Parapsychology remains a controversial science, rejected by materialists as impossible and not worth any scientific attention. But if materialism is false, and there is something valid in the parapsychological research, what do its results suggest about the nature of consciousness? James C. Carpenter has been doing such research for decades, and developing a theory of psi that places it within a complete picture of human psychology.

Seven years ago he published the culmination of his research and theorizing: First Sight: ESP and Parapsychology in Everyday Life. Carpenter argues that psi events are not anomalies and psi is not an ability. Rather, psi is an intrinsic psychological process that contributes to every thought, feeling, and action. It is the leading edge of consciousness and plays an essential role in the construction of our experience.

In fact, psi seems to operate in much the same way as various subliminal mental processes: below the level of consciousness. Just like subliminal primes, extrasensory information prepares the mind for action, activating physiological, emotional, and cognitive responses. And all these psychological processes fulfill the same function: to engage the world of meaning according to our shared and individual aims and intentions, both conscious and unconscious.

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Here's the transcript of the show:

Harrison: What is the nature of consciousness? Why does one thought flow to another? Why is psychic information often symbolic or metaphorical in nature? How does consciousness choose what is important out of the vast array of data available to it? How do we remember? Why are some states of consciousness more conducive to creativity and psi? Is psi an ability? What number am I thinking of?

These are some big questions. If you get the answer right you might get an award or maybe not. We'll see. But these questions all have to do with a book that we have been reading, First Sight: ESP and Parapsychology in Everyday Life by James C. Carpenter who is a psychologist and parapsychologist. He's got this theory to explain what psi actually is, why it functions the way it does and what role it plays in the construction of consciousness. The title of the book, First Sight is kind of a playful reference to the idea of psychic phenomena as a second sight, how we have our first, normal sight which is just everyday consciousness and then a second additional sight which is special, a special ability, something that we might be able to tune into and maybe something that some people have and some don't. Some are psychic, some are not, some have abilities, some don't. Some people are just ordinary, normal average Joes and then some people seem to have these remarkable abilities.

He says no, that's not actually right and the theory is built around the idea that these things that we refer to as psychic phenomenon, ESP, extrasensory perception, PK, psychokinesis as well as a whole bunch of other terms that have come into the parlance over the last 200 years, that all of these things come down to a preconscious, unconscious mental/psychological process that is going on all the time and that is actually contributing to consciousness at all moments and that it is an essential feature that goes towards the construction of consciousness, to the construction of experience, that without it we wouldn't have experience as we know it, consciousness as we know it and understand it and experience it.

So it's quite an ambitious project to be attempting so much with a theory. I found out about this book years ago and only recently got around to starting to read it. It's a very dense book. There's a lot of information. So it's kind of hard to get into at first but the ideas in it, to me, are so revolutionary that it seems quite worth it. Maybe to just give a little background to how he developed this theory will explain why I found it so interesting at the same time.

Being a psychologist and a parapsychologist of course he'd been looking at all these things for years, since at least the 1970s I think he's been doing research and encountering various ideas along the way, like the work of Frederick Myers, one of the early psychical researchers in the 1800s, all the way down through the Rhines and their parapsychological work to today and all the research in between. In one chapter he gives the main influences on the theory and he quotes one psychologist who borrowed one of Whitehead's terms, prehension, which we've covered in the past, prehension coming from the root, I believe, to grasp.

So this idea of something about consciousness grasping things, almost in a literal sense and in the metaphorical sense of when you grasp something you understand it but at the same time when you grasp something with your hand it's an actual action, you grab hold of something. It's basically saying that there's an analogy to be made in the realm of the mind and consciousness as well.

So he's got all these influences leading him in this direction, a lot of it experimentally based and looking at all this data and wondering how to fit it all together so that it makes sense. What's interesting is the conclusions he comes to because having read Whitehead previously - to give a little background on Whitehead - Whitehead was approaching a different question. He wasn't a parapsychologist and he barely ever referenced parapsychology. I think he made one or two references saying he was open to the idea of telepathy, so he wasn't closed-minded about it but it didn't form an essential part of his actual philosophy. He was strictly coming at it from the perspective of a mathematician and a philosopher trying to understand why nature works the way it does, why the laws of nature work the way they do, what is the common feature of all things in the cosmos, what are the parts out of which the whole is made, what features do they have in common and how do they apply to each level of the material physical universe from subatomic particles up to individual human beings.

Some of the philosophical conclusions he came to in order to account for all of the phenomena of life and the universe, which would include things like minds, abstractions, theories, memories, experience itself, truth, to account for all of these things he came up with a model. He said "In order for these things to be possible there needs to be some kind of non-sensory perception." He called it prehension, basically from the very smallest thing to the largest, there needs to be some kind of non-sensory engagement with the world going on with some modicum of actual experience in the world.

So Carpenter is coming to a very similar conclusion based not on the scientific, mathematical and philosophical work that Whitehead was doing but just based on the psychological studies and what he has learned - I believe he might be a psychiatrist as well - but working with patients and doing laboratory research on these phenomena, he comes up with this theory. It's based on two premises and I'll summarize the two premises. The first one is that mind is unbounded in nature so it's not limited, for instance, to the brain or to your physical body, that the mind actually interacts unconsciously with what he calls an extended universe of meaning that itself is unbounded. It's essentially the entire possible cosmos, the entire universe, everything within it in space and time. There's this unbounded interaction with that universe of meaning and that there are both active and receptive processes in this mind on this unconscious level that are intimately conjoined in the formation of any kind of experience.

When you look at an experience, consciousness and the experience of being something, being human, is holistic in nature. There's always a receptive part taking in information from the world and from your own mind, your own imagination, your own memories and then there's an active action on the world. We're constantly doing both things. We're constantly acting on the world, acting on ourselves, acting on our bodies and receiving things from these same sources. An essential feature of that mind is what has been called Psi, so ESP and PK. So he would say that the active part of that unconscious part of that process would be psychokinesis(PK), which is an action on a physical thing and then ESP would be a reception - taking in some kind of information.

Then the second premise is that experience and behaviour are both made up of purposeful unconscious processes acting on multiple streams of information. Those multiple streams of information, according to this theory, are all streams of information that on some level the mind, being unbounded, is receiving and somehow sifting through and analysing all the information available at any given moment. So it's constantly and continually scanning this extended universe of meaning in order to pick out the bits that are relevant.

He says these experiences and behaviour are mediated by unconscious intention and contextual appraisal. So on this unconscious level there is an unconscious intention. There's a goal or a purpose towards this process to find that relevant information and what will qualify that information as relevant or not relevant and a constant contextual appraisal. So what is the relevance of that information in this particular context, for my particular aim in this moment?

