Introduction to Parapsychology, Part 1 Webinar

Introduction to Parapsychology, Part 1 Webinar

Wed, Aug 19th

8-9:30pm EST

Parapsychology is the scientific study of psychic phenomena, which many people are not aware of as it is not popularized in mainstream media. In part 1, I will go over a brief history of the field, highlight the work of Dean Radin, discuss psi in popular culture, and talk about the results of telepathy and precognition (knowing the future) experiments. These two presentations together will give a nice overview of the field. This is not a “woo-woo” type of lecture series, it is about science, although I will give my perspectives on the info I present.


Parapsychology needs a good theory

Research in parapsychology delivers solid evidence for the existence of psi, ( another term for psychic phenomena.) Research Techniques such as meta-analysis allow for a combination of data from many different studies.  Long-term performance of psi abilities can be measured over many trials, increasing the efficacy and confidence levels of experimental results.    It is fascinating that the field of parapsychology reaches replicated results comparable to many other fields—even physics!  It is also heartening to consider the variability of human psychic performance—although because some scientists consider it an “extraordinary” ability natural variability does not create adequate evidence.  This does mean, though, that because we are human, psychic performance can vary on any given day. Parapsychology has everything that many more mainstream sciences can boast of—good experimental design based on the scientific method, high confidence levels in the results, statistically significant results, high levels of replicated experiments (despite the fact that 50% of replicated experiments statistically will fail!) and good evidence as a result of meta-analysis.  All of this despite the constraints that “soft sciences” tend to encounter (many psychological factors, such as experimenter effects) and the known variability and spontaneous nature of many psi experiences.  While this seems rather extraordinary, many factors inherent in the scientific established order combine to make the findings of parapsychology quite overlooked.

Yet it seems that what parapsychology lacks most is a comprehensive theory that enables the data to be rationally interpreted (after all, science is a means of explaining phenomena.)  Without this theory, many scientists simply have a difficult time accounting for the evidence (if the evidence is honored as what would occur beyond chance.) As dean Radin points out in his work, this theory-driven view (as well as pre-existing beliefs) also hinders scientists from seeing beyond their own theoretical paradigms.

Why do we lack the theory?  Although we can deduce that evidence for the existence of psi is well-established, more work needs to be done before a truly adequate and comprehensive theory can be developed.  One major area of work needs to be education surrounding the existence and evidence of psi, among scientists as well as the general population.  Without this basis, and directly addressing the very real tendencies of parapsychology to be dismissed for lots of reasons, any interesting theories that are developed will probably not be taken seriously. While parapsychology can continue to play by the rules of science, and certainly amass more evidence (as it is clear that the implications of the evidence are still not very well understood,) I argue that it is perhaps even more important that, based on Radin’s critiques, the information is not only more widely distributed but also in a sense “marketed.”

It is in part a matter of acquiring more information, in particular a variety of studies that can measure different theoretical aspects of psi.  For example, useful studies may include an examination of how psychic information may be filtered through consciousness, and the mechanisms of how this works.  Good theory as broad as the field of parapsychology will require many different types of experiments based on observed and hypothesized results—not just experiments that are still attempting to prove that psi exists.  We need more evidence to be able to adequately explain how it works.  At the same time, it will be essential to attempt to actively work against and directly address the biases that largely keep parapsychology in the fringe—despite the best evidence.

PS–I am not going to debate the ideas presented here.  That is not the purpose, I am not a parapsychologist, and other parapsychologists and scientists have already defended these ideas quite well–so me doing that is very pointless to me.  I do not have to make an argument that psi effects have ALREADY been proven.  The evidence is already out there, if you care to look, including whole books and published studies (please see some of my other articles on parapsychology for links to books you can read, which link to the actual scientific studies.)   I would not, as a matter of integrity, ever do any work under the guise of something I did not believe even existed. Obviously, I am a professional psychic.  I have evidence of its use and purpose every day.  My purpose is not to debate the science with anyone, my purpose is to do my job.  🙂

Tips to Increase your Psychic Ability–from Parapsychology

I have written elsewhere on this blog that parapsychology is the valid and legitimate, scientific study of “psi” phenomenon.  Rather than justifying it here, I am interested in letting you know about what parapsychology can teach the average person about enhancing their own psychic ability.  Yes, we all have it.  I give thanks to William Braud’s work, and this work is representative of what others have said about what conditions allow for psychic ability to blossom.  As a practitioner and a teacher of psychic development, I attest to each and every one of these, in fact, the great majority of training that I offer people uses most of these methods to increase one’s own natural ability.

