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A "Scientific" approach

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  • #31

    This morning I've been perusing Dean Radin's website looking for contact information and was a little surprised to see the following blurb which seems to reflect a view somewhat different from that presented in the videos and interviews I've watched recently:

    After studying these phenomena as a scientist for about 30 years, I've concluded that some psychic abilities are genuine, and as such, there are important aspects of the prevailing scientific worldview that are seriously incomplete. I've also learned that many people who claim to have unfailingly reliable psychic abilities are often delusional or mentally ill, and that there will always be reprehensible con artists who claim to be psychic and charge huge sums for their "services." These two classes of so-called psychics are the targets of celebrated prizes offered by magicians for demonstrations of psychic abilities. Those prizes are safe because the claimed abilities of these people either do not exist at all, or they're much weaker than sincere claimants may wish to believe.
    (emphasis added)

    Dean Radin - Bio third paragraph from the end.

    The last paragraph reads, regarding contact info:

    "You may contact me via email as dean at noetic dot org, but due to the huge volume of emails I receive, I can't promise to reply."

    As I recall, in at least one of his interviews or lectures he mentions how with Yogi's who develop the Siddhis, these abilities are full blown. powerful, unfailing. Not necessarily using those exact words but that seemed to be his implication.

    Is he suggesting in the above paragraph that the Yogi's are mentally ill ?

    This seems precariously close to the views of the anomalistic psychologists.

    I think his view on this as expressed above reveals that he is operating under at least one or two fallacies. 1. that the Siddhis can be demonstrated unfailingly, even before skeptics and 2. that failure to produce claimed abilities in a so-called "controlled" scientific setting indicates mental illness, and possibly 3. "Those prizes are safe because the claimed abilities of these people either do not exist at all, or they're much weaker than sincere claimants may wish to believe."

    I can site at least one historical example that contradicts these assumptions:

    Jesus left there and went to his hometown, accompanied by his disciples. When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed. "Where did this man get these things?" they asked. "What's this wisdom that has been given him, that he even does miracles! Isn't this the carpenter? Isn't this Mary's son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren't his sisters here with us?" And they took offense at him. Jesus said to them, "Only in his hometown, among his relatives and in his own house is a prophet without honor." He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. (Mark 6:1-5)

    and a second account of the incident:

    "Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?” they asked. “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? Aren’t all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” And they took offense at him.

    But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town and in his own home.”

    And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith. (Matthew 13:54-58)
    What are we to make of the fact that the "powers" of even "God" or "The Son of God" were severely diminished in the presence of overwhelming skepticism ?

    Today, some, I might conclude many, view this sort of thing as a "cop out". That the 'performer' is simply making excuses for failure. They can't demonstrate anything and so they blame it on the investigator.

    In the above Biblical narrative, "blame", if it can be called that, is put on the "lack of faith" of the those present in Jesus home town. They knew his family and so knew him as an ordinary person. The son of the local carpenter.

    The dismissive view that this is just a cop out, is, IMO, unscientific and biased. Lets take a more "scientific" approach.

    Let's call the atmosphere where the performer is surrounded by the "faithful" Condition "A" and the atmosphere where the performer is surrounded by skeptics Condition "B". The "cop-out" hypothesis pre-supposes that failure under conditions "B" rules out success under conditions "A". Therefore the phenomenon exhibited under condition "A" does not exist or is a manifestation of mental illness. This IMO is a complete fallacy. Applied to any other field of scientific inquiry it would be immediately recognized as such. Chemistry or Electricity for example. If an expected chemical reaction failed to take place, one would expect some contaminant. If an electrical current failed to take place one might expect some resistance in the line. It would not be concluded that chemical reactions can never take place or that electricity never flows.

    The "variable" in this instance is something that in the biblical narrative is referred to as "Faith".

    This thing called "Faith" or translated into English from the original Greek as "Faith" or "Belief" deserves, I think, some careful examination.

    What did this word actually mean in the context in which it was used some 2000 years ago ? Certainly it did not refer to acceptance of Christian Dogma. There was no "Christianity" existent at that time. So what did the word REALLY mean ?

    In my experience in reviewing commentaries on the above Biblical naratives, the prevailing Christian view or explanation is that Jesus very well could have performed miracles in his home town but that he Chose not to.

    This may be a comforting thought to many who wish to hold the view that Jesus or God is "All Powerful" and therefore should not fail under any circumstances. On careful examination however, this is not how the narrative actually reads. Not in the original language anyway.

    Is it "He could not do" (i.e. he tried but failed) or "He did not do" (he chose not to).

    My own research into this question, going back to the original Greek texts is that the wording explicitly states that he "could not" or was "unable". The implication of some translations that he simply chose not to is IMO unfounded as well and misses the point entirely.

    The "variable" or essential aspect is stated to be "Faith". In the original language the word is "Pistis". So what exactly did this word mean in the time it was used, in the original cultural context of that day ? The question is well worth examining in detail I think.


    • #32
      Tom, I actually made note of radins stance in the wikipedia thread.


      • #33
        Originally posted by Iyace View Post
        Tom, I actually made note of radins stance in the wikipedia thread.
        Which one ?

