james carpenter
What is the nature of psi? How does it relate to consciousness? Today on MindMatters we interview Dr. Jim Carpenter about his "first sight" theory, the subject of his revolutionary book by the same name. Carpenter's theory not only accounts for all the experimental data relating to psi; it also integrates current psychological research and a wider understanding of consciousness as a whole. Psi is not an anomaly or a special ability - it is fundamental to mind itself.

Dr. Jim Carpenter is both a clinical psychologist and a research parapsychologist. He is a Diplomate in Clinical Psychology, ABPP, and a Fellow in the American Academy of Clinical Psychology He formerly taught at the University of North Caroline in the departments of psychology and psychiatry. He has been active in the governance of several professional organizations, and carries on an active private practice.

Dr. Carpenter has published widely in psychology and parapsychology, with many research articles, book chapters and more popularly oriented pieces. For many years he has provided pro bono clinical consultation for persons who seek help with unpleasant experiences that they think of as psychic. His most substantial parapsychological contribution is a book developing a theory of psi, called First Sight: ESP and Parapsychology in Everyday Life (firstsightbook.com), published by Rowman & Littlefield. A more recent book contains a chapter summarizing some central ideas in the theory, along with another chapter placing the theory in the context of the philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead: Rethinking Consciousness: Extraordinary Challenges for Contemporary Science, edited by Buchanan and Aanstoos. His current research involves the prediction of the implicit contribution of psi information to the formation of ordinary preference judgments, using theoretically specified variables, thus shedding some light on how psi participates as "first sight" in everyday experience that people are not experiencing as "psychic.

Running Time: 01:41:52

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Here's the transcript of the show:

Harrison: Welcome back to Mind Matters everyone. I am Harrison Koehli, joined with my co-hosts Elan Martin and Corey Schink. Today we have the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Jim Carpenter. Jim is a clinical psychologist and psychotherapist and he is author of the book we will be discussing today, First Sight: ESP and Parapsychology In Everyday Life. There's a copy of it right there. We have talked about this book on the show a couple of times in the past, brought up with references to it here and there. Personally speaking, as I was telling Jim a bit earlier, I think it's probably one of the most important books written on parapsychology in the history of the field. It might be high praise. I won't ask Jim if he agrees or not {laughter} because it's his book.

But the thing that stands out for this book and for Dr. Carpenter's work is that this is, I believe, the first comprehensive theory of Psi - so psychokinesis, telepathy, all those sorts of things, ESP. What Jim has done in this book is look at all of the research, the literature, the parapsychological lab research that has been done and fitted it all into an overall theory.

It is a rigorous book. It took me a while to get through, but once I got into the meat of it and gott through it, it was still riveting despite its complexity and comprehensiveness. So with that said, welcome to the show Jim. It's great to have you here.

Jim: Very nice to be here.

Harrison: Maybe to start out, as an introductory question, the book is called First Sight, so could you talk a bit about what First Sight is and as a way of framing that, how does your understanding of Psi differ from the common perceptions of what it's all about; and I'll say the common perception is that Psi is a special ability that some people may have or that an ordinary person may have in a small degree and it might pop up here and there. But it's kind of seen as a super power to a lot of people. So with that said, how would you compare your understanding of it with reference to, as you call it, First Sight?

Jim: First Sight is a play on the phrase 'second sight' which is a traditional way of referring to ESP and that implies that Psi is a kind of secondary, occasional, like you say, thing that pops up, sometimes maybe more for certain people who we think of perhaps as more psychic. Of course in some instances it's an extremely controversial area of study. First sight implies that actually Psi goes on all the time for everybody and that it is the first line of our engagement with reality. It's behind every perception, every thought, every action.

This, on the face of it, doesn't seem to make a lot of sense but if you assume that it's an unconscious process, Psi is an unconscious process which fits into a whole host of unconscious processes that create our perceptions and our decisions and all of our experiences and actions. We know from general psychology and neuropsychology that every thought is actually preceded by a host of brain activities that precede that thought, decision or whatever and that these things are intrinsically out of sight and they happen very, very quickly and they precede every bit of our experience.

What the theory proposes is that Psi is the outer edge of this process, that we're sampling the world, accessing it and using it to form our experiences as we go along. I'm using it to try to form what I'm about to say next. I'm using it as I try to get some sense of the guy I'm talking to. But by its nature, I can't be conscious of it. So it's first sight because it comes before our conscious experience and it's the very first part of all of those processes that precede our conscious experience. As opposed to being something that happens occasionally, I'm assuming that it actually is going on all the time. As opposed to belonging to a few special super people, I'm proposing that it has an everyday function for everybody and that we're all using it. There are people who are more likely to access it than others and the theory does account for that.

One thing I wanted to account for in my theory is if Psi is real, if apparent incidences of ESP or psychokinesis are real and not just mistakes we're making, then they seem to happen pretty rarely and rather unpredictably. Well why is this? The basic part of that answer is that it's unconscious. In no way is it ever an experience. ESP is named as extrasensory perception because ESP is never a conscious experience. What it does do is it contributes unconsciously to the creation of our experiences and we can see it in action by what I call inadvertencies, that is things that just happen to us, images that pop into our heads, moods that pop up, impulses, dreams. These are our little signposts that we get that give us a glimpse of this process at work.

One thing that's been very important to me in developing the theory was getting a good picture of most of the research that's been done in mainstream psychology on subliminal perception. Subliminal perception is when we're exposed to some stimulus so quickly or so faintly that we can't be conscious of it. But if you set up an experiment in the right way, you can show that these subliminal little snatches of sensation actually register and have an influence on what we come to perceive, do and feel a few minutes down the road.

If I take a group of people and exposed half of them to a violent scene and I exposed the other half of them to images of a nice dinner with lots of yummy things to eat and then I give them a list of homonyms, words that could have two different meanings, and asked them to interpret the word to see what association first pops into their heads and if I say - not showing the spelling - but if I announce the word beat, if you've been exposed to the violent scene, you're going to be more likely to think I'm referring to something hitting something else. If you've been subliminally exposed to the pictures of a nice dinner, you're going to be more likely to think it's a red vegetable. We can show statistically that even though the subliminal information was never conscious, it influences what we come to experience a few minutes later.

