The history of telepathy dates back to ancient times. Records on divine revelation have been found in ancient Egyptian texts dating back to 2000 BC, and it is believed that Egyptians recognized the ability to communicate with other through thoughts and dreams.
The idea of communicating with the mind through thoughts and dreams has also been found in Vedic literature. The notion that one can communicate without the use of words, sounds or symbols was very popular among the Greek and later on in European folklore. Ancient Greek philosopher Democritus is credited for having formulated a theory to explain telepathy. According to him, living beings project an energy created by millions of vibrating atoms, and that this energy can be felt by someone else, the recipient of the information. Information is believed to enter the body of the recipient through the pores.
Another famous philosopher who tried his hand at explaining telepathy was Aristotle. He focused his studies on precognitive dreams, although his theory may also be applied to telepathy. According to Aristotle, dreams are easily passed from one person to another in the night because those who are asleep have are more receptive to small inward motions than those who are awake. In 1819, the first reports on experiments with telepathic dreams were published by H.M. Waserman.
The term ‘telepathy’ was coined in the late 1800s by Fredrick W.H. Myers, the classical scholar who founded the Society for Psychical Research. Telepathy forms the main branch of parapsychology along with psychokinesis, and is believed to have originated from ‘mesmerism’. It became the first phenomena to be studied scientifically by the American Society for Psychical Research when it was founded in 1885.