Saturday, September 13, 2014

Psi Blocker Effect: a convenient excuse for proponents of the "paranormal"?

At the 2005 Meeting of the Society for Scientific Exploration in Gainesville, Florida, Dr. Edgar Mitchell, the 6th man to land on the moon and co-founder of the Petaluma, California-based Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) mentioned the psi blocker effect.  He described noticing that the famous "psychic" Uri Geller would have a difficult time demonstrating his abilities when certain individuals were in the laboratory at Stanford Research Institute at Stanford University.  When the individuals in question were sent off to get coffee or the like, this blocking effect was lifted.  

Could those who are convinced psi phenomena are impossible and that they are not even worthy of study use their own consciousness to affect experiments without even realizing it? Or is this a convenient excuse for psi phenomena proponents to explain some experiments that fail to produce sufficiently convincing data or physical effects?  If this is the case, when the closed-minded are involved in replicating experiments performed by open-minded ones, their results will simply meet their expectations.  Might their data conform "too much" to this expectation to the point that it represents a statistical anomaly?

We leave you with some studies (1, 2) that speak to these matters.  In a meta-analysis of research on distant mental influence on living systems (DMILS), we find reference to a study performed by a scientist open to the psi phenomena (Schlitz) and then repeated with the same conditions and protocol by a psi scoffer (Wiseman).  Schlitz's data set represented a p-score of 0.02, whereas Wiseman's translated to a p-score of 0.32.  The difference in the statistical significance is tremendous.  One says that there is a 2 in 100 chance that the effects are due to chance, where as the other indicates a nearly 1/3 chance that the effects are due to chance.  In the 2006 SSE Meeting, another paper, made reference to this effect: "Kevin Walsh, Effect of Subject Bias on Psi: Self-Fulfilling Prophecies."  The psi blocker effect could lead scientists to rule out a real phenomenon as unlikely (this is referred to as a Type II Error).  Note that neither experimental result "proves" or "disproves" DMILS. Science does not prove. It refutes, but still has a margin for error. 

At the same conference subtle energy researcher William Bengston presented "Placebo Effect, Type II Errors, and Resonance: Some Implications from Healing Research for Experimental Methods."  Here, Dr Bengston related a case whereby the control groups of sick mice that were not treated with exteriorizations of bioenergy (vital energy, chi) were similarly healed as sick mice that received chi treatment. One could dismiss the effect by seeing that there was no significant difference in outcome between the experimental and control groups.  However, both performed better than when there was no treatment at all.

Hollywood: Where Einstein Met (and Abandoned) the "Paranormal"

In 1932, a writer penned an article for The New Republic denouncing Einstein for lending credence to a "prophet" named Gene Dennis popular with Hollywood for her supposedly-accurate premonitions.  Einstein reportedly said: “She told me things no one possibly could know." A series of letters flew back and forth after the article, with Upton Sinclair defending Einstein.  Sinclair, a sort of Michael Moore of the 30's, responsible for controversial exposes, had developed a friendship with Einstein after sending him a copy of his book Mental Radio on psi phenomena.  

Eventually, this friendship led to Einstein attending an unimpressive seance with other prominent scientists, most the of them skeptics. Perhaps, there was truly nothing to see; maybe it was a case of the hypothesized psi blocker effect, whereby those who strongly believe psi phenomena are impossible manage to limit its manifestation when they are present.  Naturally, this hypothesis is ridiculed by staunch skeptics as a "convenient" effect for proponents.  Einstein, at least publicly, remained skeptical without dismissing or discouraging parapsychology research.  For instance, regarding J B Rhine's work at Duke University, he felt the data would eventually be explained by a "non-recognised source of systematic errors."  

Nelson Abreu
Los Angeles
IAC California

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Demystifying the OBE author Luis Minero on "The Paranormal Podcast" with Jim Harold

In case you missed this interesting chat, you can stream a podcast of an interview of Demystifying the OBE author and IAC president Luis Minero on "The Paranormal Podcast" with Jim Harold regarding the out-of-body experience.  You can attend personal development, OBE and energy training seminars taught by Minero and fellow IAC faculty in Los Angeles. The next award-winning CDP series starts September 20.  The CDP is also available at other locations worldwide and an online version (eCDP) can also be enjoyed.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Vibrational State & the Frontochakra ("Third Eye")

IAC blog guest contributor, independent consciousness scholar, Australian anthropologist and author Kim McCaul has a new post on his blog, where he shares personal insights from his personal bioenergy practice - especifically the induction of the vibrational state, which is linked to the out-of-body experience, energy self-defense and wellness. To learn more about the vibrational state, check out this previous post and video interview with IAC practioner and scholar Wagner Alegretti.

