Frequently Asked Questions about Parapsychology
The Consciousness Research Laboratory (CRL) conducts scientific research on commonly-reported but poorly understood human experiences called psychic (or psi). The founder of CRL, Dr. Dean Radin, is Laboratory Director at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, founded in 1973 by Apollo 14 astronaut, Dr. Edgar Mitchell. CRL focuses on laboratory studies of mind-matter interaction, clairvoyance, precognition, distant healing, and other forms of anomalous perception and action. CRL has also investigated reportedly haunted sites, persons claiming exceptional psychic abilities, and environmental and possible psi-related factors associated with games of chance.
Interested in exploring your own psi abilities? See the Garden of Dreams and Halls of Healing hosted by the Institute of Noetic Sciences, or the GotPsi suite of online psi tests hosted by Boundary Institute.
CRL does not offer counseling or training. If you are seeking advice about unusual experiences, or you think may be psychic and want help, please see Help with Strange Experiences by Judy Tart. For information about schools and programs on consciousness studies, or for many other frequently asked questions, please see our FAQ.
The Conscious Universe (HarperEdge, 1997) was awarded Amazon.com's 1998 Category #1 Bestseller Award for parapsychology, and has remained among the top 50 Amazon's bestsellers in parapsychology since it was published. This book also won the Scientific and Medical Network's and the Anomalist's Best Book Awards for 1997. It has been translated into French, Turkish and Korean and is presently in its 11th English printing. The Korean translation is available from YangMoon Publishing Company, in Korea. The French translation is available from Presses du Châtelet, Paris. Click excerpt to read the first chapter in English.
In April 2006 the book Entangled Minds (Paraview Pocket Books, a division of Simon & Schuster) was published. This new book continues the theme of The Conscious Universe, presents updated and new evidence, and provides a more comprehensive examination of theories of psi.
Read an interview with Dr. Radin at www.Enlightenment.com, see him on the PBS television series called Closer To Truth, and listen to an interview on New Dimensions radio. The PBS TV series "brings together leading scientists, scholars and artists to debate the fundamental issues of our times."
Why the "scientific study" of psychic phenomena?
Psi experiences have been reported throughout history, across all cultures, and at all educational and socio-economic levels. These experiences, variously labeled telepathy, clairvoyance, remote viewing, precognition, and psychokinesis, suggest the presence of a deep interconnectedness among all things, and the human capability of directly experiencing that connectedness. The historical persistence of these phenomena suggests that present scientific understanding of basic concepts like mind, matter, space and time are not wrong, but incomplete.
Until recently, many scientists have assumed that psi-like events could be completely explained as a combination of delusion, misunderstandings about coincidences, wishful thinking, or other perceptual and cognitive distortions. Certainly the popular view of psychic phenomena, as portrayed in TV shows like the X Files, makes it difficult for any thoughtful person to uncritically accept the claims of many so-called psychics. And it is undeniable that what often passes for psychic actually is indeed fraud, delusion, or fantasy.
But a solely dismissive view is myopic and, as rigorous evidence increasingly suggests, almost certainly wrong. The modern view of the physical universe, as expressed in well-accepted physical theories and verified by experiments, allows for counterintuitive concepts like non-locality and relativity of space and time. In fact, the physical universe, as best as we presently understand it, seems to support the very types of space-time anomalies that are required to accommodate genuine psychic phenomena.
Beyond support from theoretical physics, systematic laboratory evidence generated over the past century by scientists from reputable academic, government and private laboratories around the world has established that some psi experiences are what they appear to be. In recent years, because of the consistently accumulating evidence, even life-long skeptics (including the late astronomer Carl Sagan) agreed that these phenomena are worthy of serious scientific study.
Learning about science and psychic phenomena
To understand why there is persuasive scientific evidence for psi, and why the first US patent for a psi-based effect (Patent 5830064) was granted on November 3, 1998, read The Conscious Universe. This book provides a comprehensive look at the state-of-the-art in parapsychology. If you're skeptical of claims about psychic phenomena, this book is for you. If you're a believer, you may benefit from learning what is credible from a scientific point of view and what is not. You may also wish to see the links page within this web site, or the web site of the Parapsychological Association (PA). The PA has been an elected affiliate of the AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science) since 1969.
We receive dozens of emails a week asking questions, seeking help, and offering personal stories of psychic and synchronistic experiences. We collect these stories, so feel free to send yours. Unfortunately, due to the volume of email we receive, we cannot promise to reply. Many questions about psychic phenomena are already addressed in our FAQ. Also see the Boundary Institute and Institute of Noetic Sciences web sites.
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