What follows started life as an email, which makes
it more personal than most, but it does actually get pretty close to
what I was trying to say. It represents my major foray into trying to
answer the fourth
question so I've left it virtually untouched...
My starting point was, as I explained years ago when we first raised
the subject, the night I stopped wondering whether telepathy existed
and asked, instead, the question, 'what would it mean if telepathy does
exist?' What followed remains the most powerful 'road to damascus' experience
of my life. A model sprang up before my eyes which showed just how telepathy
provided the answer to so many questions and explained so many phenomena
that it became blindingly clear that it was THE answer.
Let us begin with the propositions defining the telepathy we need to
achieve the result. In a sense I know this is wasted on you. You take
telepathy 'on faith' as it were. I don't. I suspect it exists and after
our own recent experience, I am finding it more and more difficult to
retain the option that it doesn't. But nevertheless, as an empiricist,
I have to insist on certain standards of evidence which have yet to
be met. In the meantime, I also feel compelled to offer a 'mechanism'
by which it might be occurring. So please bear with me. My mechanism
is explained thus: For a start, I postulate that it (telepathy) exists
between all life forms which have anything which in any way functions
as a nervous system. Essentially that means any life form which can
react to stimuli. Which - obviously - entails ALL life. I hypothesise
that the sharing of information is taking place at all levels. Including
the transmission of (probably) weak electromagnetic radiation or 'something'
arising from the electrical activity from the chemical and neurochemical
reactions which are the mechanism for response to stimuli. For the time
being, we'll assume that the 'medium' is electromagnetic radiation (emr)
as we don't yet have another candidate.
Now, this radiation is 'received' by all other life forms in accordance
with the normal rules for radiation - i.e. the inverse square law. (Einstein's
biggest objection to telepathy was that it didn't seem to obey the inverse
square law - we need an answer to that) So the nearer you are to the
source the more emr or whatever you get. As the emr is 'modulated' by
a) whatever caused it and b) the degree of stimulation which produces
it, the emr can be seen to carry data (in other words, we can expect
different stimuli to produce different telepathic retransmissions).
And like any information processed by the senses, at the receiving end,
the data is correlated to all the other simultaneous events.
Mundane example: When a door slams there are both visual and aural
data. It is our experience that the noise always accompanies the vision
which convinces us that the action of slamming the door makes a noise.
Similarly the telepathic data are stored as 'memory'. As we are
often not in the presence of the 'causes' of the telepathic transmission,
our brains probably attempt to correlate the data to events happening
in our vicinity, without much success. For which reason, in most cases,
the data is 'filtered' out by the brain and not 'indexed' in the usual
filing system. We are normally thus utterly unaware of having received
any data and completely unable to retrieve it.
It is conceivable that now and again the intensity of the transmission
is such that some of the symbolism breaks through the filtration process
and you suddenly become aware of data you have no business perceiving.
The 'jarring' effect of this is such that most individuals probably
recoil in horror and refuse to acknowledge the experience. The
net result of all this is that very few individuals experience - or
are prepared to admit they experience - a telepathic transmission. All
of which is pure speculation but, if true, would explain the rarity
of convincing accounts or lack of repeatability of the phenomenon.
But what is more important to my tentative hypothesis is that every
sensory stimulation has two relevant effects. First it results in a
local memory for the individual being stimulated - provided the individual
is sufficiently advanced to store data as memory. And second - via the
emr or whatever the actual mechanism is - the data is 'broadcast' and
stored by the memories of all other life forms capable of storing data.
The first consequence of this is that we can
explain the belief in life after death. Essentially if the primary recorder/signal
generator/individual dies, well, ok, we've lost the hard disk. But we
have millions of partial backups. Find a method of knitting them back
together and the resulting data image would be a distorted but recognisable
mirror image of the individual who had generated the original data.
And there is no reason why you couldn't ask questions of this data collection
and receive responses which will be a distorted but recognisable version
of the answer you would have received from the original individual.
You would be speaking to literally the mortal and mental remains of
the individual. Note, however, that it would not BE the individual.
