there exists any magick in the sense that most practitioners believe
then there must exist a direct and largely unexplored mode of
interaction between Mind and Reality. Beyond the known psychological
aspects of the mind lie such gray areas, most powerfully exemplified
by the collection of phenomena that fall under the heading of
Parapsychology, or Psi for short. However, unlike most
scientific summaries of the state of the art we are going to focus on
aspects that have a direct relevance to group working and
additionally manifest undeniably powerful effects. With one or two
notable exceptions the laboratory work of the past decades has been
sterile and pointless and out of necessity has almost always focused
on the fragile abilities of individuals. Any effects manifested have
only been seen when statistical analyses are performed which leads to
arguments over protocols, cheating, unconscious biases and so forth.
The end result is that the believers constantly try to convince
hardcore skeptics with ever more rigorously controlled experiments,
all to no avail. Meanwhile, out in the real world, there are intense
manifestations of Psi phenomena in settings which are remarkably
similar to group oriented ritual magick, most notable amongst these
being the modern séance.
There is a whole slew of types of
Psi but generally they fall into one of three categories, that of
extrasensory information acquisition and perception (ESP), that of
psychokinetic (PK) effects and those that purportedly involve contact
with other intelligence. The latter includes ghosts, spirit contacts,
various hauntings, reincarnation, angels and demons and (depending
upon inclination and beliefs) UFO contacts. All these are, or have
been, recorded as part of magickal practices through the ages and so
it is worth looking at the state of the art from a scientific point
of view to discover what may be learned in order to extend our
Before we move on to examining specific experiments
we need to define exactly what we are seeking. The various psychic
talents and phenomena are listed here according to their group:
– direct communication between minds.
– acquisition of past information from an object.
– acquisition of contemporary information via “Remote
Projection – a more “personal” variation on
clairvoyance where the person believes they leave their body and
travel in space and/or time.
– transfer/continuity of (at least) information or “souls”
between lives separated in time.
– acquisition of information from the future.
(PK) – movement of physical objects either microscopic or
macroscopic, including teleportation (apports).
or inducing illness/disease.
– also known as “channeling”, contact with the
– perception of the immediate and seemingly intelligent
presence of non-corporeal entities whether formerly Human or not.
phenomena – hauntings with a significant objective physical
– visitations by non-Human intelligent entities.
major problem is that Psi research has been in process for over a
century and little real progress has been made. So little, in fact,
that most scientists are skeptical that there is any such thing as
psychic phenomena at all. This includes all of the above and
especially the third category in those cases not amenable to
laboratory testing. The reason for this is largely due to the fact
that Humans are immensely complex and what is at best usually a small
statistical effect is swamped by uncontrolled and largely subjective
variables. Another drawback is that there are no suitable theories of
Psi that both meshes with modern scientific knowledge and leads to
significant testable predictions. Nor, so far, has it been possible
to remove the Human factor from Psi experiments although PK
experiments come the closest as performed by organizations like
Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research (PEAR), which we shall look
at in more detail.
The problem with checking Psi theories in the
lab is that the effects are so subtle that simply believing, or
disbelieving, in any
theory can provide the confirmation
one is looking for. Belief is crucial, and Nature seems to follow on
behind. One might assume that theories only become really testable
when Psi is being manifested on a massive scale. However, since a
major function of theory is to indicate ways in which Psi might be
made to manifest far more strongly it becomes something of a chicken
and egg situation unless the theory is absolutely correct. If it is
only partially correct then the effects of experiments designed to
test it can be masked by the effects engendered by the belief it
instills. There is also the strong possibility that standard
scientific procedures, such as the separation of the scientist from
direct involvement with the experiment may be impossible, even when
others perform that experiment. It is essentially another
manifestation of the Placebo Effect, this time operating on external
physical reality. It also does not help that many Psi effects are so
far outside of the current boundaries of theoretical physics that few
physicists see any worth in pursuing theories of Psi. However, if the
retro-causality described later were proven to exist beyond doubt it
would lead to a revolution in science and technology.
Occam's Razor, which says that in general the simplest explanation is
the one most likely to be true, it is reasonable to assume we do not
possess a myriad of independent Psi powers, but only one that
manifests in various forms. In what follows we are going to assume
that the “information” and “physical effects”
categories above are the major manifestations of Psi and the
“intelligence” category is only loosely connected to the
others as a kind of group-mind overlay. Furthermore, that for all
practical purposes there are only two Psi effects – acquisition
of information (however the mind cares to dress it in various
synaesthetic and illusory guises) and variants of PK. However, even
this distinction may not be necessary since there exist theories
which indicate that information traveling backwards in time may
result in force-like characteristics. Even so, the massive PK effects
described later in this chapter seem to stretch such hypotheses to
Much of this is reminiscent of Quantum Mechanical
Entanglement and the measurement process. Naturally this has led to a
great deal of theorizing but so far no model proffered has led to any
substantial new physics that can be tested in the standard scientific
manner. That is to say, with machines demonstrating Psi effects in
place of Humans. Whether this is at all possible is unknown at
present, although perhaps the advent of Quantum Computers might alter
It is also fair to say that all Psi phenomena
involve mental states that are not normally accessible to most people
most of the time. This being so, the more esoteric magick then
becomes the art of engineering suitable mental states conducive to
the directed application of Psi phenomena. Anyway, we will start our
rather partisan survey with the more scientifically acceptable
research carried out at Princeton, partly because it provides
probably the best laboratory evidence of PK and partly because the
methods it uses have a direct bearing on the Global Consciousness
Project featured later.
Engineering Anomalies Research (PEAR)
Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research (PEAR) program was
established at Princeton University in 1979CE by Robert G. Jahn, then
Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science, to pursue
rigorous scientific study of the interaction of human consciousness
with sensitive physical devices. Most of the published work has been
on the effect of conscious intent on the outputs of random
event generators (REG), and the following data is abstracted from a
summarizing results over a twelve year period. The main type of REG
used creates an output from noise generated at the Quantum level from
reverse biased semiconductor junctions, which is then suitably
conditioned. It provided 200 bit binary strings of zeros and ones
counted at the rate of 1000 per second that in PEAR terminology
constitutes a trial.
The results are presented to the person attempting to influence the
machine, known as the operator, by one of several methods ranging
from lights on the machine to computer graphics. The operator is
typically required to perform one of three actions or intentions.
not exert any conscious influence on the machine in order to
establish a baseline reading of bit counts, that is, get a series of
readings where the person is not trying to do anything (although
they may still be having an effect).
try to deliberately create results above this baseline
try to deliberately create results below this baseline.
latter two attempts are collected in runs of 50, 100, or 1000
trials, depending on operator and protocol variations, and compounded
over a number of experimental sessions into predefined data
series of a specified number of trials, ranging from 1000 to
5000 per intention. Data processing is carried out at the session
level. More details concerning protocols and so forth can be found on
the PEAR website. The results determined from some two and a half
million trials with over one ninety operators are the main focus of
this section, especially with regard to what they can tell us from
the point of view of magickal operations. In this respect they are
extremely interesting, especially in light of the rest of this
chapter. The overall effects occur at a level of about 1 in 10,000
per bit of processed data, which although tiny adds up to produce
overall results that are statistically significant in the extreme. It
is from these that the more fine-grained results can be abstracted.
They can be summarized as follows.