Now I think this goes on all the time. All of our perceptions are actually preceded - when I see the picture of Harrison and get some idea of the kind of glasses he has and stuff, the split second before I know that I'm looking at a pair of glasses, there are some photons on my retina that I never experience as such, but they help me be a little bit quicker to realize in a second that what I'm looking at is a pair of glasses. In psychology we call those things primes, subliminal stimuli act as primes. They prime a pump in a certain direction. First sight theory proposes that even before subliminal primes come extrasensory primes and they also serve to orient us toward the quickest possible understanding of what's about to develop around us. In other words, they serve our survival interests and they've served our evolutionary interests. They make us a bit quicker to know what's what so we can respond in the best way to it.

So I use this analogy of subliminal perception a lot in the theory and I think ESP works exactly the way subliminal perception does, that they're both innately unconscious but they're both going on all the time and they're both extremely useful and potentially predictable if we can set up the right kind of experiments.

Harrison: Right. That brings to mind some things from the book. To get into more of how that subliminal process works and to tie it into something you just said about how Psi works, those subliminals that we're receiving all the time are the primes, the first things that we're perceiving before we're actually consciously perceiving them, they affect us in certain ways unconsciously. It might be that our heart starts beating faster or that our blood pressure gets higher. We may get into a mood. It might be a happy mood or a sad mood. And if we're not aware, as we usually aren't, of what is actually influencing us, all we have are these signs in our bodies and in our own minds and these would be akin to what you called the inadvertencies in Psi processing, right?

So we have a feeling, a hunch or we just feel nervous for some reason and in the case of subliminals that would be because of something that's directly in our physical environment that is influencing us in a way that we're not consciously aware of. But the first sight theory goes one step before that, that even the things that aren't in our immediate physical environment, that we can't see with our eyes or feel with our hands, are also influencing us and might have a similar effect on our physiology.

Jim: Yes. Yes. There's a physiological level to all this, absolutely. We know from some of the interesting research on subliminal perception that if you expose a threatening scene, something that would look dangerous to a person if they could see it full out, if you expose them to something like that subliminally, what you'll see very quickly - and this precedes anything you can notice in terms of your mood or anything conscious at all - we know the glucose starts to ramp up in the brainstem. And the reason we need glucose is that it's preparing us for the action that we're going to have to take pretty soon if this dangerous thing really develops.

Now we're never conscious of that glucose. Never. But we can become a little later conscious of the fact that we're kind of aroused, we're a little more alert, a little more vigilant, a little more ready to fight or flee. The same thing has been found to happen with any ESP research. If the experimenter tracks various indications of neurological arousal and brain activity with EEG and various ways you can see this happening, MRIs, brain chemistry, if you have a person watching a series of pictures on a screen - Here is a picture. It's gone. Here is another picture. It's gone. Here is another picture. It's gone - now the person doesn't know this but three pictures down the road, there's going to be a rattlesnake that looks like it's about to jump at you. Before that rattlesnake is exposed - it usually starts about a second before - you'll start to see in these measures of arousal that they're ramping up.

Now this even precedes the subliminal because yes that snake appears three pictures down the road but when it appears hasn't been determined yet and it's going to be determined by a random event generator which is going to be triggered right before the next slide. And so at that point no one in the universe knows when the snake is going to happen. When it happens is only determined by this random process. So it's not anything that can be known in a sensory way.

So why does this arousal start to ramp up at an unconscious level before the decision to show the snake has even been made? Well that's what we call precognitive arousal or other various names for it, but you get the picture, that we're showing that we respond to something physiologically a little before it happens but a little before it has even been decided to happen. So we know this is going on subliminally and these processes are unconscious, they're subliminal and they're extrasensory and that was to mean that the extrasensory feeds into the subliminal which feeds into my quick awareness that I better get out of the way because here's a snake.

Harrison: In these lab examples, most of the lab experiments that you find are fairly artificial. People are being put in situations that aren't really something that they would actually experience in their everyday lives. I wanted to make one point about that. When you have these artificial lab conditions - and I think you might get into this in the book, I can't remember for sure - when you have these artificial lab conditions, the results you get are kind of influenced by the fact that these are mostly artificial situations and more, I'd say, mundane than real life. So you're looking at these subliminals for instance, of the picture of the snake that's about to jump at you whereas in real life if you're walking down a trail in the woods and there's an actual snake, you've got a bit more skin in the game in that sense, that the danger is real. Or if you're walking down an alley at night and there's a guy planning on mugging you that's just around the corner, there are higher stakes in real life.

Jim: Yeah, higher stakes, for sure. The reason we use the lab is that we don't have portable MRI machines {laughter} that are very expensive to get, to see what happens on those occasions, hopefully very rare occasions where you're about to get mugged. But we can extrapolate from these little minor situations to what probably is going on in a full scale way. If you look at the experiences that have been reported of ESP, things that people consider ESP experiences, dreams that come true or hunches that are true or visions that somehow tell you something real, a disproportionate number of them have to do with emergencies and often with death, they're often the death or great danger of someone you love, which is about as urgent a situation as you can have. Or it may be an imminent life-threatening danger to yourself.

Now we know that when you just look naturalistically at the kinds of stories people report, most of them - a disproportionate number - are of that sort. You might say, "Well, maybe that's just an error in remembering. We're going to remember the more dramatic things. They're going to make more of an impression. They're going to stick in our memories better. They make better stories. But the lab research reassures us that those just aren't reporting errors or remembering errors. They're actually the way nature is working. Of course there are many advantages to a lab even though we're dealing with small scale phenomena with all kinds of controls and measurements that we can do that you can't do as life just naturally flows along.

One thing I've noticed, if you take this research seriously as I do and other people I know in this field have come to, even if you start out pretty skeptically, it makes you a little more alert to your own ongoing experience and I think it has probably made it easier for me to register important things and make more of them, credit them more readily since I know, based on the science, that we have good reason to believe these things happen and in a way are happening all the time.

Harrison: Do you have any examples you might be able to share about that?

Jim: Well I think, as you said, I'm a therapist as well as a parapsychologist. I would say about being a therapist, I don't think most of my patients would think of me at all as being a psychic therapist or even a new age therapist. I'm a pretty traditional, mainstream kind of therapist. But I am informed by this knowledge of the world. I was working with a woman a while back who had been extremely depressed and we had an understanding that she was going to be okay and that she was going to keep her appointment I think a day-and-a-half from this moment I'm thinking about. This person had never broken a promise or anything - so I had every reason to think that she was basically going to be alright. But as the evening went on I found myself thinking about her and getting kind of agitated and concerned about her and started putting in calls to her and got more alarmed when I couldn't reach her.

