Perhaps the only downside about all the publicity having to do with the The Lost Symbol is the renewed attack on consciousness research as unworthy of serious discussion.
All of the skeptics and their websites are brimming with renewed fervor, and in the UK, where I live, all the scientists and science writers have dismissed out of hand any ideas about a science behind the power of thought.
In a recent documentary on The Lost Symbol, the slightest mention of noetic science was conspicuously absent.
The view seems to be that while the material about Freemasonry may be based on fact, noetic science is more akin to science fiction — and more properly belongs on a show featuring an illusionist like Derren Brown.
The heart of the difference
This body of science and indeed all the implications about the power of thought go well beyond spoon-bending tricks.
This central idea, that consciousness affects matter, lies at the very heart of an irreconcilable difference between the world view offered by classical physics – the science of the big, visible world – and that of quantum physics – the science of the world’s most diminutive components.
These discoveries offer convincing evidence that all matter in the universe exists in a web of connection and constant influence, which often overrides many of the laws of the universe that we used to believe held ultimate sovereignty.
The significance of these findings extends far beyond a validation of extrasensory power or parapsychology. They threaten to demolish the entire edifice of present-day science.
Frontier research into the nature of human consciousness has upended everything that we have hitherto considered scientific certainty about our world.
For more than 30 years many of the scientists I write about — physicists like Fritz Albert-Popp and Hal Puthoff, psychologists like Gary Schwartz and Dean Radin, biologists like the late Jacques Benveniste — have been amassing unimpeachable evidence in experiments that has stretched credulity.
At least 40 top scientists in academic centres of research around the world have demonstrated that an information transfer constantly carries on between living things, and that thought forms are simply another aspect of transmitted energy.
Hundreds of others have offered plausible theories embracing even the most counter-intuitive effects, such as time-displaced influence, as now consistent with the laws of physics.
Our definition of the physical universe as a collection of isolated objects, our definition of ourselves as just another of those objects, and even our most basic understanding of time and space, will have to be recast.
Using the power of thought
Ideas about the power of thought are no longer the ruminations of a few eccentric individuals. They now underpin many well-accepted disciplines in every reach of life, from orthodox and alternative medicine to competitive sport. Any modern coach of a competitive sport routinely offers training in some form of mental rehearsal, and often it is touted as the decisive element separating the elite sportsperson from the second-division player.
Medical scientists often speak of the ‘placebo effect’ as an annoying impediment to the proof of the efficacy of a chemical agent. It is time that we understood and made full use of the power of the placebo. Repeatedly, the mind has proved to be a far more powerful healer than the greatest of breakthrough drugs.
This knowledge may give us back a sense of individual and collective power, which has been wrested from us, largely by the current worldview espoused by modern science, which portrays an indifferent universe populated by things that are separate and unengaged.
Indeed, an understanding of the power of conscious thought may also bring science closer to religion by offering scientific proof of the intuitive understanding, held by most of us, that to be alive is to be far more than an assemblage of chemicals and electrical signalling.
Medicine, healing, education, even our interaction with our technology, would benefit from a greater comprehension of the mind’s inextricable involvement in its world. If we begin to grasp the remarkable power of human consciousness, we will advance our understanding of ourselves as human beings in all our complexity.
The art of the impossible
Frontier science is the art of inquiring about the impossible. All of our major achievements in history have resulted from asking an outrageous question. What if stones fall from the sky? What if giant metal objects could overcome gravity? What if there is no end of the earth to sail off?
All of the discoveries about the power of thought and remote influence have similarly proceeded from asking a seemingly absurd question: what if our thoughts could affect the things around us?
True science always begins with an unpopular question, even if there is no prospect of an immediate answer – even if the answer threatens to overturn every last one of our cherished beliefs. The scientists engaged in consciousness research must constantly put forward unpopular questions about the nature of the mind and the extent of its reach.
In our group Intention Experiments, we have asked the most impossible question of all: what if a group thought could heal a remote target?
It is a little like asking, what if a thought could heal the world?
It is an outlandish question, but the most important part of scientific investigation is just the simple willingness to ask the question.
Mainstream science — and indeed the press — have grown ever more fundamentalist, dominated by a few highly vocal scientists and science writers who believe that our scientific story has largely been written.
Nevertheless, a small body of resistance carries on in defiance of this restricted view. With every unorthodox question asked, with every unlikely answer, frontier scientists such as those featured in my books remake our world. May they and their ilk light our way.