I actually grew up in Sydney, but when I first left home at the age of 19 I lived on a farm several hundred kilometres to the southwest. I was a graphics student enrolled in a regional college, and the farm was the only accommodation available to me at the time. This was several years before I was diagnosed with schizophrenia, and a long time before the incident with the cows I wanted to tell you about, but I wanted to let you know that I developed an affinity for the country quite early in my life.
It was many years later while I was living in a small country town in the north of New South Wales that I answered an advertisement in the local paper advising of a small farm cottage available for rent, about 20 kilometres out of town. The farmer was, in fact, a share cropper who grew lucerne and sorghum among other things, and kept about fifty cows whose numbers fluctuated as calves were born, and sold at the local sale yards. I wasn't actually employed by the farmer, I was his tenant. My pension provided me with sufficient financial support to pay rent and feed myself, and I was happy to help out in any way I could. It turned out that my effort was best spent herding cows up and down the roads in the vicinity of the farm, where the grazing was plentiful, and the cows could enjoy a taste of freedom outside the gates and fences. The farmer was growing crops in the paddocks, and didn't want the cows disturbing them with their voracious appetite, and careless footsteps. I would take the cows out in the morning, check on them throughout the day, and bring them home in the evening, and with such small numbers I got to know them pretty well. A lot of them had been given names by the farmer's family, such as 'Mad Limo' who was the head cow, and 'Hoppy' whose broken leg had never healed properly, and who consequently had a very awkward limp.
I had been living on the farm only a matter of days before I learned my first words in the 'language' which the cows evidently use to relate to each other. I was dozing half asleep before I got out of bed one morning when I heard one of the calves bleating not far from the cottage I was in. I heard the calf bleat a plaintive question, 'Where are you?' It was a question I was to hear quite often during the months in which I was stationed there, because as calves were separated from their mothers, they attempted to locate them with this plea.
I should explain at this point that in all my experience as a schizophrenic I heard 'voices' only on very rare occasions. You hear a voice when someone speaks to you, of course, but on these rare occasions I heard a voice as you would, but without a speaker being physically present to express it. This is supposed to be the characteristic symptom of schizophrenia, but I don't know how many affected individuals experience it because in my case it happened only rarely. I must say, however, that I 'hear' thoughts on a daily basis which I am able to distinguish from my own. So when I say that I heard the calf's question it was as if a translation of its bleating occurred among the babble of my thinking. I knew that the thought was not one of my own because, by this time, I had been a schizophrenic for some 14 years, and I was sufficiently experienced to tell the difference between my thoughts, and the thoughts of another. This is an important distinction which I will discuss in detail shortly, but for now let me continue with my cow story.
Sometime later, after I gained experience conversing with the cows, I used this question to locate the mother of a calf who had been caught on the wrong side of an electrified fence. The fence consisted of a single length of wire hung about three feet above the ground, and I tried to persuade the calf to go under it while I propped it up with a length of wood, but the calf wasn't going to cooperate. So, I attempted to imitate the question I had heard so often, yelling out, 'Where are you?' I didn't know who this little one's mother was, but it occurred to me that she would be more persuasive, and fortunately the gambit worked. But when the calf's mother waddled over to help us I could see that she was laughing, she evidently thought that I sounded just like a baby crying, which was not particularly surprising since that had been my intention. I had a good laugh too, and I will never forget the incident because, with a sense of belonging to the group, it really made my day.
I lived on the farm for no more than nine months, but in that time I learned that the cows have a rich and elaborate description of both themselves, and the world in which they live. To illustrate my point with a couple of examples, I had a small farm bike which they called a 'fire bike', and they called the diesel fuel which was stored at the top of a small tower 'fire water'. Furthermore, I was bringing the herd home one afternoon when the bull, who was allowed to graze with the cows, bellowed 'Fire!' When I turned to look I could barely see a plume of smoke across the flat plains maybe 20 kilometres away, but it meant so much to the herd that they all stopped to have a look at it. Not surprisingly a lot of our conversations were about the fences, and I had the dickens of a time avoiding the subject of the ultimate fate of cows, a subject about which I will feel shame and remorse for ever. When I left them I promised that I would do everything in my power to represent their plight to humanity, and do what I could to change it. I won't forget how warmly I felt towards them, and the sadness I felt when the young ones were taken off to slaughter. I made a mistake typical of a city boy living on a farm by getting emotionally involved with the livestock.
