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by WingedWolf

Psionics is, basically, the use of "psychic" or psi abilities. The range of practices employed by the schools of thought, or paths, which call themselves psionics is very broad, but several features set psionics apart from other practices. The first is, true to the roots of the term "PSI" which is derived from parapsychological experiments, psionics uses a much more systematic and scientific approach than other esoteric paths.

PSI is a Greek letter, actually. Parapsychologists put this letter to use in the same way that mathematicians use X and Y: to denote the "unknown factor" in their experiments. The PSI factor was generally used to refer to observations of psychic abilities. An obvious expansion on this was the deliberate use of psychic abilities: Psionics.

Psionics is not, of course, a science, or even a pseudoscience; it is the practicing of a skill. Whether this skill is considered to be more of an art, or more of a system or science, depends on the school of thought using it. Most psionics schools of thought fall into one of two basic "camps".

The first believe in the use of energy drawn from outside of the human body to fuel their abilities, and the other either discourage or forbid this practice. Individual schools of thought each tend to have their own reasons for either condoning or condemning this practice.

Psi energy, as distinct from a more general outlook on energy, appears to be produced by, or associated with, nervous system activity. It can also be increased via an ability which causes the nervous system to react more than it would for the emotional or physical activity level. Psi is produced by all things which have a nervous system, or a nervous system-like structure, such as chordate animals, some plants (particularly trees), and a few mechanical devices, ranging from those deliberately created to generate psi (radionics or orgone generators) to refridgerators. Storms also appear to generate either psi, or a form of EM very similar to psi which is easily converted by the body. The relationship of psi to EM is pervasive, and persons with innate psi abilities often have an adverse effect on electronics due to spillover into EM frequencies or energy.

The majority of people can learn to use at least some psi ability...there do appear to be a very few who cannot. However, about 10% of the population not only can learn these abilities, they have some of them innately. These appear at varying levels of power and instinctive control...lower level abilities which are primarily uncontrolled are fairly common, while higher level abilities which a person has instinctive control over are relatively rare.

This innate ability, complete with instincts which enable control of it without training, appears thus far to be unique to psi. While many people many have an affinity for using other types of energy and practices, they do not have this type of innate ability with them. Psi is, therefore, most likely the "basic psychic ability" of the human race, from which all other energy-working practices are an outgrowth, developed over time to take advantage of the structures in the brain and nervous system that allow energy to be manipulated and put to work in the first place.

Regardless of this, psionics is not a practice which people can develop overnight. Even in the case of people with higher level abilities, who have instinctive use of them, the maximum is no more than 50% of what can be achieved with that ability with training. As a result, time, patience, and above all, drive are required to be truly successful with psionics, whatever the level of innate ability.