• Luli Faber

The Conscious Universe

The Conscious Universe was written by Dean Radin in 1997. In this book he summarises the past 100 years of research that had been carried out into "psi" research, which is the study of all extra-sensory and psychokinetic phenomena, such as telepathy, clairvoyance, pre-sentience, mind-matter interactions and field consciousness.

Telepathy is the ability to read minds; the ability to receive information from another person's mind without any other intermediary. Clairvoyance is the ability to see things from a distance, without having a sender send the information to your mind (which is telepathy). It is also called "remote viewing", and has been used by organisations such as the US government to gather information about other countries' activities. (More on that can be found here.)

Pre-sentience is the ability to feel things before they happen. Mind-matter interactions is the ability of the mind to affect material objects, such as electronics, such as random number generators, but also other people, such as during distant healing. Field consciousness is the ability of groups of people to change matter.

In this book Dean Radin, who is a chief scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS), brings together all of the scientific data on these subjects and carries out meta-analyses, which is an analysis of all of the data. This technique, which is regularly used in more mainstream areas of research, has the advantage of getting a broad overview of all of the findings, from many different experimenters from many different locations. So while some experiments may have found significant findings, and other not, it pools all the data to look at the overall effect statistically.

Using this method Dean Radin successfully shows statistically significant results from all of these psi areas of research over the past 100 years, and describes the experiments used to deminstrate these phenomena. He then goes on to discuss why this is not reported by the media, the psychological factors that create resistance to accepting these findings, the potential mechanisms that might be underlying the phenomena studied, and the implications that these findings might have.

Unfortunately, 20 years later, there has still been no real shift in people believing these data. Skeptics making a lot of noise drown out what is actually rigorous scientific evidence, and dismiss the first hand psi experiences of the majority of people in society (between 50 and 70% according to recent polls) as self-deception or delusion. Some of those instances might be tricks of the mind, but that doesn't mean that all of them are. In addition, some of the studies have failed to be replicated since this book was written. See the Koestler Parasychology Unit at the University of Edinburgh's site here for details about the conflicting evidence and the experimental procedures used to study psi.

This is partly because the sizes of the effects of these phenomena are small, and are therefore dismissed as not interesting, while in other cases the researchers' integrity are attacked. In addition there is a known psychological factor called the experimenter effect, whereby experimenters who believe that they will get a positive result probably will, while those that believe that they won't, probably won't. This is a psi effect in itself! However, as Dean Radin points out, effect sizes of phenomena are often small until they are better understood, and can be more studied in more precise ways, yet the ridicule of skeptics and other scientists who influence funding bodies limits this.

More recent evidence for psi phenomena can be found on Dean Radin's site here.

Some of the other experiments described in this book are also discussed in this article: https://www.healyourownpain.com/single-post/2014/05/08/Ten-Scientific-Studies-that-Prove-Consciousness-Can-Alter-our-Material-World

Below are some example graphs from the book, highlighting some of the findings. Apologies for the resolution of the graphs.

The graph below shows a summary of all of the extra-sensory perception (ESP, or telepathy) findings, measured in a variety of ways. Some of these ways included using playing cards to determine telepathy, using remote viewing (RV), using the "Ganzfeld technique", which is where subjects are placed in a sensory deprivation in an attempt to isolate incoming telepathic signals, or using dream telepathy, where participants are "sent" information during their dreams, and woken up immediately after they finish dreaming.

If the results were due to chance, the success rate at identifying the correct incoming message would be 50%, but the results are statistically above this level. The meta-analysis result, which pools all of the previous experiments, is the symbol on the far right, showing that analysis of all of the past experiments showed a statistically significant effect when studying ESP.

The following graph shows the incidences of the ability of people to correctly determine when they are being stared at. Overall participants had a significantly greater than chance ability to determine this. The meta-analysis result is the data point on the far right.

I thought the following finding on pre-sentience was particularly interesting. Participants were shown pictures that were either emotionally salient or emotionally neutral, i.e. calm. The pictures are shown in a randomised order on a computer in the "during" phase of the graph below.

After the emotionally salient pictures are shown, in the "after" phase of the graph below, the level of participant arousal rises (shown by the closed circles below) compared to the neutral pictures (shown by the open circles). Arousal is measured through the skin conductance response (also known as the electrodermal response, or the galvanic skin response). The skin conductance increases because an emotional response in the participant to the emotionally evocative picture is acompanied by a physiological response.

However, before the participants are shown the emotionally evocative pictures, in the "before" section, when they don't know what will be presented, they also show an increased level of arousal, but this is not the case before they are shown the neutral pictures.

So somehow the participants are responding physiologically to the emotional stimulus before they know it will even appear. Very cool.

#IONS #globalconsciousness #randomnumbergenerator #telepathy #precognition #skinconductance