Now, I've told you this story not so much in order to reinforce the point I was making about being able to infer that primates and dolphins are necessarily telepathic. I've actually told you about the cows for another reason, which is to explain to you how I arrived at a crucial turning point in my experience with schizophrenia. Prior to this episode with the cows, and throughout the previous 14 years not counting 3 years of unremitting delirium before my diagnosis, I had to maintain an element of doubt about the nature of my experience. While the possibility weighed heavily on my mind at certain times throughout this interval, it wasn't until I was able to converse with the cows that I felt confident about concluding that animals are fundamentally telepathic. I felt, much as you do, that telepathy was such an unlikely explanation when disease so readily accounts for all the observable facts.
While you may have reservations about some of the things I have told you, you are not in a good position to doubt that I am at least a reasonably cautious thinker. Far from flattering myself with this suggestion I want to point out to you how difficult it is to obtain a reliable proof of this phenomenon. For example, there was an episode with a dog very early in my career as a schizophrenic which promised to achieve this end, but which only served to add to my confusion. I was minding my sister's house and her dog while she and her husband were away for several months. Her husband was in the business of acquiring surgical experience in a regional hospital, and I had no particular ties so I was free to help out in this regard. The only problem was that, unknown to my sister and her husband, I had begun my descent into madness, I had conceived of the infinite regression of abstractions, and had begun to relish its exquisitely psychotic perception. If my thoughts weren't out among the stars and galaxies, or rehearsing my memory of all time and space, then they were suitably employed investigating the worlds I found while lost in the labyrinth within.
I was driving a cab two or three nights a week in and out of Sydney's city centre so my hours were unpredictable at best, and I would often spend all night at home brooding over my new found perception, which the dog evidently found infuriating. It was during one of these all night stints that the dog provided me with an opportunity to prove the case for telepathy when he covered his ears as dogs do sometimes, and said in audible English, 'When are you going to stop?' Now, I sat there and looked at him wondering about how bizarre my perception was becoming, and wishing that it would never end, but realizing that I really had no control over something that was quickly becoming very scary. His speech was slurred, but it was quite distinct which meant firstly, that he was receptive to my altered state of mind, and secondly, that he had learned a lot of English from simply listening to people speak.
This would have been a valid and compelling proof of the telepathic potential of both animals and humans, but unfortunately my perception throughout this period of my life was so bizarre that this instance was lost among the endless mental clutter. My point is that it was not until I was able to socialize with a number of beings in this way who together reinforced my belief that it was possible, contrary to my otherwise sceptical inclination. If any of you suspect that schizophrenia masks an otherwise telepathic nature, but are unable to prove the veracity of your suspicion, then I recommend that you live among a group for whom telepathy is not so much a mystery but an integral part of their culture. I personally incline towards developing this kind of relationship with a herd of cows, but there is no reason why you shouldn't associate with sheep, or horses, or pigs, if the opportunity ever presented itself. You may manage to prove the case by associating with your pet dog in this way, but because the two of you meet in relative isolation, I expect that any doubts remaining in your mind would erode the strength of your conviction.
A lot of troublesome experience has shown me that you'll get nowhere attempting to prove the truth of this faculty by entering into this sort of relationship with the people you encounter from day to day. Humans are so hostile towards what is, in their view, an intractable invasion of their privacy that they will lie to you if they feel threatened by your sensitivity to what is on their mind. Furthermore, so few people have an interest in developing a telepathic faculty that you would be no more able to bolster your convictions than if you attempted to relate to your pet dog in this way. But this doesn't mean that you can't relate to people telepathically provided you are careful to be discreet about it. The airwaves are free for you to sample to your heart's content, and no-one can stop you from conducting your own private investigation of them.
