Mod+ New research reveals surprising connection between environmental sensitivity and psychic phenomena |

Discussion in 'Skeptiko Shows' started by Alex, Sep 10, 2015.

  1. Alex

    Alex New

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    New research reveals surprising connection between environmental sensitivity and psychic phenomena |286|
    by Alex Tsakiris | Sep 10 | Consciousness Science

    Recognized expert in ‘Sick Building Syndrome’, Mike Jawer has discovered a potential link between environmental sensitivity and psychic phenomena.
    [​IMG]Photo by Terror on Tape
    Join Alex Tsakiris for an interview with Michael Jawer, author of The Spiritual Anatomy of Emotion about his research on environmental hazards and its connection to psychic experiences.
     
  2. http://www.skeptiko.com/connection-between-environmental-sensitivity-psychic-phenomena/

    Emotions are the "gateway" through which psychic perceptions get through the brain. The brain filters consciousness and analytical thinking uses a different set of networks in the brain than does empathic thinking - psychic perceptions come through to consciousness through the empathic networks. This is why psychic perceptions often seem more like sensory perceptions (empathy = feeling = sensations = sense perceptions sight, smell, etc.) than verbal thinking. That is why meditation helps in psychic development, it quiets the analytical mind and allows a person to become more aware of other types of mental activity, and some forms of meditation (metta / brahma vhiaras) are particularly good at cultivating empathic thinking. It is why people who are unbalanced in overly analytical thinking can't conceive that paranormal phenomena can be true and why they are often callous(*).



    (*) https://sites.google.com/site/chs4o8pt/skeptical_fallacies
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2015
  3. Michael Larkin

    Michael Larkin Member

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    Alex's question at the end of the podcast:

    What do you make of Mike Jawer's basic thesis that some of us are "thin" or "thick" boundary people, and that that may be an indicator of how open we are to extended consciousness experiences?
     
  4. Michael Larkin

    Michael Larkin Member

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    What do you make of Mike Jawer's basic thesis that some of us are "thin" or "thick" boundary people, and that that may be an indicator of how open we are to extended consciousness experiences?

    I'm not quite sure that I've fully understood what Mike is saying here, and so before I can make intelligent comment, I need to check out his web site at http://www.emotiongateway.com/. I'll come back when I've finished investigating.

    As regards your new Web site layout, Alex, I'm pleased with the way you've categorised the podcasts and the way that the categories are displayed on every page no matter where you are on the site. That's a cracking idea and will help me categorise my downloaded episodes.

    If I have a small reservation, it's the seeming lack of explanation of the difference between numbered and unnumbered entries. As time goes on, presumably there will be more textual material and maybe the site could do with having a distinct pot in which to place those materials, and/or maybe some more obvious way of flagging them. It could maybe be as simple as following these entries with something like |Editorial| instead of |episode number|?
     
  5. http://www.skeptiko.com/connection-between-environmental-sensitivity-psychic-phenomena/

    I don't agree that only extroverts are psychic (connection with people, reaching out).
    Possibly people who have a connection with the environment are more likely to be psychic.
    Armored, rigid, decicive in beliefs, inflexible: sounds a lot like pseudo-skeptics so I would agree with these traits are not likely to correlate with psychic ability.
    Empathetic, sensitive people are more likely to be psychic, almost by definition, so I don't think this is new information, everyone already knew this.

    Research I am aware of from Ganzfeld experiments indicates that creative, artistic people tend to be more psychic. People with an emotional attachment to each other are more likely to have a psychic connection with each other, and meditation increases psychic ability, and some forms of meditation (metta / brahma viharas) are particularly good at cultivating empathic thinking.

    Training can help a person to develop their psychic abilities so I think it is fair to say that social environment can also play a big role. If a child is raised in a permissive environment their psychic abilities may be allowed to flower, if a child is discouraged from believing in psychic phenomena or is discouraged from discussing psychic experiences they may repress any abilities they have.

    Considering what I wrote in my previous post above, I think a better way to describe the difference is that people who are deficient in empathic thinking are not likely to be psychic. Analytical thinking doesn't prevent a person from being psychic, you can be good at analytical thinking and good at empathic thinking and be psychic. It is only when someone is unbalanced an only capable of analytic thinking that they will not be open to psychic abilities. However there are a lot people like that. There is a certain spiritual logic to this, if psychic abilities come from our spiritual nature, if they are a gift intended for a spiritual purpose, you would expect that only people who would used them for the benefit of others would have them - so you would expect that only empathic people would have them.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2015
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  6. BeelzebubsWidow

    BeelzebubsWidow New

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    A: Too much black & white thinking. Amateur. Self-deception is strong in this one.

