Mind Over Matter: Four Cutting-Edge Scientific Experiments Proving Your Mind Affects Physical Reality
It is telling that very few universities around the world are open to researching psychic phenomena and the idea of mind over matter, despite thousands of studies showing a small and consistent bias towards the existence of these abilities. This is well documented in Dean Radin’s book, Supernormal. Why is the subject of mind power so consistently diminished or ignored? Is it a case of not looking for something you don’t believe is there?
It may be partly that, but on a deeper level, if orthodox science were to accept that a single non-materialistic phenomena did in fact exist, it undermines a most fundamental assumption of what we call reality. Beyond that, there is a deep and persistent hostility against anything outside the boundaries of convention.
“For the last four hundred years, an unstated assumption of science is that human intention cannot affect what we call ‘physical reality’. Our experimental research of the past decade shows that, under the right conditions, this assumption is no longer correct. We humans are much more than we think we are, and Psycho-energetic Science continues to expand the proof of it.” – William A. Tiller, Ph.D.
Modern science is based on a worldview that everything in the universe operates in a mechanical way. Those who ascribe to this materialistic belief cannot accept any evidence that contradicts or challenges this fundamental assumption. The dogma assumes that all living things are biological machines, which at their core are mechanical. This includes people, pets, all animals, plants, etc. It assumes that mind and consciousness are simply byproducts of a highly complex mechanical brain. It assumes that matter is therefore unconscious, that love is simply the byproduct of brain activity, that nature and matter are purposeless, and that there is no spiritual reality to examine. Mind over matter phenomena that are not physical, measurable, or provable from scientific observations, are assumed to be unreal.
“Many scientists are unaware that materialism is an assumption: they simply think of it as science, or the scientific view of reality, or the scientific worldview. They are not actually taught about it, or given a chance to discuss it. They absorb it by a kind of intellectual osmosis.” — Rupert Sheldrake
The dogma of scientific materialism that rejects the ideas of mind over matter and mind power is belief-based science. Those who flatly accept a materialistic view of reality operate with absolute belief that nothing could possibly exist beyond the limits of their own assumptions. If anything did exist, there is usually a very strong emotional need to push it away. This internal conflict, is an expression of cognitive dissonance.
Cognitive dissonance is a painful emotional reaction that can be triggered when one’s deeply held beliefs and one’s observations are in direct conflict. People may even have their identity, reputation, and career invested in a set of beliefs. It’s no wonder that people can react badly if you provide evidence that contradicts the dogmas of the time, which has been the case with the concept of mind over matter. Good examples of cognitive dissonance were the priests refusing to look through Galileo’s telescope, religion fighting the theory of evolution, the introduction of germ theory, or today’s example is in the arena of climate change deniers. Let’s face it, people can get very upset when you threaten the edifice of their lives.
Hundreds of years ago, electricity, radiation, and radio waves were not something that people believed in, and if described, would be considered impossible. Today, the idea of mind over matter – that consciousness and the power of the mind can have a direct impact on objects or people, is seen as utter foolishness.
The Evidence That Mind Affects Matter
Here is a very brief overview of some of the most exciting research that helps us glimpse into the hidden nature of consciousness.
1. The Experiments of Dr. William A. Tiller
Dr. Tiller, is Professor Emeritus in material science and engineering at Stanford University, who has studied mind over matter phenomena. He was the department chair from 1964 to 1998. While at the top of his field, he chose to explore whether consciousness and mind power could affect matter. He is also the author of Science and Human Transformation.
His experiments have repeatedly shown that the power of the human mind can have a direct impact on physical matter. Working with experienced meditators who were, as he described them, “highly inner-self directed people”, Tiller asked them to focus on “imprinting” specific intentions on electrical devices.
For example, in one mind over matter experiment conducted by Tiller, a group of individuals put their awareness on an electrical circuit which contained a crystal. They then implanted an intent that the pH of water would either go up or go down. The circuits were wrapped in aluminum foil and shipped overnight to a lab across the country, turned on, and set beside a water sample.
The room was isolated so that people did not enter, and all environmental factors of the room were carefully monitored. Despite the precautions, the water samples did respond exactly to the mind power as the meditators intended. PH rose or fell according to the intentions a full 1.5 pH. The odds against this happening by chance are a million to one.
Dr. Tiller also discovered that over time, his experiments affected the room where the experiment was conducted, demonstrating even further the power of mind over matter. The object was imparting its qualities to the room so that water placed in the room after the device was removed still affected its pH. He asserts that intention can “change space” so rooms may become “conditioned”.
One of Tiller’s mind over matter experiments successfully demonstrated that intention caused fruit flies to grow 15% faster than normal. He explains that, consciousness and the phenomena he observed are not limited by distance or time. Bill Tiller acknowledged that relativity theory and quantum mechanics are flatly unable to consider anything having to do with consciousness or the power of the mind. Nevertheless, most scientists are unwilling to deal with his findings. They roll their eyes and ignore his work. Dr. Tiller is an important pioneer in the study of mind power and how consciousness affects matter.
2. The Double Slit Experiment Revisited
Many people with little or no interest in quantum physics may have heard the phrase that “the observer affects the observed”. This is a reference to the granddaddy of modern physics experiments, which speaks to the effect of mind over matter; the double slit experiment.
In brief, the double slit experiment works like this: If an electron or a photon is fired through a single slit, it will appear as a dot on film. You could think of it as a bullet going through a narrow doorway and leaving a hole on the far wall.
