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.
Dr. Dean Radin (of the Institute of Noetic Sciences) posted on his blog a note about two recent speeches that he’s done. The first speech was on January 16th in the Google headquarters (Telepathic search engine, anyone ?).
The good thing about the speech is that the video is available on Youtube with the full speech (over 90 minutes), which is really great. The video is edited, showing the slides well and with good sound quality. The abstract of the speech is as follow:
Do telepathy, clairvoyance and other “psi” abilities exist? The majority of the general population believes that they do, and yet fewer than one percent of mainstream academic institutions have any faculty known for their interest in these frequently reported experiences. Why is a topic of enduring and widespread interest met with such resounding silence in academia? The answer is not due to a lack of scientific evidence, or even to a lack of scientific interest, but rather involves a taboo. I will discuss the nature of this taboo, some of the empirical evidence and critical responses, and speculate on the implications.
On January 19th, Dr. Radin talked in a conference entitled “Investigations of Consciousness and the Unseen World: Proof of an Afterlife?” where he talked about the possible implications of Psi on the possibility of afterlife.
Today I’m proud to present my interview with medium Marcel Cairo. I’ve known Marcel for several months now through his active involvement in the internet community on the topics of mediumship and skepticism. Marcel also hosted an internet radio show called AfterLifeFM.
As a disclaimer I must say that several months ago Marcel performed a short reading for me over the phone. In this reading Marcel had a hard time of establishing a confirmation for the spirit that appeared to him. After we dropped this and focused on the message instead, I found it to be more to the point about what was going on in my life. So, although I wouldn’t consider this reading as overly successful from my point of view, I’ve heard positive testimonials from Alex Tsakiris and Science is a method, not a position blogger, Matthew. Of course, one or even three testimonials can’t substitute for controlled testing, but they do give you a small window into the type of work Marcel does, and so hopefully will this interview..
I hope this interview will give you a better look into Marcel’s character and plans for the future of his shows.
Good day, Marcel. I want to concentrate on three things in this interview, if you don’t mind. One is your own mediumship. Second is your radio/podcasts on the internet (AfterlifeFM) and third the interaction between skeptics and mediums and what can be done about this. Is this OK?
Please tell what being a medium means to you? What kind of a medium are you?
Good question. Most people assume that you become a medium because you somehow are driven or asked to help others. For me, choosing to be a medium is primarily an attempt for me to understand myself in a deeper and more profound way, and somehow elevate my own personal struggles beyond my own ego… if that makes any sense.
To answer the second part, I am an evolving medium. At this point in my life, I would like to be the equivalent of what Richard Wiseman is to social psychology… a spokesperson and a researcher. I am far from this dream, but I am projecting that at least to myself.
So, have you learned this skill or did it just “appear” in your life?
Being a father of two amazing little imaginations, you learn not to make these type of distinctions. Where does creativity really come from? What is the origin of curiosity? I don’t know, but observing my kids, I see how little conscious control we have over becoming ourselves. I can remember as a child just being in touch with this incredible source of creativity and inspiration that was a playground for whatever it was or is that I am to become. More importantly, I was never discouraged or criticized as a child. I just played. To me, this freedom was and is everything.
But being a medium is not just “curiosity”. I am, too, curious about this subject yet this doesn’t make me a medium.
You’re right and you are wrong. There is no way you can become a really good medium without curiosity. Curiosity is a cousin to trust. Curiosity allows you to peek into the dark room knowing that there is a chance you may get swallowed up. Somewhere on the path, I met a traveling angel. I feel that I was hand picked to be mentored. Not because I was gifted in anyway, but because I exhibited a willingness to struggle in my curiosity.
My mother is really the key to everything. If anyone can claim any credit to nurturing this skill in me, she is the one who wins the trophy. She is a doctor and a great mind. Though I often disagree with her conclusions, she embodied what the scientific method and the skeptical mind should be – open observers and willing participants in the quest for truth.
My mom created an environment in my house which many family and neighbors criticized – a circus of geniuses and freaks constantly streaming in and out of my house.
