The Intuitive-Connections Network

Current Update as of September 10, 2006 

Inspired by The Edgar Cayce Institute for Intuitive Studies

Edited by HENRY REED, Ph.D.

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Entangled Minds

Entangled Minds

(Paraview Pocket Books)

Book Summary by Denise L. Dahl

Chapter 1 – In the Beginning

     One of the most amazing scientific discoveries in the twentieth century that defied what was previously known about classical physics was the concept of “entanglement.” Entanglement occurs when one particle splits into two or two particles interact.

Quantum theory mathematics predicts that when these particles go their separate ways they are still connected; they are no longer really separate after they interact and each contains some aspect of the other. Einstein did not like this idea and called it “spooky action at a distance.”

     The word “entanglement” was coined by one of the founders of quantum theory Erwin Schrodinger. It refers to the connections between separated particles that remain connected regardless of distance.

These connections are instantaneous and operate outside the usual flow of time. This implies that seeing things as separate objects is in a sense an illusion created by our limited perception.

Some physicists speculate that everything in the universe – energy, matter, etc. became entangled during the Big Bang. Others speculate that empty space, the quantum vacuum itself, may be filled with entangled particles.

     The idea of entanglement remained just a theoretical possibility for around 40 years until the late 1960s when a method to test this theory was developed. The first major replication was reported in the 1980s and was based on a theorem developed by Irish physicist John Bell and published in a paper in 1965. Bell’s Theorem states that, “No physical theory of local hidden variables can ever reproduce all of the predictions of quantum mechanics.”

     Entanglement is no longer just a theoretical concept. It has been demonstrated over and over in physics laboratories for over 30 years and articles reporting new developments and applications now appear regularly in scientific journals. Some physicists now speculate that deeply entangled states may be meaningfully related to human experiences and if that is so, it may also have a relationship to psi.

     Bioentanglement has to do with quantum connections with and among living systems. In fact, entanglement may extend to everything in the universe. Traditional physicists have speculated that empty space may be filled with entangled particles. Because all energy and matter emerged from the Big Bang, everything is already entangled and therefore we may be living in a deeply interconnected reality.

     This suggests that entanglement may apply to living cells as well as inanimate particles and photons. If entanglement can occur in living cells, two brains could show correlated behavior at a distance. Experiments have already shown that EEGs of pairs of separated identical twins resulted in a corresponding response in the distant twin’s brain/mind.

     If this is possible, future experiments may produce evidence that the brain is entangled with the outside world and mind fields are bioentangled with the rest of the universe. This suggests that our minds are physically entangled with the universe and that quantum theory may be relevant to understanding psi.

Later we will explore some theories of psi that were inspired by quantum mechanics but first, let’s define psi, explore the history psi, and have a look at the laboratory research accumulated over the last 100 years that have produced evidence that psi is real.

Chapter 2 – Naked Psi

     The word “psi” was first used in 1942 by British psychologist Robert Thouless. He felt that it was a neutral term that could be used to refer to psychic experience without implying origins or mechanisms. Psi experiences include telepathy – mind-to-mind interactions, clairvoyance – perceiving objects at a distance, precognition – perceiving the future, and psychokinesis – mind-matter interactions. Psi experiences can also include healing at a distance, intuitive hunches, gut feelings, and the sense of being stared at.

Chapter 3 – Who Believes?

     Psi, paranormal phenomena, has been around for thousands of years. It shows up in myths, fairy tales, legends, and anecdotal stories throughout history and across all cultures. For example, Egyptians used dream incubation to induce divinely inspired dreams.

Chinese oracles cast tortoise shells into the fire and then analyzed the cracks caused by the intense heat to predict future events. The Delphic Oracle at the Temple of Apollo in Greece inhaled gaseous vapors to induce a trance state and then make predictions for visitors who asked for help. Many well-known historical figures in Greece believed in dream telepathy.

Democritus who lived in the late fifth century B.C. and Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) admitted that the divination that took place during sleep could not be dismissed. These are just a few examples that show that at one time, there was no stigma attached to a belief in psi.

Chapter 4 - Origins

     However, in 1489 A.D., Pope Innocent VIII issued a papal bull against witches and issued a document entitled “The Witch Hammer” (Malleus Maleficarium). This document made witchcraft a crime punishable by death and started the infamous witch hunts throughout Europe. A hundred and twenty years later, King James I of England made witchcraft a civil crime by issuing the Witchcraft Act.

     Not long after this, Sir Francis Bacon, an author, barrister, and later Lord Chancellor of England, published A Naturall Historie In Ten Centuries (Sylva Sylvarum). Bacon is credited with developing the core concept of the scientific method - empirical reasoning.

An examination of his writings also shows that he had an interest in paranormal events. For example, He wrote about mental intention which he called the “force of imagination,” and referred to emotions as the “spirits of men.” He proposed that mental intention could be studied on objects that “have the lightest and easiest motions” such as a person’s emotions.

He also seems to foretell the use of cards and dice in psi experiments because he also pointed out that shuffling cards and casting dice were very light motions. His writings also presage the use of statistical techniques in psi experiments and he suggested that tests might be more successful if the task given was meaningful to the person performing it.

     But hundreds of years would pass before Bacon’s observations would be scientifically tested. In the meantime, ideas such as Bacon’s as well as those of Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, Descartes, and Newton contributed to the scientific revolution that was taking hold in Europe.

Gradually, over the next few centuries a collection of theories were developed and tested to explain how things (and people) work and the result was a new worldview. But paranormal/psi phenomena were not part of this worldview because no one could explain how it worked.

     As the scientific revolution took off, the question of whether psi was real or not overlapped scientific discoveries. In fact, some psychic experiences led to scientific discoveries. For example, Hans Berger had a telepathic experience with his sister that led him to study how the mind works and eventually he developed a way to measure brainwaves (EEG).

Charles Richet’s telepathic playing card experiments led to the scientific use of statistical probabilities and the 1906 Nobel Prize winner J. J. Thomson discoverer of the electron speculated that electromagnetic fields were carriers of information between people and they provide a physical mechanism for telepathy.