        I assumed you meant here:

        But don't find any posts from you there. I'd like to see it. At this point I could use some clarification as to just what his stance actually is.


        • #34
          I'd like to continue for a moment with where I left off in the previous post.

          Various "miracles" in the Bible are attributed to "Faith".

          One example; there are of course many, but one will serve:

          "...a woman who had been suffering from a hemorrhage for twelve years, came up behind Him and touched the fringe of His cloak; for she was saying to herself, "If I only touch His garment, I will get well." But Jesus turning and seeing her said, "Daughter, take courage; your faith has made you well." (Matthew 9:21)
          Other accounts, or other translations also emphasize that the woman was saying this to herself "over and over again". Also it is stated that Jesus did not know who had touched him. "[she] came up behind Him and touched the fringe of His cloak, and immediately her hemorrhage stopped. And Jesus said, "Who is the one who touched Me?" And while they were all denying it, Peter said, "Master, the people are crowding and pressing in on You." But Jesus said, "Someone did touch Me, for I was aware that power had gone out of Me" (Luke 8:45)

          In this case, Jesus apparently did not exercise any personal volition to heal the woman. He attributes the healing entirely to her own "Faith".

          In general terms, I think it is fair to say that "Faith" is above all, a state of mind. This woman had but one thought. One all consuming thought or idea. "If I only touch his garment I will get well".

          Paul defines faith as "the assured expectation of things hoped for"

          Assurance, expectation, Hope. These are all states of mind. There is of course the object, the "thing" anticipated or imagined. In this case, to get well by touching the garment.

          Some additional passages that I think help to clarify this:

          "But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed." (James 1:6)

          The word translated "wavering" means literally "double minded". Having thoughts contradicting each other.

          "And without trusting, it is impossible to be well pleasing to God, because whoever approaches him must trust that he does exist and that he becomes a Rewarder to those who seek him out." (Hebrews 11:6)

          The word, this time translated trust is the same Pistis. Otherwise translated; to have faith or to believe.

          Again there is the idea that the thoughts must not be contradictory, wavering or "double minded". Taking this out of the strictly Christian context, to pray to a god while at the same time not believing that the god exists would be an example of thoughts in contradiction to one another.

          “Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen." (Matthew 21:21)

          "Jesus said. “What I’m about to tell you is true. Suppose one of you says to this mountain, ‘Go and throw yourself into the sea.’ You must not doubt in your heart. You must believe that what you say will happen. Then it will be done for you. So I tell you, when you pray for something, believe that you have already received it. Then it will be yours." (Mark 11:22)

          Various Bible comentaries on the subject also seem to make clear, giving one example at random:

          "A Working Definition

          What then is faith? ...This definition implies that faith has an object, either a person or an idea or a truth that is trusted, confided in, or relied upon...

          " is either doubting the object in question, or one is not; there is no gray area here. ...if one is doubting an object then one has NO faith in that object, not weak faith. Doubt and faith are not warm bedfellows: if doubt is present then faith is not.

          "... Faith is complete trust, complete confidence, complete reliance. Faith is, by definition, the complete absence of doubt... Faith is always "nothing wavering." (James 1:6) " If ye have faith, and doubt not." (Matt 21:21) "...shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe." (Mark 11:23) When there is any particle of doubt or unbelief in an object, faith is completely absent concerning that object."

          "...the presence of doubt completely excludes faith; if one can be doubting and have faith at the same time about the same thing then the passage cannot be true as it stands."

          ...This implies that any doubt at all is classified as unbelief. The presence of any minute trace of doubt with respect to some object of trust or belief or activity directly implies the absence of faith with respect to that object. Faith in a specific object (the idea or truth) cannot therefore be treated as a value on a continuum, such as big or little. Instead, faith must be treated as a discrete value: on or off, yes or no: faith and belief being one state and doubt and unbelief the other."
          Of course, opinions differ and some commentaries contradict this view, but in my own research, I've come to more or less the same conclussion.

          Faith is a STATE OF MIND in which there exists but ONE THOUGHT and no other thoughts in contradiction to it.

          We might think of this as a Laser like concordance of thought. A singleness of mind as opposed to being "doubble minded". Like light waves acting in concert as in a laser rather than scattered, going in different directions.

          An aditional elements. This must be in present time. That is; "believe that you have already received it".

          When viewed in this way, there can be seen a great deal of corresponding evidence from other traditions. Buddhism, Shamanism, Cabala, etc. etc.

          If this is taken to be true, at least hypothetically, it may seem like a very tall order. Especially for a skeptic. Yet, I have found, it is not really as difficult a state of mind to achieve as it might at first seem. If it is viewed as just that, a state of mind, seperated from the usual bagage that generally goes along with the idea of "Faith" in any religious context. Here, we are talking science.

          Belief in "God" is apparently not essential. Inner consistency is what is essential. A single thought held in mind without the intrussion of contradictory or conflicting thoughts.

          This holds true for individuals as well as groups. A single investigator or a "team" of investigators.