He says that what this does is that it rapidly, holistically and efficiently brings the most useful information to consciousness and that this is not strictly a biological, mechanical automatic process. It is automatic in a sense because it's unconscious but at that level it still has to do with things and goals and motives that are personally desirable and what he calls situationally adaptive.

So even on this unconscious level it's not like it's just a clockwork mechanism going on. You can even think about this process as a person within you or something, that has its own goals and intentions and it has its own interaction with the world but you're just not aware of it. That's the way it acts, as if it does have some kind of agency and intentions and it's actually doing something but it's just doing it unconsciously. So it arguably is still you, it's just on a level that you're not personally and consciously aware of and that the purpose of Psi in this view of consciousness and its view of the mind is that what it does is it is pre-consciously preparing the organism. It's anticipating what will happen. Its function is to give a direction to this stream of confusing information, to point the organism - yourself - in the direction that enables you to become conscious of something and do something in accordance with those aims.

Those are the two main premises on which the theory is based. Another reason I thought it's a timely time to read this book is that last year Jordan Peterson had his debates with Sam Harris, and we talked about the first two of the four they did, on a previous show. One of the points that Peterson has brought up, and he's brought it up several times, not just in this interview, is that there is a big problem of consciousness and understanding it and how to make sense of the way things work. He brings up the example of analysing your experience for a second; vision is actually a mystery because with all this light information reaching your eyes and then your brain and your mind, there's so much information that it's not immediately clear why any one thing is more important than anything else.

If you simplistically try to program some AI for instance, to understand some visual information, it has trouble differentiating the boundaries of things. It can't identify a hole as an identifiable hole. You have to program it and say "You have to look for these characteristics" and even then it's a problem. I can't remember the exact quote, the way William James described experiences. It's a hustle bustle bombardment of confusing sensory data and it really is a mystery how we make sense of any of it.

So that is a mystery and it's something that most psychologists and philosophers and thinkers in general haven't been able to come to terms with because it is so strange. It seems there needs to be some kind of pre-conscious process that will not only classify the things within your visual field for instance, but then to give some weight to the various things in your visual field. "That's important. This is more important. Oh, this thing is the most important. Oh, those things aren't important, you can ignore those."

That seems to be the way attention works. There's a point of focus in your eye when you're looking at something or someone, there's a bit that's in focus and the rest is blurry, something that happened in your peripheral vision that you won't even notice. Of course the light from that source is getting in somehow to your brain. You're just not attending to it and it doesn't register. The information is there but something is saying "You don't need to pay attention to that." On the other hand, something can happen in your peripheral vision that alerts you, "Oh, what's that?" I've used this example on several shows before, walking through the forest and you come across a branch on the ground out of the corner of your eye and you get startled because you think you saw a snake. You might even really think you saw a snake.

So in that initial moment, there's this moment of uncertainty where the sensory information is vague and what your mind seems to do is make a conclusion before you're even aware of it that that is something dangerous. That is a snake. You have to do something about that and get out of the way. How that actually happens is a mystery in itself but it does happen.

So what Carpenter's doing is trying to explain not only Psi but all of these kinds of phenomena. How do we make sense of all of these? Now imagine that situation but he might say "imagine that situation but where you don't get to see the branch. You don't get to confirm whether it's a snake or not. Now imagine a situation where you're looking at something. You often see these in optical illusions. Imagine that you're actually in the forest and you see something and you're actually looking at it and it's from a distance and you can't tell yet if it is or is not a snake. So there's an extended period of time of uncertainty and vagueness.

In that situation, you'll have physiological responses. Your mind will be searching for an answer. It's going to be paying attention. It's going to be trying to confirm which unconscious hypothesis is correct because you've got a number of possible answers to the question and you're waiting for the confirmatory response. In that kind of situation I think Carpenter would say that the mind can do some interesting things. There's an analogy to be made to so-called psychic experience.

I think before we get into that, hold that in mind because I think we need some background before we get into how that actually works. We'll get there.

Corey: I think that was a really good overview. Like you said Harrison, the book is really dense but it's a scientific theory so just like a lot of other books about scientific theories, he covers the territory numerous times. In every chapter he continues to build on the different theoretical components that he has laid down in the previous chapters. Especially in the realm of parapsychology, there's just so much information out there that people aren't necessarily exposed to, to any degree whatsoever. So we do get this caricature of what parapsychologists do, through movies like Ghostbusters and that kind of stuff, but we don't really know what's going on in the field so it's helpful that he produces a lot of the results of what's going on in the field. He wanted to create this theory so he could explain what was going on.

But just to talk a little bit about the structure of the personality that you were talking about Harrison and how we construct our experience using our unconscious mind, our pre-conscious mind and Psi phenomenon, he uses archetypes to convey this understanding to the ordinary lay person. One archetype is the prophet. This is the Psi component of our consciousness which is constantly in contact with all this information and it's trying to sort out what's important and as soon as it gets something that is important, the prophet says, "Towards that!"

And then after the prophet has made that determination, the artist aspect of ourselves, which is a subliminal, sensational type of aspect of our psychic machine you could say, senses that there's something interesting in it and then starts preparing this preconscious attention. So it's sharpening it in the direction of sensory events that will then take that information in and then after that you experience a collection of sensations that you attempt to construe. It's not until the final step that you see X, you see the snake, like you were talking about. You see something and then you get a chance to think about it.

So it's this extended self. Most of it is unconscious. Whatever we are conscious of is just the tip of the iceberg. But it's all still this intentional aspect. It's still intentional, whether it's unconscious or conscious, it is your intention. So it's really reliant it seems, on meaningful information. I think that's also why this theory is so interesting. It incorporates this core aspect of meaning into a psychological scientific theory. As you go through the book he discusses the fact that he's not going to talk about neurobiology at all, not because he thinks that that's irrelevant. He thinks it would be useful to study neurobiology in order to understand the correlates of different systems with Psi phenomena but the more important thing is that this is a theory about the mind. It's not a theory about neurobiology, anything like that. It's strictly about this phenomenological, meaning-focused, intentional system that seems to be able to experience things before they happen and get vague hunches about things that are happening across time and space and it's always meaningful to the participant!

So there's a very powerful, important aspect to the theory about what he calls weighting, signing and switching the information that's available out there and that the job of the Psi itself is to sift through all of this information. But it determines whether it is important to the individual, and then it weights it in terms of whether it's going to be accessed, brought into consciousness, or rejected from consciousness.

