Updated June 1, 2003
Her name was Helena and she was a multiple personality. In describing her many personalities and their respective talents, Helena casually mentioned that each of her personalities could read minds. This rather surprising revelation suggested to Scott, one of the enterprising interviewers discussing her case, that he should perhaps test her claim of telepathy.
When Helena was speaking in the guise of a ten year old girl, complete with blushes and giddiness, Scott turned and asked if she could truly read minds. Helena’s young alter ego simply said, “Yes.” Scott then asked her to read his mind.
Scott had not thought in great detail what he should think about in order to have his mind read, but inasmuch as Helena was a very attractive lady, Scott decided to think about the fact that he would like to kiss her. The ten year old personality in a grown woman’s body looked at him for just a moment. Then, suddenly horrified, she jumped back and exclaimed, “Stop that! I’m just a little girl!”
While this impromptu experiment was hardly conclusive, the other interviewers in the room did make an effort, thereafter, to think good thoughts (and all strictly platonic). Later, as if to emphasize the point, Helena began a one way conversation with one interviewer by answering several of his unspoken questions. It was a very interesting conversation to witness.
Observing the possibility of telepathic communication tends to put one in a rather interesting frame of mind. Should one be jealous of such talents? Or maybe suspicious? The emotional reaction to such displays can range from paranoia to delight. Which would you choose? Does the answer depend on whether or not you truly believe someone can read your mind? Is such a thing even possible? Why not?
An inevitable result of accepting reincarnation and the idea of there being not only life after death, but a life with which we might be able to communicate, is in its very essence, profound. In previous chapters we saw that many people have either contacted the “other side”, OR that their minds were capable of some wondrous imagination. In either case, our view of human mental capabilities may require some drastic changes.
Reincarnation, in fact, requires a different view of our world, a change in our paradigm. In the next chapter we will be exposed to how our concepts of time might require change. Now, however, with our changing perceptions, is there anything that is not possible, including extrasensory perceptions such as telepathy?
Don’t count on it.
Willis Harman is the former president of the prestigious Institute of Noetic Sciences. In his book, Global Mind Change, Harman argued, “the real action today is changing fundamental assumptions. “ We are, in fact, being asked in the decades surrounding the change in the millennium, to review and reconsider the most basic assumptions under which we live our lives. And if these basic assumptions fail to measure up, we may have to change them, i.e. change our paradigm, our most fundamental view of life, in order to account for what can no longer be denied.
If reincarnation makes sense, if reincarnation represents our best and most accurate description of the universe, then reincarnation requires a new paradigm. (Actually, belief in an afterlife requires the same type of change, inasmuch as, among other things, the afterlife is not considered reality by western science.) Among many other things, reincarnation suggests the mind (or soul) may have some effects in the physical world, other than through traditional avenues of physical expression.
Dr. Harmon goes on to describe three basics kinds of metaphysic, i.e. three ways in which we perceive our world. The first is a Materialistic Monism, in which the basic stuff of the universe is matter-energy.
“Whatever consciousness is, it emerges out of matter (that is, the brain) when the evolutionary process has progressed sufficiently far. Whatever we can learn about consciousness must ultimately be reconciled with the kind of knowledge we get from studying the brain, for consciousness apart from a living physical organism is not only unknown, it is inconceivable.” [emphasis added]
This first metaphysic, which Dr. Harmon calls “M-1”, is the current reigning champ of western society. It is the basis of our view of science and technology, where if you can’t measure it with some form of mechanical or electronic apparatus, it doesn’t exist.
Reincarnation, on the other hand, implicitly assumes there is a mind (or soul) separate from the physical (and in fact, there is a great deal of the universe not being observed under either the microscope or the telescope). Reincarnation raises doubts concerning one of our most fundamental tenants of our society! Furthermore, reincarnation suggests that it is time to look at an alternative metaphysics!
The other two metaphysical perspectives Dr. Harmon discusses include: Dualism and Transcendental Monism. The first of these alternatives, which Dr. Harmon calls “M-2”, assumes, “there are two fundamentally different kinds of stuff in the universe: matter-energy stuff and mind-spirit stuff.” The Transcendental Monism, (“M-3”), on the other hand, assumes the basic fundamental stuff of the universe is mind-spirit stuff, or more simply, consciousness.