Some of those people would sit around the dinner table talking about consciousness, magic numbers, UFO’s, Atlantis, spiritual contact, etc… I wanted to be like these people… aware of mysteries.
My curiosity and desire, magnified by my environment, unleashed a flood of spiritual contact that almost drove me mad as a 9 year old child.
How does mediumship affect your own life? Whether and how do you use these abilities for you own good?
For those of you who like latest scientific articles on the difficult subjects of consciousness, religion and quantum physics relation to all that, head over to read the second issue of the AntiMatters journal. AntiMatters is “an open-access journal addressing issues in science and the humanities from non-materialistic perspectives.” Stephen Braude is also on the editorial board.
Here’s some description of the goals of AntiMatter, quoted from the journal.
AntiMatters encourages the exploration of ontologies that are essentially monistic, not because they aim to reduce reality to a single category such as matter or mind, but because they assign ultimate reality to an entity or principle that is intrinsically one. Such ontologies model reality “from the top down,” using novel explanatory concepts such as differentiation, manifestation, emanation, or emergence (and probably others that nobody has thought of yet).
AntiMatters is for those who are uncomfortable with (or unconvinced of) materialism, or who favor a non-materialistic world view. Such persons are oftentimes unaware of how much of what is claimed to have been scientifically established is actually spurious. For their benefit, the Journal aims to critically examine the alleged scientific evidence for materialism. While authors are expected to respect and take account of all relevant empirical data, they should bear in mind that empirical data are inevitably theory-laden and paradigm-dependent, and that theories and paradigms, being to a considerable extent social constructions, are relative.
The current issue, Vol 1, No 2, has articles by Ulrich J Mohrhoff, who is the managing editor of the journal, by Donald D Hoffman, who wrote article about the “debates between theists and atheists”. There are two articles by Peter Kingsley, who is a leading figure on the origins of western spirituality. There are also two interviews with Peter.
Ulrich Mohrhoff also wrote two book reviews. First “The Spiritual Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Case for the Existence of the Soul” by Mario Beauregard and Denyse O’Leary. The second is of the book “Science as a Spiritual Practice” by Imants Barušs, a Professor of Psychology at King’s University College at The University of Western Ontario, where Imants asks the question of whether “a spiritual practice be developed that would be suitable for scientists”?
If you missed the first issue, also packed with many articles, you can find it here.
THe journal requires some time to read and digest and clearly represents a non-materialistic view of the world by its writes.
Paranormal review reports a story about two independent mediums successfully pointing to the whereabouts of a British soldier, Blake Hartley, who went missing about 3 years ago, in France. The mediums, Gordon Smith and Dennis McKenzie, were asked to work on the case by the mother, after Blake disappeared during an army expedition to France.
Both mediums, Gordon Smith first, and McKenzie second, told the mother that Blake was dead and pointed to a section of a river near the place of his disappearance as to where he would be found. McKenzie even traced back the events of Blake’s last night, his path to the river, his nightclub events at that day and more.
Gordon Smith, when telling where to look for Blake, narrowed the search by referencing a weir on the river, 60 kilometers below the point where he disappeared. He also predicted that the remain would be found later, around 3rd anniversary of his disappearance.
Some local, moved by the story and knowing the river, searched the area of the weir for several months, and on 30 December 2006, they have recovered some human remains which proved to be Blake’s in a DNA test.
“It was found in exactly the kind of area Gordon had described,” Sally reveals in Gordon’s book, Life Changing Messages. “Annoyingly, it was found just a few yards further south of the place where every search that we had conducted had ended, just downstream of a bridge that denotes the beginning of the torrent, where, according to the police, bodies do not get caught up!”
Unfortunately, the recovery of the body didn’t lead to the discovery of the reason of his death. Was it an accident or a murder still remain in the realm of the unknown.
OpenSourceScience released a press-release about their search for psychic dogs:
Researchers at OpenSourceScience.net have offered a $1,000 prize to dogs who successfully demonstrate they know when their owners are coming home. Many dog owners claim their pets anticipate their arrival by going to wait at a door, window, or driveway. Some claim their dogs do this even when they arrive home unexpectedly or at odd hours. While some researchers, including Dr. Rupert Sheldrake, a biologist, and former Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge University have investigated this phenomena, many scientists remain unconvinced it really occurs.
