Friday, September 3, 2010

A Slightly Different Take on "How PSI Works"

I am re-reading Rene Warcollier’s “Mind to Mind” as published by Hampton Roads, with a preface by Ingo Swann, no less. It’s a wonderful book I would recommend to anyone interested in parapsychology and the early studies of PSI. My point here is not to critique the book but instead to point out how frontier science forces its participants to be uncomfortably adaptable in their evolving understanding of what they are observing. There is certainly a great deal of data showing the phenomenon exists, and certainly variables that can be tweaked to improve or degrade PSI events in a lab setting, there is not a model that describes how it works that is accepted by the field, and can be used to explain why changes in variables cause changes in PSI performance.

Mr. Swann in his preface points out how Mr. Warcollier’s contemporaries in the Institute Métapsychique International explored with a model for how PSI worked that was different from their British or American counterparts. This American model was looking for some sort of communication between the conscious minds of the participants as though they were physically connected through some faint communications channel. The French model was looking for the transfer of information to occur between non-conscious aspects of the subjects. Its this idea that lead to the use of the term “Extra-sensory” perception in that there are sensory modalities other than the 5 we are familiar with.

Of course this idea of multiple consciousnesses is not new either, Freud made the idea famous generations ago. From my own experiences it appears that there exists in each of us other consciousnesses that are processing information too, as our waking ego-consciousness does, though perhaps not limited to the single focus our ego’s have to work with. This other consciousness seems to use some of our five senses to get information and may process that information through our brains using the same brain areas our conscious ego-mind does. The other consciousness(s) seem also to have other senses, modalities to process information, than our ego-minds do, and this is where the PSI information comes in.

Perhaps, as we go through our day, sensory information is coming in and utilized by our ego-mind and our other consciousness, and they both are processing that information for whatever function they use it for. As they are perhaps sharing brain areas to process information, it is here that some PSI data “leaks” over into our conscious minds. It may be that the data passing through the neurons are in a pattern that is utilized one way for the ego-mind and another way for the other consciousness. Its may be similar to the way some machines process numbers in hexadecimal and some in decimal, and there are parts of the hexadecimal that are recognizable by a decimal number reader but not all of it, so the decimal processer is getting only part of the data.

Since there would be more “leakage” if the two minds are processing the same data at the same time, that is why it helps in PSI testing to use “intent” to draw the attention of both consciousnesses to the same event. That is why PK and ESP data shows up more when the event is important, because both consciousnesses are attending to it and processing the event.

If you are curious about what things interest the other consciousness, just take a look at anecdotes about PSI events to figure that out. Go back and read Stacy Horn's recent book "Unbelievable" and examine the stories about what was effective in ESP research back in the early days of PSI lab work. It seems that the “other consciousness” is interested in emotion, relationship, novelty and life-changing events. I would suspect that adding more of these qualities to PSI research would be beneficial in increasing the occurrence of PSI. Re-reading Warcollier’s book and looking at other studies of paranormal events while keeping this other consciousness in consideration really shines a new light on one’s understanding of the PSI process. This slightly different take on “how PSI works” has evolved for me as I read over current studies, and reflect on the great wealth of research done in the past, such as those of Warcollier.
--Benton Bogle

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