It's an interesting way of thinking about the ideas of repression and how you can fail to remember something on an unconscious level. It's not like you are purposely trying to repress some information but it's more like your large, more extended self, has this goal and deep down you just don't even want to think about it. Subconsciously, unconsciously, out of all the sea of things that exist, it's just like, "Yeah well sure, but we're not going to think about that. We're not going to bring that up to the conscious attention" until you reach a point where you have to think about it because your life's falling apart or something like that.

Harrison: I want to talk a bit about that too, but first about repression. He makes a point that was kind of confusing. Freud had said that the reason for repression is because you're avoiding something that would be too painful to think about, that the knowledge of whatever you're repressing would be too uncomfortable. He doesn't think that's quite right. He says that that's actually the result of an initial choosing to know something else. In that first moment, it's not that you experience something and then there was this process going on to forget it because it would be too painful, it's that in that initial moment the choice was made that because in that context it didn't align with some motivation or there was an intention that was contradictory towards that piece of information, towards that event or that conclusion or something. So it was never really brought to consciousness in the first place.

So he's saying that the repression process probably starts a bit earlier. I think that's what he's saying. Maybe he gets into it further on the book in the part I haven't gotten to. But it's interesting to think about those things too because it provides an account for all of these psychological phenomena that have been recognized for generations but that there hasn't really been a theory to really account for all of them and why they all work, why they all do the things that they do.

I like the way that he lays it out and the four stages that you mentioned Corey, the prophet, the artist, the scientist and then the being itself. I want to expand on that a bit and the whole weighting and signing. If you accept the premises just for a moment of this theory and then try to imagine what it would be like, you've got this mind that is co-extensive with the universe. All information is there. The problem with that, like Peterson says, is that that is too confusing. That's too much information. You can't deal with all the information all the time. There's too much work to be done to be able to channel that down into some work manageable number of bits of data in order to deal with. There has to be some initial sifting going on.

So that's what Carpenter is saying. That initial thing that Psi does is sift out all of the irrelevant information. There are basic motivations, basic intentions and situational individual intentions going on, on the unconscious level first of all and those can either be aligned with or at odds with your conscious intentions. You might want to do something consciously and your unconscious has a different idea about it for various reasons. So at that initial level there's an infinitely huge array of information available to you. That first step - which is going on in a split second - is to say, "Okay, all this information is irrelevant. Here's the relevant bits of information."

That first process is what he calls weighting. This piece of information is important, these pieces of information are not important. Okay, so you've got this important piece of information. It then moves on to the artist. The artist has this information and it is important but now you have to ask some questions about it. "Okay, this is important, now what are we going to do with this?" This is where signing comes in because if a piece of information is important, that doesn't mean that it has to come to consciousness. It might be important in the sense that you have to repress it, that you don't want it to come to consciousness.

To give one example, he uses a typical almost evolutionary psychology example. I imagine some early human walking through the forest and there's a tiger hidden in the bushes. So what's going on in that situation? He would argue perhaps that extrasensorily, by ESP, that person on an unconscious level is aware that that tiger is there. Now what's the adaptive response if that human wants to survive? If that piece of information - which is highly relevant because he might die as a result of that tiger depending on what he does - if that piece of information becomes conscious, 'oh, there's a tiger there', it might startle him but that might be a second too late. That bit of startling might actually trigger the tiger. It might give him one second less to jump into that cave.

So in that situation you've got extrasensory information about the tiger. You've also got extrasensory information about the cave nearby. What the signing process will do is say, "Okay, that tiger is important valent information. It's emotionally heightened because it has to do with physical survival. It's important but we're going to sign it negatively. We're not going to bring it to consciousness. Instead we're going to sign for this cave" because it will be more advantageous for this individual to go to the cave as opposed to getting scared of the tiger.

That's just one example he gives for why things can be signed negatively but it can be for any reasons. Simply put, you will be motivated to ignore that information for whatever reason. It might be because in that situation there's something more important. In that situation, having knowledge of that information, of that event, will for whatever reason go against the most important intention or motivation at that moment in time.

After that is when the scientist comes along because the artist has primed these physiological responses, preparing for consciousness and preparing for a response. That would be the first things that are becoming conscious, looking at this data and constructing a picture out of it and analysing it and putting it together into a picture which then gets presented to consciousness and that's the first actual experience you have in this situation where only the relevant information has been coming to consciousness. What it's actually doing is that information that becomes conscious is the confirmatory evidence to answer the questions posed by these pre-conscious processes.

At first this information is vague. That's another important point about the theory. All this preconscious and subliminal and extrasensory information is vague in nature. It's like a hunch or a suggestion of something because it's suggesting meanings. It isn't a conscious experience. When you're conscious of something you know you're looking at it. The unconscious Psi process is inherently vague and fragmented because you don't have the confirmation of your senses. All you're getting are proposed meanings. So there's this stream of information coming in and all that your unconscious mind can do is say "Okay, well that seems to be analogous to or reminds me of this." If it comes to your conscious mind at all, it only comes to the conscious mind in the form of a suggested meaning, a potential meaning. So that is naturally vague in nature. There isn't anything definite about it.

So what's happening in normal conscious, normal experience is that that's going on. The unconscious is basically making suggestions about potential meanings and then the actual act of conscious experience is providing the sensory data and evidence to either confirm or disprove that unconscious hypothesis, so to say.

Corey: I was just going to point out one thing that I think is important. He mentions in the book that the kinds of information that you get from Psi are suboptimal. It's not the kind of information that you want to have necessarily because as a conscious being you want to know for sure what's going on. You want to be able to label things, understand things, manipulate them. You want to have some form of clarity, but as you said Harrison, this world of symbols and meaning is very amorphous and it's difficult to decipher.

So for a lot of people they're probably thinking they don't have Psi experiences every day. Well obviously a lot of people would probably say that they have had them on occasions. They've had hunches. They've had gut feelings. They've had dreams that have foretold the future. They've made predictions. Obviously it's not something that you can rely on but it seems like it's this universal hint system. From what he said, one of the most optimal times that you will see Psi in your own life is when you're going through a period of crisis or when you do not have answers readily available and you are more open in those instances because you haven't received cognitive closure on what's going on. You're more open I guess, to these vague, general purpose tool kits. 'This is the symbol. This is the feeling. Do this. I'm inspired to do this. Rather than just spinning my wheels it would be better to go in this direction'.

You're more prone to experiencing Psi if you're at least in a position of what he calls a lack of cognitive closure because as soon as you start working and thinking and consciously analysing things, that's when the Psi scores in these studies that he's talking about just nose-bomb. They just dive because people are now consciously thinking and they're shutting out all of the Psi inputs into their mind.

