Since your eternal self is aside from the body, what is the relationship of the body to the eternal self? The eternal self isn’t a "spark" or a "soul" that is embedded in the body somewhere, such as in the heart or the pineal gland. Instead, your body self and your eternal self are one when you are using the body, and your eternal self changes as the body self changes. When you drop off the body, the eternal self simply continues. In other words, the body only stands in for you as the real you has experiences in the physical realm.
But the body and brain aren’t you.
The eternal self, then, influences the way the body self develops and functions. In medical science, that has come to be known as the "mind/body" connection, and some will only refer to the "mind/body," not the mind or the body separate from each other.
The mind isn’t in the physical world; it has no atoms, matter, or energy in it, and it isn't in any atoms, matter, or energy. When your mind experiences something in the physical world or remembers an experience, the mind is doing the experiencing. The brain takes the same form that it had when the experience was first experienced, so it seems the brain is generating the experience—it isn’t. The mind had the thought before the brain became active with it. We know that because the experience happens whether the brain is involved or not, and people remember the experience even when the brain isn’t functioning (see Chapter 1).
When you just intend to remember something—say a room in the house in which you grew up—your mind instantly has the memory, and your conscious self forms the brain’s areas of sight, hearing, taste, smell, touch, and movement to take on the same form the mind and brain had when you first had the experience. But the memory comes from outside of the physical realm, and your self that is outside of the body has the experience. You feel the same physical sensations and emotions you felt when you first had the experience, just as though the sense impressions were coming from your eyes, ears, nose, tongue, or skin.
We know that stimulating parts of the brain can cause the mind to re-experience a segment of a memory,1,2 but we also know the mind is outside the brain (see Chapter 1). It appears that just as a person can change a channel in the television to get another image from the signal outside of the television, stimulating the brain results in some different images being experienced in the mind. We just don't yet understand fully how the brain is involved in having an experience that has already registered in the mind outside of the brain.
The body and brain, then, are much like a television that starts up, registers activity when it receives a signal, and seems to have Larry King in it speaking. But we know Larry King isn’t in the television, just as the mind and memories aren’t in the brain. The signal with Larry King in it was created before the television fired up to display the image. The television takes on the form in its complicated electronic parts required to make Larry King’s picture and voice come to you, but Larry King is quite apart from the television, and if this television stops working, you can pick up the same signal from another television or even directly to your mind with no television involved at all; you can travel to meet and speak to Larry King personally and eliminate the television altogether. You, Larry King, and I aren’t affected by changes in the television. If you drop the television, smashing its component parts so it no longer receives sound or pictures, you and Larry King aren’t affected at all. That’s the way it is with the brain, which can be damaged, while the mind, which cannot be damaged, isn’t affected by what happens to the body.
You and I are one in that realm outside of the physical realm where our minds are, but we are also the individuals we know ourselves to be. We’re together right now having this experience as you read the words I wrote. We’re watching the show, just as we would if we were sitting together watching the television. We’re one mind.
A great number of studies now demonstrate that when people "intend" for others to have a positive outcome from medical problems, the people’s bodies respond positively. In other words, prayer, even from distant locations, influences physical bodies to heal. These are references to a sampling of the many studies that have now been done.
Larry Dossey, M.D., The former chief of staff of Medical City Dallas Hospital and co-chair of the National Institutes of Health’s panel on mind/body interventions, wrote Healing Words: the Power of Prayer and the Practice of Medicine in 1993 describing how prayer in virtually all its forms influences patient recovery, even when the person prayed for didn’t realize he was being prayed for and the people praying knew little about the person for whom they were praying.3
Dr. William S. Harris studied whether having people remote from the patients pray for coronary patients would have an effect on the patients. The results were significant improvements in the group prayed for over the control group.4
Dr. Fred Sicher, Elisabeth Targ, Dan Moore, and Helene S. Smith, studied efforts by distant people to heal people with advanced AIDS. The results were evidence of healing.5
John A. Astin, Elain Harkness, and Edzard Ernst published their examination of 23 studies of prayer healing, non-contact therapeutic touch, and distant healing in the Annals of Internal Medicine 2000. Positive effects on patients occurred in 57 percent of the studies.10
Wayne B. Jonas and Cindy C. Crawford examined 13 randomized studies of spiritual healing by healers who simply intended to heal. Their finding, published in the journal Alternative Therapies, was that 46 percent showed healing results that could not have been obtained by chance.11
Robert N. Miller, Ph.D., had eight healers focus on healing 96 hypertensive patients. Neither the doctors nor the patients knew which patients were the focuses of the healing. He reported a statistically significant reduction in systolic blood pressure for patients who received distant healing from eight healers compared to control patients not receiving healing; diastolic pressure, heart rate, and body weight showed no such effects. Four of the healers had a 92.3 percent improvement ratio in their total group of patients compared with a 73.7 percent improvement for the control group.12
LeShan,13 Goodrich,14,15 and Winston16 were able to observe significant influences upon people focused on by healers at distant locations when healers used meditation to produce feelings of merging with or being "at one" with the people being healed.
