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Extrasensory Perception 
in a Quantum Reality

by Dean Radin, 2006
Paraview Pocket Books, New York

Review by Christopher P. Holmes, Ph.D.

Dean Radin, Ph.D., is currently the Laboratory Director at the Institute of Noetic Science in Petaluma, California.  He has reseached psychical phenomena for over twenty years, both within academic settings-including Princeton, as well as at three Silicon Valley think tanks.  His earlier book The Conscious Universe: the scientific truth of psychic phenomena was a number one parapsychology bestseller on  Dr. Radin is featured in the new-age movie Down the Rabbit Hole, the sequel to the popular What the Bleep do we Know?!   He is clearly a leading researcher and theorist in modern psychic and paranormal studies, and this book is valuable in bringing attention to the scientific evidences for paranormal phenomena. 

The first two hundred pages or so of Entangled Minds provides brief histories of different areas of psychic investigations and a review of a significant body of paranormal research--both Dr. Radin's own research work and valuable 'meta-analysis,' which he conducts on other paranormal research.  There is then two thirty-page chapters -- one on "A New Reality," dealing with aspects of the new physics, and a second on "Theories of Psi," applying concepts from physics to understanding the possible basis for Psi phenomena.  The bulk of the book is a historic review and a summary of paranormal research, and the actual theory or model of Psi is really quite limited-- beyond introducing the most essential idea of the "entanglement" of "minds."

Dr. Radin explains the concept of "entanglement" as has emerged in modern physics, and argues that, "psi becomes the unavoidable consequence of living in an interconnected, entangled physical reality,"  (p. 3)  Entangled Mind does demonstrate a credible body of scientific and statistical  evidence which supports this hypothesis.   Dr. Radin considers psi "as a perceptual ability, as information flowing from the environment into the mind without the use of the ordinary senses."  (p. 146) 

I would firstly like to provide a complementary review of Entangled Minds by Dr. Radin.  This is a valuable contribution to the modern parapsychology literature.  It provides  'meta-analyses' of existing experimental literature on such para-normal faculties and experiences--as those of ESP, precognition and presentience, and psychokinesis (PK); it reports Dr. Radin's significant original experimental contributions; it addresses the historic issues of science and the paranormal as well as the shallow objections and arguments of the skeptics; and, it suggests how the 'new physics' provides more of a framework within which to understand paranormal phenomena. 

Radin quotes a well-known maxim, "Exceptional claims require exceptional evidence"  -attributed to both Carl Sagan and the sociologist of science, Marcello Truzzi.  As it happens, Radin provides such exceptional evidence in his reviews of the paranormal literature, and then related psychical research to a key concept in modern physics-entanglement.   

"Entanglement" refers to the interconnectedness of separated quanta as implied in modern quantum theory.  Albert Einstein refered to the "spooky action at a distance," inherent to basic quantum theory--such that particles separated in space and time from each other are seemingly interconnected at a level beyond the material level.  Thus the measurement of one particle in a laboratory and the 'collapse of it's wave-function' might instantaneously collapse the wave function of the other particle.  This occurs instantaneously and without the exchange of 'a messenger particle' to mediate the interaction.  However, scientists generally have believe in only "local effects" in physics,  rather than such 'non-local' spooky action at a distance as implied in quantum  theory. 

Radin explains: "entanglement (refers) to connections between separated particles that persisted regardless of distance.  These connections are instantaneous, operating "outside" the usual flow of time."  Wave/particles are 'entangled' in higher dimensional "phase space," which information is then latent within "the medium" of space.    Radin explains that : "New reality" refers to the modern understanding of the interconnected medium in which we live, the fabric of reality as revealed by modern physics."  (Radin, 2006, p. 5)  The 'medium' is that of space itself.

