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Parapsychology articles and news

Thinking Allowed interviews on YouTube

Posted on Dec 20, 2010 in Videos | Comments Off

I have recently stumbled upon the great video resource on YouTube.


This is a series of interviews started in 1986 by Dr. Jeffrey Mishlove. Dr. Mishlove is a past director of the Association for Humanistic Psychology, and has served as President of the Intuition Network. The series is called “Thinking Allowed”.

I have interviewed Dr. Mishlove in 2006, as he holds the only doctoral diploma in parapsychology to be awarded by an accredited American University (University of California, Berkeley) and wrote a couple of books on the subject.

The interviews encompass multiple aspects of the subjects of psychology, consciousness research, alternative medicine and mysticism.

There are about 60 videos at this time and more are being added frequently. Most of the videos are excerpts from the interviews but recently longer videos were added.

I suggest you take a look at this great resource.

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Bending spoons by example

Posted on Sep 26, 2010 in Psychokinesis | 6 comments

A reader of the blog sent me some pictures of the result of her spoon bending attempts.
She writes the Spoon bending instructions article helped her more than the spoon bending video, both of which were done by Shannan exclusively for this site.

The reader also wrote the following:

The first one was easy, but the second one i had lost my concentration in the middle of bending the spoon.

I read the article and then I tried it. I concentrated for several minutes. I focused only on the spoon, which is hard because I am paranoid.  I rubbed the handle. Then I bent the spoon. The second time I tried i watched the video and it didn’t help as much as the article did.

As I wrote previously, if you’ve also tried to do some spoon bending and have some experience or pictures to share, please write me to jacob@mind-energy.net. We’d like to hear your stories.

If you feel the urge to comment that this proves nothing, it’s not scientific and he bent it with his hands, don’t bother. You’re right on all these accounts.

So, finally, here are the photographs as received:

Spoon bending

Spoon bending

Spoon bending

Spoon bending

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Immrama Institute Insight and Focus CDs are now available as MP3 downloads

Posted on Aug 22, 2010 in Miscellaneous | 1 comment

I have previously praised the two sets of CDs from Immrama Institute, the Insight CD and the Focus 2-CD set.

These are layered-brainwave CDs with separate goals in mind.

Insight ”…utilizes harmonically layered brainwave audio technology combined with soothing sounds of natural rain to help your brain quickly and effortlessly reach extraordinary levels of enhanced performance not normally attainable without years of training”.

Focus, as the name suggests, helps you to improve your performance by letting you get rid of distractions and better focus on the task.

Also, since the last time I reviewed them, there is now an option to order the brainwaves with ocean waves background sounds, or the previously available “gentle rain” background, which is what I have.

Well, the really good news is that these great CDs are now available as MP3 downloads from Immrama Institute. MP3 downloads are cheaper, faster, “greener”, so there’s no reason not to get them.

Here are direct links to the various downloads:

Insight Program with gentle rain or ocean waves

Focus Program with rain or ocean waves

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A contest of magnetic people

Posted on Aug 6, 2010 in Psychokinesis | Comments Off

If you thought that Miroslaw Magola (my interview with him), the magnetic man, is somehow unique in his abilities to stick object to his body, check out the photos from the supernatural contest that took place in Vientam, where people stuck objects on themselves, including some very heavy ones.

By the way, the winner held a block that weighs 70 lbs (32 kg) on his chest.

To the photos.

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Rupert Sheldrake talks about his experiments in Schumacher College

Posted on Jul 19, 2010 in Research, Telepathy, Videos | 1 comment

The famous biologist and parapsychologist Rupert Sheldrake gave a talk at Schumacher college in the UK. In this talk he presented his various research projects about telepathy, in animals and in people.

He presented his “Dogs that know when their owners are coming home” experiment with the dog Jaytee and showed an experiment video that was done for Austrian television on that. This is a very famous experiment and I’d like to hear if any of you know of a similar behavior with your pets.

He also talked about phone telepathy and showed another video of an experiment between 5 sisters which had a hit rate of 50% instead of the expected 25%. Sheldrake told that the overall hit in over 1000 trials of telephone telepathy is 42%, which is highly statistically significant. Do you sometimes know who calls you?

Sheldrake performs simple and low-cost experiments for testing telepathy, mostly because the established science hold these subjects as taboo and doesn’t provide funds. Dr. Sheldrake talks a little about this as well, in his introduction to the lecture.

