"Relationship" is a good word to include in the title of this chapter because it implies some family connection such as brother or sister.† In fact, the luminaries and members of many religions use "brother" and "sister" in referring to each other.† We are eternal beings having a physical experience together, with the closeness family members share.
We know weíre of the same family because our minds are intimately connected, even though weíre in separate bodies on the physical plane of existence; our minds are always joined.† This chapter explains the evidence we have today that our minds are one.
You would think that since the mind is outside of the brain, someone should spot it traveling down the road or pick it up on Channel 3.† Actually, what we need in order to know whether the mind is outside of the brain is for one personís mind to be able to communicate with anotherís without speaking, signaling, or even being in the same room, building, or country.
Thatís exactly what happens.† A large number of studies have now shown that minds are linked and we can pick up thoughts from someone else simply by intending to know those thoughts, even over great distances.† That means that someone can know instantly what someone else is thinking or experiencing several hundred miles away, even though the brain is still encased in a rigid cranium and the sensory organs leading into it arenít involved in the knowing.
The most famous experiments showing that telepathy links peopleís minds have been done successfully thousands of times.† They are called the "ganzfeld" experiments.† A receiver relaxes quietly in a comfortable chair with half ping-pong balls over each eye to eliminate visual stimuli.† Earphones are placed over their ears with white noise playing through them.† The receivers, in other words, have outside stimuli and distractions blocked.
A sender is in another room.† The sender randomly selects an image (painting, drawing, movie clip, film strip, or cartoon), looks at it, and attempts to send a mental picture of it to the receiver relaxing in the other room.† The receiver speaks about any images or thought processes that come to her during the time period.† What the receiver says is recorded by an experimenter.
Afterwards, the receiver is shown a set of four pictures and is asked to select which seems to be the image the sender was looking at.† If the receiver picks the right picture, that is a hit.† In some versions of the ganzfeld experiments, the receiver doesnít pick a picture.† Instead, the descriptions the receiver speaks are sent to independent judges who decide whether the receiver was describing the image the sender was looking at.
Since there are normally four images, guessing (chance) would result in 25 percent correct on average.† In the thirty years since the first test, this experiment has been performed in over 3,100 sessions, in dozens of laboratories. The findings have been that the receivers usually choose, on average, 32 percent to 34 percent of the pictures the senders are looking at. †Thatís quite a large percentage when chance guesses would result in only 25 percent hits.† The odds against the 32 percent success rate happening by chance are 1,000,000,000,000 (a trillion) to one.1
Another analysis of 28 studies performed by 10 researchers, done by Charles Honorton, Director of the Division of Parapsychology and Psychophysics at Maimonides Medical Center in New York, showed the same percentage of hits.† His analysis showed that the odds against the receivers of the telepathy guessing what the senders were looking at were ten billion to one.2
Honorton then improved on the method with Marilyn Schlitz, Ph.D., Vice President for Research and Education at the Institute of Noetic Sciences and Senior Scientist at the Complementary Medicine Research Institute at the California Pacific Medical Center.† Honorton and Schlitz conducted ganzfeld experiments using a computer to select the images the sender saw, eliminating all possibility that another human being could be involved in the telepathy.† These experiments were called "autoganzfeld" experiments.†
Eighty still pictures and eighty short audio and video segments were used as the targets.† Senders viewed one chosen at random by the computer, with no human intervention in the selection.† The receivers were placed into steel-walled, sound-proofed, electromagnetically shielded rooms to isolate them from any influence, even electromagnetic signals.† In addition to the psychologists involved, two magicians oversaw the study: Ford Kross, an officer of the Psychic Entertainers Association, and Cornell University psychologist Daryl Bem, a professional mentalist.
These were the results:
All together, 100 men and 140 women participated as receivers in 354 sessions during the six-year autoganzfeld research program.† The participants ranged in age from seventeen to seventy-four; and eight different experimenters, including Honorton, conducted the studies.† The program included three preliminary and eight formal studies.† Five of the formal studies employed only "novices"óparticipants who served as the receivers in just one session each.† The remaining three formal studies used experienced participants.
The bottom line for the eleven series, consisting of a total of 354 sessions, was 122 direct hits, for a 34 percent hit rate.† This compares favorably with the 1985 meta-analysis hit rate of 37 percent.† Honortonís autoganzfeld results overall produced odds against chance of forty-five thousand to one.3
In one autoganzfeld experiment, the target image was that of a fire-eater. These were the subject's responses:
I find flames again. . . The fire takes on a very menacing meaning. . . . an image of a volcano with molten lava inside . . . Molten lava running down the side of the volcano. . . . Suddenly I was biting my lip, as though lips had something to do with the imagery. . . . The lips I see are bright red, reminding me of the flame imagery earlier.
