I’m delighted to present another interview. This time the interview is with Jeffrey Mishlove, Ph.D. of parapsychology. For a background read about Jeffrey in the post: Jeffrey (Jeff) Mishlove – profile of a parapsychology researcher. This interview was also conducted by email.
On your site you’re telling the story how you began researching parapsychology. You tell about the event when your uncle came into your dream and you’ve had a very special experience. What was so special about this event that changed your whole life?
Two things were very special. First, it was intensely emotional. This is the only time in my life I ever awakened from a dream and found myself singing and crying simultaneously. Second, it had a veridical component. The dream occurred at approximately the same time as my Uncle Harry’s death. It gave me cause to believe that it was more than a mere dream. It was a contact with a world beyond death.
You’re the only known holder of a Ph.D. in parapsychology from a credited US university. That raises several questions. First, if parapsychology is a credible science why isn’t it studied in major universities.
It is studied at major universities in Europe and elsewhere. However, within academia, there is a very strong, materialist prejudice against the very possibility that psi phenomena exist. People who conduct research, or teach, in these areas become stigmatized by this prejudice.
Secondly, some less known colleges propose first and maybe a second degree in parapsychology. Are these serious offers, as far as you know?
I am not aware of these colleges. Perhaps you can be more specific.
What is the purpose of the scientific parapsychology study in general?
The purpose of all science is to enlarge our knowledge regarding the subject of investigation.
You started your doctorate with the research into Remove Viewing (RV). RV is a popular topic these days. There are several RV systems or techniques available today, such as SRV (Scientific Remote Viewing), TRV (Technical Remote View) which is promoted by a private company, Silva UltraMind ESP makes it possible and probably more other. After studying this as thoroughly as you did, what is your conclusion of the Remote Viewing? Is it real?
Yes, remote viewing is real. However, many of the organizations that are promoting expensive training programs make inflated claims about it.
If it is, what are the possibilities? What is a good way to study it?
(1) Read the good books on the subject written by Russell Targ, Joseph McMoneagle, Paul Smith, Lyn Buchanan, Angela Thompson Smith, and Skip Atwater. (2) Take a workshop by any of the previously mentioned individuals. (3) Join the International Remote Viewing Association. (4) Get together with a small group of friends to practice regularly.
I’ve been really moved after reading online your monologue in Virtual U where you tell about your research of the PK Man, Ted Owens and seeing the documents you placed online. This is a really remarkable story and you seem to have no doubt that the man possessed remarkable psychic abilities which allowed him to control weather and also manifest multiple appearances of UFOs. You gathered a lot of documents on the man during your 10 years of research. If the case is so convincing from a scientific point of view, why is it relatively unknown?
The case is so bizarre, that it exceeds the “boggle threshold” of many people. It is simply more than they are able to or wish to digest. It also raises questions concerning psychic attack, or what was once called “witchcraft.” This places a severe challenge on our modern paradigm of thought.
There is a lot of research on ESP, mind over matter, parapsychology in general. Dean Radin from the Institute of Noetic Science was quoted saying that the research in the institute has proved that parapsychology effects are real, after performing lots of scientific tests, and that now their goal is to find the underlying scientific framework that will explain this. To your knowledge what is the status of the research into parapsychology? Why is it so low profile? It seems not to be widely accepted by the general scientific community. Is this the case? Why is that?
Many people have subconscious fears about ESP and parapsychology – because (among other reasons) they don’t want anybody to be able to read their minds.
How do you understand the UFO phenomena? I wouldn’t have asked this, since it’s not parapsychology in my point of view but Ted Owens’ case is closely related to UFOs so I think it is an appropriate question for you.
I suspect that there are multiple causes for phenomena that are labeled as having to do with UFOs. As I explained in The PK Man, I lean toward the idea that many sightings are associated with entities from other dimensions of space. Of course, I cannot rule out the more conventional spacecraft explanation. And, naturally, there is still much we need to understand in terms of human psychopathology and how it seems to interact with UFO reports.
Why most people are skeptical to begin with and even after having some experiences still try to disregard them and find a more “acceptable” explanation?
Actually, survey studies show that – among the general public – most people believe in matters associated with the paranormal. But, there is enormous social pressure upon people to conform to more conventional, materialist ways of thinking – and to dismiss psi claims as related to superstition and error.
