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Paranoia – When the line becomes blurry

Betsssssy 11/365: Shower Paranoia via Flickr

In most schools of psychology, paranoia is a disorder where one holds a belief that one is being persecuted, the victim of a conspiracy or in some kind of danger when, in fact, they are not.

Excessive anxiety or fear are thought to be two contributing factors to paranoia but there could be additional spiritual and transpersonal factors which mainstream psychiatry almost entirely overlooks.¹

Among analytical psychologists, paranoia is believed to be sometimes accompanied with inflation, in which the ego overly identifies with archetypal contents.

Within pop culture and the media, the term might not always be used correctly because some hold naïve views about or blatantly conceal shady personal and political agendas.²

Some pundits have been saying that we live in a “culture of fear,” especially during the Reagan and Bush eras. Apparently a wealthy and powerful few manipulate the media to try to generate just enough social paranoia to justify political acts (like war) or to boost sales for products that alleviate fear-related issues.

These critics maintain that the rich and powerful do not want to create too much fear. If they did, society might become paralyzed or chaotic, which definitely would not advance political agendas and corporate profits.

Reality, however, is often far more complex and open-ended than tidy conspiracy theories, making this view seem simplistic (but not unworthy of consideration).

Turn to 2017 and the persistent reality of global violence. The “culture of fear” theme is quickly losing ground to more recent tropes like Fake News, Climate Deniers, and Russian Spying. These are the latest media bad guys. And in a few years, there will undoubtedly be a new trendy list of public villains for popular news outlets to explore and discuss ad nauseam.

Sometimes actual cases of paranoia develop in highly intelligent, prominent personalities.

For instance, the Austria–Hungary (now Czech Republic) born mathematician, logician and philosopher Kurt Gödel (1906-1978) starved himself to death in later years. Fearing that his food would be poisoned, Gödel wouldn’t eat anything that his wife didn’t prepare for him. After his wife was hospitalized for six months, he refused to eat and simply wasted away to die.

Kurt Godel via Flickr

In 1978 the New Wave band Devo released a popular song “Too Much Paranoia.” And in the realm of the paranormal, some believers in extraterrestrial mind control wear tin foil hats to apparently block evil aliens from controlling people through ESP.

To outside observers, wearing tin foil hats seems a pretty clear case of irrational behavior arising from paranoia.³

¹ See https://epages.wordpress.com/2017/06/15/do-you-hear-voices-why-spirituality-and-transpersonal-psychology-are-so-often-overlooked/

² See psychcrime.org and mindhacks.com

³ Not to say that ETs necessarily do not exist. Probably nobody knows for sure. But to think that tin foil would protect a person against meddling ETs with advanced technologies seems absurd.

Related » Corruption, Devo: Too Much Paranoia French TV 1978, Melanie Klein, Politics

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Rupert Sheldrake

Rupert Sheldrake (1942 – ) is a former Cambridge biochemist raised in a British Methodist family. His work aims to integrate science and spirituality.

Rupert Sheldrake, Toward a Science of Consciou...

Rupert Sheldrake, Toward a Science of Consciousness, Tucson, Arizona (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In Seven Experiments Which Could Change the World (1994), Sheldrake outlines low-cost experiments that readers are encouraged to perform.

One experiment deals with ESP perception as a form of “looking.” Sheldrake asks why we sense somebody looking at us from behind or even at some distance (e.g. through a window). He suggests that some type of intuitive instead of conventional perception is involved. This idea is followed up in Dogs that Know When Their Owners are Coming Home, and Other Unexplained Powers of Animals (1999).

In keeping with this hypothesis, his subsequent book was called, The Sense of Being Stared At, And Other Aspects of the Extended Mind (2003).

Sheldrake conducted controlled experiments on telephone precognition. He found significant results suggesting that people knew when others were about to call them on the telephone, with a sample size of 63. A similar kind of precognition was also found with an e-mail experiment, with a sample size of 50.

In 2009, at the time of the last update of this entry, his website asked: “Have you thought of someone who then sends you a text message?” inviting visitors to report their observations through the web.

Sheldrake continues to publish books containing his interviews and dialogues with other notables in the New Age / Holistic Health circuit. He also replies to critics who say he’s lost touch with recent theories in neurobiology and, indeed, abandoned science in favor of so-called magical thinking.

I almost changed the world today – PhotoGraham

However, not all scientists are at odds with his views. The late physicist David Bohm said Sheldrake’s ideas are in keeping with his own about an “implicate and explicate order.”

More recently, Sheldrake critiques scientists for being authoritarian and narrow-minded in his 2012 publication The Science Delusion (Science Set Free). Wikipedia notes:

In the book Sheldrake proposes a number of questions as the theme of each chapter which seek to elaborate on his central premise that science is predicated on the belief that the nature of reality is fully understood, with only minor details needing to be filled in. This “delusion” is what Sheldrake argues has turned science into a series of dogmas grounded in philosophical materialism rather than an open-minded approach to investigating phenomena. He argues that there are many powerful taboos that circumscribe what scientists can legitimately direct their attention towards.[80]:6–12 The mainstream view of modern science is that it proceeds by methodological naturalism and does not require philosophical materialism.[81]

English: Photograph of David Bohm, taken from ...

