Sunday, November 23, 2008

Awareness of Life

One night in February 1966 lie detector expert Cleve Backster’s life was changed. He was working on a puzzle. A lie detector can measures changes in the Psycho-galvanic-response (PGR). These changes help the operator to know if a person is nervous. It measures the changes in the skin’s ability to conduct electricity. But exactly what is the change in conductivity of the skin really measuring? Some suggested that it was the change in the moisture content of the skin, as perhaps the subject is sweating. But that could not explain the changes back to lower conductivity when a truthful response was given. For the skin was still as wet as before. Still that seemed to be the best explanation. Cleve Backster had a plant in his office and he decided to hook up the PGR sensor and then watered it. But the plant didn't increase in its ability to conduct electricity, instead it decreased. If this reaction had been from the skin of a person it would indicate that the person was experiencing some kind of emotional response. That interpretation seemed hard to accept at first.

So he tried the next logical thing, that was to burn the leaf and see if a decrease in water content would send the needle in the other direction. Backster looked for a match. When he finally found one, he noticed that the graph had already begun to react to what he was doing. The plant seemed to have read his mind. The needle on the graph-paper had been making rapid-wide jerks for some time. It started when he had thought of burning the plant. This was the beginning of a long difficult time in the life of Cleve Backster. One of the conclusions he has reached is that a life signal may connect all creation; he calls it “primary perception.”

What interests me is that his little plants have shown a great deal of interest among their caretaker does. He reported, “We’ve found that whenever I’m away on a speaking engagement— even if it's a 1000 miles from New York—the moment a slide of that philodendron is flashed on the screen during my lecture there is a very dramatic reaction by the plant back in my laboratory. Backster has said, “We've done this many times. My associate in the lab attaches the electrodes to the philodendron. I keep a stopwatch record of the exact time the picture of the plant is projected on the screen. At that precise moment, bank in New York, the polygraph shows a leap. It's as though the plant were showing pleasure at being talked about.”

Plants also seem to be able to sense danger. Backster has established that death in particular seems to be sensed by plants. Death is reacting to, no matter what kind of death it is. Death is sensed when it is the death of plants, shrimps and even human cells. Plants are particularly sensitive to the condition of the person who most often takes care of them. When a lady asks Cleve to watch her plant when she went on a plane ride, he found that the plant reacted at the exact moment its owner’s plane touched down in Cincinnati. It seems that the owners stress during the landing was passed on to the plant.

If the plant can react to situations its mistress finds herself in, then there would have to be a sort of memory. If the plant can tell who has been good to it then it must be able to remember. So Backster looked into this. He made one plant the witness to the other plant’s destruction. To the witness this would be murder; for murder is to kill a member of your group. Then an experimenter, who didn't know which suspect had killed the plant, hooked up the lie detector to the witness plant. After that, five suspects were brought into the room, one by one. From the reactions of the plant the experimenter could tell which one of the five suspects committed the plants “murder.” Another scientist has duplicated this experiment.

Some people have had trouble duplicating these results. But if more scientists duplicate these results we would be looking at a whole new field, the psychology of plants. Plants become excited about growth and food, and also about death and danger. They are agitated when powerful people in their lives take an interest in them. Dr. Gardner Murphy has said that the relationship of all living things can be compared to volcanic islands in the Pacific. Each person and animal only appears to be separate. In fact, below the surface, we are all one. Just as below the surface all volcanic islands have their origins in the ocean bottom. Parts of each of us touch on all of us.

Backster, C. 1968. Evidence of a primary perception in plant life. International Journal of Parapsychology 10:329-348

Monday, November 17, 2008

ESP Imprinting

Psychologists have found that animals including people learn some things at particular phases of life. At a certain time in our lives we learned the characteristics of some stimulus and so became “imprinted” onto that subject. The earliest studies of imprinting centered about “filial imprinting.” In which a young animal learns the characteristics of its parent. In 1996 Betty Hart and Todd Risley reported on their study that showed there is also a critical period for people to learn to learn. The quality and quantity of intellectual stimulus a child gets between the ages of 9 months and 3 years will be shown when good feedback during this critical period is followed by good things happening intellectually for the kids latter on. A greater understanding of a psychics’ ESP may also be discovered by looking at the influences that we get during this time.

This is that very active part of childhood, some call it the “terrible twos”, when the child is exploring the world: pulling at the plant, pushing your nose and tasting everything they can get their hands on. Today’s psychologists suggest that this is also a time when they should have a lot of feedback. “Yes, that leaf comes off the plant”, “I have a nose just like yours” and “Your shirt doesn’t taste good, does it?” I suggest that at the same time we should be aware that the child is learning the characteristics of the unknown itself and so these impressions influence their future ESP ability.

This is the time when we must strike a delicate balance between letting the child learn about all those things they need to study and making sure they do not hurt themselves. For in a larger sense we are teaching the child about the unknown. How do I approach those things I do not know about? Should I reach over and find out what it is like? Should I run and hide? Should always go to my big brother to help me? As we give the child feed back during their exploring of the world we are teaching them —what the unknown is like. This impression of the unknown will effect their attitude about school but also about the occasional sensations they get of a psychic nature. Will the child embrace them and try to include those impressions in their world or will they push them away and decide to ignore them?

