Telekinesis is the belief that one can move matter with mere thought. Scientists have been intrigued with this concept for some time, though none but a certain devout few seriously consider it a reality. There are many who proclaim themselves able to perform this mental feat, though few have shown it in any sort of legitimate environment. Some even go as far as to say their talents won't work with skeptics in the room, thus branding the entire experience as a sort of mass hallucination or the like. Whether telekinesis is real or not depends on your own personal beliefs.
Though no one is quite sure when the concept of telekinesis first wormed its way into modern thought, but the name is derived from the Greek words psyche, meaning life or soul, and kinein, meaning to move. Records of telekinetic related events stem back to early ancient times. Many of these recorded instances involved religious figures and included levitation, healing, and luminosities. Some believe that spells and curses may find their origins in telekinesis, but nothing is certain.
Though most agree on the broadest definition of telekinesis, that is moving things with one's mind, few seem to agree on the particulars. Some believe that the ability is inherent and can not be learned. Others disagree, saying that it can be learned by anyone with the time and patience to learn. Even fuzzier is the theories of where this energy stems from. A repeating theme is that the energy involved in telekinesis is a form of Chi, which is like the soul in Taoism and other Chinese thought. Though this idea seems to be widely accepted, no one is completely sure or, if they are, unwilling to share with the rest of us.
In the early 1930's research into telekinesis really took off with the help of Doctor J. B. Rhine, then in the employ of Duke University in North Carolina. Though not necessarily the first to research the topic, Rhine had done studies into another paranormal event, ESP.