     The beginning of the twentieth century was the quantum era and this era also brought about more interest in proving the existence of psi. In 1911, Thomas Welton Stanford donated 20,000 pounds to Stanford University to set up a “Psychic Fund” to investigate and advance the knowledge of psychic phenomena and the occult sciences and in 1929, Joseph Banks Rhine started a psi research program at Duke University sponsored by the chair of the psychology department, William McDougall, the founder of the British Journal of Psychology. Rhine continued parapsychological research until 1965.

     As the scientific revolution accelerated in Europe, a renowned metallurgist, Emanuel Swedenborg, in Sweden displayed a remarkable understanding of how a brain functions a good two hundred years before neuroscience became a scientific discipline. Swedenborg was also a mystic and a visionary.

One of his well documented visions occurred on June 19, 1759 after he had traveled three hundred miles from his home in Stockholm and arrived in Goteborg, Sweden. That evening during a dinner party he told several people that he was having a vision of Stockholm burning. Later, he told them that the fire had been stopped just three houses from his home. This was verified the next day when a messenger arrived from Stockholm with news of the fire.

     Reports of psychic experiences such as this have been reported for millennia but in the eighteenth century an Austrian physician, Franz Anton Mesmer advanced the concept of “animal magnetism” which he thought was a biological force – a magnetic fluid.

His ideas were instrumental in initiating some of the original investigations into whether psi was real or not. One of his students, the Marquis de Puysegur accidentally discovered a method that could reliably evoke psi phenomena.

He called it “magnetic somnambulism” which is a type of sleepwalking state that today is known as hypnosis but was then called mesmerism. He found that some people showed remarkable paranormal skills such as telepathy, clairvoyance, and precognition when they were hypnotized.

     There was an explosion of interest in hypnosis by the general public during the late eighteenth century and this outraged some physicians. In 1784, the French Academy of Sciences, chaired by Benjamin Franklin, and also the French Royal Society of Medicine began an investigation of evaluating the status of mesmerism and its usefulness in treating illness.

Both commissions found that there was no evidence of magnetic fluid and that the observed effects of the healings could be attributable to the imagination – the placebo effect. However, not all members of the Royal Society believed that the healings could not be solely attributed to imagination.

     Fifty years later mesmerism was still popular in Europe and another investigation was initiated by the French Royal Society of Medicine. This investigation was favorable toward the healing effects of mesmerism and also the psi phenomena reported by Puysegur.

For the next five years mesmerism and psi phenomena were studied by the Royal Society and this was one of the first major government sponsored scientific investigations of psi that had an entirely positive outcome.

Chapter 5 – Putting Psi to the Test

Science has come a long way since this first official investigation of the phenomena of psi. The scientific ideal is to shape our beliefs by making observations and measurements about our experiences through controlled experiments and this ideal has been applied to tests for evidence of psi.

There are two basic categories for psi laboratory experiments:

1: Tests that measure whether information can be perceived without the ordinary senses, and

2: Tests that monitor the effects of mental influence at a distance – causing action at a distance.

     Tests that measure whether information can be perceived beyond the range of the ordinary senses seem to involve information coming into the mind from the environment. These types of experiences usually are labeled as clairvoyance, telepathy, or precognition.

All three are often referred to as extrasensory perception (ESP). In a typical test for ESP, there is a subject and a target object (a photograph or object of some kind, etc). The subject and the target are isolated from each other and the subject is asked to successfully describe the target.

     Tests that monitor the effects of mental influence at a distance seem to involve some kind of influence or information flowing out of the mind to the environment. These types of experiences are given various names such as mind-matter interactions, telekinesis, and psychokinesis (PK). In a test for PK, there is a subject and a target.

The target could be an inanimate object, a random system like a throw of the dice, human behavior, etc. The test subject is isolated from the target and asked to influence the target in some way, i.e., to behave in a manner it wouldn’t act when there was no influence acting upon it.

     There are many variations of both of these tests and thousands of experiments have been conducted over the last century based on these test designs. Here are a few examples of experiments involving telepathy and clairvoyance.

     Distant Mental Influence. In 1923, H.I.F.W. Brogans and his colleagues in the Department of Psychology at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands performed an experiment to investigate the claims of a 23-year old physics student named Van Dam, who said that he had telepathic abilities.

While Van Dam was blindfolded and placed inside a curtained booth, he was asked to place his arm under the curtain and select a square on a 6 x 8 checkerboard placed on a table on the other side of the curtain. The target square that Van Dam was to select was picked randomly by the experimenter in each trial.

     An agent (the assistant experimenter), knew the target and was to try and mentally influence the movement of Van Dam’s arm and guide him to select the correct target. In some trials the agent was in the same room as Van Dam and during others he was watching from a soundproof window in the room above Van Dam.

This experiment was one of the first to use a physiological measurement – a galvanic skin response – to see if Van Dam’s skin resistance would vary when his selection was correct vs. incorrect. Van Dam had 60 successes out of 187 trials giving odds against chance of 121 trillion to 1.

The placement of the agent (in the room or upstairs behind the soundproof window) did not affect the success rate. The physiological measure suggested that Van Dam’s skin conductance differed when his guess was correct versus incorrect.

     This study is still important because it reported strong results under well-controlled conditions and it triggered an interest in using physiological measurement for detecting unconscious psi.

     Telepathy Experiments. The ESP card (Zener cards) test is another psi experiment that has withstood the test of time. This test was introduced by J. B. Rhine of the Parapsychology Laboratory at Duke University. There are twenty-five ESP cards imprinted with one of five symbols, a star, a triangle, a circle, square, or wavy lines. There are five cards imprinted with each symbol.

Typically for this test, the cards are shuffled and a person selects each card in turn and tries to mentally send the symbol on each card to a person located in a different area. This test was easy and allowed for hundred of trials that could be quickly performed under controlled conditions in varying environments.

     Some people think Rhine’s results with the ESP cards were due to faulty methods, fraud, or chance but an analysis of the results showed extremely strong evidence for the existence of psi even when the trials were conducted under high security conditions.

Some of the other proposed criticisms were that the ESP cards were flawed, that there was selective reporting or that only the successful studies were published and the unsuccessful ones were filed away. All of these allegations have been proven to be wrong.

In Rhine’s 1940 book, Extrasensory Perception after Sixty Years, the results of 188 experiments were described and the combined results of these 188 tests are so far removed from chance that it would take 428,000 unreported studies to change the results.