It ended up being a pretty dramatic series of events that unfolded through the evening and into the next day. But basically she had given me no warning, maybe subliminally or something, but she'd given me absolutely warning that she became very determined to kill herself. The story ends well and I won't tell many details of it but basically the fact that I took myself seriously, that I was having this semi-crazy worry about her for no real particular reasons, that it did help me avert a suicide that for sure was going to happen.

So once in a while there's something like that, where shows its real use. And it also shows how the more urgent the situation, the more likely you are to become aware of some itch that's unusual and maybe ought to be scratched.

Corey: That leads into the importance of the research that you've done and the other parapsychological findings and the importance of them for our safety and for the safety of others in order to have this kind of an understanding of this level of the psyche. In your books you have discussed the fact that parapsychology is the orphan of psychology. Could you talk a little bit about why you think that?

Jim: I came to Duke when I was a kid to go to college because J.B. Rhine was doing his parapsychology lab at Duke and I was fascinated with it and kind of skeptical about it and wanted to find out what they were doing and I got very involved with it and here I am to this day. But at the same time I was taking psychology classes at Duke and in my psyche classes I was hearing that this was terrible nonsense and that you certainly needed to avoid it if you ever wanted a career in psychology and that these people were crazy and blah, blah, blah.

Then I'd spend time with Rhine and his colleagues and they were real sane people, very careful, very self-critical, very thoughtful and their work was really good. I'd go back to the psychologists and they'd tell me it was all wrong and I've been trying to make sense of this ever since. I ended up paying some prices myself for having avowed an interest in this and having a history of research in this field. It's kind of a kiss of death for someone who wants a professional academic career in science.

Why in the world is that so? What is so awful and dangerous about this work? If it is mistaken and if it is a big error that's going to waste everybody's time of course that's good to find out and be done with it. But the more I've looked into it, for sure the less it looks like that. That's true of other people I know who've spent years investigating these things as carefully as they can. They appreciate how difficult the work is but they're pretty sure it's real and important and if this is a part of our nature and a part of how the world works, then it's pretty interesting to find out more about it.

So why is there this great animosity? I don't know. There's one clinical theory that's interesting. It was put forth by a psychiatrist named Jule Eisenberg a number of years ago. He thought that the reason people hate anything parapsychological so much is that it implies that, for example, if psychokinesis is real, if I can influence what random event generators do just with my mind, or I can influence the physiological state of another person sitting in a room that I'm only seeing on closed-circuit TV - which is a kind of study that's been done lots of times - if we really have that power, then when something bad happens that I really am kind of glad happens, if someone I really don't like dies tragically, then I want to feel that I have absolutely no responsibility in that event. I want to be free of guilt.

If you take psychokinesis seriously, then it's not so easy to be clear about things like that. And Eisenbud thought that was the main reason people are afraid and contemptuous of this field, that it implies this kind of expansion of personal responsibility that scares us. So I don't know how much of the truth that explains, but I think most working scientists are not philosophical. They want to work within a framework that's set and they want to ask interesting questions within that framework in a very careful way. They're not that interested in questioning the framework. In fact it's a big bother. It makes you nervous.

So parapsychology seems to threaten the framework of science in some basic ways that scientists don't like. If it's true, then it's pretty confusing and they don't know how to think about it. One thing I was noticing for years was that I would do my psychological research and I would do my parapsychological research and I would do my clinical work and as I'd shift back and forth between these worlds, what I noticed was things weren't any different in these different worlds. We'd made a lot out of the differences but if you look at research on perception and then look at research on extrasensory perception, it's a lot alike. We're finding a lot of the same patterns.

A lot of the same variables are important in the same ways and yet when I would talk with one of these people about research, as long as I'm staying within the sensory realm, we're having this great conversation. Now when I point out the ESP experience I read that Dean Radin did last year just like this, the thing you're planning. What do you think about that? Well they're "Hmmmm". Dead silent. All of a sudden I'm a nut case. {laughter}

That's a very puzzling thing and a frustrating thing. So why does the conversation have to stop when that comes up? So that's one reason I developed First Sight. I try to embed parapsychology within mainstream scientific psychology and I think it fits pretty well. I try to make a case that it makes a lot of sense. What we know about Psi makes a lot of sense in terms of all we've learned about how memory works, how perception works, how we make decisions, what kind of personalities we have, how engaged we want to be or not with other people. It relates real nicely with a lot of mainstream work. And you don't need to change the language that much to move back and forth.

So I wanted to point that out, and as far as I know, although I sent the book to some people whose work I respect, I've not heard a syllable of response so I don't think I worked any miracles in this respect, but it was something I'm still hoping for; that we can carry on, work together and respect each other and what we're adding and live in the same world and build up a picture of reality together. That's what science is all about.

Elan: Jim, some years ago I was coming back to a semester of college to a class that a professor taught who I had gone to multiple times. He was well-known to me and he taught philosophy, film and politics and was a very bright, creative man. The first day of class actually of this new semester, he was very forthcoming about the fact that he had just gone through a long, difficult bout of therapy in which abuse that he had received as a child was discussed. This is something he was sharing quite openly with us.

Jim: Wow!

Elan: And he said to us that the strangest thing happened. He felt like he had experienced all of this ESP since he had begun this work on himself...

Jim: Yes.

Elan: ...with the abuse. Given who he was and the fact that I was open to the idea of ESP and therapy, this connection, which ties in very well with your work, had been made for the first time those decades ago.

Jim: Yeah.

Elan: And it was just fascinating to me, because he was a highly intelligent guy, that he was aware of himself enough to say, "And I really think it was the therapy that was part of the cause of my experiencing all of this ESP!" Did you want to...

Jim: Do I want to...?

Elan: Would you like to comment on that?

Jim: Well I try to address this in the theory partly, that what we know, say, from research on subliminal information again, is that when we are clear about what we're doing and how we want to do it and we're clear about what problem we're trying to solve and how we're trying to solve it, the mind is kind of focused in a way that the net we use to sample reality gets very, very narrow. Fear does that and certainty does that. When I know exactly what I'm looking at and what I'm doing, I don't need to draw on a broad range of information that I can interpret to help me make sense of it.

So what the mind automatically does when we're clear about things is it shuts almost everything out in favour of what I'm doing - what I'm thinking about, what I'm seeing, and so forth. This conceptual, effortful clarity shrinks our focal point. And fear does the same thing because if you think about fear, what fear wants, becomes very simple. When we're afraid, we want to know what it is we're afraid of and what to do about it. The range of things we're interested in becomes very, very narrow, hyper-focused. And when we're afraid enough, we don't sample widely.

