Who has extraordinary abilities? It might surprise you to know that extraordinary abilities occur all along the evolutionary scale. Insect, birds, fish, and mammals all show forms of extraordinary ability. In animals, extraordinary abilities seem to enhance survival by linking individuals with their pack or flock or with special places such as dens or over wintering sites. This bond seems to function over great distances, aiding migration, maintaining pack/herd integrity and helping lost individuals find their way.

Many stories have been told of animals finding their way home over 100s of miles in unfamiliar terrain. The image here may be familiar. Itís from Disneyís film "Homeward Bound." This film is actually based on a true story of two dogs and cat that traveled together across several hundred miles of Canadian wilderness to be reunited with their human family

Some researchers have suggested that these abilities might be a product of some, as yet, unidentified field of energy. To get a feel for the workings of fields consider a magnet with its positive and negative fields at either end. Place the positive ends of two magnets together and they repel one another. Place the negative and positive fields together and they attract. In similar way, animals may develop fields that attract them to places and to one another. Indeed the stronger the emotional bond, the stronger the field seems to be.

In addition to the ones mentioned above, fields seem to have many other uses. They may provide a guide to nest building and repair especially in complex structures such as termite mounds. Another example of such fields might be flocking and schooling behavior. Such behavior may be beneficial to the extent that it confuses predators, or unites far flung members.

As humans, we have lost track of the types of extraordinary abilities seen in animals. We couldnít find our family if they moved away without telling us. We donít innately know how to build a home/den. But we should not take this to mean humans are less able than animals. Instead, if our history is anything to go by, humans have a much vaster potential. Our abilities include paranormal abilities, exceptional physical abilities, power over nature (such as affecting weather), levitation, invisibility, healing and much more. (See types section)

The Talented

Extraordinary ability seems to be a latent potential in every human. However, some people are much better than others, much in the way some are naturally talented at music or sports. Sheldrake shows in his book "Being Stared At" that many of us respond to being stared at by others. Perhaps you have had the experience of standing in line or being seated at a restaurant when you start to feel uncomfortable and glance up to find someone staring at you. This happens commonly; however, some individuals are better than others. They may be receivers who are exceptionally good at noticing someoneís targeted gaze or good senders who can stare at another in such as way that the target almost always turns around to see whatís up. These people are talented.

Are these abilities then related to some quirk of the personality? Research exploring this question has identified several important characteristics of such talented people. These include:

1) The ability to dissociate from the environment by detaching emotionally and cognitively from your surroundings. Many intuitives refer to this process as "tuning in" as they turn their attention inward and reach for a different, somewhat unfocused internal space.

2) Being more susceptible to hypnosis.

3) Being more fantasy prone. This goes hand in glove with susceptibility to hypnosis since skill at becoming hypnotized makes use of the ability to imagine or fantasize. Imagery for these individuals is clear, detailed, and full of sensory information (smell, sight, hearing, touch).

4) Having higher levels of total psychological absorption. This refers to the ability to become involved in the inner world to exclusion of all other thoughts. One of the most important skills needed to shift state of consciousness is the ability to focus attention to the exclusion of all else. In this state, the external world falls away and nothing exists except the object of contemplation. The capacity for detailed imagery along with high levels of psychological absorption gives these individuals very rich inner lives.

Taken together these attributes incline a person toward extraordinary gifts.