This is why I teach my students that to maximize your ability (to do this for a living, for example,) steps need to be taken that are largely a lifestyle choice (or shift, if you are not familiar with these methods.)  It does take some discipline and application of hard work and training to be proficient at this work.  There are certain conditions that provide an optimal environment for psychic ability to function at its best.  Here are some of those criteria (adopted from William Braud’s paper, available here, but this paper is very much in line with many other writings on the subject.)

“Psi” Conducive States

  • Relaxation, the relaxation response, and muscular relaxation (as achieved by progressive muscle relaxation, and meditation.)
  •  A state of low arousal ( a lack of physical and mental stimulus.)
  • Cognitive quiet (the ability to slow the stream of thoughts prevalent in the “beta” brain wave, as achieved through meditation.)
  • Mild sensory deprivation (reduction of external visual and auditory sensory information.)
  • The hypnagogic state (achieved just before falling asleep and before becoming awake and alert, this is why many people have psychic experiences in their beds.)
  • Hypnosis (states of hypnosis are especially helpful for past life regressions, life between life sessions, in part because of the state of consciousness achieved, which includes enhanced imagination, suggestibility, absorption, and dissociation.)
  • The dream state (this is where your consciousness is more open, particularly to visits from those who have passed, it seems that for the beginner, this may be the most common state of consciousness related to psychic impressions.)
  • Psychoactive drugs (certain drugs that encourage shifts in states of consciousness….I do not however, recommend this to my students!!)
  • Less distractions or “noise” reduction (in our multi-tasking world, constantly being pulled in this direction or that, it is especially hard to achieve.)
  • The ability to turn your attention inward and focus on the internal world and impressions (as achieved through meditation.)
  • Confidence, belief in psychic ability, and expectancy of success (confidence and trust in the ability itself, those who believe in psychic ability are much more likely to experience it, also the power of positive thinking.  This is where it is important to recognize how you may be blocking yourself here.)
  • Positive emotion/affect and states of mind, particularly, faith, hope, and love.  (Love, caring and compassion are correlated with greater healing outcomes for healing practitioners, this is also achieved in many forms of meditation.)
  • Feedback, in terms of hits/misses and accuracy (Especially in the beginning, when trust has not been established by much practice and familiarity with the ability, it is helpful to have validation and feedback from others.  This is a major part of the mentoring program that I offer.  Once you are more confident, the need for feedback diminishes.)
  • Reduction of Egocentrism and increase in altruism ( A big one, the ego is a big stumbling block not only for the spiritual path, but also for psychic development.)
  • Love/Bonds between individuals enhances how the abilities are expressed specifically between them (such as occurs with soul mate telepathy, for example.)

As you can see, a common thread here is–meditation!  This is the number one point that I really stress for all of my students.  So does any other knowledgeable teacher.  If you are interested in exploring this further and becoming my student, please let me know!  I currently help students from all walks of life and ability levels individually to open to their inner knowing.  Many of my students are applying intuition to practices such as massage therapy, art, music, healing work, and counseling, to name a few.  Not to mention that developing your ability is also, coincidentally, a spiritual path that will also dramatically improve your life in so many other ways.  I am proud to teach it! 😀

Your Psychic Unconscious Mind?

Many of you may be familiar with the scientific (yes, scientific!) field of parapsychology.  This is the scientific study of psychic, or “psi” phenomena.  I will have much more to say on this blog about this topic. I feel as a practitioner, it is very important that people understand that psychic ability has already been proven.  There are a sufficient number of studies (thousands, perhaps)  offering proof beyond chance of the existence of psi phenomena, from very controlled, scientifically viable experiments.  If you don’t know about this, you should.  Dean Radin’s books, The Conscious Universe and Entangled Minds are two very excellent places to start.  Eventually, I will publish my last lecture given on this subject that will point you to all the particulars (probably several posts.)  If I weren’t of a calm mind about most things, though, I would be outraged that this information is not as widely known as it should be.  I can think of one of my friends who might say, is there a conspiracy theory behind this?  🙂 (You know who you are.)