On the one hand, M-3 is the contrary view of M-1, where all of the universe arises from consciousness (as opposed to matter-energy stuff). As such, M-3 can be considered to be the paradigm espoused by reincarnation, particularly those who believe that all of “physical reality” is an illusion.
Note that this illusion includes death, sickness, and all manner of “reality”, over which we assume we have no control. M-3, for example, assumes that essentially all sickness is psychosomatic! In other words, everything is just in your mind! This would include cancer, heart disease, and AIDS! The mind controls it all.
M-2, on the other hand, assumes there’s room in the universe for both M-1 and M-3. In this case, we can have a little of each. The cancer may very well be “real”, but the stomach ache might be only in your head (which, when you think about it, would be a funny place for your stomach to ache). Another way of looking at it, might be that the physical universe of matter-energy stuff is the combined stuff of all the minds or souls (perhaps including God’s), but that what we do with it, is pretty much how we decide to perceive it. In this latter case, you may be carrying a flu virus (which could exist without the benefit of your consciousness), but until your mind decides it’s time to have the flu, the virus has no effect over you.
While Dr. Harmon ultimately chooses M-3 as his choice for the ultimate reality, it is not necessary for our purposes to choose either the all-consciousness mode of existence (M-3), or allow some matter-energy stuff to exist independently of and simultaneously with our consciousness (i.e. M-2). Rather, we can assume, based upon the requirements of reincarnation and a between lives state (or even just an “after life”), to simply recognize that the mind/soul is capable of vast capabilities, including creating much of its own reality.
With that in mind, we can now go back to Scott and Helena and consider of just what things Helena’s mind might be capable. (We can assume that we already know what Scott’s thinking! Just like a man, right!?)
Extrasensory perception (ESP) is perception that is assumed to be totally independent of the five known senses. As such, it includes:
Efforts to validate or disprove the existence of ESP have been occurring with increasing frequency ever since the 1930s when psychology professor J. B. Rhine began his research into finding statistical evidence. While the concept of ESP was more or less accepted in many cultures throughout the world, the Duke University professor’s research was one of the first major research efforts in the United States.
The difficulty of proving or disproving ESP is complicated by several factors. One such factor is that in many cases of ESP research, the very act of scientific investigation may influence the thing under study. (Remember, the mind may be capable of many things!) Another major concern was the ability to replicate a particular experiment and obtain similar results in each and every case, regardless of the investigators involved.
An early experimenter was J. G. Pratt, who tested Hubert Pearce, a divinity student at the Duke School of Religion, on Pearce’s ability to predict which card Pratt would turn over next. In some of the experiments, Pearce operated in a room located 100 or 250 yards from Pratt’s laboratory. In the course of 1,850 trials, Pearce was able to demonstrate truly amazing results. His clairvoyant ability achieved so many hits that the odds against his doing so were ten thousand trillion, trillion to 1!
Russell Targ and Dr. Harold Puthoff conducted remote-viewing experiments in 1972 through 1975, by asking subjects to describe what experimenters were seeing at a distant location. The odds against one subject’s successes were calculated at 500,000 to 1; comparatively paltry odds. Targ and Puthoff also concluded that distance and electrical shielding had no effect, and that the skill apparently was a function of the brain’s right hemisphere. Other investigators have suggested that such clairvoyant ability might be within the grasp of anyone, but that overdevelopment of the left brain might be responsible for the apparent lack.
So what were you teaching your child the other day?
Subjects who seem to be likely candidates for ESP abilities have been found to be younger, better educated, sensitive to events and emotions around them, and more open minded in social and religious matters; but there is apparently no evidence that suggests anyone could not exercise some form of ESP. ESP proponents think babies may have it as a natural ability, then lose it as a result of their acquiring language skills. The important point here is that telepathic communication would no longer be needed for survival once language was learned.
Many people who have multiple personalities have been found to have a strong tendency to possess some ESP abilities. This fact of telepathy or ESP abilities being demonstrated among people with multiple personalities is noteworthy. A child undergoing severe child abuse might literally grab at any straw in order to discover the intentions of an approaching adult whose behavior was unpredictable and therefore uncontrollable. Such desperation could explain the initiation of the ability. And the maintenance of ESP abilities into adulthood may simply be due to their having been “locked in” during the child’s early and dramatic physiological development.