The subject mentioned the words fire or flame a remarkable 29 times.4
The ganzfeld studies have been replicated by a number of scientists with the same results, showing that people are able to receive the thoughts of another person.† These are some of the professionals who replicated the results:
∑ Dr. Kathy Dalton, Department of Psychology, University of Edinburgh
∑ Dr. Robin Taylor, Post-doctoral research fellow, University of Edinburgh
∑ Dr. Dick Bierman, Department of Psychology, University of Amsterdam
∑ Dr. Daryl Bem, Department of Psychology, Cornell University
∑ Dr. Richard Broughton, Rhine Research Center
∑ Dr. Adrian Parker, the University of Gothenburg, Sweden
∑ Dr. Rens Wezelman, Institute for Parapsychology, Utrecht, Netherlands5
Some people are better able to link with another personís mind than normal.† Honorton and Schlitz did a study with 20 music, drama, and dance students from the Juilliard School in New York City.† It is generally known that creative people are more attuned to the minds of others and to knowledge from psychic sources.† Overall, these students acting as receivers achieved a hit rate of 50 percent, one of the highest hit rates ever reported for a single sample in a ganzfeld study. The musicians were particularly adept: 75 percent successful identifications of the targets where 25 percent would be by chance.6
Dr. Schlitz described one of the sessions in which she was the sender (watching a video) and a Juilliard student was the receiver, shielded in a Faraday cage in another room without being able to hear or see anythingósensory deprived.† The student had half ping-pong balls over his eyes so his vision gradually turned to black blankness because of sensory deprivation.† He had earphones on with white noise blocking out any external sounds.† The student was instructed to simply describe impressions of what he "saw" or experienced in his mind, without focusing on anything or trying to imagine anything.
This is Dr. Schlitz' description. The sound from the receiver's room was transmitted to the sender's room so she could hear the receiver's reactions, but no sound could come into the receiver's room.
One of the Juilliard School students, Dustin, was the receiver.† I was the sender. I was looking at a film clip from the film, Altered States. Dustin was sitting in a soundproof, electromagnetically shielded room, a Faraday cage. I was in an acoustically shielded room some distance away, so it was not possible to have any sensory exchange between us. I had a one-way feed of sound from his room so I could hear him, but he couldn't hear me at all. As I was watching the film clip of the hell scene, I heard Dustin saying "Red, red, everything's red." At the same time, the whole scene I was watching was tinted red because it was the descent into hell. And then he said, "I see crucifixes, a corona sun," just like the scene I was seeing. And then, to my amazement, he said, "I see this giant lizard opening and closing its mouth." At exactly that moment, I was watching a giant lizard on the screen in front of me opening and closing its mouth.7
In the interview, Dr. Schlitz also described a female studentís ganzfeld session in the same study:
She described a hot air balloon, yellow colors, a wizard, a dog, a black female night-club performer, and the cityscape of New York. She also said other things that weren't correct. As it turned out, the video clip was from The Wiz and it was the scene where they're walking across the Brooklyn Bridge out of New York. The scene had the cityscape of New York behind them and it was all yellow because they were on the yellow-brick road. In the scene was Diana Ross as Dorothy, the scarecrow, the lion, and the dog. And over the city, there was a hot-air balloon.8
Extensive experiments have been carried out at the Rhine Research Centre to determine whether people can communicate telepathically.† In their book, Extra-Sensory Perception After Sixty Years,9 the researchers reported that by 1940, 33 experiments had been done to see if "receivers" could get telepathy messages from "senders."† The studies involved almost a million trials, with a variety of different setups to make sure the effects occurred under different conditions.† They had the senders and receivers at great distances from each other for some studies, and in others even had the receivers describe the image the sender would see before the computer even selected it to show to the sender. Twenty-seven of the 33 studies produced statistically significant results showing that the sendersí and receiversí minds were linked.
To make sure that the experiments were all performed under carefully controlled conditions, Charles Honorton, Director of the Division of Parapsychology and Psychophysics at Maimonides Medical Center in New York, conducted a meta-analysis of the precognition experiments conducted between 1935 and 1987. A meta-analysis treats all the studies done as though they were part of one big study. That means effects that keep occurring across many studies are shown to be very strong because they keep happening.† The analysis can also identify when a few results showing some effect arenít really very significant.† Honorton examined 309 studies conducted by 62 experimenters. His analysis showed that the studies demonstrated that people could often predict what another person was going to be experiencing, with the odds against chance at a hundred billion billion to one.10
Other experiments eliminated the need for the receiver to try to identify images a sender was looking at.† Instead, the studies measured the receiverís brain waves as the sender was being subjected to periodic light flashes.†
This is the description of a study by Russell Targ, physicist at the Stanford Research Institute, and Harold Puthoff, a physicist who was director of the CIA/DIA-funded SRI International research agency:
The receiver was placed in a sealed, opaque and electrically shielded chamber, while the sender was in another room where he or she was subjected to bright flashes of light at regular intervals.
Electroencephalograph (EEG) machines registered the brain-wave patterns of both. As expected, the sender exhibited the rhythmic brain waves that normally accompany exposure to bright flashes of light. But, after a brief interval the receiver also began to produce the same patterns, although he or she was not exposed to the flashes and was not receiving sense-perceivable signals from the sender.11
Jacobo Grinberg-Zylverbaum, at the National University of Mexico, wanted to find out whether two people could link their minds just by intending to do so.† He put pairs of subjects together inside self-contained box-like enclosure and asked them to meditate together for 20 minutes.† The enclosures, called "Faraday cages," are tightly sealed, soundproof, and electro-magnetic radiation-proof.† In other words, no signal and no sound could get in or out of the enclosures.
