Why Care About Psi Related Research?

This is the excerpt for your very first post.

By Debra Lynne Katz (www.debrakatz.com)

Attention all experiencers, including but not limited to psychics, healers and remote viewers who are already learning by doing:

Being aware of the plethora of research done in the area of psychic functioning is important for many reasons!

Research can help us to understand how to make better use of our intuitive abilities and how to strengthen them to enhance our own practice.For example, in the first page of Dr. Jessica Utts paper entitled, “An Assessment of the Evidence for Psychic Functioning (2005)”  she points out that studies indicate that precognition (perceiving future events) and other psychic senses have to do with detecting change.  This is so interesting to me because I’ve observed this in several informal experiments I’ve done with students where I was having them remote view an object I had in my home while they were in theirs. Several times, they didn’t seem to be describing the object until I moved it.  Then they gave a surprisingly excellent description. For a long time I believed this had to do purely with the concept of motion. While I do still believe motion is a very big factor because in remote viewing sessions of lets say a rocket ship or a baseball game, the movement of the ship or the whizzing overhead of the ball is what is quite often perceived (by myself and others) before all the other details. However, this movement is about change and perhaps the change is the biggest factor.  I’ll have to ask her when I see her about this when we get together at the 56th annual Parapsychology Conference in Italy. Is there a difference between motion and change?

However, what I do know in using the clairvoyant (visual) technique of the flower, which I write extensively about in my books and teach in my classes, is that the core of the technique is really based on noting changes in the flower when a name or word or question is dropped in or a person says their name and the reader directs their attention to the flower. This is because once the change happens, we have something to focus our attention on.  Once we explore a certain line of questioning and it seems like nothing else is happening, we ask it to show us more or ask a specific question and then simply wait for something else to show up. This showing up is about change.

Both clients and psychics themselves often wonder why it is that we get certain bits and pieces about the future while so much other information just eludes us.  While this is a very complex subject, it has become more and more clear to me that more dramatic and even unexpected life changes tend to show up more readily and clearly than other events, whether they just happen spontaneously during the reading or in response to the clairvoyant’s inquiries. Sometimes I think it’s about the client’s emotional reaction to these changes that catches our attention too.

So by gaining awareness of the importance of change in psychic perception from Dr. Utt’s meta-analysis study, (or at least having it validated) we can now develop more techniques based on the concept of change that will move us further along in our psychic related pursuits.

It’s always exciting when research matches up with real life experience! Becoming familiar with the research can SOMETIMES break through the barriers of skepticism of those people who have just not had enough of their own experiences, or thought highly enough of them, to accept that we (“we” defined here as humans) do really have these abilities. It can help convince those we care about that we are not just crazy or foolish. That has to make life easier for us, and hopefully for them too. Of course there are a certain element of people who are never going to change or grow no matter how much quality evidence they are presented with. We just can not waste any more time on these, these…..people! Dr. Stephen Schwartz calls them “doubters”, which is a more appropriate word then “skeptic”, yet they are people too. So just remind yourself they had mothers too and probably like Twinkies just as much as you do.

Research can validate what we are already often experiencing and to an extent, takes away the element of “is this all just coincidence” or “am I just deluding myself?  This may not be all that necessary for those who have been doing this for a while and know that one’s own psychic ability such as telepathy or clairvoyance is as real as their ability of sight or hearing. But how do so many of us know we truly have these things; why are we so insistent it’s not simply just a belief?……

Many of us are constantly engaged in what could be thought of as informal personal experiments!

Therefore we are not that different than the scientists who do this for a living. It’s just these informal experiments wouldn’t pass the scrutiny of a peer review for most science publications because we haven’t achieved statistical significance through having enough repeated trials under completely controlled or blind conditions. A lot of scientists act like information isn’t valid if it hasn’t been published in a peer review journal.  This isn’t that different then the public not believing something if it hasn’t aired on CNN or FOX news or made official by a statement from the President.

I’m sure all the millions of kids who suffered from child abuse and molestation by adults in powerful positions felt there experiences were very real even though there was no one officially to witness it and those closest to them were unaware of it, ignored it, dismissed it, or simply lied about it.  Why do I use this emotionally charged analogy?  Because there is something very traumatizing for many of us who experience something on a psychic level and then are told to either forget about it, keep quiet about it or that it didn’t really happen, especially when this comes from the very people who are supposed to be there for us….the parapsychologists.

The problem for both spontaneous experiences and those of us who utilize our daily life experiences as personal laboratories in which to make observations and draw conclusions from, is that so many scientists and researchers seem so slow and lagging behind what we’ve already observed and concluded.  These guys uphold the scientific method like a devout Christian worships the Bible. There is truth in both, but much is lost in the interpretation.

