Archive for the 'Consciousness' Category

Jan 20 2014

Arguing from Weakness

A recent discussion on Facebook about the second Hobbit movie, to me, illustrates a fundamental flaw in the logic of those who would argue that the “holistic” lifestyle is inherently superior to the Big Bad Newtonian-Cartesian-Dualistic-Masculine Paradigm.

A woman in the comment thread had this to say about the movie:

I might have enjoyed the movie more if it didn’t feel like an onslaught to my etheric body…I had to walk out a few times – too big a screen for so much evil make-up and violence. I might thoroughly enjoy it on my home flat screen thou [sic] – it’s smaller.

An assault on your etheric body. Really?

This provoked the next logical question from me:

Shouldn’t one’s etheric body be strong enough to handle something as mundane as a movie?

I’m troubled by this idea that as one becomes more “in tune,” or “enlightened,” or ” in touch” or “aware” or whatever you want to call it, the world around them becomes increasingly intolerable.

During my time in grad school, I lost count of how many times I heard things like “oh, I can’t watch violent movies anymore” or “television is too overwhelming for me” or “I can’t meditate in that classroom that’s right next to the road – there’s too much noise!”

The person whose etheric body was being assaulted by Peter Jackson informed me that she had had a dream about the detrimental effects of movies and television on one’s etheric body, and that “as a dreamer…” (I just love that phrase, let me tell you), she had a special understanding of these things (or something – either she has since removed her comments or blocked me, can’t imagine why). This prompted me to ask her the following, to which I am still awaiting a response:

Thich Quang Duc

Thich Quang Duc

I see. Obviously, I know nothing of such things. It just seems to me that if one were to argue that they are so in tune with themselves and the universe, and one were to offer, as your website claims, knowledge that empowers and promotes personal growth, that one would hope that after 20 years, one would be able to weather such things as a make-believe film with “dark” imagery a bit more strongly. Otherwise, I can’t really see how this is all that desirable as “growth” or “empowerment” – if the resulting sensitivity that one attains doesn’t allow one to function as easily in the mundane world around oneself to such an extent that they find movies or presumably television, etc. to be such potentially crippling experiences. Put another way, if one were to look at the example of Thich Quang Duc (please, Google him, if necessary), I would suggest that the level of spiritual growth and strength he was able to attain may be more indicative of and desirable in terms of “growth” and “empowerment” than the kind you are promoting. But hey, to each their own. How is it “strong” and “empowered” to be so severely buffeted by the world around you? Just doesn’t seem that way to me. But again, what do I know?

Her website in question (I will refrain from linking it, because even though I’m a dick, I’m a polite dick) promotes her as someone “with almost 20 years of teaching women’s spirituality & personal growth.”

Too often, I am seeing weakness being marketed as strength. If your brand of enlightenment endangers me, or advocates anything less than the full embracing of life, and what it has to offer, then I fail to see the point.  Speaking from experience (my never ending desire to please a psychopath by engaging in endless “compassion”, “self-inquiry”, and “accepting that this is what the universe is trying to teach me right now”), this line of reasoning is dangerous. In my instance, it almost cost me my life.

That said, there are times for discipline, and asceticism. Lessons can be learned from both practices, but, a rigid path of self-denial is not the same as “empowerment” or “enlightenment.” Both can lead to intense personal insight and self-knowledge. They do not, however, grant you license to be smug.

In fact, the more you have to justify your actions and reactions, and base those justifications in your “practice” or “special knowledge” you have “as a dreamer…” , the less I am inclined to believe you.

I’m sure you believe your own bullshit, and I’m sure others do, too.

I don’t.

And I’m fine with that.

And, honestly, I don’t care if you didn’t like a movie, or a tv show, or a book, or a song, or a piece of art. In fact, I think it’s wonderful that you have an opinion.

At least, though, have the common decency and courtesy to just be honest.

You didn’t like The Hobbit. It has nothing to do with your etheric body.

