Sunday, August 30, 2009

Healing, too

From about the late 1960s, and inspired by the testing results of Justa Smith and Bernard Grad, the idea entered the nursing profession that it might be possible to aid in the healing of their patients by utilizing a similar "intentional" therapy. Thus began an analog to the "laying on of hands" type of healing practise.

It was/is called "therapeutic touch" although it usually does not involve touch at all. The process involves placing one's hands above the patient's body and intuitively "sensing out" areas of illness and intending for these to achieve harmony and wholeness, that is "health" however that is defined. Models of what possibly could be going on here are several, and, frankly none of them are based on any evidence. But the practise of therapeutic touch DOES seem to "work", so whether we've come up with an accurate model may be a somewhat irrelevant thing.

The practise was a nursing secret of sorts until Janet Quinn (the pretty lady at the upper left) began to bring it out of the closet with a PhD thesis at NYU. As the idea became more public, the conservative medical establishment [surprise] became irate. This was tantamount to witchcraft and "shamanistic folk nonsense" as far as the "rational" doctors were concerned, and a blot on the profession. It didn't help that the idea was growing from nurses rather than their own esteemed selves. Nurses were women, too, Lord help us [by the way don't think that stupidities like this don't play a big role with the "neanderthals"].

The trouble for the materialists was that the xxxx thing worked. [though many refuse to admit it]. I saw a documentary about 10 years ago, or less, about an impressive test of TT. It was held by medical professionals in a large urban area [San Francisco or Sacramento, I believe]. The research team got volunteers from the public to agree to help test "a new secret government device", allegedly a camera for seeing and picturing very fine biological details. That was all B.S. of course, but the ruse was so that no volunteer would know what was going on and, because it was secret, wouldn't ask.

Each volunteer had a small wound placed on their shoulder [revenge of the Bernard Grad mice]. They then would, each day, come to the testing lab, where they would place their shoulder up to a "hole-in-the-wall" where they thought that the secret camera would photograph what was happening with their wound. They were photo'd yes, but what was really going on was that some volunteers had TT practitioner nurses on the other side of the wall "intending" healing, while others had just a person sitting there not intending anything at all. The results were overwhelming in favor of healing happening at a faster rate for the volunteers in the TT group. Of course, no amount of facts can ever convince an "impossibilist". ----------------------------------

Larry Dossey chronicles much of this sort of non-traditional success [though not the exact study I just described] in his wonderful books, such as Healing Words above. These paradigm breaking studies are all part of the complex of non-physical healing practise, but the most exciting are those, like TT, of the class of "distant healing". The establishment at its leadership levels is really threatened by this, but at the grass roots a change seems afoot.

Larry surveyed 296 physicians [all M.D.s] and found the following: 1). 99% were convinced that spiritual beliefs aided healing; [this was a relatively easy step for these doctors to take since they can write it off to something "psychological"]; 2). But, and this was the shocker, 75% were convinced that the "prayers of others" can aid healing!! [I think that deserves exclamation points]; 3). 38% believed that faith-healers were effective [one assumes they meant some of them, some of the time ]. ------------------------------------------------

Well, how far does this go, and what's happening? Reverend Franklin Loehr wrote in 1959 [sort of early for this sort of thing], that his congregation could affect the growth of plants through the power of prayer. Loehr was trained in chemistry and had an avid interest in science. He thought it would be "interesting" to see if his parishioners could accomplish a community-based "scientific" prayer effect, and rev up the congregation's zeal at the same time. His book [above] alleges that this was so.

This is a tough one for me as it is hard to imagine GOD caring that much about "healing" corn plants. But I think that this may have happened for the following reason: in the 1960's either NOVA or Nature TV programs did a special on the plant kingdom. Both programs were/are notoriously hostile to anything outside of establishment cant. The program spoke of a lot of great orthodox plant science, and then took on and mercilessly destroyed the "talking to plants" claims of Cleve Backster ( I think that these claims are errors, of an honest man, but do not need to be subjected to disrespectful treatment as the program did). Then along came Reverend Loehr. Surely another mocking dismissal. But, no. They ran a test and Loehr passed. The plants he "intended" health for DID grow far better, even under "science's" watchful eye. You could almost hear the embarrassed swallowing. I still find it unlikely that GOD did this, and more likely that Franklin Loehr himself has a gift. Either way, it is in the realm of the spiritual. ----------------------------------

Many things are, however, not. William Nolen made that clear. Dr. Nolen [left]] was one of the rare skeptics who made an honest effort to find out what was going on with many of these claims [most skeptics make no effort at all, and simply pontificate, often outrageously so]. Nolen has my respect for what he did--he did not, however take on the best cases of alternative medicine and so his survey can't be called definitive. But he did find some charlatanry [that is easy] and he found a lot of honest wishful thinking. His book is still worth reading, as an antidote to too much naivete. It is what got me to say to a good friend who had gotten early stage cancer to be careful.

He had decided to "go native" and reject modern medicine and head for a Latin American country and a folk healer where he would drink some bitter concoction and meditate a lot. Well, I'm not really against that, except for the rejection of modern testing, monitoring, etc. This thing creeped me out because his wife was assigned by the local healer the exact same "treatment" for arthritis. Cancer tends to be a failure of the immune system on the not-effective side, where things like arthritis are mostly the opposite problem---maybe the bitter herbs were mysterious "balancers" no matter what your problem was. Still I railed against him ignoring the monitoring at least. And he promised he would pay attention. Today he insists that he is completely cured. I'm still in doubt as to why. I guess there's still a scientist in me---and that's alright too.