It would be a collection of data only. The ego or whatever makes an
individual 'animate' his own data set would be absent by virtue of having
no single locus. This dataset could not 'think' as it resides in many
entirely separate brains. It can only provide answers in much the same
way as a database does. Nevertheless, its the nearest scenario we have
to 'life after death' and I think its the first time anyone has offered
a possible mechanism for the phenomenon which doesn't involve God or
any religious imagery.
Lets see where it takes us next. So we have the dataset of each individual
being stored from the moment of birth in two places, their own brain
being first and foremost. The rest of Life on the planet being the other
repository. A full though occasionally distorted copy of the original.
However, if, for some reason or other, a new born baby happens to be
imprinted with a large number of data from one such dataset, then we
have an explanation for reincarnation. There would probably be various
circumstances in which such imprinting takes place. I can imagine the
simplest as being a birth taking place soon after a death. At the funeral
and for a few days before and after, the most concentrated 'recorders'
of the dear departed, i.e. his friends, will be gathered together and
focussed on memories of the deceased. A new born infant - particularly
in a close family - might well pick up and store significant quantities
of the data that used to identify the dead person. Later in his or her
life the child might well, as a result, find that s/he has memories
which simply don't belong in his/her own life.
Another possible mechanism might apply when the individual is killed
prematurely and the 'Group Mind' still has work for him or her to do.
An unconscious consensus emerges which focusses the relevant data again
onto an appropriate new born. And finally, in some cases, the will to
live might be so strong in some individuals that as they are dying they
grope for and find a new home to take root in.
The apparent phenomenon of 'past lives' as revealed by regression under
hypnosis is also explained by similar mechanisms. Whether or not the
individual being regressed has lived the specific lives which appear
to emerge is a moot point. But it doesn't stretch credulity quite so
much to imagine tuning into those 'past lives' which are permanently
stored within the 'Group Mind'.
Moving on - to deja vu. This occurs in two forms - 1) the feeling that
you have 'Done' something before and 2) the feeling that you have 'been'
somewhere before. For the time being, we'll stick with the latter. The
simplest expanation for this feeling is that you have. Been there before
that is. But perhaps not you personally. But your experience of entering
the room (or whatever) creates a response which is, like all other thoughts,
broadcast to the world in general. The broadcast is picked up by an
individual who has a particularly strong memory associated with that
room. This might be similar to the phenonemon you may have experienced
in crowded noisy places. Often despite the noise and despite the fact
that you can not focus on or apparently hear in detail, any single conversation,
if someone calls your name at about the same pitch as the background
noise, you will instantly recognise it. There are, in other words certain
'patterns' which our brains are very good at picking out of the background
Similarly the individual telepath 'hears' the identifying pattern connected
with the room being 'yelled' out (by you as you enter the room) and
his mind is instantly triggered into replaying the relevant 'room' memories.
And by a similar 'tuning' mechanism the data contained in those memories
finds its way back to you and you experience the vague but fascinating
sensation - which seems often to be borne out by what you find - that
you know what is around the next corner or whatever.
This 'tuning' mechanism is a partial explanation at least for why the
inverse square law does not seem to apply.
And the extreme version of deja vu is probably what explains 'ghosts'.
Here the memories triggered by the location are so intense that we may
even 'feel' or see and incarnation of the original 'recorder'.
And finally lets turn to clairvoyance. This is the hardest to explain.
We are trying to establish no less than how it may be possible to predict
Lets imagine there is a single human being and he is the only organic
lifeform on the planet Zob. (dead or alive). He is naked and has
no supplies of any kind. His future is highly predictable. He will shortly
die as a result of starvation. About a week or 10 days should do it.
That was easy. Now lets see what we can predict if there are two humans.
Well the end result is still inevitable - they both die but one might
live longer if it eats the other.
