Jun 15 2011

Telekinesis and Psychokinetic Powers

There are many mysteries implicit in the psyche of the human animal, unknown regions of the subconscious mind, and uncharted parts of the brain with innate functions yet to be exercised. Some people who practice a science of the mind claim to have the ability to perform what seem to be supernatural feats, but which ultimately have a rational explanation, even if it is beyond human reason.  The art of telekinesis, which is an aspect of psychokinesis, is the apparent ability to move objects (including oneself in the case of levitation) without using physical force, to exercise mind over matter by channeling energy from the mind, body, spirit and soul from the point of the body’s own centers of energy to influence the physical world around them.

Among these are those who claim to possess the power to bend spoons or read cards by merely manifesting the intent, and art or science of the mind that in a benchmark of parapsychological research.  Skeptics often allege that such feats are the product of sleight of hand, parlor tricks, and clever magic tricks that can be reproduced in a similar environment without controls, and definitely not an example of mind over matter. Believers, however, persist in their claim that the phenomena is real, that the subconscious mind retains innate powers that most people have merely failed to develop.

Such assertions are not the sole property of self-named psychics, paranormal celebrities, or even, indeed, magicians, but have an ancient root in many of the world’s religions. Some of the powers in that context include clairvoyance or telepathy, the ability to know the thoughts and intents of another person’s heart, communication with the dead, levitation, turning objects into living creatures or vice versa, and multitudes of other claims. In the Old Testament, Joseph interprets dreams and turns staffs into snakes. In the New Testament, Jesus is resurrected from death, and a later believer is baptized in one location and comes up out of the water in another, hundreds of kilometers away.

The science of the mind that can produce such feats as mind over matter, whether it arises from the subconscious mind or is a concerted effort of the mind, body and spirit, also is evidenced in numerous claims of healers, both in conventional religion and in animist or shamanic practices. Healers influence the physical aspect of the human body by casting out disease or miraculously generating new cells – in elaborate cases, bringing the dead to life. Modern practitioners sometimes refuse medical attention because they would see it as a denial of their faith in the power of the mind over matter and in God.

In any case, there is a connection between modern claims to psychokinesis, telekinesis and religious faith in the supernatural, although people in the latter category often critical and skeptical of the former. One might, however, consider the whole basis of spiritual life as a paranormal claim, the notion that there is more to existence than physical reality.

May 10 2011

Can You Read Your Lover’s Mind?

Contrary to popular belief, it may be possible that everyone has potential psychic abilities and the power to literally read each other’s mind. Hogwash? Maybe.

But the fact is there are ancient traditions in nearly every religion that are coming into clear focus in the ever-changing world of modern science, where it seems to be less clear from a genetic basis where one person end and the next begins. Sure, it seems clear to us as individual people, where the differences are noticeable, but genetic scientists would affirm that from the perspective of an alien visiting the planet earth from a genetic viewpoint there is only one human being, and the differences and variation in genetic disposition is really very minor to the point of irrelevance. Moreover, if this is the case, all human beings are essentially united; we all share the same essence and are therefore all a part of the same living, organic, system. Karl Jung built upon this idea when he theorized about a “collective unconscious” filled with archetypes and mythic configurations which are genetically transmitted and manifest themselves symbolically in our dream states.

This being the case, it isn’t a far jump to conclude that having psychic abilities is not only possible, but probable. Psychic abilities may even play a role in the experience of empathy, or the almost manic thrill of being in love, wherein many couples have claimed the ability to read each other’s minds, know how the other is feeling, and experience the beauty and thrill of existence through the subject of one’s love.

Such an idea is not unfamiliar to the world. Kundalini Yoga, for instance, uses its varied positions of Tantric sex, as a method for mutual communion and the awakening of the energy centers of the human body, which are thought to enhance psychic abilities as well.

Feb 9 2010

10 Habits of a Liar, and how to spot them


This girl is a liar

Everyone’s told a lie– you, your friends, your boss, even your perfect “role model” mother. But the only reason you’ve ever told a lie was to help someone else, or yourself for that matter, out of a very sticky situation…right? Or are you just lying to yourself now? Either way, considering the fact that almost everyone on the face of the earth has lied at one point or another, we sure are lousy at picking out the most malicious liars among us. You might think you have a good sense of when someone is telling a tall tale, but you’ll find that when you know how to read the signs, spotting the falsities in your perpetually late co-worker’s excuses or even the faults in your spouse’s multiple cover-ups can really save you some strife in the long run. So, without further ado, here are 10 habits shared by Lying Larry’s and Fibbing Franny’s around the world.

