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John E. Mack – 2
non-ordinary state of consciousness.
David: What is your perspective on psychic phenomena like telepathy, and why do you think so many scientists have a hard time accepting the evidence for it?
John: It has to do with the nature of the universe. As scientists focused on so-called physical or material science, their approach influenced the universe that they discovered. In other words, they’ve concentrated on the universe’s material and energetic properties, the four basic kinds of energy and matter itself. And in situations where, apparently, there is a connection, without an identifiable physical mechanism–like electrical impulses, electromagnetism, or something that can indicate a passage of something in the matter-energy realm–then the mainstream scientists say it can’t be.
It’s a world view that says that it can’t be. This includes all these phenomena, like telepathy, remote viewing, clairvoyance, and all the other psi phenomena–like the work at Princeton, which shows the effect of emotionally-charged collective events on random number generating. This research demonstrates a relationship between world events and what happens in the computer, and because it is identifiable without a physical mechanism, it’s challenging to the whole scientific edifice, and therefore tends to be dismissed, except by certain open-minded scientists.
A number of people–Edgar Mitchell, Larry Dossey, Russel Targ, with his work on remote viewing, and others–have shown that, in a sense, we live in a kind of hologram. In other words, there is already connection between us. The universe is a seamless web of connectedness. Therefore, for one mind to be discovered to connect with another communicatively is consistent with the whole notion of non-locality, but since there’s no obvious mechanism for this, many scientists find this, again, a challenge to a purely materialist worldview. Are you following me?
David: Yes. I interviewed Dean Radin for this book, so I’m pretty familiar with the scope of psi research.
John: Yeah, he’s a very good example of someone who’s done an absolutely incontrovertible summary of the various research that’s been done, and yet he’ll still run into people who say that there’s no real evidence. Well, they just don’t want it to be true.
David: I also worked with Rupert Sheldrake for three years. I did the California-based research for his books Dogs That Know When Their Owners are Coming Home and The Sense of Being Stared At.
John: Well, there you go. Then you know all about this. All those dog experiments with morphogenetic fields demonstrate that there can be information picked up or gained without any obvious, familiar, electronic communication element. And God, I mean, what does that do to our scientific edifice?
David: Consciousness seems to be a particularly thorny subject for a lot of scientists.
John: Take a reductionist neuroscientist like Francis Crick, who has this book on consciousness where he reduces it the firing of brain cells. Crick is a archetypal figure because he won the Nobel Prize with Watson around DNA, and that reductionist orientation is still, I think, the dominant one. So if I say to someone like Crick, what does that have to do with consciousness? He’ll say, consciousness is what’s happening in the brain. Well, no it isn’t. Consciousness is the experience of being conscious. He would repeat his reductionist statement, and I’ll keep asking that question, what does it have to do with consciousness? Consciousness is the inner experience of knowing what is around. And he’d say, okay, but that’s just the firing of nerve cells. Well, what does the firing of nerve cells have to do with consciousness? You can go back and forth like that, on and on, and you’re just butting paradigmatic heads against each other. He says there’s no soul because all there is is nerves firing. Well, how does he know? What gives him the right to conclude about something that’s just so intersubjective and luminous from an objectification of nerve cells? How does anyone get away with that anymore? That’s why the scientific community, by my definition of science, is unscientific. They try to reduce science to this very narrow framework.
David: Do you think that the human species will survive the next hundred years, or do you think that we’re in any danger of extinction?
John: Well, I don’t live in the negativity that we won’t. I mean, I can only live in commitment to the possibility that we will, and what might bring that about. I sometimes think that the present administration in the United States has been given to us as a challenge, to see if we really have the will to survive and to live–because there’s continuous