In 1988, cardiologist Randolph Byrd, M.D., published a study in the well-respected, peer-reviewed Southern Medical Journal, in which he studied the effects of prayer on cardiac patients’ healing. Over ten months, 192 patients in the Cardiac-Care Unit at the San Francisco General Medical Center, chosen at random from those admitted, were prayed for by people outside of the hospital. At the same time, another 201 patients also chosen at random were in a group not prayed for. Neither the patients nor their evaluating physicians were aware of which patients were receiving prayer. The prayed-for patients showed significantly superior recovery compared to controls. The prayed-for patients were five times less likely than control patients to require antibiotics and three times less likely to develop swelling or fluid in the lungs. None of the prayed-for patients required a tube inserted into the windpipe to aid in breathing, whereas 12 controls required this support for their breathing. Fewer prayed-for patients than control patients died, but the difference in this area was not statistically significant. The design and the results of the Byrd study were considered very impressive, and even skeptical commentators seemed to agree on the significance of the findings.17
Neil C. Abbott’s article in the Journal of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine, explains that 10 of 22 studies the authors examined showed significant positive effects of healing as a therapy for human disease.18
These are two accounts illustrating the many remarkable healings on record:
1. A patient with lung cancer refused treatment and instead had his church congregation pray for him. A year later, his medical examination showed him to be completely free of lung cancer.19
2. Rita Klaus developed multiple sclerosis in her early 20s and the disease progressed steadily, as expected. As the disease prevented her from walking, the tendons in her legs were surgically cut to enable her to hobble short distances with the aid of braces. Then, she took part in a church healing service that she described as leaving her with "a feeling of absolute love like I’d never felt, coursing through me." She heard a voice one night inviting her to be healed. As she sat in her wheelchair the next day, she felt unusual sensations in her legs. When she looked, she saw that her twisted, deformed legs had regained normal appearance. She was able to stand, then walk. She tested her recovery by running up a flight of steps and then went on a joyous celebratory romp through the nearby woods. Upon examination, her doctor found no trace of her disease. The permanent damage to her body had also disappeared, a physiological change that should be impossible.20
The findings show that people can influence other people’s health without touching them, being in the same area, or even knowing anything about them. Minds can create changes in physical bodies.
A great variety of studies involving many different living organisms have demonstrated that the mind has a pervasive influence on the physical realm.
To find out whether prayer would affect body cells even when they were apart from a living person, one study used blood platelets taken from healthy human volunteers. Blood platelets were put into a number of flasks. Some were designated to be treated by a healer, who used the mind to try to influence the blood platelets by increasing the amount of an important enzyme in blood platelets (monoamine oxidase). Another group of flasks wasn’t targeted by any healer. They were the "control" group. The result was that the healers successfully influenced the activity of monoamine oxidase in the designated flasks while the control flasks remained unchanged.21
In a similar study, human blood was placed in test tubes with some saline solution. The effect of the saline solution is to make the blood cells break open. A group of 32 "healers" were asked to use their minds to try to prevent the blood in a specific group of the test tubes from being damaged by the saline solution. At the same time, a group of test tubes prepared in the same way was not given such attention. The finding was that the blood in the test tubes focused on by the healers showed significantly slower deterioration from the saline solution.22
Other studies have shown that the mind's intention to have positive effects has an impact on a variety of living organisms (from a bibliography compiled by Larry Dossey and Stephan Schwartz23):
growth of bacteria34
growth of seeds35
growth of yeast36
The importance of showing the range of organisms that the mind can influence is to illustrate that the mind affects organisms in the physical realm in a great variety of ways. These are just the organisms measured. We can assume that our minds, individually and collectively, must have a similar effect on all living organisms we come into contact with.
William A. Tiller, Ph.D., Stanford University Professor Emeritus in physics, performed experiments to discover whether conscious intention influences the material world. In carefully controlled experiments, people were asked to focus on specific things in the material world, trying to influence their composition. The focused attention of subjects had these effects on the physical world of matter and energy:
· The acidity (PH) of water was intentionally raised or lowered by one PH unit.
· The activity of a human liver enzyme was increased by 15% to 30%.
