Update: On April 2, the newspaper wrote a further article where they report on the leading savant researcher, Dr. Darold A. Treffert, expressing interest in the case.
The Khaleej Times newspaper site reports of an intriguing case of a 9-year-old Indian girl, diagnosed with autism and ADHD, who can telepathically read her mother’s mind. And quite well, it appears.
The article has some some background about the girl and her family but to me the more interesting parts were the tests that the newspaper reporters performed with the girl and, following the newspaper’s inquiry, the tests that were performed later by a group of specialists from the Child Guidance Clinic in Sharjah.
The specialist psychiatrist at Sunny Speciality Medical Centre in Sharjah, Dr Jeena Fiji, who headed the team, has certified witnessing “the strength of Nandana to read her mother’s thoughts, desires and intentions.”
The results of all tests showed that the girl could type on a computer or say words, numbers or whole sentences that her mother was thinking, either sitting across her in the same room or even while being in a different room in the house.
Here are some more quotations from the article. The first is from the test arranged by the newspaper:
In our test, Sandhya was first given a note. It read “044050799 – the office number of Khaleej Times.” As soon as she read it in her mind, Sandhya sat with Nandana across a table. The computer was kept in such a way that the keyboard faced the daughter and the monitor faced the mother.
When her mother asked her to start typing, Nandana started keying in the numbers without even constantly looking at her mother. As she typed 044050799, it became evident to us that the child can actually read her mind!
The second test consisted of a whole sentence:
When Nandana successfully completed the first test, we decided to try her telepathic skill. This time the note given to her mother read: “Can I have some warm water please?”
The result came out as a sentence without any space between the words and with some minor spelling mistakes in between. But, it was still as amazing as the first instance.
The tests that were done at a later time by the above experts:
Nandana had come with her mother Sandhya Unnikrishnan. A poem of Grade 2 level was written and given to Sandhya. After her mother had read the poem in her mind, Nandana was asked to type in the laptop provided to her.
Nandana could type the entire poem without any prompt. A six digit number was also written and given to Sandhya, which too, Nandana could type after reading her mother’s mind.
You can read the entire article and see the photographs of the girl in the original article on Khaleej Times: Miracle girl.
You can follow and participate in a discussion on this topic in the Skeptiko forum thread “Psychic girl“.
Back in 2007 I wrote an article about Rupert Sheldrake [experiment with the talking parrot](http://www.mind-energy.net/archives/252-Parrot-demonstrating-telepathy-the-NKisi-project.html), N’kisi.
In that experiment Rupert, together with parrot’s owner, Aimee Morgana, tested the bird for a possible telepathic link between it and Aimee.
The results were published in a paper and suggested strong above-chance results for the parrot having a psychic connection to Aimee.
The news is a recently-published YouTube video from Rupert Sheldrake’s lecture where he tells about this experiment. And this video contains a footage from the experiment. It’s remarkable, touching, and funny.
I originally learned of the video from the [Skeptiko podcast forum](http://forum.mind-energy.net/skeptiko-podcast/) and you might want to read what [others in the community have to say about this video](http://forum.mind-energy.net/skeptiko-podcast/4615-rupert-sheldrake-presents-footage-psychic-parrot.html) and even join the discussion.
Telepathy is one of these subjects that intrigue many people because of its possible practical consequences. Twin telepathy – the possible connection between twins appears to be a relatively known fact, especially to many twins. There are a lot of stories about this phenomenon and some research has been done in the field. I’d like to present some sources to ignite your interest.
I first wrote about this in an article more than 6 ago, Telepathy experiments with identical twins. I presented a TV “study” there but what I loved about this article is a comment that I’ve received. Here’s an excerpt from this comment:
As a mother, I have experienced this phenomenon myself. The first times were when my first son was born. He developed an infection and was in a special care baby unit for the first week of his life. The unit was three floors below my room and yet every time my baby randomly woke up during the day or night, I knew, and was sitting at the door ready to go down to breast feed him when the nurse called up for me. The urge to go to him was even strong enough to wake me from a deep sleep.
Knowing when he needed me continued very strongly and he was 5 or 6 before it began to lessen. On one occasion, when he was three, I was with some of the other mums in the kitchen at a birthday party when I suddenly couldn’t breathe. I rushed through to find him and a much older boy had sneaked him into a bedroom under a pretext and was trying to strangle him. My son was blue in the face and passing out…
Early in the evening of 27 November 1975, the writer and television personality Ross McWhirter was shot in the head and chest by two gunmen on the doorstep of his north London home. He was rushed to hospital, but was declared dead on or shortly after arrival, before his identical twin brother Norris could reach his bedside…
…I was able to get an eye-witness account from somebody who had been with Norris McWhirter at the time of the shooting and yes, he had unmistakably reacted. Moreover, he had reacted in a dramatic way, almost as if he too had been shot – by an invisible bullet.