I would have been fine with the first bit.

It’s when you drag the second bit in as justification that I’m forced to waste almost 900 words on a blog post.

One final friendly suggestion (and summary): If you’re going to promote how wonderful your paradigm, reality-tunnel, belief system, what have you as empowering, then it should actualy empower, and not reduce adherents to fragile frail little snowflakes who either (a) are no longer able to handle the world around them, or (b) are unable to respond to critiques and questions.

If you can’t back up your claims, why should I take you at your word?

 

One response so far

Dec 03 2013

A Possible Non-Supernatural Quantum Model of Precognition – Part 8

Published by under Consciousness,PSI

[Note: This is taken from a research paper I wrote in 2007.  It’s entirely possible that research since then has entirely refuted my interpretations of the Transactional Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics. This piece is being presented “as-is” or, rather, “as-was.”  I am particularly interested in feedback and discussion, as I realize I’m making some ambitious suggestions in this series.]

Part 1   Part 2   Part 3   Part 4   Part 5   Part 6   Part 7

Part 8: Conclusion

It is interesting to note, that 45 years after Cox’s study, we can review the passenger manifests of the four commercial jetliners involved in the September 11 attacks, and find that they seem unusually empty.

 

Flight Capacity Manifest % With Hijackers %
AA Flight 11 158 76 48.1 81 51.3
UA Flight 175 166 51 30.7 56 33.7
AA Flight 77 188 53 28.1 58 30.8
UA Flight 93 182 33 18.1 37 20.3
Aggregate 694 213 30.6 232 33.4

 

Many interpret this data as possibly linked to a conspiracy to “reduce the death toll.”  Conspiracy theories aside, another plausible explanation might be Cox’s “subliminal precognition.”  Without knowing the “usual” passenger counts for these flights and these days, it becomes difficult to ascertain. Yet the numbers, at first glance, do seem low.  Often we speak of intuition, or “having a hunch” in regards to certain courses of action in our lives. Perhaps, in some instances, these are merely examples of Cox’s “subliminal precognition.”

Finally, another reason that the future may be somewhat fluid may result from chaos theory. So far, the instances of apparent precognition I have discussed have involved individuals and collections of individuals, and focused on the effects of such possible foreknowledge specifically on them. Yet chaos theory shows that small scale events can have exponentially significant effects.

If someone, or several people choose a course of action based on precognition (subliminal or otherwise), then events may transpire differently than they would have had this precognition been ignored. At the conference I attended recently, an attendee with a strong scientific background related a story about having had precognitive flashes (and somatic reactions) that he would die if he boarded a certain flight – Pan Am 103. In retrospect, he realized that had he fully understood what he was experiencing, he would have reported a bomb threat to the airline. Pan Am 103’s destruction over Lockerbie, Scotland would have been avoided (and a friend of mine would still be alive). Though this person is sympathetic to the idea of paranormal phenomena, the dominant paradigm still caused him to question the validity of these experiences. While critical thinking is highly (HIGHLY) encouraged, there needs to be a middle ground that examines and allows for the forms of knowing discussed in this paper. Fred Alan Wolf notes that “quite possibly, visionaries are those who successfully marry streams coming from time-distant sources, and people unable to cope with life are those who lack this ability for even the shortest of time differences (Wolf, 2004, p. 158).” While there will always be a spectrum of ability among people in regards to any skill, it is my hope that by considering the possible connections between Cramer’s transactional interpretation of quantum theory, precognition, and biophotons, we can begin to determine whether humanity possesses resources and capabilities that can be further explored an developed, unlocking one of the mysteries of consciousness.

On June 12, 2007, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer (an interesting name in light of our discussion), reported that Cramer has so far received $35,000 from private donors to experimentally test his interpretation of quantum theory (Paulson, 2007, ¶4). We are inching closer to a time when we can see if this paper is relevant or merely wishful thinking. Whatever possibility-waves may be emitting back to us from the conclusion of Cramer’s experiments have yet to reveal themselves. Time, as always, will tell.