· The larval growth rate of a fly was increased by 25%.37
The results measured were highly significant; the possibility of occurrence by chance was less than one in 1000.
Tiller’s experiments had one other finding that showed how the mind affects physical reality. The spaces in which the experiments were conducted seemed to become increasingly conducive to enhancing the experimentation the more they were used. People’s minds were able to influence things in the space more strongly and more quickly as time went on; the space was conditioned by the minds of the people involved. Even when no people were involved in the experiments, just magnets, the spaces were more conducive to having effects. As Tiller put it, in those spaces, the laws of physics no longer seem to apply.38 People’s minds had changed the matter in the physical realm in a positive way.
Dr. Dean Radin, of the Institute of Noetic Sciences, tested this effect to see whether the mind’s intention to heal would change a space so that healing occurred more strongly there when it was used repeatedly for healing. He placed flasks of living human brain cells into a space to see whether the brain cells could be influenced by healers’ intentions to make them grow strongly there. He also placed an inanimate object in the space, a random-number generator, to see whether the healer’s mind influenced the numbers it produced. A random-number generator creates a stream of numbers at random. If the numbers start to show some order, then that means something has influenced the machine.
Some flasks of brain cells and a second random-number generator also were set up outside of the space where there was no healing intention to see whether they would change just by sitting for a period of time. This was the control.
A healer focused on the brain cells and the random-number generator in the "healing space," trying to make the brain cells grow more strongly and give the numbers produced by the random-number generator some order. As expected from the hundreds of other experiments done with healers and random-number generators, the brain cells grew more strongly when the healer focused on them and the random-number generator started showing ordered numbers, not the random numbers it was programmed to produce. The control group showed no change. Minds had influenced matter.
But more interestingly, as the experiment progressed and the healer kept focusing on making things happen in that space, the cells grew even more strongly and even more ordered numbers came from the random-number generators. That showed that, over time, the space became more conducive to healing.39
We can imagine the differences in healing energy and sense of wellbeing between the office space of a physician who genuinely loves and cares for her patients and the office of a physician who holds disdain for patients, treats them harshly, and just wants to collect fees from them.
Other studies have been performed to see whether people can intentionally influence random-number-generators. Robert Jahn, former director of the PEAR Lab, and psychologist Brenda Dunne report on experiments in which people separated from random-number-generators by several thousand miles attempted to influence the machines. The finding was "small but replicable and statistically significant" changes.40
Minds can influence inanimate machines.
Other studies of the influence of minds on random-number generators have measured whether an event that affects large numbers of people can influence changes in the numbers being produced, even though people aren’t trying to influence the machines. That would show that the entire environment, across large geographical areas, is being influenced when many minds are thinking and feeling something.
In the studies, random-number generators around the world were examined after events that affected great numbers of people to see whether the numbers began to show some order during the events. During widely televised events that have captured the attention of many people, such as Princess Diana's death and the 9/11 tragedies, the combined outputs of sixty random-number generators around the world showed changes at the exact moments of the announcements of the events that could not be due to chance.
To add control to the studies, researchers identified an event they knew was about to happen that would have an impact on large numbers of people and set up a study to measure the effects on random-number generators in different parts of the world. Dean Radin and Roger Nelson of the Institute of Noetic Sciences, and University of Amsterdam professor Dick Bierman, decided to run random-number generators in each of their labs on October 3, 1995, the day that the O.J. Simpson murder trial verdict was to be read. If the results were dramatic, they could test their hypothesis that something significant would happen in the minds of many people that would affect random-number generators in the physical world. The random-number generators might show a sudden order, meaning they were "disturbed" by the mass of minds hearing or watching the verdict.
Dean Radin describes the results in The Conscious Universe. He uses "RNG" to stand for "random-number generators." "Order" in the numbers means the machines were being affected in some way because they were not generating entirely random numbers.
. . . around the time that the TV preshows began, at 9:00 AM Pacific Time, an unexpected degree of order appeared in all the RNGs. This soon declined back to random behavior until about 10:00 AM, which is when the verdict was supposed to be announced. A few minutes later, the order in all five RNGs suddenly peaked to its highest point in the two hours of recorded data precisely when the court clerk read the verdict. 41
What happened was that millions of minds were united in their sentiments. We know they affected the random-number generators because we have recorded factual data from computers evaluating the numbers. But more importantly, that means the collective minds affected trees and mountains and buildings—and people. Influences on other things just can't be measured, but must be there as well. In other words, when an event of great significance occurs, many minds react to it together and that collective mind then affects inanimate objects such as computers.
We are all one with each other and with the material realm.