There’s another article by Guy Lyon Playfair at the Paranormalia site where he writes about twin telepathy and presents the following information, among other:
In 2004 the Department of Twin Research and Genetic Epidemiology at King’s College London sent a questionnaire to the 10,000 twins on its books that included a question never asked before, to my knowledge, by a scientific body: ‘Do you have the ability to know what is happening to your co-twin when you are not there?’. More than half (54%) said yes or maybe, only 46% said no. What was particularly intriguing about these results, apart from the fact that there are some 5,000 twins out there who think they have or might have experienced telepathy, was the fact that nearly twice as many identical as fraternal (non-identical) ones said yes.
If you’d love to read some more stories from twins, I suggest you read the comments to a twin telepathy article on about.com. The article itself is not as interesting as readers’ account, in my opinion.
As to scientific research. There appear to be some proper research done on twins. One was published in the Science magazine in 1965. Two researchers from the Department of Ophthalmology at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia published an article in the Science journal titled “Extrasensory electroencephalographic induction between identical twins”. The results showed striking correlation between their minds. Here’s a link to the (very short) abstract. The whole paper can be bought on the site.
Another research was performed more recently by Dr. Dean Radin, one of the leading psi researchers today. His paper, “Event-Related Electroencephalographic Correlations Between Isolated Human Subjects” (PDF), comes to the following conclusion:
Under certain conditions, the EEG of a sensorially isolated human subject can become correlated with event-related potentials in a distant person’s EEG. This suggests the presence of an unknown form of energetic or informational interaction.
To sum things up, there appears to both some scientific and vast anecdotal evidence to a telepathic connection between twins. Especially so between identical twins.
If you have own stories like these, or heard them first-hand, write them in the comments.
The author Michael Prescott, whose often writes on his blog on the subjects of NDE and mediumship, wrote an article that looks at the subject of super-psi. Super-psi refers to the ability of the subconscious mind to get information about people and events in past and the future somehow to give the impression that the information actually comes from the spirit world, through the medium. The idea of super-psi is a way to explain the mediumship without actually involving the spirit world, supposing that it doesn’t exist.
Prescott argues in the article that the super-psi explanation is actually much less probably than the more parsimonious explanation of actual contact with dead relatives. Here’s what the super-psi subconscious has to do to “cover-up” for a real mediumship:
Our unconscious, then, would have the ability (actually or potentially) to reach at will into other minds, regardless of how widely scattered they might be, and even if the minds in question belong to total strangers, people of whose existence we were and are consciously unaware. Moreover, our unconscious would have the ability to perceive, through clairvoyance, information unknown to any living person, peeking into hidden places without restriction and virtually instantaneously, on demand. It has even been hypothesized that the unconscious could peer back in time (retrocognition) or gaze into the future (precognition) in order to obtain additional information. And all of this extraordinary power would be deployed in the service of a charade – the illusion of communication with a specific deceased personality that has, in reality, ceased to exist. Even the medium herself would have not the slightest idea that her unconscious mind was carrying on this amazing deception on a colossal scale.
But since the evidence for anomalous information received through mediums in many cases appears to be strong, Prescott argues, then the survival of consciousness after death appears to be the only probably explanation, given that super-psi is even more improbable.
I suggest you all go and read the article and its almost 50 high-quality comments yourself.
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.
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?
Recently I have had the pleasure of seeing the DVD of a new movie called Something Unknown is doing we don’t know what…. This is an indie documentary filmed by Renée Scheltema that explores the science behind psychic phenomena. The award-winning movie, which was released in late 2009, is the best documentary that I’ve seen to date on this subject. Stay with me for a more detailed review of the film.
There are several things to like about Something Unknown, if you’re serious about learning more about ESP and psychic phenomena. First, the movie mostly focuses on interviewing and showing the work of the leading scientists in parapsychology, such as Dr. Dean Radin (Chief scientist of the Institute of Noetic Sciences, showing presentiment experiment), Dr. Rupert Sheldrake (biologist, talks about telepathic dogs, and telephony telepathy) and Professor Charles Tart, who guided Renée through the film and many more. Other names include Professor Gary Schwartz, Dr. Roger Nelson, Dr. Hall Puthoff, Dr. Edgar Mitchell, Dr. David Dosa and more. In short, the “casting” couldn’t be better.