     Philosopher Fiona Steinkamp analyzed the Rhine-era ESP card test in detail and found that as controls improved to prevent sensory cues, recording errors, and investigator fraud, the results of the studies declined slightly but even with this, the highly controlled studies had odds against chance of 375 trillion to 1.

     Clairvoyant Experiments. Picture-drawing experiments have been a popular way to test for evidence of clairvoyance. In a picture-drawing psi experiment, one person selects or imagines an object and sketches it and then concentrates on the picture and tries to telepathically send the image to a distant partner.

Although popular at one time, these tests had problems because some of the early tests wouldn’t satisfy modern standards of experimental controls. This is because sometimes the target selection wasn’t completely random and also the two people involved in the test might have shared memories and experiences that would contribute to them choosing similar themes.

     An example of this type of experiment was reported in a book written by Upton Sinclair, a respected American activist and author. The book was entitled Mental Radio, and was written in collaboration with his wife Mary Craig Sinclair who was the subject of the book as she demonstrated skills that convinced her husband and many others that telepathy exists.

In these experiments Sinclair would sketch a small object and Mary located at a distance, would try to mentally perceive the sketch and reproduce it. The book reproduced dozens of examples of the tests done by the Sinclairs showing striking similarities that go far beyond what would be expected by chance.

     A more recent example of clairvoyance is the results of the remote viewing experiments performed at Princeton University’s Engineering Anomalies Research (PEAR) Laboratory. Remote viewing is the modern-day term for clairvoyance that was coined by physicists Harold Puthoff and Russell Targ at Stanford Research Institute (SRI) International in the early 1970s.

Typically in a remote viewing experiment, one person (the agent) travels to a randomly selected distant location while the remote viewer, secured in a laboratory, describes where the agent went.

     Remote viewing has been replicated under rigorously controlled conditions many times. In 2003, former Princeton University Dean of Engineering Robert Jahn and psychologist Brenda Dunne summarized 25 years of remote viewing (a.k.a. remote perception) research.

The report reflected 653 formal trials from 1976 to 1999 involving 72 percipients. In most of these tests, the future target was randomly selected after the percipient had recorded his or her perceptions. The assessment of the matches from the 653 trials provided strong evidence that the results were definitely not due to chance because they produced odds against chance of 33 million to 1.

Chapter 6 – Conscious Psi

     Many of the experiments reported by individuals and research laboratories like the ones mentioned above have produced strikingly successful results. But many scientists are skeptical and critical of these results. There is often suspicion that the design of the test was flawed, the researchers made some kind of mistake or even that fraud was somehow involved.

This is why science values independent replication because they feel that different investigators won’t make the same mistakes or be in on some conspiracy to defraud the public. One way to overcome this is to analyze collection of experiments using a method called meta-analysis.

     The Holy Grail for psi researchers is to find an easily repeatable experiment. A test where personal judgment or evaluation is not required and that everyone can immediately see that the results are self-evident. This quest has to date eluded researchers and led others to believe that claims of psi cannot be proved by using scientific methods.

     Proving psi in a controlled laboratory setting is not easy because it involves human performance which is not easily predictable. Psi experiments are usually conducted with average people who do not claim to have any special talents and the results usually vary greatly. All experiments have some measurement errors - especially those involving human behavior.

     One way to demonstrate that the effects of psi are independently repeatable under laboratory conditions is to analyze a collection of all of the previous experiments using a method called meta-analysis. In the following pages, we apply meta-analysis to thousands of experiments conducted over the last century to test various types of psi.

     Psi in Dreams. Cross cultural surveys show that about half of all spontaneous psi experiences occur in dreams and in many of them the dreamer received information about an accident or death. Because of the frequency of these reports, researchers became interested in studying whether similar psi experiences could be replicated in a controlled laboratory setting.

The most famous of these studies were the dream psi sessions conducted at Maimonides Medical Center, in Brooklyn, New York by psychiatrist Montague Ullman, psychologist Stanley Krippner, and many of their coworkers. There were a total of 379 sessions between 1966 and 1973.

Typically, a volunteer receiver would spend the night in the Maimonides dream lab. The receiver would talk with the experimenter and the other investigators taking part in the testing sessions.

     The receiver slept in a soundproof, electromagnetically shielded room to ensure that the participants weren’t responding to any ordinary signals. The experimenter attached electrodes to the receiver’s head to monitor brainwaves and eye movements which were monitored throughout the night by a technician in a room next to the lab who notified the experimenter when rapid eye movement (REM), an indication that the receiver was dreaming, was observed.

     The sender in the experiment received a sealed envelope containing a picture that was randomly selected from a pool of 8 to 12 pictures. After receiving it, the sender went to a remote site where he or she would open the envelope.

The only signal between the experimenter and the sender was a buzzer tone or a series of planned telephone rings that were used to alert the sender to start sending mental images of the picture to the dreamer/receiver when REM was in progress. When the receiver stopped dreaming the sender would get another signal to stop sending.

After each dream the technician would awake the dreamer and ask for a description of the dream which would be audio taped. The dreamer would then go back to sleep and the process would be repeated throughout the night.

     The dreamer’s impressions on the audio transcript from each dream session were evaluated by one or more independent judges and compared to the 8 to 12 pictures in the pool.

The judges, who did not know which target picture was sent, were then asked to rank the pictures according to how well each picture matched the audio transcript of the receiver’s dream. If the judge ranked the target picture in the top half of the pool, from a ranking of one through four, this was considered a hit, otherwise it was a miss.

     In 2003, British psychologists Simon Sherwood and Chris Roe from the University College Northampton, England reviewed all 379 of the Maimonides dream psi sessions conducted over the seven year period plus all of the at-home dream studies done since that time and found that there were 47 experiments that produced a total of 1,270 trials.

The overall hit rate was 59.1% with odds against chance of 22 billion to 1. It was found that the psi dream studies were carefully designed to avoid all known flaws, and the overall assessment was not affected by the “file drawer effect,” i.e., unpublished reports.

     Psi and the Ganzfeld. Ganzfeld is a German word meaning “whole field.” In a ganzfeld psi experiment, the experimenter places halved Ping-Pong balls over the eyes of the participant as they relax in a comfortable reclining chair. The participant also wears headphones that play pink noise. The experimenter shines a red light on the participants face and asks the individual to keep their eyes open so they can see the soft red glow of the light at all times.