Elan: Well the underlying sense I've gotten from what I've read so far is that in trying to create this more holistic understanding and definition of the mind and consciousness, to eliminate this other perception, that even if it's pre-conscious or unconscious or going on in the background would be to limit our understanding of just how much access to information we have, that we'd ordinarily take for granted. Like you were saying Corey, many of us have had premonitions and dreams and various experiences that suggest that we've just had a Psi ability that would seem to be beyond the pale, that goes beyond mere coincidence.

So there is already acknowledgement on our part, being a little more open to this idea, that we do have access to information even if we can't facilitate it, even if it's not an ability in the sense that we've been taught to think of it as an ability, but this natural ongoing bi-directional process that we might at least become more aware of in their dynamics. He does get into this in a very rigorous, academic way, at least from my sensibilities. But what he's doing I think, is validating this whole other world of information that the materialists would have us think doesn't or can't exist.

Early on in the book - and this is pretty relevant to our recent discussions in intelligent design and evolution - he just provides what he calls the popular model which is the way that most of us have been trained and programmed to think about how we function. So I wanted to read that because everything that comes after and even before, is in stark distinction to this popular definition. What he says is that,

"In the conventional model of the mind and the world, physical processes are the bedrock of reality. Mental events are generated by physical neurobiological events. Organisms including human beings can be understood as biological machines with clear physical boundaries. Because the nervous system generates consciousness the reality of mental events is secondary and derivative. As the biologist Karl Vogt famously said, 'The brain secretes thought as the stomach secretes gastric juice, the liver bile and the kidneys urine.'

Recently the astronomer and popularizer of science, Carl Sagan, expressed the same idea in different words.

'My fundamental premise about the brain is that its workings, what we sometimes call mind, are a consequence of its anatomy and physiology and nothing more. Since physical processes produce mental events, these events can also be elicited by happenings beyond the physical boundaries of the organism except inasmuch as their effects somehow impinge upon the sensory system. The laws governing mental processes are mechanical and impersonal in nature. Implicit in this presumption of physiology generating mind, is the deeper presumption of a reductionist "hierarchy of the sciences" in which the constructs of physics are seen as reflecting the deepest substrate of reality. From this point of view, the answer to the question about why the particular next thought occurs, must be found in the biophysical events that caused that thought to occur. From the point of view of this model, Psi either does not exist - the most intuitively sensible alternative - or else it is an occasional aberration that would require some additions or changes to our ways of understanding just how external events cause mental ones.

For example, how the causal activity of an event at a distance might seemingly magically traverse space and give rise to a change in awareness in a nervous system would require some mechanism of action analogous to an electromagnetic transmission or perhaps a quantum linkage. Since physical events cause mental ones, the rare and anomalous instances of distance influence would need to be explained by showing just how those physical events have their impact.'"

So right there Carpenter really frames the dichotomy between materialist thinking on the mind and what he proposes as a more holistic vision. One of the most compelling analogies I think he makes in terms of how our mind is interpenetrating the realm of information is pointing out that a gecko can seemingly defy gravity by sticking to a ceiling and the reason it can do this is because it has these tiny tendril-like hairs that merge with the molecules of another solid, the ceiling. Are there molecules of thought that behave in a similar fashion? It would seem to be so. In any case it's just another way to bring our understanding forward in the idea that there is a panpsychism, there is a cosmic mind that exists that we're working with and aware of on some level all the time.

But if you're thinking strictly along the lines of the materialists, with those quotes by Sagan and others, you close yourself off in some sense to being a receptive being or at least more receptive, relatively speaking, to these thoughts and ideas that might provide useful information to you.

Harrison: I think what he does is bring these kinds of ideas into the realm of the natural. He's arguing that we shouldn't think of these things as supernatural or paranormal. It's actually a normal feature of consciousness and of the mind and that's how we should think of it. So we're not talking about some kind of special abilities. This is just the way consciousness works. If anything like what he could use to bring the argument home would be a more expansive philosophy to back it up. It's not necessary for the book per se, but just to make a grander worldview he could bring Whitehead's philosophy more prominently into play. I think that's just one way of putting all the ideas together. "Oh, so how do we actually think of this?" Well there is a way of thinking of it to make it so that it does all make sense, it all fits together into a coherent worldview.

One of the implications of Carpenter's work I think, is that it's kind of a bad thing to think of Psi as an ability for one additional reason is that you might think "I'm not psychic so I must be lesser for some reason" but he's actually arguing that these Psi processes are going on all the time for everyone and actually they are primarily designed for the construction of conscious experience. It's not like you're missing out on much if you're not having these so-called psychic experiences all the time because you technically are. It's just functioning normally. What's actually happening when you do have a so-called experience like that, it's actually when something is going kind of wrong - not pathological wrong but the process can't complete in its natural way.

So he says in an ordinary experience when you're consciously experiencing something it's because all these processes are going smoothly and that consciousness is aligning with those unconscious motivations and intentions as they should. Now it may be that your unconscious motivations and intentions are at odds with your conscious ones and that you might want to somehow figure out to get those two intentions in line with each other but even if they're not, that's not necessarily a bad thing. That's actually what you're supposed to be doing. That's what the nature of organisms is; to have these conscious experiences in order to have the optimal response to an intention. That's all that consciousness is essentially, experiencing the world and acting in the world motivated by these intentions. That's the way things work. It's an interaction and communion with the world and this relationship with the world that is provided direction by intentions. So free will is a big part of this. What are your intentions and what are you going to do about them and how is that all going to play out? That's essentially what happens. It does play out.

But now let's look at these so-called anomalous experiences for an instant and get an idea on them. Carpenter argues that when these Psi things happen, what has happened is that either the perception or the action has been blocked for some reason. So using the model that we've established, we've got these questions that have been asked and they've brought up potential answers to these questions. Let's use a common psychic experience, an apparition of a loved one who has died recently. This is one of the most documented, spontaneous Psi events where something bad will happen to a loved one, they will die and then the person - you the experiencer - will have a vision of them, either in a dream or a visual apparition where you see the person. Or it might just be some significant event. You look over and your loved one's chair has broken or some kind of significant, meaningful event that in retrospect can be tied to that moment of the loved one dying and you weren't there to get the sensory confirmation. That's essentially what's happening. This is a highly emotionally charged event that is highly relevant to you.

So based on the theory, you would be receiving this Psi information from this distant event that isn't in your immediate environment but because the perception isn't able to be confirmed by direct sensory experience, it still gets weighted and signed as positive and it presents an impression to your consciousness that might take a symbolic form or it might be mental imagery that might be them appearing in a dream. But in that situation you don't have the sensory confirmation, right? You don't know for sure that your loved one has died. Often in these cases it's only when they receive the phone call five minutes or an hour or a day later and then you say "You know, I had that experience. That was it." That's when you make the connection.

