Psychic Exploration

From page 87:-

Increasingly, the scientific establishment is showing interest in the talents of psychic sensitives, giving rise to investigations in laboratories that are not primarily parapsychological. At Stanford Research Institute in California (not to be confused with Stanford University), physicists Harold Puthoff and Russell Targ (see Chapter 22) have been investigating the paranormal abilities of an Israeli sensitive, Uri Geller. Experiments in telepathy and clairvoyance gave astonishing odds against chance -a trillion to one in one instance. But it is Geller’s reported PK ability to break rings and bend sturdy metal that aroused more interest. Time (27, p. 110) suggested that Geller’s physical effects could be duplicated by a magician, but I became certain that it was no trick when Geller was able to bend a sturdy metal key that I was holding. Geller did not touch the key at all, but it bent about 30 degrees while his hands were laid on mine.

A provocative report by researcher Dr. Henry (Andrija) Puharich indicates that Geller has even more fantastic PK abilities, such as dematerializing objects (20 attempts, 75% successful) and rematerializing them (20 attempts, 60% successful). If these materialization phenomena can be replicated under controlled conditions, then we may well begin to wonder what happens to those three vanished objects. Researchers complain that it is difficult to film such productions, since sometimes vital parts of the cameras dematerialise. If physics can solve this problem, then it may open up a whole new dimension (literally) of science.

As always, people react more strongly to things that they can actually see that defy their common-sense world, although PK is no more a threat to current scientific theory than, say, precognition. If Geller is able to maintain his PK ability (physical mediums are notorious for losing their talents or dying young from overuse of their gift), then he may be able to make a unique contribution to paraphysics. At last report he was attempting to teleport to earth a camera left on the moon by Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell.

The combination of ESP and PK in one person happens so frequently that one is startled at the lack of research effort to find out possible relationships between them. Could it be that some persons can tune a psychic-energy field either to receive (telepathy) or to focus for beamed transmission (PK)? Recent Soviet research with the PK sensitive Nina Kulagina (who also had demonstrated “eyeless vision”) hints that this may well be a fruitful research hypothesis.


From page 192:-

This chapter has emphasized the statistical PK work, because so far it is there that the most reliable and – to some extent – reproducible results have been obtained. These experiments not only have shown the existence of PK but also have indicated its strange properties, such as its goal oriented feature and its relationship to precognition.
This solid evidence for PK has made experimenters more open-minded toward occasional reports of seemingly more spectacular PK phenomena. One of the most frequent of these, poltergeists, is discussed in Chapter 16.
Another source of particularly strong PK effects may be available in a few highly selected subjects, some of whom are already active as “psychic performers.” One such person is Uri Geller, a native of Israel now living in the United States. Geller can well match the feats of the spectacular performers studied by the early workers in the field. Critical researchers as well as TV audiences have seen Geller bend heavy metal objects “mentally,” just by touching them slightly or even without any touch.

Such demonstrations would seem to lend themselves naturally to detailed studies of the associated “mechanism” in the physics laboratory. A first beginning in this direction has already been made by Puthoff, Targ and Mitchell (see Chapter 22 and Appendix), who studied Geller for more than a month at the Stanford Research Institute and confirmed some of Geller’s unusual psychic abilities.


From page 444:-

Far too many do not understand or care about the need for research into the subjective, extended nature of man. We can point in vain to biofeedback, control of autonomic processes, benefits from meditation, advances in psychoenergetics, and the like. People simply yawn – it doesn’t affect them directly. So who needs any more science and technology? We’ve got too much already. Look at the shape the world is in – as seen on a new solid-state, color television by satellite transmission from 10,000 miles away (Beal, James B.).

Few seem to reaise that civilised man cannot long survive on this planet without increased discovery of new knowledge and its enlightened use to handle the fantastically complex, interrelated, and synergistic challenge of the future. Our difficulty is that as short-term pragmatists, we are not geared mentally to long-range planning and to some of the cultural changes and benefits resulting from advanced science and technology programs, not to mention inner-space research effects.

Concepts of man, the universe, and man in the universe motivate our thinking and actions on earth. Are contributions to such concepts unimportant to the quality of life we strive for today? On the contrary, they are basic to the definition of what we mean about quality of life. Without a growing precision of our definition of the universe, external and internal, objective and subjective, material and spiritual, and the elements involved, we cannot hope to improve more than the physical aspects of day-to-day living. More likely, we will be able to do little more than cope with ever-increasing planetary problems, while the cost of coping (in human terms) makes living itself deteriorate in quality.

