This is one in a series of blogs that I have produced around paranormal research. One of the common assumptions of paranormal investigations is that human consciousness can operate outside of the traditionally held views of space and time. We discuss whether there is evidence for paranormal research to support the view of human’s consciousness operating outside of realms of our perception of space time.
In my first blog, I discussed evidence for human consciousness influencing the environment. I further develop this argument about whether human consciousness can operate outside of the traditional views of space and time. Human perception of space and time appear to be independent of each other. However, physics research shows space and time are strongly associated with one another. Time can be mathematically computed as the fourth dimension in space (commonly known as space-time).
All significant topics within paranormal research have some element of the consciousness operating outside of space-time. The question of consciousness operating outside of space-time can draw upon more experimental data, such as precognition, extrasensory perception, remote viewing etc. There are three types of paranormal research in these areas; (1) Self-reported, i.e., person recalls a dream that came true, (2) Experimental laboratory data that relies on participants which has some conscious process, i.e., participant will inform researcher of what they think and (3) Physiological measures, i.e., recording brain activity. All these styles examine wether humans can operate outside the traditional views of space-time.
Certain people claim that they have visions of an event before it happens (precognition). Approximately, around twenty percent claim to have at least one precognition. The precognition usually occurs in a sleep state. Most people report that precognition dreams are more vivid than a typical dream. The most famous examples are dozens of people having a clear recognition of the Titanic sinking. We need to be cautious with self-reported accounts, as we don’t know whether people are just remembering those that came true and ignoring the rest. However, a good starting point is that people claim to have these precognition visions.
One of the most significant paranormal articles published in recent years was that by Bem (2010). In this article Bem (2010) conducted nine experiments around precognition, of which eight were statistically significant. What each trial had in common was testing the information received after the decision-making process influenced the decision making. For example, a classic psychological experiment is priming where a word would flash up (ugly or beautiful) and participants had to judge whether the image was either pleasant or unpleasant (priming). Researchers found reaction time would be quicker if the word was related to the image. In retrospective priming, the order was changed, but the same effect was still observed. Therefore, suggests that information displayed after the decision-making process influenced the decision-making process. Although, further research is needed to conclude whether this effect is real or not it does support other research in consciousness being able to operate outside of the traditional view of space-time.
The most common experiment of whether humans can operate outside on the normal standard view of space-time is telepathy. One of the first books around telepathy was Sinclair’s book Mental Radio, which included a preface by Albert Einstein. Mental Radio demonstrated some telepathic ability but not in a formal laboratory setting. In a modern telepathic experiment, a person attempts to transmit a thought to another person, and the receiver has a choice what image the sender was attempting to send (Ganzfeld). Thousands of experiments have been conducted, and research tends to conclude there is a significant but small effect. Interestingly, there do appear individual differences, some people can perform telepathy and others can’t.
A more recent experiment set up was around whether certain people can observe different points in space-time from a different location (this is called remote viewing). It is alleged that a remote viewer could receive a set of coordinates from the researcher and describe the site without ever visiting the area. Not surprisingly, government/military are the primary sources of research for remote viewing. There have been some successful experiments, and even President Carter could give examples of a successful operation of finding a lost plane by remote viewing when he was in office. Therefore, there is some evidence for remote viewing, which supports the view of the consciousness operating outside the normal realms of space-time.
Many paranormal studies so far have some element of conscious awareness of the person (precognition, retroactive priming, telepathy, and remote viewing). A modern away of detecting changes is by measuring physiological changes, therefore removing the need of the participant to make any conscious awareness of the event. There are published papers demonstrating the relationship between physiological systems separated by a distance from cells to brains.
There is a similar concept within quantum mechanics called entanglement theory. It is an excessive correlation between separated particles over space and time. If one particle changes spin, then the other will change. There is some evidence that points to entanglement in biological systems. However, more research is needed to confirm entanglement in the human brain. It does offer a framework to explain and test different of hypotheses around precognition, retroactive priming, telepathy, and remote viewing.
Research into the paranormal has found significant results in experiments that demonstrate some people can have awareness across space and time. Although, the research suggests only some people have this ability. The theoretical basis explanation could come from a similar concept observed in quantum mechanics, entanglement theory. However, there is still a gap between paranormal experiments and evidence for the existence of entanglement theory. What it does offer is a framework to study paranormal phenomena within a scientific framework rather than just experiments using the negative evidence approach (ruling out standard explanation before calling it paranormal).
I will be presenting a series of blogs around the paranormal: The next topic is “Psychic Predications, Do They Come True?”
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Thanks for reading, Ian