I think there are reasons why you don’t know about it.  If it is ever going to be widely recognized, I think it is important that two major avenues be explored: 1) the ‘marketing’ of the evidence and especially  its resulting exposure into the mainstream culture and the scientific establishment, and 2) a greater understanding of how psi phenomena function.  As Dean Radin has eloquently pointed out, the reason why the results of these studies are not more widely known has more to do with the history and philosophy of science than the strength of the studies.  It seems important that beyond the concession of skeptics and critics, that the information is also brought to a wider audience, who would, according to polls regarding public experiences and beliefs, be very receptive to the information. (The majority of people believe in psychic abilities and experiences of all sorts.) I wonder who is working on that, if it in fact can be sufficiently addressed? If there is a marketing campaign for the evidence, please somebody point me to it.

As far as how psi functions…As Dean Radin notes, the Congressional Research Service in their 1981 report, concludes that parapsychological studies “suggest that there exists an ‘interconnectiveness’ of the human mind with other minds and with matter.  This…would appear to be functional in nature and amplified by intent and emotion.”  I think this is one of the key points in understanding the nature of psi phenomena.

Luckily, today’s parapsychologists are focusing on more process-oriented questions rather than evidence-based ones.  IE, how this stuff works.  One of the most interesting implications is the interconnected web of life, including the human mind and heart.  It is fascinating that the strength of connection between two human beings, through emotion and intent, can best facilitate this type of communication through telepathy, clairvoyance, etc.  This suggests the naturalness of the process—rather than a “supernatural” origin.  Many cases of spontaneous ESP are associated with emotional crises and dangers.  It suggests that the strength of an emotion or an emotional connection may serve as a psychic connector, used to convey messages of extreme importance and meaning.

It is interesting to speculate that the unconscious mind may receive such signals more often than reaches our conscious awareness.  If we are interconnected, perhaps on an unconscious level (Jung’s collective unconscious), that may be an excellent theory to explain the means by which psi operates.  Access to this information may be facilitated by a greater relationship between the conscious and unconscious mind—which can occur through cultivation of meditation practices, hypnosis, the dream state, sensory deprivation, and even psychotherapy.  If our conscious minds act as a filter, perhaps it has too much material to work through, and simplifying our intake through reduced sensory awareness may help to develop psychic ability. This is my theory, anyway. And I certainly teach methods to my students that have to do with accessing altered states of consciousness.  I am currently going through James P. Carpenter’s theory that the unconscious plays a large part in psychic experiences, you can check out his book, First Sight: ESP and Parapsychology in Everyday Life.  If you want the Cliff Notes version, go here.

Conversely, I find it interesting but also troubling that evidence from the study of remote viewers indicates that practice and training did not significantly improve their abilities.  WTH? This seems counter-intuitive to me, based on the research regarding psi-conducive states.  Perhaps this question reveals only more questions regarding other possible “blocks” of ESP ability, similar to the difference in ability that exists between believers and non-believers. People who believe in the ability are significantly more likely to have their own experiences. But with my own experiences with remote viewing, I have found my own methods easier to use for me, personally speaking, than ones I have tried from former government employed remote viewers.  I will also post on this blog, my own informal experiment conducted in graduate school that talks about what works best for me in taking on the task of remote viewing.

I believe the ability is widely distributed, and simply poorly recognized or misunderstood.  As research indicates, perhaps certain people are better able to “tune in” to the psychic channel, based on experiences or personality, rather than innate ability. Certain highly sensitive people, do seem to be more prone to psychic experiences (me included.) For more on this, please read this excellent book, highly recommended if you are one of those sensitive people: The HISS of the ASP.

I find it fascinating that all ESP could be based on communication from a “future” self.  This again, could be relayed in an unconscious way.  Wouldn’t that be super cool?

Overall, I believe it is useful for many reasons to continue to study psi ability scientifically, but if the ability is to be cultivated, it is more useful to view it as many shamanistic cultures do—as everyday, normal, culturally accepted spiritual experiences (that can be learned and developed.)  This is the basis from which I teach my students, as I think we all have the ability to learn this.