Mind over Matter

Mind over Matter

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Two of the most robust areas of scientific research are telepathy and telekinesis (mind over matter). In the first, a “sender” tries to connect with a “receiver,” though they are isolated from each other.[19] A sender may try to alternately calm and excite a receiver at random intervals, simply via his thoughts and own state of being; the receiver’s skin conductance and galvanic skin response (indications of arousal) are measured. Studies repeatedly demonstrate significant results.[20]

Mind over matter emerges as the most electrifying area of research. It seems that human intention can influence machines – even at a distance, when no influence seems possible. Researchers are both enthralled and puzzled by the data, which makes no sense. Studies thus far have examined machines that randomly produce positive or negative electrical pulses, or measure random radioactive decay, or randomly generate numbers. By concentrating, subjects try to influence the machines in one direction or another. After more than 14 million trials, Jahn has found a constant, significant influence of humans on the performance of machines, and the odds of this happening are 1 in 5,000. Other studies have shown that people can influence not only the random generator they are concentrating on, but hidden generators they don’t even know about.

The actual shift is small, but to understand it requires a stunning leap of perspective. Something is at work here that indicates our world may be far more fluid and interconnected than we ever imagined. Inspired by Jahn’s research, Radin tested five different random generators on October 4, 1995, the day the O. J. Simpson verdict was delivered. At 10 a.m. Pacific time, when 44 million Americans were tuned in to television and radio, the random generators all became significantly less random. The shift lasted for 50 seconds. Radin believes that “the movement of mind does affect matter. It influences everything you can imagine, including mind itself. If 44 million minds are focuses on one thing, that coherence spreads out, and influences even machines.”

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Other researchers have tried to find flaws in the studies. “We’ve wondered if influence varies with distance, or with data rate, or with the voltage of the machine,” says physicist Michael Ibison, Ph.D., a visiting scholar at PEAR. “It doesn’t.” So, says Ibison, you start musing on the mysteries of quantum physics, where mind and matter don’t seem so separate and divided. “When cooled to zero degrees Kelvin,” he says, “matter exhibits very weird behavior at great distances, as if the whole system is a single, unified, unbroken, organic thing, and instantaneous changes are visible everywhere. But that’s still just a metaphor. All we really know is that what you are thinking now can actually be correlated with what is happening over there in a machine.”[21]

In January 1994, the Psychological Bulletin published a review of mental telepathy research spanning 20 years. The research not only shows significant proof that telepathy exists, but also reveals surprising connections between artists and psychic abilities. Daryl J. Bem, professor of psychology at Cornell University, co-authored the article with the late University of Edinburgh parapsychologist Charles Honorton. Honorton, who died in November 1992, conducted most of the experiments. “Taken with earlier studies, the probability that the results could have occurred by chance is less than one in a billion,” says Bem, who was deeply impressed with Honorton’s safeguards against flaws and cheating.[22] [They] argue that they have indeed found “replicable evidence” for “anomalous information transfer.”[23]

The studies used the ganzfeld (German for total field) technique that works to block noise and other distractions from the senses.[24] The ganzfeld studies, conducted at Honorton’s Psychophysical Research Lab in Princeton, New Jersey, consisted of 11 experiments, with 240 receivers tested in 354 sessions.[25] Six out of eight music students judged targets successfully, although their reported imagery was not as detailed as the drama students’. Four out of ten drama students correctly identifed their target, describing the imagery so vividly anyone could choose the correct target.[26]

Even the CIA came out of the closet…[in 1995] with its abashed confession that the government agency had spent $20 million on psychic research in the last two decades.[27] It was in 1973 that the Central Intelligence Agency began looking into the business of psychic phenomena.[28] The studies the CIA sponsored were conducted first at the Stanford Research Institute (SRI) in Menlo Park, California, and later at the nearby, privately owned Science Applications International Corporation.[29]

“The CIA studies were conducted in a number of ways,” says Jessica Utts, a statistician at the University of California at Davis who participated in some of the experiments, “but all the research had the same objective: to determine how well volunteers could perform in a sensory experiment in which something besides their usual senses was being studied.” [30] “Over the first 15 years of the 20-year study,” she says, “154 separate experiments were conducted consisting of 26,000 trials. During those experiments,…the statistical significance figure was a mere .00000000000000000001 [(p << 0.05)] – meaning that you would expect to see those results only once in 1020 tries if the outcome was due solely to chance."[31] "The studies lead to the conclusion that psychic abilities exist."[32] The studies she analyzed…were conducted according to the most rigid of scientific methods: the trials were usually double-blind, with neither the experimenter nor the subject knowing what image had been selected; the subjects were unknown to the experimenters before the studies began; and when the experimenters chose volunteers, they sometimes went out of their way to select the least psychically inclined ones as possible. "During one set of trials early in the study," Utts says, "we were looking for Stanford employees who might want to serve as subjects, and we learned that one particularly skeptical man had been telling his colleagues what nonsense our work was. After testing, we decided he'd be perfect for our needs, and as it turned out he was. On one trial, he described seeing a target image that resembled a tree, but one that was almost entirely gray and mushroom-shaped at the top. The image we had selected for him was a videotape of a nuclear explosion."[33] After being tapped for the CIA's psychic espionage program – now known as Star Gate – [David Morehouse] spent eight months, eight hours a day, being trained in the practice known as "remote viewing," by which individuals are taught to…access people…remote from them.[34] A typical assignment, says Morehouse, was to access the mind of an enemy test pilot in order to get detailed information about fighter planes.[35] The information was correlated with other surveillance programs.[36] If the same extrasensory sleuthing could be used to locate…missile bases near Moscow or troop movements in China, the United States could gain a[n]…advantage in the global intelligence game.[37] Though the CIA claims it has abandoned the program because of lack of success, Morehouse and his remote viewing colleagues believe Star Gate is as active as ever but has gone further undercover. They also believe the government is taking this technique into the realm of weaponry, training individuals in "remote influence" – accessing another human mind to inflict harm on it.[38]

[20] Jill Neimark, Do the spirits move you?, Psychology Today, Sep/Oct 1996, 29(5), p. 78.
[21] Op. cit.
[22] Lorrin Harvey, Mental telepathy in the lab; tests show psychic abilities among actors and musicians, Omni, Nov 1994, 17(2), p. 20.
[23] Steve Nadis, At long last, proof?, Omni, Sep 1994, 16(11), p. 78.
[24] Lorrin Harvey, Mental telepathy in the lab; tests show psychic abilities among actors and musicians, Omni, Nov 1994, 17(2), p. 20.
[25] Op. cit.
[26] Op. cit.
[27] Jill Neimark, Do the spirits move you?, Psychology Today, Sep/Oct 1996, 29(5), p. 51.
[28] Jeffrey Kluger, CIA ESP, Discover, April 1996, 17(4), p. 36.
[29] Op. cit.
[30] Op. cit.
[31] Ibidem, p. 37.
[32] Op. cit.
[33] Op. cit.
[34] Jill Neimark, I was a psychic spy, Psychology Today, Sep/Oct 1996, 29(5), p. 52.
[35] Op. cit.
[36] Op. cit.
[37] Jeffrey Kluger, CIA ESP, Discover, April 1996, 17(4), pp. 34, 36.
[38] Jill Neimark, I was a psychic spy, Psychology Today, Sep/Oct 1996, 29(5), p. 52.

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