Researchers have also noted a “potency” factor. If danger is a significant part of an ESP event, there seems to be a greater likelihood the news will break through to the conscious mind. Ian Stevenson, for example, found 19 instances of apparent telepathy, clairvoyance and precognition in relation to the sinking of the Titanic in 1912. Clearly an abused child concerned about the next possible round of immense pain would qualify under the potency factor. Alternatively, when monotonous experiments are conducted over and over again, researchers note a drop in scores, what they called the “decline effect.”
The factor of potency (or lack thereof) can apparently be eliminated by an altered state. The alpha state (normal dream state) appears to be an optimal mental state for obtaining the best results in experiments involving ESP. Many psychics have noted this state is one in which no two entities are separate because everything flows into everything else.
As an aspect of ESP, psychokinesis stands comparatively alone. For unlike extra-sensory perception, psychokinesis (PK) is an outward extension of power. Instead of the equivalent of a radar tracking beam, we have a “tractor beam”, capable of changing what we perceive.
J. B. Rhine conducted tests on psychokinesis with the use of dice. At first, allowing subjects to throw dice, Rhine obtained successful results despite odds of only one chance in a billion. In one case he used opposing teams, one known for its ability to throw dice, and one using prayer or meditation as its motivating force. The teams achieved virtually identical results and, in both cases, against odds of one in several billion.
More recently, Brenda J. Dunne, Roger D. Nelson, and Robert G. Jahn, of Princeton University, have reported clear evidence of “significant anomalous” events, indicative of psychokinesis. These experimenters noted specific variations between subjects, lack of inhibition of the PK effect by separating the experimental apparatus and the subject by several thousand miles, and the observation of radically different results between individual subjects, and the cooperative effort to two or more subjects. These results are now being reported in respected scientific journals. [E.g., the Journal of Scientific Exploration, Vol 2, #2, 1988.]
Individuals with PK
By the 1960s many parapsychologists had begun to believe that the possibility of PK’s existence was sufficiently demonstrated. However, the experimental evidence was easily defendable only for mental influence over moving targets. When tested with the idea of modifying nonmoving targets, such famed PK subjects as Ted Serios and Uri Geller failed to demonstrate clear-cut abilities under laboratory controlled conditions. Only Nina Kulagina of the Soviet Union had consistently produced exceptional psychokinetic effects (according to Russian sources). These abilities included causing movement of objects toward or away from her and in circular patterns, and were said to affect metal, fabric and plastics. Ms. Kulagina was able to alter positions of objects even with intervening screens (but not in a vacuum), and in one case caused a burn-like mark on a British researcher that took over a week to heal
Many investigators believe an involuntary or an unconscious form of psychokinesis may be at the heart of much poltergeist activity. Dr. William Roll, project director of the Psychical Research Foundation in Durham, North Carolina, and Gaither Pratt, an experienced Duke University ESP researcher, have observed subjects (who were obviously unhappy) at the very center of poltergeist activities. But when these same subjects were then tested in the laboratory, they apparently had no conscious control over their supposed ability to influence objects at a distance. Roll and Pratt, subsequently, postulated that PK acts as a safety valve for venting pent up emotions. Adding fuel to this fire is the fact that Roll noted a disproportionate number of subjects with apparent involuntary PK powers suffering from symptoms not unlike those of epilepsy.
Joel Whitton reported in Life Between Life that one of his subjects also demonstrated an apparent unconscious form of PK due in part to her traumatic history of child abuse. In this case the lady was not even aware of the possibility that she was in fact causing the problem. Apparently, this is not an uncommon symptom with many such subjects.
By the time of Professor Rhine’s death in 1980, hundreds of volumes of experimental data exhibiting significant scores in telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition or psychokinesis had been collected. The evidence was then deemed so overwhelming by the Para psychological Association that this group concluded further tests were both superfluous and boring. The fact experimental evidence has continued to accumulate and support various forms of ESP only goes to show that many scientists need to see some things for themselves.
Critics, in the face of overwhelming documentary evidence, have now retreated to the charge that parapsychology has yet to develop a plausible theory to account for the phenomena. The key word seems to be “plausible”, for if you have been reading this book, a theory appears to be already emerging. One possible view, for example, is that ESP phenomena transcend time and space by going into a state where time and space pose no constraints on the mind. Whether such a view is plausible or not, the evidence ESP exists is becoming undeniable. One Nobel Prize-winning physiologist, Charles Richet, has remarked on the evidence for precognition, for example, by noting that while he might not say it was possible, he was constrained to say it was true.