1. Averted gaze: It’s not normal to expect someone to maintain full eye contact for the entirety of a conversation…unless they have some sort of disorder, and that’s another story in and of itself. However, if you notice any difference in the amount of eye contact the suspected liar is making, that could be a clue that they’re not telling the truth. In fact, even the direction of the gaze makes a difference when trying to figure out someone’s intentions. It has been noted that when trying to recall a fact, most people with avert their eyes upwards and to the right. A person who is trying to come up with a lie, however, will usually look down.

2. Too much eye contact: Just as a liar may avert his or her gaze to keep someone from looking into their eyes (it’s been long said that you can see the truth in someone’s eyes, therefore liars may try to avoid this result by looking away altogether), someone trying to cover up a lie may also make too much eye contact. This comes as a result of a reverse train of thought by the person in question. More experienced frauds may know that people are expecting them not to make eye contact and therefore counteract this by making prolonged eye contact, to the point of abnormality.

3. Stuttering: Telling a lie, especially a more in-depth one, takes a lot of effort on the fibber’s part. So much effort, in fact, that in the process of telling it, people tend to get tripped up. Think about it– if there’s something big at stake, it takes enough effort to remember and relay an actual string of events. Liars charge themselves with the duty of not only coming up with a fake string of events, but also coming up with it on the spot as well as double-checking every word they say seconds before they say it, meanwhile paying strict attention to every word they say for fear that they’ll be asked to repeat the same story later. Makes you almost feel sorry for them doesn’t it? Nah.


She tells nothing but lies

4. Sweating: It’s a natural nervous reaction. Most people sweat or get sticky palms when speaking in public, making an important decision, waiting on significant results, etc. But if someone is sweating during an everyday situation, that could be a tip-off that they fear getting caught in their lie.

5. Abnormal expressions: As in the case of liars making too much eye contact, they may also go too far when it comes to showing they are at ease to throw you off. If someone holds a facial expression for too long, such as a smile, or other expressions/gestures, take that into consideration.

6. Fidgeting: This may be a person’s way of diverting your attention, therefore breaking your concentration on the facts of the story they’re telling you. It may also be an uncontrollable nervous habit. Whether someone fidgets with an outside object or takes up a nervous habit such as tapping their feet or twirling their hair, these are all signs that your culprit may not be fully at ease and in the midst of spinning a tall tale.

7. Changes in pace: Beyond the obvious stuttering through sentences, more experienced liars might try to disguise this dead giveaway by pausing excessively. You can watch for this by noticing where in the sentence or story the person pauses. If it’s right before an important detail, or maybe before a detail they have relayed to you previously, this could be a sign that they are trying to straighten up their story in their head before it comes out of their mouth. Also, if the person pauses at irregular times such as the middle of a sentence (in the absence of a transition), they could be trying to let their voice catch up with their mind.


This girl can't keep a secret

8. Changes in tone of voice: When someone is spinning a story, they are usually concentrating too hard on coming up with the details for their body to focus on what it is normally able to focus on. This may cause a person’s voice to crack, which is almost a dead giveaway of a lie being told.

9. Any other changes in bodily functions: As noted above, people actively engaged in making up a story that isn’t true, while also trying to double-check the details of this story in their mind, while also trying to remember the details in case they have to recall them later…don’t usually have time for much else. As a result, functions such as blinking, swallowing and breathing may become abnormal. For the most part these changes will manifest themselves in the form of increased levels of all of the above (all going back to “fight or flight” reactions—also known as modern day nervous reactions).

10. Being overly vague: To lighten the load on themselves, fibbers will often not tell too many details of any story they’re asked to recall. And wouldn’t you do the same? Given the difficulty of telling a solid lie (noted several times thus far), it is much easier to keep it simple until further request. So give these people a run for their money—if they’re too simple, ask for further explanation, and then look for the signs noted above.

For the most part, pegging the aforementioned signs as a tip-off of a lie comes down to knowing the person in question. On any given day, any given person could show any of these signs, while also remaining perfectly innocent. But if you know someone’s normal tendencies, it becomes that much easier to peg these signals for what they really are, therefore catching their insincere act and taking proper actions. Ready to try it out but have no one to try it on? First, thank whatever higher power you might believe in…or your mom and dad for teaching you not to hang around liars. Then, go record the daytime court TV sensation of your choice and have at it.

Jan 8 2010

Extreme Examples of the Power of the Mind

Mind PowerThe everyday activities of the human brain are extraordinary to behold. Exclusive to the mind are the powers to imagine, plan, solve, and it does all these while coordinating and regulating a multitude of bodily functions. There are as many neurons in the brain as there are stars in our Milky Way Galaxy. It is a wonderful, complicated organ, and because of this, the full scope of its abilities is still being explored.

There are several extreme examples of the power of the mind that science cannot yet fully explain – from the outlandish, like telekinesis, to the scientifically verified, such as the ability to actively control autonomic body functions through meditation.