If you feel inclined to replicate this curious experience then it may be helpful to know that my entire psychiatric odyssey has been the inevitable consequence of my personal inclination to assume a solitary existence. While this obviously deviant social orientation may contrast with the reproductive behaviour of a species whose numbers are destroying the natural environment, it may well represent an adaptive alternative. There may be some odd perceptual consequences of this sort of orientation, but at least the solitary individual can limit his or her impact on the environment.
As for all those 'normal' people who think I'm not addressing them with this discussion, I can think of a couple of situations in which you do in fact entertain telepathic relations with other people. You will no doubt recall from your experience of falling in love that there comes a time in the development of your relationship when you realize that you've fallen in love with your partner, and that you can't stop thinking about him or her. Without wishing to boast about my conquests, I must say that I've fallen in love with a few girls in my fifty years. So many, in fact, that I've become fairly circumspect about this stage of the relationship, and so I can tell you from experience that it is very difficult to relinquish the mental obsession from which you suffer at this stage. To tell you the truth, I've actually sworn not to fall in love again for the very reason that this obsession is excruciating for a telepath. You can forget about getting any sleep for the few weeks it takes to adapt to the new presence in your mind. I will, however, contradict myself by saying that I've not written an oath in blood or anything, so I would consider developing a relationship again. But my point is nevertheless a valid one, that the intimacy of your relationship with your partner going forward from this time is much more profound than the otherwise sexual intimacy which motivates it.
Now, I've never been married. I'm sure you can imagine how much a girl would relish telling her family that her beloved husband to be has been a psychiatric invalid for most of his adult life. But I have lived with a girl in a de facto relationship, and I can tell you that I lost count of how many times I was thinking of some feature of our lives, when she turned to me and began a discussion of the very subject I was thinking about. It was freaky to say the least, but I loved the girl and found that it was gratifying to be reassured of the depth of our feelings for each other. But, before you go complaining that my experience is hardly surprising since I am supposed to be a telepath, let me say that the reciprocal case was just as common. My partner would say 'Hey, I was just thinking about that' when I opened some topic for discussion. And besides, I'm inclined to believe that it is a fairly common phenomenon between couples, and furthermore I'm sure that you will have to agree with me in this regard.
It may have occurred to you while reading this discussion that telepathy has been disproved on numerous occasions by tests such as the one involving a tester who holds up cards with symbols on them, and the individual in question has to guess what the symbols are. Let me just say that the experiment has nothing to do with the cards. The test subject is not trying to 'see' the cards, but rather to see what is on the tester's mind, so the subject is going to get nowhere if it happens that the tester does not have an open mind. Ideally this experiment should be conducted by people who already have a telepathic rapport with each other, such as a couple who live together, or even a couple of reasonably functional schizophrenics who profess to have such powers. This never happens, of course, because the point of the experiment is to disprove telepathy, so both tester and subject have been selected with this particular goal in mind.
Since humans rely so much on verbal communication their telepathic faculties are redundant in this context in any case. And, to tell you the truth, in all my experience of being a 'telepath' there were relatively few occasions when, as I was conversing with someone, I could tell that they were thinking something contrary to the substance of what they had to say. When this sort of thing happened I got the impression that they were feeling something of a personal nature, or I had caught them in a lie, and I could tell from their body language that they felt mentally exposed in this way. We might have been conversing about nothing in particular, and out of the blue something completely unrelated, something of a sexual nature for example, popped into mind, and I could tell that a reciprocal thought had occurred to him or her as well. So, if you happen to believe that you are a telepath, then I advise you not to get carried away with the appearance of having telepathic powers. It's easy to be mistaken by appearances, and the situations in which you can infer what someone is thinking are few, because people have so much distaste for telepathic relations that they refuse to allow themselves to be exposed in this way. They will deflect the course of their thinking if they suspect that something of this sort is about to develop in the conversation, and I'm sure you've had the opportunity to observe this in conversations of your own.