          Achieving such a "one pointed" state of concentration may not be the easiest thing in the world, but it is not impossible. Even for a skeptic such as myself. I don't think I'm any different from anyone else.

          In my "experiments" I have found that results can be seen if such a state of mind can be achieved even if only for a brief instant.

          I began skeptical, and afterwards I remained skeptical. Only with a concentrated effort durring the experiment, did I maintain focus for a very brief instant.

          That is, I had "doubts" both before and after my first inital experiment. I was only able to achieve a "one pointed" state of mind for a fleeting moment. But I was certain I had achieved it. Afterwards, after the first experiment, the fears and doubts came flooding back, but it seems that brief instant was enough. I could not entirely dismiss the "coincidences" that occured soon afterward.

          To be certain about what was going on, to find out if the "results" were just coincidence or not, I repeated the experiment again and again.

          That first experiment was conducted over 30 years ago. There have been many many more since that time. Results came faster and easier and became more and more startling as time went on.
          Last edited by Tom Booth; October 19th, 2013, 07:30 PM. Reason: minor edit for clarity


          • #35
            Originally posted by Iyace View Post
            Tom, I actually made note of radins stance in the wikipedia thread.
            I notice by searching your recent posts that you posted to this forum:


            But I don't see any mention of Radin there either.


            • #36
              I mentioned above that I do not agree with Radin's conclusion: "Those prizes are safe because the claimed abilities of these people either do not exist at all, or they're much weaker than sincere claimants may wish to believe."

              I've had some opportunity to conduct a few "materialization" experiments with various friends and family from time to time.

              I'd like to emphasize that as stated in the first book I read on the subject (Studies In Alchemy) that got me into this it is stated: "In most cases where direct precipitation does not occur,... an indirect precipitation will sooner or later be brought about whereby through one hand or another the desired manifestation does take place." This is usual in the beginning, or with a first attempt.

              This is where by some strange improbable "coincidence" the object visualized arrives through some "ordinary" channel rather than materializing, very much on the order of "The Law of Attraction". In the beginning, this was the sort of "results" I was getting. In time this changed. The "coincidences" happened or took place more and more quickly. As I modified the experiments in an attempt to rule out coincidence, eventually there were manifestations that could not possibly be attributed to coincidence. I may get into more details about these experiments later.

              The point I wish to make right now is that I was able to work with some friends and relatives who were more or less skeptical, as I think anyone would be, but were curious and willing to play along and follow my instructions just to see what would happen.

              I was reluctant at first. My early experiments were conducted alone. Would it even be possible to see any kind of results whatsoever with additional, untrained, skeptical observers.

              I concluded it might be IF those "observers" were also participants.

              In one case there were two additional participants. Neither had any formal training whatsoever. Neither had any "psychic" propensities or inclinations. Both were skeptical to one degree or another. But both were willing to act as "participants".

              Very briefly I simply explained the principles involved. We talked for a while until everyone, (The three of us) could come to an agreement about the OBJECT to be materialized. This was in some ways the most difficult step. We agreed upon a location. Settled on all the details, size, color etc. Then I simply guided them through it. Had them quiet their thoughts as much as as possible, had them both visualize the object, imagine interacting with it, using it, etc. Then, of course, I did the same.

              I had worked out a kind of regular routine in these experiments, aspects of thought to be addressed, imagination; get a clear visual picture. acceptance; try to accept it as "real" like any ordinary object as if taking it for granted. physical interaction; imagine physically interacting with the object. Feeling; try to get the actual feeling or emotions that would be involved or present if the object were real and one were actually interacting with it, etc. I used the same steps in the group experiment.

              After a few minutes of this visualization exercise, when I felt the participants were "into it" I abruptly cut off the experiment.

              "OK, that's enough, now get up and do something else, go watch the baseball game on TV or something and don't think about it anymore."

              I had learned through my own experiments, that the most incredible results seemed to come when my meditations were interrupted or cut off sharply and I immediately became occupied with other things. This apparently helps to prevent one's dwelling on it. The opportunity for negative thought to creep in after the experiment, after the visualization has been "set", is largely avoided.

              Within a relatively short time, (a few days), there occurred a series of odd coincidences that brought the exact object into the exact location exactly as imagined. Same size, color etc. The typical "Law of Attraction" type series of strange coincidences. Much along the lines of some of my earliest experiments but to some degree a bit more so. That is, in my first experiment, it took about two weeks before the "coincidence" occurred. In this group experiment it only took a few days.

              So what I'm basically suggesting is that if a "skeptic" were willing to participate, that is, be truly "scientific" about it and control ALL the variables, which would, of course, based on the theory, include his or her own thought emanations, then I do believe some progress along these lines is a distinct possibility.


              • #37
                Very interesting account and approach, Tom.
                Why do you call these "law of attraction" kind of coincidences "materializations"?

                I understand that previously the object wasn't there and then it arrived. But in this case it's not like physical mediumship where apports appear. It sounds like an object that had already existed in the world, found a way into your desired place/time/possession through a sequence of strange coincidences.

                Do I understand you correctly?


                • #38
                  Originally posted by jacob View Post
                  Very interesting account and approach, Tom.
                  Why do you call these "law of attraction" kind of coincidences "materializations"?

