Beyond Belief or Ye of Little Faith?
What is parapsychology? Why do I have to have faith to believe in parapsychology? Is parapsychology beyond belief? The term parapsychology was coined in 1889 by Max Dessoir and is the study of paranormal phenomenon. Parapsychologists study telekinesis, precognition, near death experiences, clairvoyance, reincarnation, remote viewing and apparitional experiences.
Perhaps, now you already know the answer to one of the questions above, why do you need to have faith to believe in parapsychology? While faith might not be the best word for believing in parapsychology you definitely have to have an open mind. We tend not to believe in things we cannot see! Most of the work we see done in relation to parapsychology is really beyond our belief per say, but how do we really know if something is possible or impossible? We keep an open mind and put our theories to the test.
Allow Me to Introduce Michael Persinger
Dr. Michael Persinger has done extensive work in the field of parapsychology and neurotheology where he is most commonly known for his research on remote viewing and transcranial magnetic stimulation to induce the sensation that you are experiencing an “ethereal presence in the room.” Michael Persinger has made contributions in psychology on topics one would never have even assumed to be possible. Of course, with any scientific theory there are always others trying to disprove what you are trying to prove exists. Persinger has worked as a Director for Laurentian University’s Consciousness Research Laboratory. He has conducted a wide range of research experiments and has written many peer reviewed articles on his research.
Remote Viewing and Telepathy
Is it possible to perceive a place, event, or thing that is not within the range of your visual senses? Can you describe a specific target that is in another room? How about another planet? Michael Persinger believed this phenomenon was indeed possible. Remote viewing has not been proven to be an out of body experience or a form of astral projection, but is conducted within a conscious state of mind.
Persinger did research on remote viewer, Ingo Swann, and has added accuracy to Swann’s claims of remote viewing. At the University of Laurentian Ingo Swann was placed in a chamber with an experimenter while another experimenter was sent across campus to a certain destination to look at a specific target. Swann was able to draw and write key terms to describe the specific target. Was he always correct? No, he was not, but the experimenter was measuring his EEG (electroencephalogram) and found correlations between how accurate he was with activity levels in the occipital (right hemisphere) based on a 7HZ pattern. This part of the brain deals with motivation and visualization, but then has to be transferred to language which can create errors along the way. Persinger devised a tool to magnetically stimulate the brain which was called, “The Octopus.” This allowed for two participants, in separate rooms, one with a target and one without, to share the image of the target through a form of telepathy and remote viewing.
The God Helmet
We all have different ideas about our divine creator, in which, some of us do not even believe in a creator at all. Michael Persinger believed that the idea of a creator was just that, an idea. Persinger created a device in which one would experience the sense that something or someone is present. Whether or not one was a religious believer was irrelevant; it was still shown a presence of some kind was reported by non-believers. This device sets off a magnetic coil that stimulates cells in the right hemisphere of the brain allowing this sense to occur. Persinger believed that anxiety is produced by our fear of death and the unknown; therefore, the right hemisphere of our brain will sense the divine as a defense mechanism against anxiety over facing the end of life. The God helmet was created to feel this sense of divinity on command.
It All Starts with a Theory
So, why paranormal psychology? Why Michael Persinger? To introduce you to material you might not have heard of and remind you of why you are in a field dominated by research and the imagination. We want to understand how the brain works, why we do what we do, how we perceive things, what motivates us, and the list goes on and on. Early scientists came up with theories that were considered crazy during their times too. I mean what is this whole electricity thing? How about telephones? Who would have ever thought it was possible to talk to someone without being in the same room as them? Hopefully, that proves my point. Nothing is impossible and yeah you might get called crazy, but you have to start somewhere and it always starts with a theory.
- The God Helmet: Your Brain On Religion (freesay.wordpress.com)
- Graham Nicholls – Out-of-Body Experiences: In Search of the Truth (2012indyinfo.com)
- “2012″ and Electromagnetic Effects on Consciousness | Reality Sandwich (2012indyinfo.com)
- I see you… (taslookingglass.wordpress.com)
- Jaime Licauco: Reluctant Psychic or Shameless Charlatan? (randi.org)