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Nick Herbert

on the body image of a human robot, or a robot that’s shaped like a fish, an eagle, or a bat, and just being that entity for awhile–taking on their trip, and sensing with their senses, with an ant or an eagle’s sense.

RMN: It’d be great for ecology.

NICK: Great for ecology yes!

DJB: Are you familiar with Jaron Lanier’s work, building Virtual Reality simulators at VPL Research up in Pale Alto?

NICK: Oh, no, I don’t know about this. I’ve heard rumors of this kind of research, but I don’t know anyone who’s actually doing it. There have been some science fiction stories about telesensation, where it’s used to develop or do work on the surface of planets like Jupiter. In one story I recall the man is actually in orbit around Jupiter, but he feels as though he’s on the surface of Jupiter, in a gravity of 30 Gs, or something like that, and doing mining work.

DJB: The Japanese have actually already developed something like that.

NICK: Is that right?

DJB: Yeah, it’s written up in Grant Fjermedal’s The Tomorrow Makers. Grant talks about the out-of-body experience he had using one of these machines, while looking at his body from a convincing three-dimensional perspective outside of it.

NICK: Well, one of the things I wonder about is this–if consciousness really is separate from the body, how come there are cases of multiple personalities-where many personalities inhabit one body–but there’s never the case of one personality inhabiting two bodies–where you look out of somebody else’s eyes, or out of two people’s eyes at the same time? If consciousness were really distinct from the body, you might think that would be at least a possibility.

DJB: Some people claim that, though.

NICK: They’ve looked out of other people’s eyes?

DJB: Some people claim that they’ve formed a unification between their consciousness and that of another person.

RMN: Usually a couple.

NICK: Well, if I couldn’t see something, but because I was in this state, then I could. If that actually happened, then I’d be impressed. I would think that quantum tantra would allow us to do this. That would be one of the tests of quantum tantra, the ability to watch TV facing away from it. Not a very impressive ability, is it? There might be other, more interesting things to do with this, than watching TV with your back to the television. You can do that with a mirror I guess, without the threat to your integrity.

RMN: The penultimate question. I hear you’ve been working with technology with which to contact the dead. Can you tell us about your ideas and experiences concerning this?

NICK: This is a notion that quantum processes are somehow connected with consciousness, that some quantum processes are unspoken for, and can be taken over by discarnate spirits. So what we do is, we get these quantum processes, and link them to communicating devices. Then we encourage spirits to inhabit the processes and speak to us through quantum mechanical mediums. If the dead can occupy brains, why can’t they occupy these machines? So in the seventies we tried to make machines that discarnate spirits could inhabit. These involved radioactive sources connected with computers, and they were connected with typewriters or with speech synthesizers. So, when we turned the machine on, it would rapidly type pseudo-English, or make sounds which one observer said sounded like a Hungarian reading Finnigan ‘s Wake. I don’t think our devices were complicated enough to be occupied by spirits.

RMN: Complicated enough?

NICK: Complicated. Like they were maybe the brain of an ant, something like that, or maybe even smaller.

RMN: It was just too basic.

NICK: Yes, it was just too basic a system. What we would want is a more complicated quantum system.

RMN: But you were getting something.

NICK: Oh, we got some funny prankish things that occurred. The most exciting thing happened at a Houdini seance, when we spent all day trying to get Houdini to come back from the dead through our typewriter. This was on the hundredth anniversary of his birth, and it was in San Francisco. We had Houdini posters up on the walls. We held seances in the dark, joined hands, and lit candles, the typewriter chatting away all the time–a metaphase typewriter this was called. A couple of people dropped acid for the event. We went through the text and couldn’t find any real printing, any real message, but the one thing that we did find that happened for sure, was right at the beginning–the typewriter jammed. it didn’t print straight, so there were these lines of type going all over the place, and they made a little frame, a little oval, that wasn’t typed in. There was one line in the oval, and it said, “In an infinite time.” All with no spaces-“inaninfinitetime”-something like that. Now that message could be taken many ways. A million monkeys typing on a typewriter could type anything in an infinite time. An infinite time could be meaning to talk to us, a

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