                  I understand that previously the object wasn't there and then it arrived. But in this case it's not like physical mediumship where apports appear. It sounds like an object that had already existed in the world, found a way into your desired place/time/possession through a sequence of strange coincidences.

                  Do I understand you correctly?
                  The intent of the experiments, from the beginning was direct materialization.

                  The methods used were supposed to produce such a phenomenon, though the texts I was deriving much of the methodology from stated that in the beginning there would likely be such "indirect precipitation" as you correctly describe.

                  Going by, or judging from my own experience, it seems there is great psychological resistance to the very idea of an object simply appearing out of nowhere. After several attempts and after several "Law of Attraction" type occurrences, each more improbable than the one previous to it, and each coming faster, until the "results" are nearly instantaneous, this resistance to taking it just a bit further - to manifest a direct materialization gradually breaks down.

                  By the time I started group experiments, I had already had several experiences or "results" that did not fit the "Law of Attraction" hypothesis or model. They were either direct materializations or something else, like very vivid shared hallucinations. In these later experiments that appeared to involve actual materializations, there was no real possibility of a pre-existing object being brought into the picture.

                  But when I started the group experiments (there were actually never more than a few) It was like going back to the beginning. You might say that the collective resistance to the idea of a direct materialization was re-established in the group as a whole and it was back to the LOA type phenomenon. I never got beyond that in a group setting as the opportunities for such group work were rather far and few between.

                  In all cases however the procedure was the same and the intent was to produce a direct materialization. The results of those attempts however moved from "Attraction" type "coincidences" in the beginning and over time, into "something else".

                  At this point I believe that I have been able to rule out "coincidence". In some of my late experiments, I believe I have also been able to rule out "hallucination".

                  Once I reached that point and became convinced that this stuff is no joke, I decided it was time to look for collaborators so as to bring more objectivity into the picture, institute some tighter scientific controls. There is only so far you can go with independent research. After a while it is a question of; is this really happening or have I gone completely insane.

                  Just for example, in at least one occurrence, there is no alternative but to accept that some kind of actual materialization took place, other than that perhaps, in some kind of somnambulistic trance in the middle of the night I got up and possibly drove the car to town or something and found an object similar to what was visualized and put it into place all with no recollection of ever having done so. Only to wake up in the morning to find it there. I did not handcuff myself to the bed, so I suppose that remains a possibility.

                  Other experiences are beyond any "Logical" explanation IMO.

                  In one experiment there was some kind of flash of light which drew my attention. Perplexed as to what caused it, I was looking for some kind of clue. Was it a reflection of sunlight through the window ? It was some time before I realized that the spot where the flash of light seemed to have come from was occupied by the object I had previously visualized in a recent experiment.

                  I hesitate to even describe some of the things that have apparently taken place as a result of these experiments.

                  What I can say is that for the most part, outside of an experimental setting, I live a quite normal life. No hocus pocus. No psychic phenomenon. No psychological disorders or hallucinations (as far as I know). No poltergeist phenomenon. none of that.

                  It might help to realize, I've been experimenting in this area for more than 30 years. In the course of time there was a movement which started out with LOA type "coincidences". If I had not gotten some kind of result with the first experiment, I never would have gone further.

                  I found these "coincidences" somewhat maddening. This was not what I was after. But I couldn't entirely write the whole thing off. It wasn't entirely as though nothing happened. So I would try again. The next time with something more difficult. Something I believed was "impossible" which could not be explained by "coincidence". In time, I got what I was after.

                  The basic theory is, EVERYTHING is constantly "materializing". LOA type phenomenon is more or less an illusion. There is no "attraction" in reality. Everything is, so to speak, continuously "unfolding".

                  It helps IMO, to think of it in terms of Lucid dreaming.

                  You are "creating" or manifesting or "materializing" the dream in its totality.

                  If you tried however, to "materialize", say, a bicycle to ride in the dream, there is no real reason why this should not be possible. You don't need to "attract" a bicycle. But because of our habitual way of thinking, if you actually tried to materialize a bicycle in a lucid dream, more than likely one might appear in some "ordinary" way. It might fall off the back of a truck passing by or something, but this is only a result of habitual thinking. In reality, there is no reason why you couldn't just make a bicycle appear in a lucid dream "out of thin air". With practice, with repeated attempts, this habit of thought can be overcome.


                  • #39
                    Just to give a little more detail regarding the type of "results" I sometimes got with these experiments. Here is a more detailed account I posted on the internet back in February 2007 of the first time something happened that led me to the conclusion these things were not just "coincidence" or LOA type "Attraction" events:

                    Rather than tell it again, I'll just C/P it here:

                    You are entitled to your opinion "wuwei".

                    However, the "materialization" of "physical" objects, apparently out of thin air has been widely reported and has a very long history in connection with séances (apports), poltergeist phenomenon (objects disappearing and reappearing), Christian saints, Sufis, Hindu holy men, Tibetan Buddhism (Tulpas), Fakirs, Yogis etc.

                    Even the Bible reports that Jesus "materialized" bread to feed several thousand of his followers.

