The Spirit of Ma'at Vol 1 August 2000


Psychic Research You'd Better Believe It!
"We are setting out, all of us, to heal an entire planet through the application of forces that were previously considered miraculous. But yesterday's miracle is today's science."

For more than 70 years, most notably since J. B. Rhine started his parapsychology research at Duke University in the 1920s, hard scientists have been conducting experiments attempting to prove or disprove the physical reality of the so-called "metaphysical" force exerted by human thought and emotion.[1]

The silly posturings of hysterical magicians and CSICOPS notwithstanding, serious experiments in parapsychology consistently yield positive results for the presence of telekinetic force. According to Charles T. Tart, the dean of parapsychology research for many decades, no serious scientist has questioned the existence of this force since 1958.[2]

The annals of parapsychology research include giants like Rhine, Tart, R. Targ and H. Puthof at Stanford Research Institute, eminent physicist David Boem, Thelma Moss at UCLA, and many, many more.

Yet one of the most influential and important studies of all, with the most far-reaching implications, was first conducted in a modest college classroom back in 1942.

Separating the Sheep from the Goats

Dr. Gertrude Schmeidler was at that time a professor of psychology at New York City University. She created a questionnaire for her students, to determine which of them believed in psi.[3] Then she divided the students into two groups based upon their responses. Those who believed in psi were the "sheep"; those who doubted it were the "goats."

Next, Dr. Schmeidler tested her students, using a classic psi test where participants guess the sequence of target cards in an ESP deck.

When Shmeidler compared her students' results, she found, as expected, that the "sheep" scored significantly above chance. The remarkable result, however, was that the "goats" scored significantly below chance! Thus -- since a significant deviation is meaningful, whether it's above or below chance -- even those who do not believe in ESP unwittingly demonstrate its existence!

It's called the Sheep-and-Goat Effect, and no serious parapsychological study is considered valid unless this effect is allowed for in the protocol. When amateurs, however well intentioned, conduct experiments disproving ESP, you can be absolutely certain that there's a "goat" in there somewhere!

Quantum Physics and Prayer

However, despite the consistently evidential results of experiments in telekinesis,[4] they all, until recently, seemed to fly in the face of everything that scientists thought they knew about the nature of reality. Most felt that the only way they could handle such proof was to discredit either the studies themselves or the people who conducted them -- an increasingly difficult task, since both experiments and experimenters were often associated with universities and scientific institutions of unassailable repute.

Now, however, we have a quantum-physical worldview that no longer contradicts the reality of telekinesis: a scientific worldview in which shapeshifting, scientific prayer, and the Isaiah effect are no longer outside the realm of scientific possibility (see, for example, Taking the Quantum Leap: The New Physics for Nonscientists, by physicist Fred Alan Wolfe [HarperCollins, 1988], or The Dancing Wu Li Masters, Gary Zukov [William Morrow & Co., 1980]).

So while we cannot exactly claim that quantum-mechanical events prove the efficacy of scientific prayer, we can say that the two are consistent. In other words, when experiments show a significant correlation between weather and human emotion, we are no longer in the woo-woo zone. We are demonstrating a facet of reality that co-exists in perfect harmony with the findings of hard science.

Yes, we are setting out, all of us, to heal an entire planet through the application of forces that were previously considered miraculous. But yesterday's miracle is today's science. So it has been for nearly half a millennium.

And so it is.

--S. Barber

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