Dean Radin – 2
think they’re waiting for the current experiment to be finished before they write it up and publish it.
David: Wow, that’s really exciting. Has anyone else done anything like that? I think I heard of a telepathy study done in the fifties with mescaline.
Dean: There were some studies done with LSD as well, before it became Schedule 1. And lots of informal studies with marijuana, occasionally with Ayahuasca. I guess Ayahuasca is the main one because one of the psychoactive components– harmaline– in particular seems to be an interesting component.
It’s too bad that most of the psychoactive drug research was shutdown. I think there is a likelihood that we would have learned by now that some areas of the brain can be activated to open the doors of perception, but also keep ordinary focus high. If you just opened those doors without any controls you’d become psychotic instead of psychic.
But if you can still focus, then you have a chance of creating a super-psychic for a short period of time. I think that something like that actually does occur. But since most of the recreational use of drugs is generally done under conditions where when you’re under the influence, you’re no longer thinking about trying an experiment, and it’s even harder to set the experiment up in advance.
David: Oh we’ve done that.
Dean: And you can still go ahead and do the experiment?
David: Oh sure. I know a number of people actually. We’ve just done simple staring and telepathy–like, guess which color or a song I’m thinking of–experiments with LSD and marijuana, but often with astonishing results.
Dean: Oh, well that’s good then. But with some of the drugs that’s difficult. I was interested in the use of XTC or MDMA and it’s super-sensory enhancement, because you still feel tranquil and you can retain good focus. It sounds like it would be a good drug to use in these experiments, and it’s probably misnamed. It should be called empathy, not ecstasy. Well, that sounds a lot like telepathy, so let’s do experiments. It would be interesting to bring people in a lab, or at least under conditions where somebody else is actually controlling what’s happening, because otherwise it may become too recreational and people won’t want to do it.
David: I know somebody who was on MDMA when they took part in one of Rupert Sheldrake’s staring experiments. He was the recipient of the staring in the experiment, and he was right about 85% of the time, which is a very high hit rate.
Dean: Yes, that makes sense to me. If we could do those studies legally here, I think we would make much faster progress. The other approach though, which is actually happening, is to find people with natural talent–because there are folks out there whose brains are wired just slightly differently, and they can do this all the time–and do brain scanning, PET studies, functional MRI, and maybe EEG topological mapping to find out what in fact is going on in their head, which is different than ordinary people. Or different in their head when they’re highly psychic versus not.
David: Has there been anything like that done?
Dean: There have been some EEG studies, and a few functional MRI studies. They’re providing promising results, and much more needs to be done.
David: Have you ever had a psychedelic experience, and if so, how has it effected your view of science and life?
Dean: I’ve had hallucinatory experiences as the result of drugs, only twice, each time in the process of waking up from an operation. They were both very funny experiences, so I wouldn’t say it changed my views much. It just was, I imagine, a peculiarity of my brain trying to figure out the strange state it was in. So no, I haven’t had the designer chemicals or the plants that would cause one to have a hallucination. My body is pretty sensitive to drugs, so I tend to stay away from things that I know are going to push me too hard. Also I never felt I needed to perceive reality in a different way to know that there are many ways of seeing reality. So it’s just not something I’ve been attracted to.
I am interested in psychedelics from an experimental point of view. With many of them–including concoctions like ayahausca or psilocybin–people often report transpersonal experiences, and we have now pretty good ways of testing for transpersonal experiences in the laboratory. So I am interested in seeing whether we can objectify those experiences. For example, I’d like to see if the ego dissolving experience between two people is in fact verifiable.