DEAN RADIN

Supernormal (2013)

Science, Yoga, and the Evidence for Extraordinary Psychic Abilities               

Forward – Deepak Chopra

The strange thing about the paranormal – or the supernatural, the miraculous, and all other synonyms – is that how often you prove it, it remains unproven.

The reason that facts are secondary in proving the validity of superpowers is that science, like any other human enterprise, is overseen by individuals who have a stake in that they do, and that stake includes pride, intelligence, judgment, and self-respect.

Radin looks at the principles that modern science is based on and shows, quite accurately, that many were exploded by the quantum revolution a hundred years ago. Once time and space were no longer absolutes, once physical objects were reduced into a game of probabilities instead of certainties, there was a radical shift in how reality is perceived.

In the book’s closing pages, two stark statements of fact are quoted. The first comes from Max Planck, who originated the quantum revolution:

“I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. …Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.”

To support his optimism, Radin quotes another quantum pioneer, Wolfgang Pauli:

“It is my personal opinion that science of the future will neither be ‘psychic’ nor ‘physical’ but somehow both and somehow neither.”

Preface

The term “supernatural” was coined by the British classicist Frederick Meyers, one of the founders of the (London-based) Society for Physical Research in 1882. …Such phenomena, including psychic abilities like clairvoyance, may be regarded today as anomalous or as unbelievable. But, in the future, according to Myer’s conception, as we gain an improved understanding of ourselves, our capacities and the physical world, the supernormal will become completely normal.  

…It goes to the very heart of the perennial questions that have captured the attention of anyone who has ever wondered, “Who Am I?” “Why am I here?” “What is it all about?”

Supernormal

The majority of the world’s population believes in one or more of superpowers. They’ve gained labels such as telepathy (mind-to-mind communication), clairvoyance (gaining information about distant or hidden objects beyond the reach of the ordinary senses), precognition (clairvoyance through time), and psychokinesis (direct influence of matter by mind). They are presented as real in most religions. But are they real?  

Classic yoga texts, such as Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, written about two thousand years ago, tell us in matter-of-fact terms that if you sit quietly, pay attention to your mind, and practice this diligently, then you will gain supernormal powers. These advanced capacities are not regarded as magical; they’re ordinary capacities that everyone possesses.   

Laboratory data amassed over many decades suggest that some of what the yogis, mystics, saints, and shamans have claimed is probably right. And that means some of today’s scientific assumptions are probably wrong.

Classic yoga texts, such as Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, written about two thousand years ago, tell us in matter-of-fact terms that if you sit quietly, pay close attention to your mind, and practice this diligently, then you will gain supernormal powers. These advanced capacities are not regarded as magical; they’re ordinary capacities that everyone possesses.

Today much of the exploding interest is motivated by the scientific confirmation that meditation and yoga, along with dietary changes, provides a huge range of improvements in mental and physical health.

Established benefits of yoga and meditation include improved immune function, lowered blood pressure, treatment and reversal of heart disease, slowed development of prostate cancer, improved focus, memory and concentration, improved quality of life after cancer treatment, positive effects on chronic pain and mood, slower aging, reduced anxiety, reduced infertility, and treatment for otherwise intractable skin diseases.  

Einstein maintained that mystical realizations are not just brain malfunctions, at least not when experienced by a true genius. They are instead an essential means of leaping beyond the rational and accessing what intellect cannot grasp.

If it is indeed the case that there are ways of knowing that transcend the rational, and our geniuses are telling us that it is precisely this that sparks genuine breakthroughs, then avoiding this mystery is akin to societal suicide.    

An openness to novel ideas about consciousness and reality continues to proliferate among scientists, a refreshing tolerance is also developing for a serious reconsideration of the supernormal.

                          

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