                    I've experimented with the "precipitation of thought forms" myself. On one occasion I "visualized" a dead apricot tree returning to life and sprouting new shoots JUST AS AN EXPERIMENT.

                    The next day I noticed that the tree appeared to have indeed, sprouted new green shoots.

                    In total disbelief I called my wife over. We had both been looking at the tree the previous day.

                    Trying not to give her any cues or suggestions I just asked her to look around the area and tell me if she saw anything unusual.

                    After a while she noticed the tree and she said: "see I told you it would grow!"

                    Still in disbelief, I asked her to tell me what she saw.

                    She described the same long green shoots that I saw. I asked her to point to them and then to touch one of them. She looked at me, a little puzzled by the request, but she went ahead and pointed them out one by one and then touched one of the shoots. I saw the shoot bend, and the entire small branch of the tree shift position under the pressure from her finger.

                    Then I asked her if she remembered the two of us looking at the tree the previous day. that the tree was dead. She confirmed this.

                    Then I asked her if she could explain how a "dead" tree could grow two-inch long green shoots OVERNIGHT.

                    I might have concluded that this was just a "coincidence" and that the tree just happened to grow (very rapidly) at that particular time. However, a day later, the shoots were gone again.

                    I again called my wife and asked her if she had seen the green shoots on the tree the day before. She said she did.

                    She thought that probably a dear had gotten into the garden and eaten them.

                    I had her look very closely and asked her if she saw anything that looked like teeth marks, or anything else, any evidence of shoots having been chewed off. She couldn't find any, nor could I.

                    The tree appeared as it had before, dead, with no evidence whatsoever that any shoots had ever been there.

                    I asked her again, she had touched and felt the shoots right?

                    She said yes. I asked her: "how do you explain that?". She said "I can't".

                    Then I told her about my "experiment" to "precipitate a thought form".

                    She turned around and walked away with her hands waving in the air and said: "I don't want to hear any more about it!" and went back in the house.

                    There were a couple of other similar incidents that occurred during this period of experimentation.

                    Original Forum thread: 2nd attention in Navigating Awareness Forum
                    And here is another account I posted of the same incident in another forum a few years ago:

                    This thread appears to be over a year past abandoned but I thought I might chime in in regard to several questions about "L.E.R.M." and has any one ever gotten it to work.

                    I'm new to this forum, having followed a link posted on some other website about LERM. This is the only thread here I've read so far so I hope I can be forgiven for butting in in the community here. I don't know what "matrix energetics" is.

                    Anyway, Not using so-called "LERM" exactly, but a method of my own. Very similar in some respects but different in a way. It would take time to go into exact detail about it all but anyway...

                    This started many years ago, before this LERM material surfaced on the internet. Actually before there was any internet, in the mid to late 70's into the 80's and on into the present I experimented with "Creative Visualization" learned from various books, having become particularly interested in the question - is it possible to literally manifest physical objects Out-Of-Thin-Air using such methods.

                    My experiments were from the beginning designed with this intent in mind - to actually MATERIALIZE a physical object from nothing or out-of-thin-air.

                    For the first couple of years, these experiments did get some results of the "Law of Attraction" type.

                    That is, the visualized object, whatever it was came into my possession, usually in some bizarre coincidental way.

                    This was evidential of something but largely disappointing in terms of answering my original question.

                    I felt that the only way to resolve the issue would be to manifest something really really impossible. That is,...

                    If you visualize anything that could in some way happen by some "ordinary" means then it will arrive in the most ordinary way possible, following the "path of least resistance" apparently.

                    So the idea was to work at manifesting IMPOSSIBLE things that simply could not happen in any ordinary way. Things where the "path of least resistance" would be an actual "Miracle".

                    This strategy eventually produced the kind of results I was looking for.

                    The turning point came in the mid 80's after my wife and I had planted a small apricot tree in our back yard. We had gotten the tree from a nursery, planted it, but it never grew or never "broke dormancy" after nearly two years in the ground.

                    The tree was apparently dead.

                    One day, though, while working in the garden near where this tree was planted I got the idea for an "impossible" manifestation. - I would attempt to bring the little "dead" tree back to life.

                    I didn't know what result this might have. Possibly the tree would gradually recover and eventually grow, I thought, regardless of the outcome I set to work "visualizing" energy pouring down from the cosmos through the top of my head, coursing down through my body and going out through my finger tips. I leaned forward in the garden where I was working and worked my fingers down into the soil so this energy could travel through the ground, across the garden and up into the roots of the apricot tree.

                    I carried on this visualization for some time. In my imagination (with eyes closed) I saw the tree recovering and growing. It had (in my imagination) several long green shoots emerging that had grown about two inches and were continuing to grow when...

                    Suddenly my concentration was broken by my wife who was calling me from the house to let me know that dinner was on the table.

                    Vaguely annoyed at her for interrupting my experiment I got up and went inside without ever even looking at the tree or ever giving the experiment another thought for the rest of the day.

                    The next morning I was back in the garden working when I noticed something strange. I looked over and the "Dead" apricot tree had several green shoots on it about 2 inches long, just as I had visualized.

