensory perception and sentient energy exchange is a daily reality and deeply personal matter. I am fortunate that I have an educational background in Psychology and Sociology, and that I have become empowered as an empath through my personal spiritual practice and professional endeavors.
After much initial bewilderment in my youth, I have over the years gained a much better understanding of my psychic and paranormal experiences through my own ongoing research, study and experimentation. But for many other people who share my experiences, the journey remains confusing or frustrating, sometimes embarrassing, and even traumatic. The current lack of scientific support and mainstream skepticism is not helping to alleviate our plight.
The field of social neuroscience and in particular the investigation of empathy is still very young, and the latter has not even reached its adolescence yet. Having had such a promising and eager childhood, though, it seem reasonable to expect that with further aging, we will develop more elaborate theoretical models and more rigorous empirical tools to ultimately gain more conclusive insights ~ Lammab and Majdandžić
But I rest assured in the knowledge that progress in science, and a paradigm shift, sometimes comes as a surprise when it is least expected. It is a well-known fact that all the pieces of the puzzle do not always fit when it comes to scientific data collection and interpretation. And sometimes scientists choose to ignore these discrepancies as irrelevant, or not belonging to the subject at hand, or simply dismiss it as a misinterpretation of the data, especially if it does not meet their original objectives, or the needs of whoever funds their research projects.
Despite all this, anomalies will continue to come along from time to time that violate expectations, or even clash with currently held beliefs about the laws of the universe. There are many examples of scientific exceptions to the rule which was once rejected as ‘fringe science’, but eventually became accepted as mainstream thought, including The Big Bang theory, Heliocentrism, and the fact that germs cause disease, to name but a few.
I have faith in modern science and technology to change our world for the better. I also firmly believe in the power of Divine inspiration and intervention which shapes and guides our existence in this time-space reality. When the student is ready the teacher will appear. As a species we may not be ready for a complete revelation or true understanding of the experience of being an empath, intuitive, sensitive, or psychic. But in time these personal experiences will be confirmed by innovative technologies and new scientific discoveries. In the future the psychic empath will inhabit the mainstream metropolis of human understanding.
© 2018 Anthon St. Maarten
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Anthon St. Maarten is an international psychic medium and destiny coach with clients in more than thirty countries spanning five continents. He is also a metaphysics teacher and podcaster, spiritual blogger and author with a special interest in new thought spirituality, metaphysics, sacred sites, parapsychology, mediumship and psychic phenomena. Anthon is a hereditary psychic medium in practice since 2004 and his services are available by phone or video conferencing.