Monday, May 22, 2006

Entangled artists

Graphic artist Teka Luttrell sent me the following curious coincidence:

"About 10 days ago ... around May 11th (2006) ... all members of IONS received your book and the intro DVD to "Down the Rabbit Hole" ...which largely was about Entangled Minds. I shared the DVD with a small meditation group, too, and we all thought that your research is very cool.

"On the Saturday that followed -- May 13th -- I created a very unusual piece of art for a project I'm developing. (As shown, an iris with stars inside the pupil.)

"Then, last Friday, I received the new Shift magazine from IONS. I instantly noticed that the central piece of art on the cover was very similar to the artwork that I had created 6 days earlier. Of course, the magazine cover was artistically developed a couple months before it was printed. But the point is that I developed my piece without any knowledge of the Shift cover ... and these two "seemingly" separate pieces came together ... they crossed paths in time and we are now conscious of their behind-the-scenes entanglement."

You can visit Teka's website here

Friday, May 19, 2006

A poignant psychic experience

A fascinating story from a reader who gave permission to use his real name.

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Dear Dr. Radin,

I have had a psychic experience of my own which involves your book, which I think you will find interesting.

My wife had been ill with cancer for about a year and was confined to bed. I had bought the book and left it on the living room table hoping to read it when I had the time.

Freda died and in my grief I tried to contact her, simply by holding the belief that this was indeed possible and visualising her while asking questions. I started to get very relevant answers and I was very intrigued.

I realised that the answers might be products of my imagination so I asked Freda to give me some proof that I really was in contact with her. After a while an inner voice said "Page 4". I replied "Page 4"of what?. The voice eventually came back "Entangled Minds". So (this was in the middle of the night) I got up and went downstairs to retrieve the book and turned to page 4 with anticipation. The page - as you know - contains only this poem, accompanied by an illustration:

All things by immortal power; Near and Far Hiddenly; To each other linked are; That thou canst not stir a flower; Without troubling of a star.

Remember, in life Freda had never even seen or known of the book - and I had never read it. Page 4 does not bear the number 4 so it is not possible that I have had peripheral or unconscious vision of the poem and page number while handling the book. Every other page in the book is dense with text that would have been difficult to yield a meaningful response to my question. I knew then with certainty and joy that I was indeed communicating with her.

Ross Hendry
The Book Shop, 14 South Street, Bridport DT6 3NQ, England. Visit our web site at

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Psychic/Spiritual Assistance

People often write or call me seeking advice in how to deal psychic or spiritual awakenings, or other transformative experiences.

I'm not a counselor, so I cannot offer such advice. I recommend visiting the Center for Psychological & Spiritual Health for assistance.

For those who are interested in learning more about their transformational experiences, I recommend a survey project that IONS is running at

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Response to a critique on Amazon reviews

A reviewer named "Short Dog" provides a two-star review of Entangled Minds. I'll intersperse my responses in blue; the review is in black:

"I hate to rain on the party of previous reviewers who gave positive comments but I do not recommend this book. For starters, the book falls under the same spell that trapped a long list of other, prior books that attempted (unsuccesfully, mind you) to make a connection between quantum mechanics and parapsychology. Talk about moth to the flame. There's nothing really new here. The mistake they make is to use one mystery, quantum mechanics, to explain another, ie, psi."

I address this in the book's Introduction: "Some may object that linking the elegance of quantum theory to the spookiness of psychic phenomena is illegitimate, that it’s a mistake to claim a connection exists simply because these two domains are permeated with uncanny effects. This objection is certainly understandable. Quantum theory is a mathematically precise and exquisitely well-tested description of the observable world. Psychic phenomena are slippery, subjective events with a checkered past. But as it turns out, the fabric of reality suggested by quantum theory and the observations associated with psychic phenomena bear striking resemblances. They are eerily weird in precisely the right way to suggest a meaningful relationship."

Later I add: "... the connection proposed here is not trivial. As physicist Henry Stapp explains, 'Quantum approaches to consciousness are sometimes said to be motivated simply by the idea that quantum theory is a mystery and consciousness is a mystery, so perhaps the two are related. That opinion betrays a profound misunderstanding of the nature of quantum mechanics, which consists fundamentally of a pragmatic scientific solution to the problem of the connection between mind and matter.' "

Why isn't this fallacy obvious? No one has been able to account for QM in nearly 100 years other than to offer various interpretations and say "It works." Well, it does. And thank heavens. But how does the unexplained explain psi? Throw me a lifeline. Between 1932 and 1958 Jung and Pauli went down this path and if anybody could do it, they were the ones. But nothing productive came from such a collaboration.