Imediately we have a mass of variables. Will they simply wait till
one dies and then the other eat him/her? Or do they agree that its such
a horrendous prospect thats its not worth staying alive for? Or does
one have a stronger desire to live and thus takes the earliest opportunity
to slay the other and thus ensure that s/he's the one to have the extra
week of life. How can we know who will do what? Answer: we can't - unless
we can read their thoughts. And if we can, then, the future, once again
becomes highly predictable. We know exactly who is motivated by what
and we know exactly what each player is planning to do and how the other
Given that we also know how long these things take, then we can expand
that awareness into a detailed forecast of the immediate future. In
this case, with just two individuals in the equation, the forecast could
be relatively accurate for a couple of weeks ahead. Introduce a third
individual and immediately all the variables are cubed in volume and
the respective period of accuracy is drastically reduced to say the
next day or so. Add a billion or two more human beings and the period
of accuracy is down to milliseconds. EXCEPT where we are focussing on
For instance, a road traffic accident. The cause is an old lady stepping
prematurely out onto a crossing as a speeding car rounds the corner
too fast to avoid hitting her. If we know the mind of the driver and
the mind of the old lady, clearly we can see that the two will 'come
together' at least several seconds ahead of the incident. But this much
insight you might also get just by watching it all from a few hundred
feet up in a helicopter. You can see the old lady approaching the crossing
and you can see the speeding car, indicating right, approaching the
turning. You can't however, from that vantage, predict that the driver
won't slow down through the corner - you have to be in his head to know
that. And you can't predict that the old lady will not check for oncoming
traffic before she starts to cross. Only if you are in her mind will
you perceive that she is absent mindedly planning a tea party for her
grand daughter and is simply not paying attention to what is going on
around her. But if you are in both their minds, then, yes, now you are
in a position to predict disaster.
Multiply that effect by a few million - bearing in mind that even when
the entire life system is the data source the accuracy of forecasting
drops off alarmingly with distance. It still leaves it as entirely credible
that if you could interrogate this 'database' it would be a fairly effective
predictor of the future. Certainly capable, for instance, of predicting
the Oklahoma bomb some months ahead of its occurrence. And ultimately,
of course, of tracking down the source of these thoughts. Timothy McVeigh,
like it or not, is also part of the 'Group Mind'.
This might be how clairvoyance works. It is an ability to tune in to
the Group Mind's awareness of what is going on and thus be presciently
aware of what is about to happen.
A similar mechanism may explain the other half of the deja vu experiences
- the 'have done this before' type. Essentially what you may be picking
up is an echo of the plan or consensus that is already formulated in
the Group Mind, often largely as a result of the information you yourself
have fed it. This is replayed to you in the form of the disorienting
realisation that you already 'remember' what you're about to do.
And now consider what the Group Mind would be capable of when it acts
as a single entity - all responses geared to the same stimuli and all
collectively calculating the result. Such occasions will be rare indeed
and would require something cataclysmic - like the threat of an asteroid
hitting the earth - to produce that moment of unity - to get us all
thinking the same thoughts. But once we get it, we may not only have
the capability to predict disaster arising from the data collectively
but even, in limited circumstances, to avert the disaster.
The asteroid one would be a bit of a bitch though, I have to concede.
In order to avert it we would have to apply our tiny pressure some months
or even years ahead of the actual event - because the influence we can
exert is so limited that it must be applied at the source of the disturbance
- where it still has a chance of influencing events (like identifying
and killing the butterfly that would otherwise start the hurricane)
But humans for example generate about 10 watts of electricity in their
brains. If it is somehow possible to mentally focus that stored energy
on a 'consensus' target, then we have the potential to exert a reasonable
force albeit for a short time. Possibly even enough to divert the asteroid
provided it was exerted about 500 million miles out and not when its
about to hit us!
Hmm... pulling it all together, what have we got? We have a database
that contains all our memories. This constitutes the data image of the
entire life system of the planet. It provides an explanation for life
after death, reincarnation, past lives, deja vu, ghosts and clairvoyance.
We have the ability to foresee the future and to shape the present,
albeit weakly. What we have here is no less than God in diapers!