Saturday, August 29, 2009


A very long time ago, I was a decent basketball player. [To show how long ago it was, I was in the same high school conference as the second best player of all time, Jerry West, though he hardly noticed (Bill Russell was the best---sorry Jordan fans) ]. Over the years I had the privilege of playing with and against players of extreme skill and talent, right up to pros [a very interesting experience, by the way, even when you lost the game].

One of the best was a small town hero of the town that my family had moved to when I was away at graduate school. I'd come home for summer vacation and play in the summer league, and this fellow was a dominator. As time went on, his knees fell apart [mainly premature arthritis caused by other damages]. We didn't see him on the court for some time. One day he showed up. He had, as he said, "new knees". This wasn't some kind of high-tech transplant; he'd gone to a faith healer. This was an old-fashioned "tent service" heal-a-thon and the guy got him up on stage, and after doing whatever he did, told the ball player to run around. This he did with the healer shouting that he had "new knees". Well, there he was on the local court---he played like a man possessed. He "murdered" us. It was like his college days. We left the court thinking that maybe he DID have "new knees". And, we didn't see him for the next two weeks as he lay in his bed in excruciating knee pain. New Knees, no; Power-of-suggestion ?; probably. The point is, of course, that a great deal of this stuff is bunk.--------------------------------------------------------------

The matters represented by the folks pictured, however are not bunk. Again, way back in the Jerry West time, my little high school was blessed with an outstanding [and very over-credentialed] science teacher. Her name was Sister Justa, and she is the lady above. She gave me the worst grade [by 15% points] of any grade I got in high school, thereby doing my ego a truly great service. What I didn't know about her was that she was a very accomplished scientist-to-be. Her Franciscan order mercifully got her out of the high school environment and away from knuckleheads like me, and placed her in a college research lab. There she performed some of the best controlled experiments as to whether a person could "by intention" alter the physical world in some way relatable to healing.

There was a man in that area who in a quiet way was gaining a reputation [no tent healer he] for helping people by "laying on of hands". Sister Justa was a PhD Biochemist, and sought to test in laboratory-style whether he could do anything under lab conditions. He could. His laying-on-of-hands and his "intention" measurably affected [in a positive manner] the activity of certain significant enzymes important to our metabolic functions. It still stands as one of the "cleanest" testings of anything associated with such claims today [and I never even knew who I had as a teacher]. --------------------------------------------------------

Sister Justa had followed on from a set of tests [a bit crueler than she would do] by another scientist, Dr. Bernard Grad (the man at lower left, above). Grad had run tests with the same intentional healer but this time on living organisms, mice. The cruel part was that he wounded each mouse on its back. Then he asked the healer to "intend" healing for one set, while one was left alone, and the other set was warmed up a bit to control for the extra warmth that the healer was generating during healing [in case this slight rise in temperature was all that was causing results]. There's an example of the healing results in a little chart above. They were really striking. The intentional healer was, apparently, extremely effective. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A Closer look at Dr. Grad's testing shows that two weeks after the wounds were created they had naturally come a long way towards healing and this was also true of the mice which had been given a little extra warmth. BUT the mice treated by the laying-on-of-hands healer were essentially TOTALLY healed.


Early forms of exploring these matters in the laboratory inspired a distant but admired friend of mine to make such frontiers of healing his life's work. The gentleman in the upper middle is Dr. Larry Dossey, and it is a privilege to know him. Larry has been such an effective and heroic advocate of "alternative medicine" that he was even successful in getting the National Institute of Health to create an office within its hyperconservative superstructure. It is small but it is a beachhead on a generally hostile shore. Larry has crossed the nation and the world speaking for the cause that there is more to healing than just pharmaceuticals and surgery. He edits a journal now, EXPLORE, and we should be reading it. In 2006, there was an article entitled "Positive Emotional Change: Mediating Effects of Forgiveness and Spirituality". The work, done at Oregon State University and the University of Hawaii, showed strongly positive effects for the spiritual mindset. I know from many talks with Larry that it is in this direction that he sees the great chances for breakthroughs. It is the element of the Spiritual that has been missing from Western medicine and is slipping away everywhere. ----------------------------------------------

The last picture above is of Lourdes. Do cures occur there? Are they "miracles"? Establishment Science, of course, hates Lourdes. Lourdes, if true, is another festering sore point, where "disorderly" things happen. Since there cannot be disorder in this "scientific" universe, those things, by definition, do NOT happen. The Catholic Church, for its own conservative reasons, is not anxious for bogus cures to be claimed either, and so have set up a rigorous panel of investigators and a nearly impossible set of criteria which a case has to pass if it is to be credited as a "miracle" [or in our slightly less astounding terms, a cure with no apparent physical/medical explanation].

As a Catholic, I'll easily fit these cures into my "big" creation, but, even as an old science tribe member the cases are impressive---go look this up, its on the web. An objective assessment of Lourdes would be: yes, mysterious cures certainly occur there and doubtlessly in FAR greater numbers than ever come to the attention of the investigators, or survive the severe criteria. Are they "miracles"? Well, we each must decide what we're going to call that, don't we?