                    In a state of disbelief I called my wife out of the house and asked her if she noticed anything strange or unusual, trying not to give her any clue so as to avoid any hypnotic transference or whatever in case I was hallucinating or something.

                    After a moment she suddenly burst out: "I told you it would grow" (we had been looking at the tree and discussing it the day before) and she went directly over to the apricot tree.

                    I had her verify to me what she actually saw and even had her touch the green shoots.

                    They were apparently quite real, quite physical in all respects, just ordinary green shoots on an ordinary living apricot tree, but I was beside myself. I found this experience very unsettling.

                    The next day the shoots were gone.

                    Once again I had my wife come out to the garden to examine and verify what I saw.

                    She studied the tree for a while and then said: "Maybe a dear ate them".

                    I asked her to look very closely. Did she see any chew marks or broken branches where the green shoots had been.

                    No, she told me.

                    How do you explain that ? I asked her.

                    "I can't" she said.

                    The tree had reverted to its previous "dead" condition with its unopened buds in tact as though they had never grown into the two inch long shoots we both had seen.

                    I then began telling her about my "experiment" and she just turned around and threw her hands up in the air and headed back towards the house waving her arms over her head and saying "I don't want to hear any more about it".

                    Anyway, however this might be interpreted, I felt that the full and sudden appearance and then just as full and sudden disappearance of the apparently PHYSICAL green shoots ruled out "coincidence".

                    Original context:
                    I'm not really sure how to "classify" this. The green shoots on the tree were not "attracted" or pre-existing. I'm not sure it could be classed as an actual "materialization" either. A very vivid visual/tactile "shared hallucination" perhaps ? I don't know.

                    Did I get up in the middle of the night, drive to a department store and steel another apricot tree, dig up the dead one and plant the live one all without knowing or remembering I did that ? All I can say is that further experiments ruled out that kind of thing as well, and live branches on a tree MAY, I suppose grow just by coincidence but do they un-grow ?

                    Needles to say, this experience pretty much shattered to pieces the "coincidence" hypothesis. The "attraction" idea doesn't explain it either.

                    Of course, a real skeptic might simply conclude I'm making it up. Personally, I'm not in a position to draw such a conclusion. I'm one of the ones, along with my wife, who experienced it. I know I'm not making it up but some tighter controls would be needed to rule out that possibility. Unfortunately, I didn't have the presence of mind to take a picture to see if the "hallucination" showed up on film. That might have been interesting.


                    • #40
                      Originally posted by typoz View Post
                      From the overview you gave of your background and attitude it sounds like you can make some useful contributions to this area of study, whether on this forum, in in the broader context.
                      I think so.

                      I think my most useful contribution might be a method I worked out for studying such phenomenon in an overwhelmingly skeptical atmosphere. Being, or at least having been, when I started, a skeptic myself, I had to find a way past that road block.
                      I thought I might elaborate on this a bit. As I mentioned previously, I tried many many different things. Remote viewing, Lucid Dreaming, Meditation of various sorts, Affirmations etc.. For several years I never really got any kind of results to speak of.

                      Trying to use affirmations was always particularly difficult. It seemed like a tug of war. Trying to "Think Positive" about whatever while there was so much else going on in my mind. Especially contradictory negative thoughts that pretty much nullified anything I was trying to do.

                      By the time I got into these materialization experiments, I knew, or had read, many many times the importance of "really believing with all your heart". Not to have any doubts. I had seen this same idea about having TOTAL faith and not having any doubts repeated again and again, even in various belief systems that were contradictory to one another.

                      I read quite a wide variety of material. I began to see something I thought might be important. A kind of "common denominator" that seemed to exist in accounts of various strange events, from the UFO encounters of George Adamski, to Fire Walking, Shamanism (Castaneda's accounts in particular), Western Occultism (Crowley), Yoga, etc.

                      In Adamski's account of a full blown "close encounter" he relates that for many years he "many times entertained dreams of actually meeting the personnel of some of the craft..." When he finally did have such an encounter he says "My mind seemed to temporarily stop functioning"

                      Taking a very different kind of experience - Fire Walking, in the book "The Secret Science Behind Miracles" by Max Freedom Long an account is given which reads:

                      "I almost roasted alive before the kahunas had finished their chanting,... One of the kahunas beat at the shimmering surface of the lava with a bunch of ti leaves... Without a moment of hesitation the oldest man trotted out on that terrifically hot surface. I was watching him with my mouth open and he was nearly across - a distance of about a hundred and fifty feet - when someone gave me a shove that resulted in my having a choice of falling on my face on the lava or catching a running stride.

                      "I still do not know what madness seized me, but I ran. The heat was unbelievable. I held my breath and my mind seemed to stop functioning..."

                      Joseph Chilton Pearce in "The Crack in the Cosmic Egg" relates an account where he became impervious to heat:

                      "I once found myself in a certain somnambulistic, trance-like state of mind... I suddenly knew myself to be impervious to pain or injury. With upwards of a dozen witnesses I held the glowing tips of cigarettes against my palms, cheeks, eyelids, grinding them out on those sensitive areas. Finally, I held the tips of several cigarettes tightly between my lips and blew sparks over my amazed companions... Later, when I did a bit of research on Hindu firewalking, I understood quite well the state of mind involved, though I never again achieved it myself. It was apparent to me, however, that I had suspended my ordinary thinking..."