Soon the participant can’t discern whether their eyes are open or shut and this, combined with the pink noise produces a ganzfeld condition that has been described as a pleasant, dreamy state of awareness.

While in this state the participant is asked to speak aloud about whatever comes to mind while another person (the sender) located at a distance tries to mentally send a target/image to the participant. The participant’s conversation is recorded and later independent judges compare the target/image with the recorded conversation.

     Over the years, the ganzfeld tests have generated so much debate and scrutiny among scientists that the modern ganzfeld experiment is as close to the perfect psi experiment that anyone knows how to conduct. In 1994, psychologists Daryl Bem from Cornell University and Charles Honorton from the University of Edinburgh published a meta-analysis of ganzfeld studies that provided strong evidence for a genuine psi effect with overall odds against chance of 48 billion to 1.

     The Sense of Being Stared At. Telepathy and clairvoyance are two of the innumerable ways that psi can manifest. Another way is the “sense of being stared at.” In olden days this was associated with the “evil eye” which was a belief that if you paid too much attention to an object or an individual it would spark desire that in turn would lead to envy, jealousy, and in general, evil.

     Experiments have investigated this phenomenon for almost a century. Typically, in this study one person stares at another person. They sit a few yards from each other with the receiver’s back turned to the sender. The sender flips a coin to determine if he should stare or not stare at the back of the receiver’s head during the trial.

If the assignment is to stare, the sender stares intensely at the back of the receiver’s head for 10 seconds. When the 10 seconds is up for both assignments (stare or not stare), a clicking tone alerts the receiver that the trial has ended and a response is made as to whether the person felt they were being stared at or not.

     An analysis of 60 published studies of this phenomenon involving 33,357 trials produced an overall success rate of 54.5% with odds against chance at a staggering 202 octodecillion (2 x 10 to the 59th power) to 1.

     The studies discussed so far involved experimental designs with a hit or miss approach because that kind of a test makes it easier to ask the question “does psi exist?” These studies show that there are far more hits than can be expected by chance.

But these types of tests also give the illusion that psi-type information is weak and highly variable so some researchers are beginning to look more closely at the actual content of dreams and the ganzfeld transcripts to learn why and when certain information transfers from the sender to the receiver.

Chapter 7 - Unconscious Psi

     The next class of studies looks at experiments that study unconscious psi effects in the human body. These are studies that involve three aspects of the nervous system, the part that regulates the automatic functions of the body like the heart beat and sweating (the autonomic nervous system(ANS)), the part involved in conscious movements and thought (the central nervous system (CNS)), and the part involved in digestion and elimination (the enteric nervous system (ENS)).

     Psi in the ANS. The first class of studies in this area is called a “direct mental interaction with living systems or DMILS study. In this type of test a receiver relaxes in a solid steel, double-walled chamber that shields against electromagnetic signals and acoustic noise to ensure that no ordinary forces or signals can reach the receiver after the door is closed.

The receiver is wired up to a monitor that measures changes in sweat gland activity. The autonomic nervous system (ANS) controls sweat gland activity and measuring changes in its activity is a way of measuring changes in the receiver’s emotional state. The receiver’s task is to stay awake and try to maintain a mental connection with the sender who is in a different location.

     In a different location the sender is also in a soundproofed room and is asked to sit in front of a video monitor and follow the instructions that come on the screen. A coin toss determines if the sender sends messages to the receiver to calm her or sends messages that will activate her.

     At the end of the session, the investigator takes the 30-minute record of the receiver’s skin conductance data and separates it into those periods when the sender sent calming thoughts towards the receiver and those periods when the sender sent thoughts to activate the receiver.

If the periods when calming thoughts were sent shows lower skin conductance activity and vice versa for activating thoughts and this persisted over the course of many test session, then the experiment would demonstrate that an unconscious psi connection existed between the receiver and the sender.

     A variation of the DMILS experiment is known as a study in “remote staring.” This is a variation on the sense-of-being-stared-at experiment with rigorous controls. In this experiment the sender sees the receiver on a live video image on a closed-circuit TV monitor.

When the sender sees the image he stares intently at it and relaxes when the screen goes blank. Instead of asking the receiver if they think they were being stared at, a skin conductance test is used to judge reaction to the distant stares.

     In 2004, psychologist Stefan Schmidt and his colleagues from the University of Freiburg Hospital, Germany published a meta-analysis of these two classes of studies. The analysis included forty DMILS studies reporting 1,055 individual sessions conducted between 1977 and 2000. The results were significant with odds against chance of 1,000 to 1.

     Schmidt’s team found 15 experiments describing 379 remote-staring studies conducted between 1989 and 1998. The meta-analysis found a significant effect with odds against chance of 100 to 1 with no selective reporting, and no relationship between study quality and the outcome.

     Psi in the CNS. Schmidt’s meta-analysis found that thinking about another person at a distance influences their autonomic nervous system and researchers were interested in finding out if these types of experiments would also cause changes in the brain.

     This test involves two people being hooked up to an electroencephalograph. They are at distant locations and the test involves flashing a light to cause one of the brains to jump electrically in a predictable way and then checking to see if the other, distant brain also reacts at the same time.

Experiments investigating EEG correlations in separated pairs of people were first conducted in the 1960s by Charles Tart at the University of California, Davis. The second test involved identical twins and the results were published in the scientific journal Science. The two articles generated several replications from various groups around the world. All of which were positive.

Since then there have been many successful replications. One of the most interesting was an experiment that involved screening 30 pairs of people to find one couple that could reliably produce an EEG correlation.

Once they found such a couple, one person acting as the receiver was placed in an fMRI scanner and the other in a distant room. The results showed a highly significant increase in brain activity in the receiving person’s visual cortex while the distant partner was viewing a flickering light.

     This test revealed a significant correlation between the two brains and also showed the precise location in the brain associated with this connection. In 2004, three independent replications of this test were successful.

     Experiments indicate that psi can be detected unconsciously in both the autonomic and the central nervous system.

Chapter 8 - Gut Feelings.

     Intuitive hunches – knowing without knowing how you know – and gut feelings are due to factors such as forgotten expertise, subliminal cues, and unconscious inferences.