That's not entirely true. Jung's concept of synchronicity came out of their collaboration. In addition, it's useful to keep in mind that when Pauli and Jung were discussing this topic, the concept of nonlocality was an abstract mathematical curiosity. No one even knew if the idea was testable. Today we know that nonlocal effects like entanglement are indeed real, which leads to a radically new ontological view of reality. That new ontology is the lifeline, as I discuss in the "New Reality" chapter. This isn't a concept that is easily graspable. It takes time to seriously ponder what it means to live in a holistic reality.

Secondly, Entangled Minds does not say how to go from micro-scale QM to psi which operates, seemingly, on the macro-scale. This objection is so well known and has been repeated so often, it hardly barely mentioning. Koestler pointed out this problem 34 years ago in his little book, The Roots of Conicidence. In fact, many of the same points in Extangled Minds are covered by Koestler except the latter said what he had to say in 150 pages instead of 350 pages.

This is a common mistake. Entanglement is not limited to the microscale. Photons 50 km apart can show nonlocal connections, clearly demonstrating macroscale effects. I discuss others examples of macroscopic entanglement in the Introduction chapter. Also, how big is human experience? As I discuss in the Theory chapter, there are several proposals being floated about the mind-QM link. Most of these proposals assume that quantum-level tweaks in the brain are sufficient to influence cascades of neural activity that correspond to subjective experience. Thus elementary QM effects might be sufficient to account for psi experiments. Such ideas were purely speculative in Koestler's day. Today there are theoretical descriptions that are fleshing out models that make past speculations physically plausible.

Which brings up another problem: the middle third of Entangled Minds throws in all these data and charts and statistics and whatnot. Who is the audience? What are we trying to prove? Koestler noted this is the main challenge for the entire field of parapsychology: it keeps trying to convince us that psi is real, or rather the study of it is legitimate. Yet the data clearly shows the public at large is with psi. We accept it. Even mainstream science has grudgingly admitted there's something there. See Broughton's Parapsychology: The Controversial Science.

I wish it were true that psi is accepted by the scientific mainstream. It isn't. If it were, there'd be more than a few handfuls of doctorate-level researchers working in this field. Yes, many scientists who are aware of the data have become favorably inclined to accept that the effects are what they appear to be, and this trend is likely to continue because of books like Entangled Minds. I expect that the audience is also non-scientists interested in learning that their experiences have been verified in scientific experiments, and that rational ways of explaining them are slowly evolving.

Finally, the last section of Entangled Minds, the section I was most interested in, doesn't really say clearly what is an "entangled mind." It doesn't give predictions or testable claims. All he offers are a lot of speculations that leave me feeling, well, entangled.

All I can say is that the reviewer should read Chapter 13 again, more slowly. That chapter goes into detail about the meaning of "entangled minds," and it does provide both predictions and testable claims. Anticipating such generic complaints, I wrote: "The implications of all this for understanding psi are sufficiently remote from engrained ways of thinking that the first reaction will be confidence that it’s wrong. The second will be horror that it might be right. The third will be boredom because it’s obvious." This reader has apparently not advanced to stage two yet.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Careers in psi research

I'm often asked about how one pursues a career in psi research, meaning how does one earn a living doing this sort of research. Here's how one person asked this question (I've changed a few minor details to maintain the writer's anonymity):

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"I'm writing for your advice and opinion regarding a career in this type of research. I've been casually interested in the study of consciousness and extrasensory research for many years, but would like to pursue this path full-time. I have a BS in engineering and have worked in technical research for 5 years. I was able to learn and contribute to my field, publish a few manuscripts in peer reviewed journals, etc. but have decided that I need to focus my energy on something that I have a sincere interest and passion for."

"I'd also like to work with researchers such as yourself who are taking a scientific approach to consciousness, ESP, etc. I think the results of this research are important, but it also provides legitimacy to the field, rather than the entertainment/sideshow viewpoint that many in the general public have... I'd like to apply my research background, but as you probably know, there aren't many jobs in extrasensory research. Do you have any suggestion or advice in terms of getting into this type of research? Specifically, do you feel that an advanced degree is required?"

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My response:

Given the nonexistent career track in this realm, this is a risky decision that would only appeal to a very small percentage of fledgling scientists and scholars. My advice for students is to (1) earn a PhD in a traditional scientific or scholarly discipline from an accredited, recognized university, and then become successful in that discipline. This step might take 6 to 8 years after an undergraduate degree. (2) Attend the annual conventions of the Parapsychological Association ( to meet professionals who have worked in the field for many years. You can start this immediately, at any age. (3) Read the relevant journals and start doing your own experiments or scholarly work. (4) Start publishing and presenting papers in journals interested in these topics. (5) Make it known to the people you've met that you're interested in any jobs that may arise. And (6) be prepared to move, perhaps multiple times, to where the jobs are. Demonstrated interest, competence and persistence are prime attractors in all realms of life, including this one.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Synchronicities redux

Here's a nice synchronicity that happened to me recently. I'll preface this by saying that while I study these experiences for a living, my daily life is as mundane as anyone else's, and I tend not to be permeated by wildly improbable psychic events. (Except in the lab sometimes.)