                      Most of Castaneda's experiences were preceded by "Stopping the internal dialogue" which he describes: "I also became cognizant that stopping the internal dialogue involved more than merely curtailing the words I said to myself. My entire thought processes had stopped and I had felt I was practically suspended, floating.

                      Crowley in his "Confessions" writes:

                      "...The numerous practices of yoga are simply dodges to help one to acquire the knack of slowing down the current of thought and ultimately stopping it altogether."

                      Rajneesh writes: ""It is not that the mind doubts, mind is the doubt! Unless the mind dissolves, doubts cannot be cleared."

                      Going back to Castaneda his "Don Juan" states the importance of this "stopping the internal dialogue": "Any thought that one holds in mind in a state of silence is properly a command, since there are no other thoughts to compete with it."

                      Regardless of the nature of the anomalous phenomenon. If it was a spontaneous event or a result of dedicated practice, I came across this same idea or report again and again. There seemed, if nothing else, a correlation. "Weird" events of all descriptions seem to be accompanied by a shutting down of the ordinary thought processes. If not done intentionally, such as in Yoga Practice or Shamanism, it nevertheless happens spontaneously as in some of the above accounts.

                      My plan, when I began these materialization experiments was not necessarily to silence my mind entirely. I thought this might not be necessary, but rather to eliminate all conflicting thoughts. Primarily Fears and Doubts or any thoughts that might be in conflict with what I was trying to do.

                      I found that this was just impossible.

                      Every time I sat down to try to "visualize" something with the intent of making the image actually vivid enough to actually, supposedly, materialize before my eyes, My mind began to race. The harder I tried, the more I became aware of all the negating thoughts welling to the surface. Several times, for several days, I went back to the exercise again and again, and again and again I failed, finally I just gave up in frustration.

                      It didn't seem to me that there was any possibility of having "Faith without Doubting at all"

                      The idea of having "Faith" with No Doubts Whatsoever No "wavering" etc. was all well and good, but it was clearly impossible. I concluded it just couldn't be done. I couldn't do it.

                      I couldn't imagine that anyone else could either.

                      At the time, I was on a lot of mailing lists getting all sorts of "junk mail" from various esoteric groups. A few days after my initial attempt at "precipitation" I got a piece of promotional material from Scientology that included this article:

                      Solutions for a Dangerous Environment :: Read ?Confront.?

                      I was intrigued by the idea: “Write down on a piece of paper a short list of the problems...”

                      Which one of those is the easiest..."

                      Could this be applied to my problem with eliminating doubts ?

                      I thought it might be worth a try, so I went back to the exercise, this time with a pen and notepad in hand.

                      As soon as I started and my thoughts started to churn with what seemed like an overwhelming flood of doubts and fears I began writing them all down.

                      I continued this exercise until I had filled several pages.

                      This was rather difficult as my thoughts were racing so fast and seemed so confused, it was not easy to write it all down.

                      There was perhaps thirty items or thirty "doubts". About three full pages in all.

                      I kept at it until I felt I had written everything down.

                      When I couldn't think of anything more I began to go over the list and started rearranging it with what seemed like the most frivolous or easiest to overcome doubt first.

                      More formidable misgivings were left until last.

                      With this new arrangement, the first thing on the list was "It won't work".

                      It wasn't very difficult to settle this doubt in my mind. I couldn't really say it wouldn't work until I actually went through with it now could I ?

                      I crossed that off the list.

                      I went down the list in a similar fashion with each item. I was rather surprised at how quickly I was able to resolve one "doubt" after another when the problem was approached in this way.

                      Towards the end of the list were things like, "If I go through with this, the Devil will appear and ask me to sign my soul away in blood"

                      I basically took stock of myself with that one and said, "well, I'll deal with that when and if it actually happens." and was able to cross that off as well.

                      A more involved doubt had to do with my religious upbringing. I had been taught that Miracles had been "done away with" according to the Bible. In the belief system I grew up with it was thought that the power to work miracles was imparted by Jesus to the Apostles. So when the last apostle died, Miracle working died out as well. Further it was believed that any modern miracle worker such as a faith healer was operating under demonic influence.

                      Dealing with this last, most formidable doubt took some doing. I spent a few days doing some in depth Biblical research into the question. Did miracles really end with the Apostles ?

                      By the time I finished I honestly felt there was much more evidence for the continuation of miracle working than there was for it coming to an end with the apostles. There was really nothing in the Bible to support such an idea. There were a few passages in some of Paul's letters that were used to support that view, but read in context, I could not see how anyone could really get the idea that he was saying miracle working would be cut off.

                      The word he used, in the original Greek, actually meant "obsolete".

                      That is, there would come a time when there would be no more need for it, like there would come a time when a baby no longer needs a bottle. Further Jesus himself always strongly emphasized that those who followed his teaching would do the same works that he did. He never put any time limit on it. He never said that it would ever become impossible. He never said that the instructions he gave would no longer apply after a certain date or time.