Another experiment by the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research Laboratory used white noise to see whether minds could affect the physical world. "White noise" is just random noise, such as that we hear when a television isn’t connected to a station and we see fuzz on the screen. The noise is raspy and constant because it’s made up of random vibrations in the air.
Since 1998, about 50 computers around the world have been constantly recording and analyzing white noise generated from devices much like the television set when there’s no signal. If the noise suddenly had some organization to it that wasn’t random, we would say it was affected by something. The effect wouldn’t be audible to the human ear, but the computer could identify it and let the researchers know something just happened.
These 50 or so computers measuring white noise since 1998 have shown some very remarkable findings. At the time of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center white noise from the computers around the world showed that something dramatic had happened.42 More interestingly, the computers measuring changes in the white noise showed that the global consciousness had been alert at 4 a.m., five hours before the first airplane crashed (8:45) and six and a half hours before the second airplane crashed (10:30). That would have been around the time the hijackers started to put their plan into action. The events had not occurred, and whether these men were going to be successful in their plan could not have been known in any ordinary sense, but our collective minds knew what was going to happen, and our shock registered on inanimate computers around the world.43
The same effects on the white noise have resulted during dozens of other such incidents that affected the minds of many people, such as floods, bombings, tsunamis, house votes, acquittals of figures, earthquakes, plane crashes, and many other such events. The randomness of the white noise changed with each event. The chances that these reactions in inanimate machines occurred coincidentally at those times are less than a million to one. The data on the other events are available from the Princeton University Web site. The link is at http://ebook.youreternalself.com/chapter4.htm.
Dr. Masaru Emoto44 has conducted thousands of experiments with water crystals showing that the mind's attitudes affect how water crystallizes when frozen. In one experiment, for example, Dr. Emoto put water from the same source into two bottles. He wrote the words "You fool" on a label and taped it to one of the bottles. He wrote the words "Thank you" on a second label and taped that label to the second bottle.
Dr. Emoto then froze water from each bottle and photographed the crystals that were formed using a microscope and camera. The result was that the crystals below formed from water taken from the bottle with "You fool" on it were grotesque and misshapen:
Crystal from bottle with "You fool" taped to it
The crystals such as the one below formed from water taken from the bottle with "Thank you" written on it were beautiful and symmetrical, like snowflakes.
Crystal from bottle with "Thank you" taped to it
We must assume it wasn’t the printed words that influenced the water; it was the minds of the people who wrote and read the words. We know that because the symbols on the labels are just ink stains on a flat surface with no meaning except to people; the writer's and reader’s minds created meaning from the ink marks.
These experiments have now been performed many times using different sources of water and different treatments. In all circumstances, when a loving, compassionate, gentle attitude or melodious sound is focused on the water, beautiful crystals form when the water is frozen. When harsh, demeaning, hateful, dehumanizing attitudes or cacophonous sounds are focused on the water, the frozen crystals are misshapen and grotesque.
When distilled water is frozen, it doesn’t form clear crystals; the forms are disorganized, as in the following example:
Crystal from distilled water
But when the same water is prayed for, the water crystallizes into beautiful, delicate crystals such as this:
Crystal from water prayed for
When a sample from a Japanese city reservoir’s water (Fujiwara Dam) was frozen, it showed misshaped crystals such as these:
Crystal from Fujiwara Dam reservoir
But when a prayer was offered before the reservoir, samples of its water formed beautiful crystals such as these when frozen:
Crystal from Fujiwara Dam reservoir after prayer
Water exposed to heavy-metal music formed grotesque crystals such as this:
Crystal from water exposed to heavy metal music
Water from the same source exposed to Bach’s melodious "Goldberg Variations" froze into exquisite, beautiful crystals such as this:
Crystal from water exposed to Bach's "Goldberg Variations"
You can see the photographs of water crystals at Dr. Emoto’s Web site. The link is at http://ebook.youreternalself.com/chapter4.htm.
Dr. Emoto’s results have been replicated by Dean Radin, Senior Scientist at Institute of Noetic Sciences, in double-blind experiments performed by a team that included Dr. Emoto.45
We know that people’s minds influence the composition of water in the physical realm, but that was all that Dr. Emoto was measuring. The effects on water mean the prayers and the words likely were influencing those people thinking "You fool," those people reading "You fool," other people in the area, the room in which the experiments occurred, and everything else in the environment that simply wasn’t measured. We certainly know that these attitudes affect our bodies, which are between 55 percent and 69 percent water.
