The Weiler Psi

Parapsychology Journalism: The People, The Theory, The Science, The Skeptics

Sense8: A Show About Psychics

It’s a rare rainy day here in droughtland, and my van is in the shop so I can’t work nor can I do the fence work I had planned.  It’s a good time to write.

I knew that this new show created, written and executive-produced by Andy and Lana Wachowski and J. Michael Straczynski was coming down the pike so as soon as I saw that it was available on Netflix I started watching it.  I loved The Matrix, (not the sequels however) so I wanted to see what they had come up with.  I’m a cord cutter and Netflix is my only form of TV.  What is better than TV on demand with no commercials?  Possibly flying cars, but I can’t confirm that.

It. is. weird.  And I like that, but I had to sit through the first three episodes before I finally got a sense of what was going on.  There are some normal narrative conventions that are exploded and it took a while for me to realize that things weren’t going to play out the way I expected them to.  It was jarring at first, but I got used to it.  I’m totally hooked and I’ve been binge watching.

The Wachowski brothers and Michael Straczynski have already done shows with psychic ability.  The Matrix and Babylon 5 both featured psychic ability.  Their sensitivity to this subject shows.  Indeed, this is quite possibly the most culturally and socially sensitive action oriented TV show I have ever seen.  There are several gay characters and one transgender, all shown without shying away one single bit from the affection that they show for one another.  All of this is treated as normal to the point where even I got a bit overloaded at one point.

The different locations are all treated well to an extra ordinary degree.  It’s one of the areas that this show really shines in that the people are products of their respective cultures, which are shown with some subtle aspects here and there that show that the producers took the time to understand some of the less well known quirks of the cultures they’re representing.

The psychic people, while accounting for the usual need jack up the drama, are portrayed fairly realistically.  It’s established early that for the most part, that no matter where they live, they’re outsiders in their own worlds.  They’re odd, different and a bit high strung.  All of them are extremely talented at something (other than psychic ability) and they’re very creative and smart.  They can all think outside the box and adjust rapidly to changing circumstances.  These are psychic attributes.  When they’re not in distress from an external event they’re happy around one another.

Where I think the portrayal falls a little flat is that the characters have this immense telepathic connection, but don’t seem to exhibit any other type of psychic ability at all.  That’s a little weird.  One would expect a certain amount of precognition, clairvoyance, mediumship, psychokinesis, etc. to be bleeding through if the ability is really that strong.

The psychic ability itself is portrayed extremely well if you account for some Hollywood type alterations to make it more interesting.  The show is based around eight psychic people whose connection to one another is based on a grouping of eight.  That’s strictly Hollywood.  The characters also interact with one another by forming a telepathic connection so strong that it’s as if they are physically in the place where their counterparts are.  So if one is in Chicago and the other is in Iceland they can easily flip between both places when they’re connected to one another, but no one else can see the one that is “traveling.”  The one that’s “traveling” can take over the body of the one that’s “home” and use their own skills.

This is the basis for a lot of the action, as the person in trouble will have various other members of the group of eight take over their body and use their specific skills to help.  That is not a realistic portrayal of psychic ability, but it’s really cool to watch, if perhaps a bit confusing.  As an example, look at this still from the show:


The action takes place in San Francisco, but the asian woman in the blue shirt is actually in prison in South Korea.  The cop in the background on the left is actually in Chicago.  The only people who are really there are the two cops in the foreground and the woman with the sunglasses in the background who is actually the person kneeling between the two cops.  The asian woman has temporarily taken over her body in order to do some serious ass kicking while sunglasses lady watches from outside her body and the not-quite-there-but-yeah-he-is background cop gives pointers.  Got that?  It’s easier to follow than it looks.

If this were real and they could all feel each others traumas as if they were experiencing it themselves they would all have PTSD and be on Zoloft by the third episode.  Come to think of it, one of them does smoke pot, probably out of necessity.

What they do get right in the need-based aspect of psychic ability, which seems tailor made for story telling, as people aren’t likely to use their abilities at their peak capacities unless there is a real need.