So for example, subliminal stimuli when the person is afraid, won't have any effect. It won't register. It won't affect what associations you make in five minutes. Or if it does - here's an even more interesting point - if you do see an effect, what you see is a reverse effect, that is, the material you've been primed to is going to turn up less than it should by chance. That's because the mind unconsciously is maintaining its focus by not just not attending to almost everything, but even reversing it if it threatens too much to kind of want to enter into our rooms.

We see exactly the same thing in parapsychology. If we're anxious, we not only don't respond to the extrasensory information, if we respond at all, we respond to it negatively. What happens when we're going through the world every day and we know exactly what we're doing, which is the way we want life to be - we want life to be predictable and easy and comfortable. I want to be able to get up in the morning and know what I'm going to do the rest of the day and I don't want too many surprises. Unless we're kind of unusual people, that's the way most of us like to live.

Now what happens when that is radically shaken up so that we no longer know what's up, we no longer know who we are exactly? Our ideas about ourselves have really been wrenched around? You see this in acute grief. You see this after the loss of someone really important. You see this after breakups. Another psychoanalyst who was involved in parapsychology a number of years ago called this the existential shift, that if something shakes us up at the deepest level so that our sense of ourselves and our reality is blown apart - talk about blowing your mind - if something has blown your mind, then people report lots of ESP experiences and lots of PK experiences. It's as if we've lost our focus and we're casting around a very big net and the mind is wide open and looking for anything that might be useful to help pull ourselves and our worlds together.

I went through a period of a lot of upheaval a number of years ago where a lot of things that I had thought would be true about the rest of my life were blown apart. I had, during that period, just a rush of psychic experiences. This was not theoretical anymore. Stuff was happening that was dramatic and obvious. And then when life settled down, those things settled down too.

Harrison: Right.

Jim: It's not an uncommon observation but it's not a common observation because most of us don't want to be blown apart.

Harrison: Right. I'm reminded of a couple of things and I think this might be part of an explanation for why most mainstream psychologists request this kind of thing. For whatever reasons they actually reject it, whether they are emotional on the level of fear of psychic influence or whether they're rooted in the philosophical assumptions that have gathered over the last 100-150 years and that influence psychologists on a worldview level that they're unconscious of, whatever the case and whatever number of things there are, they have a personality structure that is pretty solid. They've entrained themselves with this kind of hyper-focus, most of which is unconscious. They've got their focus. They've got their binoculars they're looking through and it's only through a disintegration of that previous structure that lets the newness come in, that lets something new come into that level of consciousness. Until that point the shutters are up and nothing new can come in.

So it's almost as if all of the critics would need a life-changing shock to their system to actually be able to then look at the data.

Jim: Yeah. It would be an unethical experiment {laughter} but it would be fun to do. {laughter}. We can see a milder version of this. Scientists like a lot of certainty. Scientists tend to be not especially creative people. We think of scientists as being Newton and Einstein and so forth but those were rare birds. Most scientists are not particularly creative. What they are is real smart and real analytical and they like to ask really careful questions in really smart ways and to do it really well. And they're good at it, which is why science is so productive.

But they're not especially open ended. Now who is open ended? Well look at artists. A lot of artists like to wake up not knowing what's going to happen. They want to go into the studio and they want to be able to see what pops up and they want to be able to not know what's going to be on the canvas. Or if you're a composer you don't want to necessarily know exactly how this score is going to unfold. You're an actor and you've got a new role and you don't want to have it figured out in advance exactly how you're going to inhabit that role. You want to go through a process of letting it develop and letting it speak to you. Artists start talking this kind of way, that it's going to happen to you.

When we put artists into ESP experiments what we find is they do a lot better than scientists. In fact the very intellectual, analytical types, again if they express inadvertently, if they indicate that the ESP information is registered in some way, it's liable to be the reverse, turned into a negative direction.

On the other hand you've got a really effective creative artist in that kind of experiment and you'll find much stronger, clearer evidence that the information is registered. This is one of the nice findings in parapsychology, that the very best performances in our experiments have tended to be highly effective artists, one of the best performances on record in an experiment. Now anecdotes are a different thing, but in an experiment where you can count and control things, a group of Juilliard students, as far as I know, still hold the record of highest performance in an experiment. A group of Edinburgh artists, P.G. Jarvis in Edinburgh also performed at a similar kind of level.

So if you want to conduct an ESP experiment and have strong results, recruit creative people because they're interested in a dilated focus. Their minds are used to bringing in random stuff from who knows where and that random stuff from who knows where is where Psi comes in.

Harrison: I want to go back to one of the first things you said early in the show Jim, about when you were giving the overview of first sight and describing how Psi - I can't remember your exact phrasing - but is at the base of consciousness and it's instrumental in the actual construction of consciousness. I recently read an online article that you'd written maybe five years ago or so about pharmaceuticals and hallucinations. You were describing an interaction with a patient of yours who had been - I can't remember if she was having an acute psychotic episode or if it was more of a long-term thing - but you described how you explained to her your view of what was happening because I believe she asked, "How am I supposed to think about this? Are my hallucinations not real or what is real?" You gave an explanation - please correct me if I'm wrong because I don't remember exactly how you phrased it - but you weren't seeing the things you were seeing because your perception was being constructed strictly out of the objects that were in the room but that for her, she was seeing something that you couldn't see, something like because there was an extra influence, an extra emotional importance or valence that was being introduced into her construction of reality, into the conscious perceptions that she was looking at.

So the one made me think of the other because it gets not only to Psi in general but just the nature of consciousness and how we actually construct it. Maybe you could describe in a bit more detail how you would lay out the construction of an experience, maybe just an ordinary humdrum everyday life experience and then an actual hallucination and the differences between those two perceptions of reality?

Jim: Yeah, thank you Harrison. I appreciate you bringing that in because that actually was a first sight point of view in which I wasn't mentioning anything psychic because I was talking in the context of psychiatry rather than parapsychology and I didn't want people to assume I was as crazy as a psychotic person and ruin our discussion. But I was applying a first sight point of view to how to understand a hallucination.

I was sitting in a room with someone and we were seeing almost everything the same except she's seeing microphones around that I don't see and she's seeing people outside in the parking lot who are probably spies who keep leaving and coming back and looking in the window and so forth and it's all very suspicious and I don't particularly see those people. I might see cars come and go but I don't see the repetitive things that she said she's seeing. So partly we're seeing different things, partly we're interpreting things differently. But there's a visual hallucination going on there too. That is not a microphone. I don't see a microphone. Is that a lamp? Yeah, we both see the same lamp.