There’s also a discussion of this video on our forum at:
http://forum.mind-energy.net/skeptiko-podcast/1429-new-video-rupert-sheldrake.html

A link to the page on Schumacher college website or watch in below.

http://www.schumachercollege.org.uk/community/mind-and-cosmos-an-open-evening-with-rupert-sheldrake

Watch the video below:

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“No One Dies in Lily Dale” documentary premiers on HBO

Posted on Jul 4, 2010 in Mediumship | 1 comment

Located just south of Buffalo, tiny Lily Dale, NY, is home to the world’s largest concentration of mediums, people who claim to be able to communicate with spirits of the deceased. Every year, thousands of visitors from all over the world flock to this quaint Victorian community to have their questions answered and grief assuaged. Directed by Emmy winner and Oscar nominee Steven Cantor (HBO’s “Devil’s Playground”), “No One Dies in Lily Dale” follows visitors on their emotional quests, chronicling their mysterious and deeply personal interactions with the town’s unusual residents.

“No One Dies in Lily Dale” premieres this Monday, July 5th at 9pm on HBO.

Some stills from the movie:

Dr_Neal_Rzepkowski.jpg

Gretchen_Clark.jpg

InspriationStump.jpg

Lily Dale.jpg

Michelle_Whitedove.jpg

Rebecca_Fabricius_and_Rev_Gregory_kehn.jpg

More information on the show and schedule on HBO: http://www.hbo.com/documentaries/no-one-dies-in-lily-dale

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Meditation benefits appear after several days of practice

Posted on Jun 28, 2010 in Meditation, Research | 2 comments

There have been numerous studies about the benefits of meditation. I have written about some of them in 2008 in the article Benefits of meditation researched by scientists.

Lately, I have found about a new study that took place in Wake Forest University School of Medicine, NC, USA. The new study is titled “Mindfulness meditation improves cognition: evidence of brief mental training” and you can read its abstract on the U.S. National Library of Medicine
National Institutes of Health.

The authors tried to see if the unexperienced meditators had any benefits from meditation after only several days of simple meditation. They also had a control group that listened to an audio book, instead of meditating. The results were that meditation was more beneficiary in many aspects. From the abstract:

We examined whether brief meditation training affects cognition and mood when compared to an active control group. After four sessions of either meditation training or listening to a recorded book, participants with no prior meditation experience were assessed with measures of mood, verbal fluency, visual coding, and working memory. Both interventions were effective at improving mood but only brief meditation training reduced fatigue, anxiety, and increased mindfulness. Moreover, brief mindfulness training significantly improved visuo-spatial processing, working memory, and executive functioning.

The group only had 4 days of meditation (20 minutes each day) and the benefits were already apparent. The authors of the article also suggest that in more experienced meditators the beneficial effect should be more profound.

Source: Percolator, The Chronicle of Higher Education’s blog about ideas

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Prahlad Jani allegedly lives 15 days without food or water under surveillance

Posted on May 13, 2010 in Energy, Health, Meditation | 5 comments

In 2006 I wrote a short article about Prahlad Jani, an Indian yogi who claims he can live without eating or even drinking. The news at that time were driven by another alleged “breatharian”, Ram Bahadur Bamjan, then a 16 year old boy, who was meditating for six months at that time. 

11_PrahladJani.jpg

Recently, Prahlad Jani returned to the major news after he was again under a 15-day surveillance in a hospital to verify his claims of not eating and drinking.

There are many sources about the latest tests. Here are some links to learn more:

The following paragraphs mostly summarize what’s new:

Prahlad Jani, 83, who says he has not had a bite to eat for 70 years, was put under constant surveillance to test his astonishing claims by a team of 30 military medical staff.

During a 15 day stay in a hospital in the city of Ahmedabad, India — he astounded doctors by not eating, drinking or going to the bathroom.

The person claims to not have eaten for 70 years. That’s quite a hard claim to swallow, frankly. A 15-day surveillance sounds good but the suspicious fact here is that the 2003 study and this one were conducted by the same hospital in Ahmedabad, the Sterling hospital. I think it was even the same crew leading researcher, Dr. Sudhir Shah.

What is new this time is that 1) the test was longer (15 days and not 10) and 2) that the study initiated by India’s Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO). I hope they’re not as naïve as to let the hospital run the test without overseeing it themselves.

So, it is interesting news and it would be better, more reliable, if this man was tested by some western hospital, to reduce the chance of fraud by co-operating.

I originally learned about this new test from our forums. OC68 has posted the original news and much conversation still follows. You’re welcome to join the discussion there.

What do you think about all this?

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The Living Matrix movie review

Posted on Apr 23, 2010 in Energy, Healing, Reviews, Videos | 4 comments

There’s a documentary movie, released in 2009, called “The Living Matrix
”. As some other movies in the field before, it is a mix of documentary, interviews and computer graphics. The movie’s focus is what’s called energy or alternative medicine.