However, if you have two slits, the particle does something strange and somehow forms a wave pattern instead of a dot. If the path of the photon is knowable, they responds as particles. When we don’t know the path they respond as waves. (Don’t worry if this doesn’t make sense to you. Quantum physicists are still scratching their heads over this one and looking into the effects of mind over matter that it’s brought up.)
Is the photon passing through one slit or both slits at once? Is it colliding with itself on the far side, or is something else happening? The question can’t be answered because the moment scientists install a detector to see what’s going on, you no longer see the wave pattern, and it only registers as a particle. This phenomenon is known as “collapsing the wave”. The bottom line is that when there is no detector, you see a wave pattern, and when there is a detector, you observe particles. This has been termed “the observer effect”. Somehow, the process of recording observations with a detector consistently changes the outcome of that experiment.
Popular culture has often interpreted this to mean that anytime there is an observer, you have changed the outcome on a quantum/subatomic level of reality. Most scientists vehemently disagree with that interpretation, and say that it is not about a person making a personal observation, where the idea of mind over matter is present, but rather, it’s about the presence of a detector to observe the event.
Enter Dean Radin, Chief Scientist at IONS (Institute of Noetic Science founded by astronaut Edgar Mitchell), and an Adjunct Faculty member in the Department of Psychology at Sonoma State University. Radin recently published a groundbreaking study which reexamines the double slit experiment and further explores the possibility of mind over matter and the power of the mind. Is the “observer” merely a machine detecting photons, or can it also mean a human being capable of collapsing the wave?
Dr. Radin asked a fundamental question regarding what’s been termed “the Quantum Measurement Problem”. If you alter the way you observe things, do you change the things you observe? Does focused human awareness have an impact on the outer reality? Can skilled meditators affect the double slit experiment with mind power alone? The implications of this could be monumental to the discussion of mind over matter.
Radin set up a double slit experiment in a room shielded from electromagnetic signals and physical vibrations. Meditators and non-meditators imagined that they put their mind inside the box and were watching the photons go through the slits. The result was that the meditators were able to cause a significant shift from the expected wave pattern and many particles were observed when there should only have been waves recorded. It also happens that experienced meditators were better able to cause the shift than the non-meditators, which speaks to the considerably power of the mind that can be developed through meditation.
After 50 sessions with 50 meditators, they preselected people who had achieved the best results. Experiments were also conducted over the web. Humans did 5,000 sessions, and a computer functioning as a control recorded another 7,000 sessions. The sessions held by the computer had no effect whatsoever, but the meditators were causing a significant collapse of the wave pattern, presumably through mind power.
Radin went further to wire the meditators with EEG and see when they were getting the best results with the double slit experiment. The EEG tests provided evidence that when people were concentrating most effectively, their ability to affect the double slit experiment increased, and when they stopped focusing, the effect went down. Strong right temporal lobe activity was seen to cause the best results and influence of mind over matter.
Dr. Radin is continuing to repeat this experiment with tighter controls to elucidate the power of the mind. Will his highly robust results ever be published in Science or Nature magazines, since the natural conclusions of these tests fundamentally contradict the dogma of our age and show evidence of the influence the mind can have over matter?
3. The Intention Experiments
Many more studies serve as evidence of the power of the mind. Lynn McTaggart, an American journalist, author, and publisher conducted experiments with thousands of people from 80 countries. As many as 10,000 people were involved in a single intention experiment, based around the concept of mind over matter. She started with the idea of showing that human intention affected matter. The first target was to be a leaf, and there was another leaf as a control. The intention of the experiment was to see if people could cause the leaf to glow. The group chose which leaf to work on with the flip of a coin.
All living things emit photons and with a sensitive enough camera, you can actually see any living matter glow as it emits bio-photons. Dr. Gary Schwartz from the University of Arizona ran this experiment. The result was that the leaf that received people’s intention glowed far brighter than the leaf that did not receive intention. This mind over matter test was successfully repeated many times.
Another experiment was to see if intention could make a plant grow faster. A large number of people in Australia sent energy to seeds. The charged seeds did indeed grow faster. In yet another test of mind power, there was one experimental group and three control groups of plants. All four sets were planted. They found that the seeds that had the intention had sprouted soonest and grew fastest. This has been repeated with many large groups around the world, all demonstrating the possibility of mind over matter. In one experiment, the seeds grew twice as tall as the controls.
4. The Global Coherence Project
When people around the world are thinking and feeling the same things, is there a way this can be observed or tested? This experiment, called the Global Coherence Project, has been running for almost 20 years. Random Number Generators (RNGs) create sequences of unpredictable ones and zeroes. There are currently RNGs in 70 locations around the world.
When major events occur, like 9/11 or the death of Princess Diana, the numbers stop appearing so random. At these highly eventful and emotional times, the numbers line up amazingly well, breaking the odds of a trillion to one against it happening by chance. They suggest that there is a “noosphere” which responds to peoples’ emotions around the world as a result of a group consciousness.
Though not necessarily a mind over matter study, this experiment reveals a very rudimentary way of perceiving that human consciousness and mind power can have some impact on the physical world. It tells us that something is happening, but nothing specific. It’s a little like being in a dark room and learning that you can detect a small flashing light that appears from time to time.
“The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible.” – Arthur C. Clarke
All of the above experiments inform us that there is something profound taking place. The problem is that we really don’t know much beyond the fact that there is some sort of mind/matter interaction… In the words of Bob Dylan, “You know something’s happening, but you don’t know what it is.” If we wish to learn more, we’ll need better tests which are capable of helping us to understand the lawfulness of these mind over matter interactions.
February 5, 2018