Humans have five senses with which to explore and navigate the world around them but what if there were another sense- a sixth sense- that allowed humans to obtain information in ways that transcends the traditional? Many believe a sixth sense is a real thing, and their word for it is “Clairvoyance.”
What is Clairvoyance?The word Clairvoyance comes from the 17th century French words “Clair” (clear) and “voyant” (seeing), and is often used interchangeably with ESP, or Extra Sensory Perception. In essence if a clairvoyant gets information of any kind in a manner without using the Five Senses (sight, hearing, smelling, taste and touch) then he or she is using clairvoyance to do so. One reason ESP came into vogue is because there are so many sub-disciplines of clairvoyance, based on how the information is obtained. If the clairvoyant gets a mental picture of an airplane crash that happened in another country, he is using clairvoyance. What if instead of a mental image, the clairvoyant heard screeching metal and felt the heat of an explosion? He likely got the information from other senses, like those listed below:
ClairsentienceFrom the French clair (clear) and sentience (feeling), Clairsentience refers to the ability to gain knowledge through an extra-sensory form of feeling. The ability to sense other people by their “personal vibrations” is one example of Clairsentience. This ability is often confused with Psychometry, which is the ability to read the history of an object through touch- nearly the opposite effect.
ClairaudienceFrom the French clair (clear) and audience (hearing), Clairaudience refers to the ability to gain knowledge through an extra-sensory form of hearing. Voices, tones, music and other sounds are sensed, although not necessarily “heard” in the traditional sense, under circumstances that would normally prevent them from being heard. Hearing a snatch of a melody later discovered to be playing when a loved one died is an example of Clairaudience.
ClairalienceFrom the French clair (clear) and alience (smelling), Clairalience refers to the ability to gain knowledge through an extra-sensory form of smelling. Like Clairaudience this could be an actual smell or the impression of a smell. Smelling a new perfume upon waking and then smelling it later upon meeting someone important is an example of Clairalience.
ClaircognizanceFrom the French clair (clear) and cognizance (knowing), Claircognizance refers to the ability to gain knowledge without knowing how or why you gained it. Discovering you know how to operate scuba gear in an emergency despite never having learned before is an example of Claircognizance.
ClairgustanceFrom the French clair (clear) and gustance (taste), Clairgustance refers to the ability to gain knowledge from taste without actually tasting. Suddenly experiencing the taste of cake and ice cream and then discovering it is your bosses birthday is an example of Clairgustance.
Anecdotal EvidenceWhile Clairvoyance makes for good fiction, it is exceedingly hard to prove as real. Time after time clairvoyance and ESP have been subjected to laboratory conditions in an attempt to prove what so many people believe in (about 25% of people as of 2005.) Unfortunately for the legitimisation of the subject, no experiment has brought about empirical proof.
Of anecdotal evidence, however, there is a bottomless well. Stories of loved ones appearing to those unaware of their passing, of images of a friend in danger before an accident, and of picking up “vibes” from strangers that turn out to be accurate impressions of character abound.