Introduction to Telekinesis

Of all the mysterious powers of the mind, one that is the most impressive – and should be the easiest to prove or disprove – is telekinesis, the power to affect physical objects with the power of the mind alone. Telekinesis is now more frequently referred to as psychokinesis, and the definition has been expanded to include the ability of the mind to affect matter, space, time or energy without the use of any currently known physical means. Skeptics insist that the ability does not exist, and that they can replicate any of the effects shown by those who claim to have telekinetic abilities by the use of strings, magnets, static electricity or other physical forces. They claim that psychokinesis only appears to exist through outright fraud or through manipulation of scientific data.

Whether it exists or not, telekinesis is a power that has captured the public imagination on more than one occasion. One of the most famous movies dealing with telekinesis is the movie Carrie, in which an unpopular teenage girl takes revenge on her classmates for a cruel prank with one of the most theatrical displays of telekinetic powers ever created for the movies. Using only the powers of her mind, Carrie slams the doors to the school gymnasium shut, topples tables and throws chairs, and calls down a rain of stones out of nowhere. It made wonderful theater – but is it possible for someone to actually exert that kind of force with their minds?

The History of Telekinesis

The term telekinesis was coined by the Russian researcher of psychic phenomenon Alexander N. Aksakof to describe the movement of physical objects by ghosts or other worldly forces. In 1934, J. B. Rhine, a U.S. parapsychologist adopted the term psychokinesis when he was conducting experiments to determine if the mind could influence falling dice. While psychokinesis is the preferred scientific term, the public at large has adopted telekinesis, most likely because it resembles other words like teleportation and telepathy.

  • Telekinesis is an umbrella term under which fall several related abilities, all having to do with the manipulation of matter without any known physical or mechanical means. Those abilities include:
  • movement of matter or objects without the use of any mechanical or magnetic force
  • deformation of matter such as Uri Geller’s spoon bending which depends on softening metal
  • influencing events, such as causing dice to fall in a certain pattern
  • biological healing such as closing woundsteleportation of an object or oneself
  • transmutation of matter – changing water into wine, anyone?
  • Control of magnetism
  • Control of heat, light or photons


Famous Telekineticists
  • Throughout the years, there have been a number of people who became famous because of their claims of telekinetic abilities. Many of these have submitted themselves to rigorous tests, but science still claims that nothing has been proved conclusively.
    Nina Kulagina, a Russian housewife, who was studied extensively by the Soviet government in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Kulagina professed to a wide range of telekinetic abilities, including the ability to make images appear on photographic paper without the use of chemicals or light.
  • Felicia Parise, an American laboratory technician, who reportedly could move object with her mind
  • Swami Rama, an Indian yogi who could slow and speed his heart rate by concentration, and who reportedly moved objects such as knitting needles with his mind
  • Uri Geller, an Israeli-British performer who claims to have psychic powers, most famous for his supposed ability to bend spoons. Geller has been caught more than once using magician’s tricks to perform his supposed telekinetic feats.
  • While skeptics such as James Randi insist that telekinesis is nothing but a hoax, there are many instances that can’t be explained away by magician’s tricks. It’s quite possible that the human mind has natural abilities to influence matter in ways that we don’t understand.

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