While the scientific community, for the most part, considers telekinesis the stuff of hoaxes, during the Cold War the USSR seemed quite convinced they had a homegrown psychic in Nina Kulagina.

Reports from the Soviet Union claimed that Nina’s abilities had been studied by dozens of scientists, including Nobel laureates, and films of her appearing to move objects across a table without touching them fascinated researchers around the world. Nina consented to be examined while she performed her telekinetic feats, and one study noted changes in her heartbeat, brainwaves and electromagnetic fields, even when the environment was completely controlled. She also was observed controlling the heart rate of a laboratory frog.

In another popular story, she entertained a professor in her home that had deliberately dropped in on her unexpectedly in an attempt to pop quiz her abilities. She was able to successfully recreate her telekinetic talents and even consented to being filmed. Nina Kulagina certainly had her skeptics, however. A popular newspaper claimed she was a fraud, although Nina had the last laugh. She sued and won, in no small part due to the testimony of Soviet Union parapsychologists. Nina Kulagina quit submitting to experiments in the 1970’s, after she suffered a near fatal heart attack that she blamed on the physical stress of telekinesis.

Photographic Memory
photographic memory
Better known in scientific circles as eidetic memory, photographic memory involves the ability to remember images or events nearly exactly. Eidetikers can project a memory on a “blank canvas” in their minds as if they were still seeing it and describe elements in great detail. This skill is often associated with autism spectrum disorders, especially Asperger’s Syndrome, but is certainly not exclusive to it.

Famous examples include Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who, in his youth, wrote down Misere by Allegri with almost total accuracy after hearing it just once, and Charles Schwab, who could recall 8000 employees’ names.

Related to eidetic memory is hyperthymesia, which is a spectacular skill for remembering events in one’s own life. Jill Price has achieved a level of fame for her capacity for personal memories; she claims she recollects every detail of the last three decades of her life and, if given a date, she can recall the day of the week, what she did, and what was going on in the world at the time, as long as she heard about it on the given day. The memories appear as crisp and accurate as if on film.

Self Regulation of Autonomic Processes

Meditation is the key to achieving control over the body’s autonomic functions, according to research. In 1970, a yogi named Swami Rama participated in a study by the Menninger Foundation designed to understand and verify his ability to self regulate his heartbeat, which included the ability to flat line his own heart rate. During these studies, he also showed he could change the temperature in one hand independent from the other.

Swami Rama told researchers that he was able to control his blood flow through meditation, which was how he altered his internal temperature and heart rate. Physician observers also claimed that Swami Rama moved a knitting needle telekinetically during a carefully controlled experiment, but many remain skeptical, as the incident couldn’t be verified scientifically, unlike the other tests.

Meditation is also the explanation for the famous feats of the Tibetan monks who practice a type of yoga technique called g Tum-mo. These monks have been filmed during a 1980s study drying wet sheets in frigid temperatures with only their body heat. The monks enter a deep meditative state while other monks drape sheets that had been soaked in cold water over their shoulders. Instead of causing the monks to shiver, the wet sheets begin to steam. It usually takes only an hour for the sheets to dry. The dry sheet is removed and replaced with another cold, wet wrapping; this is then repeated at third time to complete the technique.

Subjected to temperatures and conditions that might kill others, these practitioners of Tum-mo never even shiver. The monks, who live near the Himalayan Mountains, during the same study were also able to elevate the temperature of their toes and fingers by almost 20 degrees and were filmed spending a winter night outdoors at 15,000 feet wearing only shawls. Even when the temperature dropped to zero, no evidence was seen of shivering, and none of the monks huddled together.

The Power of the Placebo Effect

One of the clearest cases the influence of the mind on health and well being is the placebo effect, which occurs when the mind believes health will improve or deteriorate because of a perceived medical intervention, and so it does, even if the intervention was a fraud.

A classic illustrative example of the placebo effect at work involved a terminal cancer patient and a worthless drug called Krebiozen. In 1957, a man named Mr. Wright hounded his doctor to allow him to try Krebiozen, even though he did not qualify for the experimental trials, because Wright was convinced the drug would cure him. His doctor finally consented and injected him with the cancer treatment. Wright immediately began to improve, and one journal article quotes the doctor as saying Mr. Wright’s tumors shrank “like a snowball on a hot stove.” However, Wright got wind of the failures of the drug, and soon after his tumors shot up in size. Worried for his patient, Mr. Wright’s doctor convinced him that there was a newer, better version of the drug which was guaranteed to work. Mr. Wright consented to trying Krebiozen again, but was actually injected with a syringe full of water. His condition immediately improved. Unfortunately, Wright then learned that Krebiozen had been declared ineffective by the American Medical Association and died soon after.