She asked, "Are these things real?" It wasn't just an innocent question about, "Oh please explain to me the nature of reality, doctor." It was "Do you think I'm crazy? Can I afford to stay in this room or maybe you're one of them and I'd better get out." I'm not merging here, a hallucination with the world of the psychic in the sense that someone might jump to, "Okay, if you're psychotic that just means you're open to psychic reality and there really are ghosts that are lurking outside and you just become able to see the ghosts and stuff." I'm not assuming anything like that. If there are ghosts, I don't know anything about them.

No, what I'm saying is that we all construct reality, that we think it's just given, but it's not just given, it's actually constructed in that since I'm in kind of a normal state of mind right now, what I'm constructing my experience of reality out of is almost entirely the sensory sensations that are coming at me now. So these photons from the lamp are registering and I'm seeing a lamp which you do too. Now there are some things you are that I'm not. You're terrified at a profound level that I'm not terrified and when we're that terrified, that enters into how we're constructing things too.

So I start to see things that I'm afraid of. I start to see gas coming in under the door. I start to see terrible, dangerous things and it's because of the depth of my terror. You'd say this is an acute psychotic state. Someone who's acutely psychotic at some level, as far as I can tell, such a person is deeply, profoundly terrified and their fear is such that it's entering into the construction of their experience. Now is my experience real and their experience not real? No. One is as real as the other. I wouldn't say that mine is real in the sense that it's simple reality. I'm constructing my lamp just like you are but I'm constructing my lamp out of just sensory material. You're constructing your lamp out of sensory material plus things that are suggested to you by how profoundly disorganized and frightened you are.

Harrison you mentioned profound trauma, or someone mentioned it - the professor who was traumatized and everything opened up. This person had been working on early trauma too and was pretty much flooded by it and was finding it horribly disorganizing and frightening. So all this material, some from the past, some from just how stirred up my neurology system is, all of that's factoring into my experience. So I'm making this more confusing than it seemed to her actually, at that moment and she thought it made sense and we ended up with a sense of, "Well yeah, it's all equally real. I don't think you're crazy. You don't need to leave, but yeah, our experience is somewhat different. We should credit both of them." Does that make sense?

Harrison: Yeah, that makes sense. I want to keep on with this construction of reality for a bit and go through some more examples. That's a really extreme case of, like you said, acute psychosis and multiple recurring visual hallucinations but I'm sure we've all experienced something on a much lower level where we mistake something for something else. For instance - I think I already used this example in a previous show where we discussed walking through the woods and you see what might be a rope on the side of the trail and you've already moved away by the time you realize what you're looking at but you might be pretty darn certain that you've seen a snake. So not only is your body already moving away and you catch yourself in that state, but visually you might even see that snake.

Jim: Yeah.

Harrison: I've had plenty of examples where I've seen a shadow and I've been sure that I've seen that shadow in a particular shape and then once I get over the startle and the initial fear, I look at it and it isn't actually how I thought that it was. So in those moments, something is constructing that image for me that I'm then reacting to. Could you explain the construction of examples of that sort of perception? When you're mistaken about something that you see, what do you think is going on there?

Jim: Well I would say that the more jumpy a person is, the more anxious a state of mind you were in to begin with, is going to affect how likely it is that you're going to see that shadowy thing as a snake.

Harrison: So you've been primed.

Jim: If you're a little more anxious to begin with, you're going to be a little more likely to see the snake. But there seems to be an inherited tendency here that presumably our ancestors that lived long enough to help produce us had some kind of healthy fear of snakes and didn't die too soon to be our ancestors. So there's something of evolutionary value about being real quick to see a snake if it's hiding in the leaves. Snakes are really good - not consciously of course - but they've evolved to be able to look a lot like leaves. A copperhead in the leaves is almost invisible because it's so well camouflaged. But it's certainly to our interest to be able to see that copperhead.

So the more important it is that we see a certain thing if it's there, the more likely our false positive rate becomes, the higher our false positive rate becomes, the more likely we are to see that thing, even if it isn't there. If something is really unimportant our false positive rate falls way down. We're very unlikely to see it if it's there. We may be even so unlikely to see it that we won't see it if it is there.

Harrison: Yeah.

Jim: If it's neutral enough or harmless enough or different enough from our interests right then. Actually it gets into what I was talking about before about negative perception. If something is really contrary, it's harmless or it's not important in that way and it's really contrary to what I'm focusing on, I can sail by something that my wife says later, "Didn't you see that by the side of the road?" "No, I didn't see that at all. I was thinking about so and so." She wasn't absorbed in thinking about something in that same kind of way so she was much quicker to notice that unusual thing by the side of the road.

Harrison: So in a case like that where we have those false positives, if we do have a kind of Psi going on beneath the surface at every time, would it be correct or incorrect to say that on some level you already know that it isn't a snake or is that unknown in the process of constructing this image?

Jim: Well this really raises an interesting question. It's true of memory right before you remember something. It's true of subliminal perception right before we see what we're being exposed to and it's true with ESP. When something is in that preconscious place, we want to think of it as a kind of knowledge and it's like knowledge because it's going to prime us in the right direction. But it's not knowledge. It isn't that we know there's a snake by ESP and then we're quicker to see the snake. I think it's misleading to say that we know anything on an unconscious level.

I use the word prehension which is a construct I took from Alfred North Whitehead which he uses for both conscious and non-conscious entities. A prehension means a grasping of the meaning of something but we don't grasp its meaning in the sense that we know it. We grasp it in some other sense that we can't name because all of our names have to do with things we know. When we start to try to use language we're stuck in the realm of conscious experience. Now there is a preconscious level of experience that's both extrasensory and sensory and it sure acts a lot like knowledge but it isn't.

Well how do we then think about it? I think we just have to think about it as something that's going on that's going to have certain predictable effects. Now what it seems to do, it's as if the mind has a kind of general map of what's going to unfold. If you have a very crude map, it might lead you to the mountains of South Carolina but it won't lead you to a certain address on a certain street. It's going to show you the territory but not the specifics. That's the way ESP seems to work and that's also the way these other preconscious processes seem to work. They orient us in the right directions but they don't give us the details.

If you look at people, there are some people who have gotten real good at producing useful psychic information. I've been privileged over the years to get to know Joe McMoneagle who was probably the star remote viewer for the army intelligence program at Stargate. What Joe says is that he almost never gets a clear picture of anything. Now what he gets are little bits and snatches. He'll get an angle. He'll get a darkness and a lightness. He'll do sketches that are just kind of random looking but they're what he's getting. He doesn't talk much in emotional terms but other people who do will day they get little bits of mood, they get little bits of feeling, they get little hints of some emotional content.

