Mind Matters: Mummified Bananas and Spiral Spoons
Does mind really matter? That is, can mind, or consciousness, affect matter? Parapsychological research proves that it does, although many are unfamiliar with the decades of highly advanced, supporting studies. For example, did you know that experiments in the healing effects of consciousness (also called biopsychokinesis) began as far back as 1959 with Dr. Bernard Grad, a Canadian researcher? At that time Dr. Grad met Oskar Estebany, a Hungarian refugee and former cavalry officer. Estebany discovered his ability to heal while treating army horses. He claimed some form of healing energy emanated from his hands. During the 1990s, Grad studied George Ille who calls his ability the “Transfer of Energy.” Dr. Stanley Krippner refers to healers like Grad as “intuitive” or untrained. This is shown in the statement he made when I interviewed him:
I was 11 years old at the [war]front. My friend was blown to pieces and another one was hurt and no doctor, no nothing. He’s bleeding. He mustn’t bleed! I grab the wound and hold it. I don’t know where I got that power. And I pick up earth and hold it [against him] and he healed.
Ille’s attempt to heal emerged out of desperation and compassion, unfolding “instinctively”, without prior instruction. He claims he was guided by an internal source. Usually, in these healers, some physical signal informs them that their need to heal has been satisfied. There may also be an intuition of whether or not the effort was successful. In addition to healing, he demonstrated the strange ability to cause unripe bananas to ripen more quickly, then mummify (see interview). Through Dr, Grad, Ille sent a banana he’d mummified (below).
In 1992, I presented my research on healers at the World Conference of Spiritual Healers in Austria. While at lunch, a German healer bent someone’s spoon in a strange way. I asked if he would do the same for me. He asked for my spoon. I watched him across the table through a single-lens reflex camera, my eye never leaving the spoon. He closed his eyes, held the spoon at the shoulder (just below the bowl) and rubbed lightly. Then, in one swirling motion, he twirled the bowl around twice with one finger (above) as if the spoon were made of taffy. The spoon was short and sturdy, made of stainless steel. When he handed it to me, the curled area was warmer than the rest of the spoon. With my clear view, there was no switch in spoons and no visible effort. These were only two of many anomalous experiences I’ve encountered. But parapsychology makes no sense if considered alone. Are these abilities we once had and lost? Or are are they evolving? What do they mean to general human experience? What contribution do they make–if any? And how do they fit our understanding of the nature of reality and our own abilities? This blog is meant to open up the subject of the paranormal for discussion, education, speculation…and imaginative play. In addition to my psi (parapsychological) research, I have bundled some of my experiences and written a fiction novel–The SHIVA Syndrome. In it, real psi abilities based on actual studies are stretched into (I hope) an enjoyable and exciting read. But the key question is this: If we believe in psi abilities, are they unnatural only when considered within “ordinary” reality? Or could they be considered normal from within another reality? Here is an example of how entrapment in one reality can be damaging. A young man came to see me for the treatment of anxiety. After a few weeks, he showed me his journal. When I reviewed it, my gaze was caught immediately by his out-of-body experiences (OOBEs). He’d never told anyone, because his mother called it “the devil’s work.” Within his mother’s reality, he was afraid he’d offended God in some way, and terrified to sleep at night. I suggested he read Robert Monroe’s Journeys Out of the Body. Afterwards, his narrow view–or reality–broadened. He learned that OOBEs were neither uncommon nor Satan’s work.
And so, let’s open inaugurate this blog with a tribute to Rod Serling’s famous words, “There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call the Twilight Zone.”