Science Of The Lost Symbol

 

Human Influence on Living and Non-living Systems

In this section we will review several representative kinds of human influence studies. We’ll start by exploring how humans can affect non-living systems. One of the most impressive studies of this kind took place in the early 1970s at the Stanford Research Institute in California. It was a study with results so spectacular that it launched a secret government program into human psi abilities. (See Russell Targ and Harold Puthoff, Mind-Reach, and Lynne McTaggart’s The Field for the details.)

In this seminal experiment, physicist Harold E. Puthoff was investigating whether gifted psychic Ingo Swann could affect the functioning of a very sophisticated piece of physics equipment, called a magnetometer, using only focused intention. What’s a magnetometer? Basically, it’s a device that detects and measures the magnetic field. In this case, one of Puthoff’s post-doctoral students had devised a type of magnetometer impressively called a superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID for short) that was able to screen out the strong vibrations from most common fields, such as the electromagnetic field, to detect only the tiniest vibrations of subatomic particles. Swann faced a formidable challenge, for the magnetometer’s internal parts were shielded in alternating layers of aluminum, copper, nobium, and other metals to block electromagnetic and other kinds of fields, and it was then encased in concrete five feet below the lab floor. There was no way for Swann to actually see or interact with the device.

As we said, Swann’s task was to alter the output of the magnetometer using only his mind. Normal output was represented graphically as a sine wave, a regularly undulating S-curve. Any change in its detection of the magnetic field would show up on the output graph as a change in the S-curve, usually as a flat line.

Swann was wildly successful at affecting the output of the machine. Puthoff was mystified, and he put Swann through a series of exercises, cueing him to direct his attention to the machine for a specific amount of time, then not to focus, then to focus again. When Swann focused his attention on changing the output of the machine, the S-curve flattened out.

Then Swann really blew Puthoff’s mind. He said he was going to project his mind into the machine to see what its insides were like, so he might be even more effective at changing its output. Soon he was intently drawing a picture of what he saw inside the machine, including a nobium ball at its center. Illustrations of the inside of the machine had never been published, so Puthoff showed the drawing to the post-doc who had constructed the machine. He verified that Swann’s drawing was accurate.

This spectacular, and unexplainable, influence of a human mind on a sophisticated device and Swann’s ability to extract accurate information from an object using no known sensory channels (such as sight) eventually launched Puthoff on a decade’s long journey into a study of remote viewing—the ability of a person to project their mind outwards to determine details of remote locations, people and objects. The evidence for remote viewing was so persuasive that the U.S. government and military eventually funded and ran a classified program of remote viewing called GRILL FLAME/STAR GATE, seeking to determine if it could be used effectively for intelligence gathering and espionage. They were trying to catch up with the Russians, who were far advanced in studying these kinds of “exceptional” human capacities.

You don’t have to be a gifted psychic or a trained remote viewer to use your mind to influence matter. All of us seem able to do it to one extent or another. One type of mind-matter influence study that has been replicated hundreds of times is the influence of human intention on a random number generator (RNG), also called a random event generator (REG). Pioneered by physicist Helmut Schmidt in the 1960’s and repeated in various forms by other researchers since then, this type of experiment asks a human subject to try to change the output of an RNG from random to ordered or coherent. A RNG is a device that can be thought of as an electronic coin-tossing machine; it’s designed to produce a random binary output. Instead of “heads” or “tails” however, it produces random strings of numbers, usually ones and zeros.

Over the last forty years, hundreds of studies have shown that the human mind can change the output of a RNG from random to coherent (more ordered). Study subjects included both people who showed evidence of being gifted psychically and regular people off the street who volunteered to take part in the experiments. Here’s how this type of study works.

A standard protocol asks the test subject to use his or her mind and intention to change the output of the RNG in a specific way: either to produce more ones or, conversely to produce more zeros. Control tests are run where the person sits near the machine but does not intend to change its function in any way. These kinds of tests show that people just like you and me can be successful in making the machine do what we intend. When we intend more zeros, the machine outputs more zeros. Intend more ones, more ones are produced. Statistically, the effect we have on the machine is very small, but the odds achieved are against the odds and defy all known physical explanations.

 

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