But they don't get the details. Joe says, for example, don't ask me to tell you a number. Don't ask me for a social security number or an address. We don't do numbers. I think numbers are only specifics. They're not generalities. They're not these hints of meaning. That isn't what a number is. A number is a precise thing or it's not a number. Now there might be a moreness or a lessness. There might be a sense of quantity in that kind of way and Joe might get an address that's bigger than normal or smaller than normal. But if he tries to tell you the precise address or the precise license plate number he's probably not going to be right.

If he tells you to go to where the trees stick out in a certain way on top of an odd kind of hill that sort of looks like this, and you start to look around to see where those things might be, then before you know it, he's leading you to something that you're after and you get there. So what kind of knowledge is it? Well I don't think it is knowledge.

Harrison: No.

Jim: It's something like knowledge that we can only call knowledge but the second we do we're misunderstanding.

Harrison: Maybe a way of putting it might be that when prehending it, when you grasp it, you're grasping it as a possibility.

Jim: Yes.

Harrison: You're not grasping an actuality yet so all you have at that point are possibilities. Here's a possibility. It might be weighted more than other possibilities, but it's only when you see it and it gets actualized in sensory experience, in a lot of cases, that it locks into place as knowledge. Until that point it was just a possibility. So going back to my example...

Jim: Maybe a possibility with a degree of probability.

Harrison: Yeah. That's a better way of putting it. So when you're walking through the woods, pre-consciously on that Psi level, in the case of the snake not being there, you're not getting any pings of potential danger, so in that case when you see it, you're reacting to sensory information that is priming your consciousness that's saying, "Oh! Here, this is important. This is potentially dangerous. We haven't figured out..." brain cells are talking ..."we haven't figured this out yet so be prepared because it could be something." We don't have the information to know for sure yet. We don't have the knowledge because we need to have that synching up between the perception and the reality to lock into place as knowledge.

In the case of when there is a danger, it's still a possibility. You might have the presentiment or the feeling that something's dangerous and you might not actually be reacting to something that is actually there. So you might enter the situation, perceive something and see that what you were primed for might not actually be there. So okay, that was a false positive on the preconscious level.

So there's all these different variations on what could be going on. One of the things I wanted to comment on because you brought up how you use the word prehension. That's one of the reasons I really liked your book - one of many - is that link to Whitehead because I've read a bit of Whitehead and a bunch of stuff about Whitehead, secondary literature and right away reading your book I saw all kinds of ways in which your theory can fit into a Whiteheadian philosophy. I just wanted to bring up one point that he makes about prehension and even negative perception as you call it. Through the logic of his reasoning and coming to the philosophy that he did, he came to the conclusion that it must be true that every entity, every being, everything that we can think of, every existent which he called an actual occasion of experience, on a preconscious level, experiences everything, that everything in the entire universe is affecting every center of the universe, every point, every being.

So if I use myself as an example, on some level every particle in the universe is having an effect on me, on my experience but the vast majority of that is blocked out as irrelevant and he called that a negative prehension because it is not relevant to my being here at this moment in this place and time because everything is irrelevant. It has no meaning to me, no relevance for what I am actually doing and for the most part, the things that are going to be relevant, because we are biological beings, are going to be the things in our immediate environment where we interact with people. That's how we live - through our interaction with our immediate environment and then on a more explicitly physical level, the next most important thing, like you mentioned, is our loved ones.

Whitehead doesn't say this...

Jim: Yeah.

Harrison: ...but I'm kind of merging into your perspective on this, that our loved ones are important to us so on a level of perception that isn't directly of the physical environment that we're in, that becomes relevant. That extrasensory information that we don't have immediate access to with our sensory perception, is highly relevant to us. So that's going to be what we're most receptive to - the situation that our loved ones are in, that the people closest to us are in. Does that kind of make sense?

Jim: Yeah, totally. I wish I had actually had a more serious understanding of Whitehead. I drew that idea of prehension from a secondary source and I knew enough to attribute it to Whitehead but unfortunately I hadn't really read very much. But it has been pointed out to me since, what you're saying, that there is a lot of affinity and that's an area where I'm trying to find some time to do some more reading and just by coincidence that's really interesting, a book just came out based on a conference I took part in a few years ago in a Whiteheadian context. I've got a chapter in this book that summarizes some of the ideas of my theory and following that chapter a man named John Buchanan who is a psychologist and a philosopher, puts the whole thing into a Whiteheadian context.

I'm very flattered by the comparisons and I want to learn more about it. It seems to be a very natural kind of merger and extension. First sight theory could give some empirical substance to some of Whitehead's ideas. When Whitehead talks about the whole cosmos, he has a pantheistic understanding of everything that actually makes sense to me and feels like a good direction for us to think together. You can't say Whitehead wasn't a scientist. He was a brilliant scientist on a conceptual level. He wasn't a research, laboratory scientist.

Harrison: Yeah.

Jim: But it's very interesting that he might offer a kind of framework for understanding how everything could be speaking to everything, the way it seems to be. In First Sight I just put it as a preposterous assumption that's necessary if you're going to play this game and follow along understanding this theory, you'd have to assume that at an unconscious level the mind is in touch with virtually everything. Whitehead gives such an elegant and sensible way of thinking about that, which I didn't know. Actually I've learned a lot from this essay of John Buchanan, like I said. I'll plug the book.

Harrison: Yeah, go ahead. I hadn't heard of it yet.

Jim: It just came out.

Harrison: I believe you included the name in your bio that you sent to us which will be included...

Jim: I did include that.

Harrison: Yeah, so we'll be including that in the show description. We're just going to open it up right now. Scroll down there. Re-Thinking Consciousness-Extraordinary Challenges for Contemporary Science edited by Buchanan and Aanstoos.

Jim: It's a nice collection with other material in there - parapsychological, transpersonal, psychedelic stuff, various challenges. But those two chapters, mine and Buchanan's bear on what you're saying and I'm very intrigued with this and want to come to understand it better myself.

Harrison: Well when I first encountered Whitehead was through a couple of books by David Ray Griffin, one of which was on parapsychology. I can't remember the name of it off the top of my head but it was one book that he devoted to parapsychology. He has a great understanding of the literature and he has read most of it. When he got into it he said he spent weeks and weeks in all these libraries reading everything he could find on it. So he's a Whiteheadian so he places it all in that framework. He wrote one on parapsychology and one on consciousness called Unsnarling the World Knot which is more broadly about consciousness and dealing with the hard problem of consciousness. But if you check out those books you'll see that at the root of his explanation of consciousness is his Whiteheadian notion of prehension.