Those who spend that critical period with a child are teaching them much more than just how to use a spoon. They are imprinting the child’s concept of the psychic unknown, what is it like and how do they deal with it. They are answering the questions the child will use whenever they face something they do not understand, whenever they sense something they have not sensed before. How will they fill in the blank: If I do not know about this sensation __________.

I will run from it.

I will attack it.

I will kiss it.

I will wait to see if it comes back again.

I will ask someone about it.


What is your answer?


Scientific News, 17 August 1996; p.100

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Psychic Child like Parent

As we look at psychic activity we need to ask: why is this psychic behavior at work here? Take for instance the behavior of dogs finding their way home. The mother of the puppies modeled the various activities of keeping the family together. Birds that migrate find their way back to nesting grounds year after year and so do the young birds. Some serious observers have expressed the belief that these navigational efforts required more than just heightened sense of smell or direction. I am not going to get into that debate but I what of those cases where a dog has found its why back to the family it grew up in even after they moved hundreds, even thousands of miles? What lead that dog to reunite with its human family? And what can we learn about psychic activity from that activity?

I think we could learn a lot by looking at the modeling by the parents of the young puppies. And then look at what some dogs have been able to do when left on their own. They often seem to be able to reunite the family. Here we begin to see the part played by their parent-concept. Reuniting of the family seems to be something like what the parent did. When animals are domesticated they start to see their human keepers like a parent.. Animals want to be at home and have every member of the “family” there. Animals in the home are like those in the wild in many ways. They are rarely left unprotected, on their own. And when they are they seek to reunite the new human family.

When we see a domestic animal who is happy because the family as reunited, or when it performs some psychic feat in order to rejoin the “family.” Just as young animals in the wild. They follow the example of their parent-concept and find him. Dogs seem particularly sensitive to and happy about the reuniting of a human family. There are many reports of dogs following a family a thousand miles or more to where they have had moved.

Psychic animals seem to be following the pattern of their parent-concept. As they perform the activity that they saw their parent do — reunited the family. They call upon some psychic awareness to do the same thing. They are acting like their parent, but the performance now is achieved by some connection to the unknown. They are acting like their parent-concept and when they do they get a little boost from some unknown power. It almost seems as if the parent is invested in the activity in some way, or at least a copy of the parent.

So this parent-concept is not really that parent. It is, however, made and operated by that child. Just as a little girl might say, “But my dolly wants to watch TV.” So the parent-concept may sometimes appear, even to be objective observer, to have wants and needs. It doesn't. The things it is interested in are completely manufactured by the psychic. It is made in the likeness of a parent, often a parent of the opposite sex. It is made to act like the parent. So understanding this activity is very important if we are to understand the psychic.

Any human trainer or caretaker will soon become the parent-concept of the animal. Sometime plants also seem to act like they believe they have a human parent, but that is for another blog. The parent-concept can be many things besides the real parent of the animal.

This helps explain the major topics of animals psi: death, danger and reuniting of the family. Those are needs that are typical of parents. The child doesn't need to have heard the parent express such concerns. The child has seen these concerns for himself, in a thousand ways. So, the parent-concept is a psyche filter.

The psychic occurrences that people experience also seem to have this personality. This personality is one that the psychic person, like the animal, has come to see in their parent-concept. Psychic activity one of many life activities that are tied to our parent-concepts.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Parapsychology and Psychoanalysis

The word “parapsychology” begins with the prefix “para-“ which means “beside.” Perhaps someday the subjects covered by those who study parapsychology will not be beside psychology, but will be part of psychology. But for now, they will need to be called “parapsychological.” I look for those areas where the two are indeed close.

Psychoanalysis offers insights but no proofs. Given a certain kind of illness, a psychiatrist can expect to find a certain kind of childhood, but given a certain childhood he still cannot be sure there will be a certain what, if any, illness will develop. Many times the corollary of a principal in the human sciences is not valid. Indeed if there were only one result for a child who has a certain childhood then the mental health profession would be helpless to provide even a hope for recovery.

The solutions to many problems in psychology are revealed when we look at the activity of the family. If we are to understand psychic sensations, parapsychologists must also look to the family of the psychic. Unfortunately, when studies of psychic events have been made this has not always been done. We can find great insights when we look at the psychic person’s family dynamics.

I would like to see parapsychology include more studies of the psychoanalysis of the psychic. How do they feel about their parents especially the parent of the opposite sex. For it seems that often when we study the relationship between the subjects and their parent we see some clues about the nature of the psychic’s ESP. There often seems to be a symbolic relationship between the parent relationship and the psychic phenomena. In the eyes of subjects, the psychic phenomenon seems to be acting like the parent-concept.

We could see that a certain psychic experience comes to those who had a certain childhood. But we can not say that this or that childhood will produce a psychic. We can only look for typical pattern in the lives and psychics. Those “one-way-proofs” don't satisfy everyone, nor should they, but they offer helpful hints at understanding the dynamics of a psychic’s mind.