Take this image forward a few hundred billion years and imagine that
Life throughout the Universe is more or less united. The resulting God
will have the power, if it so chooses, at the end of the Universe, to
command 'Let there be light' and start the whole thing over again. Perhaps
it already has. And our dim memories of that event are what feeds the
equally dim and irrational belief in the supernatural Gods of religion
and superstition. We are merely remembering what we once were and what
we will once again become.
Note, Michelle, how analogous this all
is to your 'snapshot of the cosmic stream' image. What you say about
that (which I agree with) is that knowing the starting conditions
doesn't help you make meaningful predictions about final outcome. Thats
what makes weather forecasting so difficult and sometimes unreliable.
Despite the fact that you know where and when you drop your twigs into
the stream they can not only end up miles apart within the stream/river/ocean
but they can at any point be caught in a backwater, be swept up onto
the banks or shore, etc etc. So about the only thing you can say with
confidence about the course to be taken by the twigs, is that they will
not travel 'upstream' - which I'm increasingly convinced, means merely
that they/we cannot go back in time. The 'direction' of the 'cosmic
stream' is mainly the direction of the entropic arrow of time. BUT...
In the same way we might be able to avert an asteroid collision just
by giving it a hefty thump with a baseball bat when its 500 million
miles away, we almost certainly influence individual futures in major
ways with very minor actions or environmental factors at very early
stages in their development. I am talking here about events as trivial
as, for example, the food a woman eats the day before she conceives.
This will affect, by altering the alkilinity of the womb, the selection
of sperm that actually makes it to the egg. That alone has immediately
effected half the individual's genetic makeup. Sex, hair colour, potential
intelligence, body type and predisposition (or not) to various genetic
disorders are all decided by the initial fusing of sperm and ovum. So
that Chilli you ate the day before has essentially determined some of
the most important features of your new baby's life!
Note, however, that such micromanipulations are NOT random, nor are
their effects entirely unpredictable. The problem for anyone wanting
to make serious predictions, however, is that in each day of our lives,
we perform probably hundreds of such actions which, years down the line,
could be seen - with the benefit of perfect hindsight - to have major
'final outcomes'. Did smacking the child produce the mass murderer,
And we can not conceive of a method of tracking all these micromanipulations
or, having tracked them, of calculating their longer term effects -
taking into account all the other micromanipulations they are 'competing'
with. Or, rather, up to now, we could not conceive of such a method.
Telepathy provides both the source of the data (ALL actions, great and
small, are recorded) and the method of analysing it. Because the 'Group
Mind' can simultaneously witness all the micromanipulations AND has
the data it needs to know what effects they will have on the various
individuals, it, and it alone, is in a position to calculate the global
consequences of all this interaction, and thence to focus on the effects
that it will all have on a given individual or group.
Now if something like astrology has any validity it may be due to both
the micromanipulative effects of the planetary positions being observed
- which will be even lower level than the effects of our own actions
(but which could in a similar 'distant enhancement' fashion, affect
key micromanipulative actions themselves) AND the even lower level micromanipulations
of which the planetary orbits and positions are themselves the 'final
outcome'. As we are mere specks of organic pollutant on these planets,
then clearly anything which has already affected bodies as large and
massive as them must be affecting us, even if the effect is so miniscule
as to be unmeasurable by currently available means. It is the latter
effect which, as I understand it, you and Elwell both believe to be
the 'mechanism' behind astrology. And clearly if you are right, then
it is crystal clear that detailed predictions of something as insignificant
as the lives of an individual are always going to be well outside the
'resolution' of that method of gazing into the future.
The astrological 'database' amounts to an attempt
to correlate clearly defined events here at ground level with planetary
alignments either leading up to or coinciding with those events. In
that sense it is pure empirical observation. The hope is that, like
any other empirical data, we can eventually gather sufficient reliable
data to be able to say that, for example, since on 873 of the last 1000
occasions that planets X and Y were in this particular configuration,
Z happened, then the next time that configuration is due, there is an
87.3% probability that Z will happen again.
This, in my view, is where Elwell took his most unjustified risk. Yes,
the Titanic did sink, and yes the Herald of Free Enterprise went down.