Until you have the actual confirmatory information it still just remains this illusive metaphorical symbolic thing where you're not sure what you just experienced. You're not necessarily sure of the significance of it. You've just had this impression. It might be a vivid impression but it's still just an impression. It's not like you perceived it happening. It's not like for an instant you actually saw it happening and you were aware that you were seeing it happening and it was like having a conscious experience because it wasn't a conscious experience. It was a preconscious/unconscious priming of your mental apparatus, however we think about that, the confirmation of which was blocked and that's why this Psi information was given prominence in your consciousness. That would be an example of the ESP.

Now for the PK, the psychokinesis side of it, this would be an action that is blocked. There's a strong unconscious intention and motivation to complete an action but for whatever reason that action is blocked. What happens is that that action may then be expressed in a kind of symbolic form but you haven't actually done it. The action completes somehow but you actually haven't done it. The way he puts it is that you can only guess when these are going on. You're never quite sure. This happens in terms of any kind of telepathic impression or specifically in the context of what he's primarily writing about, these laboratory experiments.

We'll go back to ESP for a second. All of the tests testing for ESP in some way, for example guessing cards or what they call the Ganzfeld experiment where you put ping pong balls over your eyes and listen to white noise and try to receive a telepathic impression from someone sending you something. Then you have various options afterwards. Maybe I'll go into a bit more detail for this one. So how this works is you're sensorily deprived and then you have a sender who is sending an image. They're looking at a card that has a picture on it and they're trying to send that image into your mind and you're supposed to relax and describe anything that comes to mind. "Oh, I see seagulls and I see a building with a tall spire on it", etc. Then afterwards they present you with five pictures and they say "Which one most looks like the images that came to your mind?" And you say "Oh, it was that one."

Then you get raters who will independently look at the data. They'll look at what you describe and they'll look at the images and they'll say "Oh, that's the one that most matches up with what this person said they saw." If it's a hit then you picked the right picture essentially. You rate them so it's like "this one is the closest, this one is the second closest". Sometimes it might come in second place and sometimes it might be last and using the laws of chance you'll see that "This person got this amount over chance". They should have gotten 50% by chance and it was 55% or it might be 70%, whatever. So you can have various degrees of success.

But at no point in this process or in guessing what card is going to come up, is there certainty. It's always a guess. You are guessing. "Okay, I think this one's going to come up." You're never sure and it's only afterwards when you look at the statistics that you can even tell and there's nothing for all these tests differentiating between the way you feel when you get a hit or not. For the most part if you're just some average Joe taking a test like this, you just guess and some of them happen to be right and you're like, "Oh wow! That's interesting. I didn't know I was psychic." But the actual psychological process is just a guess.

Now there haven't been as many PK experiments as there have been ESP ones but there are plenty of PK phenomena that are reported on. There are experiments like trying to affect random number generators to generate more zeros(0) than ones(1) than are statistically expected or influencing biological systems, "Oh, I'm going to try to raise that person's blood pressure or heart beat or galvanic skin response" or something like that. All these kinds of things have been done. But one of the most dramatic examples is what used to be called poltergeist phenomena. It's usually centred around one person. Weird things seem to happen. Objects are moving, etc. What Carpenter would basically be saying is that these anomalous movements of objects, for instance, are actually the expressions of these unconscious intentions and uncompleted behaviours.

So there's often a psychological significance, a symbolic meaning, a psychological meaning behind these actions. They're often emotionally driven. I think he gives one example of a poltergeist subject around whom these phenomena concentrate, who was terrified of objects flying at them and hitting them in the face. I think he said that he even witnessed this once where there was this one person who was terrified and objects were flying around hitting her in the face. So on the unconscious level there's a mismatch. She is consciously fearful of this experience and something on the unconscious level is causing it to happen and you can get mismatches like that all the time.

A theoretical example would be let's say you want to reach for a pencil and for whatever reason, that action is blocked. The way that this would play out in that situation would be that the pencil moves and the pencil is moving because it is responding to that intention, to that meaning, the meaning of the event, the meaning of fulfilling that personal motivation of yours but you haven't actually completed the action. It is completing the action on its own. There are famous cases of mediums and psychics who have an object like a toothpick under a glass case and they're trying to move it. That would be an example of why that happens, not necessarily how because there's still the question of how it happens. That's where you get into more of the philosophy and where David Ray Griffin and Whitehead would step in.

Just to round out that PK picture a little bit, what Carpenter is saying happens is that just like ESP is the first sight, it's the first unconscious perception of non-sensory information that contributes potentially to a conscious experience, PK is the first act. So your mind is reaching out to that object already. It's like this unconscious non-physical handshake. There's a relationship between you and the physical object, a relationship between you and pen or you and the biological system that you're trying to interact with in some way. The first act is preparing both you and the object to engage in this little dance, little causal relationship and then when that action is blocked - the intention is still there and the intention is still operating so the act might actually partially complete. But again, it's not a full completion because you haven't actually done it. You haven't grabbed the pencil.

So all that is basically just to say, back to my original point, when things are going normally there's no need for these kinds of dramatic Psi effects because you grab the pencil. You shouldn't necessarily be pining and longing for Psi abilities because really, if you want to move the pencil, just grab the pencil. The mind works fine just the way it is and these experiences, whatever they are, happen and will happen when they're either required or when something is going on that is maybe pathological to a degree and in that case, they're signs that something needs to be worked on.

In poltergeist cases for instance, there are signs that there are emotional problems, emotional complexes and things going on that need to be dealt with because they're expressing themselves in these overly-dramatic ways. That's a sign that you need to get your life in order and figure this stuff out and get a handle on it because that's not the way things should be working. Again, if these things happen, they will happen when they need to happen like in a deathbed apparition. If that happens it's because you simply weren't there to get the sensory information and it was important enough to come to consciousness.

So on the one hand I think that it's just a reminder not to get too obsessed with this kind of thing because it's really just part of everyday life and if anything, it's the study of these so-called anomalies that gives us a picture of what the mind actually is, how it actually works. And once we know that, then you can say "Oh, I've got unconscious intentions and motivations? How does that work?" It would be to use the hints that these systems and processes are providing to create a picture for yourself of what your self is; what those motivations are and to be able to say "Oh, I see why I did that. It's because on some level I really wanted this to happen or I didn't want this to happen." Then you can consciously work that through and ask "Is that what I really want?"

Oftentimes these unconscious desires or motivations might not align with your conscious ones. That's where self-analysis has to come into the picture so that you can create your own self more consciously and not just leave it to these unconscious processes, basically to try to bring them into alignment and that's the big mystery for me now. What are the effective methods for doing this? I think we've talked about some in the past but I really want to nail it down now.