The movie interviews a list of notable guests, some of whom appeared in other movies, such as What the Bleep!? and my recently reviewed Something Unknown. The list of guests include:

The movie also includes numerous stories told by people who recovered from difficult diseases using alternative medicine and the power of intention.

The movie presents of picture where the human is body is described not only being controlled by chemicals and DNA but also by our intentions, intra-cellular communication in the form of biophotons and other effects that are on the fringe of science. It does not speak about parapsychology, or psi as “Something Unknown” movie by Renée Scheltema does.

If you are interested in the alternative medicine, especially in finding scientific explanations to some of its possible explanations of effectiveness, I can recommend “The Living Matrix
”.

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Interview with Renée Scheltema

Posted on Mar 14, 2010 in ESP, Healing, Interviews, Mediumship, Parapsychology, Psychokinesis, Remote Viewing, Research, Telepathy, Videos | 2 comments

I’ve recently published my review of a documentary called “Something Unknown is doing we don’t know what”. The film researches the evidence behind the “Big Five” psi phenomena and I liked it greatly. Take a peek at my review for some more info. Today I’m glad to present you my interview with Renée Scheltema, the filmmaker and producer of Something Unknown (link to my review of the movie). Despite this being my 15th interview that I publish here on the site, this is the first one that I did live, using Skype. Please excuse our accents and non-professionalism. Also, I’d like to remind you that Renée and I opened a forum to discuss "Something Unknown" and its topics. Renée is going to be there as well to discuss it with you. In fact, she had already posted a short welcome message there. So come over and join us at forum.mind-energy.net. It’s right near the Skeptiko podcast forum, which you should also participate in, in my opinion. We had a very conversational tone with Renée and the interview starts right in the middle of a sentence.

You can read the redacted transcript below or listen to the audio using the player below or download the MP3 directly.

Renée Sceltema: …I hear what you’re saying because Professor Tart, he told me there’s actually – you could call it the “Big Seven.” But then there are two in the “maybe” category. And one is mediums, you know, talking to dead people which – that’s scientifically you can’t prove that. I investigated it but somehow there’s a reasoning that goes in circles. So I didn’t complete it. And then the other in the “maybe” category is near-death experiences.

Jacob: I actually wanted to ask you about these, as well.

Renée Sceltema: I researched it a little bit and then because Professor Tart said it’s in the “maybe” category I decided not to include these – the film was already very full as it was with information. Couldn’t get that in, as well.

Jacob: I see. Could you tell us a bit more about yourself and why you decided to make this film?

Renée Sceltema: Okay, that’s in the film. I had those psychic experiences and I wanted to know whether I was deluding myself. I sort of knew that parapsychologists were doing research on this kind of stuff, but I hadn’t kept up. I’m not a “woo-woo” kind of person who believes all this stuff. Actually I don’t believe a lot of it.

But on the other hand, the first experience with my father was very strong. I guess in scientific terms you call it “crisis telepathy.” It happened when I was studying at the University of California, Berkeley, during the day. I would call my parents every three months. I had just phoned my parents a few days before. While I was with my nose in the books, there was this strong force that told me that I had to get up and phone them again. I remember walking down the street thinking: ‘This is weird. Why am I walking to the phone booth? There’s no reason for this. It’s the wrong time of the day.’

Then when I phoned, my brother picked up the phone, which is very unusual because he had left home and would never even pick up the phone. Then he told me my father had had a stroke and was fighting for his life at the intensive care. So that seared into my mind because I just picked up something there that was real and I guess it’s part of our survival instinct, no?

In Christianity, all these psychic experiences they call it “from the Devil” and it’s not been too long since they burned witches. And so according to this belief system all these psychic things are all thrown into one corner together with the witches and the weird soothsayers.

Long before that time, when we were living as Bushmen or Aboriginals, there would always be the Shaman who was capable of reaching beyond our minds; capable of doing these kinds of things. For them it was normal. So it’s only been in the past couple of centuries that psychic experiences have been suppressed.

I read a book long ago about Mutant Message Down Under, a beautiful book about an American woman who lives with the Aboriginals. She notes down what they experienced. They could heal; see remote view kangaroos, etc, just because it was just the only way to go.

So I guess it’s part of our survival instinct. So I didn’t regard it as abnormal when I had this experience with my sick father. I just thought, ‘Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.’

Also I guess, I’m at a certain age where I felt confident enough to tackle this kind of subject. I don’t think I would dare to make this film 25 years ago.

Jacob: Okay, it is also written there that you started to work on the film about 10 years ago. Why did it take so long?

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