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The Conscious Universe: The Scientific Truth of Psychic Phenomena Hardcover – July 18, 1997
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Holding up such anomalies as ESP, psychokinesis, prayer, near-death experiences, and reincarnation under the cool light of scientific scrutiny can be a daunting task. Dean Radin, director of the Consciousness Research Laboratory at the University of Nevada, rises to the challenge in the pioneering and exhaustively researched The Conscious Universe. Fans of The X-Files will need no further convincing, but for the remaining skeptics, this easy-to-read mix of history, scientific evidence, and proclamations ("When modern science began about three hundred years ago, one of the consequences of separating mind and matter was that science slowly lost its mind.") will authenticate the existence of psychic phenomena.
Radin creates two categories: the perceiving of objects or events beyond our ordinary sense capabilities and the triggering or influencing of action through mental powers. Radin aims to present simply and clearly the basic elements from science, psychology, and physics that prove the existence psychic phenomena. Given the tacit acceptance of psychic phenomena as "real," why do both government and mainstream science repudiate the claims and the evidence, yet continue to exploit them?
The Conscious Universe challenges our most basic assumptions about reality, those that exist in both the upper echelons of science and in the basic daily interactions. Its a mind-bending exploration of how and what we see.
Radin is a mix of curiosity, scholarship, technical expertise, and sly wit. (New York Times Magazine)
Looking through The Lost Symbol, it seems that the “new” topic that will benefit from “the Dan Brown effect” is Noetic Science. . . . parapsychology researcher Dean Radin is at the Institute of Noetic Science - these “heretical science” topics are likely to generate much debate. (MSNBC's Cosmic Log)
Top customer reviews
If there is one book you want to read in order to inform yourself of what has been going on in psi research and make up your on mind regarding these anomalous phenomena, this is it.
Information exchanged between two or more minds, without the use of the ordinary senses.
Information received from a distance, beyond the reach of the ordinary senses. A French term meaning ‘clear-seeing’. Also called ‘remote-viewing’.
Mental interaction with animate or inanimate matter. Experiments suggest that it is more accurate to think of psychokinesis as information flowing from mind to matter, rather than as the application of mental forces or powers. Also called ‘mind-matter interaction’, ‘PK’, and sometimes ‘telekinesis’.
Information perceived about future events, where the information could not be inferred by ordinary means. Variations include ‘premonition’, a foreboding of an unfavorable future event, and ‘presentment’, a sensing of a future emotion.
Extrasensory perception, a term popularized by J. B. Rhine in the 1930s. It refers to information perceived by telepathy, clairvoyance, or precognition.
A letter of the Greek alphabet (Ψ) used as a neutral term for all ESP-type and psychokinetic phenomena.
Out-of-body experience; an experience of feeling separated from the body. Usually accompanied by visual perceptions reminiscent of clairvoyance.
Near-death experience; an experience sometimes reported by those who are revived from nearly dying. Often refers to a core experience that includes feelings of peace, OBE, seeing lights, and certain other phenomena. Related to psi primarily through the OBE experience.
The concept of dying and being reborn into a new life. The strongest evidence for this ancient idea comes from children, some of whom recollect verifiable details of previous lives. Related to psi by similarities to clairvoyance and telepathy.
Recurrent phenomena reported to occur in particular locations, including sightings of apparitions, strange sounds, movement of objects, and other anomalous physical and perceptual effects. Related to psi by similarities to psychokinesis and clairvoyance.
Large-scale psychokinetic phenomena previously attributed to spirits but now associated with a living person, frequently an adolescent. From the German for ‘noisy spirit’.
Before going into the detailed discussion of this book, allow me a personal remark. While this book reads very cool, as it’s written with an intention focused on facts that are experimentally verified and that are coherently aligned into one or several theories, it can be verified or falsified, according to strict scientific logic and practice.
