In 1971 Edgar Mitchell experienced what most only dream of, he became the 6th man to walk on the moon during an Apollo 14 mission. Traveling to the far reaches of space was a dream fulfilled, but it was the journey back that became one of the most transformative events of his life.
Having been lucky enough to sit in the space capsule’s window seat, he peered towards the rotating Earth and moon before him. Suddenly (and unexpectedly) he felt a profound sense of unity with the universe. Light poured through objects around him, an overwhelming sense of love engulfed him, and the boundaries between himself, the space capsule, and the stars began to dissolve. Mitchell connected with the absolute oneness of things, something mystics have spoken about for millennia.
An epiphany came to him. As he looked down to Earth, he saw a single living breathing entity. Yet as beautiful as this blue planet was, it was filled with crippling issues like war, famine, and a host of other man-made problems. He realized that global issues stemmed from humans inability to realize how interconnected they all were.
There was plenty of food and water for its inhabitants, yet portions of the world lay starving. Social constructions such as national borders lead to countless wars and millions of deaths. If more people experienced the interconnectedness Mitchell felt in that space capsule, these issues would naturally find solutions.
When he returned to Earth, he founded the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) to address this problem and further explore the science of interconnection. Over the following decades, IONS has been at the cutting edges of research in the fields of consciousness & healing, extended human capacities, and worldview transformation.
I’ve been lucky enough to interview a number of scientists at IONS, and the findings they’ve shared always leave me looking at the world slightly differently. In this article, I’m going to talk about some of their most exciting experiments and the mind-blowing discoveries that came out of them.
1. Can you perceive thoughts, emotions, or intentions from another person at a distance?
A common experience many mothers have is getting hunches about their children. A mother may be going through her normal workday, and for no reason at all, she is overcome with an intuition that something (whether good or bad) is happening to her son or daughter.
She later finds out that the intuition was correct, and she received the feeling at nearly the same time the event occurred. Although most would write this off as pure coincidence, maybe there is more to this phenomena than our current scientific paradigm can explain.
IONS explored if the thoughts, emotions or intentions of another person can affect another at a distance through a series of experiments. Two volunteers called a “sender” and “receiver” were placed in separate locations.
The sender sat in a room with a live video feed that periodically displayed the receiver. When the receiver was displayed on the screen, the sender was then asked to send as much energy and intention as they could towards the receiver. The receiver meanwhile sat in a 2,000 pound electrical and magnetic shielded room, hooked up to various devices measuring his/her nervous system – this included:
- Heart Rate
- Brain Blood Oxygenation
- Blood Volume Pulse
- The Skin’s Electrodermal Activity
In countless experiments, IONS have found that the receiver’s physiology instantaneously changed when the sender directed an intention towards the receiver.1 Are we able to connect with one another through an energetic web penetrating through the confines of physical space? These studies makes a compelling argument.
2. Does your consciousness affect the material world around you?
Before we dive into this fascinating experiment, watch this video that explains a bizarre quantum mechanics experiment called the Double Slit Experiment, which explains how quantum objects behave differently simply through observation.
As the video explains, a laser is shot between two slits. The photons of the laser behave like a wave when nobody’s watching, causing multiple lines of light to be shown on a board:
But when the laser was observed by a human, the photons of light behaved strangely differently – like a particle, which causes only two lines of light shown on the board:
Again, the only difference between the two instances of the experiment was a participant viewing the system. As bizarre as this may sound, they found that quantum objects such as photons from a laser behave differently based on the mere act of observation.
This finding alone is enough to blow most people’s mind. But Dr. Dean Radin Ph.D. from IONS took this experiment one step further. Instead of having participants view the laser, they were asked to simply think of the system in their minds. One would think that since no one is physically viewing the laser, it would behave as such.
Surprisingly, by directing their attention to the system, the same effect occurred as if the participant observed it with their eyes – the photons of light behaved like a particle. Even more fascinating is the fact that this result didn’t require the person to be near the laser. A person could be thousands of miles away from the system simply thinking of it in their mind, and the photons of light will behave as if it were being watched.2 3 4
3. Is there a collective consciousness?
Most believe that consciousness operates independently from those around them. Yet could there be a vaster, collective consciousness functioning on a global scale?
The Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research (PEAR) Program explored this question through the use of quantum electronic devices known as a random number generator (RNG). When run, these RNG’s should consistently produce a random stream of zeros and ones without fail. PEAR worked alongside IONS to create a network of 141 random number generators placed throughout the world.
Worldwide events such as 9/11, environmental catastrophes, and political elections, where millions of people throughout the world were triggered by strong emotions, have caused statistical changes in the randomness of these devices. Interestingly enough, the figures were too statistically significant to be attributed to chance. Here’s a list of global events recorded with the program over the past several years.
Are we are all connected through an energetic field intertwined throughout the globe, which could actually affect our the material world? This study could make you strongly consider this possibility.
4. Does consciousness survive after death?
Virtually every human in history has struggled with just how finite life on Earth is and deeply inquired what (if anything) lies after this life? Seeking this answer is an inherent desire embedded within the very fabric of our being. For thousands of years, many turned towards mediums, channelers, psychics who claimed to have access to beings from the afterlife. Yet most rational thinkers will be quick to label these abilities as baseless nonsense. Yet is there a way to explore the legitimacy of psychics within the same rigorous frameworks as any other scientific field?
IONS teamed up with The Windbridge Institute to test the legitimacy of channels – or those who are able to receive information from a source outside the confines of our physical world.5 A series of triple-blind studies were set up in which a chosen medium would solely receive the first name of a deceased person.
They were then asked to answer 25 specific questions about that person. The experimenter, the medium, and the loved one of the deceased person did not know which elements of the experiment were part of the test or control, making the experiment as rigorous as possible.
They found the mediums scored statistically accurate answers that couldn’t be attributed to pure chance. With hard data backing these mediums psychic abilities, it gives a compelling argument that aspects of your consciousness actually survives after death.6 7
For more information on precognition listen to this Warrior Radio episode: Exploring Mediums and The Survival of Consciousness After Death – with Julie Beischel
5. Is precognition (i.e. the ability perceive future events) real?
We’ve all had hunches at some point in our lives – maybe it was a decision, a person or an event we were presented with. For whatever reason, we had a strong intuition about a particular outcome that went against all reasonable thinking. And to our surprise, that intuition eventually turned out to be true. Most would believe this was purely a fluke instance, but is there any basis with precognition?
An experiment by Dean Radin Ph.D. at IONS was setup to explore this issue.8 Participants were exposed to a series of images. Some were mundane such as textures on furniture. Others were highly emotional such as graphic images of surgeries or scenes of accidents. These emotional images were set up to trigger a strong psychological response in the viewer, which would be recorded through heartbeat and skin conductance.
What was fascinating about this experiment is Radin found that emotional triggers occurred slightly before the images were shown on the screen. Perhaps there is an aspect of our unconscious able to gather input from a larger data stream outside of the present moment.
Julia Mossbridge of IONS set up a similar experiment to explore the unconscious and its relationship to time.9 Participants were shown four separate images on a screen and asked to consciously choose which images they thought was going to be the one presented to them in the future. Mossbridge found that they were wrong most of the time (which was no surprise to their team).
Yet interestingly enough, their physiology predicted they would get the image right or wrong before they chose an image. Meaning, their heartbeat, and skin conductance looked different depending on whether they were about to choose an image that was the correct image versus the incorrect image.
These experiments make one question if we all have untapped abilities buried deep within our subconscious that is able to sense future events.
6. Are we able to sense when we’re being stared at?
We’ve all been in scenarios where out of the blue, we get a gut feeling that someone is staring at us. Like most scenarios mentioned, there is no logical explanation for this hunch, but something inside of us can feel its truth. We look up and immediately lock eyes with that person, making our hairs stand on end in the process. As surprising as this is, it’s an experience shared by nearly every person throughout the world. In fact, surveys have shown that 70-97% of people throughout North America have had this experienced the sense of being stared at.10
The biologist Rupert Sheldrake set up tens of thousands of randomized trials with blindfolded people being stared at from a person sitting behind them (in some cases starting through windows or one-way mirrors).The subjects had to guess whether they were being stared at or not. The subjects’ guesses were above chance and were correct more than they were incorrect.11
Anthropologist Marilyn Schlitz Ph.D. and psychologist William Braud Ph.D. set up similar experiments where they had a viewer stare at another person at randomized times through a closed circuit television (CCTV) feed. The person being stared did not receive clues they were being watched and had their skin conductance recorded to measure emotional activity. They found skin conductance increased when a person was being stared at.12
Dean Radin at IONS took this one step further by recording brain activity of those being stared at in remote rooms that were electromagnetically and acoustically shielded from any outside interference. Like the other experiments, volunteers confirmed their ability to perceive being watched.13