Just to put it really simply without getting into all the details, one of Whitehead's arguments is that in order for sensory perception to be possible there needs to be non-sensory perception underneath it that allows sensory perception to be possible. A very simplified way of thinking about it is when you have a sensory perception of impulses from your nerves going to your brain, it doesn't make sense to think of your brain perceiving the nerve impulses in forming an image. Something needs to be perceiving your brain receiving the impulses. Like I said, it's a simplified argument but at some level there needs to be a non-sensory perception of the sensory inputs because otherwise it's just sensory to sensory to sensory. It's just physical to physical to physical. There needs to be a conscious subject that then receives the data, the information from the senses.

So Griffin's explanation or his position on consciousness starts with a non-sensory level of consciousness of which sensory perception is just a mode of perception. It's just one mode.

Jim: Yeah. Well thanks for telling me about the second book. I don't know it. Actually at that conference I bought Griffin's book on parapsychology and read it after I got home and I was intrigued at all the parallels that were there and I had that same feeling of wishing I'd known all about Whitehead when I wrote my book. And what you're saying about consciousness is right. Whatever that prehension is, that transaction is that's unconscious that involves the extended world beyond the senses, it has to do with meaning. It's not just meaningless stuff. It's not just chemicals bouncing onto chemicals.

Now of course Whitehead would say even molecules are sentient in a certain way, which is something I hadn't imagined one might think. But anyway, there are meanings out there. What we're prehending is meanings. Now if you prehend a meaning, isn't that the same thing as saying you know something? No it isn't because that's consciousness. And all this is forever and ever and ever preconscious. That's why I say over and over that we don't have an ESP experience. What we have is an interpretation of the inadvertent implications of extrasensory information and this is true of mediums and psychics like Joe McMoneagle or anybody else. You're not getting the straight thing in the sense that I'll pick up a piece of paper and know what I'm reading. That's not the way it works at this level of reality.

Harrison: Right.

Jim: If someone tells you that they can read something psychically that way, then as far as I know, they're trying to fool you or...

Harrison: Or themselves.

Jim: Yeah, they're fooling themselves, one or the other.

Harrison: What was I going to say? I wanted to get to that idea in the book on meaning. You put it in several good ways in the book and there's good sections where you talk about it, how it seems like the universe is a world of meaning and on the most fundamental level that's what we're encountering. I'd have to re-read the sections in your book where you talk about it because I might be conflating what you're saying with what some other people say about it.

Maybe we can get into that, but what I wanted to bring up is a couple of weeks ago we interviewed a scholar of the Sufi mystic Ibn Arabi, from the 1200s. We've been reading some of that stuff recently and one of the things that struck me...

Jim: I read Rumi and Hafez at every chance.

Harrison: Oh great! So one of the things in that worldview - I believe I first read this in one of William Chittick's books on Ibn Arabi - it's the levels of reality in the Sufi system. At the lower level is the sensory physical reality. In the middle is the imaginal realm, the imaginal world and then there's the essence, the level of meaning in the higher world. So what happens in the mystic visions that a Sufi saint or any saint or prophet experiences is the meaning from above that then gets filtered through the imaginal realm and takes the form of symbols and images and then is presented to the recipient in a sensory form.

Jim: Yeah.

Harrison: Ibn Arabi gives examples of when he would go into visions and meet the prophets, that the prophets that were speaking with him were taking a sensory form in his consciousness, in his perception of a meaning. So the meaning was taking a form that he was experiencing. Revisiting your book, I was seeing some connections there in the way that this process seems to go on where you have the meaning and then in First Sight you have the extrasensorily perceived information or prehended, that takes those sensory forms, those imaginal forms, like in remote viewing where they're just snippets. You might have symbols of something. You might have something that alludes to something else but isn't the thing itself that needs to take those forms.

Jim: I like the notion of allusion, to allude to something.

Harrison: Right. So it takes those forms and then that experience has to be embodied in some way. For Ibn Arabi it was a literal, explicit vision. But in more ordinary first sight I guess it could be anything like you mentioned, from the physiological changes that you have to the images in significant dreams to what might come up in daydreaming.

Jim: Right.

Harrison: The example that you had of the patient of yours who was suicidal. I think you were awake at the time, right? And it just came to mind. It was something that just came to mind for you.

Jim: Right.

Harrison: So these meanings will influence us on an unconscious level and then take form in us, often in an imaginal way, i.e., that is in a symbolic or the form of an image. It could be an image in any of our senses. It could be a physical sensory image of pain or an emotion or a smell or something that we see in our mind's eye, right?

Jim: Yeah.

Harrison: Do you have any comment on that? I'm glad that you read Rumi. {laughter}

Jim: I don't know what I would add except that when you get comfortable looking at the world, say through the eyes of this theory or through the lenses of someone who has worked as long as I have with parapsychological research where we keep getting meaningful findings that are just as good as any other branch of science that I know of and just as reliable, is that when you start to feel that kind of vague, itchy thing, you might take it more seriously and you'd be a little quicker to wonder, "Is this leading me somewhere that might matter?"

Now it may not. I may be getting nervous and this person comes to my mind just because I'm in a bad mood or I'm starting to get sick. It could be a false lead. On the other hand, if you're used to thinking these things do present this way, then you're more likely to take it serious enough to check it out, to see. You don't get delusional about it. Don't assume that you've gotten a bulletin from the gods that tells you something that you have to call the television news about because there's a good chance you're wrong, but it's worth checking out. It's worth taking seriously because we know in fact that's how it works. That's what all our research tells us.

Harrison: And maybe it can be a motivation to become more sensitive to your own state.

Jim: Yeah, there are implications like that as far as self-development. I don't say anything in First Sight about a spiritual life. But I do read Rumi and Hafez and I do value the development of a spiritual life. The book got too long already and I had too many ways already to lose people so I didn't want to put any more in. {laughter} But to me that's quite natural. If we live in a world of extended meaning of this sort, then it's not unreasonable to say that we live in a spiritual world and to draw on people like Rumi who have so much to teach us. I don't know the philosophy that you were referring to.

I don't know much about Sufi philosophy. I really just love the poetry which speaks so eloquently about spiritual experience and events of life.