My wife and I tend to work on our PCs at night while watching TV. Most TV is so banal that it takes 1% of our attention to track a show. The other 99% is devoted to email and other PC-related work (and the dogs, and each other). Our PCs are setup in such a way that we can't see each other's screens.

So I'm scanning through dozens of emails, and I see one from a colleague who says he's updating a book he's written on deja vu, and he's calling it Deja Vu Revisited. I'm thinking that's a clever title when suddenly my wife says out loud, "I'm having the strongest deja vu." I laugh in amusement at this beautifully recursive moment. A synchronicity about a deja vu. My wife is delighted too.

I don't recall any previous time, under any circumstance, when my wife spontaneously reported a deja vu; nor does she recall one. Was this a mere coincidence? Sure didn't feel like it.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

The Wall

Friends often ask, how is your new book doing? They're asking about sales, as though there's a magical courier that whispers hourly updates in my ear. I don't believe in magic of the supernatural type (psi is not that sort of magic), but we do have a modern version of a quasi-magical courier -- the sales ratings on

On that front I see a nice trend developing. I requested that Entangled Minds be cross-listed as both a Science book and as a Religion-Spirituality book. The first category is appropriate because this book is ultimately about science. The second category is necessary because topics like psi are historically associated with the occult, so in existing book categories there's nowhere else to place it.

Within these two categories, as of this posting the book is rated #2 among Science/General books, and #2 in Religion-Spirituality/Occult. I'm pleased to see this, because the wall between science and the occult is a vestige of old prejudices that, like the Berlin Wall, has prevented meaningful communication between two ways of viewing the world, and as such it's a barrier that's ripe for demolition. So perhaps this is a good sign.

(From a more mundane perspective, the correlated ratings are partially driven by cross-listing, although there aren't many books in these two categories that are cross-listed.)

Friday, May 05, 2006

Psi experiences

I often receive emails from readers about their psi experiences. Here's one I received today from Paul H:

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Let me relate some interesting things that have happened to me in my 46 years. On at least two occasions I had a dream of a plane crash, every last detail, airline, city, etc. Two days before the crash I told my friends at work (I work in aviation ...) about the details. Sure enough it happened exactly as I described it.

Or when I was in the Air Force ..., I showed the guys a trick that freaked them out so badly I actually LOST friends. What I did was have myself and a friend sit facing each other with his left middle fingertip touching my right. Then I told him to shuffle a deck of cards. Then I told him to set it down and just think of the card. I got all 52 correct. It was NOT a trick, I could SEE the card in my mind like it was on a TV screen! Those guys never treated me the same.

Or, I had premonitions all four times when my grandparents died. I told my wife ahead of time.... Sure enough the phone rings and they tell me the one I had had the premonition about had died. Or how about this neat trick I used to show the guys at work ALL the time. I would have several of us climb up to the top of the tail dock which is about 70 feet high. Then I would tell them to point out a random guy working way down below. Then I would stare at him for several seconds and almost immediately he would instantly look up exactly into my eyes. The guys couldn't believe it. HOW does one feel the weight of another's stare?

I have had many more events like this. When I was a boy I would dream or predict things and I would tell my mother and when they came true she would beat me mercilessly. There's one last thing which I cannot tell you because you would think I was nuts so I'll let it go. If you are genuinely interested let me know and I will relate it to you.

Paul H.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


A sharp-eyed reader found a mistake in a figure caption in Entangled Minds. The caption for Figure 3-1 had the genders reversed. The caption should read: "Average responses to questions about belief in unusual experiences, for women (black squares) and men (white diamonds), with error bars indicating the likely range of the 'true' average value."

Monday, May 01, 2006

Library gremlin and Entangled Minds

I received an interesting email from a reader. I've heard many similar stories over the years about the "Library Angel" (also referred to as a gremlin, demon or fairy, depending on your prediliction). This Trickster-like gremlin causes books to fall out of shelves in front of you, or on top of you, apparently to force you to pay attention to something that you are seeking but keep overlooking.

The reader writes: "You and I were introduced in a most unusual way today. I was in Barnes and Nobles today in San Diego. I was standing in front of the shelves of books in the new age section. I saw a couple of books fall from the shelf and in very quick automatic response I held my right hand out to catch them.

"You can imagine my surprise when I realized there were no books falling. I was left with a feeling of where the heck are these books. I KNOW I saw it fall.

"I studied this event for a few minutes trying to figure out what happened. I traced my arm movements and zoomed in on the spot from where the books fell. I pulled a book from the shelf that looked like the books that I saw falling.

"It was Entangled Minds.

"I sat down and read thru the book with great interest. There were several other events shortly after that that I felt were related because of similarities"