24 Jan Exploring the Akashic Experience: My Personal Journey (Part 3)
Since this early phase of my career, more than three decades ago, I have had many compelling encounters with the Akashic experience. Unlike most people, however, many of my personal encounters have occurred in the context of well-controlled laboratory experiments. Let me consider three specific examples from my formal research.
In 1980 I conducted a remote viewing experiment with Elmar Gruber in which we were both the subjects and the experimenters. We designed a formal study of ten trials over thousands of kilometers between Detroit, Michigan and Rome, Italy. Gruber selected a pool of geographical target sites around Rome that were unknown to me. On each of ten experimental days, the “outbound experimenter” randomly selected and then visited one site. At the same time, I sat down to describe his physical location without any sensory knowledge of where he was at that time. During the experimental periods, we had two colleagues keep copies of our list of targets and the drawings for each day; this was done for security reasons. Following completion of the ten trials, the ten descriptions were randomly presented to five independent analysts. Each was asked to independently visit the different locations and to evaluate the degree to which the site matched each of the remote viewing descriptions. Overall, these “blinded” judges correctly identified the target location in 6 of the 10 trials, a result that’s highly statistically significant.
Shortly after this study was completed, I conducted a replication experiment with Jo Marie Haight; this time between Durham, North Carolina, and Cape Canaveral, Florida. The same design produced another significant result that supported the remote viewing hypothesis and my own direct Akashic experience.
I’d like to say that these results from the studies with me as the viewer pleased me. Indeed, at one level they did. It was thrilling to harness these abilities within a scientific framework. But they were also deeply disturbing. I was in my early 20s and had no real grounding for these experiences. It was easier to think that other people might have these abilities than to have them myself. There was a mismatch between my abstract understanding of a paradigmatic science and my own personal experiences of the Akashic field. I have come to understand that I was not alone in my discomfort. For many people, psi experiences are unwanted and unwelcome, all the more so because we don’t have a strong cultural framework in which to understand them. Gradually I began to expand my worldview to accommodate an expanded view of human possibility, including my own.
Psi in the Ganzfeld
A second striking experience came in the study I conducted with Charles Honorton using the ganzfeld paradigm (a sensory deprivation technique that stimulates visual imagery and in a certain way simulates a dream experience—many psychic experiences are reported in such states of consciousness; it has produced strong evidence for psi phenomena in various laboratories with many experimenters). In this case, we worked with students from the Juilliard School of the Performing Arts. A student was placed in an electrically shielded and soundproof room while another person was in a separate room watching a randomly selected video clip. On one occasion that I recall most vividly, I was the “sender.” As the experiment began, the experimenter would select a pool of four orthogonal clips from a larger set of film clips. These clips were grouped in such a way that the subject, after the session, could objectively select the clip that most strongly matched their impressions during the ganzfeld period.
The randomly selected clip that day was from the movie, Altered States. It was the scene of a descent into hell, including a corona sun, a crucifix, and a large lizard opening and closing its mouth. As I watched in fascination, I could hear the student describing his impressions through headphones that sent his voice to me from the shielded room via a one-way communication. I can still recall the feeling of chills up and down my spine as the drama student described what I was watching, including the highly unlikely image of the lizard opening and closing his mouth at exactly the moment I was watching it on the video feed. This experience has stayed with me over the years as I have considered the nature of the evidence for psi phenomena and the debates over what is true about the limits of our consciousness. Perhaps it’s this experience, more than the highly significant statistical result that we obtained, that informed my core belief in a world that includes Akashic phenomena.