Elan: Well I would just pose Jim that the reason so many scientists don't take to your line of study and work is precisely because it's informed, on some level, by an appreciation of spiritual growth and something that's higher than ourselves as we are, that can't be quantified in a so-called rational, scientific, mathematical way. So this is quite literally uncharted territory for a lot of people who are uncomfortable with the implications of the important work that you're doing and it's their loss, even if they wouldn't see it that way.

Jim: Yeah.

Harrison: I forgot what I was going to say about that. I think that's about it Jim. {laughter} I just wanted to make a comment.

Jim: We covered a lot of territory.

Harrison: We did all of it. I just wanted to make one comment. One other important thing that I think your book does, because you mentioned that you didn't include the spiritual stuff in it, no room and no reason to add one more thing to get people angry at you, but I think what your book does is provide a bridge between the scientific world and the spiritual world. I don't think people need to be one or the other. If you're religious or spiritual, you don't need to be cut off from scientific knowledge and the benefits from a scientific outlook.

It's the same thing from the other direction. If you have a scientific outlook, you can have a scientific outlook to things that are spiritual and all you have to do is expand your worldview a little bit and you can do that with Whitehead or David Ray Griffin, to have a worldview that encompasses all of science, all of the possibilities and results of science, in a wider framework that takes into account meaning as well.

So that's one of the reasons that I appreciated your book so much. It is rigorous and scientific but placed within a larger worldview than we ordinarily see from what I call the mainstream. It's in a wider universe than most people think exists or that most people accept exists.

Jim: Yeah, I think so. I mention in the book, I was introduced to these things as a kid by experiences my mother had that seemed to be psychic and so I was about equal measures skeptical and intrigued with these things. That's why I liked Rhine's work so much when I was in high school - I started to read his books - because he was asking these questions in a scientific way, such that if he was onto something, opened up a whole lot of the world in a new way.

Just to end this on a real down note, {laughter} let me tell you what I'm working on these days and show you how boring and technical I can be.

Harrison: I'm looking forward to it. {laughter}

Jim: I'm working up some studies I did. A basic idea about First Sight is that psychic information is going on and registering and participating in some way in our experience all the time. So if you were a participant in this experiment and you come into a little room and you look at a monitor and you're told that you're going to be exposed to some subliminal information and some extrasensory information and you're not told any more than that, but what you need to do for a while is just look at the screen, fixate on a little X in the middle of the screen and once in a while there'll be a flicker of light that will immediately be followed by a geometric pattern and then there'll be another one and another one and there'll be a bunch of these and then we'll ask you to make some decisions about how much you like different pictures.

So we threw up on the screen subliminal presentations of certain pictures, extrasensory presentations of certain pictures and these extrasensory presentations were that the picture is there in a rectangle on the screen, but over that is a bigger rectangle that's black and opaque, which is like putting an ESP target into a safe and locking the door and the person never gets to look inside the safe to see what it is. So it's like it's in some sense, those pixels are coming up on the screen but they're covered with these black pixels so that even if you stared at it for a month you couldn't see a picture underneath.

So a bunch of these things are flashing at you. They're all presented randomly. Then you're shown a series of photographs in pairs and you're shown two kind of cute pictures of puppy dogs and you're asked, "Please decide which one you like a little better than the other. It may be really close but pick one." I picked these pairs because we know from norms that so many hundred University of Florida students said they were equally likeable. So these are equally likeable so any difference might have to do with what they've just been exposed to.

There's something called the mirror exposure effect which is that if you flash something subliminally, very often the person will be more likely to like that thing when they see it again later, full force, except we're doing this both with subliminal information and with the ESP information and I'm predicting that it's going to work the same with both and I'm predicting them using some variables drawn from first sight theory.

So for example, certain kinds of openness I expect to be important, whether or not someone is a creative artist I expect to be important, whether or not they think that ESP is a sensible idea should be important. And there are theoretical reasons for thinking all of these things. Whether or not you're able to tolerate close interpersonal relationships is one thing I measure. If you're not too comfortable with that, then ESP probably gets to be a more uncomfortable idea. How anxious you are is another thing.

So I take these predictors and I carried out one study in which I found my predictors of ESP. I've got these preference judgments. All people know is that they're looking at pairs of pictures and they're picking one. They know in some vague way this must be sort of an ESP experiment but they don't have any idea at what point it's not an ESP experiment. It's explained to them at the end. Now what I'm trying to predict is when that ESP flash covered will enter into their preference and how it will enter in. For example, if they're more open, more creative, less anxious, more likely to believe that ESP is true, things like this, then they're going to tend to like the puppy dog that was put up on the screen covered with black than they're going to like the puppy dog that wasn't put up on the screen covered with black.

Harrison: Yeah.

Jim: It worked beautifully. All these predictors nicely told us when people were going to express in this inadvertent way, that they'd been exposed to something. Now it was never conscious. They never thought of this as an ESP experiment. It's kind of like surfing the web and you kind of see a pretty picture you sort of like. It's no more psychic than that. They're just saying, "Hmm, I kind of like that. Hmm, I don't like that one so much."

So I took those findings, carried out another study, basically the same, used the same predictors, same setup and found the same results. I found what I predicted the first time. I confirmed the first findings in the second study and this is the kind of research that this theory can lead you to. It's a way of getting a picture of how ESP enters our everyday experience in a way we never notice. No one ever had an ESP experience in the context of this. Nobody said, "Oh my god! My brother's in trouble across town." Nobody had anything like that. They just liked one puppy dog a little better than the other and had no reason to think there was anything except the picture that was involved in that judgment. But actually our manipulation entered into that judgment in a way they never knew. So that's one kind of study that you can use with this theory.

Harrison: After reading your book I was hoping there would be more studies designed in this kind of way so I'm glad that you're doing some.

Jim: I'm doing some myself. Nobody else seems to be doing these - complain, complain. {laughter}

Harrison: Well we're going to have to run our own experiment, like we talked about earlier, with some massive shocks to the system. Alright. I think we're going to end it there Jim. Thanks again for joining us. It was great talking to you. It was a pleasure.

Elan: Yes.

Harrison: We wish you all the best in your practice and in your work and in just living through these strange times that we seem to be living through.

Jim: Yeah. Hopefully we're all getting in different ways, more understanding of how connected we are and how much we need each other. I hope you guys stay safe and you're doing a good job of this. I'm proud to be part of it.

Harrison: Great, thank you. We're proud to have you on. Take care.

Elan: We appreciate you. Take care.

Jim: Nice to meet all three of you. Bye.