———-

Sources:

  • Cox, W.E. (1956). Precognition: An Analysis, II. The Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 50(3), 99-109.
  • Paulson, T. (2007). Public Donates to UW Scientist to Fund Backward-in-Time Research. The Seattle Post-IntelligencerRetrieved June 12, 2007 from http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/319367_timeguy12.html.
  • Wolf, F. (2004). The Yoga of Time Travel: How the Mind can Defeat Time. Wheaton, IL: Quest Books

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Dec 02 2013

A Possible Non-Supernatural Quantum Model of Precognition – Part 7

Published by under Consciousness,PSI

[Note: This is taken from a research paper I wrote in 2007.  It’s entirely possible that research since then has entirely refuted my interpretations of the Transactional Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics. This piece is being presented “as-is” or, rather, “as-was.”  I am particularly interested in feedback and discussion, as I realize I’m making some ambitious suggestions in this series.]

Part 1   Part 2   Part 3   Part 4   Part 5   Part 6

Part 7: When Things Go Wrong

While quantum interactions of biophotons offer an intriguing possibility in terms of precognition, the fact remains that precognition is not always 100% accurate or reliable. It also suggests that if we take this phenomenon as strictly true, than ideas such as free will become troublesome. After all, to catch glimpses of a future that has already happened seems to imply fate. The reality of the situation may be far more complicated.

Physicist Fred Alan Wolf, invoking Cramer’s transactional interpretation in his book The Yoga of Time Travel (2004) describes one reason that the future may not be completely hard-wired into the fabric of reality.

When we remember a past event, we are not digging through anything like a file or computer memory bank. Rather, following quantum rules, we are constructing a past based on the multiplication of two clashing time-order streams of possibility-waves…It follows that the future, too, exists side-by-side with the present and that at this moment we are sending possibility-waves in that direction. Moreover someone called “me” in the future is also sending back through time conjugate possibility-waves which will clash with the waves being generated now. If the streams “match,” in the sense that the modulation produces a combined wave of some strength, and if there is a “resonance,” meaning that the future events are meaningful for me, then a real future is created from my present point of view and a real memory of sequences is created in the future. If the streams do not match – then the connection of that future and the present will be less meaningful. Meaningful here refers to the probability wave…the closer in time the sources of these waves are, the more likely it is that the two counter-time possibility-wave streams will produce a strong probability with a good chance of becoming real (pp. 157-158).

This last sentence is particularly important, as it supports the findings of Radin’s presentiment experiments. Yet awareness of a probable future also gives one the chance to act to change one’s involvement in it. J. Connon Middleton, after all, chose not to continue his plans to travel on board the Titanic.

While Middleton may have made a conscious choice, many others may utilize information from the future unconsciously. This does not negate free will, but shows that in a culture inclined to not believe in precognition, despite Cramer’s model of quantum theory and the experiments of Rhine, Vassy, Radin, and others, people may have no conceptual framework for understanding the source of such information (and, as discussed above, may even consider it “artistic inspiration” at times).

In the July 1956 issue of The Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, W.E. Cox considers the possibility of “subliminal precognition,” hypothesizing that “in advance of a sudden misfortune, a wholly subliminal precognition can prevent the percipient’s involvement.” Cox’s study focuses primarily on data from railroad disasters. This being 1956, commercial air travel was not what it is today. Cox found a statistically significant decline in the number of passengers on trains on the days of accidents than on the same routes on the days and weeks leading up to and following the disasters. Among his findings in the study, Cox suggests that

Perhaps the seat of these unconscious cerebrations has closely associated with it a sort of “subliminal pan-awareness” which can possess information of relatively imminent “dangers” without any actual pictures depicting a consciously comprehensible vision of a specific misfortune that may be (or shall we say, “otherwise would have been”) involving us. Nor can the precognized imminence of misfortune be presumed to occur only to, or predominantly with, that portion of the would-be travelers whose fate would have been personal injury or death: others who could have experienced the subliminal precognition are those whose journey are the annulment of the ill-fated trani would have undesierably disrupted (p. 105).