Then he placed the subjects in separate Faraday cages and connected each to EEG machines to measure their brain-wave patterns.† He knew that if the brain wave patterns changed in the same way for both, at the same time, the two would be connecting through their minds, even though they couldnít possibly have any sensory input from each other.
One was the "sender" and the other the "receiver."† The sender was subjected to flashes of light, sounds, or intense but not painful electric shocks to the index and ring fingers of the right hand.† The sudden stimuli occurred at random intervals and all involved (sender, receiver, and experimenter) had no idea when they would happen. The receiver stayed relaxed, with his or her eyes closed focusing on feeling the "presence" of the sender without knowing anything about the senderís being stimulated. One hundred stimuli were applied to each pair of subjects.† The EEGs of both subjects were taken continually, with times for all the records so they could be compared.†
After the test, they compared the brain wave patterns, second by second, for the sender and receiver.† When nothing was going on with the sender, the brain wave patterns of the two subjects were both random, not showing any correspondence with each other.† But, the moment the sender was subjected to flashes of light, sounds, or intense but not painful electric shocks to the fingers, the receiverís brain waves showed a reaction in around 25 percent of the cases.12
He performed more than fifty experiments over five years with the same results.
Very interestingly, when the EEG electrodes were attached to a young couple who were deeply in love, the brain wave patterns showed them to be closely synchronized constantly, throughout the experiment, even when there were no stimuli.† Their minds were linked continually.† The couple also reported that they had a sense of "a deep oneness" with one another in their lives.† Their intuition fits with the data.
As further proof that the subjects' minds were linked, he found that when a receiver showed reactions to the senderís shocks in one experiment, the receiver usually showed them in other types of experiments with that sender as well.13
The same links between minds were found by Fred H. Thaheld, a physicist from Folsom, California, who studied whether peopleís minds communicate without being in the same room or talking.† He put two people into two separate chambers shielded from electromagnetic energy in Faraday cages so there was no way for them to see each other, communicate, or even exchange energy.† Both were hooked up to EEG machines to record their brain wave patterns.† When one person was shown a rapidly alternating pattern (called a visual pattern-reversal stimulus), that personís EEG responded showing the brain was receiving the stimulation with a particular pattern of brain waves.† At the same time, the brain of the person in the other Faraday cage responded with similar brain waves, even though the second person saw nothing.14† †
Charles Tart, Ph.D., at the University of California at Davis, had two subjects at a time meet and agree they intended to maintain mind contact when they were separated.† He then had them separated a long distance so they couldnít see or communicate with each other.† To evaluate whether they were communicating, he set up the experiment to measure the "receiverís" body stress when the "sender" was put under stress.† We know that when people are stressed, they sweat more.† When the person has more sweat on the skin, electricity passes over it more quickly, so researchers can tell in an instant whether someone is sweating more by measuring whether a tiny current passes between the electrodes on the skin at different speeds.† It shows when a personís stress level has suddenly increased.† Thatís why these tests are used as lie detectors.† Lying puts a person under stress; telling the truth leaves the person calmer.† Two technical terms for the method are "skin resistance response" (SSRs) and "galvanic skin resistance" (GSR).†††
Tart put electrodes on each of the subjects, attached to two fingers, to measure skin resistance to find out if there were any changes in stress.† In addition, he also monitored blood volume and heart rate. The common name for this more complete test is "polygraph test."† Pens attached to arms swing over a paper that rolls across a surface and the times the movement occurred are recorded on the paper.† The resulting pen marks show changes in skin resistance (sweating), blood volume, and heart rate.
Tart then gave mild electric shocks to one subject, the "sender."† The result was that the receiverís skin resistance response, blood volume, and heart rate reacted each time the sender was shocked.† The receiver wasnít consciously aware of these physical changes he or she was experiencing.15†
Engineer Douglas Dean at the Newark College of Engineering; psychologist Jean Barry, Ph.D., in France; and psychologist Erlendur Haraldsson, Ph.D., at the University of Utrecht, all observed significant changes in receivers' finger blood volume when a sender, located thousands of miles away, directed emotional thoughts toward them. 16
The studies are strong support for the assertion that people's minds are one.† The separation we see clearly in bodies doesn't seem to be there in our minds.
In another set of experiments, people were able to influence other peopleís minds and physiology by focusing on them, even when they are separated from one another by great distances.† These experiments have been replicated several times with the same results: Braud & Schlitz, 198317; Braud & Schlitz, 198918; Schlitz & Braud, 1985.19
In these studies, one person (the "receiver") sat in a comfortable room with electrodes attached to two fingers to measure skin resistance (showing tension or relaxation).† A computer did the measurements so there was no person involved.† †In a separate, distant room, another person (the "influencer") also had electrodes attached to two fingers to see when that person was under stress.† The senderís stress level was measured by a computer also, so records were available second by second of how each personís body was reacting.