7. Do connections between two loved ones transcend physical distance?
If you’ve ever been in love, you know first hand how powerful this feeling can be. It’s been the source of some of the greatest literature, music, and art ever created. Thousands throughout history have died over this feeling. Yet can the connection itself transcend physical distance?
Psychologist Charles Tart Ph.D set up a series of famous experiments that explored this mysterious connection. Pairs of emotionally bonded volunteers were separated from one another and hooked up to EEG devices to measure brain activity. One person was then exposed to certain randomized stimuli such as flashes of light. When this occurred, there was a spike in brain activity by the other person.
TD Duane and Thomas Behrendt conducted an experiment with identical twins that also measured brain activity. The experimenters separated sets of twins and asked one twin to close their eyes, which naturally raises alpha brain activity between. When this occurred, Duane and Behrendt found a corresponding rise in alpha brain activity in the other twin.14
Have you ever received a call from a loved one, and had a hunch who it was from, even before you saw the person’s name on your phone screen? Rupert Sheldrake set up a series of experiments to explore whether participants could predict who (out of 4 people) was calling them. Guessing the correct caller would be 25% by pure guess work. However, Sheldrake found the average success rate to be 42% (well above statistical chance).15
Although IONS was not involved with these love transcendence experiments, these were too fascinating not to add in this article. 🙂
If you want to learn more about The Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS), check out our interviews we’ve done with scientists on their team:
- Exploring How Time Is Perceived By The Unconscious – with Julia Mossbridge
- Using Technology To Cage The Monkey Mind – with Arnaud Delorme
- Discoveries From The Cutting Edge of Consciousness Research – with Cassandra Vieten
- The Science of Channeling – with Helané Wahbeh
Photo by Seam Less
- Schmidt, 2004; Schmidt, 2012; Bosch, 2006; Radin 2006; Storm, 2010; Radin, 2015; Roe, 2015.
- Radin, Dean, et al. “Consciousness and the double-slit interference pattern: Six experiments.” Physics Essays 25.2 (2012).
- Radin, Dean, et al. “Psychophysical interactions with a double-slit interference pattern.” Physics essays 26.4 (2013): 553-566.
- Radin, Dean, et al. “Psychophysical interactions with a single-photon double-slit optical system.” Quantum 6.1 (2015): 82-98.
- Delorme, A., Beischel. J., Michel, L., Boccuzzi, M., Radin, D., & Mills, P. J. (2013). Electrocortical activity associated with subjective communication with the deceased. Frontiers in Psychology, 4: 834. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00834
- Beischel, J., & Schwartz GE. (2006, April). Are research mediums real? A triple-blind study of anomalous information reception. Poster presented at Toward a Science of Consciousness 2006, Tucson, Arizona.
- Beischel, J., & Schwartz, G.E. (2007). Anomalous information reception by research mediums demonstrated using a novel triple-blind protocol. EXPLORE: The Journal of Science & Healing, 3, 23-27.
- Radin (2004). Electrodermal presentiments of future emotions.
- Mossbridge et al (2012). Predictive physiological anticipation preceding seemingly unpredictable stimuli: a meta-analysis
- Braud, Shafer & Andrews, 1990; Sheldrake, 1994; Cottrell, Winer & Smith, 1996
- Sheldrake, Rupert. The sense of being stared at: And other aspects of the extended mind. Random House, 2013.
- Braud, W. & Schlitz, M. (1983). Psychokinetic influence on electrodermal activity. Journal of Parapsychology, 47(2), 95-119.
- Radin, Dean I. “Event-related electroencephalographic correlations between isolated human subjects.” The Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine 10.2 (2004): 315-323.
- Duane, Thomas D., and Thomas Behrendt. “Extrasensory electroencephalographic induction between identical twins.” Science (1965).
- Sheldrake, Rupert. The sense of being stared at: And other aspects of the extended mind. Random House, 2013.