Yesterday a visitor of the site, who identified himself as L K Tucker wrote me a message through the site’s Contact Form. He supports and possible even develops the idea that a vision phenomena related to peripheral vision can lead to psychosis. In his opinion, many paranormal events, including the benefits if Qi Gong and yoga can be explained by the same phenomena. I’d like to quote his message verbatim and then my quick reply to its content:
I have a bit of odd information for you that might bear on parapsychology investigations.
In the 1960’s designers and engineers discovered a previously unknown problem with the physiology of sight. Office workers using newly designed close-spaced workstations began to have mental breaks. The cubicle was created to solve this problem. Cubicles are designed to block side or peripheral vision for a concentrating worker.
But this is a problem that follows a behavior. Unprotected office workspace is only one way to cause this problem.
It would be pointless to investigate events believed to be caused by paranormal sources until this problem has been eliminated as the cause.
Qi Gong and Kundalini Yoga are two more sources of exposure. When users engage eyes-open concentration to correctly perform the exercise they can subliminally detect movement of others exercising near them. That’s what causes the exercised to appear to be able to improve health. Users are being exposed to accidental subliminal operant conditioning.
My site is a collection of research notes about this problem. It is the only source of this information on the Internet.
The bottom line is that too-small single-room ethnic or traditional cultural housing also creates the “special conditions” for exposure when someone works in those spaces while others move in peripheral vision. Culture Bound Syndromes are the result. These mental events are believed to be caused by stresses of each culture.
This phenomenon has the potential to explain many mysterious events thought to be caused by paranormal energies.
First of all, I don’t want to argue about the existence of the phenomenon that he describes. I guess that it’s possible that people encountered some psychological problems because there were no cubicles.
But I think that his assumption that this “peripheral vision while concentrating” also explains qigong, yoga or other parapsychology/healing effects seems ridiculous to me.
He explains on the site that the fact that people learn and perform qigong and yoga in groups wiht eyes open, they see their peers with peripheral vision and this somehow leads to the effect of healing or feeling better. My guess is that Mr. Tucker doesn’t know enough of the practice of qigong or yoga. Although he’s right about the fact that people usually study it in groups, the actual practice should be done alone, in solitude. Yoga meditations in particular are taught to be performed in quite, understurbing place and time, alone. Qigong also should be done alone. Secondly, yoga meditations and asanas are usually done with eyes closed since the concentration has to be within the body and not outside.
In my opinion, another unsuccessful explanation of energy healing practices by a scientific approach. I wonder when more scientists will start to actually look for the explanation assuming that it is as it’s taught by the eastern philosophy.