OpenSourceScience is a project started by Alex Tsakiris, host of the Skeptiko.com podcast, where he interviews leading scientists and their critics on topics of controversial science, like psi research, consciousness and its survival after death. Alex started the OpenSourceScience.net projects in order to create scientific experiments on collaborative ground between all kinds of researcher, skeptics and not. The first experiment is a replication of a famous research performed by Rupert Sheldrake, which deals with the subject of whether dogs know when their owners return home.
If you have a dog who, in your opinion, knows when you come home, you’re invited to take part in the experiment and you could earn a $1000 prize for a successful demonstration. For an example, look at Dogs That Know:de la Cuadra Dogs.
The researchers are encouraging dog owners who have noticed this anticipating behavior in their dogs to take part in the experiments and have set-up a special website address for participants: www.dogsthatknow.com. OpenSourceScience.net founder Alex Tsakiris explains: “This is an experiment that anyone can join in on and make a real contribution. We feel very confident this happens all the time. It’s a matter of finding dog owners who are willing to help demonstrate just how special these animal abilities are.”
For an interview I’ve done with Alex Tsakiris, where he explains more of the project read Interview with Alex Tsakiris.
The very known movie “The Secret”, which stirred big waves across the world and in the US in particular, will have a sequel soon. Apparently, the movie will continue where “The Secret” left off and focus on an action plan. It is about half way shot already and is planned to be released in November this year. It will have a similar cast. Following is my review of the original “The Secret” movie and my thoughts about its concepts.
I’ve seen “The Secret” movie a long time ago, before it hit the US strong through Oprah’s show. I’ve watched it with several friends and I liked it. Although basically the idea (Law of Attraction) was not new to me as I’ve heard it through various sources, beginning with Brian Tracy’s motivational books through many current spiritual coaches, I still found the movie well produced and the visualizations of the process are effective, in my opinion.
Law of Attraction, as it is presented in the movie, is also called “manifestation” in modern literature and it promotes the idea that our life flows in the direction of our energized thoughts, i.e. one’s desires, reinforced through visualization and other manifestation techniques help create the reality which realizes (manifests) this original desire or goal. Creative visualization, Jose Silva’s Method and many similar techniques were developed years earlier than this movie to achieve the same goal.
The movie, though, also presents the Law of Attraction in its “negative form”, when our negative thoughts “attract” negative events in our life. Although I find it hard to attribute every negative or positive event to the Law of Attraction, I think that basically this works. Even if the mechanism of this work is not “paranormal” in any way, I believe that focusing your mind on your goals activates the brain so that it builds the plan and pays attention to the opportunities that come across the way and may help achieve the goals. It is possible that if one wouldn’t do these visualizations which focus the brain on the target, one wouldn’t have recognized the opportunity coming his way. It also makes one more optimistic and able, while being pessimistic (thinking about bad things that might happen) will not allow you to progress in the desired direction.
Of course, many people who stick to manifestation tell about amazing coincidences happening in their life after they actively engage in this process, like you can read in my story at Belief and money manifestation and I’m not sure if all of them can be attributed to simple focused awareness, as many of these cases seem to be externally driven.
I’ve found a number of good articles about Remote Viewing (RV) written by Mr. Gerald O’Donnell, founder of Academy of Remote Viewing and Remote Influencing. The articles appear in the American Chronicle and the latest one is from today.
The first article is The Quantum Physics of Remote Viewing and it tells about the history of modern science, gives a very short intro into some ideas of quantum mechanics and continues with the usual description how quantum psychics can explain such effects as non-locality and how it connects to remote viewing. He then states that our consciousness affects the reality by observing it and thus we create our reality.