The influencer attempted to either make the receiver feel calm or agitated during ten 30-second periods.† The times and whether the influence was calm or agitated were chosen at random so the receivers couldnít know when the influencers were trained on them and couldnít know the type of influence being applied.
During calming attempts, the influencer relaxed, calmed himself or herself, and gently thought of wishing the subject would become calm, while visualizing the receiver being in a relaxing, calming setting. During agitation attempts, the influencers tensed their bodies and wished for the receiver to become more active, while visualizing the receiver in energizing or arousing situations.
During the time between the influencing attempts, the influencers worked at keeping their minds off of the receivers and the experiment, thinking about unrelated things. In other designs, the influencers just closed their eyes and visualized the entire experiment being successful, without focusing on a calming or agitating scene. Both strategies to shut down the influence turned out to work, based on the skin resistance measurements.
The researchers performed 15 of these experiments, with the number of pairs of influencers and receivers in each experiment ranging from 10 to 40. In all, there were 323 sessions with 271 different subjects, 62 influencers, and 4 experimenters. The experiments showed that in 57 percent of the individual sessions, receivers were measurably affected by the influencers' thoughts.
They replicated the study with 32 new subjects and had similar results.20† The researchers concluded that ". . . an individual is indeed able to directly, remotely, and mentally influence the physiological activity of another person through means other than the usual sensorimotor channels."21
Healersí Intentions to Link with a Receiver of the Healing Register in the Receiverís Body Instantly.
Healers have been known to have a positive effect on people who are ill both when in the same room and from great distances. The intentions of the healers to connect with those who are the focus of the healing ("receivers") were studied by measuring whether the receivers had changes in MRIs of their brains at the moments the healers focused on them.† Jean Achterberg, Ph.D., professor of psychology at Southwestern Medical School and the Saybrook Institute, studied 11 pairs of healers and receivers of the healing intentions. Before beginning the MRIs of the receiversí brains, each healer was asked to try to connect with the receiver in any ways they used in their own healing traditions: sending energy, prayer, having good intentions, or thinking of the receiver and wishing the highest good for him or her.
The receiver was in the MRI machine and completely isolated from the healers and the experimenters. The healers were asked to send their prayers or thoughts for two minutes at irregular times determined by tosses of a coin. The study is considered "blind" because the receivers in the MRI did not know when the distant intentions were being sent.
The results of the study were highly significant. MRI scans of the brains of 9 of the 11 receivers showed major significant changes in brain function each moment the healers began praying or thinking about them, even though they did not know when they were receiving the attention.† Their brains, according to Dr. Achterberg, "lit up like Christmas trees."22
People commonly describe a feeling of a group unity among people assembled for a meeting, discussion group, or support group.† That phenomenon was studied by Dr. Nitamo Montecucco, professor, University of Milan Centro di Medicina Olistica e Psicosomatica.† His research with up to twelve subjects in a room showed a synchronization of the brain-waves of the entire group.23†
In another study by Dr. Nitamo Montecucco, on May 20, 2007, eight subjects meditated in Tuscany and eight subjects meditated in Milan, 200 kilometers away, focusing on linking their minds.† EEG measurements of the two groups were taken using computerized instruments synchronized up to a hundredth of a second using a Global Positioning System.† The results showed that their brain waves displayed synchronization at levels far beyond chance.24
Dream ESP Experiments Show Minds Are Linked.
Another demonstration that peopleís minds are linked has come from studies of dreams.† It has been widely known that someone may have a dream and the next day find out a family member or friend was involved in the very event about which they dreamed.† This phenomenon was studied by Stanley Krippner, professor of psychology at Saybrook Graduate School, Fellow in three American Psychological Association divisions, president of two divisions, director of the Kent State University Child Study Center, and director of the Maimonides† Medical Center Research Laboratory.† Krippner and his colleagues at the Dream Laboratory of Maimondes Hospital in New York City had volunteers spend the night at the laboratory to study their dreams.† They were the "receivers," who were to sleep and see whether they dreamed of an image a "sender" was looking at.
When they arrived at the Center for the study, each receiver met a sender and the experimenters explained the procedure to them so the both the sender and receiver knew they would be trying to merge their minds during the receiverís dream state that night. The receiver was led to a room with a bed, where electrodes were attached to the receiverís head to monitor brain waves and eye movements.† The receiver was then left alone in the room to sleep.†
After the receiver was situated, one of the experimenters threw dice that, in combination with a random number table, gave a number that corresponded to a sealed envelope containing an art print. This envelope was given to the sender, who went into a private room in another part of the hospital, distant from the receiverís room.† When the sender arrived at the private room, he or she opened the envelope and spent the night concentrating on the print.
