Here’s a big part of the gist of first sight theory. First of all, psi is always going on. That is, every person is always actively engaged at an unconscious level, with an indeterminately huge amount of reality. This engagement has an active, expressive side, and a receptive, becoming-aware-of side. When the engagement has to do with chunks of reality that are outside the ordinary sensory boundaries of the person, we call this engagement “psi.” The active, expressive aspect of this we call “psychokinesis,” and the receptive, coming-to-know side we call “extrasensory perception.”
Think of it this way, focusing just on the familiar stuff, the engagements that are within the sensory boundaries. I sit here with my beautiful Lenovo laptap. If I engage it actively, I peck at the keys. We call this “action” or “intentional behavior.” If I gaze at it in appreciation or consternation (depending upon how well it is working) we call this “seeing” or “taking in.” In one case I’m physically doing something to the computer, in the other I am taking in an awareness of it. Still staying inside the sensory boundaries, we know that “action” and “taking-in” go on unconsciously as well as consciously. I do many things without clearly knowing why I am doing them, or even exactly that I am doing them (say, keeping my balance as I walk to another room). Such actions are automatic, not clearly conscious, but still intentional. On the receptive side, I am constantly bombarded with sensory impressions that are too faint to register consciously, or too outside my focus to get my attention. Even though these impressions are unconscious they can still act as unconscious primes and influence my experience in various ways. So, okay, let’s agree about this: within the sensory boundaries, action and taking-in go on both consciously and unconsciously.
First sight theory adds to this picture by saying that unconscious action and taking-in also go on with reality that is ongoing beyond the sensory boundaries. Like what goes on within the boundaries, this out-of-bounds action has both an active and a receptive side, is always going on, and is always guided by our unconscious goals and intentions.
Unlike the sensory engagements, psi engagements are always unconscious. This is a kind of action and a kind of taking-in that is never conscious. Why? Because consciousness comes from sensation. Without sensation there is no consciousness. As the phenomenologists say, to be aware is always to be aware of something. The something is always some kind of sensory engagement (even if it is only an “inner” sensation of memory or imagination). Since psi is beyond the sensory system, it can never be conscious (or remembered or imagined). We can only know about it by inferences we can draw from its effects.
What guides our unconscious transactions with reality, both sensory and extra-sensory? It is our unconscious intentions. Where do our unconscious intentions come from? They primarily come from our conscious intentions, especially the ones that we are strongly holding at the moment, or that we hold habitually. Our goals, our sense of our needs, our deepest wishes, our longings – these things all take up residence within our unconscious functioning and guide it. They guide our sensory transactions and they guide our extrasensory transactions.