Was what Sister Justa and Bernard Grad tested a miracle? Was what Larry writes and speaks about? Some of this is psychic surely, but none the less in the realm of the spirit. Some may well be in the hands of GOD, but probably rarely, as GOD doesn't want to be working miracles "on-the-streetcorner" every day and blunting the demand in our Universe for Faith and the concomitant result that our moral choices are truly free. Either phenomenon seems to be clearly real, and even understandable, though rarely scientifically measurable. We must not let the materialist/reductionists talk the culture out of this.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Did War attract UFOs?

This will establish a pattern for this blog, I think, [one should never claim control on the future; it always laughs at you]. What I intend is to generally comment on spiritual matters, and change the pace with the more mundane mystery [but fascinating] of UFOs. Maybe "two this, two that". World War Two, overall, was one of the least spiritual moments in human history, even though there were countless individual acts of heroic spirituality by just us folks. One wonders if the horrific general behavior of War got the attention of whatever is behind the UFO phenomenon? Well, you can decide whether there was UFO phenomena at all in the skies over Germany and the Pacific. --------------------------------------------------------------------------

---No one can say when the first possible UFO encounter occurred during the War. The military documents and occasional media reports indicate a handful of aerial mysteries during May of 1943 over Germany [Duisburg; Dortmund; Essen] and the English Channel. The military paid little attention to these. Back in the states, scientific powerhouses headed by Vannevar Bush were dreaming up all manner of ways that a somewhat desperate Nazi high command might employ to stop mass bomber raids. None of these ideas resembled "flying disks" or spheres of light or anything like that. On September 6th 1943 this changed. On a raid to Stuttgart, allied bombers encountered what looked like a cluster of small silvery disks. As the bombers proceeded through the cluster, one of them had one or more of these disks strike the wing of the plane. The wing caught fire and the plane went down. The bombers were in a fire-fight at the time, so the fire could have been caused by weapons fire, but the crews who observed it felt otherwise and reported it.

This report went immediately to Washington (to General Hap Arnold, the man on the left above, and to the science teams of Vannevar Bush). According to the FOIA releases, this was a very big deal in many minds. General Ira Eaker, commanding the USAF in Europe, wanted to know if this posed a wide spread significant danger to his bombing missions. Back home, chief of staff Arnold wanted to know the same thing. One general felt that this could mean the end for mass bombing raids. Bush said that it seemed too inefficient for that and we probably had bigger troubles. ---------------------------------------------------------------

Such an event didn't happen again until October "16th" (exact date uncertain) on one of the disastrous Schweinfurt runs. Here again were the small silver disks flying in a cluster, and once again a bomber could not avoid flying through them. This time they missed the wings, but did knock into the tail section, but did not ignite anything nor cause any damage at all.

When 1944 arrived, our fighter pilots began to encounter odd objects in both German and Japanese skies more regularly. These were often Red-Orange balls-of-light but there were some silvery disks and spheres thrown in as well. They weren't doing any damage but one couldn't help but be concerned. General Arnold and the home-base scientific establishment assigned an adventurous young physicist, David Griggs (the man in the middle above), to go to Europe and join the fighter/bomber teams and try to figure out these "things" which were now going by the nickname "foo-fighters".

Griggs could never figure them out. But he did find out two interesting things: 1). there were a lot of cases and whatever this phenomenon was it was real; 2). the Germans and the Japanese didn't know what they were either. Griggs' reports have never been released by FOIA so that the rest of us can read them. We know what he learned because, in the late 1960s, University of Arizona atmospheric physicist, James McDonald (the man on the right above), interviewed him and left the notes from that interview in the University archives--which is where I had a chance to read them. Through the FOIAs we have, and the gift of McDonald's interview, we know that all the WW2 flyers who returned and told of their encounters with the Foo-fighters were not telling tales. Its one of our great mysteries. And its a bit mysterious why after all these years the military won't release all the documents.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Taking a fling at UFOs

If you want to participate in an adventure, there are many places on our own planet to visit and experience, there are many areas of research on the frontiers of established Science and Technology [but fight to stay on those frontiers rather than become a herd-follower and a brick maker], and there are two ubiquitous, albeit frustrating, real, anomalies: parapsychological phenomena and UFOs. The path of my young life pulled me towards the non-Spiritual of these anomalies (UFOs), but it has been interesting and mind-expanding in its own way. Even though UFOs have little to do, directly, with the spiritual, they are a mystery that I, for better or worse, know a great deal about, and maybe you would like to hear some of that. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My own interest began in 1957 when I read the (surprising) book written by the retired intelligence officer who had led the Air Force's UFO project (investigating them, not trying to build them) in 1951-1953. Captain Edward Ruppelt wrote The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects, and, although he fought like crazy to maintain a middle road on his experience with those military (mostly) encounters, facts like his admission that his group could not explain over a quarter of the cases, even though there should have been sufficient evidence in the reports to do so, were very hard to ignore. Two years later, my brother and I saw a domed disk relatively close up (hard to judge, but possibly less than a football field away) and as it silently cruised across the sky in front of us, skepticism "left the building". Years later my sister-in-law (a person who I very much respect) told me of an even closer encounter that she had with her high school girl friends when a disk came and parked directly overhead for a brief time. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

As life went forward, and I became formally an academically trained scientist, I always kept my interest in UFOs, though on a back-burner. Once in my University job, I went to Chicago one weekend to listening to a series of talks by Dr. J. Allen Hynek (who had been Ruppelt's scientific advisor on the Air Force project), and several other people I'd never heard of. These speakers were insightful and encouraging; there really were serious people looking at this mystery. I began, slowly, to become involved.