How do Cox’s findings play out in terms of the various flights involved in 9/11?

Up Next: Conclusion

———-

Sources:

  • Cox, W.E. (1956). Precognition: An Analysis, II. The Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 50(3), 99-109.
  • Wolf, F. (2004). The Yoga of Time Travel: How the Mind can Defeat Time. Wheaton, IL: Quest Books.

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Dec 01 2013

A Possible Non-Supernatural Quantum Model of Precognition – Part 6

Published by under Consciousness,PSI

[Note: This is taken from a research paper I wrote in 2007.  It’s entirely possible that research since then has entirely refuted my interpretations of the Transactional Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics. This piece is being presented “as-is” or, rather, “as-was.”  I am particularly interested in feedback and discussion, as I realize I’m making some ambitious suggestions in this series.]

Part 1   Part 2   Part 3   Part 4   Part 5

Part 6: The Inmost Light

“Light and living matter,” writes Mae-Wan Ho in her book The Rainbow and the Worm: The Physics of Organisms, “have a special relationship (2006, p. 149). Tracking the work of quantum physicist/biophysicist Friz Popp, Ho cites his group’s findings that “organisms emit light at a steady rate from a few photons per cell per day to several hundred photons per organism per second (Ho, 2006, p. 149).” This photon emission is different from bioluminescence (the light emitted by fireflies, for instance), and is universal to all living organisms (p. 150).Popp has determined that “photons are held in a coherent form in the organism (p. 150),” and that

‘Biophotons’ include electromagnetic radiation below the visible range, which would extend all the way through microwave and radio frequencies to the extremely low frequency (ELF) end of the spectrum. Organisms may be emitting the entire electromagnetic range (p. 150).

Two other aspects of the biophoton phenomenon are important to mention. First, as stated above, Ho asserts that the living system appears to be a single coherent photon field intimately linked to living matter (p. 152).

The photon field is maintained farm from thermodynamic equilibrium, and is coherent simultaneously in a whole range of frequencies that are nonetheless coupled together, to give, in effect, a single degree of freedom…the ‘single degree of freedom’ of organisms is a very special one doe to quantum coherence which maximizes both local autonomy and global correlation (p. 152).

The second important aspect of the biophoton field has to do with communication. Ho describes how in emergency situations,

Organisms can mobilize prodigious amounts of energy almost instantaneously…The motor nerve to the muscle conducts at 100 times the speed of the vegetative nerves that are responsible for activating processes leading up to the enhancement of the contractile activity of the muscles required in a crisis… Yet it appears that the muscle actually receives the signals for enhanced coordination long before the signals arrive at the organs responsible for the enhancement of the muscle activity! This suggests that there is a system of communication that sends emergency messages simultaneously to all organs, including those perhaps not directly connected with the nerve network. The speed with which this system operates seems to rule out all conventional mechanisms (pp. 153-154).

To summarize, and to emphasize, messages are being sent and received simultaneously within the body. Simultaneity, or atemporality has been shown to be a standard feature of quantum theory in the form of nonlocality. If the body is taking advantage of quantum nonlocality via this coherent biophoton field, than is it not entirely possible that some of this atemporal communication might manifest as Cramer-style backwards communication in time? If, as Ho suggests, that this happens even faster in crisis situations, then precognitive flashes of disasters such as September 11, or the sinking of the Titanic begin to make sense. This nonlocal/atemporal phenomenon makes sense in terms of quantum entanglement. We may have flashes of our own futures due to the entanglement of our own biophoton fields with the constituent matter of our bodies. In terms of large scale events, (September 11, the Titanic, etc.), the sheer volume of energetic release of hundreds, if not thousands of people may also create greater probability of biophotonic atemporal/nonlocal quantum interaction between people and events who are seemingly unrelated. This is also consistent with Ho’s description of “local autonomy and global correlation.”

