Dean Radin – 2
from some higher place or something. Yet all our research suggests that we are at the center of these phenomena. It’s not disembodied entities doing it; it’s us.
If you follow the logic out–especially with Eastern ideas, and even some Western notions about how reality is created– and if it truly is the result of an interaction between observation and some formless stuff out there, then psi phenomena are just the tip of the iceberg. The evidence almost suggests that a quasi-solipsistic view of the world may be right, and that we are engaged in continuous creation by virtue of our observation.
David: But solipsism implies that there is only one person doing it.
Dean: Yeah, each person is their own solipsistic source. In this case it’s more like a collective consciousness that is deciding how things shall be. And I don’t like that too much. My dad always said that a good way to test solipsism would be to take the solipsists, stand them in front of the highway, and see what happens when the truck hits them–because in their universe it shouldn’t make any difference. They’ll say the truck is just be a figment of their imagination, so they can decide that it’s not going to hit them.
It doesn’t sound like an experiment I’d want to do, because the outcome seems clear, and deadly. But then you start thinking about the folklore. There are cases in which you simply decide that you don’t wish to be under this particular circumstance, and you are not. From an external perspective, peculiar things sometimes happen. A person is there, and then that person is longer there. Or the thing that was going to hit them is no longer there. Or it suddenly swerved. Or something happened where a light came in the sky. All kinds of weird stuff reportedly happens, and if you don’t just dismiss all of it as nonsense, then it suggests that the world is probably more malleable than commonly supposed.
David: What sort of relationship do you see between psychic phenomena and altered states of consciousness?
Dean: I believe that our ordinary state of awareness evolved in a direction where it has become extremely good at excluding psychic or mystical awareness, and this evolution makes a certain sense. Let’s say that the primordial state is awareness of everything. So now you’re an organism in which there are tigers around trying to eat you. If you sustained that mystical sense of awareness of everything, then you’re not going to live very long. If you want to survive, then it would behoove you to pay much more attention to what is going on right here and now, i.e., the tiger in front of you, rather than what was happening on Mars 50 millennia ago.
If you go through enough generations of that kind of evolutionary pressure, then you’re going to get really good at not being psychic. You’ll have a sense that our world is in very sharp, snapped focus around us, which is exactly the way we perceive it. Yet, under the right conditions, either through brain damage, or through drugs, drumming, or high emotions, or a natural talent, you can push somebody slightly out of that ordinary state, and suddenly that larger awareness creeps in.
David: That’s very similar to what Aldous Huxley said in Doors of Perception about Big Mind and Little Mind.
Dean: That’s right.
David: Are you familiar with any research that studied the relationship between the psychedelic experience and psychic phenomena?
Dean: There’s some interesting new experimental evidence developing right now actually. This research is not being done in the United States, because you can’t do it legally here, at least not very easily. But I have a colleague in Amsterdam who has been running telepathy studies using psilocybin, with amazing results.
David: What kind of studies?
Dean: These are the Ganzfeld experiments, like I describe in my book. Since basically drugs of any type are freely available in Holland, they went to find volunteers that were willing to do a Ganzfeld experiment under the influence of psilocybin. I forget whether they provided it, or they asked to bring their own, but they had some way of standardizing the measures of how much psilocybin they were getting. So the person who was the receiver in the experiment was the one under the influence. And they got exceptionally high hit rates. Then the next stage, which was started last year, was similar only this time both the sender and receiver are under the influence of psilocybin. We don’t know what will happen, so we’ll see.
David: Has this study been written up and published in a journal?