Look no hands!
It was reported in the news recently that a child in China can move things with his mind. This isn’t the first time this kind of ability has been in the news – there is also an 84 year old man that can do it too – although he can also reportedly make his body impenetrable to harm.
‘Superpowers’, such as telekinesis (also known as psychokinesis) have been around for centuries, especially in Asian countries such as China and India. The belief is that all living things have a life force or natural energy – called ‘chi’ – and with years of practice and meditation, you can manipulate and control the flow of chi in all things, thus enabling you to actually move these objects.
If you break down the word ‘psychokinesis’ into its original Greek meaning, you get a glimpse into what lies at the root of this phenomenon – ‘psyche’ = mind, soul, spirit, heart and breath; ‘kinesis’ = motion or movement. It literally means ‘mind movement’ and ‘telekinesis’ means ‘distance movement’. So, do we all have the ability to access these ‘superhuman’ powers?
If the laws of physics are to be believed, the answer would be ‘no’. Physics demonstrate that brain waves only extend a few millimetres from our skulls. They also strongly contest the idea of us only using 10% of our brain, stating that this has been proven to be a myth and PET scans have proven that we do actually use the vast majority of our brain. The sceptics amongst us believe telekinesis is one of many ‘abilities’ that are based on fraud and fakery – some proven, others proving too elusive to actually be proven either way.
On the other side of the argument, the Buddhist monks and ‘godmen’ of India are living examples of what is possible with years of training and meditation. They hold public displays of their psychic abilities, including making their body immune to sharp objects, levitation and telekinesis.
But with scientific proof of telekinesis itself proving rather elusive, there is no absolute proof that will allow us to finally put this ability firmly on one side of the argument or the other. Most scientists believe the existence of such an ability has not been convincingly demonstrated – other researchers claim it deserves further study. Which side of the argument do you stand for? Is it a case of truth being stranger than fiction, or will scientists finally prove that it’s all just down to those smoke and mirrors?