Clearly, there is little opportunity for people to develop a telepathic rapport with others in their face to face communication anyway, because people prefer to relate to each other verbally, and so telepathy remains an unsatisfying and virtually irrelevant alternative. But it is another matter entirely when you are alone somewhere, and you undertake to investigate your memory of the social interactions which have a special interest to you. As I'm sure you've observed for yourself, it is a free for all when you are alone with your thoughts and, immersed in a private contemplation of the other people in your life, you find yourself in a place where you may pursue your mental investigation without fear of censure. While people may be mentally defensive when you meet them in person, they are so open to entertaining this sort of correspondence with you in private, that you are free to relate to them in any way you please.
Now, I know that some of you will want to contradict my argument by suggesting that whatever is going on in a person's mind is just their imagination, it's not real and shouldn't be credited with being a legitimate representation of another person's views. Well, up to a point I must agree with you, the sort of information obtained in this way is doubtful at best, and you should be very careful undertaking action on the basis of conclusions which this information may tempt you to draw. But there is a technique you can practice which will enable you to distinguish between your 'imagination' and the other person's thoughts and feelings; in particular with regard to whatever feelings they may have about you.
You will no doubt already be well aware that you mentally talk to yourself all the time. You conduct an internal dialogue about your relationship with the world continuously, and you will also be aware that this dialogue is, in fact, very difficult to stop. Many years ago, when I first started down the road to psychosis, I remember that arresting the internal dialogue was one of the techniques I learned from Don Juan who was an extraordinary individual assisting Castaneda with his anthropological studies in Mexico. This venerable gentleman explained to Castaneda a number of very powerful techniques which were designed to reorient a person's outlook on life, and I believe that stopping the internal dialogue was one of the more profound ones. When I first began to practice this technique myself, I remember that I could stop mentally talking to myself for maybe 10 seconds or so, which is not a world record by any means, but it is a feat which is very difficult to achieve. Many years later, after a lot of practice, I could keep it up for several days at a time. And while this may be a rather empty pursuit in itself, it does allow you to conduct an investigation of what else is going on in your mind, in particular with regard to distinguishing your thoughts from the thoughts of the other people in your life.
It is worth noting that those people who are important to you, can't avoid thinking about you to some extent, they unavoidably entertain some feelings for you so that there is a reliable symmetry in the relationship which is worthy of contemplation. You may be surprised by how much you can infer about their feelings for you on the basis of the logical structure of your relationship, and then there is a wealth of body language you can read provided that you are careful to preserve the rigors of logical inference. And, contrary to conventional thinking, the remaining piece in the puzzle is based on what you can read 'telepathically', provided that you are able to distinguish your thoughts from the thoughts of others, and you are careful not to draw erroneous conclusions.
The other thing to keep in mind while you are brooding about your acquaintances in that special place where you do your meditation is that you and your acquaintances are not likely to be thinking about each other simultaneously. You may feel confident about relating to these people telepathically, but it is worth noting that they will not necessarily be conscious of your mental conversation at the time that you are having it. While it is possible to have a telepathic conversation where both parties are simultaneously aware of each other, such a conversation is likely to be rare because of the divergence of people's interests, and difficult to verify in any case. You could, of course, use the telephone to make enquiries with regard to what the other person was thinking about at the time that you were having this conversation. Or, if you happened to be living with them, then you could ask them even more directly, but this sort of stratagem is both dangerous and unseemly, and may ultimately result in the loss of their confidence in you. You'll find that it pays to be discreet in this business, and besides the alternative is much more interesting anyway.
The alternative is to dismiss the view that telepathic conversations need to be synchronous in order to qualify as such, and then to adopt a theoretical framework which allows parties to relate to each other asynchronously. If you will bear with me for a moment while I point out the physical basis on which I believe telepathic relations may be entertained, I will return to the discussion of how your development of this faculty may affect your relationships shortly.
