ESP is most commonly called the "sixth sense." It is sensory information that an individual receives which comes beyond the ordinary five senses sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch. It can provide the individual with information of the present, past, and future; as it seems to originate in a second, or alternate reality.
For a long time, the stigma to limit the experience of reality to the 5 senses has had a hold on humanity. It's part of the old paradigm. Having been born with "the 6th sense", growing up with an array of extra-sensory perceptions, it was difficult to learn that I was in fact the exception, not the others. I did learn at some point and it had the result that I had to learn to identify which was which and filter what I was able to talk about and what was better kept a secret. Had the world around me been ready to embrace that I perceived on other levels and through other means, I would never have learned to identify the makings of my "extra-sensory" perceptions. (They are quite sensory to me, so the word "extra-sensory" just doesn't quite fit in my mind).
By eventually sharing carefully with other people who also have similar abilities, I realized that the way I perceive is rather individual and unique to my own make-up of "sensors". Since people who are gifted this way don't talk much about it, I have found opinions and ideas in others of "how" these extra-sensory perceptions are experienced. I guess what I'm trying to explain here is, that there is misinformation about this form of expanded perception and thus, one's own dormant abilities that may wake up during these times of increased energy frequencies may be misinterpreted or even missed due to holding a preconceived idea on "how" it has to happen.
This preconceived notion may be the only thing that blocks the identification of your own expanding sensory perceptions and I would like to shed some light on how it is for me, in order to share the knowledge I have and perhaps open some gates, that would otherwise remain closed.
There are numerous types "extra-sensory" perceptions.
Probably the most common one would be clair-sentience, the empathic abilities. That means you may have experienced emotional states that were not entirely yours, but the state of others around you. It can be rather confusing when that happens, as the primary idea is that emotions belong to oneself and nobody else. This isn't so, emotions are just energies that float around and can be picked up easily, mainly by the solar plexus chakra. They can be absorbed and even appropriated, meaning one can believe that they are one's own emotions when they are not.
Some folks may have trouble in crowds, feeling depleted and queasy after having gone to a shopping mall for example. A lot of people seek out the empathic experience, when they go to music concerts, where the whole crowd is experiencing similar emotions. I do remember that "high".
There may be many preconceived ideas on how empathy feels. I would say, know your own emotional state really well, stay centered and in balance as often as possible and avoid drama. On such a blank emotional canvas, empathic perception of others' emotions are easily recognizable and thus don't have to be accepted as one's own emotions.
Another extra-sensory perception is "clair-audience" - hearing things outside the normal range of hearing. That could be "hearing voices" or simply hearing frequencies that lie outside the normal range.
Hearing voices is a tricky one - anyone admitting to "hearing voices" runs risk of being labelled as "crazy". Not an easy one to talk about. There are indeed states of mental instability that feature hearing voices and not everyone hearing voices does so in a balanced manner.
It's easy to identify hearing voices, for they talk to you - in your head. It's different from self-talk. The energetic signatures of the "voices" has a distinct frequency (coloration/sound) and are discernible. If you find that you are clair-audient, remember, you're the boss of your mind and only you decide who you hear and who you don't. You're most definitely allowed the ultimate decision whether or not to answer the internal telephone. Be firm in this and you'll have a lot more peace in your head.
I want to address "clair-voyance" next. It is the visionary perception of things that are invisible to others. This can be through the physical eye, by experiencing and seeing energy frequencies that are normally not picked up by the physical eye, or it can be through the inner eye (the third eye chakra), which would be like watching a movie on the inside of your skull, at the area of your forehead. This is also called visioning and has been responded to in many ways from putting a seer onto the highly respected pedastal of priesthood to burning the seer at the stake. Clair-voyant moments come unbidden a lot and can thus be discerned from daydreaming or fantasizing. I experience the images mainly as a "packet" of information, vision, feeling and some auditory input all combined. It is most definitely different from my own imagination.
There is another extra-sensory perception. I call it "clair-knowing". It is possibly the most unnerving of them all, at least to me. It has caused many situations that were difficult to say the least. It is that feature that responds instantly when something is witnessed and that inner knowing just either disputes it or presents you with the "corrected" version of what is experienced. I don't believe it can ever be proven beyond a doubt, so it's a tricky one and discernment is needed what to say when, not everyone is ready to have their beliefs shattered, nor is it my right to disrespect another's beliefs.
There are also sensory cross-overs. I for one have a very unfortunate one, I can hear my physical pain. It's not very pleasant, for it amplifies the experience of pain. There are all combinations of sensory-cross overs possible. To just name a few, smell emotions, taste sound, see sound, hear visions, physically feel what you hear etc.
Reading minds has become more and more available to me. No, I don't read your thoughts, so don't fear. I can however read whether a person has clear thought patterns or a more chaotic, seemingly muddled mind, if they are preoccupied with many thoughts, or focused. You may have sensed these things too, without knowing that this is a form of telepathic "pick-up". Some people leave you with a sensation of "frazzled" or "rushed", whereas with others you experience their thought processes very clear and steady, which gives a sensation of clarity and solid structure.
It may look as if I claim to know "how its perceived" - I don't. I believe that it's all very personal, all very individual. The color red is not the same red for everyone. However, I hope that by shedding some light on these possibilities, people will tap into their own arsenal of abilities and gifts and find one or the other useful on their journeys.