In his new book ‘The Science of Delusion: Freeing the Spirit of Enquiry’ eminent scientist Dr Rupert Sheldrake argues that animals are in touch with their psychic selves much more than we as humans are. In fact, he states that most animals, including our domesticated pets, are psychic whereas we have lost most of our ‘higher thinking’ abilities because we have chosen to ignore them; at least that’s the case for those of us who live in the Western world.
In the East, the psychic abilities of pets are taken very seriously to the point that in earth-quake prone areas of China, the authorities actually encourage people to report unusual animal behaviour. As a result of such ‘premonitions’, the Chinese have issued warnings that have enabled cities to be evacuated hours before earthquakes hit, saving thousands of lives.
In a book that seeks to shatter our view of the world, animal telepathy is one of Dr Sheldrake’s key areas of debate. In particular, he argues that animals can anticipate what we are about to do, our moods and behaviours, and react accordingly. He also states that precognition or the ability to anticipate future events including disaster scenarios, is innate to most animals. I am yet to be convinced of the latter but have always believed that my dogs’ possess a Sixth Sense; an ability that we humans have mostly long forgotten or consigned to the hocus pocus category of thought.
Dr Sheldrake has himself examined over 5000 cases of psychic phenomena in animals including 177 cases of dogs apparently sensing the death or suffering of their absent masters, mainly by howling, whining or whimpering, and 62 cases of cats showing similar signs of distress.
There is much to be gained from this area of research, including the potential to use animals more frequently in disaster forecasting as well as all the other benefits we will gain from learning to listen to, understand and even communicate with our pets more.