The Gold Leaf Lady and Other Parapsychological Investigations Kindle Edition
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“This book isn’t just good, it’s excellent. Stephen Braude is at the top of the intellectual food chain in the study of paranormal phenomena, an accomplished philosopher of science who brings his first-rate intellect to bear in a fair and deep treatment of the supernatural. Replete with personal accounts and anecdotes from his many investigations, The Gold Leaf Lady is a riveting read, a tour through the paranormal that both enchants and instructs us.”
So, thank you. Stephen Braude, for having taken the time and effort to put this book together! It is a joy to read!
As in physics research, psi research requires carefully calibrated, tested, refined instrumentation; but in the latter the essential instrumentation consists of observers who must react and record impartially, intelligently, intellectually. Braude is not reluctant to point out that a particularly abusive skeptic “treated Dennis like s***” when Dennis, failed to demonstrate his reluctantly claimed psychokinetic ability under formal laboratory test conditions. According to Braude fair psi tests require objective but sympathetic observers. He cautions that psi by its very nature could evade all conventional experimental controls and might be “activated or inhibited by subconscious states which we can't conclusively identify and which we certainly can't control.” Indeed, the observer, perhaps unintentionally, perhaps intentionally, may somehow participate in the nature and outcome of paranormal events.
The role of the observer in physics laboratory experiments is invoked in Thomas Young’s classic ‘double slit experiment’ which produces an unexpected, ostensibly paranormal, diffraction pattern with many small interference fringes. The observed (photographically detected) pattern is impossible to explain with light consisting only of a beam particles (photons). A calculation pretending that the light is behaving as a wave is needed to precisely predict the pattern. But, when the fringe pattern is examined, it is evident that the pattern was built photon by photon; not by continuous wave-fronts. Physics theorists claim that the waves have ‘collapsed’ on the photosensitive surface, piecemeal forming diffraction pattern. The experiment is said to demonstrate ‘wave-particle duality’ and ‘wave function collapse’.
John von Neumann in The Mathematical Foundations of Quantum Mechanics, concluded, “only a conscious observer doing something that is not encompassed by physics can collapse a wave function because only a conscious observer can actually make an observation,” . . . famously adding “then, a miracle happens.” This is complemented by Princeton physicist John Archibald Wheeler’s emphatic proclamation, “No phenomenon is a real phenomenon until it is an observed phenomenon.” Oxford professor Sir Roger Penrose (The Road to Reality) believes there is no need to invoke any conscious observer in order to achieve the reduction of the quantum state when a measurement takes place. He prefers interpretive viewpoints that do not necessarily mandate a conscious observer. Instead he prefers the notion of some kind of ‘objective reality’ which sustains the phenomena observed.
In My Universe - A Transcendent Reality, Alex Vary proposes that the ‘physiostratum’ where we live coexists with the ‘mesostratum’ where paranormal and transcendent phenomena operate and sustain our physical reality. Vary writes, “The mesostratum is readily apparent, never concealed or obscured. We cannot avoid being aware of the mesostratum. Physiostratum phenomena arise prominently as results of mesostratum phenomena. . . . [an] . . . example is the experimental revelation of magnetic fields by their effect on iron filings. A magnetic field is a continuum thing that exists solely in the mesostratum. Yet the presence and geometry of magnetic fields is clearly demonstrated by the alignment of iron filings that were originally randomly scattered on a cardboard sheet just before being placed over a magnet. The tiny particles of iron ‘line up’ along imaginary ‘lines of force’ filling the space between the magnet’s north and south poles.”
The mesostratum, as proposed in My Universe - A Transcendent Reality is essentially an energetic signal source and transfer medium with properties that may underlie the psychic and paranormal phenomena described by Braude. The mesostratum is at least conceptually useful to help explain the remarkable and fascinating resources that seem to be available not only to mediums but also to prodigious savants, geniuses, virtuosos, and perhaps all people to various degrees.