“The simple forms of telepathic phenomena have received the name ‘Mind Reading’ and by some have been regarded as something not quite within the class of real telepathy. This last impression has been heightened by the fact that there has been offered the public many spectacular exhibitions of pseudo mind-reading, that is to say, imitation or counterfeit mind reading, in which the result has been obtained by trickery, collusion, or clever artifice. But, notwithstanding this fact, genuine mind-reading is actually a phase of true telepathy. …
“I will remind the student that he will learn more by a half-dozen actual experiments at mind-reading than he will by reading a dozen books on the subject. It is very good to read the books in order to get the correct theory fixed in mind, and also in order to learn the best methods as taught by those who have had a wide experience in the subject; but the real ‘how’ of the matter is learned only through actual experimental work.” ~William Walker Atkinson
Psychic and Spiritual
The first thing I want to clear up before getting into the subject of telepathy is the matter of psychic and spiritual matters. They are not the same thing. That needs to be repeated for many. Psychic is not the same as spiritual. If you look at it as climbing up flights of stairs that represent levels of consciousness, psychic activity is one flight above our normal materialistic state, and spiritual is another flight above that. So we do have to climb up to the psychic level before we reach the spiritual. The problem is that many stop at the psychic level and go no further. This is a mistake. That said, let’s get on with exploring Telepathy.
Telepathic Mind Reading
At the time when Mr. Atkinson was writing his books, telepathy was probably defined a little different than today. The simple definition now, according to Merriam-Webster, is: “communication from one mind to another by extrasensory means”. That would clearly include what is often called mind reading. But as Atkinson points out, it only includes real mind-reading, not the many mind-reading stage acts that are done with trickery.
We All Do It
Many people think that telepathy is either a special talent that a small number of people have. Others think it is something that has to be learned and developed like studying most other subjects. While that is true for conscious mind-reading, the truth is most, if not all, of us, do it subconsciously all the time.
I can’t prove that. I haven’t conducted extensive, scientific experiments on it. But I have seen enough evidence of this subconscious mind-reading to accept that it happens all the time. I have written about this before, but let me repeat just one example.
Have you ever been driving down a quiet country road at night and looking ahead, you see something strange just off the road? Perhaps you see a witch standing there. Or maybe a bear. But when you get closer, you laugh when it see that it is just a rock, bush or tree stump. Have you ever had that happen when there is a lot of traffic on the road? I think the answer is no. I certainly haven’t. And the reason for that is this subconscious telepathy that we do all the time without being aware of it. If there is another car a short distance ahead of us, those in that car see the object first. Once they know exactly what it is, their minds broadcast that information. We pick it up and see the correct object right away. We never see the witch or bear because those other minds told us it is just a tree stump or a rock.
If you can except that all of us are communicating telepathically on a subconscious level, it makes it easier to learn to do it consciously and intentionally.
Beyond Human Mind Reading
But if psychic communication is not spiritual, why bother learning it? One reason has already been mentioned. Because the psychic level of consciousness is the first step towards the spiritual. The other, more important reason, is that we use something similar to mind-reading to communicate with spiritual beings: angels and Light Beings. Although telepathy on the physical level is mind-to-mind communication and communicating with spiritual beings is soul-to-soul, I think learning one helps develop the other. Of course, we don’t want to spend to much time and effort on developing psychic abilities such as mind-reading. That is likely to cause us to take root on that level of consciousness (allegorically speaking), and fail to move on to spiritual levels.
Do it Yourself
Mr. Atkinson is correct in saying that we will learn more about mind-reading by practicing it rather than just reading about it. That idea isn’t limited to mind-reading. In fact, it is true of almost everything. It is definitely true of spiritual development. You can read books that teach techniques for spiritual awakening, but you don’t awaken by reading the books. You don’t gain any significant spiritual knowledge by reading books. You have to practice spiritual techniques. You have to practice until you raise your level of consciousness so high that you connect directly with the source of all truth and knowledge. Then you will learn how inadequate any book is at teaching truth and reality.