Entangled Minds: Extrasensory Experiences in a Quantum Reality

Entangled Minds: Extrasensory Experiences in a Quantum Reality

Written by Dean Radin
Reviewed by Matthew Fike, PhD
Focus | Winter/Spring 2007

Dean Radin’s new book, Entangled Minds: Extrasensory Experiences in a Quantum Reality, presents a convincing, though carefully qualified, argument that “there is now strong evidence that some psi phenomena exist” and that they arise from the entangled—meaning correlated or interconnected—nature of reality at the quantum level. The book sketches the background of psi and psychic research, presents metaanalysis of over 1,000 experiments (i.e., analysis of other scientists’ findings), and then addresses the implications of positive results for theories of psi and of reality. Within this tripartite organization, Radin adheres to several parameters, the first of which is the definition of psi. The best definition—and the best phrase in the book—may be Einstein’s “spooky action at a distance,” which implies a conscious or unconscious receiving/influencing ability that transcends the physical senses as well as time and space. Accordingly, Radin’s meta-analyses focus on telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition, a sense of being stared at, and psychokinesis. Entangled Minds does not consider such phenomena as levitation, teleportation, metal bending, psychic surgery, apparitions, and OBEs.

In keeping with the receiving/influencing nature of psi, the long middle section in chapters 5–11 examines two basic types of experiments: those that deal with psi’s receiving function and others that test its ability to influence persons and objects at a distance. Most of these are collections of experiments, and very little of the original research discussed here is the author’s own; instead, he mainly subjects others’ studies—and replications of those studies—to statistical analysis. The strategy is twofold: first, to present (sometimes corrected) statistical evidence to demonstrate the degree to which the experimental results point to psi by exceeding chance; and second, like Sherlock Holmes, to shore up these findings by eliminating alternative explanations. On the one hand, the odds against chance are—in Radin’s words—significant, amazing, stupendous, staggering, shocking, and astronomical (in one case, 1 in 10 to the 96th power). On the other, he chips away at the alternatives. Chance, fraud, coincidence, experimental flaws, sensory cues, and recording error cannot account for the results. Neither can the combining of experiments involving different investigators, designs, subjects, or levels of quality. Nor can the so-called “filedrawer problem,” which means that researchers keep unfavorable results to themselves. In the absence of viable alternatives, Radin concludes that “these studies provide repeatable, scientifically valid evidence for psi.”

Here is a brief summary of the book’s conclusions about the nature of psi and the related implications. It is possible “to perceive distant information and to influence distant events,” persons, or objects “across time and space,” though psi does seem to diminish somewhat over distance. Group intentions function much as individual intentions do because there seems to be a global consciousness field. Such focused attention influences living and nonliving systems (people, earthworms, random number generators). Moreover, mental coherence leads to coherence in the physical world, time and space are discontinuous, reality is not a mechanism, and observation influences outcome. It follows that “objective classical reality” is a flawed concept and that we are not isolated from others or from the universe in which we live. This connectedness, of course, is the entanglement to which the book’s title refers, and Radin proposes that “psi is the human experience of the entangled universe.” Since he is writing a science book, though, he is at pains to qualify his conclusions by saying that correlation is not necessarily causation, that all he has really proven is that the outcomes are not due to chance, and that the probability of psi does not validate everything paranormal (Elvis, Bigfoot, UFOs, the Bermuda Triangle).

Such qualifications may result, in part, from the author’s awareness that his audience includes the very scientific conservatives whom he criticizes for neglecting evidence that has been available in scientific journals for many years (his criticism of introductory psychology textbooks is particularly apt). <em>Entangled Minds</em> even suggests that strong evidence deepens ignorance: “So amazing [were the 100 to 1 odds against chance] that these observations were soon forgotten.” Scientists’ “confirmation bias” or belief perseverance or zeal for the status quo accounts for the dual fears of embracing something false and being ridiculed or marginalized for advocating something true. In Radin’s way of framing the controversy, scientific “conservatives”—in their entangled ignorance and fear—seem about as reasonable as religious fundamentalists.

The book’s scientific orientation may seem to have little relevance to TMI (except to the research laboratory, which is disappointingly never mentioned), but Radin does say things that validate course participants’ experience of focused group energy and manifestation. One statement in particular sounds remarkably like the Institute: “The recipe [for positive psi results] involved times and places that evoke unusually warm or close feelings of togetherness, with emotional content that tends to draw people together, where personal involvement is important but focused more toward a group goal involving a deeply engrossing theme, located at uplifting physical sites like the ocean or mountains, during creative or humorous moments, and enlivened with a sense of freshness or novelty.” Still, while Radin has the good sense to mention the Star Gate program and the work of remote viewer Joseph McMoneagle a number of times, the TMI reader will bridle at the reminder that “most scientifically minded researchers regard” the “astral body” as a metaphor from “occult lore.”

If Radin is right that science is catching up to psi, perhaps the scientifically minded will one day come to recognize that OBE, like other phenomena, is not supernatural or paranormal but normal to the human experience. In the meantime, authorities need to affirm publicly the reality of psi because we are not yet to the tipping point where the “Age of Information” will yield to the “Integral Age” of “holistic concepts” that openly reflect our entanglement with the universe. But speaking out is exactly what Radin, psi authority, is doing in Entangled Minds, a book whose clearly readable argument and extensive scholarly notes may help overcome some degree of the scientific community’s inertia as well as provide a useful reference for anyone who encounters recalcitrant doubters of any stripe. In the words of Thomas Etter, whom Radin quotes early on, “the most egregious superstition of modern times, perhaps of all time, is the ‘scientific’ belief in the non-existence of psi.”

Matthew Fike is an associate professor of English at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C.


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Book TitleEntangled Minds: Extrasensory Experiences in a Quantum Reality
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Written by Dean Radin
Reviewed by Matthew Fike, PhD
Focus | Winter/Spring 2007

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