Over the years I was able to meet and talk personally, a few times (he was getting to the end of his life, unfortunately) with Dr. Hynek, and also with nearly every well-known person working on the field. There are a lot of these folks who are intelligent, knowledgeable, and honest. There are some that are neither. I "kept" the first and dumped the second out of my life. In time, through this "making a real effort", it became pretty obvious, at least in general outlines, what was going on. And I promise to let you know gradually over the course of future blog entries.

As for now, I, and I would never have dreamed this, have handled the very Pentagon papers (some of them) that Colonel George Garrett of the Collections Division of Air Force Intelligence used in August of 1947 to make the first assessment of what UFOs were for the military. In that assessment (what the military calls an "estimate"), Garrett said that although he could not say exactly what they were, they were "really flying around" and were some form of aerial technology. I have been able to handle and read the remaining files of Captain Ruppelt and see his "private" notes about what was going on and the things that he struck from his book draft before publishing it. I've read the half-foot thick stack of Freedom-of -Information-Act [FOIA] releases by the Pentagon which reveal much of their anxieties and confusion about the phenomenon. And case reports by the hundreds. The result of all that, is that it could hardly be clearer that the military has always taken these intruders into our airspace seriously (how could they not and still do their job?) and that there are hundreds of incidents which are strikingly unexplained.

Are they ET? We don't know that yet. They are Something, though. Of all the concepts which people who have actually made a serious study of them have come up with, ET is actually the least altering of our scientific consensus about the nature of Reality. Our scientific consensus says that our Universe teems with life, some of it is surely advanced, and although interstellar travel might turn out to be hard, even then you could do it. All the ET hypothesis would add to our current consensus beliefs is that at least one of those civilizations has done it. There are absolutely wonderful rock-solid UFO cases on the various "books". I'll tell you the stories as we go.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Everyday Psi

  • There are, in my opinion, no studies of clairvoyance or telepathy as strong as the Princeton studies of micropsychokinesis. There are many very good ones [see the work of Dean Radin for some of the best, and most creative] but Robert Jahn's powerhouse data runs are the most overwhelming. Fortunately, on these other parapsychological "poorly-controlled talents", we really don't need tests as impressive as Princeton's. 

  • That's because, we experience clairvoyance or telepathy all the time ourselves. I had two pure-blooded Irish grandfathers. Despite their Irishness, neither of them had a glimmer of the "second sight". I also had a pure-blooded British grandmother; she didn't either. But the lady on the left did. She was my German, Wisconsin farm-girl grandmother, and she could definitely "see around corners". 

  • Grandmother was no "pagan" practioner of arcane arts. She got up at five in the morning to say her good Catholic prayers for an hour and bake the days bread. But she seemed to have "the gift". Her kids and their friends were always demanding that she come over to where they were doing their teen-age things and "read their cups" (tea-leaves) and be amazed. I only know one of her stories in any detail but it is a lulu. Early in my mother's marriage [about 5 years in], Mom and Dad were in isolated rural West Virginia [due to Dad's job making TNT for the war] 500 miles away from Grandmother's home. Mother had become pregnant with her second child [my sister] and they decided not to tell grandmother about it for fear that she would try to make the 5oo mile trip to help Mom with the pregnancy--a trip of the likes she had never made before. One day the phone rang. It was Grandma. She said one or two things in greeting to Mom, and then said: "you're pregnant aren't you?" Mother told her a white lie and said "no." Grandmother, ignoring the fib entirely, said that she'd pack right up and be on her way. [ somehow, once they'd come clean with her, they managed to talk the family seer out of actually coming and that Mom had plenty of friends to see her through the pregnancy--which was true, and my sister is the miraculous proof of that]. Our point here is that Grandmother was unusual in that she sometimes "clairvoyed" [saw more clearly] than the rest of us, but she DID do it, and we occasionally manage to get a glimpse as well.------------------------------------------------------------------

  • I am one member of that next generation who only occasionally gets a glimpse, but I have a brother who does so all the time. He has the uncanny ability to be driving down the road to work early in the morning and somehow become aware of a wreck somewhere up ahead. This isn't a vague thing. He sees it in detail. A few minutes later he will pass the spot and there it is just as he had clairvoyed it in, well, lets call it what it is, his psychic "vision". My brother doesn't fit what might be your image of an occasional clairvoyant. He's a very large former major college football lineman, who drives a truck and works on dangerous chemical spill management at a chemical industry. What he IS, however, is a person with an open mind. 

  • My own experiences with this everyday psi are less notable. However, I have a friend with whom there have been an unending number of such microincidents. He used to drive down to the Center for UFO studies on weekends when I was "working the files" , spend a little time talking with the guys, and then he and I would take the 2 1/2 hour ride back home. I can't count the number of times during those long conversations that the topic abruptly shifted [I mean ABRUPTLY] to something that was already coming into my head in words exactly as he was about to say. The first twenty times something like this happens, well, your "scientific skeptic" brushes it off--it very much makes a difference to me to be dealing with things I believe have good reason to be real, rather than just "romantic" thinking. But the next fifty wear your skepticism down. At that point denial that something odd is happening can only be sustained by really not wanting it to be happening. 