It used to be said that man the scientist brought order out of chaos. Scientists are now rapidly discovering that all that is chaotic is man’s fearful ignorance and constrained perception-imagination. However, because paraphysics at its “far end” turns into metaphysics, it may be one of the future’s most important vehicles for accomplishing what the mystic William Blake called “cleansing the doors of perception.” With our minds freed from blinding beliefs masquerading as science, we may – to refer to William Blake again – find that our senses and abilities extend from the normal to the so-called paranormal and begin to relate to everything as it really is: infinite.


From page 673:-

My observations of several gifted sensitives such as Uri Geller and Norbu Chen have been convincing. Either there is a massive conspiracy to deceive by a near-army of diverse, unrelated individuals, including sophisticated scientists, or the events I have observed are true phenomena of nature. Ockham’s razor – the principle of parsimony in explanation – provides the test and resolves the question. The latter is much easier to accept.

In addition to the very spectacular and controversial phenomena of the greater class, the events called telepathy, clairvoyance, and precognition and some PK events such as teleportation (and which I will call lesser phenomena) also send reverberations through the materialist structure, though not sufficient to cause collapse. These types of functioning suggest the extended nature of man and imply sensory mechanisms and modes of information transfer that are poorly understood. It is quite conceivable that to explain these lesser phenomena, we might be able to pose a new “energy” concept and, to provide for precognitive phenomena, reshape our concepts of causality without abandoning the materialist hypothesis altogether. I am sure such an attempt will be made by those who become convinced of the need to deal with the class of lesser events but who are not yet ready to embrace the reality of the greater events.

It has always been this way in science – to pursue vigorously a piece of the puzzle by taking it methodically apart, oblivious to the subtle clues all around that our theories, based upon the parts, could not explain the whole. It is the old story of the blind men attempting to describe an elephant by individually feeling its legs, ears, and trunk. Such descriptions rarely very useful unless one is only interested in legs, ears and trunks. To keep our investigations productive, we must occasionally pause in our analysis by reductionism and look from a greater perspective for the subtle clues. Thus, I suggest that we will arrive at an entirely different explanation for psychic functioning if we include events of the greater category in a working hypothesis rather than ignoring them until they have been subjected to more “proof.” There is no need to wait for irrefutable proof when the evidence is so compelling.

The appeal of materialism is a commentary not only on the state of our science but on our social structure as well. From my experiences I have come to view life as a process of growth and change but a process with the purpose of evolving toward ultimate knowledge. I see individual humans as existing in fairly specific mental states along a spectrum of consciousness having field consciousness (FC, as suggested by W. G. Roll in Chapter 17) at one end and (drawing from Feinberg’s foreword) what we might call a material consciousness at the other.


From page 683:-

Experiments with Uri Geller
I first met Uri Geller in August 1972 at the home of Dr. Andrija Puharich in Ossining, New York, Dr. Puharich, whom I had known for two years, had contacted me four months earlier to tell me of an extraordinarily gifted young psychic sensitive who had come to his attention. After listening to Dr. Puharich’s claims about Uri’s psychokinetic, telepathic and clairvoyant abilities, I felt we had the opportunity to bring psychic research into the laboratory in a way that had rarely, if ever, been done before. Uri was supposed to have very good control over his powerful abilities; he could give us the needed repeatability of effect that the scientific method often requires in checking observations. Therefore, I offered to raise funds for a scientific study of Uri and to manage the research effort. Dr. Puharich agreed and gave me the right to do the first U.S. research.

In the meeting at Dr. Puharich’s home, Dr. Gerald Feinberg, of the physics department at Columbia, was present, along with Dr. Wilbur Franklin, dean of the graduate school at Kent State University. Also present were John White, a member of my staff, and some acquaintances of Dr. Puharich.

The three days I spent in observation, experimentation and talk with Uri and Dr. Puharich convinced me that we had a high degree of probability in attempting to validate the claims Dr. Puharich had made about Uri.

Accordingly, Dr. Puharich and I contacted officials at Stanford Research Institute in Menlo Park, California, with an offer to fund and monitor the research. Two scientists there, Dr. Harold Puthoff and Mr. Russell Targ, had previously indicated to us that they were both interested in psychic research and capable of conducting it competently. My offer stipulating that they were to conduct the research was accepted. Research began in November 1972 and continued for five weeks. Much of the time Dr. Franklin and I were present in the laboratory as part of the research team.


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