An interview

This is an excerpt of an interview I did at the Electric Universe conference in January.


Tor said…
Interesting interview. I'm guessing what you talk about will be elaborated upon in your upcoming book (which I am looking forward to reading)? Did you look into the bodily/energetic phenomena that often accompanies such practise?

In my own experience I've been able to quite strongly feel the "bubble" (for the lack of a better word) that surrounds the body of another person that has been doing intensive practise. In one case I could step in and out of this bubble/field and to my perception it had a diameter of about 4 meters. At times like that I wish I there were some cheap and accurate sensors available that could just be plugged into my smart phone to do some basic measurements and recordings. It would be interesting to measure what kind of field this sensation is correlated with.
The Green et al study (Subtle Energies 2,1993) is the only one I know of who examined something like this (measuring voltage bursts on the bodies of healers, up to around 300 V in the most extreme cases).
Ed H said…
Seriously? Electric Universe? That's super disappointing. Is the Flat Earth Society next?
Dean Radin said…
Yes, that interview touched upon topics that I cover in my forthcoming book.

I enjoyed the Electric Universe conference. I'm not an astrophysicist, so I don't know which of the ideas presented will stand the test of time. But I enjoy open discussions of alternative theories in all domains, however controversial they may be. If we've learned anything from the history of science, it's that ideas can easily become entrenched even though they are mildly or even flatly wrong. The only way to break the inertia of theories that have gone beyond their expiration date is to suspend disbelief and to seriously concern their merits. Some new ideas will fail empirically and be discarded, others will become tomorrow's received wisdom. The fun is watching the process unfold.
Dean Radin said…
> and to seriously concern their merits

Oops. I meant to write "consider," and not "concern."
S B said…
Something really bothered me after your talk and, after thinking it through, I can put it into words. Is it not selfish, in a way, if you have powerful psionic abilities from meditation to hide these skills from researchers and society?

For example, animals may use presentiment to flee from natural disasters. There are many reports that animals fled away from shore before the great 2004 tsunami while humans stayed put, leading to much loss of life. If we humans had some sort of presentiment-based warning system for such events, perhaps using skilled meditators, many children would still have their parents and many parents, their children. Much suffering could have been avoided. I think this ties into a philosophical criticism of Buddhism, in that a single-minded pursuit of no-self, can, in its own way, be selfish as one withdraws from society.

What are your thoughts?
Dean Radin said…
Yes, with great power comes great responsibility.

But in a world with 7 billion people there are countless events happening every day that would benefit from an advance warning. A person with exceptional psi skills would quickly be overwhelmed by paying attention to these events and would be forced to resort to triage. You'd have to continually decide is it better to sound an alert that might save say, 1,000 people from some disaster, or better to alert one person who, from a psi perspective, will be more important to future history?

In either case, how would the psychic provide such warnings? Government agencies charged with public safety are flooded with warnings and threats all the time. They don't have any way to vet them all, so messages of this sort would automatically be filed under "yet another psychic" or worse, filed under "potential terrorist." And how would you warn a total stranger of some upcoming danger without them thinking you're crazy?

Beyond all this, there's a potential karmic element (assuming it exists). By saving someone from a disaster you take on a certain responsibility. Those responsibilities might be karmic bonus points, but perhaps not depending on how the future is altered through your actions.

In sum, while it might seem selfish to not be actively saving people, from a pragmatic viewpoint it is unrealistic. It would be an all-consuming task, and it would more likely get you into trouble rather than be viewed as beneficial.

This theme is sometimes explored in superhero comic books. I.e., Superman is always engaged in saving people from one disaster or another. But between the major battles that are portrayed in comic books, and during them, there are presumably millions of smaller crises where he presumably could have saved someone or some thing. But even Superman isn't capable of that.
Anthony Mugan said…
How curious...the description made me think of an observer looking at an objects approaching a holographic horizon such as an event horizon, although I have no basis for saying that as anything other than a visual analogy.