This variant or supplement to the technique taught at International Academy of Consciousness is remindscent of another variant that was published in the Journal of Conscientiology by Brazilian practitioner Mário de Luna, now available in digital format for subscribers.

If you have experiences with the vibrational state, your participation in the following IAC research survey will be much appreciated.

by Kim McCaul

If you have come to his little article because you have experienced either of the sensations referred to in the title and you were worried about them, the first thing to know is that they are perfectly natural. The trail blazing OBE researcher Robert Monroe spontaneously began experiencing unusual vibrations when he laid down to rest or sleep. He spent some time worrying about his health, both physical and mental, until he realized that the vibrations simply related to the process of separation from his physical body. If you are in that position, you can stop worrying and start exploring the subtle dimensions of life that these sensations relate to.

I started meditating without any desire to explore multidimensionality. I didn’t even realize life was multidimensional. I just wanted to calm my mind. Yet within a very short period of time I experienced vibrations all over my body while in meditation, and developed a pulsation around my third eye that persisted even when I was just going about my daily business.

Eventually I came to understand that both those sensations relate to our energetic body. This body is comprised of the energy Eastern traditions refer to as Chi / Qui / Ki. It permeates our physical body, and extends just a bit beyond the limits of our skin. It comprises a complex system that includes channels, like the veins in our body, and distribution or circulation centers known as chakras. 

Like air this energy is essential to our survival, it is our life force. It has been given a range of English names such as vital energy and etheric energy; in conscientiology it is called bioenergy, the energy of life. Because it is so much subtler than our physical body, we are rarely aware of this part of us. But when we become still and tune into it, or when we take actions to move and develop that body, then we can start to perceive it in a range of ways, including as intense vibrations and pulsations, or subtle tinglings and pinpricks. 

When I started to study conscientiology, I learned a technique by which to deliberately induce the vibrational state even when I wasn’t meditating. This technique, called the closed circulation of energy, is essentially an exercise of the mind and involves mentally inducing ever-accelerating movement of the energetic body. You start at the top of your head and move the energy all the way down to your feet before returning back to the top, continuing and accelerating that cycle until reaching the vibrational state (you can find a nice illustration of this here). You can do this while laying in your bed, sitting in a restaurant or standing in a cue.

I have now practiced this technique for years. Throughout that period my third eye kept pulsating most of time, regardless as to whether I was doing the closed circulation regularly or not. I could be sitting at my desk working, playing in the park with my kids or practicing a meditation, the pulsation of energy around my third eye remained an almost constant companion. Initially I thought it was something really significant, an opening of clairvoyance for example and that any time soon I would become permanently attuned to non-physical dimensions. But a decade and a half later it appears that these pulsations have nothing to do with clairvoyance, and my abilities in that regard remain as haphazard as they ever were.

However, I have recently begun to gain a new appreciation of the role of the third eye chakra in our wider energetic system. A meditation technique taught by the Clairvision School works very deliberately with the third-eye chakra, using it as a focus point in exploring our inner world of consciousness. In the course of my still fledgling studies of the Clairvision School’s approach, I decided to combine the focus on the third-eye with the deliberate induction of the vibrational state. Instead of moving energy up and down through my energetic system in the broad sweep of the closed circulation of energies, I have started focusing my full awareness on the pulsations of my third-eye chakra and then extending that pulsation throughout my energetic body. It appears to be a very effective way of inducing the vibrational state. Before long I start to perceive the pulsation in the crown chakra at the top of my head, and the planto-chakras at the centers of my feet and then my entire energetic system enters a subtle but tangible vibrational state. The third-eye chakra has become a switch with which to crank up the volume of the whole energetic body.

And if you are wondering why you may want to do that, there are many reasons. If you are an energetically sensitive person, the vibrational state is an excellent technique to balance yourself when you have to deal with dense or challenging environments. It is a technique that helps you reclaim your energetic space and thereby also your mental and emotional space. If you are pursuing out-of-body travels, inducing the vibrational state while lying down in a relaxed position can cause the separation of your subtle psychosoma (astral body) from the physical body. And if you are interested in working more closely with non-physical helpers, regular vibrational states will help you develop an energetic micro-climate in which helpers can provide greater assistance to both physical and non-physical people in need who cross your path.

So if you are already experiencing the subtle sensations of your energetic body I encourage you to explore and develop them. And if all of this seems very abstract to you because you don’t think you have ever experienced any of the things I am talking about, but you are still reading this, I encourage you to try working with your energy and experience it for yourself.