Is this the case in all cultures, or only in the western?
Non-western cultures typically regard psi phenomena as natural – rather than “paranormal.”
In your Virtual U monologue about Ted Owens you talked about Uri Geller and how controversial he is. What can you tell about Uri Geller?
I sponsored Uri Geller’s first major public appearance in the United States, back in 1973. For more information, see my descriptions in The Roots of Consciousness (and in The PK Man).
Is he who he presents himself to be or is he a charlatan? I asked Cynthia Sue Larson similar question in her interview and she had the impression that he’s a genuine one but you seem to have much larger knowledge about the man.
I cannot attest to everything about Uri Geller. But, I have ample evidence in terms of my own personal observations and those of others whom I trust to ascertain to my own satisfaction that much of what is claims is, indeed, genuine.
In your books you presented research of ESP development in various cultures and systems. One of the books was printed in ‘75 and I presume that your knowledge on these subjects is greater now than it was then. Has much changed?
Knowledge in the field of parapsychology grows very slowly. That’s why much of what I am posting on this blog from my 1980 doctoral dissertation, Psi Development Systems, is still quite valid and up-to-date. The Roots of Consciousness was revised in 1989. That edition is now on the web at the previous link.
I have a special interest in the Jose Silva’s Mind Control Method. In your blog you published an excerpt from your book about the system. You wrote that scientific research had not shown any real effects of the system on the development of ESP abilities. What’s your opinion now on the Silva Method? It is widely popular and still holds, 50 years after Jose Silva started teaching it. There’s a lot of so called anecdotal evidence of the successes of its graduates and followers.
I have not had direct contact with the Silva Method. However, to my knowledge, the conclusions that I drew in 1980 in my dissertation are still valid. I am not aware of any new evidence that would cause me to change those conclusions. Much anecdotal evidence existed back then also.
These days a lot of hype in the field of consciousness research seems to be connected to the quantum physics. Films appear, like ‘What the bleep do we know?’ and now ‘The Secret’ that promote the idea of quantum physics explaining the paranormal, especially such effects as manifestations and mind creating reality. Notable quantum physicist, such as Dr. Fred Alan Wolf and others support and publicize this idea. What is your opinion on this subject?
I do not think that we can yet “explain” psi phenomena using quantum physics. But, I do think that the world view of quantum physics contracts the beliefs of those conventional materialists who believe that psi phenomena are “impossible.”
A lot of parapsychology researchers, like William Tiller, Jack Houck and others try to develop the theory that would explain how some of the ESP faculties work. Especially the case is true with such abilities and telepathy, remove viewing, distant healing, clairvoyance, manifestation etc. All of these require the definition of some kind of a unified knowledge field that can be accessed by individuals and information can be transmitted through it or downloaded. Some call it universal mind, Akashic Records, collective unconscious and many more names. How do you see it?
I am in agreement with approaches that start with the nature of consciousness in the universe. I think that much wisdom can be found in Vedanta and Buddhist philosophy.
Is this the real goal of parapsychology research?
The goal of parapsychology is to develop a deeper understanding of psi – however this can be accomplished. There is no built-in bias either toward metaphysical philosophy or against materialist explanations.
You’ve been researching parapsychology and ESP abilities for more than 30 years now. Have you developed any such abilities?
While I have had numerous psi experiences, largely because I am open to them, I would not say that I have actually developed any abilities.
Do you believe anyone can develop some aspects of ESP?
I am not convinced that these abilities can be developed. I think that they are natural, however. And, I think that we can learn how to stop blocking these natural abilities.
If yes, what does it require and do you suggest any specific systems as being more effective than others?
Probably the single most important thing you can do is find a small group of friends, whom you can meet with regularly, who will provide you with emotional support and encouragement to explore your inner, psychic and intuitive abilities. And, remember, everyone you meet is an expert in this dimension – each in their own way.
You have conducted hundreds, if not thousands of interviews. Have you seen a lot of fraud psychics? How can one distinguish a genuine psychic who can help and a fraud who may use you or maybe even hurt?
The best way I know to distinguish is to look for objective evidence.
If you could summarize your research in 1 or 2 sentences what would be your message to the world?
All is one.