Corey: Yeah. I think that's a big question too. How do you get yourself in alignment with your unconscious intentions and your conscious intentions? He details it quite a bit in the book, the difference between your unconscious goals versus your conscious goals and then how the Psi phenomenon weights and signs things differently. It's just this whole frontier of unstudied reality.

But I just wanted to touch on another example of ESP, what they call pre-sentience. It was a study that he wrote about where they gave a psychic test to a bunch of 12-year-old students in school. They gave them a bunch of cards. They laid four cards down on the table and then they had a bunch of other cards that they had to maneuver in front of the card that it matched. So you have four sets of cards and they all have to match. But you can't see them. These were 12-year-old kids and unbeknownst to them, some of the pictures on the cards are erotic photos. Not all of them, but some of them are erotic photos and they tested the kids beforehand to find out how anxious they were because they wanted to see if anxiety would interfere whatsoever or how it would correlate with being able to accurate guess using pre-sentience, ESP, where the cards would go, where they fit.

It turned out that it was significantly correlated with missing on the erotic photos because the more anxious the kids were, to them they interpreted that to mean on some level they were signing these as "Don't look. You don't want to know what it is. It doesn't exist." It signed negatively or however he would put that. They've replicated those kinds of studies numerous times. Now these kids don't know. They might say "Oh you got a relatively accurate score" but to them, it was just pushing cards around. In ordinary life it's something similar I think. You make a choice. You don't know exactly why you made the choice but something inside of you said "Make this choice and not the other one." That's how our entire lives are made.

So can you line up your conscious intentions with your unconscious intentions. The problem I think is what if your unconscious intentions are bad? Then who do you turn to? What if your unconscious intentions are "I want to self-destruct"? I guess you have to go through depth psychotherapy for years and years and years.

Harrison: I think that's where positive disintegration comes into it because really, I think what the positive disintegration process is, like Dabrowski would say, is a construction of a hierarchy of values. In that process there are numerous conflicts. That's what the process is. It is positive disintegration. It is things coming into conflict within one's self. It is one aim or intention playing itself out in you unconsciously that is at odds with your conscious intention and through that conflict, through that struggle is the creation of the hierarchy to the ideal point where those two things are in line all the time and maybe not even in line all the time. There may be times when the unconscious intention is still there but it is completely at the service of the higher conscious intention so that it doesn't control you because that's really what it comes down to, is when your unconscious intentions control you.

There might be an unconscious intention but it's at least theoretically possible I think, to have a conscious intention that is stronger. That's not how it plays itself out naturally because as Carpenter says, the unconscious intention usually wins out. But I think there's got to be a way where the conscious intention can actually win the game and I think that comes with strength of character maybe. Again, this stuff is really interesting. It would be interesting to do some research along those lines to see how these intentions come into conflict and how one wins over the other, what the circumstances are, what can be done to shift the weight of the conscious intentions over the unconscious ones.

Just on that topic I want to read out something he says about these unconscious intentions. It's just two paragraphs. This is in the section called Why Consciousness?

"In regard to the guidance of the flow of consciousness, we ordinarily want consciousness to focus on the most useful thing at any given moment. This implicit motive guides the orienting information that is passed on from each perceptual stage to the next. In seeking the most useful thing, we are pursuing a balance of several needs all the time although different needs may be more salient at different times. Some of these needs are general and many are shared with all animals. In the case of human beings, it is more adequate to think of these needs as intentions rather than blind forces."

He gives three examples of these general aims or motivations.

"1) We want to continue to live and to live happily and freely so we also want to avoid potential danger, pain and confinement."

This is just basic knowledge for all living things. You can't argue with that. Things want to survive and do things in order to survive. Can't get around that really. Well you can get around it but it's a very strong impulse.

"2) We want to maintain harmonious and fruitful relations with our interpersonal network so we also want to avoid conflict, shame and guilt.

3) We want to maintain adequate control over our circumstances and a well-functioning, predictive understanding of events. So we also want to avoid confusion, identity diffusion, the invalidation of core constructs and a loss of freedom to explore and investigate."

So right here we've already got these conflicts and how all of these intentions can come into conflict, not only with themselves, with each other and with the more conscious individual intentions as well. For example, there is a kind of instinctual intention to avoid the disintegration of one's personality because it isn't helpful to be in a disintegrated state. It makes you weak. It makes you vulnerable. So there's a natural revulsion to completely having your world view shattered. But sometimes your world view needs to be shattered, right? Especially when it's in conflict with a higher goal, a higher value that you might hold.

This is just one of those examples where these things come into conflict where on the one hand positive disintegration is the only method for growth and on the other hand there is an unconscious aim and intention to avoid that disintegrative process. Naturally that's going to lead to problems and difficulties but not insoluble ones.

One thing that we haven't really talked about that is really important and that Carpenter focuses a lot of time on is subliminal processes. He argues that subliminal processes, which are well-studied in psychology, are the same processes going on with Psi information. It's just a different source of information. For those who might not be familiar with subliminals or primes, an example might be, in an experiment, flashing an image which might be emotionally valent or significant, like the ones you described Corey about the cards that the 12-year-olds were dealing with. The 12-year-olds didn't actually see the card but in a prime or subliminal experiment, that image will be flashed on a screen so fast that you're not consciously aware of it.

It sounds like subliminal processes shouldn't exist if you have a pre-existing notion of what consciousness is but these things have been studied for years now and are generally accepted. A bit of sensory information, in the case of visual information, can be flashed so fast that you have absolutely no awareness that you've even seen something. You have no awareness that you've even seen an image. It doesn't register in your consciousness or awareness at all but it has an effect on you. Physiologically you'll have a response. You might start sweating. You might start showing signs of anxiety or emotional perturbation and you might not even be aware that you're feeling those things, that your body is showing those changes. All these things are going on, on an unconscious level. Not only that, it can change your mood, your ability to perform certain tasks. It can affect your behaviour, emotions and cognitive processes and all totally outside the realm of your conscious awareness.

So what Carpenter is arguing is that the same process happens with non-sensory information. It will affect your emotions, your cognition and your behaviour on an unconscious level. These would be primarily visible in the examples I gave where there is a blocking of the perception or the action and that leads to what he calls inadvertencies. These would be actions that are inadvertent. They're not intended but they express some meaning, some unconscious intention. He gives the example of how he's hard of hearing so he doesn't always hear what people are saying at parties, for instance. He gave one example where he was at a party and he had a great idea, so he said "We should do this!" or "This is a great idea!" and he looked at his wife I think, and his wife gave him the look "Oh, he's doing it again." Everyone realizes this because someone else had said that five minutes before. He hadn't heard it but either using ESP or just using his actual hearing but not being aware of it, he had heard that person say that thing but his conscious experience hadn't registered that as being an actual conscious sensory experience.