One theory of telepathic reception could be based on morphogenetic fields. A morphogenetic field is one which shapes a growing plant or animal (or even chemical systems such as crystals), based on the forms of previous organisms (or crystals) of the same species (or chemical form). An embryo, for example, might “tune in” to the forms of past members of the species. In their instinctive behavior, animals might draw upon some sort of species “pooled memory” or “memory bank”.
In his paper, “Can Our Memories Survive the Death of Our Brains? (The Proceedings of the Symposium on Consciousness and Survival), Dr. Rupert Sheldrake, one of the main proponents for morphogenetic fields, says:
“If we pick up our own memories by tuning into our own past states, and these memories are not stored inside our brains, then why don’t we tune into other people’s memories? Perhaps we do. If we tune into the memories of large numbers of people in the past, we would not be aware of all the specific memories of particular events in their lives, but rather a kind of composite of pooled memory which would contain the basic forms or patterns of their experience and thought. This idea closely corresponds with C. G. Jung’s theory of the archetypes in the collective unconscious; and Jung’s approach to psychology harmonizes well with the notion of morphic resonance.
“It might also be possible to pick up particular people’s memories which are very recent—only a few seconds old. In this case there might be a transference of thoughts, or in other words, a process which is equivalent to telepathy. In this way the hypothesis of formative causation might provide a bridge between science and at least some of the phenomena of parapsychology.”
As a last vestige of hope, skeptics might point out that there is no evidence for the existence of a morphogenetic field. This last ditch effort, however, is also flawed. Consider the following idea: If we wanted to establish the existence of an electromagnetic field, we would almost certainly fail if we used a mechanical apparatus to measure some aspect of the EM field. It would be as if we were attempting to use apparatus designed to measure gravitational fields in order to measure an electromagnetic field. Obviously such a measurement would likely fail. Equally obvious, any attempt to measure a morphogenetic field with electromagnetic apparatus is also likely to fail. If you want to establish the existence of morphogenetic fields (i.e. “mind” fields), you must use... you guessed it... A mind!
But there is more to it than that. If we purchase a radio kit with which to build a radio and fail to assemble the set properly, we may very well find we cannot find any evidence of the alleged electromagnetic fields associated with radio waves. Even if we assemble the set properly, there is still the chance that we may still obtain only static. In other words, we have to be able to tune our receiver in order to get meaningful results!
Thus if the mind being used to find the morphogenetic field is not properly “tuned,” it is unlikely that mind will get anything but static. Furthermore, the first necessity of “tuning the mind” might be the presence of an “open mind.” (Small wonder that many researchers may have great difficulty in finding any evidence of a morphogenetic field.)
Thereafter, and depending upon experience and training, one can become more or less adept at tuning into the morphogenetic fields and effectively display a whole host of ESP abilities. The loss of potency with ESP subjects might be simply that they do not have an automatic frequency control (AFC), as do FM radio tuners, and thus may sometimes lose their “station.” It would appear that “a theory of ESP phenomena”, using Sheldrake’s morphogenetic fields, may in fact now exist!
Finally, if incredibly strange and unexplainable events occur in other areas and are accepted by scientists, why should ESP be so hard to explain? Neutrinos, for example, were postulated only because there was the need to account for momentum in certain forms of radioactive decay. Quantum physics’ “weak force” has had particles imagined by science in order to explain this little understood phenomenon. But the idea of two minds communicating without the use of normal sensory channels, haunts the scientific establishment as surely as do ghosts and spirits. There is little justification for such narrow-mindedness in science. It’s really time for science to get its act together.
William James wrote (after taking laughing gas) that the one conclusion which he was forced to come to, and which he had ever since found unshakeable, was that one’s normal waking consciousness was only one form of consciousness, while parted from it by the flimsiest of screens were, potentially, entirely unknown forms of consciousness. A century later we are attempting to penetrate the “flimsiest of screens”. In dreams, altered states, hypnosis, insanity, and trances, sensory deprivation and overload, psychedelic states and even simple relaxation, we may have the means of piercing the screen.