To test the hypothesis that gut feelings might carry psi information, the author and his colleagues ran an experiment similar to the EEG correlation studies but an EGG (electrogastrogram) instead of an EEG was used to measure the electrophysiology of the gut.

Because the gut is a part of the nervous system that has a close relationship to the emotions, the idea was to see if gut feelings could detect emotions at-a distance.

     In this study, a sender sat in front of two video monitors with headphones. The receiver’s live video image was displayed for two minutes on the video monitor at random times while the other monitor showed a sequence of emotional or neutral pictures as emotionally appropriate music played over the headphones.

After two minutes the image would disappear, both monitors would fade to black and the music would stop. There was a 30-second rest period between trials.

     Pictures such as smiling babies, kittens, and appetizing food and upbeat songs like the Beatles, “Twist and Shout” were used to evoke positive emotions and pictures.

A picture of an atomic bomb blast accompanied by an angry-sounding song was played to evoke a negative emotion and a picture of a graveyard and unhappy people accompanied by a sad song was used to evoke a sad emotion.

An emotionally neutral condition was evoked by a series of gray rectangles with varying hues accompanied by pink noise.

     The sender was instructed to periodically gaze at the image of the receiver and mentally send the emotions evoked by the slide show and music.

If gut feelings were involved in psi perception the EGG measures were expected to become more active during emotional conditions as compared to the neutral conditions.

     The results of running 26 couples through this experiment resulted in EGG responses that were significantly larger when the sender was experiencing either positive or sad emotions then when the sender was experiencing neutral emotions.

The odds against chance were 167 to 1 and 1,100 to 1 respectively. This experiment suggests that sometimes gut feelings respond to the emotional states of people in a distant location which implies that some decisions may be influenced by psi.

In these experiments the receiver perceived information sent mentally on both a conscious and an unconscious level but it doesn’t explain how this connection works.

Chapter 9 - Mind-Matter Interaction

     In the experiments discussed up until this point, tests were performed to consider the question of whether information can flow from the environment into the mind. These next experiments reverse that flow and test for whether information flowing from the mind can affect the environment, i.e., mind-matter interactions.

     Psi research seems to support the idea that psi is a type of distant influence but another explanation is that the person acting as the receiver in the psi experiments could perceive the intentions or actions of the person acting as the sender.

One way to see if that is true is to set up experiments with nonliving objects such as dice and random number generators to see if they can be influenced by the mind.

     Psi and Dice. Since 1935 there have been 148 published reports of dice-tossing experiments done by 52 investigators to test for psychokinesis (PK) which is the effect of mind over matter.

In these tests the die face is chosen in advance and then one or more dice are tossed while a person wishes for the chosen die face to come up. If it does, it’s a hit; if it doesn’t it’s a miss. In spite of all of the testing done over the last fifty years, there is no clear consensus to support a PK effect.

     In 1989, psychologist Diane Ferrari and the author performed a meta-analysis in order to assess the combined PK effects in dice experiments published in English-language journals from the 1930s to 1989.

There were 73 relevant publication published between 1935 and 1987 by 52 different investigators. The total number of dice tossed per study was between 60 to 240,000 and the number of dice tossed in one throw ranged from 1 to 96.

     The analysis showed that the odds that the dice studies were due to chance alone were 10 to the 96th power to 1. Further analysis to see if there was a selective reporting problem and the odds against chance was still a staggering 10 to the 76th power to 1.

It was also noted that researchers took note of criticisms over the fifty year period and improved the design of the experiments but this did not significantly lower the outcome of the experiments. The evidence overwhelmingly suggests that the mind influences the fall of tossed dice.

     Psi and Random Number Generators. A random number generator (RNG) is an electronic device that generates sequences of random bits, 0s and 1s. It can be thought of as a coin-flipping machine that generates thousands of completely random coin-flips per second. RNG experiments are another type of experiment for testing for mind-matter interaction.

     In 1997, engineer Robert Jahn and his colleagues at the PEAR Lab, published a review of 12 years of experiments involving over 100 volunteers who attempted to mentally influence random number generators (RNGs).

Jahn and his team found that when wishing for high scores (the high aim condition) the RNG outputs drifted up and when wishing for low scores (the low aim condition) the RNG outputs drifted down.

The analysis of all of the RNG studies estimated that the magnitude of the PK effect was approximately equal to 1 bit out of 10,000 being shifted away from chance expectation. Over the entire database this resulted in odds against chance of 35 trillion to 1.

     Tossing the dice and RNG experiments seem to indicate that the mind can influence matter but researchers are cautious because there may be another explanation for the PK effect.

Chapter 10 - Presentiment

     Presentiment is a sense of foreboding, a vague feeling of danger; an intuitive hunch that something is not right is about to take place. Presentiment seems to be an experience that perceives the future. Research in this area involved “forced-choice” precognition experiments.

In these tests, a person is asked to guess which one of a fixed number of possible targets will be randomly selected later. Targets could be colored lamps, ESP card symbols, or the face of a tossed die. If the guess matches the selected target it is a hit.

     In 1989, Diane Ferrari and Charles Honorton published a meta-analysis test that included all of the precognition experiments conducted between 1935 and 1987. They found 309 studies reported in 113 articles that were contributed by 62 different investigators.

This database consisted of almost 2 million individual trials by over 50,000 subjects. The results of the meta-analysis produced odds against chance of 10 to the 25th power to one.

     The forced-choice tests generated interesting results but most guessing tests tend to produce very small effects that decline over time because the people involved in the testing have a tendency to get bored after awhile. Because of this, researchers have started to explore unconscious forms of precognition.

     Psi as Presentiment. The idea of presentiment assumes that we are always unconsciously scanning our future and preparing to respond to it. The presentiment experiments suggest that we can unconsciously perceive our future.

The results of these studies are relatively small in magnitude but they appear in a wide range of people that were tested and the results are also consistent across many different types of tasks, measurements, and personality types. They also indicate that our understanding of time is seriously incomplete.

     Psi research to date suggests that we have the capacity to perceive distant information and to influence distant events across space and time. It also challenges the assumption that we are isolated creatures, separated in space and time.