I’ve been hearing these about these claims about Quantum mechanics explaining psi phenomena for some time now. Many New Age authors give these claims, including Deepak Chopra, Amit Goswami (a theoretical nuclear physicist), Dr. Fred Alan Wolf (Dr. Quantum) and other people. And although my understand of quantum mechanics is not good enough and some of these people actually are quantum physicist, I’m still not sure that they are right. First, as far as I know, these claims are based on one specific interpretation of quantum physics, which is not fully adopted to be the correct one. Second, if they are true, their implication is so significant that I my head somehow resists it, I guess. Similar to my previous post (See Is the media afraid of parapsychology research?), where it seems that we somehow disregard such difficult claims.
In his second article, The Real Secrets of Remote Viewing , O’Donnell, explains a lot about the different brainwaves, Alpha, Beta, Theta and Delta and how they relate to performing Remote Viewing and affect behavior in general. He claims that in order to perform remote viewing well, one must be doing it while in the Theta state (4 to 5 Hz).
For those who follow the Skeptiko podcast it might not be news but Alex Tsakiris who runs this great podcast show, interviewing leading scientists on the topics of consciousness and parapsychology research announced the launch of a new interesting project called Open Source Science. This will be an interesting site to follow. Read his press release below:
Del Mar, CA, May 17, 2007—(PR.com)—OpenSourceScience officially launched its new website located at www.opensourcescience.net today. The website offers a variety of tools for managing scientific experiments and lets site visitors discuss and participate in the research process. Besides promoting scientific collaboration, OpenSourceScience offers financial grants to researchers working within the areas featured on the website.
According to Alex Tsakiris, one of the sites creators, the open source model is well suited for this task: “The open source model has proven to be a powerful enabling technology because it promotes collaboration. When you look at some of the controversial areas of research, like whether our consciousness is separate from our brain, there has been very little collaboration between researchers and those with opposing views. Everyone seems to agree that collaboration is necessary, but until now, it just hasn’t happened.”
OpenSourceScience suited for scientifically-minded skeptics as well as those interested in controversial subjects such as parapsychology and human consciousness. The site’s first experiment examines whether dogs can anticipate their owners coming home, and whether they do this in a way currently unexplained by science. The original researchers, Dr. Rupert Sheldrake and Dr. Richard Wiseman, have offered their support to this collaborative re-examination of their experiments and are looking forward to the results.
OpenSourceScience is the first scientifically oriented website to bring the power of open source methods to the skeptical examination of controversial areas of science such as telepathy, psi, parapsychology, near-death experiences, reincarnation, and after-life encounters.
DeAna is a well established, UK psychic with clients all over the world. Predominantly, she uses her psychic ability to give people psychic readings over the telephone or via email. DeAna has helped thousands of people over many years. More information on DeAna can be found at her website: http://www.future-forcast.co.uk where you will also find how to contact DeAna if you would like to use her psychic services.
You are a psychic reader, could you explain what is the service that you
That’s a loaded question, lol. It really depends on the person or organisation and their needs. People consult psychics for different reasons. Consulting a psychic does not interfere with your free will; instead it should provide a little ‘helpful inside info’ and help you to change outcomes and steer your life in the direction you want to go, avoiding problems where ever possible. People from all walks of life can and do consult psychics from Priests to MD’s. It is a common misconception that only women use psychics, more and more men are feeling comfortable about consulting psychics too.
I never claim to be a medium (although sometimes messages and information come through, but I cannot and will not try to guarantee to contact a departed relative). Some people call looking for proof of survival, people coming to me looking to contact the departed are told I cannot guarantee or force it. To offer an analogy: you cannot just telephone a friend at anytime, guarantee they will be home and want to talk, so the same same applies to talking to those who have passed over. It’s really up to the person that is past, if they can/will decide to communicate. This cannot be forced.
Some people come for information about what is likely to happen in the near future- or for clarification on something from the past. Many clients tell me they use me as ‘a year planner’. They have a reading covering their year ahead and build around what information I give them. Problems with partners, lost people and pets, business choices…the list is endless really- a few come just for fun or because they are so sure skeptical about psychic ability and they like to check you out. I get asked to perform many different services. If I feel in anyway a person would be better off consulting a doctor, counsellor or other professional- I will refer them as appropriate.