The experimenters watched a monitor connected to the receiverís electrodes to see when the receiver was in a dream state, called an REM or "rapid-eye-movement" state.† When an REM state ended, the experimenters woke the receiver by intercom and the receiver was asked to describe any dream he or she might have had before awakening. The experimenters recorded the comments and the receiver was permitted to go back to sleep.† The next morning, the receiver was interviewed and asked to describe the remembered dreams again. The interview was conducted double blindóneither the receiver nor the experimenters knew which art print had been selected the night before.
A series of these experiments was conducted between 1964 and 1969, producing 62 nights of data for analysis. The result was that the receiverís descriptions showed significant correlations with the art print the senders were focusing on.25
These experiments provided yet another verified indication that peopleís minds are linked outside of the brain.†
Dr. Allan Botkin was a psychotherapist at a Chicago Veterans Hospital when he discovered that he could induce an after-death communication in patients while they were seated in his office.† He used a protocol called EMDR in which the patient is guided in moving his or her eyes back in forth, as people do in REM sleep, the dreaming state of sleep.† At the VA hospital, 98 percent of patients with whom he performed the procedure had some form of after-death communication with the person for whom they grieved.† Some involved entire conversations with the deceased.† Since then, he and three dozen colleagues have induced well over 3,000 of these communications, called induced after-death communications (IADCsô).
One remarkable phenomenon occurred during some of the sessions demonstrating that minds are linked between people.26† In the first session in which this occurred, an observing psychologist learning the procedure was in the room with Dr. Botkin and the patient.† While Dr. Botkin induced the after-death communication with the patient, the observing psychologist closed his eyes and performed the eye movements on himself to relax.† Images appeared in the psychologistís mind: a vivid scene of a swampy area with cattails, a pond, and a willow tree.† He felt as though he were lying on the grass with the pond at eye level.† It made no sense to him so he simply opened his eyes and continued to observe Dr. Botkin and the patient.† The patient had not yet begun speaking, so the psychologist had no knowledge of what the patient was experiencing during the IADCô.
When the patient opened his eyes, he said he saw the swamp on his deceased uncleís farm.† He felt like he was lying in the grass looking at the swamp.† The psychologist in training was surprised at this coincidence and asked, "Did you see cattails?"† The patient said, "Yes," not expecting that to be an unusual statement since he had said it was a swamp.† The psychologist then said, "Did you see a pond and a willow tree?" The patient was clearly surprised.† "Yes," he said.† "How did you know that?"† The observing psychologist explained what he, too, had just seen.†
Dr. Botkin and the observing psychologist were very intrigued by this development, so they experimented with eight other patients who agreed to participate.† This time, the observing psychologist wrote down everything he experienced before the patients reported what happened during their IADCsô.† In every instance, the psychologist's accounts matched the patients' IADCsô with great accuracy.
Another psychologist who heard Dr. Botkinís explanation wanted to replicate the effect by seeing whether she could share the after-death communication with a patient herself.† In a session with a combat veteran, after she finished the IADCô eye-movement protocol and the patient closed his eyes, she performed the protocol on herself and closed her eyes.† She experienced very vivid scenes of a soldier in a peaceful, green valley coming toward her.† He was saying, "It's all right.† It wasn't your fault."† She opened her eyes, and when the patient opened his eyes, he explained that he saw the soldier he had been grieving about and the soldier said to him that it wasnít his fault.† The psychologist was stunned.
She asked the patient to describe what he saw, and he said "It was a beautiful lush, green place with slight rises on either side like a valley."† That was the scene the psychologist saw.
Another psychologist tried to replicate the experience with a forty-year-old mother of two whose husband had died.† After the IADCô protocol, the patient closed her eyes and the psychologist performed the protocol on himself, then closed his eyes.† He saw a clear image of a man in a bright white shirt, looking young and healthy, holding his hand over his heart.† After the patient opened her eyes, she said she had a visual image of her husband wearing a very bright white shirt.† She said he looked younger and completely healthy.† He was holding his hand over his heart.
These experiences, reported by three psychotherapists across 11 patients are going to be studied further.† However, the most obvious conclusion is that it is possible for a psychotherapist to share the mental event of a patient who is silent with his or her eyes closed. †They linked minds.
Charles Tart, MD, instructor in psychiatry in the School of Medicine of the University of Virginia and professor of psychology at the University of California at Davis, had two graduate students at the University of California, Anne and Bill, mutually hypnotize each other. He had Anne hypnotize Bill and after he was hypnotized, he had Bill hypnotize Anne. In this state, Anne and Bill experienced the same fantasy images, without attempting to create the fantasy.† This is the account of what they said after they had just had the experience with their eyes closed:
When they opened their eyes they reported that everything seemed grey. Then the greyness was replaced by the vision of a beach whose sand glowed like diamonds, whose rocks were crystals pulsating with a beautiful internal light, and whose waves were great bubbles of unearthly beauty. . . .
Tart quickly realized that Bill and Anne were actually experiencing the same "hallucinated" reality. They found themselves together in this Paradise, walking hand in hand, or swimming together in the marvelous sea, exploring their new world.
They had stopped talking for a while, and when Tart questioned them about their silence he found that in their shared reality they were talking to each other; in Tartís reality they werenít. Their communication was paranormal as far as Tart's experience of it.