 This biophoton field and nonlocal/atemporal communication idea also offers us fascinating discussions into a whole array of other paranormal phenomena – telepathy, crisis apparitions, and subtle bodies, not the least among them. I use this term “paranormal” rather than “supernatural”, as these are entirely “natural” processes.

Up Next: When Things Go Wrong

———-

Sources:

  • Ho, M-W. (2006). The Rainbow and the Worm: The Physics of Organisms. Hackensack, NJ: World Scientific Publishing.

 

 

 

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Nov 30 2013

A Possible Non-Supernatural Quantum Model of Precognition – Part 5

Published by under Consciousness,PSI

[Note: This is taken from a research paper I wrote in 2007.  It’s entirely possible that research since then has entirely refuted my interpretations of the Transactional Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics. This piece is being presented “as-is” or, rather, “as-was.”  I am particularly interested in feedback and discussion, as I realize I’m making some ambitious suggestions in this series.]

Part 1   Part 2   Part 3   Part 4

Part 5: The Individual and the Nature of Mass Events

In the October 1960 issue of The Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, Dr. Ian Stevenson published “A Review and Analysis of Paranormal Experiences Connected with the Sinking of the Titanic.” Stevenson, who passed away recently, is perhaps best known for is investigations into possible cases of reincarnation. He was affiliated with the University of Virginia.

Stevenson’s article covers a wide array of events that seem to suggest precognitive foreknowledge of the Titanic’s demise from a variety of sources. Some of these seem to be stronger hits than others. One of the strongest, and better known incidents is that of Morgan Robertson, and his novel Futility. This will also be an important case to keep in mind in terms of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, for reasons that will become clear.

In 1898, 14 years before the sinking of the Titanic, Robertson published his novel Futility. This fictional account focused on a catastrophe at sea, involving a ship named the Titan. In Robertson’s book, the Titan was believed to be “unsinkable.” On a voyage in April, the Titan struck an iceberg and sank, killing a substantial number of passengers.  The Titanic, also deemed “unsinkable” (though it had “water-tight” bulkheads, as did Robertson’s fictional Titan), struck an iceberg, and sank – on the night of April 14-15, 1912. Both Robertson’s Titan, and the Titanic had too few lifeboats. Stevenson also lists other similarities between the novel and history.

Titan Titanic
Number of persons onboard 3,000 2,207
Number of lifeboats 24 20
Speed at impact with iceberg 25 knots 23 knots
Displacement tonnage of the liner 75,000 66,000
Length of the liner 800 ft. 882.5 ft
Number of propellers 3 3

(Stevenson, 1960, p. 156).

In addition to these rather intriguing incidents of life imitating art, Stevenson cites a number of other precognitive experiences surrounding the Titanic. Included in Stevenson’s survey are precognitive dreams, crisis apparitions, visitations on the night of the catastrophe, and more. Some of the reports are more compelling than others, and a few do seem to be merely eerie coincidence. Collectively, though, these experiences seem to indicate that “something was in the air” regarding the Titanic’s fate. Why else would J. Connon Middleton, a businessman from England have dreams about the Titanic “floating on the sea, keel upwards and her passengers and crew swimming about her (Stevenson, 1960, p. 157).”  These dreams convinced him to change his travel plans. Why, on April 10, would Mrs. Jack Marshall, watching the Titanic sailing by from her rooftop on the Isle of Wight suddenly feel compelled to proclaim “That ship is going to sink before she reaches America (Stevenson, p. 158)?”

Individual cases of precognition might be written off as coincidence, but when a large-scale event seems to be foretold in a number of ways by a number of people, “coincidence” (while certainly a possibility) seems to be less likely. It is interesting to note that skeptics will dismiss individual cases of precognition as coincidence, or fraud, as noted above, yet, they seem to want to have their cake and eat it too. Martin Gardner, in his book The Wreck of the Titanic Foretold? takes issue with all of these reports. Skepticism is healthy, and essential in dealing with phenomena related to consciousness. However, Gardner dismisses these stories too quickly, and resorts to straw man and ad hominem attacks on Stevenson.