So what happened was it essentially entered into his mind and he just had this idea that popped into his head, not knowing where it came from and he thought "Oh, that's a great idea" so he said it, having no actual awareness that it had been said by a person before. That's an example of where it could be either subliminal or non-sensory, probably subliminal but who knows? There are other examples of that too, like Freudian slips. He gives another funny example. His daughter's boyfriend who was a biology student had come over and he said "Our lab does great work creating new orgasm - I mean organisms". It was a typical Freudian slip because he had one thing on his mind that he didn't want to come out and then it inadvertently came up in a very embarrassing way.

We see these things in general life all the time. It's the things that leak out, that slip out against our awareness that are expressions of some kind of unconscious process which are themselves the expression of an unconscious motivation or intention. So they can be funny but they're also revealing because those signs reveal the hidden aspects of our minds. I think that's why paying attention to signs like that, the anomalies of your behaviour, of your thinking about why an image just pops into your mind. There was a reason for it. You might not know the reason. You might not ever find out the reason but it might be useful to look at those things. "Why did I dream this and not that?" Sometimes there is highly significant information encoded in dreams just like in any of these types of experiences. They can be operationalized in a sense too in these experiments but also in remote viewing. "Okay, just relax and describe whatever comes into your mind. We want you to describe the target in this sealed envelope. Just relax and say what you see."

So it's not like the person is aware of seeing that target. No, images are coming into their mind and they're describing the images. So again, this isn't a direct, conscious perception of the Psi data, that target, it's just images coming into your mind. It's suggested meanings that the unconscious mind is suggesting to the conscious mind. "We've got this vague idea of something and these are the kinds of things it reminds us of so here, what can you do with this?" Then you've got the data and it's like "Oh, I see these shapes and that building shaped like this" and if you've got a lot of background data, you might be really accurate. I'll give two examples from remote viewing, two actual examples from studies like this.

One was a woman's first time remote viewing. It was her task to describe where another of the researchers was walking someone else. So they sent these people out to pick a random location or there's a predetermined location. I can't remember which it was in this case. She says "I'm seeing almost like a tube or some kind of conveyor of some sort that you walk through and there's squares within squares getting smaller." She drew a picture of a tunnel of squares and where the people actually were was a walkway over a road which was encased in a chain link fence. It wasn't squares but it was more of an arch shape, but there were all of these arches going down towards it in this tunnel-like shape. So it was pretty accurate but it wasn't perfect. It was a suggestion of where they were. It was a potential image that gave the meaning of those shapes.

But then there's an example of Joe McMoneagle who's a famous remote viewer. He remote viewed some location. It was a military building or academy or something like that and he was, if not a professional, then an experienced draftsman. He understood buildings and he could draw architectural diagrams. He drew this building almost picture-perfect and probably I think, because that was part of his expertise already. So when the suggested meaning was presented to him, he already had all of these really specific examples available so he could put that picture together using that information.

Again, remote viewers are never sure. "Oh, I'm looking at this for sure and I'm having this direct experience of it." No, just what's happening are images coming into their minds, just to give a couple of examples. Anything else?

Corey: No, I lost my train of thought on that because I was listening so intently. I was thinking about Joe McMoneagle. He was a Vietnam veteran, right?

Harrison: I can't remember for sure.

Corey: He was in the deep state for a while? Wasn't he part of the StarGate program or something like that? So he had some really good training and he talks about that in the book, that it's not that they were creating these super spies with all of these intelligence psychic programs, but they were just finding the natural ability in a lot of people and then these individuals were learning the various techniques that are required. Doesn't Joe mention the fact that when he is drawing something and he's "looking through his mind's eye", you don't say what you think it is.

Harrison: Right.

Corey: You never say what you think it is. You just say what it looks like, what you're seeing. You can only describe what you're seeing because as soon as you say what you think it is, then you've committed the act of cognitive closure and you're back into your conscious mind and you're out of that dissociative space from which whatever aspect of your body - the prophet or whatever - is able to see beyond time and space and then give you information about what's out there. As soon as you've committed cognitive closure you've shut down that communication channel. I don't know if it's fringe science necessarily, parapsychology at this time, but it seems like this book is a big attempt to try and make all of these findings coherent and present them to the scientific community. It fits right in with the intelligent design and all of these other things that we've been discussing, this real science that's going on concerning things that are fundamentally interesting. They're weird, clearly, the idea of everybody having some psychic connection to another dimension and how that influences our day-to-day decisions without our knowing necessarily. That's some weird stuff, but when you read the book and you see the actual studies that are done, it's pretty damn convincing.

Elan: This guy kind of reminds me in a different way maybe, but we've all read a little bit, heard about or watched videos of Rupert Sheldrake and his morphogenetic fields - if I'm even pronouncing that correctly; this idea that we do have this extra-physical/non-physical communication that is ongoing that is largely taken for granted except when the anomaly can't be ignored and is so in your face that after you've dismissed or are able to dismiss the idea that it's a coincidence, you're forced to confront this possibility of a connection to thoughts and ideas and other people in the form of telepathy. If you've ever been close to somebody you might find that you or them are thinking about or calling each other at the exact same moment, all sorts of different things that suggest a reality of what we're talking about here, what Carpenter is writing about.

But getting back to something you mentioned a little earlier Harrison in terms of intentionality, you were saying, and I agree, you don't want to strive for psychic abilities for the experience of it necessarily, or the thrill or sensation or the power of it. At the same time, it would seem to be that if we can openly intend, especially if those intentions are aligned with your higher values, you can intend for some positive outcome in the most detached but objective way as possible. Carpenter talks about this kind of bi-directional relationship between this information field and our own thoughts and wishes or intentions to achieve things or act on reality. It would seem as though you can at least make yourself more available to the information that's out there in some sense.

Corey: Yeah, I agree. In the book he talks about the different kinds of personality traits that go along with being more or less "psychic" under certain circumstances. For example, he talks about the fact that you want to have meaningful information. You're seeking after meaningful information or it being given by someone that you care about. So in a lot of these studies when you're seeking information from a loved one you get more hits than you do if you're just seeking information from some random stranger or experimenter. Also relations with the experimenter in these studies greatly influences the studies themselves just because that primes the individual. If the experimenter is just cold and studious and off-putting then that probably could create some feelings of anxiety and as they've shown, a lot of times anxiety reduces your interest in this material because you're thinking or you're worried and it's distracting.

Another interesting thing is believing in Psi in general. Obviously if you want to become a psychic or whatever then you're going to believe in Psi but the Psi aspect, this prophet that we were discussing, doesn't impinge on free will. So people who don't believe in Psi are less likely to score on these tests just because it's not pertinent to them and it actually would contradict one of their core beliefs!

