12. Mystical/Spiritual Stuff.
by, 27-08-09 at 22:19 (235 Views)
With regard to seeing things when you are half asleep, that is normal. It is called a meditative state which, with a bit of practice, one can induce at will - as do most mediums. It’s the state between waking and sleeping when the conscious mind has closed down and the unconscious is set free. Day-dreaming is a meditative state. An hypnotic state is very similar, except then two living minds are able to inter-connect.
I went to a trance medium (out of curiosity) in the late 1950s and was so impressed with the information she produced, most of which was unknown to me at the time, but which I verified later, that I got quite involved for a period of about 5 years. I traveled about studying mediums and concluded that about 95% of them were either deluded or frauds. But the few I could not fault.
I joined a development circle of the one I considered the most impressive, Kathleen St George of Sutherland Avenue, Maida Vale in London, and found to my delight that I too had the makings of a medium. Men, very often, are too rational and blinkered to open their minds so are in a minority.
I found the technique was to empty the mind of conscious thought, usually by concentrating on an image in the mind. I usually imagined a candle flame and concentrated on it, observing it in minute detail. Everything except the flame became a grey fog. Then I noticed that pictures and little scenes began to float into the fog, from the sides. On checking these images with the rest of the circle (usually 6 persons plus the medium) it became apparent that I was "seeing" events in the lives of other people in the circle, usually those nearest to me or perhaps one person with very powerful emotions.
Extra-sensory perception (ESP) is perception or knowledge of something that is achieved without using any of the normal sense organs, i.e. perceiving direct by the mind. In clairvoyance that means perceiving something, an object, entity or event. In telepathy it means another person's thoughts or intentions. When clairvoyance or telepathy concerns something in the future it constitutes pre-cognition. The main question is does ESP exist? Anecdotal instances are open to the criticism of biased selection. E.g. premonitions of a disaster or happening are remembered when that incident occurs but are forgotten when it doesn't.
Some experiments have seemed to validate ESP but others have been dismissed as a failure to eliminate small but helpful clues of which neither the experimenter nor the subject may consciously be aware, or trickery. At best, ESP is not reproducible at will therefore is not acceptable for scientific experiment. Science is adamant that to be acceptable, an experiment must be repeatable over and over and thoroughly tested for flaws. Furthermore most scientists have steadfastly set their faces face against consciousness or mind being separate from brain function as such an admission would upset the whole scientific applecart and the laws of physics, as generally accepted, would have to be re-thought.
It is held in science that a negative hypothesis can never be proved conclusively true; yet ESP is a negative hypothesis since it can be proved true only if all possible alternative assumptions are disproved. Thus the concept of ESP posed both practical and logical difficulties for scientific study - until now.
At Princeton University's Engineering faculty, highly trained scientists are convinced that if they concentrate really hard, their thoughts can alter reality. In a series of experiments, a computer was hooked up to an ordinary drum (orchestral variety). The drum was banged by the computer at a steady rate. Concentrating minds on the computer, willing the drum to beat louder, produced additional volume and differing rhythms. The team leader said "When people look at the computer with intense intent and concentration, they can produce bizarre, unexpected and inexplicable events". Testing the theory at Princeton's Engineering Anomalies Research (PEAR) laboratories it was published "over tens of millions of trials we have a very strong case that peoples' intentions can have a small but persistent effect on results". Tests were made not only on computers but with coins (heads or tails) and with dice etc.
The Anomalies Research Programme was established in 1979 by Prof. Robert Jahn, Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science (formerly a rocket scientist) to pursue rigorous study of the interaction of human consciousness with sensitive physical devices, systems and processes common to contemporary engineering practice. Since that time an interdisciplinary staff of engineers. physicists, psychologists and humanists have been conducting a comprehensive agenda of experiments and theoretical models to enable a better understanding of the role of consciousness (mind) in the establishment of physical reality.
The early research of the experimental unit of the Princeton group focused on attempts to refine “remote viewing” techniques and to permit the transition of information in terms of binary (in twos or pairs) choices regardless of the details of the scene. They asked: can the recipient identify whether it is light or dark, wet or dry, cold or hot, inside or outside or basically man-made or natural. They reasoned that if questions could be found which could be answered routinely with reasonable accuracy, it would be possible to transmit telepathically quite a bit of information in this way.
Setting up the laboratory was not easy as Jahn and Dunne , with Bradish an engineer, Nelson a psychologist and Dobyns, a theoretical physicist with John Bisaha of Chicago University (who with Dunne had been studying “distant intentionality” or “remote viewing” experiments) met a great deal of initial skepticism and resistance from University authorities . Jahn, who had reached the top of his field in aerospace engineering, now became suspect for even daring to think about such topics as psycho kinesis and remote perception, let alone setting up a lab to study these topics. In his capacity as Dean of the School of Engineering, Jahn was, however, able to remodel part of the School’s basement into a laboratory with help of private funding, furnish it and set up the sophisticated equipment needed for experiments. Later he was successful in obtaining major grants from independent grant-aiding foundations although his activities in the realm of the paranormal so upset his peers at Princeton that he was demoted to Emeritus Professor.
In 1983 Prof. Jahn and others of the group published “Precognitive Remote Perception”, a technical report evaluating 227 formal precognitive remote perception trials. Results of this impressive body of data indicated that their efforts were highly significant. The PEAR document concluded that “precognitive remote perception techniques can acquire significant amounts of compounded information about spatially and temporary remote target locations, by means currently inexplicable by known physical mechanisms”
I have just been reading some stuff from the J.B.Rhine Foundation that was intended for physicists - and left my head spinning. It’s nice to know, though, that the egg-heads are giving the subject their attention. Pity is that they all (there are studies going on all over the world) play their cards very close to their chests and don't let anything out until they publish their finding. Guess they don't trust each other not to poach, or else they are scared of being ridiculed if they cannot come up with cast-iron evidence. It’s a dog eat dog environment
In a recent edition of New Scientist, a magazine devoted to the latest in science, in a theme considering research into the likes of drugs and ESP. I quote: “In no other area of scientific endeavour would it be deemed acceptable to consistently reject data that finds in favour of a certain hypothesis and instead look for flaws in that data”. If a series of experiments were somehow to conclusively establish the existence of ESP this would entail the revision of so many laws of physics as to undermine our ability to use concepts like verification and falsification consistently so it is not surprising that scientists offer more resistance to para-psychological findings than findings in other areas.
There is a long history of ESP but it is impossible to collect and study all the anecdotal evidence as ESP is not reproducible under conditions of scientific experiment. However, perhaps 4 out of 5 people have had the experience of absent-mindedly gazing at a stranger, even over a considerable distance, maybe at the back of his/her head, when that person has suddenly become aware of the scrutiny and turned with no hesitation whatsoever to make immediate eye-contact.