On another thought, there is a recent paper on the arXriv by Albrecht and Phillips (2012),'Origin of probabilities and their application to the multiverse' which argues quite well that all probabilstic effects, including macroscopic effects, can be traced by to quantum uncertainties. They attempt to quantify the number of interactions in various systems after which this becomes significant. For a bumper car ride they estimate 25 interactions as the threshold, for example. This made me think about the macro-PK experiments various people have done and specifically the cascade experiment that Jahn and Dunne et al did at Princeton. This had always been very puzzling to me as I couldn't see how you could begin to get quantum level effects in such a macro-scopic system. This paper may be a clue, and potentially might offer a test in that short cascades may not be long enough for the effect to show, whilst it may do so in longer ones (assuming all the above assumptions are right!). Not sure if there is any existing data on this sort of thing which may be applicable, or if I'm talking total nonsense
thanks. keep up the great work .
Unknown said…
S b: Many animals have an oustanding ability to sense seismic activity, it´s not really paranormal in most cases.

The problem with the 2004 Tsunami is that they didn´t warn people about it in time. Some people wouldn´t have cared since they were on a vacation having fun perhaps but many lives would be saved for sure.
Dave Smith said…

Have you discovered what happened over at Frontiers regarding the disappearance of the Non-Local Mind research topic? It seems quite a long time for a technical fault...
Dean Radin said…
The Frontiers editors reported that they had not officially approved our Research Topic, and its appearance on the website was anomalous. As a result, four months after we had been collecting submissions, they just deleted the link without bothering to inform us. When we asked for an explanation, they opined that the topic was controversial and as a result it might have caused confusion or, as one editor put it, "bewilderment" among some of their readers.

What we learn from this episode is that ironically Frontiers isn't interested in controversial topics, despite the historical fact that the frontiers are exactly where new ideas can be found, along with the controversies that inevitably accompany them.
Unknown said…
That´s sad but not very surprising. These days people often want a confirmation from a significant authority before they "believe that something unlikely is genuine". The climate for anything related to Parapsychology is sadly very cold these days. There are couple of significant authorities in physics (with some interest in Psi) that might change that if they publicly support psi research.
Dave Smith said…
Frontiers have recently joined forces with Nature Publishing Group. I wonder whether this explains their sudden reluctance to support controversial topics.
V. Ais said…
Off-topic, but in your book "Entangled Minds" you write about schizophrenia while seemingly unaware that true psychosis involves loss of control of one's thought processes in a way that results in extraordinarily irrational beliefs. This loss of control can manifest itself in being unable to remember obvious things that would make the delusion being formed appear as unlikely to be true, while at the same time remembering details of the past that seem to provide evidence supporting that delusion.

So in a way, you are quite wrong when you think that high IQ people are better off dealing with psychosis than low IQ people. A person can believe anything depending on what comes to his mind, so he is at the mercy of his memory processes.

In some sense you may right, in that once the psychotic episode has passed, high IQ people may be better able to come to terms with their experiences. But I'm doubtful of even that. It may be the low IQ people for whom it is easier to stop thinking about and dismiss memories of unbelievable synchronicities or other things that, if considered honestly and intelligently, would make the person so doing form beliefs that would appear as crazy to most people, at least in today's West. In many cases an unfamiliarity with parapsychology and/or quantum mechanics would probably result in the person, howsoever intelligent, starting to believe there is a conspiracy against him, because no other conclusion involving the paradigm of a mechanistic universe would be likely to be true from that point of view. I guess that would depend more on the person's tendency to dismiss ideas he doesn't want to believe than on his intelligence. But intelligence, grasp of probabilities and such things, would also play a part.

I've written more about this topic on my blog, which consists of a single blog post outlining my theory of paranoid schizophrenia. You may be interested in it. If so, here is the link to it:

I think you mentioned ramifications for free will at some point in your book. Very relevant to my ideas there.
Dean Radin said…
> Nature Publishing Group. I wonder whether this explains their sudden reluctance to support controversial topics.

I wondered about this too. Frontiers was in discussions with NPG for a year, so the editors would have known about this.
Theophrastus said…
One factual point - you say there has been research on meditation and brain states for 20 years. In fact this started in the 1960s with Robert Keith Wallace when he hooked up people doing Transcendental Meditation to an EEG. He was the first scientist ever to do something like this, as far as I know.
Dean Radin said…
True. Much of the earliest research on meditation was initiated (so to speak) by TM.

On the IONS website we have a bibliography that lists over 6,000 studies related to meditation:
Theophrastus said…
Thanks. Just wanted to give credit where it's due.
wanderinglion said…
We enjoyed your presentation and are looking forward to your new book! You mentioned the effect of local sidereal time on psi ... have you seen this in your experiments too?

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