Into the Unknown, by the editors of Reader’s Digest, makes the noteworthy comment that, if ESP does in fact exist and can be proven to the scientific establishment to exist, science will feel its most basic tenets to suddenly be in question, and that this situation is one that few scientists wish to face, or, in particular, contribute to. All new knowledge invariably faces the same challenges. The originator of the concept of continental drift, Alfred Weggener, was literally laughed off the stage when he first presented his theories in 1915. Since then, continental drift has become a basic tenet of geologic and related sciences.
From Galileo to Einstein, science and society have always resisted radically new ideas. Let’s face it: it’s tough on the scientist when s/he discovers everything that person has learned or taught during the last fifty years, is wrong. Or at the very least, inadequate. The potential for ESP and psychic phenomena to upset the scientific applecart is enormous. With the number of scientists who have so vociferously resisted the possibilities, crow could become an endangered species.
The Mind-Body Connection
Holistic medicine is simply the consideration of mental and physical processes in determining health. In effect, illness can be construed to be a mind-body problem. If you are upset, you effectively tell your brain -- perhaps through some form of ESP -- that you’re upset, and the brain, being a highly literal computer, will provide physical ailments to match your upset emotional state. The brain can be thought of as a combination of a problem solver / goal seeker / maintenance man, all under the direction of the mind. If the mind conceives of a problem, the brain will solve it (one way or the other). If the mind has no problems, the brain will often manufacture one in order to keep busy and to be able to solve yet another problem.
Worried about what will happen tomorrow? Emotional concern may trigger the brain to provide appropriate physical problems for you to solve as well. The brain is always very amenable to suggestion. Give it a hint, and it’ll take you for miles. It’s also non-controversial, so that there’s no chance it will say, “Hey man, that’s not what you want.” The brain cannot even distinguish between real and imaginary, so it doesn’t know the terrible worry with which you are spending so much time, is probably illusory. As Mark Twain once said, “I’ve had many problems in my life, most of which never came true.”
On the other hand, holistic medicine proponents claim that if you tell the brain you’re fine, it will cure whatever problems that might arise and in the process make you well. The brain is a computer, after all, and computers always do what you tell them. Tell the brain you’re feeling great and the brain will so inform the rest of the body. (But don’t get cute; remember the brain has no sense of humor -- it does what you tell it to do, and not necessarily what you want it to do.)
Dr. Norman Cousins, in his books, Anatomy of an Illness and The Healing Heart, describes his own experience with what he sees as the healing powers of laughter and emotional well-being and the killing potential of panic and depression. As chairman of UCLA’s Task Force on Psychoneuroimmunology, he is exploring the possible ESP connection between the mind and the body’s healing powers.
In doing so, he has noted that while the negative effects of emotions, such as depression, panic, anger, hate, rage and frustration, are well documented with medical evidence, there is no comparable body of knowledge on hope, purpose, creativity, laughter, and the will to live. This becomes particularly important when people’s attitudes about health and life itself may have biochemical effects, i.e. what you think, ultimately shows up in the biochemistry of your body.
Cousins has noticed, for example, that when told of a diagnosis, the patients’ illness intensified at that precise moment. The panic and fear that occurred, in fact, set the stage for the advance of the disease by producing hormones, constricting the blood vessels, and so forth. From his viewpoint, there is a major conflict of interest with the attending physicians, who for legal liability reasons must lay it on the line, but who by telling the patient the worst, may contribute to bringing on the worst!
Scientists and medical practitioners, such as Dr. Cousins, are coming to the conclusion one cannot have an emotional action without a physical action. Such a conclusion, however, can be good news just as well as bad news. For example, if your emotions and mental state can cause psychosomatic ills, why can’t the same psychological factors cause psychosomatic benefits? In other words, if you have the power to think yourself into ignorance, disease, and death, then it follows you also have the power to become grander -- simply by opening yourself up to the immense possibilities, which can allow you to have greater genius, greater creativity, and possibly life for a much longer time. If not forever.