It implies that our intentions may not be limited only to our own minds and bodies but intention and attention may be “spread out” in space-time. If this is so, is it possible that individual intentions at times coalesce into group intentions?

Chapter 11 – Gaia’s Dreams

     Given the results of experimental psi research, it seems safe to conclude that psi is real and researchers are now more interested in conducting experiments to prove how psi works. One theory is that in the same way that networks of neurons combine to form our brains, maybe psi forms an interconnective web of brain/minds that result in a collective mind.

One way to test this idea is by using RNGs. As shown in previous experiments, mind-matter interactions can be detected in the behavior of RNGs. RNGs can be programmed to automatically run quietly in the background as passive “observers” of collective mind-matter interactions. In the mid-1990s Princeton psychologist Roger Nelson initiated this type of research, called “field consciousness” experiments.

     This is how this type of experiment works using an RNG. RNGs generate pure randomness known as entropy and fluctuations in entropy can be detected using simple statistical procedures. If entropy decreases when a RNG is placed near groups engaged in high focused attention such as during a group meditation or an engaging spiritual ritual, it can be inferred that when one side of the mind-matter relationship changes by becoming highly ordered, the other side of the equation should show unusual forms of order as well.

     More than a hundred field-consciousness experiments have been reported by groups in the United States, Europe, and Japan between the mid-1990s and 2005. Some of these experiments were conducted at Native American rituals, popular festivals in Japan, theatrical performances, scientific conferences, psychotherapy sessions, sports competitions, and during live television broadcasts. The studies strongly suggest that coherent group activity is associated with unusual moments of order in RNG outputs.

     Overall, the field consciousness experiments suggest that the small mind-matter interaction effects observed in the laboratory also appear in the uncontrolled context of everyday life.

Chapter 12 - A New Reality

     The existence of a few basic psi effects is sufficiently well established to convince most scientists that something interesting is going on. This doesn’t mean that everything paranormal is true. The next step is to understand psi experience and it’s possible that quantum physics may offer some clues.

     Classical physics made five basic assumptions about the fabric of reality: reality, locality, causality, continuity, and determinism. It was taken for granted that these assumptions took place in time and space and that the mathematical descriptions of physical processes corresponded to the actual behavior of objective events.

     The assumption of reality refers to the idea that the physical world is objectively real. That it exists independently regardless of whether anyone is observing it. Locality refers to the idea that the only way that objects can be influenced is through direct contact. Unmediated action at a distance is prohibited.

     Causality assumes that time moves in one direction and that cause and effect sequences are fixed. Continuity assumes that there are no discontinuous jumps in nature or that the fabric of space and time is “smooth.” Determinism means that things progress in an orderly, predictable way.

     Classical physics are still used today to explain large segments of the observable world and it still works for most objects at the human scale.

     Many of the unsolved mysteries of quantum theory have to do with the concepts of superposition, complementarity, uncertainty, the measurement problem, and entanglement.

All of these concepts are different ways of pointing out that when a quantum object is unobserved, it does not have a definite location in time or space and it also doesn’t have definite properties.

This tells us that the fundamental properties of the world are not determined before they are observed. The concept of nonlocality has now replaced the classical physics assumption of locality.

     Common sense tells us that ordinary objects are separate but the fact that quantum objects can become entangled means that this is incorrect. In unobserved states, quantum objects are connected instantaneously through space and time. We now know that time is an illusion and that when events seem to happen depends on the perspective of the observer.

     The new reality has also had to abandon the assumption of continuity because the fabric of quantum reality is discontinuous and space and time are neither smooth nor contiguous.

And finally, absolute determinism has been fatally challenged because it relies on the assumptions of causality, reality, and certainty, none of which exist in absolute terms anymore.

     Dissolution of the classical assumptions has also challenged the mechanistic approach to how science understands the world. This approach assumes that there are separate objects that interact in determined, causal ways. However, because quantum reality is holistic, studying its individual pieces will yield an incomplete picture.

     There are only a few physicists today that believe that quantum theory provides an accurate description of the observable world. To date, there is not even widespread agreement over the interpretation of quantum theory. Quantum theory is “preposterously” precise yet there is not widespread agreement as to what it means. Here are some of the theories proposed to explain quantum theory.

     Copenhagen Interpretation. Niels Bohr of the Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University of Copenhagen advanced one of the leading interpretations of quantum theory. Known as the Copenhagen interpretation, this theory says that ultimately quantum theory tells us what we can know about reality rather than about reality itself.

Bohr’s approach introduced a major change over classical physical assumptions in that now it was no longer possible to assume that we, the experimenters and observers of physics experiments, were separate from the experiments themselves.

     Many Worlds Theory. The many worlds interpretation was proposed by physicist Hugh Everett. This theory suggests that when a quantum measurement is performed, every possible outcome actually manifests.

This scenario doesn’t have to deal with the role of the observer and in the process of a quantum possibility manifesting into an actuality, the universe splits into two, or as many versions of itself as it needs to accommodate all possible measurement outcomes.

Many physicists don’t like this interpretation because it violates the principle of parsimony, the preference in science for the simplest possible explanation.

     Quantum Logic. The quantum logic interpretation proposes that we don’t understand the implications of quantum theory because previous assumptions about logic no longer hold when dealing with complementary systems. Common sense says that a photon is either a wave or a particle but not both and a number is either 0 or 1 but not both at the same time. However, experiments show that this is not so.

     Consciousness Creates Reality. Another interpretation proposes that the act of observation literally creates physical reality. In its strong form, this interpretation asserts that consciousness is the fundamental ground state, more primary than matter or energy. This position provides a special role for observation by becoming the active agent that collapses quantum possibilities into actualities.

     Decoherence. The decoherence interpretation rests upon the Copenhagen interpretation but delves deeper into the question of what happens at the boundary between the observed and unobserved.

It assumes that when a quantum object interacts with the environment, those interactions act as “observations” and as such, rapidly smooth out (decohere) the quantum discreteness and “collapse” it into classical-looking behavior. However, this theory does not cleanly resolve the measurement problem.

     Neorealism. Einstein favored the neorealism interpretation which proposes that reality consists of objects familiar to classical physics, and that the strangeness of quantum theory can be accounted for by our ignorance of hidden variables.