  • My friend is stoutly resistant to buying in to this sort of thing. He really fears being "foolish and fooled" about anything. He believes in what he calls "the First Personality" [von Neumann's Prime Observer], but he only believes in other things like post-death survival on alternate wednesdays. We had one striking thing happen though. We were at my home speaking of our mutual hobby [UFOs] and the conversation had swung to the paranormal. He reiterated his skepticism on almost everything and I , as a joke, reached behind me and pulled a deck off the shelf and said , sure you're a master clairvoyant; just call this card. I peaked at one and he said: "Star". I smiled and said : "you're right ", and turned the star card over from the Zener card deck for doing Psi statistical studies. He had a 1 in 5 chance of "hitting" anyway, so it was just an amusing outcome. I noticed that he was still standing there non-plussed, however. I asked him what was going on. He said: "I thought that you had a regular deck of cards." [within which there are of course NO "stars"]. I asked why then did he say "star"? He said that it just flashed into his mind. I have to keep reminding him of the event on alternate wednesdays, as it seems that we humans are exceptionally resistant to letting certain things through the door of our lives.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Robert Jahn and the Freedom of the Will

The 20th century passed without realizing that one of the greatest scientist/engineers who ever lived had broken through to credible evidence of one of the most significant aspects of how our universe works, and more specifically how we humans employ our consciousness within it. This scientist was the Dean of the College of Engineering at Princeton, Robert Jahn.

The picture at the right is of Dr. Jahn and his associate director of the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research Laboratory, Brenda Dunne. It was/is a privilege knowing both of them. Once he completed his career as a NASA expert, Bob Jahn decided to explore something of greater significance and far tougher than mere "rocket science". He wanted to see if it was possible to measure whether an "observer" could intentionally affect a situation where the outcome was as yet undetermined.

Put in laboratory terms, could a person, simply by wanting to [employing any sort of mental approach they wished], skew the expected results of a random process? Science, of course, as an "establishment", hated the concept without even waiting to see any results. Once again, someone was trying to include consciousness in a "pure" physical process--of course, people who had "absolute denial" objections to such experiments believed that nothing but "pure" physical processes exist anyway. Such things were not only anathema; they were a waste of time. Robert Jahn, thankfully, was a brilliant successful engineer. Engineers unlike many scientists tend to believe that things are possible rather than a priori impossible. Got a problem? Well, let's see what we can do/engineer to solve it. It was an astronomer, not an engineer, who said "space travel (as a concept) is utter bilge". ------------------------------

 Bob Jahn and his long-time associate, Brenda Dunne, using private funds (because the hide-bound narrowness of academia could find neither courage nor open-mindedness to support the lab), began a series of creative testing regimens to see what they could see. The important results were in the area of what we might call "micropsychokinesis": the ability of the mind to intentionally affect a random process at the levels of smallest physical scale. An example makes what they found clear: a witness/intentional-observer, if you will, could, without any physical contact with an apparatus, influence the supposedly unpredictable and random decay process of a radioactive source so as to give a clear non-random reading on the device measuring that decay. This of course should not have happened. The machinery behaved quite normally when "left alone" by meddlesome consciousness, but when intention/observation was applied, the microworld was affected. Conservative, materialistic physicists went crazy.

This was an embarrassment to Princeton, to Science, and to their "sacred" hope that there was nothing sacred in the universe, like maybe the Spiritual. Bob Jahn never talked about it this way in his scientific papers describing the work. He had set up experiments to test something, checked out all the variables, analyzed the data, and reported the results. Pure objective Science. The hypocrites screamed at the top of their registers about methodology but it was a smokescreen. This was impossible; and very undesirable. One editor, violating everything that editorship, let alone Science, should be about, told Bob that he'd publish the work only if Bob could telepathically send the paper to him. I cannot resist at this moment referring to that man as a pathetic, arrogant jerk, and an enemy of real science. --------------------------------------

The Princeton results were astonishingly consistent. They were also not dramatically large. No one showed up and "bent spoons" nor blew up the Random Number Generator devices. But the results were there. Test after test after test. Sitting listening to Bob and Brenda and Roger Nelson describe their work for, literally, a decade, I came to see that they were measuring something very like the way the consciousness, the Will, may influence the microworld of atoms and particles. And that's going on in our brains all the time. When we "decide" to do something, rather than just stay in stasis, we must get the processes of our cortexes "moving".

How does that happen? The motor cortex is sitting "up there" happily and obediently waiting for something to start an electron event going "one way or another" so that it may begin a sequence which ends up with us getting up and walking , turning left or right, or scratching our nose. Something has to begin this. Something has to, at least in "thoughtful" situations, "choose" to affect this microworld in our brains and get things happening non-randomly. Our Will intentionally affects the electrons in our brain to get the body doing what we "want" it to do. I don't know if Bob, Brenda, or Roger would model it this way, but this is what their work is screaming out to me.

Unlike what the nay-saying jerks might want to believe, this breakthrough places consciousness squarely into the context of what goes on in our Universe and in our minds. It is part of the revelation of how we are observers, of how the "psychic" spiritual side of us interfaces with the law-bound physical. It is how indeterminism allows freedom of choice due to the intention of the Will. "Science" has demonstrated over and over that it, irrationally, hates Jahn's work---it would have been OK and publishable if he had gotten negative results--even could have relaxed now that their "religion" was safe. I, obviously, love it. But I don't count with the important people who guard the small-box orthodoxy.