Secondly, it shows these scientists in their homes or working environments, which is much more interesting than seeing them talking in “sterile” studios, which is what other movies that I’ve seen do. This adds an additional personal dimension to the experience of watching it.
Thirdly, the movie focuses on the “Big 5” psi phenomena, meaning the best 5 fields of parapsychological research which Professor Tart sees as having good evidence. These are: telepathy, clairvoyance, remote viewing, psychokinesis (telekinesis) and psychic healing. The film doesn’t talk at all about less researched areas such as mediumship or near-death experience (NDE).
It took Renée almost 10 years to shoot and edit this film, funding it from her own money, which says a lot about her determination and serious approach to this endeavor. She decided to go on this journey after having a couple of unexplainable experiences herself. I liked the movie so much that I asked Renée to let me interview her for Mind-Energy. I’m glad to tell that I’ve recorded the interview and will post it in a couple of days. So stay tuned.
What else is in the film? She met with Dr. Jack Houck, the organizer of PK parties and she also accompanied him to one of them. These are the famous PK parties which he holds in the US, where people bend spoons. Spoon bending is a thread throughout the film, being used to connect the various parts of it, although it’s not a scientific subject by itself.
There’s footage from Brazil of psychic surgeries, there are shots from other healing events and places. You see introductions about such projects such as Global Consciousness Project and Remote Viewing from the first hands, from the scientists themselves.
The film is 105 minutes long and is available on DVD in NTSC and PAL format. You can learn more about the film and purchase it on its official site.
With collaboration with Renée we’ve added a dedicated discussion forum for Something Unknown and its topics at Mind-Energy forums. Please join us in discussing it with Renée and other viewers.
Michael Tymn has a very interesting blog at his gaia page. Michael often writes about the issues of survival after death, such as mediumship and NDE. Recently he published a short interview with Dr. Charles Tart.
Tart is a professor emeritus of psychology at the University of California (Davis campus), where he served for 28 years and is now a core faculty member of the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in Palo Alto, Calif. He has authored more than a dozen books, including Altered States of Consciousness (1969) and Transpersonal Psychologies (1975). He studied electrical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology before deciding to be become a psychologist. He received his doctoral degree in psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1963, and then received postdoctoral training in hypnosis research with Professor Ernest R. Hilgard at Stanford University.
Michael Tymn starts with generic questions about how Dr. Tart came to parapsychology and about his latest book, The End of Materialism
. But later focuses his questions on the subject of survival. I must say that Dr. Tart had some really interesting answers. He definitely holds his own opinion about things. He also thinks that the basic 5 ESP types, such as telepathy and precognition were proven beyond reasonable doubt.
Canadian Psychic Medium Barb Powell, nicknamed the “Sixth Charm”, is sought out for her skills in Paranormal Investigations as well as psychic/medium readings. A popular psychic who has been in the fore front of the media for the past 10 years. You may have heard her on Darkness Radio with Dave Shrader, Sirius Radio’s Living Successfully or her interview on The Kevin Smith Show. Barb was the only one in the history of The Kevin Smith Show that pulled in so many listeners and tipped audience ratings. She can also be viewed on TV and read about in Magazines.
Could you please tell the story of discovering your intuitive abilities?
I always knew I was ‘different’. I never quite fit in, even if I were in a crowd of people. It was like I was always observing everything instead of being a part of a group. I would see ‘colors’ around people, which I now know to be a person’s energy or aura. I could see spirit, those who have passed on and I would talk about them to people. You learn very quickly as a child what to say and what not to say. I learned to keep my mouth shut about certain things that were out of the ordinary. I tried to make myself fit into society and be like everyone else. I didn’t want to be different.
When I was a young girl there was an incident where my grandfather had passed away unexpectedly. It was my first experience with someone passing away let alone someone who was close to me. A few days later he appeared to me and began to speak to me. I remember it rather clearly. My brother came into the room and I do remember hearing him yell to my mother that something was wrong with Barb. It was like hearing his voice through a tunnel, it was hollow sounding. I was somewhere else at that point, I could not even feel my own body, nor did I have control over my body. My mother came into the room and began to ask me questions and I couldn’t understand why she couldn’t see my grandfather. I remember feeling happy and he wasn’t dead. That perhaps everyone was mistaken. No one in my family knew what was happening, they figured I was stressed and no one talked about it again….ever. I have always been different. As an adult I knew what it was I could do as a child. But it was more shunned then because I lived in a small community. It wasn’t talked about as much as it is now.
