“When a belief is widely held in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, we call it a superstition. By that criterion, the most egregious superstition of modern times, perhaps of all time, is the “scientific” belief in the non-existence of psi.”
Just a few months ago I was having drinks with a few friends to celebrate the beginning of the longest vacation I had taken in years! I was very excited not just to be taking a much-needed break from work, but because I had planned my vacation to coincide with the 2014 Paradigm Symposium.We had just ordered a round of drinks when one of my friends leaned across the table and asked me with a raised eyebrow “so, how much of that stuff do you actually believe anyway?” (Referring to the paranormal subject matter discussed at the Paradigm Symposium). I raised up my right hand and put the tip of my forefinger to the tip of thumb to indicate zero…none…nada! My friends reaction to this was to smile and nod and relax back into his seat as if I had just passed the crazy test or something and now he could relax in my presence again. Unfortunately for him, I continued to speak…
I explained that “belief” was something I carefully avoid when it comes to mysteries that no-one seems to have a satisfactory explanation for. But it’s the mystery that I find exciting. I went on to explain that there are certain topics I am particularly curious about because of the wealth of scientific documentation that, in my opinion, prove that the phenomenon is genuine like UFO’s and Psi ( Psi being a blanket term attributable to a variety of psychic phenomenon ). I went on to clarify that this does not mean I have any specific beliefs as to what causes these mysterious effects but simply that I was satisfied that the phenomenon was a legitimate mystery worthy of thoughtful scientific exploration and study.
I couldn’t help but notice that my statements seemed to make everyone at the table slightly uncomfortable, as if I had just backed the truck right up and scored an epic fail on the afore-mentioned crazy test.
This story and many other similar interactions are a big part of why I wanted to start a blog. I want to generate dialogue that could help remove some of the taboo that prevents the more mysterious aspects of our world from being explored.
Today I want to talk a bit about Psi. As I mentioned above, Psi is a bit of a catch-all term referring to a variety of psychic phenomenon such as telepathy, remote viewing, telekinesis and so forth. The very mention of Psi immediately conjures images of a gypsy, waving long fingernails over a crystal ball to forecast your fate. While it is indisputable that there are hucksters and cheats trying to make a buck by preying on the “belief” in psychic divination; does that mean the real deal doesn’t exist? I think many people would be surprised to learn (as I was!) that scientific investigation into psi has been going on for over a century by many brave scientists, unwilling to be silenced by the greater scientific community who seem to refuse the topic as a legitimate field of inquiry.
“If there were a tenth the evidence for any other subject as there is for telepathy, I would accept it immediately, but even if there were ten times more evidence for telepathy, I could never accept it. ” (V. M. Neppe, 1973)
“… if fraudulent experimentation is the answer to the positive evidence for ESP, it implies that there is “a gigantic conspiracy involving some thirty University departments all over the world and several hundred respectable scientists in various fields” (Eysenck, 1958)
My personal experience had been the deeper I look at the phenomenon of Psi the less I can doubt it’s existence, not because of a developing belief but because I am accepting the data and what appears to me to be a great deal of quality experimentation. So, if we can comfortably accept that psychic phenomenon is real then we can move on to attempting to determine how it works. Just how are people perceiving things without the use of their 5 senses? What implications does that have about our understanding of nature? These are the questions I love to wonder about! I bet many scientists wonder about these things as well but feel that actual investigation would be career suicide. Imagine the discoveries that could be made if we weren’t limited by these societal pressures and constraints.
I could go on all day about my frustration with our western culture’s taboo surrounding Psi but I don’t want this to turn into a rant. I want to challenge all those reading this blog that are curious and want to know more to investigate for yourself. Challenge yourself and others to dig deeper, you might be surprised at what you find! More than anything I just enjoy the thoughtful discussion that develops in an environment where it’s okay to talk about such things.
If you don’t know where to start I suggest Entangled Minds by Dean Radin. I find this book to be extremely well researched and informative about investigation into Psi. It provides great historical context and brings the phenomenon into a modern scientific framework and beyond that, is just a great read! Also check out the work of Dr. Diane Hennacy Powell who currently is running an indiegogo campaign to raise funds for a documentary and future research into telepathy.
Thanks for reading everyone!