Evidence is emerging within science that "entangled connections are proving to be more pervasive and robust than anyone had previously imagined," and "it affects the wider, 'macroscopic' world that we inhabit."   Thus,  "evidences of psychical entanglement" are evidence of quantum entanglement at larger macroscopic levels, and not simply at the levels of singular quanta.  Dr. Radin regards the human brain as the primary site of both  'consciousness' and 'the mind,' and the experience of such entanglement.   Thus the title of the book suggests that human 'minds' are entangled within the medium of space to other human minds, and to information about distance events, even future ones.  Radin notes: "there's no theoretical limit to how large an entangled object can be."  (p. 16) 

This image and poetic verse introduces Chapter 1, In the Beginning, and portays a link between a lowly flower and a distance star, all entangled within quantum realities. 

When it comes to explaining how all this might work, Entangled Minds does not really provide too much elaboration or enlightenment on these issues.  Instead, the book focus is more upon the "evidences" for paranormal phenomena consistent with such a general notion of "entangled minds."    Dr. Radin also addresses the skeptics, who so flippantly dismiss and denigrate such psychical research--the "... naysayers interested mainly in defending dogma."  (p. 11)

Entangled  Minds & Hearts

We might call the present era the 'Age of Information," and the zeitgeist is a quantum computer.  ... The concept of mind is viewed as a dynamic, cybernetic inter-play between a complex physical structure (the brain) and an emergent process (the mind), with brain imagined to be primary driver of the process.  Increasing numbers of scientists are beginning to ponder the role that quantum theory plays in the brain and in creating or sustaining consciousness. (Radin, 2006, pp. 242-3)
Although in ways, I compliment Dean Radin for a very valuable contribution to the parapsychology literature, at the same time, his work is limited by those same 'assumptions' which characterize the broader disciplines of modern psychology and neuro-science, as well as new-age philosophies.  This 'head doctrine' associates consciousness and the mind almost exclusively with the brain in the head.   Further, Dr. Radin while assuming that 'the mind' is only in the head, tends to hold a simple dualistic view of mind and brain, or mind and matter.  Of course, Mind and brain now exist within a third element--the medium of space containing all the phase entanglement information of the whole.   The "entangled minds" title of the book suggests that the primary 'entanglement' is between minds, but this is not so simply all there is to paranormal faculties and experiences. In fact, Dr. Radin himself reports varied parapsychological studies where heart rates are correlated between subjects, and other autonomic nervous system indicators are used.   He provides no details as to how the brain actually processes the information from within the medium, or how this entanglement actually occurs or the further physics of the process.. 

A human being, as a microcosm of the macrocosm, must be considered as a whole quantum system, and not simply as a brain in the head producing consciousness.  As a whole quantum system, the centre of a human being would really be considered as related to the electrodynamics of the heart!  In The Heart’s Code, psychologist Paul Pearsall (1998) maintains that, energetically speaking, the heart–rather than the brain–is clearly the centre of the psychological universe.  Indeed:

The heart’s EMF (electro-magnetic field) is five thousand times more powerful than the electromagnetic field created by the brain and, in addition to its immense power, has subtle, non-local effects that travel within these forms of energy. ... the heart generates over fifty thousand femtoteslas (a measure of EMF) compared to less than ten femtoteslas recorded from the brain.  (p. 55)

The profound significance of these facts leads Gary Schwartz and Linda Russe, in the forward of Pearsall’s book, to comment: 
The Heart’s Code points the way to a new revolution in our thinking.  Metaphorically, the heart is the sun, the pulsing, energetic center of our biophysical “solar” system, and the brain is the earth, one of the most important planets in our biophysical system.  One implication of the energy cardiology/cardio-energetic revolution is the radical (meaning “root”) idea that energetically, the brain revolves around the heart, not the other way around.  (1998, p. xii)
The heart is the largest source of biophysical energy in the body, and itself is a quantum computer.  In fact, for varied significant reasons, the heart is the centre within the psychological life.  In Pearsall’s view, the heart involves energy and information that comprises the essence or soul of who we are.  Unfortunately, Dr. Radin is not versed in the esoteric mystical studies, and does not considered how the 'entangled minds' might be related to what is normally referred to as a 'soul.'  Generally, Radin is somewhat dismissive of occult and mystical teachings, offering a new vocabulary to replace what he refers to as the 'occult lore.' 

