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Telekinesis and Psychokinesis: Can People Use the Force in Real Life?

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With interests in science and nature, the author explores topics from a unique and sometimes controversial perspective.

Do our minds possess powers that we don't yet understand?

Do our minds possess powers that we don't yet understand?

The Potential of Your Mind

We’ve all tried something like this, so don’t deny it.

You’re sitting alone in your living room, watching television, and when you reach for the remote to change the channel it's not there. The horror washes over you realize that it’s clear across the room, on the other end table.

Cursing yourself for your lack of foresight, you do a slow burn and accept the stark reality that you are going to have to, like, get up or something. But then you hear the voice:

Use the Force, Luke.

Yes! The Force! There are stories that real people can do stuff like that – bend spoons and levitate stuff or whatever. What the heck, there’s nobody around. It’s worth a shot.

With one eye closed and your tongue sticking out, you call into focus all of your mental energy, and as the Star Wars theme song trumpets in your head, you raise an open hand at the distant remote control.


Not even a wobble.

Try again. No: Do or do not. There is no try! You must feel the Force around you, between you, the couch, the houseplant, the dog, even the remote.


Muttering derogatory things about George Lucas, you give up and plod over to where the remote sits on the end table.

Unfortunately, the Force is made up for movies. You can’t use it to get your car out of a snowbank with the wave of your hand or change someone’s mind by repeating your intentions slowly and deliberately. (The first is a waste of time and the latter just annoys people.)

Or can you? Many researchers have found the powers of the mind to be far greater than we ever realized, and people with apparent gifts have accomplished some incredible Jedi-like feats.

It’s called Psychokinesis, and it may be a power we could all tap into if we only knew how.

The Definition of Psychokinesis and Telekinesis

Psychokinesis is the ability of a person to act upon an object or otherwise affect the outcome of a situation using the power of their mind.

Telekinesis more directly relates to the movement of objects using the power of the mind, but psychokinetic powers may be used to manifest specific outcomes or events of just about any type.

The Jedi in the Star Wars movies have mastered their psychokinetic powers to an impressive degree. Can anyone really do that stuff in our world? The answer is sort of if you believe the existing documentation.

Some researchers have produced incredible results with some very gifted subjects, but much of it has come under scrutiny. Of those individuals who claim to have such powers, few have been able to reliably duplicate it under lab conditions. The most impressive cases still draw suspicion from the scientific community.

What’s the truth behind this phenomenon? Are psychokinesis and telekinesis real, or is it all a hoax? Is there any hope that the average person might develop these abilities, or is it only for the gifted? Will we get to the bottom of all of this before the end of this article? Who knows, but let’s give it a shot.

A Brief History

Psychokinetic powers have gained a dubious reputation throughout history for obvious reasons. Of course, throughout just about every religious text there are examples of people and beings defying the physical laws of the universe, as there are in ancient legends of all sorts.

Mystical figures have done some wild things. And there lies the problem. Psychokinesis is thought of by most people as a paranormal happening, not as a scientifically measurable ability. Despite over a century of research, it still remains firmly planted in the realm of parapsychology.

The word telekinesis was first used in 1890 by Russian researcher and spiritualist Alexandr Aksakov, though he attributed it more to ghostly activity than a psychic phenomenon. Aksakov organized séances and wrote books on paranormal powers as well as conducted research with several prominent mediums of the time.

The term psychokinesis was perpetuated by parapsychology researcher J.B. Rhine in the early 20th century, though he did not invent the word. Rhine wrote books on ESP and other aspects of parapsychology. He conducted experiments on psychokinesis in the 1930s, testing his subjects’ ability to affect the outcome of a pair of thrown dice.

Some of his results were mildly impressive, and the experiment as a whole at least showed statistical promise. Unfortunately, many of his contemporaries were unable to replicate them, which severely reduced their potential impact.