Once those additional factors are discovered, it is assumed that the quantum weirdness will be completely understood, and then local realism and common sense will once again reign supreme. Einstein’s 1935 “EPR paper,” entitled “Can quantum mechanical description of physical reality be considered complete,” provided an argument against the nonlocal, nonrealistic view suggested by quantum theory.”

Einstein protested: “I cannot seriously believe in [the quantum theory] because it cannot be reconciled with the idea that physics should represent a reality in time and space, free from spooky actions at a distance.”

     For decades, the argument over possible hidden variables that might reestablish ordinary reality revolved primarily around one’s philosophical preferences. But in 1964, Irish physicist John Bell mathematically proved that no local hidden variables theory could be compatible with quantum theory. “Bell’s theorem,” has subsequently been described as “the most profound discovery in science.”

     In 1964 the debate swung strongly in favor of quantum theory through Bell’s theorem, and that led to a series of increasingly persuasive experimental tests starting in 1972.

     In 1909, William James wrote in an article stating that psi was remarkably baffling but he was convinced of the existence of real “supernormal knowledge.” After decades of research and experiments, investigators are also convinced that psi exists but they are no closer to understanding how it works.

     Quantum theory and a vast body of supporting experiments tell us that something unaccounted for is connecting otherwise isolated objects. Psi experiences and experiments also tell us this.

The parallels are striking and the author suggests that psi is literally “the human experience of quantum interconnectedness.” Quantum theory also suggests that psi may be the “human experience of the entangled universe.”

     Experiments have demonstrated that the worldview implied by classical physics is wrong. Not just slightly incorrect but fundamentally wrong in ways that would support the reality of psi.

Chapter 13 - Theories of Psi

     There are three main problems that stand in the way of developing a theory for psi.

1. Information has to reach across space and time in ways that defy common sense.
2. This information must arrive in your mind without the use of the ordinary senses, and it must be able to interact with objects at a distance.
3. Information must reach conscious awareness often enough for people to report it.

     All three problems are closely related to our concept of what physical reality is. Concepts about the relationships among matter, mind, and psi have evolved in the following four periods.

1. The Age of Magic. Reality was thought to exist in cycles. This was based on the rhythms of the stars, the sun, seasons, days, and the lifecycles of all living creature. The nature of reality was up to the gods and animate spirits caused things to happen at a distance.

The concept of mind was associated with the soul which was a spark of divine presence within each of us. Psi phenomena were imagined to be a natural form of communication between soul and spirits.

2. During the Age of Industry, physical reality was imagined to be mechanical and concepts like matter, space, time, and energy were thought to be fixed, absolute, and fundamentally different substances. Reality existed independent of observers and there was no such thing as action at a distance.

The concept of mind was an illusion created by the clockwork mechanisms of the brain. Because the mind was an illusion and there was no such thing as action at a distance, psi phenomena was not possible.

3. The Modern/Classical Age. Concepts like space, time, energy, and matter are imagined to be relative, complementary, and dependent in some ill-defined way on observation. Actions at a distance are now known to be possible and must be incorporated within our present understanding of physical reality.

The mind is imagined to be an interplay between the complex physical structure of the brain and the mind as an emergent process. Psi is no longer impossible.

4. The Integral Age. This could be the next period and the scientific worldview could revolve around holistic concepts. The Earth can be imagined as a thinking organism.

Physical concepts are viewed as complementary and actively participatory. Mind is still viewed as a dynamic interplay between brain and mind but mind is imagined to be the primary driver of the process.

     In the Age of Magic, psi was taken for granted and then denied in the Age of Industry and then allowed to exist again in the Modern/Classical Age. Theories of psi paralleled the views of each era. In the Age of Magic, theories of psi were based on occult lore – concepts such as astral and mental bodies, elemental and divine spirits, and various forms of “lifeforce” were the prevailing ways that people imagined psi to be mediated.

As supernatural magic evolved into natural magic, and alchemy and astrology evolved into chemistry and astronomy, concepts of psi began to evolve beyond stories based on invisible spirits. Most scientifically minded researchers regard occult lore only as metaphors (i.e., using occult terms like “astral body” when referring to psi).

     In the Modern/Classical Age, theories of psi followed advances in physics, thus ideas involving fields (as in “mind fields”) and signal passing became popular.

     A theory describes an observed effect and can range anywhere from the explanatory precision of a mathematical equation to a metaphor or a myth. Psi theories include this full range of possible descriptions.

Seven categories of psi theories can be formed – skeptical, signal-transfer, goal-oriented, field, collective-mind, multidimensional space/time, and quantum-mechanical theories. These categories then fall into two types: those offered to account for psi effects in general and models attempting to account for specific effects in certain types of experiments.

Here are five possible theories of psi.

Theory 1 – Observational Theory

     The premise of observational theory is that the outcome of an event with a quantum mechanically uncertain outcome will be influenced by the act of observation by a motivated observer. A motivated observer is considered to be a person with either a conscious or unconscious desire for a particular outcome.

     Many researchers have made contributions to this theory but the first was Evan Harris Walker in the early 1970s. He proposed that the essential connection between the observer and the observed random event could be represented by the hidden variables they have in common.

     In 1975, Helmut Schmidt devised a mathematical model of psi using the premise that random event outcomes become biased by being observed by the subject during an experiment. Both Walker and Schmidt’s theories explain how the quantum mechanical process is influenced by an observer.

     Some phenomena such as precognition and retroactive psychokinesis represent what is called “backward causation.” These phenomena can be understood in the context that random events that go unobserved remain in a state of “indefinite reality.” In other words, the outcome is in a kind of a suspended state until an observation is made.

After the observation is made a definite outcome falls in place. Experiments have confirmed that the act of observation retroactively influences quantum events. Retro psychokinesis experiments and the delayed choice experiments discussed earlier both predict and confirm that the act of observation retroactively influences the outcome of a quantum event.

Quantum mechanics imply that an observer’s thoughts can directly affect an objective apparatus such as dice or a random number generator. The paradoxes of quantum mechanics may be able to explain, psi phenomena.

Theory 2 – Model of Pragmatic Information

     Quantum theory can make accurate predictions of any system (living or nonliving) regardless of its size. Physicist and psychologist Walter von Lucadou proposed this model and made the assumption that the structure of any system (how it is constructed or its form) and the function of the system (how it behaves) are complementary.