There may be a dozen other useful examples, but no empiricist worth
his salt would have dared make such a detailed prediction of the outcome
of a further similar event on the basis of such statistically insignificant
(For the benefit of new readers - in 1995, in an attempt to score a
major publicity success for astrology, renowned British astrologer Dennis
Elwell publicly predicted a shipping disaster for mid April in
1996. Instead we had the Tokyo subway nerve gas attacks and the Oklahoma
bombings - which fit the astrological patterns just as neatly but he
hadn't predicted. In corresponding about the case with me, Michelle
pointed out that such things as explosions were just as valid an astrological
outcome and thus she 'accidentally' predicted the bombing about 3 days
ahead of detonation. )
Take our playing card experiment. I guessed one card correctly in the
week out of 4 attempts. I had a 2% chance on each occasion. Given 4
guesses there was roughly an 8% chance that by the end of the week I
would get one exactly right. There was an 8.5% chance for each guess
that I would get the value of the card right. There is a 25% chance
that on any given day I would get the suit right and a 50% chance every
day that I will get the colour right. Now things only start looking
significant if I can perform ahead of probability. By the end of the
week, for example, I should have got the colour right twice (achieved
3), the suit right at least once (also 3) and I should only get a value
right about once in 12 days. Getting the precise card should only happen
once in 52 guesses. So, no doubt about it, our results were significant,
but could you possibly step from there to predicting that I would guess
another one right in the following week? Of course not. And only if
I had that level of success for at least a few months could you begin
to justify such predictions.
In a nutshell, there haven't been enough 'Titanics' in all of human
history to justify a prediction like Elwells. But I would not be at
all surprised to learn that there have been enough other disasters under
those planetary configurations to justify the more general warning.
Elwell - and perhaps astrologers in general - doesn't appear to have
taken those statistical requirements sufficiently seriously. Your approach,
on the other hand is intuitively much more 'scientific'. You accept
the lack of sufficient data and the implication thereof - that given
we don't know enough about all the things this has caused in the past
we can't possibly predict in detail what it may cause in the future.
What I am suggesting is that telepathy may be the key to real precision.
If my model is anything like the truth, the telepathic data is infinitely
more complete than the collected works of human astrologers. The Group
Mind knows exactly what events (great and small), tendencies, revolutions,
inventions, disasters, triumphs, etc etc have correlated to which planetary
(or general cosmic) configurations. It has the statistical data required
to make meaningful assessments of probability. In addition to which,
as outlined above, it also has the intimate knowledge of the actions,
reactions and motivations of all living things which can be influenced
by the forthcoming configuration. So, again, it is in the prime position
to make fairly detailed forecasts even, in some cases, quite long range.
(Years, even centuries, rather than mere days) Now if an individual
could tune in to the Group Mind, knew how to interpret what s/he saw
there and knew how to put questions to it, then that individual would
be capable of predicting significant events in the future and advising
the rest of us how to either avoid the worst consequences of such events
or maximising them to their advantage. In less 'advanced' cultures than
our own, individuals demonstrating abilities like these have been called
'prophets'. With lesser abilities or merely skilful acting abilities,
they have become priests.
I can even see how the Group Mind, being aware of the effects of cosmic
influence might well have provoked the discovery of the outer planets.
Elwell points out that key events in the nature of those planets were
historically occurring at the time these planets were discovered. I
can see it working the other way around. That the Group Mind could perceive
an overall 'attractor' with nothing to link to, so it figured out that
there must be a further planet and its rough location and then 'delegated'
the task to an individual - who finds himself 'inspired' to look in
a particular place at a particular time, and there, sure enough, is
the planet we need to explain these new phenomena.
And you can see why awareness of such a 'pool of wisdom' could, again,
encourage the dim perception of an intelligence so much greater than
ours that it must be that of a superbeing - a God. In fact, however,
for this model to work, it does not require great intelligence on behalf
of the Group Mind at all - its efficiency arises purely from its access
to all relevant data. In this respect it need be no more 'intelligent'
than a computer. The intelligence arises from our ability to
understand and manipulate the data which it presents to us. Which makes
us the God - not it!