Wednesday, 13 January 2010

training my psychokinetic powers...

The Psychic Science website has quite an arsenal of rudimentary ESP tests, games and 'training 'devices (if indeed you can train for something as yet unpoven).

I've been 'training' for a few days now in order to develop my psychokinetic abilities (e.g. making dials turn left or right with my mind), and have the aching muscles (over my eyes and skewering my skull diagonally like a spit-roasted pig) to prove it. Despite the pain, my z-statistics remain sufferingly poor. Maybe I should stick with saturday crosswords and paper airplanes, things I'm actually good at...

In my frustration, I reach out to the various sources of info and 'techniques' for developing PK, and turns out I've been doing it all wrong! Apparently, the harder you try, the less likely it is to work (or something to that oxymoronic effect)!

I sigh. This has something of the Buddhist one-hand clapping logic about it (none). How am I supposed to develop something without effort? I read more in order to understand. Numerous informal accounts of macro-PK activity (briefly, macro-PK refers to instances where a person mentally moves objects such as chairs and clocks, or bends spoons, etc, whereas micro-PK refers to the generation of a non-random distribution of outcomes, such as when a person tried to make dice land on a six more than 1/6 times) suggest that it is not so much that PK events happen without effort, but rather, that they often occur when the person stops trying.

This anecdotal evidence is further supported by study by Pamela R. Heath (2000), which used a phenomenological approach (i.e. study of subjective experiences (Psychology)) to identify experiential factors that correlate with PK activity. The study examined the experiences of eight individuals who had had a PK experience. Fifteen factors were identified (e.g. altered state of consciousness, investment, openness to the experience) that correlated with PK experiences, including what is termed: 'release of effort/ attention'. Thus, according to this study, PK events tend to occur once the subject has stopped concentrating or trying to achieve an effect. So in fact, effort is required (one of the key factors identified in this study), but the PK event only happens upon release of that effort.

Of course, these findings, although interesting, are barely conclusive given that the study is based on eight individuals. However, reading this has reminded me of something I came across last week when I was writing about the thought-controlled wheelchair (posted 1st January) - according to Andrzej Cichocki, the project leader at the RIKEN research centre (which has produced the wheelchair in collaboration with Toyota), the wheelchair is piloted best if you don't try too hard. Again, the 'trying too hard' theme.

Could it be that trying hard isn't the problem, but trying hard with the wrong set of tools? Am I failing to move that stubborn dial in the right direction because I'm trying to hammer when I should be twisting? Or banging when I should be plucking? Or....alright, you get the picture: we're trying to swat mosquitoes with canon-balls.

So which is the right tool? What exactly is happening when there is a release of effort or concentration? What brain waves (or other magnetic/electrical force) are you emitting when you're not trying too hard? What mechansim comes into play at those times when you're slacking? Should I find the right tool, will it allow me to move mountains whilst staring into space, a mild hangover numbing my skull? Will lying in bed all day become not just acceptable, but obligatory? Are the lazy going to inherit the earth?


  1. That reminds me of those pictures that are squiggly but, if you stare through the picture in a relaxed way and without straining your eyeballs, an image (the silhouette of a star, a three-leaf clover or a horse) will appear in 3-D. The trick was relaxed concentration...

    Just looked them up - they are called 3D stereograms
    and it took me a few times to click back into the mode (haven´t done it it years). I could stare for ages with no result and, then when I stared through the picture, the image would slowly reveal itself. Once I start thinking about it (mental commentary) it disappears..

    It could be a similar part of the brain that is active as when people think they are having PSI moments...


  2. Hi Aref,

    Interesting! It does sound very similar to the processes involved when people report moving matter with mind. However, 3-d stereograms involve simple optical illusions...whereas PK activity involves...what? One could argue that people who report moving objects with their mind are experiencing optical ilusions, although this doesn't account for mico-PK evidence. I think Dr Persinger has done research on PK and brain activity. I'll look into it, see if there's any suggestion that, as you suggest, a similar part of the brain is active during PK as when looking at 3d-stereograms.