The idea, that the heart is the center of the psychology of the individual, instead of the brain, would indeed revolutionize our understanding of normal and supernormal psychology.  Adopting this view would be analogous to the Copernican revolution, wherein scientists realized that the Earth, rather than being the centre of the universe, travelled around the sun within the solar system.  The egocentric attitude of humans was shattered.  Likewise, the acceptance of a deeper conceptualization of the heart, consciousness and the nature of Self, would constitute a revolutionary development in modern psychology, philosophy and the life sciences.  Further, it would provide a deeper model of the entanglement of human beings, which, I would argue, is based primarily upon the physics and metaphysics of the human heart.  Although the mystical tradition regards the egoic self or personality as centred within the mind, the deepest level of Self is established within the heart--the material heart and the spiritual heart.  One yogic master defines yoga, the state of union, and Self realization as involving the "dissolution of the false mind into the lotus of the heart." 

The heart is a thinking, feeling, and willing organ, with profound energetic influences on humans’ psychological, emotional and physical life.  The heart has its own intelligence, independent of the brain, itself is a quantum computer.  It perceives internal and external stimuli and react on its own to the outside world.  It communicates “an info-energetic code” which is conveyed through tens of thousands of miles of vessels and 75 trillion cells of the heart and circulatory system.  Pearsall notes:

As research from neurocardiology continues, it is becoming clearer that the central role of the heart in our consciousness is much more than metaphor and that, as happened with the brain, continuing research will reveal complexities of a conscious heart that our brain cannot yet imagine.  (1998, P. 69)
Pearsall states that we have been too “brain focussed” in the search for mind, and that instead of thinking in terms of a dual mind and body, a more rewarding and appropriate approach would be to adopt a triune model: that is, of a thinking brain, the material body and the energetic and emotional heart.  The heart is the primary energy centre within the individual, and in Pearsall’s terms “conveys the code that represents the soul.”  The heart’s attributes and functions are much more mysterious and significant than conventional scientific thinking supposes.  Therefore, Pearsall argues that, through the psychology of the heart, modern psychology is “beginning to make its first tentative contacts with the soul.”  (p. 6)  Pearsall examines the nature of cellular memory, life fields and non-local information fields, in an attempt to account for various clinical and psychological evidences that are emerging about the mysterious qualities of the human heart. 

The remarkable stories of heart transplant recipients bear testimony to the secrets of the heart.  Pearsall recounts an incident, which happened to him after he had presented a lecture on the heart’s role in human’s psychological and spiritual life. A member of the audience, a psychiatrist, was moved to tears as she recounted a dramatic story about an eight year old girl who had been the recipient of a heart transplant.  The heart donor, a ten-year-old girl, had been murdered.  After the transplant, the recipient suffered nightmares about the man who had killed the donor, and was able to describe the time, weapon, and place, the man’s appearance, what the little girl had said to her assailant, and so on.  The police were able to identify and prosecute the murder based on her evidence!  Somehow the recipient had access to the memories, information and emotional terror, and the soul influences of the donor!

Although his evidence is anecdotal, Pearsall cites several cases in which those, who have received transplanted hearts, are profoundly affected by the personalities, proclivities and life histories, and 'entanglements' of the doners..  It seems that in receiving another’s heart, the recipients are able to establish a connection with their donors, as this organ of ‘the soul’ maintains some entangled connection to the donor’s life energies and memories–in ways that defy and confound current scientific understanding. 

In A Change Of Heart (1997), Claire Sylvia, the recipient of a heart-transplant, recounts her remarkable experiences.  She describes how the energies, emotions and soul life of the donor seemed to become intertwined with her own.  Thus, she experienced an extraordinary metamorphosis after her transplant.  She acquired her donor’s food and beverage preferences, his conflicted feelings towards his father, his sexual attractions and impulses, and other energetic dynamics!  Her dreams of the donor enabled her to establish who he had been, to meet his family and to learn more about him.  Apparently, heart-transplant recipients frequently report such experiences.  Nevertheless, doctors, scientists and other professionals either dismiss or politely ignore these intriguing phenomena, but these evidences suggest that it is not simply 'minds' which become entangled--but also "hearts."   

