Parapsychology Journalism: The People, The Theory, The Science, The Skeptics
I have to credit this idea to Jim, who posted it on the Weiler Psi Facebook page. As soon as I saw it, I knew he was right. The total readout theory is that the information that we receive from our five senses is seamlessly integrated with our sixth to give us a “total readout.” This means that we don’t necessarily know where one sense begins and where it ends. There is no clear dividing line between psychic ability and the five senses.
This theory has a lot of science to back it up. A mountain of psychological studies demonstrate that people see and hear what they want to, meaning that a great deal of visual and aural filtering is going on. It isn’t much of a stretch to imagine that our vision and hearing will be altered by psychic input in such a way as to seem normal to us. For example, if someone is angry inside but smiling on the outside, we will unconsciously receive the psychic input that tells us that the person is angry, which will trigger us to see the features on their face that confirm this. Other people will see someone who is simply smiling, we will see an angry person faking a smile.
This seamless operation with our senses is one of the reasons why many people who are psychic take quite awhile to figure it out. There is almost always a “normal” explanation even when psi is involved. The fact that it has a physical tangible impact on our reality only confuses things further.
There is no question that psychic ability can affect sight and hearing. Of particular interest is the story of The Boy Who Saw True, which is based on the diary entries of a young Victorian with extraordinary supernatural talent. He could see and hear what pretty much no one else could. But many people have learned to see auras, some people see signs of approaching death and of course many people over the course of centuries have seen ghosts. And people who claim no paranormal abilities whatsoever have heard voices giving them important advice in times of mortal danger.
This is a case of our physical senses receiving psychic information and translating it into something physical for us. And if this can happen in extreme cases, it can also happen in more pedestrian situations as well. Psychic information can and will subtly alter our perception and imperceptibly alter the reality we experience. Just as importantly, we have no way of removing psychic ability from the equation because it is innate. It is as much a part of reality as anything else we experience.
A “Total Readout” means that the separation we think we experience between the senses is illusory. They are all so completely intertwined that their boundaries blur, like the spectrum of colors on a rainbow. Personally, while I notice that it is almost impossible to hear something without having an image attached, however, I don’t seem to have a sound attached when I see something. There is probably already some data on this. We have spots in our brains where the different senses are processed so it would be an easy test to see if it’s possible to have one area active while the others are completely passive. This is a testable hypothesis. Personally, I think research would discover that any sensory stimulus will activate all areas to varying degrees.
While we could test for the five senses though, we could not test for the sixth. Unlike other sensory input, the psychic type does not show up in a specific part of the brain (as far as we know.) Although there are possible quantum level receptors in the brain, no one is quite sure exactly how this obviously quantum level information transfer occurs.
In conclusion, this is another way to look at psychic ability and its effect on us. We can look at it not only in the conventional sense, but also as something that enhances our ordinary senses.