Bob finally closed the Princeton lab after nearly thirty years of results. "If people don't believe us after all the results we've produced, then they never will". And, in matters of religion, he is correct, as usual with him.

Monday, August 24, 2009


For a few years I used to spend time in my back yard just relaxing and staring at nature. The favorite subject was a line of six very large walnut trees that had once been part of a fence line of a former farm (before all the area got built up in response to the growth of the University). The trees were entertaining. They were a Road-in-the-Sky for a large and raucous squirrel population, a frequent landing spot for golden finches, woodpeckers, and even hummingbirds, calculating their next moves. They were, despite the nature sounds, a source of peace (I believe that it was really BECAUSE of the nature sounds).

 I once read a whole book of Tolkien while sitting there in their presence, but mostly I just stared about like a child. Occasionally something odd happened. I was looking at the new crop of walnuts hanging all over one day and thought: I'm out here a lot. I wonder if I'll ever see a walnut actually fall? At that exact moment, and the timing is true or I'd never credit this as an "odd" thing, a squirrel ran down a branch and "picked" a walnut (that's the only way I can say it) and tossed it at the ground. Startled I thought, well, THAT was interesting. There were other things like this but that one was pretty unexpected. -------------------------------------------------------------

There was a spot in the air where two of the trees crossed their branches and the crossing left a clear area or "window" to the sky. In the seasons when the trees were fully leaved this was the only portal through which you could see clear sky beyond. Childishly, I called it my window to heaven. It was formed by six branches, three from each tree, as they crossed in a rough hexagon. I had at the time a good friend named Sano (shortened from a long Italian surname.) He had contracted asbestos poisoning from work way back in WW2 and it had begun to express itself late (as mesothelioma often does) in life. It was lung cancer. Sano was the most spiritual guy I knew. He left this world with a smile and a glow. On the evening that he died, we had a wind. In the morning, I went out into the backyard. There was a limb down. It was one of the limbs of my window to heaven. It's the branch you see in the picture above. It's Sano's branch. Foolishly, I believe that in some arcane way he "knocked it off" for me on his way.---------------------------------------

I spent a lot of foolish moments with the trees. One day we were having a perfect wind. The six of them were rocking back and forth as if they were one thing not several. As we humans are prone to do, a "face" was showing up in the open spots of the branches caused by the motion of the wind. Feeling careless now of my foolishness, I said: Who are you? Something actually seemed to respond. It was one of those "small inner voices" type things which you can't really be sure from where they come. This one said, quite clearly: "I am very old. Yet every moment I am young. I drink the Sky. I eat the Land. GOD SINGS in me. I am Alive."....I hauled myself off the ground and ran into the house to write it down. What this was everyone will make up their own minds upon. Maybe I was just a spontaneous poet. But it certainly didn't feel that way to me. It felt like, for one unusual moment in my life, something outside my experience entirely had communicated to me.

Could that even be possible? The First Nations peoples in this area of America have the concept of the great Life-Giver and Sustainer Spirit, Manitou. The circle of life includes many things, and each important element of that circle (ex. a species; a small area ecosystem, like a forest; etc) itself has a Spirit Representative. It is a Manitoug. People on Vision Quests claim to "meet" such spirits. Could the poem be not mine, but that of the Manitoug of the Trees? -----------------------------------------

Perhaps that stretches us too far, but, I think not for me. I used to hear the little "thumps" of the walnuts falling in the early fall and they seemed like small heartbeats. One day, when I was inside, I heard a monstrous "WHUMMMPHHH!" Outside I saw that one of my neighbors had decided that they didn't like the trees littering their perfect lawns, and were cutting them down. They had convinced the neighbor next that this was a good idea, and the other half would come down that day too. I couldn't watch this, as the cutter high in the tree chainsawed large roundelles of wood from the trunks and let them fall. WHUMMMPHHH! WHUMMMPHHH! WHUMMMPHHH! It was the last beating of a great heart dying.

I had to take a long walk---somewhere else. Today there are no walnut trees there and no walnuts to bother the neighbors as they happily mow their lawns. There is no window to heaven. There is no Road-in-the-Sky. Just on my side of the property line there is a little tree---a walnut tree---the product of one one those little heartbeats long ago.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


People want proof of the spiritual. We're not going to get it. The way this universe is designed, proof is a somewhat illusory concept anyway. Even Science can rarely be said to approach proof in any "philosophical" sense. Science and experience give us more or less confidence in a thing, but not really proof. Still people would like to have that strong security that scientific testing often brings. The more that the spiritual, the consciousness, the will enters into anything, the less "sure" you're going to be. That is why "science" hates the spiritual. It is an uncontrollable wild card that will not "behave".

It is comforting to believe that the goddess Diana is no longer up there controlling the Moon, especially if you are an Apollo astronaut, since you don't want her to have a whimsical thought and the Moon not be there when you arrive. Science has done great service for us. But by absolutely shunning the spiritual, its practitioners have also done subtle and increasing harm.

