I had the unexpected pleasure recently of being on a conference call with Dean Radin, researcher and author with the Institute of Noetic Sciences. His 2006 book, Entangled Minds: Extrasensory Experiences in a Quantum Reality is one of the first I stumbled upon in a used bookstore when I was building a library for myself about the mysteries of consciousness.
As he wrote in the preface to his book, “One of the most surprising discoveries of modern physics is that objects aren’t as separate as they may seem. When you drill down into the core of even the most solid-looking material, separateness dissolves.
“All that remains, like the smile of the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland, are relationships extending curiously throughout space and time. These connections were predicted by quantum theory and were called ‘spooky action at a distance’ by Albert Einstein. One of the founders of quantum theory, Erwin Schrödinger, dubbed this peculiarity entanglement, saying ‘I would not call that one but rather the characteristic trait of quantum mechanics.'”
One of Radin’s personal/career passions is the attempt to find scientific proof of ‘spooky action’ so that we might collectively start to widen the way we experience the world. To that end, he and a team will continue their research with random number generators at Burning Man this year in an attempt to detect evidence of collective consciousness. He has devoted energy to trying to understand, for example, if it is more than coincidence (and caller ID) that enables us to sometimes “know” who is on the other end of the phone when it rings.
Quantum physics does tantalize us with the fact that, at the atomic level, particles that have been divided and then separated mirror each other in action at a great distance — lending itself to the fascinating but not-yet-understood phenomenon that there is an entangled current that connects us in some way.
I started to become more aware of entanglement in my 30s. While living in New York City, I was having a recurring (unusual for me) not-pleasant-dream about my father. Eventually I called my parents in Minnesota to check in, and learned that he was, indeed, under a great deal of stress, being required to lay off his entire R&D department at the company he worked for.
Years later, on The 9/11, I awoke with a scream from a nightmare (also very rare), around 6am — around the time terrorists were boarding a plane in Boston. I had been dreaming of brown-skinned men walking through an alleyway with the intention of murder.
Several years after that, having returned to my home state of Minnesota, I was driving under a bridge when I had the unusual powerful thought about how awful it would be if a bridge collapsed. Three days later, that very same bridge did collapse.
I was “sold” then on the notion that there are unusual pathways to information, beyond our limitations of time/space, and began reading more on the idea that there is a field of energy that is generally undetectable. (I also for a time explored the existence of spirit guides, with several other potent dreams lending themselves to the idea, but the science of mystical experiences is a more natural next step for me.)
Dean Radin was my first exposure to a scientific mind attempting to detect evidence for the phenomenon of parapsychology (aka “psi experience”). Is it real and we simply haven’t figured it out yet — much as society used to believe the world was flat and the Earth was the center of the universe? Is it delusional wish-fulfillment? Is it meaningful synchronicity, as Jung believed, or nonmeaningless coincidence?
As Radin wrote in Entangled Minds, “In a nutshell, we’ll find that there’s substantial experimental evidence indicating that some psi experiences are genuine… Science is at the very earliest stages of understanding entanglement, and there is much yet to learn. But what we’ve seen so far provides a new way of thinking about psi. No longer are psi experiences regarded as rare human talents, divine gifts, or ‘powers’ that magically transcend ordinary physical boundaries. Instead, psi becomes an unavoidable consequence of living in an interconnected, entangled physical reality.”
I look forward, through my own IONS Minnesota connection, in sharing more about what I’m learning about the scientific work of Radin, the Institute of Noetic Sciences, and others exploring what we do not yet understand.
— Mikki Morrissette, founder, (Non-) Hippy-Dippy Guides