In your bio I’ve read about an incident with the church, where you and your husband were thrown out of it because you wouldn’t agree to take your site down and abandon the practice. How do you see today the relations between established religion and psychic abilities?
My husband worked as a youth pastor at the church we belonged to. I was asked to take my website down and to become a ‘prophet’ to the church. My husband calmly told them that only Jesus Christ is the true prophet. Needless to say I did not take down my website, nor discontinue my work. We are all made in the image of God and we need to be our truly unique selves and be ok with who and what we are as long as we are being true to ourselves and living the best life we possibly can.
I do not have an issue with religion, religion has an issue with me.
People need something to believe in and as long as it’s good for them, I don’t see anything wrong with it. I do have an issue with those individuals and organizations that tell people what to do and how to do it. There are many religions and churches that do use their intuition, which they state is from God. I’ve been to churches that the Minister stands up and relays messages of health and emotional well being. I try not to worry myself over what someone else is doing, or what religion thinks of me. I know that I’m trying to do the best I can for myself, my family and for my clients. Living by that rule has helped me to stay grounded and free.
On your site you list skills that you work within. Some of them are: Psychic Intuitive, Medium, Angel Reader, Pet Communicator, Spirit Guide Messages. Some of these concepts require a very special and uncommon world view. I would like to know how you see the world, especially the “unseen” part of it.
I love the world. The world is mysterious and beautiful! Just like the world that has areas such as forests and ocean that has not been explored, so too is the human mind! I truly believe that one day the art of psychic abilities will have the proof needed to show that this intuition is real and accessible to anyone. There will always be those who do not agree or feel that it’s wrong. I’m not here to prove anything, nor to try and argue with someone.
My world is like walking into a busy shopping mall. You can hear people talking, all the conversation and words are bumping into each other and not making sense. This is my world 24/7. When you go to a mall you are not overcome by the noise because you don’t always pay attention to it. Sure it can be overwhelming to you, the crowds, pushing and the business of everything. But you are at the mall to do or get something. Therefore you ignore all this external stimuli. That is what I do. I ignore it unless I’m in work mode. When I’m in work mode, I then pay attention to it. I may not always understand it, but I’ll pay attention to it. The spirit world is very close to our world, there is a very thin thread between worlds is the best I can describe it.
You describe yourself also as a paranormal investigator. What does a “paranormal investigator” do? Could give an example?
A paranormal investigator is simply someone who goes into a place of business or home in order to investigate unexplained phenomena. It’s not always caused by spirit or something unexplained. There have only been a few occasions that I can honestly say that a house or place of business is truly ‘haunted’ and I have been doing this type of work for years full time. I am usually called when people are scared or they fear that business is being affected by what the believe to be spirit. I never go alone and I am usually accompanied by a team. There are those in my team who use equipment such as an EMF reader, Infrared Thermal Scanners, compass and other such tools. Obviously I can pick up any spirit or energy changes in an environment.
One of the services that you offer is “Corporate Psychic”. What is this? How common is it in business to use the skills or psychics?
A corporate psychic is a psychic who uses intuitive skills in order to help a business succeed. This type of psychic is like a consultant who looks at the employees listed and can tell who are the trouble makers and who needs to stay and who needs to go in order to make a business run better and succeed. This psychic can help hire new employees and look at the business to see where things may be going wrong and how to correct it. This type of psychic is also good in picking jury selections as well. I think people would be very surprised to learn just how many businesses use a corporate psychic! It’s quite popular.
You also write that you help with Strategic Planning, Employee selection and hiring etc. How being a psychic make you suitable for performing Strategic planning for corporations? How do you help with employee selection?
It’s all about the energy of someone. A psychic can detect who are the trouble makers and who are better workers. They can tell who will cause issues down the line and hopefully save a business some trouble. I’ve had business owners call me up to ask me about their business. That’s all I need to know from them. From there I can usually tell what the business is about and where things are going wrong and hopefully be able to offer some solutions of how to get things back on track.
You know, mediumship has not been accepted by established science as a fact. Same for other psychic effects and skills. How do you think it would be possible to prove the whole world that there is indeed truth to it?
I learned a long time ago that people will believe what they want to believe and that it isn’t up to me to prove anything to anyone. That is how I choose to live my life. I’m not living for other people or what other’s may think of me and I am now ok with that. It took a long time to get to that point in my life, but I’m there. That doesn’t mean certain things do not bother me…but I’ve learned to deal with them in a more positive way instead of allowing negative thoughts and comments affect me.