Today's picture has something to do with "proof" and the spiritual. It is of my father standing in his WW2 "Victory Garden". He was a great man--a great dad. He was caring and observant, protective and adventurous, a fountain of every conceivable area of knowledge. It was a privilege to have been his son. "Have been" means that he is no longer here in this "normal" physical existence that we find ourselves in. He passed away over thirty years ago. The whole family was able to make the ceremonies. After the Mass at the smalltown church, we returned to the family home. My family is a very dynamic and rather garrulous lot. Not that day. We sat in the living room in the most unusual stunned silence. Our wonderful father was gone. We weren't even crying. I was sitting across from the big bay window which looked out onto the front lawn and across the street. I stared mindlessly at the outside, and then...from around the corner of the neighbors house came a deer.

It was a rather magnificent deer: a big buck with a huge rack of horn and a beautiful coat. It turned its head toward our house and began walking a straight line across the street, up the slight incline of our lawn, directly to the window where it stopped and motionlessly stared inside. Its black eyes calmly met your own as it stood there. How long this time-stopping experience went on, I cannot tell you, but it was many seconds at least, as I had time to yell at mother (who was in the kitchen) twice to run out here and look. Ultimately the buck turned, with no urgency, and walked then bounded away on the same line-of-travel it had taken to give us this experience. Persons who are afraid of the spiritual can call "coincidence" all they want. Fine. Especially if it makes someone feel better about the world. But no one in my family will credit that for a moment, and I doubt that most other people will either. Earlier in the life of the family, Dad had on rare occasions felt that we needed a little reassurance about something. On those occasions he would say, "It's alright gang". That deer was calmly saying the same thing. ------------------------------------------------------------------------

Many years later I was at the J. Allen Hynek Center for UFO Studies and among those there at the time was one of the world's best UFO field researchers. We were talking about "esoteric" matters and I told the story about "Dad's Deer". I saw that she was crying. The story brought up the moment in her life when her daughter had died. After the ceremony, she went home devastated. She went into her garden just because she wanted to be unbothered by people for a moment and this was a place where she and her daughter had peace before. She sat there and an "odd thing" happened. A butterfly came and landed on her hand. This had never happened before. She sat there, several minutes, with the butterfly keeping company. When it finally departed, she, understandably, felt a great peace which she felt was the last gift to her from her daughter. She still cries at the memory, but the tears are more of wonder and, as much as can be, joy. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Once I had a very good student (good because he refused to let anyone cramp his curiosity and, therefore, his creativity), who volunteered the following story. He had a much-loved grandfather who lived alone. His relatives knew that he couldn't adequately take care of a dog, but thought that he could use some company and bought him a bird. The old gentleman took care of the bird, and feeling sorry for it, would open its cage door to encourage it to fly about as a bird should do. It wouldn't do so. In fact, it not only never left the cage, it would not talk, squawk, or make noise at all. The old man died. When the family returned from the ceremony, the bird was flying all over the house and making a constant uproar. Stories like these are in the uncounted thousands. They do not "prove" the spiritual. They certainly don't disprove it either. An honest scientist would say that they are "possible data points to support the hypothesis that the consciousness can still occasionally affect the physical after death". Of course, organizational science will never say this. Deer, and Butterflies, and Birds are not supposed to act like this in such a disorderly and unlawful behavior. But my father, the good scientist with the chemical engineering mind, would say they DO, and "it's alright gang".

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Amateur Art and the von Neumann Creation





Friday, August 21, 2009

John von Neumann and the creation of the Universe

Once upon a time, about twenty years ago, I took a year off from teaching and traveled the country looking into some of our best depositories of knowledge. I was looking for information about unidentified flying objects ( I'll tell you about that later. It's a good story and a true mystery. Almost every sensible thing that you've heard about "them" is true, and can be read directly off the government and scientific documents.)

During that year, I visited the Smithsonian Institution, the American Philosophical Library, Harvard, The University of Colorado, and even Dr. J. Allen Hynek's Center for UFO studies. It was fun and wildly interesting. You never knew what sort of new wonder would be revealed when you turned the next page. --------------------------------------------- At one point I found myself in the archives of the California Institute of Technology reading the files of Howard P. Robertson (the gentleman on the right hand side of the picture on the left above; his companion is the famous nay-sayer to UFOs, Dr. Edward Condon, plus half of the great physicist, Eugene Wigner, of the Manhattan Project). Dr. Robertson was, during the late 1940s and early 1950s, the chief science advisor of the CIA. He was a good Company man, and left little in his files of a sensitive nature. Still, there were plenty of "fingerprints" relating to involvements with the CIA, Allied European Defense, UFOs, and a nest of murky subjects, including the Hydrogen bomb. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Turning over one page, there was a picture of three men. Now, all persons are important, but on some criteria these were some of the most important people of the 20th century. The first of them was Niels Bohr (his picture is on the upper right). Bohr is usually considered to be the father of Quantum Theory. QM is too tough a subject to go into here, but we should know a "little" about it. Bohr and the quantum physicists say that, at the most fundamental level of physical reality, there is an "indeterminism"---that it's not an iron-clad sure thing that something on this smallest scale is going to be exactly "this" or exactly "that". There's a "fuzziness" down at that level. It's a very big deal. That indeterminism, that fuzziness, is what allows the possibility of Freedom--a non-forced "choice" of alternatives--to enter our Universe. Einstein absolutely hated this as part of physics, but Bohr was the one who was right. The QM physicists talk about this fuzziness becoming concrete reality once the indeterminate state is "observed".

