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I Brake for Paradigm Shifts

A recent thread referencing psychic phenomena raised a point I would like to enlarge upon here. Despite the frequency and consistency of reporting, few scientists have been willing to formally investigate them, though many have been happy to pronounce judgment. Not a very scientific approach, if you ask me, but, then again, I'm no scientist.

Having personally experienced a lot of psychic phenomena myself, I remain fascinated with the subject. About a dozen years ago, PBS (I think it was) did a series of extended interviews with cutting edge scientists. The one that arrested my attention was Rupert Sheldrake, a British biologist who had been studying such arcane matters as how do pigeons home, and do dogs really know when their owners are returning. Of course, we immediately ran out and bought his books. But I also went an extra step and wrote to him, describing some of my best-evidenced psychic experiences and granting permission to use them toward his research if he saw fit.

I often think of his theory of morphic resonance when I see my current brood of cats mimic the highly individual behavior of their predecessors whom they never met (and all being strays of different breeds, could not be related to except in the most general sense). My husband, ajrose93, refers to our cats' sudden excitement that occurs when I am about 5 minutes from home but beyond sight, sound or habit as a "Sheldrake moment."

It was therefore quite thrilling when, about 2 years ago, I received a note from Dr. Sheldrake's assistant, Pam, confirming my address and asking if I would like a complimentary copy of his latest book, The Sense of Being Stared At and Other Aspects of the Extended Mind in which I was quoted. So there you go: my conflict of interest exposed.

For my money, psychic experiences are genuine, helpful and based on something more than mere wish fulfillment, dread or expectation. I believe, as Bill Hicks so memorably put it that "we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively" and that we can either close ourselves off from the continuum of existence or open ourselves up to it. If the latest in scientific discovery cannot explain how vision works or how the brain stores memories, then we really can't rule out the notion that what we call matter may be more ephemeral than it appears and that levels of interconnectedness exist that are beyond our present comprehension. One doesn't go "out of body" or "astral travel" when one is already there on the astral. Physics in particular has for decades embraced a view of "matter" that bears no resemblance to popular conceptions, and string theory in physics as well as recent astronomical discussion on dark matter/dark energy seem to be taking us stranger places still. The rest of science simply needs to catch up, or at least to stop pooh-poohing things about which they know nothing, like the proverbial dog in the manger.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 23rd, 2004 11:26 pm (UTC)
How fantastic that you address both Bill Hicks (best speaker ever), and a friend's recent issue in the same paragraph. :-)

I have a friend who had what was described as an OBE in her sleep a while back. She was trying to do some homework on the subject, and I thought you and your hubbub might be able to give some quality online or printed references on the subject.

Any links, etc., would be appreciated. Thanx!
Dec. 24th, 2004 12:27 am (UTC)
Hi, Angelus!

I'm trying to escape work (I seem to be employed by Scrooge & Marley), so links will have to wait. But some names to get your friend started:

The skeptical-yet-thoughtful approach: Steven LaBerge, author of Lucid Dreaming, the psychologist who managed to prove to mainstream dream therapists that lucid dreams exist. Also from a psychological point of view, Patricia Garfield's Creative Dreaming.

Classics in the new age field are Robert Monroe's books: Journeys Out of the Body (I think) is the main one. Fascinating, though often pretty far out there, are Jane Roberts' books. And then there are many, many early 20th century and 19th century sources, some still worth reading.

For "astral work" per se, of course, AJ would recommend Crowley (surprise!). Though I might add that AJ's own books discuss much of this, both his novels and his student handbook (The C.'.G.'. Student Handbook: Mysticism, Magick, Thelema -- end of shameless plug!)

I'll see what else I can find later. Thanks for posting! ;)
Dec. 24th, 2004 08:09 am (UTC)
Yeah, what she said. ;)

I'm always interested in hearing details of same. Feel free to post 'em, or email 'em, or whatever -- if I knew more about the experience, I could comment better. (Or not is fine, too. :) )

Regards, AJ

P.S. St. Bill Hicks R00lz. :D
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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