This is a major deficit in Radin's book--the limited conception of the mind in the head becoming entangled with other minds or events.  However, Radin does includes some discussion of ESP research where the measurements are of the autonomic nervous system, and he mentions the entanglement of the body with the larger environment.   ESP is most frequently evident in case histories when people are connected through the heart, like mother and child, or lovers, rather than simply through the mind.  Different forms of paranormal faculties could involve complex dynamics of entanglement --not simply through the mind in the head, but through peoples hearts, and solar plexes, and through the 'subtle anatomy.'  The psychic research literature demonstrates that the testing stimuli need to be emotionally engaging, and in regular life, paranormal phenomena clearly occur most often around traumatizing events, deaths and losses--all affecting the heart and its physics.  Like the souls haunting the Twin Towers, and crying out for the truth of 9/11.   There is no reason to assume that the entanglement of human beings only involves the minds in the heads, but not the entanglements of heart and souls. 

Indeed, i would argue that the physics and metaphysics of the heart is actually the deeper origin of both consciousness and other faculties of the mind, and our entanglement to the universe.  The scientists, focusing on the 'head doctrine' of modern times, imagined even ESP to be primarily within the head brain, rather than as involving the heart and autonomic nervous system, or any subtle bodies as described throughout the mystical literature. Just as modern psychologists and neuroscientists regard the mind and consciousness as somehow centred within the head-brain, so also, Dr. Radin assumes that the 'entanglement' is centred on the brains, where the minds are--and not to the deeper human being as a 'whole' quantum system. It is quite curious that modern ideas about human beings working on holographic principles, always want the universe to surround their heads, instead of their hearts.  The following illustrations contrast two alternative views of the origin and nature of human consciousness, and the basis for the deep physics and metaphysics of life.


Your Mind as a hologram, or your Heart, or both.

I would argue that indeed researchers of psychical phenomena need a deeper and wholistic model of a whole human being as the basis upon which entanglement with others, events and the world, is effected and possible--and not simply an isolated head.  At times, Radin supplies a broader view, but then he fails to grasp this:
"The brain's electromagnetic fields are entangled with the rest of the universe not because of direct contact ... but because its fields interpenetrate with the energetic fields of everything else.  This is how the universe remains entangled."  (Radin, p. 268) 
But what about human hearts!

In part, my critique of D. Radin's work is based upon the comment by Larry Dossey, M. D., printed on the book's cover.  Dr. Dossey writes: "From the Einstein of consciousness research comes a work that could change forever how we view the nature of human consciousness and our origins and destiny."  However, Dr. Radin, although his work is very valuable and significant, is certainly no "Einstein of consciousness."  In fact, his book says almost nothing about the origin and nature of human consciousness!  He barely touches upon the issue and he himself does not describe his work in this way.  Dr. Radin's work is a valuable contribuion, but he has not even begun to address the issues of consciousness, and already has many wrong and incomplete ideas about it.   Dr. Radin offers no evidence as to how or where consciousness is produced,  nor what it is, and simply assumes the emphasis of modern thought on the primacy of neurological activities within the brain as producing mind and consciousness.

Dr Radin is not even addressing the mysteries of consciousness, and his related comments on consciousness are simply mentioning the concepts of others--including William James, and physicists Henry Strapp and Bernard d'Espagnat, but not exploring this subject deeply at all.  He mentions Amit Goswami's views that "consciousness is the fundamental ground state, more primary than matter or energy."  (p. 224)  But this view is not even consistent with the main formulation of 'consciousness' offered in the book, which reads: 

 Individual neurons in the brain combine into networks of neurons, giving rise to complex brain circuits and consciousness awareness (or correlates of awareness.) By analogy, individual minds may combine into networks of entangled minds, giving rise to more complex "mind circuits," forms of awareness, and collective psi effects beyond our comprehension. 
Radin also quotes physicist Nick Herbert: "I think that our learning to understand quantum theory is kindergarten classes compared to what we will have to grok to comprehend consciousness.  Not that it will be some sort of complicated mathematics but some new way of thinking."  (p. 236)  These are among the few brief passages even using the word consciousness in the book, and Radin barely even comments on them. Dorsey's description of Radin as the "Einstein of consciousness" simply demonstrates what widespread confusion and simplistic views persist concerning this most enigmatic of all mysteries. 

