What Is Clairvoyance?

The term clairvoyance means "clear seeing" and is sometimes referred to as "second sight" or "the third eye". It is usually categorised as a form of paranormal mental psi power / ESP although some people prefer a more mystical explanation involving spirits and similar entities.

Strictly speaking, clairvoyance refers only to visual information. A classic example of clairvoyance is remote viewing. However the term is also used rather loosely and some people also use the word clairvoyance to refer to picking up sound (technically, "clairaudience") and other information that is beyond the strict definition of the term.

In addition, the strict definition of clairvoyance refers to obtaining information from the current time period. However in practice the term is not always restricted to contemporaneous events. Many clairvoyants also claim to receive images the past and/or future (the latter being precognition). In this case, their clairvoyant abilities are seen as part of a larger psychic power.

The combined term for all these forms of psychic information gathering - clairvoyance, clairaudience, precognition and more - is "clairsentience". What is known informally as a "psychic clairvoyant" reading is likely to contain elements of all these disciplines depending on the abilities and preferences of the psychic or medium.

How Does It Work?

Parapsychologists have studied clairvoyance for years however there is still no clear evidence one way or the other since it is difficult to test and measure. Some people believe that clairvoyance is a natural ability, others that it can be learned - you can buy training courses or attend classes that claim to develop and improve any latent natural ability one might have.

It has been suggested that such abilities might be connected with the pineal gland in the brain however I'm not personally aware of any scientific research to support this. For some the visions seem to come in dreams - unfortunately these dreams can all too easily be ambiguous and difficult to interpret.

At the other extreme, clairvoyant powers are claimed by certain spiritualists and mediums and the developing of such powers is considered to indicate an increasing rapport with the spirits.

The experience of clairvoyance differs from person to person. In the field of ESP and psi research, a test normally takes the form of simply sitting in a room and concentrating. Informally, many clairvoyants prefer to use various techniques and equipment as suits their personality and beliefs. There is a viewpoint that all forms of scrying are in fact simply clairvoyance exhibiting itself through a mechanism of the psychic's choice.