Now, reading the Postscript of the book, the reader may get an idea what the author actually went through, as a human being, as a non-conforming and novelty-oriented scientist, one of those we call the leading edge in modern science. When a research project is finalized, people always sit back and look at the immense work, lauding the experimenter. But have they ever felt how it was to go through all that, from the first to the last moment?
For example, on Monday, I’m accused of blasphemy by fundamentalists, who imagine that psi threatens their faith in revealed religious doctrine. On Tuesday, I’m accused of religious cultism by militant atheists, who imagine that psi threatens their faith in revealed scientific wisdom. On Wednesday, I am stalked by paranoid schizophrenics who insist that I get the FBI to stop controlling their thoughts. On Thursday, I submit research grants that are rejected because the referees are unaware that there is any legitimate evidence for psi. On Friday, I / get a huge pile of correspondence from students requesting copies of everything I’ve ever written. On Saturday, I take calls from scientists who want to collaborate on research as long as I can guarantee that no one will discover their secret interest. On Sunday, I rest, and try to think of ways to get the paranoid schizophrenics to start stalking the fundamentalists instead of me./299-300
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To begin with, I would like to stress the energy nature of those various phenomena that we use to call psychic or paranormal. When I speak of bioenergy here I mean the bioplasmatic energy that is also called cosmic energy field, not body electrics or electromagnetism. This is also the energy that is meant and referred to in shamanism, when shamans talk about the spirits of nature. These spirits, to be true, are energy streams that carry transcoded information, and as such they are part of the huge communication network built into living systems. The author says that psi research does not fit in conventional theories and that it’s not correct that researchers, because they face a novelty that scares them, explain what is so far unexplainable, with the theory of electromagnetism.
In order to keep this review in reasonable boundaries, I will discuss in more detail here only Chapter 7, entitled Perception Through Time, which is an intriguing research topic that was covered also very well in Michael Talbot’s study 'The Holographic Universe,' which I have equally reviewed.
The author explains that the accumulation of conceptual frameworks for explaining how perception and time hang together does not help much. Concepts like retrocognition, real-time clairvoyance or precognition, the author says, rather blur the usual concepts of perception and time. In fact, it is true that they explain nothing.
In my view all depends on how we define time, and without doing this, and considering what relativity theory said about it, on one hand, and what quantum physics says, on the other, we cannot make any valid assumptions about precognition, prophecy or past-cognition.
The author does not advance any theory, as for example Michael Talbot does by explaining all these phenomena with the holographic nature of the universe. When all is one single hologram, it’s very well conceivable that the timeline of events is a mere projection system that actually is a crutch for our imagination, while in reality there is no such timeline at all in life, as all events occur simultaneously.
But while this concept is very elegant, Radin did not venture into any of those larger frameworks, and this is again strategically a smart way of doing. For it’s easier to bring a theory through that is based on hard facts and verifiable evidence, and later expand the theoretical framework.
Because this isn't taught in academia, hardly anyone knows that
hundreds of studies have been conducted by qualified scientists, worldwide and that results strongly suggesting existence of psi have been reported for over a century.
Unfortunately, being a "product" of a society with a predominantly materialistic paradigm, many people find it difficult to keep an open-minded position towards the subject. But, as the history of humanity demonstrated multiple times, these effects do not go away just because a few individuals don't want to let go of their believes.
Yet, a growing number of these studies are appearing in mainstream scientific journals. The nature of the scientific debate has changed over the years from "it is impossible" to "well, I don't know how to explain it so it probably isn't very interesting." From a sociology of science perspective, that is a gigantic change in opinion. It changes the existential nature of the debate, i.e. from "it doesn't exist" to "it exists, but ...".
The book provides strong arguments that some of those "bump in the night" experiences that are so commonly reported are scientifically plausible.
The best research in this domain is not naive. Independent reviews of the methodology of the best studies show that they are as good as, or better, than the best studies in the other behavioral and social sciences. This is a dramatically different story from the usual skeptical opinions.
It's a great read for people open to the fact that science, by definition, is in process of continuous progress, and, as experience shows, what seems shocking today is widely accepted tomorrow.