Evidence of Psychokinesis

Rhine’s dice experiments involved dice thrown by hand, from a cup, and by a machine. The test was simple: Rhine would ask subjects to will the dice to land in a pre-specified configuration. After several attempts at one goal, he’d move them on to a different configuration.

After a few years, he had conducted over half a million dice throws, and had sufficiently reviewed his data to publish a paper on his finding in 1943. Rhine concluded that there was likely a psychokinetic effect present in at least some of the cases.

In the 1970s, German researcher Helmut Schmidt would perform similar experiments, putting psychokinesis to the test using random number generators. Schmidt, too, decided his subjects were exerting at least some effect over the outcome of the numbers, suggesting a 1-2 % success rate beyond chance alone.

Throughout the 20th century, similar tests were held, some showing impressive results, indicating that psychokinesis is a real ability possessed by at least some people.

Some of the most extensive work had been done at Princeton University at the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research Laboratory. In experiments conducted from 1979 to 2007, Princeton researchers found minute but tangible results when measuring the psychokinetic abilities of subjects.

But minute is the key word. After nearly three decades in operation, the Princeton projects proved less than a 1% success rate as compared to random chance. They called this number significant, but many do not agree.

People Who Use Psychokinesis

So what would it take to prove to mainstream science that psychokinesis is real? Probably it would mean that one indisputable “wow” case that floors everyone. It would mean evidence that is so obvious that it can’t be challenged.

Well, here are some of the most compelling cases we’ve got (so far) of people who allegedly use or have used telekinesis and psychokinesis.

  • Uri Geller: Geller is most noted for his spoon-bending abilities. Unfortunately, his involvement in magic and the theatrical have caused some to question the authenticity of his performances.
  • Matthew Manning: Having shown an aptitude for automatic writing, Manning also seems to have the ability to affect physical objects. Like Geller, he’s alleged to bend metal as well as influence the workings of electrical and mechanical devices.
  • Ted Serios: Serios became famous for his alleged ability to transfer mental images onto photographic film while intoxicated. Called thoughtography, this ability was heavily debunked by researchers at the time, and Serios had difficultly reproducing his efforts in a sober state.
  • Tibetan Monks: Some monks in Tibet have the ability to don a wet sheet in freezing cold weather and dry it by using the power of meditation to raise their body temperature. In some cases, the monks are able to raise their body temperatures to the point where steam comes off the sheets.
  • Martin Caidin: Caidin was a distinguished aeronautics writer when he began to delve into the world of telekinesis. He claimed to be able to move a psi wheel (a device designed to test telekinetic powers) at will.
  • Nina Kulagina: A Russian citizen, Kauligina discovered her ability to use her mind to influence the physical world at a young age. She participated in many research projects under the supervision of Soviet scientists, and most famously stopped a frog’s beating heart under controlled lab conditions. Other Russian psychics would follow in her footsteps as the Soviets sought to evolve telekinesis into a possible weapon.

Telekinesis and Poltergeist Activity

All of the personalities listed above have their advocates and detractors. None can definitively prove the power of the mind over objects or situations, and none can show, without exception, that they can exhibit their powers to the satisfaction of the scientific community.

But, if this power really exists, what if some of us who are capable of it are unaware of our ability? This is one hypothesis behind poltergeist activity.

Poltergeists are supposedly spirits who cause mischief in a specific location by moving objects, causing mysterious sounds and generally making a nuisance of themselves. Obviously, the existence of these spirits is as tough to prove as any paranormal phenomenon. But some claim there is no ghostly involvement at all, and the shenanigans are all caused by the unwitting psychic intervention of one or more people.

It is surmised that children, teens, in particular, undergo brief periods of psychic volatility that may cause telekinetic activity they are neither aware of nor can control. This may be something that follows a person for life, as some poltergeists are said to, or it may last a short time as the person goes through a particularly difficult period.

It’s an interesting idea, but unfortunately no more provable than any other.