In other words, it is impossible to untangle the structure and the function of a system – they are inextricably entangled. The structure and function of the system can’t be precisely measured because the relationship between them is uncertain because of the entanglement of the structure and function.

This model proposes that psi effects arise in nonlocal correlations that derive from the relationship between the entangled structure and function.

Theory 3 – Weak-Quantum Theory

     Psychologist Harald Walach, physicists Harald Atmanspacher, and Hartmann Romer have proposed that this theory can explain a psychotherapy phenomenon called “transference.” Transference occurs when a patient projects their problems on the therapist.

Countertransference can occur when the therapist experiences inner states like emotions, idea, thoughts, etc., that are transferred from the patient and reflect the inner state of the patient rather than the therapist. Atmansacher and his colleagues feel that quantum mechanic concepts such as complementarity and entanglement may have answers to how psi and consciousness work.

Theory 4 – Bohm’s Implicate/Explicate Order

     Physicist David Bohm and neuroscientist Karl Pribram working independently, came up with the ideas of a holographic universe and a holographic brain. Bohm has defined the world of manifest appearances as the “explicate order” and the hidden (nonlocal) reality underlying the manifest world as the “implicate order,” where everything is enfolded or entangled with everything else.

He sees the universe as a “holomovement” which he likens to a hologram – a three-dimensional photograph in which each part of the picture contains the entire picture. Pribram developed the holographic or holonomic model of the brain.

     Pribram independently proposed that a quantum holographic reality could be applied to the processes of the human brain. Bohm and Pribram’s ideas were made popular in a book authored by Michael Talbot – The Holographic Universe, where Talbot proposed that the two ideas could explain a vast range of paranormal and psychic experiences.

Theory 5 – Stapp-von Neumann

     Physicist Henry Stapp took Hungarian mathematician John van Neumann’s assumption that quantum theory is not telling us about “Reality” but about the observer’s knowledge of reality, a step further by saying that because quantum measurement includes the observer and that observer’s knowledge, the mind must be entangled with quantum reality.

The Stapp-von Neumann approach puts the mind back into the quantum-measurement process as a self-observing quantum object. Although this approach has not been proposed as a psi theory, it suggests that the mind/brain could be a self-observing quantum object.

As a quantum object, this means that the mind/brain resides within an entangled, nonlocal medium which is compatible with what we know about psi.

Entangled Minds

     According to science historian Robert Nadeau and physicist Menas Kafatos, every particle in the universe has interacted with all of the other particles in the universe from the big bang to the present.

These particles are entangled and could be a vast web of particles that remain in contact with each other over any distance in “no time” when there is no transfer of energy or information. This suggests, everything is a single quantum system that responds in a unified way to any further interactions.

     Nadeau, Kafatos, Stapp, and others believe that quantum reality plays a role in understanding phenomena like human experience. They believe there is a quantum mind/body connection and that human experience is a part of quantum reality.

     Another theory for understanding psi is proposed by the author. This theory assumes that at a level deeper than the ordinary senses can grasp, the brain/mind is in communication with the universe. We might picture the mind/brain embedded in a large bowl of clear jello in which every movement, event, and thought is experienced throughout the whole bowl.

Imagine that this jello is a special kind of medium that is not limited by space or time. Because of the nonlocal quality of the jello, we are able to get glimpses of information about other people’s minds, about distant objects, or about the past or future.

This information is received because on some level, we are already coexistent with other people’s minds, distant objects, and the past and future. We navigate through this medium with our attention and our intention and from this perspective, psychic experiences can be seen as glimpses of the entangled fabric of reality.

     One argument against this understanding of psi is that psi seems to involve an information transfer like a signal passing. However, joint tasks that require classical signals can take place without any information transfer. This suggests that perhaps psi doesn’t require an information transfer but is correlated like entanglement which means that separated systems are correlated.

     If the assumption is made that the mind/brain behaves as a quantum object and that it is sensitive to the dynamic state of the entire universe and there are a vast number of events that we could potentially cause us to react. We will ignore most of these events and regard them as background noise.

For the most part, we (the mind/brain) select only a few interesting events such as where our body is and perhaps a few other locations or events within the universe at any given time. A part of the unconscious mind pays attention to our selections at all time.

We become aware of items of interest because of the unconscious mind’s scanning ability. Even though the brain is entangled and influenced by the rest of the universe, what is going on in our immediate environment is stronger and more immediate so that is what draws our attention.

     An example of the unconscious mind’s scanning ability and how psi may work can be seen in an experience that has been reported for thousands of years and that is when one person feels that someone they love is in danger.

This may be felt as a gut feeling, a vague feeling that something is going to happen, your imagination might be activated and provide a fleeting glimpse of the loved one, or you might receive a true sense of what is actually happening. Your memory and imagination are activated and produce a vision.

If your experience is later verified, it does not necessarily mean that an information transfer took place but that we are always connected within a holistic medium. There are no separate parts.

Chapter 14 - Next

     Some people are already looking towards the possibility of psi application in various technologies in the not too distant future. The author believes that we may see psi at the core of exotic forms of communication and prediction technologies. There’s already evidence that psi effects can be amplified through the use of statistical error-correction techniques.

These applications will probably not become part of the world of consumer electronics in the short run, except perhaps in the form of simple toys or games. We’re likely to see an increasing number of techniques and training programs developed for augmenting intuition, as well as methods for detecting intention at a distance.

And we’ll almost certainly see growing interest in “collective psi,” effects that become noticeable in the behavior and decisions of groups rather than individuals.

As the field consciousness experiments, Global Consciousness Project, and online psi tests are beginning to show, there’s much to be learned from observing our collective intentions and intuitions. These effects may lead to whole new classes of “social psi” applications.

     The author believes that someday psi research will be taught in universities with the same aplomb as today’s elementary economics and biology. It will no longer be considered controversial, but just another facet of Nature one learns as part of a well-rounded education.

He predicts that in the future no one will remember that psi was once considered the far fringe of science and new controversies that haven’t even been imagined will take the place of the psi controversy.

     History shows that as the scientific frontiers continue to expand, the supernatural evolves into paranormal, and then into normal. During the transitional periods there is much gnashing of teeth. But with determination and courage, progress is relentless.

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