In session after session, the two constructed and shared various realities, all involving all five senses, and all as real as the world in which they left Tart behind. They discussed details of their shared experiences for which there was no verbal hypnotic stimulus. They felt that they must actually have been in the places they experienced together.27
Moody, M.D., Ph.D., professor of psychology and chair in Consciousness Studies
at the University of Nevada, taught courses in perception and consciousness. As
part of the courses, he invited students in groups to do "gazing"
experiments in which they stared into mirrors with the lights dimmed. After a
while, many began to project into the unclear, darkened mirror images from
their subconscious, much as one would do in a Rorschach ink blot test. At
times, they saw personal memories that had been buried by the conscious mind.
At other times, what they saw startled them because they perceived things that should
have been impossible to find out from simply staring into a mirror.
In one class seven students described the same vision from different parts of the room. Why seven out of thirty people saw a man in a turban I can't begin to answer. Another time, two students at different tables saw a ballet dancer in their speculum [mirror]. Another time, a man saw the vision of an inflamed tooth. When he told the class what he had seen, the woman next to him gasped and said that she was having an infected tooth pulled in the morning. 29
In none of these cases, Dr. Moody explained, was there any prompting or discussion beforehand that would have led to these images.
A significant number of researchers have completed studies showing that people really do have a feeling when someone is looking at them.† Between 68 and 94 percent of the population report having experienced the sense of being stared at.30 †Itís because our minds are linked and we know when someone has thoughts about us.
Rupert Sheldrake, a British biologist well known for his research on the mind, studied the sense of being stared at.† In a series of trials, he had "lookers" look or not look at subjects in a random sequence determined by tossing a coin.† In each trial, the people being looked at were asked to guess whether or not during this trial they were being looked at.† The results showed they were correct on average 56.9 percent of the time.† We would expect 50 percent correct by chance.† This positive effect was highly significant statistically, with the odds of it being by chance of one in 3 million.† In one school in Germany in which students known to be sensitive to such impressions were tested repeatedly, 71.2 percent of the guesses were correct, and two of the students were right about 90 percent of the time.† Sheldrake duplicated the study in more than 15,000 trials involving more than 700 subjects with the same results.31
In an effort to eliminate any possibility that the person being stared at might receive cues about when the starer was looking at them, Richard Wiseman, professor of public understanding of psychology at the University of Hertfordshire, a practicing magician, and Marilyn Schlitz, Ph.D., Vice President for Research and Education at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, decided to improve on the study methodology.† They put a "starer" in one room looking at a monitor, while the person being stared at (the "stare receiver") was in another room with a video camera trained at the back of his or her head.†
The stare receiver had electrodes attached to the first and third fingers of the hand to measure changes in skin resistance that would reveal subtle tension in the body. When people actually see someone staring at them, their tension increases, and that tension, it was supposed, would show up on the skin resistance test if the stare receiver sensed that someone was staring at him or her.†
The stare receiver sat alone in the room with the door shut and no possible contact with anyone outside of the room.† The starer watched the person on the monitor only when told to do so.† The times were recorded along with the stare receiverís finger skin resistance changes.† The result was that the stare receiver often reacted when being stared at from the other room, with the results beyond chance, just as they had when Sheldrake did the studies with both people in the same room.32
The study was replicated by Dean Radin, Senior Scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, Dick Bierman, Ph.D., a professor at the University of Amsterdam, and Robert Morris, Ph.D., at the University of Edinburgh. They achieved the same results.† Many subjects' bodies reacted when they were stared at from another room.33
† William Braud, Ph.D., University of Houston psychology professor, co-director of the William James Center for Consciousness Studies, and director of research at the Mind Science Foundation, replicated the studies in 1990 and 1993.34
This sense of being stared at is happening between minds, without physical contact between the two people involved.
We would expect that the minds of people who are close to one another and love one another would be even more closely linked.† Weíve all experienced a sense of knowing whatís going on with a person we love or knowing what theyíre thinking or even finishing their sentences.†
To learn whether the minds of people close to one another actually are linked, studies have been done with children in the same family.† One test performed under the intense scrutiny of television cameras was performed in 1997 on a program titled Carlton TVís Paranormal World of Paul McKenna. The subjects on this occasion were Elaine and Evelyn Dove.
Elaine sat in the studio in front of a large pyramid.† Evelyn was in a separate room sealed off from all communication from outside the room, with electrodes attached to her fingers to measure her stress level. †She went through some relaxation exercises and her polygraph showed that she was nicely relaxed.
Meanwhile, in the other room, sealed away from Evelyn, Elaine continued watching the pyramid.† Suddenly, without warning, the pyramid exploded in a burst of sparks, flashes and colored smoke, startling Elaine and giving her a considerable shock. At exactly that moment, Evelynís polygraph pen recorded a huge swing, with one pen running off the top of the paper.† Without trying to communicate with her sister, she automatically picked up her distress.† When asked whether she felt or sensed anything, Evelyn said she experienced nothing out of the ordinary.† Her mind outside of the body had communicated to the body and bypassed the brain entirely.35
Twinsí Minds Are Linked.