Psychokinesis Debunked

On the surface, you can’t blame hardcore scientists and psychologists for dismissing the idea of psychokinesis out of hand. The theory definitely has a few things working against it:

  • High Probability of Fraud. There was a time when fraudsters would travel around the country and claim to have extraordinary powers. Maybe for a few bucks, they’d let you in on their show. You’d leave amazed, if a little poorer, but it was all phony. Unfortunately, even in the 20th century and beyond many of the most interesting cases have shown a high likelihood of deception.
  • Paranormal Connections. The early connection of telekinesis to the spirit world probably didn’t help anything. Of course, now we can logically separate the powers of the human mind from the actions of supernatural beings, but for many, it still falls under the same umbrella of paranormal mumbo jumbo. Particularly when combined with things like table-tipping and the Ouija Board, the line between science and the supernatural gets pretty blurry.
  • Lackluster Research. Finally, the research really isn’t very compelling. And, frankly, it’s quite boring. Who cares if someone can influence the roll of a pair of dice once out of every thousand throws? This finding is nearly insignificant statistically and has little practical application.

Does this mean psychokinesis isn’t a real phenomenon? That depends on your point of view, of course.

On Into the Future

This article has only scratched the surface of the psychic phenomenon. Over the decades, researchers have conducted experiments in related fields such as remote viewing, clairvoyance, automatic writing, and telepathy. It all sounds like science fiction, but scientists are only beginning to unravel the true power of the human mind. Who knows what we may find when we finally unlock our full potential?

Interesting, too, are advancements of understanding in fields such as quantum mechanics and molecular physics. It seems the more researchers dig, the stranger things get. For instance, we now know it’s possible for the same electron to be in two places at the same time. If such a thing is possible on a sub-atomic level, might we see a day when it could be extrapolated to the world at large?

Will we have Jedi-like powers someday? It would be nice to be able to get that remote control without getting off the couch, but the implications go quite a bit further than that. Our entire world would be changed, and the way we communicate, do business and relate to one another altered forever.

And certainly, there would be those who used the power for evil, creating a whole new class of psychological warfare between super-psychic criminals and the super-psychic good guys.

Perhaps we ought not to rush too fast into such a future. As curious as we are, maybe the speed at which we’re traveling is just about perfect.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


Nyjuan on December 30, 2019:

its not that telekinesis is impossible, its what you do to make it impossible. When i say i see what people don't, i mean i believe what people don't. Try the "psi-wheel" dont focus on it, LET IT HAPPEN. and one more thing: BE PACIENT. (Thank you)

Debora on December 02, 2019:

Is there anybody you can talk to about this ability? I really need to get some insite on it..

Nancy on February 23, 2018:

Several years ago, I was able to make a painting fly off the wall of my home. I had been walking through the house, when a heard a soft thump behind me. When I looked, I saw a painting face down on the floor. When I turned it over, I saw that it was a painting of The Last Supper, which freaked me out so much that it never happened again. I didn't even have to think about it for it to happen. When I told my parents, they said it just fell off the wall, but it didn't; it was like someone had thrown it at me.

I had been using Stephen Laberge's Novadreamer, the dream induction CD, Kelly Howell's Ecstacy CD, a relaxation CD, and Dick Sutphen's Psychokinesis CD. I had wanted to see if I could learn PK by listening to the CD along with the other things and did it while I slept because I would have been too distracted during the day. The PK CD worked, but it disturbed me so much that I didn't want to use it again. Because the painting that was thrown was a religious painting, I thought that I had called forth an evil spirit without meaning to, but nothing else bad happened. A few days later, the things mysteriously stopped working!

I was starting to have precognitive dreams that came true the next day, and it was terrible things, too. I haven't used those things since 2008, but because I've learned so much about PK since then, I've started using some of them again, but not the PK CD.

I was going to use the power for something positive, like healing my parents, but I guess *Someone* didn't want me to: Bummer!