The data from these studies show that our minds are influencing the physical realm, but we have no idea how wide-ranging and pervasive this influence is. We can see the effects only in computer-measured random white noise and numbers, water crystals, rates of healings, and growth of cells. However, we must assume that the effects aren't limited to the small number of things we measure; there is no reason not to believe that our collective minds are influencing every living and nonliving thing in the same way, with lasting effects, just as spaces are conditioned to be more conducive to healing.
When we have constant arguments in the home, feel anger toward co-workers at the office, feel road rage in our cars, we know we're influencing the makeup of our minds to be more angry and frustrated—we're becoming the anger. However, it appears that we may also be influencing the makeup of our bodies, the physical spaces where these attitudes are displayed, the other people around the space, and anyone who later comes into the space to be with us. Because we know that healing thoughts enhance the healing qualities of a space and the properties of water, it is reasonable to expect from the data that a space in which there is much love will become more conducive to loving; conversely, perhaps an angry space will more likely encourage angry feelings. If that is true, then the more loving people are, the more the world will be conducive to loving.
The world is scenery finely tuned by the Higher Power for our dramas as we mature spiritually. The data seem to indicate that even the scenery is influenced by our minds. Those on the other side of life tell us that when they come down to the Earth plane to communicate, it’s like trying to penetrate a deep, dark fog because of the violence, self-centeredness, hostility, and separation that permeates the Earth plane. We possibly are forming crystals in all of life that are misshapen and deformed by thinking "You fool" or "You make me sick." Those in the afterlife say that these thoughts have created disease and deformity—neither were intended for the physical realm, and both, they explain, will be eradicated when our collective minds are more loving and compassionate.
As we grow spiritually as a species, we can expect that the Earth will have an essence that is symmetrical and beautiful, just as the crystals of frozen water become when "Love" or "Thank you" are taped to bottles of water, or when the water is prayed over. Our minds are creating our inner reality that we live in as we interact with people and the world, but it appears likely that our minds are also affecting the physical realm.
The facts that our minds are one and our minds influence the physical realm means that we are one with nature as well as each other. When we inflict harm upon another living creature, the trauma will be felt by our minds, the minds of others, and the physical world of nature itself. Killing animals in experiments or for recreation and teaching children to enjoy killing animals for any reason are likely creating an environment that is damaging to humankind and the world in which we live because of the violence, hostility, and disregard for other living creatures that it displays. Destroying the environment with pollution and self-centered over-consumption are likely creating an essence that generates more pollution, discontent, anger, and self-absorption.
We are one with the physical realm and are creating a world that is shaped by the spiritual beings that we have grown into. All of us, together, are bearing fruit from the trees that we are, every moment of our lives. Together, our world has available for us only the fruit we have all created. If we live in a world of anger, self-absorption, tragedy, suffering, and violence, it is because we have created it.
You can learn more about our relationship to the physical realm at http://ebook.youreternalself.com/chapter4.htm.
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2 Carter, 2007.
3 Dossey, 1997.
4 Harris et al., 1999.
5 Sicher, Targ, Moore, & Smith, 1998.
6 Krieger, 1975.
7 Grad, 1965.
8 Wilkinson, Knox, Chatman, Johnson, Barbour, Myles, & Reel, 2002.
9 Woods & Dimond, 2002.
10 Astin, Harkness, & Ernst, 2000.
11 Jonas & Crawford, 2003.
12 Miller, 1982.
13 LeShan, 1974.
14 Goodrich, 1974.
15 Goodrich, 1976.
16 Winston, 1975.
17 Byrd, 1988.
18 Abbot, 2000.
19 Ring, "Dr. Larry Dossey Champions . . ." n.d.
20 Ring, "Dr. Larry Dossey Champions . . ." n.d.
21 Rein, 1986, pp. 76-80.
22 Braud & Schlitz, 1988, pp. 5-9.
23 Dossey & Schwartz, n.d.
24 Grad, Cadoret, & Paul, 1961.
25 Solfvin, 1982.
26 Watkins & Watkins, 1971.
27 Watkins & Watkins, 1973.
28 Wells & Klein, 1972.
29 Wells & Watkins, 1975.
30 Bengston & Krinsley, 2000.
31 Onetto & Elguin, 1966.
32 Barry, 1968.
33 Tedder & Monty, 1981.
34 Nash, 1984.
35 Borysenko, 1993.
36 Haraldsson & Thorsteinsson, 1973.
37 Tiller, Dibble, & Kohane, 2001.
38 Tiller, 1999.
39 Radin, Taft, & Yount, 2004.
40 Dunne & Jahn, 1992.
41 Radin, 1997, p. 167.
42 Von Buengner, n.d.
43 Von Buengner, n.d.
45 Radin, Hayssen, Emoto, & Kizu, 2006.