Soul Group Journal - November 30, 2010

Have Scientists Finally Discovered Evidence for Psychic Phenomena?!

Dr. Daryl Bem, a social psychologist at Cornell University, conducted a series of experiments that will soon be published in the prestigious Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Bem tested the idea that our brain has the ability to not only reflect on past experiences, but also anticipate future experiences. This ability for the brain to "see into the future" is often referred to as psi phenomena.

"The term psi denotes anomalous processes of information or energy transfer that are currently unexplained in terms of known physical or biological mechanisms. Two variants of psi are precognition (conscious cognitive awareness) and premonition (affective apprehension) of a future event that could not otherwise be anticipated through any known inferential process. Precognition and premonition are themselves special cases of a more general phenomenon: the anomalous retroactive influence of some future event on an individual’s current responses, whether those responses are conscious or nonconscious, cognitive or affective. This article reports 9 experiments, involving more than 1,000 participants, that test for retroactive influence by “timereversing” well-established psychological effects so that the individual’s responses are obtained before the putatively causal stimulus events occur. Data are presented for 4 time-reversed effects: precognitive approach to erotic stimuli and precognitive avoidance of negative stimuli; retroactive priming; retroactive habituation; and retroactive facilitation of recall. All but one of the experiments yielded statistically significant results." – from Bem's pre-publication abstract, Feeling the Future: Experimental Evidence for Anomalous Retroactive Influences on Cognition and Affect

Bem did find that certain people demonstrate stronger effects than others. In particular, people high in stimulus seeking - an aspect of extraversion where people respond more favorably to novel stimuli - showed effect sizes nearly twice the size of the average person. This suggests that some people are more sensitive to psi effects than others. - Psychology TodayReality Sandwich

Ben Okri, author

"Beware [be aware] of the stories you read or tell;
subtly, at night, beneath the waters of consciousness,
they are altering your world."
— Ben Okri

"Only those who truly love and who are truly strong can sustain their lives as a dream. You dwell in your own enchantment. Life throws stones at you, but your love and your dream change those stones into the flowers of discovery. Even if you lose, or are defeated by things, your triumph will always be exemplary. And if no one knows it, then there are places that do. People like you enrich the dreams of the worlds, and it is dreams that create history. People like you are unknowing transformers of things, protected by your own fairy-tale, by love." — Ben Okri

Ben Okri (born 15 March 1959) is a Nigerian poet and novelist. Having spent his early childhood in London, he and his family returned to Nigeria in 1968. He later came back to England, embarking on studies at the University of Essex. He has received honorary doctorates from the University of Westminster (1997) and the University of Essex (2002), and was awarded an OBE (Order of the British Empire) in 2001.

Since he published his first novel, Flowers and Shadows (1980), Okri has risen to an international acclaim, and he is often described as one of Africa's greatest writers. His best known work, The Famished Road, was awarded the 1991 Booker Prize. He has also won the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Africa, the Aga Khan Prize for Fiction, and was given a Crystal Award by the World Economic Forum. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

Okri has been described as a magic realist, although he has shrugged off that tag. His first-hand experiences of civil war in Nigeria are said to have inspired many of his works. He writes about both the mundane and the metaphysical, the individual and the collective, drawing the reader into a world with vivid descriptions.

Ben Okri discusses his approach to writing on YouTube

Books by Ben Okri

Son of a Farmer, Child of the Earth, by Eric Herm

A run-in with Roundup herbicide was a transformative episode in farmer Eric Herm’s shift toward sustainable agriculture. A fourth-generation farmer, Herm tells the tale in the book Son of a Farmer, Child of the Earth: A Path to Agriculture’s Higher Consciousness (Dream River Press)

Eric Herm grew up on a cotton farm near Ackerly, Texas. He left the farm to pursue other interests, traveling to various places across the world before returning to his roots. Upon arriving back on his family farm, he noticed many changes in not only the landscape but the methods of commercial agriculture that were causing more long-term problems. He began searching for answers to these problems, slowly discovering healthier organic methods which provided the inspiration for his book, Son of a Farmer, Child of the Earth.

A large supercell thunderstorm cloud over Montana, July, 2010

Photo by Sean R. Heavey

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