Disgruntled turtle on December 17, 2017:

I myself have been advancing in psionics,I can do cryokinesis,psionic combat,minor pk,(except for one time me,my friend,and my other friend who I had taught a little better all meditated and sucked in as much psi as we could and sent it out,a bookshelf flew up,caught half on fire,a book that I always hated burst into blue flames,spun around and fell to pieces that then shriveled up and froze,you would not believe the look on the librarian's face!)and a few tips,

It is called atmoskinesis not meteokinesis although both terms are frowned upon in most psi forums,

You should make training groups not "cults" and if that's all you have been doing don't call it a cult as it gives psionics a bad name.

Levi on November 03, 2017:

If only you all knew. It is quite possible. Two of my friends and I have started our own cult sort of thing. We meditate. And attempt to unlock something within us. On three occasions, major movement of objects have occurred. A window has been partially closed, a fan unplugged, and a chair moved. It's quite fascinating! One friend has dreams and visions about the future and other dimensions and the other can see another world overlapping ours while awake. Sort of like an animator's onion skin tool.

Rondall on January 26, 2017:

see i get where these scientists get their points of view but just because it's impossible by today's standards doesn't mean that it isn't possible in the future. I believe the human mind is capable of great things like powers. One reason I believe this is because not only am I an empath, I also have meteokenesis which is the psychic ability to control the weather. I mean I can't make it snow in summer but if it's raining really hard I can lessen the rain, make it snow heavier, cause gusts or breezes or wind and so on. I even made it snow a little in May by accident which isn't too hard for where I come from it's snow most of the year but by April it's normally gone

Emily on November 13, 2016:

We only know a small fraction of truth. Theory has been proven wrong before. Einstein said we needed more imagination. He stated we would leap bounds if we looked more in to quantum sciences. I'd like to see that happen.

Cory blaine on October 01, 2016:

I can control the four winds the clouds and rain and atoms and electrons sometimes it's really hard you know I can also control lightning and rain and fire

Hotsauce on June 18, 2016:

It's confusing really but if you look at it closely you will find out that we might be able to tap into this power. I have always wanted and wished to be different and really everything seems to be coming into place. To speak truthfully, i have experienced the force but I'm still not sure if it was just a coincidence or if it was real. Like i mean i made the books on my bookshelf fall down to the ground. So Kyle, please, just keep trying for the sake of humanity. Cus you might find something intriguing yourself.

Kyle on June 03, 2016:

After watching Star Wars, I thought I could try using the force, but when I believe I can, i don't. My mom says that you can't use the force in real life and that it's fake. I don't believe her, but the more I think and believe I can do it, I fail. Even though that I can't do it yet, I believe that people can use their mind with powers, but I would need proof. I might be a master with sword fighting skills with a lightsaber, but I still can't use the force. When I watch the movies, it's hard to tell what their using that makes them able to use the force. I believe that someday in the future that I will be able to use the force with proof that I can believe is true. I also would think that when you get angry, you would have a greater chance of using your powers or using the force. For the past few years though, I have been able to sense people's feelings with out even them telling me their feelings, texting me with emojis or texting me how they feel, or even what their expression is on their face or how they're acting. When I said to them the feelings I sensed in them when in a different location, they were surprised how I knew and how they thought it was weird. Also none of my friends told me or texted me how another person was feeling. I think that might have been a start, but I don't know.

Brandyn on May 02, 2016:

I can control my body temp and it totally works for where I live. And I feel I can never truly been cold, unless it's indoors, dad always has the fan on

cryptid (author) from USA on March 22, 2016:

Sorry, Star Wars Girl. You may not have the necessary midichlorian count to properly harness the force.

