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Napping in Paterson

Experienced before 1961 by a Paterson mom, reported to the Rhine Institute

[Louisa Rhine is illustrating problems in distinguishing between types of apparent ESP]

In some of these clairvoyance cases, a danger exists and a receiver responds to it when no person is aware of the danger, and hence no message could have been sent. The resulting impulse of the receiver may be just the same as if a telepathic message had been received, yet the information could only come clairvoyantly.

A woman in New Jersey went to town to shop, leaving her husband and two-year-old daughter at home. Then, as she says,

I was almost at the center of Patterson [sic] when I knew--but I cannot explain how I knew--that I had to get home very quickly. I simply was filled with panic. I got off the bus and immediately took a return bus home.

I found that my husband and daughter had decided to nap on the sofa in the living room and the house was filling with gas. My daughter had played at the stove and had turned on all the gas jets while my husband napped. Then she had lain down beside him and fallen asleep, too. I can remember nothing more than the feeling of panic and the need to forget shopping and return home.


They may seem a lucky coincidence. After all, her urge wasn't specific, though it happened to save two lives. But my excerpting is to blame; Rhine brings up this case after two hundred pages of others, some so extraordinarily precise that Rhine is no longer out to prove the reality of ESP; she takes that as a given, and is now comparing ESP models--in particular, the common analogies framing telepathy as mental radio, with a broadcaster and many potential receivers, or as telephony, with either a one- or two-way call between specific persons.

Rhine argues that both may be wrong. Since these two gas victims were unaware of their danger they wouldn't send a cry for help; and that if this case involves clairvoyance--knowledge acquired without a sender--then other ESP cases that look on the surface more like telepathy could also be clairvoyance. ESP then looks more like radar or a web search; a scanner but no sender.

Her broad point is legitimate; but she overlooks a possibility here. Well before the 1960s it was clear that the unconscious does sense much that the conscious (by its focused nature) cannot. If we accept ESP at all, I see no reason the unconscious can't send out a distress call just as the conscious might. So is this monitoring or communication?

One thing is clear. ESP, however mysterious its mechanism, functions quite understandably; nearly all Rhine's cases show ESP keeping an eye on loved ones and/or warning of trouble. Despite its reputation, ESP's mundane, not mystical. It acts like any naturally evolved sense.

--Chris Wayan

SOURCE: Hidden Channels of the Mind by Louisa E. Rhine, 1961, p. 209. Account untitled, author's name witheld; title & byline added to aid searching & indexing.

LISTS AND LINKS: parenting - moms - kids - fear - intuitions and urges - rescues - drugs and poisons - telepathy - ESP in general - a more detailed compulsion saves a third gas victim: Ruthie Calls - more Louisa Rhine - New Jersey: Paterson

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