So far, the groups are all composed of exactly eight people.  (sense8, get it?) it is like Morphic Resonance on steroids.  It’s a bit of a leap beyond reality, but hey, Hollywood.  In real life the ordinary grouping seems to be between 150 and 250 people, -about the size of an indigenous tribe-, and has a lot of non psychic people in it.  Perhaps on the show this is mimicking a large nuclear family unit?  maybe.  The law of Hollywood is that Every Damned Thing Can Be Explained.  -unless the plot needs it to be a mystery.-

The antagonist is the Government, which is trying to quietly do away with these groups by lobotomizing any members they find.  So, no shortage of clearly defined evil here.  In real life, this would be an ineffective strategy because you could never find them fast enough and they’re sure not going to come forward and tell the world.  The real problem for the government isn’t the existence of telepaths anyway.  They only present a danger if they are believed.  That’s because a properly trained telepath/clairvoyant/remote viewer can discover pretty much whatever secret they’re looking for, but for that source of information has to have any effect, it has to be believed by people with high social standing.

It’s much easier to simply discredit or at least create uncertainty around those who stand out publicly.  A cosmic private Facebook group doesn’t present much of a threat.  When members of the group aren’t being threatened, all they do is hang out and share with each other.  They don’t seem at all interested in total world domination.  So it makes no sense to pursue them.

Despite the fact that this is an action show with all the compromises necessary to make this watchable TV, it is still a touching and sensitive look at the lives of people who are psychic.  They are not a freak show played for laughs nor are they super powered heroes in tights.  To a certain extent, I feel like my identity is being represented.  I guess that’s what I like about it.

11 comments on “Sense8: A Show About Psychics

  1. Morgan Szelei Stevens
    October 12, 2016

    How do I contact the author? It is important

    • craigweiler
      October 12, 2016

      The author of what? Sense8?

  2. Rodney Owens
    July 29, 2016

    I have a rich belief in the spirituality world. For me, there is truly someone who can help us to contact the dead loved ones. I trust the existence of the spirit world where our dear deceased ones still live through their bodies are no longer on the real life!

  3. Liz McCauley
    September 19, 2015

    As this seems to be the latest entry on your blog, I decided to leave a comment after scanning your site. I originally was seeking assistance in combating the affects of PTSD on my psychic ability; or maybe it’s the other way round. But my story is very similar to your own, and the psychic profile I spotted was a near perfect example of me. There seems to be a trend in your writing. That is; there’s little mention of mind/body connection regarding what we ingest, digest and eliminate and its relationship with our brains. Our addictive attachment to sugar and simple carbs, the affects of heavy metals, especially amalgam fillings (mercury) in teeth, the air we breath and drinking water. Physically there is merit and a good place to start in understanding the workings of our intuitive or psychic selves. I won’t go into my own experiences, but can say my mental health is a product of physical, emotional, mental and spiritual evolution; not to mention genetics and historical facts pertaining to society and cultural norms. I applaud your courage in bringing to light our psychic evolution as humans and have enjoyed most of what I’ve read. We are complex creatures and to only concentrate on our brains or psychic abilities, is too simplistic and has a lack of balance. As individuals we have personal profiles that have to be taken into account when using experiential means of attaining empirical evidence to support this phenomenon. As with all research, there has to be a base line. This is where sceptics find their fodder and rightly so. There doesn’t seem to be a way of measuring this ability. Science has always relied on a ‘control group’ to not just prove a point, but for it to be accepted in the mainstream scientific community. Anecdotal evidence abounds, yet religion, politics and science refuse to give up their hold on the evolutionary (revolutionary) high ground. I know there’s been work done on electromagnetic fields (EMF) but again, it’s a matter of having a base line. A person’s fingerprint can be measured against someone else’s because every print is different. It’s physicality is what gives it merit in identifying ‘something’. Unfortunately, our aura’s are constantly changing. On a personal note, I find electrical signals (such as radio waves and digital media) interfere with my EMF and; vice versa. Metal is extremely conductive and our environments and lifestyles are full of this substance in many forms. As I suggested earlier, metal ingested or attached as with amalgam fillings, has to have an affect on our EMF’s. My internal messages are constantly reminding me to cleanse my brain of this insidious ‘alien’. Metals, except gold, are magnetic. So it amplifies, receives and transmits electrical impulses. If we’re attuned to the invisible world of psychic signals, then why wouldn’t it be feasible to say our abilities, emotions or mental capacities can be affected by the introduction of wireless communication devices? We even have them floating around in space and occasionally dropping to earth as garbage. Well, it’s been a blast, but time’s a wastin’. Good luck with your blog and your hundreds of followers and subscribers.