It is widely known that twins communicate telepathically, and when something happens to a twin, the other very often feels the same emotions or pain in exactly the same way even though they can be separated by thousands of miles.† A well-known, extensive review of the studies was written by Guy Lyon Playfair.36† The conclusion of the review of the studies was that here is powerful evidence that twins are joined telepathically through shared emotions, thoughts, tactile sensations, and even physical manifestations such as bruising or burning.†
The journal Science published a study by two physiologists who reported finding significant correlations in brain waves between isolated identical twins. These sorts of studies came to be known as Distant Mental Intention on Living Systems (DMILS).37
A demonstration of this link between twins was shown before a vast audience on January 10, 2003.† Richard Powles and Damien Powles, identical twins, were invited to a television studio to participate in a telepathy experiment to be shown later that day on a chat show named Channel 4ís Richard and Judy Show.
Richard Powles was taken to a soundproof room in the television studio and was asked to sit before a bucket of ice-cold water. In another studio well out of sight and earshot, his identical twin brother Damien was sitting quietly connected to a polygraph machine.† Sitting beside Damien was polygrapher Jeremy Barrett, who was monitoring his respiration, abdominal muscles, pulse, and skin conductance.† Barrett and Damien had no idea what Richard, in the other room was about to do.
When told to do so, Richard plunged his arm into the bucket of near-freezing water, giving a gasp as he did so.
At the exact moment of Richardís sharp gasp caused by the freezing water, there was a sudden blip on the line monitoring Damienís respiration rate. It was as though he too had gasped, but he actually hadnít. The effect was so obvious that Barrett pointed to it with his thumb to indicate that he knew something had happened to Richard.
They continued the experiment with the twins on the same show.† Richard was asked to open a cardboard box placed before him.† He did, excitedly, expecting to find something nice (preferably edible) in it. Instead, a huge rubber snake shot out of it at him, giving him a fright. His twin Damienís pulse rate, indicated by the pen on the polygraph, shot up at the same moment.38
Twins' ability to link telepathically is a commonly known phenomenon.† What is important is that they couldnít link if their minds were confined to the brain.† They feel the emotions and pain their twin feels without using any part of the body to receive the feelings.† That is further evidence that our minds are one.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, the well-known American writer, described the collective sense or "group soul" that is commonly experienced in groups:
In all conversation between two persons tacit reference is made, as to a third party, to a common nature. That third party or common nature is not social; it is impersonal; is God. And so in groups where debate is earnest, and especially on high questions, the company become aware that the thought rises to an equal level in all bosoms, that all have a spiritual property in what was said, as well as the sayer. They all become wiser than they were. It arches over them like a temple, this unity of thought in which every heart beats with nobler sense of power and duty, and thinks and acts with unusual solemnity. All are conscious of attaining to a higher self-possession. Ė Ralph Waldo Emerson39
When people in groups come together in peace, with the intention of connecting, a new presence is created among them.† People in intimate groups even refer to this new presence using the pronoun ďit,Ē feeling that it exists with its own properties and integrity.† The experience is commonly known among people who work with groups.† Chris Parish, who has been studying the dynamics of groups for two decades, describes the characteristics of such groups:
The fascinating thing is that the actual quality between everyone . . . is that thereís no gap between them.† Itís a strange thing because people will say something like, "Itís one voice."† One of the qualities is that when anyone speaks, it could be oneself speaking.† Because as this higher consciousness emerges . . . there seems to be a sense of deep communion, of oneness, of non-separation.† And yet at the same time, everyone feels more independent than they did before.† People often remark that they feel more deeply themselves, more a release to express themselves, in a freer way. . . . That becomes a quality between people.40
What that means is that those working with groups have a clear sense that they together form a being they are part of but that is greater than the sum of their individualities.† They feel a oneness, a unity of thought and feeling, and outpouring of compassion and love.† From this chalice pours an experience that changes them and places them as a group on a higher plane of being.
In the literature, this overarching oneness in a group is called "collective consciousness" or "group soul."† There are data showing that it in fact exists.
One study cited previously showed that two people in love had the same brain wave patterns when together. 41
In another, the Princeton University Engineering Anomalies Research laboratory conducted studies with pairs of people, who knew each other to see whether they together could influence the numbers produced by a random-number generator. In 42 experimental series with 15 pairs and 256,500 trails, many produced results that exceeded the effect of either person alone.42 Couples who were in a relationship had six times the power to influence the machine than did the individuals.43 Their minds, linked, apparently have a combined effect more powerful than individuals have alone.