Star wars girl on March 21, 2016:

Could you tell us how to use the force I have been trying to do it all day ! And nothing worked . I guess in the movies it was all fake . :'(

Caleb on December 28, 2014:

I can heat my body up tremendously and even more so by meditation

cryptid (author) from USA on September 12, 2014:

Very interesting Matthew!

matthew on September 11, 2014:

for about a year I have been able to control my body temperature and on some occasions I have broken into a huge sweat due to excessive heat. this means that I can never get truly cold and in some cases I may even be able to heat up objects tremendously!

cryptid (author) from USA on June 17, 2014:

I hope we can use the Force someday too! In fact, I've been hoping that for about thirty-five years! :-)

The Juice on June 16, 2014:

I always say that anything is possible as a motivation and this could be possible but we just have to wait and be patient for the future. I wish one day though that i will be able to use the force. It would be wonderful. Lets all hope that we will be able t use the force in the FUTURE!!!!!!

cryptid (author) from USA on April 24, 2014:

Thanks Ruby. As you can see, I'm pretty fascinated by such things too. Who knows what truths are out there yet to be uncovered?

Maree Michael Martin from Northwest Washington on an Island on April 23, 2014:

You have a great way of just putting the information out there for us to comprehend for ourselves. I continue to be amazed and drawn to all these philosophies that cannot be explained. I love the mystery. Acknowledging these thoughts, yes often causes confusion and pain, it is a living hell for many. Who knows really to who or what or where us and our minds belong. Keep up the great writing.

cryptid (author) from USA on March 08, 2014:

I feel your pain, Lucky. I no longer argue with people about controversial topics like this, much in the same way I prefer not to talk to them about politics. I known my philosophy and what I believe of the world, and that's all that matters.

Lucky on March 07, 2014:

I just wanted to comment that I find it amazing how shortsighted and arrogant people are. People say things are impossible as if it were absolute fact, when one sure mark of a fool is to claim anything outside his/her experience as impossible. When was the last time you gave serious open minded consideration and effort to understand matters such as psychokinesis? When was the last time you've felt these forces, that are 'impossible' for yourself? Somehow I doubt you ever have.

These people swear up and down by completely faulty, Swiss cheese reasoning that their deductions and inductions are 155% correct 555% of the time. These people assume by the same methods that they can take specific, obvious variables, perhaps a few out of a near infinity, and kick out absolute truths the way McDonalds slings hamburgers. You just can't. Unless you manage to take into account every single variable within any given equation, you will not get the right answer no matter how you twist statistics. And let's face it like men, there are things in this universe that we will fail to comprehend and even notice. You are better off in life knowing you don't know everything than thinking you do.

I've got my evidence. I'm set. I'm made. But it's not for anybody else because you will never begin to accept it unless you get it for yourself. I don't care if you call me out of my name or ridicule me. It's irrelevant just like your laws and theories. The Truth is measured in effectiveness not laziness as Donald suggest. Go ask yourself why 'supernatural' abilities are always being reported, all through time. Go ask yourself why a church and the people inside it withstood an atomic bomb near the epicenter of the blast when everything and everyone else was obliterated in Japan for miles and miles to come. Whatever. I'm done. I can't make you see anything. You've got to search for yourself.

cryptid (author) from USA on December 26, 2013:

Sounds pretty interesting Zach, but I can see how it would also be a tremendous burden.

Zach on December 25, 2013:

Ah I can control the clouds among other things I always thought it was the work of the devil. Plus I'm a empath I've had it all my life and just recently found out not everybody can feel what others feel. Keep in mind I'm 26 I've died twice on separate occasions. My strengths only grow stronger i hate it. Makes my life a living hell

cryptid (author) from USA on January 14, 2013:

Thanks for your insightful comment, Donald. Telekinesis does indeed fly in the face of what we know of the world.

Donald on January 14, 2013:

Dear friends our present world is working on many scientific theories like conservation of mass & energy ,newtons force theories ,etc .And these theories have been proved true and our present world is working according to these theories .If telekinesis and teleportation are real then definitely they will break many of those theories and will defy many rules of physics which we see everyday .breaking these theories are not easy in other words not possible so telekinesis and teleportation are not true ,they are only human imagination .and that's the reason no one is able to prove it or give its evidence.