The Coup - Party MusicSimilar to some of the events that seemed to foreshadow the sinking of the Titanic, there seem to be events that may have foreshadowed the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. On March 4, 2001, Fox Television broadcast the premiere episode of the television show The Lone Gunmen (appropriately enough, perhaps, a spin-off of The X-Files). This episode, 6 months prior to the attacks, dealt with a plot to fly a commercial jetliner into the World Trade Center. Similarly, the hip-hop group The Coup was preparing to release a cd titled Party Music, the cover of which is reproduced to the right:

At this time, finding corroborated individual reports of precognition involving September 11 is difficult. A number of websites have collected stories, but as the Boundary Institute notes on its website devoted to such stories,

Some are moving, some are merely puzzling. Since they are all recorded after the fact (except one, near the end, which was dated and recorded) and have not been independently corroborated, and since memory is malleable and dreams are open to interpretation, there is very little scientific value to these stories as such. We do not take them as anything other than honest accounts of human experience.

These events that seemed to foreshadow the September 11 terrorist attacks provide an interesting glimpse into one of the fundamental problems in how the West deals with paranormal phenomena. In addition to the skepticism of both individual vs. collective precognition as discussed in relation to Stevenson’s survey of incidents related to the Titanic, skeptics will also often cite as “proof” that there is no such thing as precognition the “fact” that if someone had had foreknowledge of a catastrophic event, they should have stopped it. Yet how seriously is someone taken when they call the authorities after a troubling dream or vision that they believe to be precognitive?

Furthermore, in these days of the “Patriot Act”, how quickly would one of these people be hauled in for questioning as a conspirator? While there are most likely countless other reports of possible precognition in terms of September 11 (and hopefully some that have been corroborated), I bring in the examples of both The Lone Gunmen and The Coup as intriguing parallels to Morgan Robertson’s Futility. In a paradigm that holds no space for precognition, perhaps people who are unaware of their sensitivity to such a phenomenon believe that these ideas they suddenly find in their heads to be (a “flash” of?) creative inspiration. After all, a massive luxury liner sinking, or a commercial jetliner crashing into the World Trade Center certainly make for thrilling stories.

Days of Future Passed

We have seen that humans (and earth worms) are capable of sensing small scale events in their immediate future. We have also seen that some people seem to have the ability to tap into large scale events in the relatively near future. We have also seen that certain fundamental particles in the universe can move backwards in time, or have atemporal as well as nonlocal properties. Are these things somehow linked? As tempting as it might be to use a nebulous term like “psychic energy” or the “emotional energy” of an event affecting people “somehow,” and trying to chalk it all up to “a mysterious property of consciousness,” there may be an explanation that can utilize the best of both worlds – the subjective, as well as the objective; one that doesn’t detract from the wonders of consciousness, and that is potentially possible under Cramer’s transactional interpretation of quantum theory.

To find this explanation, we will next turn to biology.

Up next: The Inmost Light

———-

Sources:

  • Boundary Institute, The. (2007). Premonitions of 9/11. Retrieved June 17, 2007, from The Boundary Institute: http://www.boundaryinstitute.org/premon911.htm (page is now a 404 – see archive.org link, above).
  • Gardner, M. (1998). The Wreck of the Titanic Foretold?Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books.
  • Stevenson, I. (1960). A Review and Analysis of Paranormal Experiences Connected With the Sinking of the Titanic. The Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 54(4), 153-171.

 

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Nov 29 2013

A Possible Non-Supernatural Quantum Model of Precognition – Part 4

Published by under Consciousness,PSI

[Note: This is taken from a research paper I wrote in 2007.  It’s entirely possible that research since then has entirely refuted my interpretations of the Transactional Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics. This piece is being presented “as-is” or, rather, “as-was.”  I am particularly interested in feedback and discussion, as I realize I’m making some ambitious suggestions in this series.]