To begin, let me remind you that human bodies consist of electric and magnetic fields which result from an interaction between large numbers of charged particles, and that bodies ranging from minuscule atoms to titanic galaxies are no less composed of such fields. In fact, the nominal 'energy field' is without doubt the most unifying abstraction we have yet conceived of, and it is one whose generality encompasses the representation of existence from one end of the dimensional scale to the other. In the case of atoms, stars, and galaxies the magnetic field coincides with the axis of rotation, and the electric field is perpendicular to it. But in the case of human bodies the orientation of these fields is not quite so clear, and so we are left with the task of interpreting the field-like nature of the various axes of symmetry.
The most notable axis of symmetry organising the human body is parallel with the spine, and in this regard we may expect at least a degree of symmetrical correspondence between organs located on either side of the plane which divides this axis. Thus the symmetrical correspondence between the centre of the brain and the rectum, which together represent the poles of this field, is curious to say the least, yet their polar identity is unmistakable. A little less clear are the poles of the fields which are perpendicular to the sagittal and dorsal planes, yet in spite of this uncertainty the three axes together define where the body's constituent particles are located in three dimensional space.
The origin of a polar coordinate system would thus be suitably located not far from the heart. And it is by no means trivial to locate the centre of consciousness there, rather than at the centre of the brain, because the entire body consists of knowledge, of which the brain is merely a representative summary. A person's brain would be overwhelmed by the sum of knowledge residing in all parts of the body so people are necessarily selective about what they mentally attend to. But this doesn't mean that those other centres of knowledge will refrain from processing information, and interacting with other sources of knowledge, just because they are not presently at the centre of the person's attention. The brain may keep a person's favourite memories fresh in his or her mind, but the great bulk of knowledge residing in the body remains forgotten until the day when circumstances deem that this knowledge is required.
The body is thus a radiant field whose harmonics encode memories from a person's prior experience, but it is also a receptive electric field which can resonate in sympathy with the radiance of other fields. I have suggested that when you relate to someone telepathically you do not need to be at the centre of their attention when you address them. It doesn't mean that the knowledge you obtain by observing someone in this way is necessarily invalid. As a receptive electric field they can't help resonating in sympathy with you in spite of whether they go to the trouble of observing this or not. So, if you were to mentally ask them questions, then the answers you received would be worth giving serious consideration to. You'll find that you're never going to be able to rely on the reception of long strings of text, even if you're good at stopping the internal dialogue, because text is such a complicated structure that it is difficult not to corrupt the signal with your thinking. But a careful study of a person's body language, and very short strings of text, will provide you with a reliable indication of their mood and intentions.
In my experience with schizophrenia I've tried to look at my situation from a lot of different points of view. I would like to have asked certain individuals some interesting questions, but because of my limited means I could only consult them mentally. It was not a particularly synchronised conversation that I had with these people, and yet our conversations have been fairly comprehensive. My point is that when you relate to someone telepathically you are relating to their 'assemblage points', by which I mean that you relate to others in terms of the topics which you share a common interest in. There would be an assemblage point for each of the categories you share with those others in your life, and a network of points where these categories overlap, so that together they embody an intricate ideological complexity. You could mentally ask your acquaintances how they felt about an aspect of your relationship with them. You may find that you can mentally confront them with the sort of questions which will elicit a clear yes or no answer, which may provide you with a reliable indication of their feelings. In posing such questions you mentally arrest a person at a point where you believe that a reliable answer may be obtained; you construct a theory about the person's feelings and you attempt to test the validity of your theory. While this is a particularly psychological interpretation of the nature of assemblage points, they are, in fact, physical points in space which lend themselves to interpretation in terms of the principles of physics.
