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Observations placeholder

Seeing pictures blindfolded



Type of Spiritual Experience


Dr Shafica Karagulla, born in the Lebanon but whose research took her to the USA and the UK,  was a neuro-psychiatrist who spent eight years researching ordinary people who appeared to have extraordinary abilities.  She started off being a skeptic as most scientists are [including me] but over time the evidence seemed overwhelming and she set up a research project to find out more.  What brought her into the area was a book about Edgar Cayce, what kept her going was an open mind and an insatiable curiosity.  Where she is remarkable is that she had no experiences of her own to confirm her eventual conclusions,  but like all the very best scientists forgot her own life and concentrated on the observations and evidence.  Her research subjects were carefully chosen.  She rejected all those who claimed they had these abilities but instead by a laborious process of enquiry and referral managed to find those who carried on normal professions and who never talked about their abilities but just used them. 

How did this work?

Dr Karagulla had touched the pictures and formed the bridge.  The two most sensitive places on our bodies for picking up sensations  are our feet and our hands particularly our fingertips. Thus both people perfomed better via their hands.  The bridge provided the necessary link to Dr Karagulla who knew what the pictures contained.  Furthermore both composers would have been co-operating via the perceptions of each and perceptions are usually more detailed and accurate than the final pictures presented to our conscious self.  Perhaps equally fascinating is the correspondence between sensations and pictures, there was a link being made between Mary’s perceptions and her sensory systems to provide the results as a sensation and not an image

A description of the experience

Breakthrough to Creativity – Dr Shafica Karagulla

I had taken pictures from magazines at random.  Some were photographs, and some were advertisements with lettering or whole sentences over the pictures or under them.  I blindfolded Joan and placed one picture at a time in front of her.  She would place her fingertips on the picture and move around over it,  describing a tree here,  water there, a boat, a child on the bank,  flowers, and in most cases she read the letters and words very clearly.  Some of the things that she described in the pictures were so minute that I had to look closely at the picture to see them. She did this with picture after picture.

The second subject, Mary, was not as sensitive and her perception was somewhat different. She sensed "wetness" over water, "stickiness" when she touched a picture of chocolate frosting, "bubbles" when her fingers moved over a  glass of frothy beer.  Mary seemed to sense the texture and quality of things rather than seeing a visual picture as it would appear to the eye. 

It occurred to me to find out whether this sensitivity which Joan and Mary exhibited was limited to the fingertips.  I had each one of them use her elbow over the pictures.

Joan could still read the pictures with the tip of her elbow, but not quite as well as she did with her fingertips. Mary sensed quality and texture of things in the pictures with her elbow but again not as clearly.

I decided to try placing certain materials over the words and pictures to see whether or not this would inhibit Joan's and Mary’s ability  to read the pictures. I used the same materials I had used in the case of the dowser [Reverend Stanley]. I was interested to discover that the same material appeared to inhibit both girl’s ability to read the pictures……

Shortly after my experiments with Joan and Mary, someone gave me a clipping which had been taken from the Miami Herald in September 1957. The article was about a teenage girl who could read blindfolded by passing her fingers along a line of print. Because the two psychiatrists who conducted the demonstration could not explain it they had simply declared that it was impossible. A little later the Veteran’s Administration in Washington, D. C. had conducted experiments with the same teenage girl. Again, in spite of the clear evidence that the girl could read blindfolded, the whole thing was dismissed. The psychiatrist said it was impossible.

The source of the experience

Ordinary person

Concepts, symbols and science items



Science Items

Activities and commonsteps



Sensory deprivation