At different points, Radin demonstrates some familiarity with mystical literature, but he does not  seriously understand how his ideas relate to the primary concepts of the mystics.  Historically, the mystics are the ones who have always maintained such an entanglement between the individual and the world, and the grounds of Being!   Modern scientists think that they have 'discovered' the idea of the unity of life through physics--like Columbus discovering America, when there were already hundreds of thousands of people living there.  Certainly most scientisits, Radin included, want  to deny that modern science has anything to do with mystical concepts.  Radin points this out, commenting:

Physicists interested in quantum reality are painfully aware that some interpretations of quantum reality are uncomfortably close to mystical concepts.  In the eyes of mainstream science, to express sympathy for mysticism destroys one's credibility as a scientist.  The taboo persists. (p. 262) 
Dr Radin himself should overcome this taboo, as indeed the mystical literature provides profound insights into such topics as the nature of consciousness, and the mind, and the plenum of Space, and the nature of so-called 'paranormal' experiences and phenomena.  But Radin wants to substitute his ideas of Entangled Minds for the ancient wisdom teachings.

Radin mentions that the Greek word 'psyche' had meant 'soul' but this came in modern times to refer to the 'mind.'  Radin further suggests that we should abandon the wisdom teachings of those awakened to higher consciousness, in favour of his new theory, because it is couched in the name of modern science and quantum theory.  He writes:

In magical times, theories of psi were based on what we now regard as occult lore.  Concepts like "astral" and "mental" bodies, elemental and divine spirits, and various forms of "lifeforce" were the prevailing ways that people imagined psi to be mediated. As supernatural magic evolved into natural magic, and alchemy and astrology evolved into chemestry and astronomy, concepts of psi began to evolve beyond stories based on invisible spirits.  Some people today still use occult terms like "astral body" when referring to psi, but most scientifically minded researchers regard occult lore only as metaphors.  (p. 243)
Radin shows his own ignorance on these subjects, prefering instead the newly formed language of quantum theory, and superficial comments upon the nature of the mind and consciousness. Scientists should study the mystical traditions to learn what is taught there, by those individuals through human history who are supposed to have demonstrated varied supernatural, psychical or spiritual abilities, or who attained to higher levels of Self realization and the awakening of consciousness.  Instead, the scientist will want to plod along, using their little minds and brains, pondering away trying to understand the mysteries of life.  The mystics are likely to have had it right all along but we simply have not understood the things which have been said. 

This is a very valuable book Dean. Radin.  It is valuable for your efforts to review the evidences for ESP and other psychical abilities, your taking on of the naysayers, and especialy your introducing aspects of the new physics which clearly do provide a foundation for a deeper understanding of the unity and interrelatedness of life.  Our minds are entangled but there is a far deeper physics and metaphysics to all of these things.  Parapsychology needs a radical revision in the simplistic notions advanced about the enigmas of conscousness and mind, and this must include the study of a human being as a whole, and not simply a mind localized in the head.  To understand ESP will eventually bring us back to trying to grasp the higher dimensional physics and metaphysics of the human heart, and the development of a science of spirit and soul.  Quantum physics is a valuable part of such a deeper science, but the popular scientists and writers, have such confusions about the most primary subjects.

Thank you Dean Radin.  I valued your book and hope to reread it.  You are no "Einstein of consciousness" but you are a hard working researcher and investigater.  I would recommend also that you consider further the newer physics of seven dimensional hyperspace, the holographic model of physics, and concepts concerning zero point fields within the void/plenum of Space.  You scientists, if you keep plodding along, will eventually discover something under your noses the whole time.



Esoteric Writings

Event Schedule

The Author

Zero Point Dynamics

Zero Point Radio Show
 Crises of Humanity
Critiques of 'New Think'
New World DisOrder
Truth Media & Resources