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The Consciousness Lab

Updated July 17, 2017

"Exploring the mind frontier is essential and the key to successful exploration is a greater psychic awareness. The mind is rich in unfathomed resources ripe for exploration, a limitless source of treasures for advancing all mankind, and a serious threat to those who ignore its potential. We must overcome our psychic inhibitions, stop denying the existence of paranormal events, and start trying instead to understand the nature of these phenomena."—Dolan M. McKelvy, Lieutenant Colonel, USAF, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, May 1988

I have a primary interest in the fundamental nature of consciousness and the practical applications of the knowledge gained from such research. I agree with McKelvy's assessment. We have barely begun this work and the impact of the practical applications is enormous. My lines of research in the past, in chronological order, have included mathematical logic, quantum mind, beliefs about consciousness and reality, altered states of consciousness, anomalous phenomena, and self-transformation. Rather than summarizing them here, readers can just follow the paper trail on the Publications page. What I will do here is to give a synopsis of my ongoing research. At this time there are three streams: theory, nonlocal perturbation, and survival research.

Theory

In Transcendent Mind: Rethinking the Science of Consciousness, Julia Mossbridge and I proposed a flicker-filter theory of consciousness and reality (in chapters 3 and 8 in particular). In further refining that theory, I have been looking at anomalous phenomena associated with Bill Bengston's non-contact healing studies, particularly the fact that control mice were healed, and the results of quantum eraser and delayed quantum eraser experiments in which there appear to be no "mechanical" means of information transfer. In chapter 2 of a new book that I am writing, I am proposing the existence of fields containing the necessary information. I presented this material at the Society for Scientific Exploration meeting at Yale University last spring. I am also interested in the variables that are associated with the transition to nondual states of consciousness. Most recently, I have called into question our implicit assumptions about the structure of intentionality, which I discussed as part of my Eugene Taylor Lecture at the Society for Consciousness Studies Annual Conference, also at Yale University this past spring.

Nonlocal Perturbation

This year an undergraduate thesis student in psychology chose to look at psychological predictors of nonlocal perturbations of a random event generator (REG). Nothing. Well, not nothing. A negative correlation of r = −.40 (p < .05, two-tailed) between Rationality as measured by the Phenomenology of Consciousness Inventory (PCI) and the REG running passively in FieldREG mode. A biology student decided to follow her lead but added a guided meditation and visualization component before participants interacted with a REG. This time there was an overall effect of intention and, in particular, a significant difference on the criterion measure between the first study (M = −0.083, SD = 0.36, n = 30) and the second study (M = 0.15, SD = 0.31, n = 30) with z = 2.69 (p = .0036, d = 0.70). And she replicated the negative correlation between Rationality and the FieldREG, again with r = −.40 (p < .05, two-tailed)! There also appeared to be a substantial shift of mood toward love for participants in the second study. The students and a research assistant presented the results of these first two studies as a plenary talk at the aforementioned Society for Consciousness Studies meeting. We are currently running REG Experiment 3 in which we are bringing participants into the lab to see if we can figure out who can consistently get the REG to deviate and who cannot (shades of Susan Padfield). So far, some can, some can't. We will see what we can learn from this.

Survival Research

In the past I have done an EVP study and an ITC study (see the Publications page), both with essentially null results. In contrast, over the course of the past 135 years there has arguably been sufficient scientific evidence gathered to affirm the Survival Hypothesis, although most of that evidence is convoluted and difficult to follow. So, what to do? It is not clear. We have just completed an archival study looking at apparent after-death communication that people have had using their cell phones. At this point we are trying to assess what the most strategic course of action would be.

Financial Support

I am grateful for the financial support that I have received, and continue to receive, from the organizations listed below. At the moment, I have three paid part-time research assistants and one volunteer part-time research assistant working for me. We are looking for additional funding. In particular, there is a highly qualified post-doctoral fellow who would like to work with us beginning next January for whom we are seeking funding. If anyone with deep (or not so deep) pockets is reading this who likes what she sees, and would consider providing financial support, then please contact me.

               

© 2013−17 Imants Barušs