Part 1   Part 2   Part 3

Part 4: My Presentiments, Exactly!

Recent studies into the phenomenon of precognition have focused on what is called “presentiment”, or “presponse”. Rather than dealing with spontaneous cases, or after-the-fact reporting, precognition, in the form of presentiment is being tested in the laboratory. Such laboratory experimentation goes back at least as far as 1933. Early tests involved decks of cards, and later random number generators. These tests seemed to indicate a statistical probability for some kind of precognition in the test subjects (Radin, 2006, p. 162).

Unfortunately, these sorts of tests – called “forced choice” – tend to have diminishing results as they progress. Parapsychologist Dean Radin, in his book Entangled Minds (2006) attributes this to possible boredom (p. 163). Having participated in a number of forced choice tests, I am inclined to agree. In 1946, A.J. Good suggested an experiment that might detect unconscious forms of precognition, using EEGs to determine if a subject could anticipate when a light would flash. This experiment was not carried out, however, Zoltan Vassy, a Hungarian physicist decided to test skin-conductance responses to determine whether test subjects were able to unconsciously anticipate electric shocks. These tests were later modified further by Radin.

In Radin’s experiments, electrodes are attached to the subject’s palm to detect skin responses. The subject is then shown a variety of images on a computer screen, randomly selected from a pool. These images are classified as either “calm” (photos of landscapes, nature scenes, calm people, etc.) or “emotional” (photos with erotic or violent content, or accident scenes) (Radin, 2006, p. 165). These trials were repeated 30-40 times per session. In Radin’s first experiment at the University of Nevada, “presentiment” was noticed in 24 subjects, with the odds against chance at 500 to 1 (Radin, p. 166). After a number of replications, Radin’s experiments produced results in favor of presentiment at odds of 125,000 to 1 (Radin, p. 168).  Radin describes presentiment as follows:

The idea of presentiment assumes that we are constantly and unconsciously scanning our future, and preparing to respond to it. If this is true, then whenever our future involves an emotional response, we’d predict that our nervous system would become aroused before the emotional picture appears. If our future is calm, we’d expect to remain calm before this picture appears. Of course, after an emotional or calm picture appears the response is well understood as the “orienting reflex”…A more general prediction of presentiment is that the body responds in advance of a future event in proportion to how emotional that future event will be. Extremely emotional future events will produce larger responses (before the picture appears) than mildly emotional future events. Likewise, extremely calm events will produce smaller responses than moderately calm events (Radin, p. 166).

These are exactly the responses Radin and his team obtained in their experiments. There seemed to be an intuitive, unconscious knowing taking place. Lest this sound like a strange ability that might be a skill found only in a few gifted humans, similar abilities have also been identified in earth worms (Radin, pp. 170-171).

As exciting as the results in Radin’s presentiment studies are, and as promising as they may be, these are small scale events occurring on an individual basis. It might be tempting to write this sort of thing off as an “evolutionarily advantageous” skill set, yet this falls prey to the fallacy of labeling-and-discarding. It still does not explain the phenomenon, or how it might work. Presentiment is exciting. Yet, as it deals with small scale events on an individual basis, it seems to be on the low-end of the spectrum of precognitive experiences. Precognition also seems to deal with larger events. While skeptics may be quick to label individual cases of precognition as coincidence at best, and fraud at worst, it is nevertheless interesting to look at large scale events, and how they affect not only individuals, but collections of individuals.

To understand this further,  the next part will focus on two particularly catastrophic events in recent history: The sinking of the Titanic in 1912, and the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

Up Next: The Individual and the Nature of Mass Events

———-

Sources:

  • Radin, D. (2006). Entangled Minds: Extrasensory Experiences in a Quantum Reality. New York: Paraview Pocket Books.

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