Those of us who have been on the path of personal exploration know that sometimes our psychic abilities are functioning well and sometimes not. Results are not always consistent. In one moment we may be able to access another’s thoughts, or see an image that has clear meaning, and in another moment we may not. We know that it’s sometimes hit or miss. While our psychic experiences are sure to be repeated in some way or form, especially when we have training and more experience under our belt with them due to this training, we still know that no two psychic experiences are ever exactly alike. We know that we can set the stage by following methodologies and creating an environment that is most conducive to the manifestation of our abilities, but we will never be sure of what is about to show up or grace the stage we have so carefully set.  This just doesn’t always fit well with the harsh dogma known as modern science.  So our reaction to scientists or skeptics (two totally different animals) who don’t seem to want to validate our very real and significant experiences, is to reject them in turn. Not that different then avoiding the guy who dumped you or made fun of you in the second grade.

A lot of the researchers seem to be more interested in addressing skeptics who aren’t scientific , but merely have a chip on their shoulder (“doubters”), rather than people like you and me who really are committed to being able to make use of them in our own lives and for the benefit of others. We know we have something to teach and offer the researchers, but they just dismiss us as if we were just foolish children who just don’t possess the slightest ability for critical or careful analysis.  From reading some of their articles, they do sometimes take a snobby approach to the lowly masses, which includes us. A fellow remote viewer joked that he hopes when I go to the parapsychology convention in a couple of weeks, that I’ll be able to find at least a few parapsychologists who believe in parapsychology.

Which brings us to the heart of the matter: for so many of us experiencers or practitioners, many researchers, including parapsychologists, at a distance, just seem kind of silly. I know that’s funny since they usually have impressive 3 letter degrees, and often use really big words for simple things, but that’s precisely why they seem silly.   It’s like insisting a person who is deaf is not deaf, but rather is “hearing impaired”.  All this does is confuse us. Words like “anomalous cognition” and “nonlocal perception” in place of the more familiar words of psychic or ESP (which I still like and use because we know what these mean and I’m not about to give up useful words just because some people have infused these with negative connotations) doesn’t help us with understanding what the heck it is they are talking about.

The Solution – So how do we fix the problem that those who experience and utilize psychic abilities in their daily life seem worlds away from those who officially study it? Well how to fix any problems between two groups of people from different cultures?… You get them acquainted! You get them to interact. You invite them over for dinner, and to your classes, and to your events and you go to theirs, and you really listen to what THEY have to say while sharing your own ideas too. I’ve found that scientists are people too….often their first reaction is to insist you are wrong, but they do take note of your comments and sometimes over time these start to sink into their stubborn skulls and a brand new perspective may pop out back at cha somewhere down the road a piece.

Since there is so much research on this subject, and much too little time in most of our lives to get through it (and a lot is rather tedious reading), I’ll recommend that you explore Meta-Analysis Studies that are written by researchers who do seem to value us little people out here AND who really have found there is scientific proof for what we’ve known all along:

META-ANALYSIS STUDIES – A meta-analysis study is one that looks at all the existing research, of which there is a TON when it comes to parapsychology studies (telepathy, precognition, PK, etc).

Dr. Utt’s has some great reports and articles.

Dr. Dean Radin’s most recent book “Supernormal” looks fantastic as are all his others ones.

Lynne McTaggart’s first book “The Intention Experiment” is a classic. I recommend all books by her.

Dr. Stephen Swartz has done an insane amount of research and in addition to his own books and articles, offers a comprehensive selection of parapsychology and remote viewing research on his personal website.

Russel Targ’s Books are a must read. Check out his latest book: “The Reality of ESP: A Physicist’s Proof of Psychic Abilities”.

For those of you who don’t have a lot of reading time, I’d like to quote Dr. Utt’s (Chair, Department of Statistics, University of California, Irvine) because this is what I’ve been saying myself for the past 3 decades, without published, scientific evidence to back it up:

“It is recommended that future experiments focus on understanding how this phenomenon works, and on how to make it as useful as possible.   There is little benefit to continuing experiments designed to offer proof, since there is little more to be offered to anyone who does not accept the current collection of data”.  (Utts, J. “An Assessment of the evidence for psychic functioning”, 2005)

I’ll give you a full report of all I learn at the 56th annual parapsychology conference, Viterbo, August 8-11 – where I’ll be speaking.  Being in Italy for the first time, it may be hard not to play hooky, but I’ll try!

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