Involuntary telepathy again, and book recommendation on (extra)sensory perception in autism

So I’m too tired and jaded to describe it, but it seems to have happened again – within the same couple of days probably twice. Event for which the simplest explanation is that for some reason I had a flash (in one case of less than a second, in the other longer – perhaps seconds or minutes) of my mind switching for whatever reason into possibly another person’s perceptual, visual state (what he saw in that moment), and in the other case emotional-cognitive state (a specific turmoil of emotions and thoughts). I’m not going to argue here again why I’ve come to accept that that’s probably what it is – I’m familiar with all alternative explanations, and they don’t help me live my life and stay sane. They don’t help me sort out these weird instances where I get information I didn’t ask for (actually – I think I might ask for it subconsciously, because this usually happens either when I’m scared / potentially in danger, or otherwise in a situation where perhaps part of me *does* ask for this extra input to keep me safe / help orient), but which I try to (dis)confirm by investigating later.

Anyways, in these two cases, and especially the second one, which I could confirm in detail, it struck me again how – it struck me again that 1) I still don’t control this 2) I still might not always recognise it for what it is. Because instance 2) I figured out hours or days later. Initially I just thought “wtf happened to my mind, why am I thinking stuff that is totally uncharacteristic and makes no sense, and why am I feeling in ways that totally make no sense right now and have no context and I never feel that way in general?” … and then, since I’ve had this happen before and it sometimes was 1) the state of the other person in the room / house 2) the state of a person I had just chatted with 3) etc. it occurred to me to ask a person I had had a phone conversation with that day. Who didn’t mention any of this kind of thing I felt. He did feel that intense mixture that day after calling – something I had never felt before, but he said was very habitual for him, and described it in words that just clicked.

In this instance, for a change the thing was perhaps useful – understanding that it was most likely (a copy of) his mental state that I felt (as again, it had totally no context or reason for me that afternoon) led to a certain “aha” moment about why that person does certain things he does. Since it’s a close friend, we could have a more or less fruitful exchange about it later.

Still, if I hadn’t noticed the “switch” – that suddenly something weird and out of context is happening in my mind – and if I hadn’t gotten used to allowing the possibility that for whatever reason, sometimes I just “switch” into feeling “copies” of other people’s states, present or not present (and sometimes not in contact), … then … this would have been really, highly disorienting. What I mean is, having a generally calm afternoon in a mountain hut with friends. Then, pooof – switch to bewildering, intense mental state with specific thoughts / content that I can’t make sense of, don’t know what it is, and don’t know how to get out of (because I can’t see what caused it, and what it refers to! nothing in my current environment).

Getting used, over years and years, to the eventuality that in many cases – this can be the state of someone I’ve been thinking about, focussed on, or (of course in that case no need to invoke “telepathy”, though the feel can be similar – I think it’s a continuum) have just talked to or just seen – really helps resolve some messes that would otherwise never end. If I took these random state-switches to be about me and my life – which I did for the first 32 years or so – I basically couldn’t hold together a coherent emotional narrative of my self and my “life-line” (which I couldn’t! not recommended). Or life-trace. It seems more possible when I’m able to identify the intrusions into the pattern that come from other “lines”.

On a deeper level, I’m starting to understand – in part through a lot of reflection, certain conversations, also seeking out similar experiences from others – that the “intrusions” might well be part of “my” pattern in a subterranean way, in the sense that there’s a pattern to them. They aren’t that random, and that uninvited – they do seem to correlate with certain subconscious patterns of mine (and of other people, at least some seem to see it the same way). For example, one pattern seems to be around personal safety as well as “calls for help” from others – the former pattern I see no reason to change, but the latter can be overwhelming if one is tuned into receiving (and feeling one must respond to / deal with) absolutely every psychic “distress call” within “hearing” range, which can be quite wide.

Or, one might also have a habit of interpreting “distress calls” (the painful states of others) as “calls for help” when they are not, in a literal and direct way – they are just states, but nobody has asked us to take action on them, and there is also no ethical invective that would require it (here again, I had to think through this quite a lot to clarify my position on what “must” be reacted to, by me, and what not – still working it out). In my experience, this kind of clarity – if honest / genuine and ethical – does affect the nature and quantity of the incoming information somewhat.

So … in any case, these two recent “cases”, when I got another surprising confirmation, did throw me into a fresh reflection and “research” loop. I googled around. Googling for “telepathy” is no good (skeptics and people attempting card readings on purpose, etc. – not relevant), but “involuntary telepathy” got me, for example, this blog It’s very old for internet standards, but the description, in some specific details, resembles my version of the process (though there are differences).

That blog also gave me the idea – I guess normally I wouldn’t dare, but why not? – to reach out and ask if anyone has experience with this. Specific experiences, and specifically from people who don’t try to do this on purpose because they think it’s fun – I’m looking for those who experience or experienced it as intrusive and found ways to deal with it. Found some personal understanding of it that is balanced, grounded and helpful. Found boundaries, methods of peaceful coexistence, ethics. Also those that might struggle more than me, in case I can help – I’ll still learn a lot from them, as seen in the past with 1-2 “younger” people.

Also if it looks different for you or your friend / acquaintance – it seems that people have different types of content that they preferentially “receive”. For me it’s kinaesthetic-visual, emotions, and occasional “movies” and smells. I’d bet there are people who receive information on an auditory or verbal level, for example (though know no one personally), or those who are more visual-dominated than me.

I’d be quite happy for readers to contact me or pass this around to anyone who might have a shared interest / experience here (again, not in provoking this stuff – please no – but managing, understanding what it is and how it works on a practical level, coexisting with it in a productive way).


PS. Whether relatedly or not, I also wanted to drop a book recommendation. One I might write more on later. I’ve recently started reading Sensory Perceptual Issues in Autism and Asperger Syndrome by Olga Bogdashina, and the specifics of the content are far more interesting than the cover or the description (btw. I’m reading the old edition, I’m not sure whether the revised one is better or worse). Far better than expected – things I’ve been asking myself about the “core” of autism, and finding out that there has been autistic-led research on them, largely ignored / suppressed. And bringing it up in this context because among many other specific perceptual differences between individuals, she describes these “switches” and other things I have described elsewhere on the blog (under the “empath” keyword mostly, I guess) in the sections on “Resonance” and “Daydreaming” (weird name for the thing that I’ve just described here, where she refers to visual “flashes” of suddenly seeing / feeling / smelling the world from another person’s perspective in real-time). As something that the autistics she knows and reads apparently experience and bring up often enough to put it in that book (I’ve seen similar references in a bunch of other autistic-authored books, but here especially concise and clear examples).

PPS. Decent document on “telepathic sensitivity”, not researched if source is trustworthy but raises some of the points I’ve come to see. For example that assuming we can sometimes experience impressions and states that come from others can help some people (sensitive to this) live and stay sane, and — I would add — avoid or sort interpersonal confusions that arise when one insists that it must ALL be one’s own subconscious, etc. (and trying to “psychoanalyse” experiences that are not actually yours can be not just futile but harmful; of course the inverse — pretending it’s others when it’s not — also holds true.)

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