Can people really experience the pain of a loved one at a distance? Yes they can!
I call this category of coincidences, simulpathity, which is derived from the word Latin word simul (the same) and the Greek word pathos (suffering, feeling). The existence of simulpathity is supported by data from the Weird Coincidence Survey, published cases from psychiatrist Ian Stevenson and the collection of stories in my book Connecting with Coincidence as well as several other sources.
I think that simulpathity can be better understood by examining interpersonal energy between people in the same space?
Does interpersonal energy exist?
I don’t need a scientific measuring device to tell me when the sun is warm. Or to know the coolness of an icy wind. I register the warmth and the coolness by differences in sensation. Similarly, I don’t need a scientific measuring device to tell me that interpersonal energy exists. I feel the energy itself, especially with my patients during psychotherapy. I feel it on the skin of my face and body and the up and down sensation waves in my heart and the general glow and darkening of the energy surrounding me.
Scientists are studying the one way movement of energy from healers to patients. No one has developed a device that can measure the ebb and flow between people.
Interpersonal energy is distinct from nonverbal communications like facial expressions, body language and modulations in voice tone. Most people do not consciously register it, but are nevertheless affected by it. The four basic responses to the energy of another person are: feeling energized, rattled, neutral or drained.
Pay attention to interpersonal energy
Have you ever felt unusually energized around a certain person? Do some people drain you? Try paying attention to the ebb and flow of these unseen vibrations in your social life. At a gathering is there someone in the room who draws people to her like a warm fire on a cold day? Not primarily because of looks or conversation, but because of some vibrating positivity?
I ask myself about energy with each psychotherapy patient I see. My office is an experimental lab, a controlled setting, where I have the opportunity to experience and observe the varying effects different people have on me. I sit in the same chair. The patients sit on the same small couch. We look at each other from very similar angles–almost but not quite straight on. They talk. I listen. I get to feel their energy impact on me. And they feel my energy impact on them. We both feel the waxing and waning of connection.
When we are connected, I can almost see a tube of energetic intensity between our heads, between our minds. The tube is surrounded by lesser gradients of energy. The energies fluctuate.
High interpersonal energy
In a recent session, I helped a woman in her early 20s embrace her romantic feelings for women. In the following week several different young men asked her out for dinner. This many dinner date requests had never happened before. An anomalous week! Previously she had been asked, not for dinner, but to “come to my apartment” in early morning texts from drunk, sexually driven guys. She accepted some of these offers.
She has begun to realize that she has an extraordinary magnetism. In bars highly accomplished male athletes and some aggressive women hit on her. She does not consider herself to be particularly beautiful or sexy looking. They are not attracted by her looks. Something else. She seems to have learned to “pump up” the bio-battery of her body and mind to generate energy that attracts people.
During our next session, she felt to me as if she were glowing. A warm, positive, life enhancing energy. Much stronger than in any previous sessions. She had allowed herself to experience sexual drives that had long been repressed.
At a party the following week, she saw a young man whose energy attracted many people, without much conversation. People seemed to like to be around him. She started talking with him, and they became partners for the evening.
They stood together talking in a corner of the porch of the house where the party was taking place. As people left most glanced over at them—something special was going on. Apparently the combination of their two energies attracted the curiosity of others.
Low interpersonal energy
A 30 year old man working as an accountant comes into my office weekly. Very nice young man. Intelligent. And very low energy. He had been depressed but is not now. He is functioning pretty well with his job and marriage. Yet I have difficulty being with him because he emanates so little interpersonal energy. I have begun to recognize that I convert the energy my patients give me into energetic help for them. We are a team; I need more than their reports. I need some charge. When I don’t get enough positive charge, I must find the more energy from within me.
Other therapists may not be like me. They may have more energy to give and also know how to manage low energy situations better than I can. Or perhaps they operate primarily on cognition.
Science and Philosophy
If scientific orthodoxy does not permit us to believe something, we have trouble believing it. While seeing is believing, believing is also seeing! If you do not believe it exists, then you are very unlikely to see it. I asked a group of 25 therapists if they feel energy from and with patients. About ½ said yes.
Do you register interpersonal energy?
The existence of fields of energy in us and around us have been recognized by philosophical systems around the world: prana (Sanskrit), ruach (Hebrew), pneuma and psyche (Greek), spiritus (Latin). Chi or Qi in Taoism refers to universal energy or life force both outside and inside the body. Hindus refer to Shakti as the surrounding feminine energy and Kundalini as its manifestation in the body.
None of these systems emphasize the existence of energy between people.
Interpersonal energy deserves more direct discussion and research. These same-space interpersonal energy exchanges seem to be related related to simultaneous feeling exchanges at a distance of simulpathity.
Two people I know consciously experience both interpersonal energy and simulpathity. Do these traits commonly co-exist?