                      Anyway, these were personal wranglings. I don't think I need to go into any more detail about the specific doubts I had. Everybody's will be different.

                      What I wanted to get across here is that by using this method, I was finally able to return to the materialization exercise with a completely clear mind. I had fully resolved, one way or another, each and every doubt that I had written down.

                      I was only able to maintain this for a relatively brief instant though.

                      I was able to clear my mind completely and concentrate fully and without distracting thoughts for only a moment. When nothing appeared in front of my eyes immediately. When there was no direct materialization, my doubts came flooding back - "It didn't work".

                      I wrote the whole thing off.

                      In a way I was relieved. I could finally, once and for all be done with religion altogether and start living my life.

                      Then, a few weeks later, I was floored.

                      About two weeks later I was sitting there staring at the exact object I had visualized sitting there on my coffee table in the exact place I had visualized it. It's not my purpose to go into detail about what happened right now. The main thing I wanted to relate in detail was this METHOD that I used to at least momentarily eliminate doubts.

                      When this "coincidence" occurred, and I felt I should repeat the experiment, I did the same thing. I made another list. But this time the list was very short. Basically it consisted of my former conclusion that "It didn't work".

                      I could no longer honestly say that.

                      Yes I did not get a full blown "materialization" but what did happen seemed to be what was described in the Alchemy book. It was what was to be expected - at first.

                      Getting this first "Law of Attraction" type experience was, at the time, something like getting a cold pale of ice water dumped on me while getting electric shocks at the same time. I was in something like a state of shock for some days afterward. By the time the object came into my possession, I had forgotten all about the experiment.

                      In the experiment I had chosen something to materialize that I believed I had "Made up". That is, I had never in my recollection, ever seen such a thing. I thought it couldn't possibly appear by coincidence because it had been something I truly believed that I had INVENTED off the top of my head.

                      But there it was sitting on my coffee table. A gift from a friend of my mother.
                      Last edited by Tom Booth; October 21st, 2013, 09:03 PM. Reason: typos


                      • #41
                        In perusing the Dean Radin site some more, I came across a link to this:

                        Sesame Bagel Experiment

                        My comment in response to this can be found here:


                        How might such an online experiment be made more "scientific" ? Might it be possible to have more control over the variables ?
                        Last edited by Tom Booth; October 23rd, 2013, 09:50 AM. Reason: Added last paragraph/questions - fixed link


                        • #42
                          Originally posted by Tom Booth View Post

                          One thing I don't agree with him about is that he seems to think that these type of things, like materializations or similar Siddhis are out of reach. That it is very "rare" or requires a lifetime of training and meditation and so hasn't been brought into the lab.

                          I agree. This can happen suddenly (as per a Kundalini awakening).

                          Originally posted by Tom Booth View Post
                          I also don't agree that so-called "enlightenment" is out of reach or that the Yogi's did not have "theoretical concepts" or that they "didn't understand the nature of the physical world" (around 21:00 of the Skeptico video)

                          I think there is such a thing as "intellectual enlightenment". That is, it is possible to study the teachings about the nature of reality and come to a purely intellectual understanding. Enlightenment is knowledge.
                          Yes in a way, but I think the source is different. We need people who take a rational approach to the quest for knowledge, but Enlightenment is a shift that involves other influences. Its not a staircase you climb, its a place you're lifted to.

                          Originally posted by Tom Booth View Post
                          Having done that, I would have to say that the so-called "Siddhis" are not a result of any special attainment. It does not take a lifetime of meditation or some mysterious opening up of "cosmic consciousness" that nobody could ever really hope to understand or experience. It is mostly, it seems, a matter of simply addressing the misinformation we've all been indoctrinated with and then a little bit of daring.
                          Not so sure here.

                          Originally posted by Tom Booth View Post
                          The biggest obstacle after lack of knowledge or study or understanding is fear. Most of that fear is based on what we have, at some point in our live been told. We are indoctrinated with fear about these kinds of things.
                          Agree. The life of an experiencer can be a lonely one in our culture.

                          Originally posted by Tom Booth View Post
                          IMO, at the root of "skepticism" is a deep terror. Fear of the unknown. Fear of having the ground fall out from under one. If these things turned out to be real, then their entire world view, learned from the cradle would be shattered.
                          And some people are destined to be pompous buffoons.

                          You made an earlier request about Dean Radin's site for testing psi ability. It is I adapt the remote viewing test to how I work. I don't "see", rather I get words which are metaphorical descriptions of the image. I don't bother with the selection choices other than the words and I have no expectation of scoring well according to their measures but I record the images once they come and the words I wrote to describe the image. I haven't met anyone who couldn't see the connection. So take the time to find how to use it for what you can do. Everyone is different.

                          Re the white noise issue - Maureen Caulder who wrote Suddenly Psychic was a participant in some of the experiments (I think at Rhine) found the white noise an issue to. She comments at some length on some of the procedural issues she found in those experiments in her book.

                          Good luck.