Experiments referred to earlier, with up to twelve subjects in a room, showed a synchronization of the brain-waves of the entire group.44
Successful sports-team members refer to a "sixth sense," empathy, and an ability to "anticipate the moves of the other."45 They may refer to a "shift in communality," an almost audible change in which sports participants "react as a . . . unit, rather than as an aggregate of individuals."46
Robert Kenny, an internal consultant at the International Center for Integrative Studies, notes that sports participants anticipate each otherís movements ahead of time, so they may be communicating mentally between team members.† Kenny suggests that, in the end, extrasensory communication may be somewhat ordinary instead of extraordinary.47
Additionally, the heartbeats of people in a group synchronize with each other, called entrainment.48 Kenny describes it this way:
Although the number of subjects is still too small to reliably generalize, researchers at HeartMath have found that the heart rates of people who have a close living or working relationship, and who generate feelings of appreciation for each other while sitting four feet apart (and being blind to the data), can become entrained. This entrainment apparently also occurs during sleep, between couples that have been in long-term, stable and loving relationships. Their heart rhythms can converge and can simultaneously change in the same direction.49 Another study found that the heart rates of married couples, who were skilled at empathizing, became synchronized and tracked each other during empathetic interactions.50 Despite some methodological problems, several studies have suggested that entrainment may also occur during empathetic interactions between therapists and clients.51
The result of this higher or collective mind the group shares is that when a group of people is meditating in calm and peace, the minds of large groups of people in the geographical area seem to be influenced, even though they have no knowledge of the meditation.
A 1993 study found that, when 4,000 people meditated together, violent crime in Washington, D.C., declined 23% over the course of the experiment, in contrast to its rising in the months before and after. The results were shown not to be due to other variables, such as weather, the police, or anti-crime campaigns. The predicted effect had been posited with an independent review board, which had participated in the study design and monitored its conduct.52
The data were compelling, but especially so when the same findings were replicated in a study of 24 U.S. cities:
A similar effect was shown in a study of 24 U.S. cities, in which 1% of the urban population regularly practiced TM [transcendental meditation]. A follow-up study demonstrated that the 24 cities saw drops of 22% in crime and 89% in the crime trend, compared to increases of 2% and 53%, respectively, in the control cities.53
Another study was performed in Israel using a transcendental meditation group:
During a two-month period in 1983 in Israel, on days when a TM-Sidhi [meditation] group equaling the square root of 1% of the surrounding population meditated, independently published data showed that war-related deaths in Lebanon dropped 76%, and conflict, traffic fatalities, fires and crime decreased. In Israel, the national mood increased, as measured by a blinded content analysis of the emotional tone of the lead, front-page picture story in the Jerusalem Post, and the stock market increased. Other potential causal variables were controlled for.54
This chapter began by asking, "What is your relationship to other people?"† The answer is that even though we have different bodies on Earth, our minds are one.
"Love your neighbor as yourself." The admonition is echoed in words spoken by all the spiritual luminaries since the Axial Age.† It doesnít mean people are separate and we must put up with having to love others as ourselves even though we find them despicable.† It means the others are ourselves.† We are not separate.† Our minds are one with each other.
That has profound implications for our spiritual growth and behavior.† The differences we seem to see according to age, gender, race, nationality, religious affiliation, and even bodies are illusions.† They are artifacts of the physical realm where suffering, anger, conflict, war, insensitivity, and cruelty result from the ignorance that suggests because our bodies are separate, we are separate.† We arenít.† We are one.
Who are we?† We are the mind that uses the body to have experiences.
Where are we? †Weíre outside the brain, everywhere and nowhere, because we are the conscious mind that is above and aside from the material world.
What are we?† We are eternal beings having a physical experience. We are in the world, but not of it.† The physical realm is the scenery in which we participate in this drama called life, but when the curtain falls, we walk out of the theater arm in arm with our loved ones and go on to another play.
What is our relationship to other people?† Weíre participating in this life drama as one mind, learning and growing together within the scenery that is the physical realm.† But in reality, weíre also sitting in the audience, intently watching, feeling ourselves at one moment the protagonist in the drama, at the next moment, a watcher sitting beside those we love, and at the next moment, the only watcher in the universe because we are all that: ourselves, our loved ones, and the Higher Power, all at once.
You can learn more about your relationship to other people at http://ebook.youreternalself.com/chapter3.htm.
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15 Radin, Rae, & Hyman, 2000.
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27 Tart, 1969.
28 Moody, 1993.
29 Moody, 1993.
30 Braud, Shafer, & Andrews, 1993.†
31 Sheldrake, "The ĎSense of Being Stared At," 1998.
32 Laberge & Schlitz, 1997.
33 Radin, Rae, & Hyman, 2000.
34 Braud et al., 1990.
35 McKenna & OíBryen, 1997.
36 Playfair, 2003.
37 Radin et al., 2000.
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40 Parish, n.d.
41 Grinberg-Zylverbaum, 1993.
42 Dunne, 1991.
43 Interview with B. Dunne, 1998.
44 Montecucco, 1992.
45 Murphy & White, 1978.
46 Novak, 1976.
47 Kenny, n.d.
48 Kenny, n.d.
49 McCraty, 2003, p. 9.
50 Schwartz & Russek, 1999.
51 McCraty, 2003, pp. 12-13.
52 Hagelin, Orme-Johnson, Rainforth, Cavanaugh, & Alexander, 1993.
53 Dillbeck et al., 1981.
54 Orme-Johnson et al., n.d.