Brendan O’Regan of the Institute for Noetic Sciences collected over 3,000 cases of spontaneous remission. (Spontaneous remission is the medical term for cases where the patient gets well, and the medical establishment has no earthly idea how.) In effect, the patient apparently decides on their own to get well and do. Terminal cases become non-terminal, and quickly thereafter, non-cases. One well known medical doctor specializing in terminal cancer, has taken to telling his cancer patients (when appropriate) that they have, for example, only 3 chances in 10 to survive their particular cancer. Then he asks the patient if they would like to be one of the 3! This medical doctor, recognizing the immense power of the mind to heal the body, has concluded that if a patient really wants to be healed and believes they will be, then they will in fact be healed!
The key, of course, is to believe one will be healed. Witch doctors did a thriving business when the natives believed in their powers. Modern man has had much the same relationship with the modern medical doctor. But today, when patients are coming to the conclusion that medical doctors are not omniscience, doubts have started to creep in, and thus the medical community’s ability to facilitate healing has decreased.
Consequently, modern man must make their own decisions to heal themselves, and at the same time, believe that they are capable of doing so! Inasmuch as the mind may very well rule the body, and if healing is to be effective in whatever diverse form it is practiced, it is therefore essential to heal the mind as well as the body. It no longer seems plausible that psychological problems can be ignored when trying to heal the physical ills. With this holistic approach to medicine, surgeons may have to learn bedside manners, and doctors in general, learn psychological counseling, and patients to learn they themselves are the only ones really doing the healing. Ultimately, it's a question of each patient assuming their fair share of their own health and responsibility.
At the same time, it must be noted that a psychological problem manifesting itself in the present might not necessarily have originated in this life. There is always the possibility the psychological basis for an illness may have originated in a past life. [Apparently, medical doctors may have even more considerations to contemplate (such as reincarnation theory) in their continuing quest to adhere to the Hippocratic oath.]
Dr. Edith Fiore, who conducted 20,000 past-life regressions in 15 years, states in her book, You Have Been Here Before, that 98% of the problems with which she has been presented, originated in past lives. Dr. William J. Baldwin has come to a nearly similar conclusion:
“89% of all ailments treated by physicians are psychosomatic in origin. That means the source of most illnesses lie in the subconscious mind. The subconscious contains the complete record of everything you have ever experienced, seen, heard, tasted, touched, smelled, felt, said, thought. Must the basis of our problems be limited to just one life?”
If healing is indeed largely psychosomatic (and the evidence appears to be almost overwhelming), and in turn, psychosomatic ills may have their origin in past-lives (considerable evidence here as well), the connection between healing and reincarnation then becomes obvious. Not only does reincarnation support many of the aspects of healing discussed above, directly and indirectly, but healing has provided considerable evidence for reincarnation through the medium of past-life regressions done to cure or heal psychological and psychosomatic problems.
If the mind is capable of telepathy, precognition, psychokinesis, and healing it’s physical body, what next?
Consider for a moment the following idea: A mind or soul controls the physical body in which it resides (albeit maybe only temporarily, like during an incarnation) through some form of psychokinesis. This then neatly ties in with the fact a soul existing separately from the body (and thus capable of occupying a wide variety of bodies over time) can still manage control over the body. Not only manage control, but determine its state of health. In this way healing and ESP can be intimately linked with reincarnation.
Note also the mind-body connection, the psychokinesis between soul and body, which may require specific vibrations or tuning. Thus in some cases, another soul can -- using its own powers of psychokinesis -- manage to tune itself into someone else’s body and take over, at least partial control. Thus possession connects with all the other things of which we’ve just discussed.
That same psychokinetic power of a soul wandering in the space between physical reality and heaven, might also be utilized to effect poltergeist activities, or even allow itself to appear in some ghostly fashion. An incarnated being, only visiting the intermediate space while out-of-body, would maintain its psychokinetic connections with its body through the “Silver Cord” -- that transcendental-umbilical cord with which the life force of the soul could be conducted to the body.
Strangely and weirdly, everything begins to connect and individual paranormal phenomena begin to be perceived as simply implications of a broader theory of life and death. Slowly it becomes apparent why reincarnation is, in fact, making a comeback, and suggests that perhaps reincarnation may very well, also have a future.
Or then again, maybe not. Maybe, even the idea of a future, might be in question. For this cheery thought, consult the next chapter.
Chapter Ten: Earthbound Entities
Chapter Twelve: It’s About Time
2003© Copyright Dan Sewell Ward, All Rights Reserved [Feedback]