There have been many mediums/psychics who have ‘proven’ their skills and there are still people out there that give this work a bad name because they do not work in an ethical way.
Do you ever have any doubt regarding the messages that you relay to your customers through you psychic gifts? In general, what makes you certain that your abilities are real and that the world as you see it?
Because I’m human there is always doubt in our lives. One of the most common questions I get from students is how can they be sure that it’s intuition and not projecting fears or hopes. How can you tell when a hunch is intuition that is valid and not something simply made up or a random lucky guess. My response to them is that you don’t know. That’s the entire challenge of using intuition. I’ve been doing this work for years and have been able to put aside my own fears, ego and personal opinions when doing the work that I do. It’s highly unlikely you will see me crying with a client. I’m very blunt and honest with what I do. Basically with a reading, don’t ask if you don’t want to know the answer. I won’t relay what I know a client wants to hear. I will relay the information I receive, which is one of the reasons I do not like to do criminal cases or cold cases with family members. I will usually only work with police because it’s difficult to tell a family member all the details I receive when working on a case.
How do you think the world will change in the next 10 years?
Things change day by day. In 10 years I believe we will hear more health news in regards to cancer and AIDS. AIDS will change, meaning mutate and there will be another catch to this disease that will cause more panic and fears. But there will be good news in regards to cancer and cures. On a spiritual note, I see that people will become more accustom to hearing and believing in the spiritual realms. However, TV will take it to another level and play off the fears of people. Making things unbelievable and more difficult for those in this line of work. Someone quite famous in the paranormal world will be outed. Meaning there will be bad press for them as there will be those who are on a mission to out spiritual workers and frauds to make their point.
How do you see your mission in this world?
I see myself as getting by in the world. I’m trying to live the best way I possibly can while helping where I can. I’m not out to prove a point or to create a mission plan for myself. My theme is to be me and for me to travel down that road of self discovery and figure myself out. I wasted too many years trying to figure others out and ways I could fit into their world. I’ve set myself free to be who I know I am and that’s a person who is no longer afraid of what others think. Setting your soul free will allow you to sore to heights you never knew existed! Release those limits you set upon yourself. Anything and everything is possible. Don’t worry about the how to and the why. Focus on the goal, don’t focus on how to get there.
My thanks to Barb for taking the time to answer my questions.
I’ll start with going over the structure of the book, chapter by chapter, and will conclude with my impressions of it.
In the preface Thomas tells that he started this project back in 1995 and worked on the manuscript for seven years. Several years later, in 2008 his son Clint was dying of cancer. Before he passed away Clint had promised his father to “keep in touch”. And he kept his promise. According to Walker, numerous anomalous and highly improbably events have happened later that year, described in the preface.
The book has 10 Chapters, each touching different aspect of parapsychology, spirituality or research.
The first chapter, titled “The Force – From Ch’i to Cosmological Constant and Beyond”, Walker starts with the Chinese concept of Ch’i (also spelled Qi), which is what chinese call the Life-force. Ch’i is believe to flow in the body, mainly through a system called meridians, which are highly relevant into Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). He refers to 1960s research of Professor Kim Bong Han in which he identified a series of unknown ducts in the bodies of animals and people that followed the paths of acupuncture meridians. He later discovered 2 more networks of such ducts bring to greater interconnection of cells in the body. Later follows a story about how the knowledge of Qi was brought to the west in the 20th century and how it was tested in medical tests to be helpful. Following with some research that was done on Qi, he finishes with the research of Professor William Tiller of Stanford University in which he develops a new theory build upon Einstein’s cosmological constant.
Chapter 2 – New Dimensions: Perceptions beyond the Body – talks about Near Death Experiences (NDE), Out of Body Experiences (OBE), explains what psi and parapsychology is. Explains the main areas of psi research from its early history in late 19th century through the 20th, including detailed history of Stanford Research Institute (SRI) research into remote viewing, backed by CIA.
Chapter 3 – More Dimensions: The Body beyond the Body – tells about the more esoteric subject of human bodies beyond the physical, such as etherial, astral and further, based on Theosophy. Detailed history of Kirlian photography and its research is described.
Chapter 4 – Where Do We Go? Arguments for an Afterlife – delves deeper into the research of NDEs, reincarnation research by late Dr. Ian Stevenson. Wakers covers the subject of mediumship, both in history and in research, such as Gary Schwartz’s research. Ending the chapter a detailed story of the great magician Harry Houdini and Arthur Conan Doyle.