"Observation", in their lingo, "collapses the Wave Function" (the state of reality wherein two options are still possible) and then one State-of-Being will manifest. The choice will be made. Scientists living in conservative, small "boxes" are either completely boggled by this, or they invent preposterous concepts that would make Mediaevalists dancing on the heads of pins proud. They fail to cope with the consequences of QM because they are scared to death of allowing the spiritual--consciousness--to have anything to do with this. But "observership" is screaming for consciousness to play the leading role.----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The second person in the picture was Edward Teller. Teller was the father of the Hydrogen bomb. (his picture is at the lower left). Teller was a brilliant scientist and nearly crazy-paranoid about the Soviets. Maybe he had a point, maybe he didn't; you can make up your own mind. One of his ideas at least was none too sound. Teller wanted to make a bomb so powerful that if you mounted it in near-Earth orbit and set it off, it would sterilize half the planet. Yep, he actually proposed that. Our Joint Chiefs of Staff at the time deserve high credit for informing him that this was not a project that they saw any function for whatsoever and he'd get no support from the military on it. In the picture that inspired these remarks, Teller was sitting between Bohr and von Neumann, with one of his fiery wild-animal looks on his face, and both Bohr and von Neumann had looks of sadness. The thought that came to mind was: "One of these men wants to build a bomb that can destroy half the world, and the other two know he can do it". -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The third man in the picture was John von Neumann. Contemporaries and colleagues thought that von Neumann was the smartest man in the world. Period. Not excepting Einstein, or the other two in the photo. Very early, von Neumann had an intuition. He understood, as much as anyone, what Quantum Mechanics was saying and was contemplating the fundamentalness of Observership. Von Neumann, unlike most of the others, was a religious and spiritual man. To him the solution to much of this was obvious. "In the Beginning" working with only the disorganized chaos of what physicists today would call the dynamic roiling sea of mini-black holes (what the ancients called the "Primordial Chaos"), some Prime Observer observed and organized The Creation. Put another way, GOD collapsed the Wave Function. And in all the "infinite" ways that hidden collapsings have happened since, the Prime Observer, the First Consciousness, has been maintaining the stability of the Universe through the Original Laws (which Science studies) ever since. Of course, it takes a spiritual man to stomach this, let alone come up with the idea. Most scientists are horrified, even though the thought "solves" in some way how the Original Act that produced our Universe took place, and the utilization of that idea in no way is incompatible with studying everything that resulted from it (that is, one can still do all the "science" one wants). For von Neumann, Spirituality, GOD, Freedom, and a strong role for Consciousness were not incompatible with scientific fact nor discovery. They are not for me either, and I thank our brilliant Earth-traveller for giving me one more reason for believing so.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Beginnings. The old people have always known that there was more to reality than the stone which hits you in the face. There was the Self. There was the Soul of the friend, the lover, the child, the Other. There was GOD. There were the Spirits, the nature beings, even the things that "go bump in the night".

The foundation of this blog is that they were usually smarter than we are. They were generally right. All these were real. All these ARE real. We are letting them slip from our consciousness, and we are losing touch with half the world. You will not want to read this blog if you cannot stretch your universe to include the possibility that such things can be true. The Soul who writes here believes in Soul, believes in a Great Maker, believes in a many colored array of wonders, both material and spiritual. This soul believes that there are (often) factual events within which this "lost" part of our reality strongly shows itself.

There are "encounters", there are "anomalies", there are inspirations and guidances. They are all there, but rarely to the mind closed to them. The mind of a scientist can be a very productive thing. It usually knows a lot. It can analyze certain things amazingly--I once did a little of that myself. But the mind of a scientist (if that's all it is) has come to live in a very small world. It is a paradox. The culture's (alleged) truth-seekers are occupying boxes so small that the big study of what is has ended up outside their walls. And they ARE walls. They are walls that so forbid the exploration of "dangerous" areas (even of conversation let alone active seeking) that most of these powerful IQs are ashamed to speak of them.

This writer is an old retired member of that mistaken and wandering tribe. It's too late to care what the dogmatic tribal elders think. It's time to call out for the things that are, but which they say cannot be. And just breathe the free air. What will these topics be? GOD, Spirit, Free Will, Afterlife, of course. Angels, devils, spirits,too. Nature entities, what the old folks called "the good people" and "the middle angels"--well lets at least see. Encounters with the strange, the weird, the "impossible". Lets forget the sayers of "can't", relax, and let be.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

British Magick

The biggest study is of what is. This includes that which we are forgetting. It includes the spiritual. The spiritual is everywhere. It is here. Just to begin: three pix I took in Britain.

1. An archaeoastronomy alignment at Castlerigg circle

2. The "uncountable stones" at Roll Right

"According to local folklore, the stones are the petrified remains of a king and his knights, however, each set of stones has been found to date from a different period. The name is thought to derive from “Hrolla-landriht” meaning the land of Hrolla."

The Olde professor standing by a greatstone at Avebury circle

The same guy after passing through the magickal healing stone of the Men-an-Tol

The professor's picture of the mystery "Dragon's Blood Spot" on Dragon's Hill

The professor's picture of a tour member touching the Holy Thorn of Glastonbury, on Wearyall Hill where Joseph of Arimathea [carrying the Holy Grail] plunged his staff into the ground and it grew into the thorn tree.


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