Biologists, engineers, physicists, and psychologists at reputable institutions all over the world study “paranormal” activity — more formally known as psychical research, or simply “psi” (pronounced “sigh”).
In fact, the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research (PEAR) project, which ran from 1979 to 2007, found significant evidence for extrasensory perception (ESP), and for what can be called mind-matter interactions.
Likewise, the University of Virginia’s Division of Perceptual Studies investigates near-death experiences (NDE), déjà vu, out of body experiences (OBE), and even reincarnation — perhaps the ultimate example of “been there, done that.”
Some paranormal science even derives from quantum physics, which Einstein himself once described as “spooky effects at a distance.”
For example, the famous “delayed choice” experiments demonstrate the existence of a quantum eraser. In simpler terms, these experiments show that what happens in the present can change what happened in the past. They also illustrate how time can go backward and how cause-and-effect can be reversed.
Physicist John Wheeler (whose son was my professor of pathology at Penn) first proposed delayed choice as a thought experiment at Princeton. And observations conducted at Australian National University repeatedly demonstrated this effect.
The science of healing at a distance
Of course, paranormal science also applies specifically to health. In fact, many experiments demonstrate how healers can influence patients, and even individual tissue cells, from a great distance away by using intention.
For example, evidence shows people — especially groups of people — who pray for others from a distant location benefit patients.
Some studies even show it makes no difference whether or not the person being “healed” — or prayed for — is a believer or even aware they are being prayed for!
Other studies show that the person’s belief and expectations they are being “healed” are important. Some observers relate this phenomenon to the placebo effect, which is very real and extremely potent in medicine and rooted in physiology.
Skeptics used to dismiss the placebo effect as being “all in your head.”
But now, huge amounts of science show how the mind is connected to the body!
(I discuss “healing at a distance” extensively in my textbook, Fundamentals of Complementary and Alternative Medicine. The new, 6th edition of my textbook is coming out next month.)
Understanding the mind-body connection
“Out-of-body” and “near-death” experiences have also been studied at the University of Virginia. And there are countless documented cases of people who were clinically “brain dead” (showing no brain activity), but “regained consciousness” and reported everything that happened to them while they were “dead.”
Indeed, what we think of as “consciousness” doesn’t appear to be a purely physical state centered in the mind. There are versions of “non-local” consciousness, which play into our awareness and feelings, also consistent with quantum physics and even ancient Ayurvedic writings.
Many peer-reviewed studies have also focused on “precognition” and “presentiment.” These experiences are a bit like the sensation of déjà vu, which is French for “already seen.” (Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but it’s like Yogi Berra’s “déjà vu all over again.”)
But precognition goes a bit further — it’s knowing that something is about to happen before it happens, not just that it has happened before.
Experiments indicate that the human body can actually detect randomly delivered stimuli one to 10 seconds before they occur in terms of physiologic changes in the heart, nervous system, and skin.
In other words, this finding means the human body appears to become aware of an event before it actually happens. It also confirms that the human body can detect the physical presence of objects that don’t actually touch the body within a zone of “personal space.”
As Shakespeare wrote, when Hamlet and Horatio encounter the ghost: “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”
Before I go, let me pose these questions…
If modern scientific studies make these observations about “paranormal” activity, are they really “paranormal”? Or do we need to expand our definition and boundaries for what is normal?
You can learn more about these kinds of “spooky” findings, and what they mean for your health, in the October 2018 issue of my Insiders’ Cures newsletter. Not yet a subscriber? No problem — it just takes one click!