Celebrated physicist David Bohm supported Sheldrake’s agenda (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sheldrake questions conservation of energy; he calls it a “standard scientific dogma”,[80]:337 says that perpetual motion devices and inedia should be investigated as possible phenomena,[80]:72–73 and has stated that “the evidence for energy conservation in living organisms is weak”.[80]:83 He argues in favour of alternative medicine and psychic phenomena, saying that their recognition as being legitimate is impeded by a “scientific priesthood” with an “authoritarian mentality”.[80]:327 Citing his earlier “psychic staring effect” experiments and other reasons, he stated that minds are not confined to brains and remarks that “liberating minds from confinement in heads is like being released from prison”.[80]:229 He suggests that DNA is insufficient to explain inheritance, and that inheritance of form and behaviour is mediated through morphic resonance.[80]:157–186 He also promotes morphic resonance in broader fashion as an explanation for other phenomena such as memory.¹

Sheldrake’s website currently offers a telephone telepathy test and a joint attention test, research anyone can participate in.²

For more on his work, see Morphic resonance, Morphic fields, Morphogenetic Fields and articles relating to Sheldrake.

¹ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rupert_Sheldrake

² The telephone test is limited to those with the required technology and geolocation.

Related » Wim Kayzer


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Akashic Records

£20 Holograms by austinevan via Flickr

Derived from the Hindu (Sanskrit) and Buddhist (Pali) understanding of akasha (= ether, subtle space, the forms of space), the Akashic Records is a term used by Theosophy and Anthroposophy to denote a cosmic memory bank of all that ever was, said to exist on a non-physical astral plane.

The term is often used by believers, some of whom may have certain experiences that lead them to believe that they have access to the highest available knowledge. Some also believe that the records are continually updated, as if the universe is a kind of supercomputer that automatically downloads updates to those capable of receiving them. In fact, not a few alleged psychics, intuitives and New Age enthusiasts claim to be able to tune in and ‘read’ from the Akashic records.

Edgar Cayce apparently was gifted in a similar way, merely holding books to his stomach to automatically absorb their information. And Rudolf Steiner believed that he accessed the Akashic Records to learn about the legendary city of Atlantis.

Recently, the term Remote Viewing (RV) describes the supposed interior seeing of objects at a distance—that is, beyond the normal senses. Some RVers describe this in terms of accessing a kind of ‘holographic memory bank.’

Like the Akashic Records, this holographic database is said to reveal the past, present and future probabilities. The term probabilities is used by psi researchers like Dale Graff and Russell Targ to underscore their assertion that future events cannot be remote viewed with 100% accuracy.

Some see the holographic mind (or holographic mind levels) as a metaphor or theoretical construct, while others present the idea as fact. And whenever someone presents theory as fact, we really leave the field of science and enter into religion.


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Extrasensory perception (ESP)

Example of a subject in a Ganzfeld experiment.

Example of a subject in a Ganzfeld experiment. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Extrasensory perception (ESP) is a type of alleged psi phenomena. ESP is sometimes used as an umbrella term for many types of alleged paranormal phenomena but it properly refers to the ideas of telepathy (reading another’s thoughts) and clairvoyance (‘seeing’ without the eyes).

Some Fundamentalist, Protestant and Catholic Christians have a knee-jerk reaction to this idea, saying ESP is the workings of Satan, a delusion or evidence of mental illness. However, in Catholicism some of the more advanced saints claim to have been given similar gifts, usually called the reading of hearts. Indeed, some Catholic mystics claim to know another’s thoughts and/or feel their emotions near or at a distance with no observable cues.

Reading of Hearts. The knowledge of the secret thoughts of others or of their internal state without communication is known as reading of hearts. The certain knowledge of the secret thoughts of others is truly super-natural, since the devil has no access to the spiritual faculties of men and no human being can know the mind of another unless it is in some way communicated. But knowledge of the secrets of another’s heart may be conjectured by the devil and transmitted to a person, or they may be surmised by a deluded individual who takes his conjectures to be supernatural illuminations.¹

From the above it should be clear that Catholics – or, at least, sane Catholics – are cautious when it comes to mysticism. Central to Catholic mysticism is the idea of discernment or “the discernment of spirits.” Discernment is said to be a gift and acquired ability that enables one to differentiate supernatural experiences and abilities that come from God from those that do not.

¹ AUMANN, J. “Mystical Phenomena.” New Catholic Encyclopedia. 2nd ed. Vol. 10. Detroit: Gale, 2003. 105-109. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 29 Apr. 2012.

Relates Posts » Alien Possession Theory, Paranormal, Randi (James), Psychokinesis, Remote Viewing, Sheldrake (Rupert)


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Psi Spies

remote viewing bookshelf

remote viewing bookshelf by daz smith via Flickr

 

As we enter the 21st century, the idea of psi arguably is becoming more acceptable in contemporary society.

Some contend that psi studies don’t bring reliable scientific results, but police forces still consult with psychics to try to locate dangerous criminals.

Meanwhile, so-called Remote Viewers are conducting controlled experiments, honing a technique that they say will make anyone able to practice unconventional distance viewing.

If human beings are, as the Indian guru Sri Aurobindo believes, slowly evolving into a subtler, more spiritual type of species, it’s conceivable that a new kind of political battleground might arise in the not too distant future–namely, psi spying.

Some futurists predict a scenario where politically hostile psi spies ‘read’ the true intentions of elected politicians and use that knowledge to try to orchestrate chaos in democratic nations.

Just another fringe theory better left to science fiction? Possibly. But according to Anthony C. LoBaido, Steve Hammons and others, the CIA has already experimented with Remote Viewing (RV) as a method for intelligence gathering. And LoBaido says the FBI also investigated RV.

While some may still see the idea of psi spies as just another paranoid conspiracy theory, Jim Marrs doesn’t. His book, Psi Spies: The True Story of America’s Psychic Warfare Program, points out that visionary and prophetic experiences play a large role in most world religions, to include Native American and Biblical traditions. And Marrs claims that over the past quarter decade several US administrations, Republican and Democrat alike, have funded RV research.¹

¹ Jim Marrs, Psi Spies: The True Story of America’s Psychic Warfare Program, New Page Books, 2007, p. 16.

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