Harrison: So ironically, that might also cause them to do what he calls Psi missing.

Corey: Right.

Harrison: So this would be getting the wrong answer...

Corey: Yeah.

Harrison: ...more than is statistically expected. Again, in this experiment where you might be expected to get 50/50, choosing zero or one, if you get a Psi hit, then you might get 70% or 55% or whatever but if you've got this strong belief against Psi you might actually get 70% wrong. So you're actually still demonstrating a Psi ability but you're getting it in the wrong direction because on this unconscious level that does go against that unconscious intention and that unconscious belief, so to confirm that belief. "Oh no. That's bad. We don't want to confirm Psi ability so let's go in the opposite direction." And ironically it confirms "Psi ability" which is interesting.

That brings up one thing. This was the one concept that I think we had the most trouble understanding at first and that's switching. We talked about weighting and signing. Weighting is ascribing a level of importance to a piece of data and signing is whether that will be incorporated into experience or not. We gave various examples of information that is signed negatively. One example was that 12-year-old experiment where the Psi information of these erotic pictures was signed negatively so that they were ignored.

The next thing is this switching idea. It's a bit tough to understand but I'll try to describe it. Switching accounts for these different types of results that you get in these experiments. On the one hand you can have a strong confirmatory response, "Yes, this demonstrates Psi on the positive end". You get a lot of hits. Then Psi missing would be a lot of missing. Also that would be signed negatively. But then you get examples of long runs of experiments that are just chance. The assumption that these Psi processes are going on all the time, how do you account for all those different things?

I want to find one thing that I wrote to jog my memory. It's called shifting which is what changes the direction of the signing. So you might get a strong, consistent, stable motivation that would be consistent with Psi hits or Psi misses. Those are a positive or negative signing, but for whatever reason, if one of those responses isn't ideal, what he hypothesizes is that the direction is switching back and forth rapidly because there are really only two options when you have Psi information. Either you go with it or you don't. You turn towards it or you turn away from it. So just with that in theory you'd expect either Psi hits or Psi misses. You wouldn't expect anything in between.

So I think maybe one of the reasons he came up with this idea is to explain the chance results. He explicitly says at various points in the book that even chance results are a result of Psi processes because Psi contributes to every event, every behaviour, every sensation, every thought, etc. It is the cutting edge of every mental process. So what happens in a chance event is when it's switching back and forth - relevant/not relevant, just to balance out because no response is needed. There are three possibilities. There's a positive response, a negative response and no response. The way no response comes about is by balancing out the positives and the negatives so it just switches back and forth. I can't think of the proper analogy but it's in a constant state of readiness basically, switching back and forth, yes/no, yes/no, yes/no and then when you really want no, then it's no, no, no, no, no, no. Then you get a visible string of Psi misses. If it's a positive one, something that aligns with the intention then it's yes! It no longer switches back and forth. It stabilizes in the opposite direction, in the yes direction and that's when you get a hit. That's when something contributes to experience as opposed to being blocked out and being ignored essentially.

Corey: I think he used the analogy of the boxer. He's shifting weight.

Harrison: Right.

Corey: He's not just standing there waiting to get punched in the face. He's shifting weight so that he's agile and ready to throw a punch as soon as there's a shot. I was saying that belief in Psi was an important contributor to actually experiencing these Psi events.

Also, he has a chapter about extroversion which is really interesting because one of the biggest findings in parapsychology is that extroverts have more Psi than introverts. He breaks this down for a number of reasons, but one of them is just in terms of what motivates extroverts versus introverts. How they set these studies up might motivate an extrovert more than an introvert. They've even done some studies on testing people for their extroversion or their introversion and then you put them with someone of the opposite sex and then they score better because they're motivated. They want to score better so they do score better whereas an introvert may not care. They're not interested. Maybe they're even a little bit put off by...

Harrison: Or anxious.

Corey: ...or anxious. They're anxious. But when you put an introvert into - as you were describing - the Ganzfeld test where they sit with golf balls over their eyes and all they do is listen to the white noise and just drift into their stream of images, that's where the introverts actually excel and extroverts don't score as high which I thought was really interesting. It's one of the bigger findings, I guess, that extroverts typically score more but then according to this study, it makes sense because their motivations are different. Introverts are more motivated to look within and to ponder and extroverts are more interested in partying, according to the...

Harrison: The centre of attention.

Corey: ...the centre of attention. So extroversion and introversion were both relevant depending on the context. Openness also was important. As he describes it, open people are probably more likely to find the information from Psi more interesting, more intriguing whereas people who aren't as open are going to find it dubious. It's not necessarily a disbelief in Psi but maybe more of a disbelief in its relevance. If you're a more traditional conservative type individual, you're an engineer, you like to be consciously manipulating things with your mind and figuring out things, maybe you're going to find that kind of information less trustworthy. So if you're higher in openness you're more likely to be better at Psi.

Also creative people have been found to be a little bit more psychic than others but only under certain circumstances; creative people in the sense of artists and people who have what he called intentional stability. So you can't just be someone who says "I just draw art. I feel like I'm creative. I feel like I'm psychic." No. You have to be somebody who has this stability of intention and then follows through with an actual creative work. Those individuals are more likely to be psychic or to be exposed to this kind of psychic information. It makes sense too because a lot of their work is drawing on this inner world of images...

Harrison: Potential meaning.

Corey: ...narratives, meanings. Yeah, that's most of their work. So they live in that so of course it would be meaningful and relevant to them. That pretty much sums up a lot of the actual personality. And anxiety too. If you were more prone to be anxious you were actually more likely to sense negative events coming but on other tests you're just too scared of information you don't want.

Harrison: Yeah. What I got in one of the early chapters was that anxiety leads to avoidance because if you're an anxious person you're more likely to avoid any potentially disturbing information. So that mostly dampens Psi effects because all the Psi information might be potentially anxiety-inducing. He says some of the best states to be in to be conducive to this kind of process is to be in a state of openness, not to be thinking about anything in particular, to have this free-flowing thought process, not to be anxious, to be relaxed and to have a strong wish for something to happen.

I think we've gone on long enough today. We'll be coming back to this book again in the future, maybe next week or the week after that and continue talking about it. I just want to thank you all for tuning in and watching, if we put this one up on YouTube. So if you see this on YouTube, make sure to subscribe and like and leave comments. They can be either positively signed or negatively signed and then we will either choose to bring them to consciousness or not, depending on whether we like them or not. So thanks everyone. {laughter}

Corey: Have a great week everybody.

Elan: Take care everyone.