I mentioned back at the beginning how the head and body have a harmonic relationship, and how you can locate the lower range of harmonic nodes along the axis perpendicular to the transverse plane. The first harmonic nodes can thus be found at the top of the head, and just below the buttocks. And, to draw an analogy between these nodes and the relatively simple case of aural harmonics, a string of this length left to resonate in the sonic ambiance would do so with a frequency of about 180 Hz. The middle of the string would be most displaced by vibration at this frequency, and consistent with the definition of a node the ends of the string would be motionless. But if the background noise had a pitch of twice this frequency, then the middle of the string would be motionless, and the greatest displacement would be adjacent to the fourth harmonic nodes. So, to compare the behaviour of this string with the electromagnetic field around a body, the assemblage points coincide with the location of the nodes, but not because they are relatively motionless compared to other parts of the field. It is because a node so uniquely defines the pitch at which the field will vibrate that it qualifies as an assemblage point. It is the pitch of the radiant energy produced that gives an assemblage point its particular character. In this case the heart will produce a relatively warbling bass compared to the poles which will be brighter, and more energetic. Any questions that you may have with regard to a person's particular attitude may be addressed to a point in their resonant electromagnetic field, and the sort of answers which you receive will be elicited as a matter of involuntary reflex.
The body will pump out about 120 Watts of energy at a range of frequencies because of its residual heat, and because it will resonate in sympathy with the light in its vicinity. So, just as there are assemblage points within the body, there are also assemblage points out there in the stream of energy which is emitted by your body continuously. A field will exist between two points within the body, either between a pair of charged particles, or between the poles of a magnet, and because our bodies are composed of these things a field will exist between you, and those others with whom you relate on a daily basis. In spite of whatever reservations you may have about adopting this view our bodies will behave like electrically charged particles, and electromagnetic resonance is the unavoidable consequence of this.
Having established the existence of an energy field between you and those significant others in your life, let me tell you how I believe telepathic relations may be entertained.
The visual and linguistic encoding of your perceptions will flow with the radiant energy around you. Your thoughts are merely modulations in the energy stream which you are continuously emitting, and these modulations are so similar to the timing of music that music may be thought of as a very close analogy. Your thoughts will mingle, perhaps imperceptibly, with others in a way similar to the way in which harmonies mingle in music, so telepathy is really no more mysterious than the conversation which results from the careful observations of a sensitive mind. When you think about some subject all the different facets and implications of this subject may be thought of as the natural harmonics which resonate with its contemplation, and which all of us will share to some extent. So, the thoughts of others will either resonate in sympathy with these harmonics or they will be in discord with them depending on their particular attitudes and experience. All it takes to become a telepath is to change your beliefs about this phenomenon, and to judiciously study the behaviour of your very own mind.
You can't help being part of a network of electrically charged individuals, for whom the manipulation of power is a skill which has been learned from practical experience, but I'll bet that few of us appreciate one fairly subtle aspect of our power. You may learn how to telepathically relate to those other humans who are important to you in your life, but it may surprise you to observe that your powers are much greater than such modest relations would suggest.
120 Watts may not seem like much power in the grand scheme of things, but you may be surprised by how much of the electromagnetic energy which is pumped out of your body escapes from the atmosphere to begin its journey across all time and space. You've seen pictures of the Earth taken from space, and you've seen how much detail those spy satellites are able to capture, so there's no denying that when visible light bounces off the Earth back into space a permanent record of our deeds endures forever. Visible light is a relatively short wavelength radiation, but the atmosphere is just as transparent to longer wavelength radiation, as the numerous ground based radio telescopes suggest. Animal bodies absorb and emit radio waves no less than they absorb and emit light and heat, and the longer wavelength radiation is a little easier for us to relate to because its frequency is more familiar. But even so, it is staggering to think that a wave of electromagnetic energy emitted by your body now, is well beyond the radius of the Moon within the time it takes for the heart to beat just two or three times. And, it is staggering to think that you emit this kind of energy into the vacuum of space at each and every moment of your life.
The intensity of the radiation diminishes according to the inverse square law, but this doesn't mean that your electromagnetic signature isn't still out there expanding forever. It is amusing to think that you are at the centre of your very own bubble of perception, the radius of which is the speed of light times your age, and that this indelible record of your life is now a permanent feature of the universe. Forget about venturing into the unknown in your rattling star ships, because it's all too late. Like it or not, you are already well and truly out there.