  4. Gia
    August 18, 2015

    iNTERESTING site….but I also wanted to give my 5 cents worth on SENSE8. My husband and I started watching it and thought the concept was pretty intriguing, a bit complex but hey…after a while you get the different storylines. Unfortunately I have phases (now more than in the past years) where I simply can’t stand watching any violence on TV/movies or anywhere. Too bad they are having quite a bit of it in this series. We stopped watching it. Perhaps we will pick it up again. Glad you enjoy it.

    • craigweiler
      August 18, 2015

      Yeah, it’s a pretty violent show at times. I happen to like explody, violent action shows, but I understand that tastes differ.

  5. Emma
    July 23, 2015

    I couldn’t get past the first episode of this show, I thought it was awful. Glad you’re enjoying it though.

    • craigweiler
      July 23, 2015

      I understand and actually agree. The first episode is a mess and impossible to understand. I didn’t like it at all but I got through the second episode and things started to get more coherent.

      What I found out was that the first and second episode were originally supposed to be one episode. The first one is awful because you’re only looking at half of a show. They’re building their characters, but haven’t got the plot established, so nothing interesting happens.

      Try to finish this episode and get through the next and then you’ll have at least gotten what the show is about.

      • Emma
        August 18, 2015

        I hated the way they handled female characters. Like, the show starts off with a sick woman being pestered by two guys before blowing her brains out, and the the next one is introduced by having two guys discuss her skill as a DJ relative to her gender, and then when the Korean business woman was getting buzzed for being female I quit.

        I don’t care if it’s “accurate” if it’s sexist.

        • craigweiler
          August 19, 2015

          Well, that’s part of how drama is created. Especially in the beginning of any show you have to put your heroes at a disadvantage somehow so that they have to emotionally climb out of a hole.

          What I liked was that over time they put women front and center as heroes as well as victims. In later episodes, the women are all over the place as equals or just outright saving men. Except the DJ, who becomes the show’s central victim in need of saving.

  6. Jordan Burrill
    June 13, 2015

    Hi Craig!
    Great find! This programming subject could become a trend, like ‘ghost hunting’ and mediumship did. So, it deserves to be to be followed to see if it does become a cultural trend.
    Here is another interesting programming (and potential trend?), to watch – I believe it is called “Proof”. I think it may be a ‘Fall’ offering on the Sci-Fi channel. The plot appears to be about a renegade group of scientists who are involved with (what I believe to be), resuscitation and memory documentation of NDEs of subjects. Or, as the AWARE project scientists more aptly calls them, “After Death Awareness”. It may involve a plot mechanism similar to the 80’s film “Flatliners” – a great success (not due just to its stellar cast).
    For a while now, I have recognized that the entertainment media’s constant need for new ‘product’ programming is leading culture’s curiosity deeper into (and beyond), the dated and meaningless paradigm of mechanistic materialism and into areas of contemplating deeper reality. All the media outlets are hoping for another ‘smash hit’ like “The Ghost Whisperer”.
    This drive for new and interesting programming is a potentially useful tool for advancing cultural awareness. I hope interested writer/producers will begin to be guided to these opportunities by researchers and consciousness sciences followers.
    It strikes me that the story of PEAR, Edgar Mitchell, IONS, Dean Radin and the profound discoveries made would make an amazing story plot!
    On a personal note, hang-in there, buddy! You and the Divine are not through with your real work, yet.



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This entry was posted on June 10, 2015 by in Uncategorized.
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