Chapter 5 – Paranormal Panache: Superstars of Psychokinesis – tells about the rarer macro-psychokinesis events, starting with 19th century Daniel David Home , who even performed for emperor Napoleon III and Tsar Alexander II, researched, and never found cheating. He was most known for his ability to levitate objects and even himself. Following is the story of Nina Kulagina, heavily researched Russian woman with strong psychokinetic abilities. Later follows the story of most controversial Uri Geller. The chapters ends with an overview of micro-PK research by PEAR, Dr. Dean Radin and others.
Chapter 6 – Magnetically Magnificent: Exploring the Human Energy Field – starts with Mesmer and his research into fluidum (the force) and animal magnetism. The story continues with Baron Karl von Reichenbach, a promising chemist, discoverer of paraffin who changed his career path to research magnetism in humans, which brought him conclusion similar to that of Mesmer that it’s not regular magnetism but other force, which he called the odic force. Next is the story of English physician Walter Kilner, who on the turn of 20th century, found that he could see energy field around living organisms with special equipment. The chapter ends with more recent research by William Tiller and Chinese Dr. Zheng.
Chapter 7 – Orgasmic Outcast: Was Wilhelm Reich Right? – tells the famous story of Austria-born Wilhelm Reich, physician, whose writings were burned thrice – by German Nazis, by Soviets and by US government. Follower and of Freud and even the director of his clinic in Vienna, Reich linked many health issues with the flow of psychic energy, which he called Orgone energy. He decided to research orgone theory. Thomas Walter tells in detail about the history of his research and his life, which ended in US Prison in 1957.
Chapter 8 – Healing the Rift: Alternative Medicine Arrives – gets into the details of many studies done in the 20th century, following the introduction of Chinese medicine and other alternative medicine practices in the west. Numerous studies showed the intent of healers, such a prayer or applications of the force, whatever it’s called, can greatly and positively affect organisms, including humans. Special attention is paid to Therapeutic Touch and to Chiropractic.
Chapter 9 – Schlock Science: Who Makes the Call? – tells about the difficulties that scientists who challenge the status-quo encounter on their way. Starting with Thomas Edison and his electric bulb invention, following the discovery of cold fusion by Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons. Then Walter talks about non-psi subject of Mars exploration and the Cydonia region research by Richard Hoagland and the lies of NASA regarding issues related to Mars research. The second half of the chapter leaves the “science” and goes on to describe the history of CSICOP (Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of Paranormal), established in 1976 and now called Committee of Skeptical Inquiry (CSI), started by Ray Hyman, James Randi, Marcello Truzzi and others. CSI is claiming to be an investigating organization but it appears to be a dogmatic Skeptical organization which denies any possibility of psi, without a deep look into things.
Chapter 10 – A Path with Heart: The Way Back Home – argues that the heart plays a more central role in the humans than just pumping the blood. Thomas describes various studies that suggest that not everything is controlled by the brain and that some neurological functions are scattered through the body.
Overall, I liked the book very much for several reasons. First, it is easy and fun to read. I simply enjoyed reading it, the text flowed smoothly. Secondly, I learned a lot of new stuff. Even though I thought I knew a lot about psi research, after reading such books as the Entangled Minds
by Dr. Dean Radin, I found a lot of subjects that I didn’t know about.
The book starts with the subject of Ch’i. Being a Qigong (Chi Kung) student myself for almost 3 years now, I tend to believe that there is something to it. I can relate to the fact that martial artists and Qigong masters can feel and “utilize” it.
The book goes over lots of subjects but has points where it goes deeper, telling about a specific person for several pages. So, even if I read about someone in short previously, I still found lots of new information.
Some might argue that the book is not scientific or that it doesn’t present the opposite point of view, i.e. criticisms of the studies. But having a chapter devoted to showing how science refuses to accept views that drastically differ from the status-quo and about the organized pseudo-skeptics, he clearly chose a side. I think it’s OK to write a book which shows what the author believes to be true. After all, there’s enough totally baseless criticism as well. And I also believe that the media and other establishments will much easier accept and transmit any skeptical argument, however vague, over a study proposing any psi effect.
In conclusion, I highly recommend the book to anyone who’s interesting in these areas of the paranormal or parapsychology which are presented in it. If you are a highly scientific person you’ll have 2 choices. Either skip the book or better yet, follow the studies present in the book (there is bibliography and notes) and try to read them yourself before deciding what’s right or wrong.