    If the air is sick then ionize it already, we all need some excitement from time to time :)

    I have a question:
    Do you guys think his daughter was messing with him? Seems most plausible, assuming the story was true in the first place.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2015
  7. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    My hunch is that there may be something to this concept of thick/thin boundaries. It certainly fits with the filter hypothesis, because the brain must filter out a lot of information, including peripheral reactions to environmental issues as well as psychic signals. Moreover, it is more or less accepted that the brain does filter out a lot of conventional information.

    I think I have a fairly thick boundary, and my interest in ψ is perhaps more analytical than many.

    I was somewhat disappointed that he didn't have rather more information on his website.

    David
     
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  8. K9!

    K9! New

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  9. Michael Larkin

    Michael Larkin Member

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    What do you make of Mike Jawer's basic thesis that some of us are "thin" or "thick" boundary people, and that that may be an indicator of how open we are to extended consciousness experiences?

    Well, I've now visited his site, and in particular read a couple of extracts from his book. I've also downloaded the Kindle sampler of the book (The Kindle version, I must say, seems rather expensive at £22.79 or $34.81).

    He says:

    My contention in this book is that feelings are not merely manifestations of various brain states, but that they also exist in their own right as the product of interaction between raw sensation on the one hand and mental activity on the other. Put another way, we must first be sentient (capable of sensory perception) before we can be conscious (self-aware). As we will see, the premier component of consciousness is feeling—not, as you might guess, thinking. Feeling preceded thought in our evolution, and it continues to underscore most everything we ponder, chew on, react to, learn, extrapolate, and pontificate on. To be conscious requires that you notice, first and foremost, what you’re feeling. And what you’re feeling has much to do with the body, of which the brain is a part. A major part, to be sure—in many respects the lead actor—but a part, nonetheless, of the bodily troupe.
    First there was feeling, then thought evolved from it. It's an interesting idea, but I do wonder how "physicality" comes into it. Such of his ontology as I've read doesn't seem to deal with the origin of the apparent physicality that is associated with feeling/emotion. He's very sympathetic to the existence of psi and suitably sceptical about promissory materialism; I feel he's sincere and above all else open-minded, trying to bridge the gap between the conventional paradigm and one that can make a place for psi and spirituality. I'm humming and hawing about whether to buy his book and find out more, but that price is a bit of a barrier.

    I'd say my boundaries are on the thick side: I can't say I have any psi abilities though have had a few spontaneous spiritual experiences. I do have environmental sensitivities, however, so maybe there's something to what he says about this, but I have my doubts as to whether it's definitive. I think there's an approach to the mysterious which is led by analytical thought: I suppose someone like Einstein, Bohr, Heisenberg or Schroedinger might be an exemplar. In the end, I suspect that analytical thought is itself a kind of feeling and many understandings have arisen in dreams, from nowhere during quiet moments of reflection, or as a result of making a casual observation, and so on.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2015
  10. Mr Opti

    Mr Opti New

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    I really enjoyed listening to this interview!
    I definitely think that there is something to the boundary idea. But from the interview I wasn't really sure that I really grasped what Michael Jawer meant when he explained the differences between thick and thin. So I listened to this interview with Marc Micozzi (the co-author of the book) where he explains the concept a bit more:
    I also went to the website and read some more and took this test: http://www.youremotionaltype.com/boundaries/quiz.html (I'm a thin boundary type according to the test). I'll come back to write some more about how this fits with my personal experiences, but I thought I'd just share those links first...
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2015
  11. Judith

    Judith New

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    When I was a kid they occasionally showed "the three stooges" on TV. Whenever they performed one of their "antics" (which involved someone falling or getting physical), my stomach would lurch. I couldn't understand why people thought it funny and laughed. All I got was a stomach ache. For a long time I thought there was something wrong with me. I think I have thin boundaries. I've also had psi experiences (OBE's, precognitive dreams, etc.) though no environmental sensitivities that I know of. On the other hand, I've chosen to live in a very small town and right next to nature.
     
  12. Mr Opti

    Mr Opti New

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    I'll give one example of how I think my thin boundary is effecting me:
    I started to suffer from allergies as a young adult. The first time I noticed an allergic reaction was in the military service when a second lieutenant was shouting to me that I should have my face down in the grass. After that evening I was allergic to certain kinds of newly cut grass. Then each year I found myself reacting to more allergens. For about sex or seven years I got a new allergy every year. Cats, dust, certain old books (some kind of mold perhaps?), down, swimming pools (chlorine?), pollen (and probably some that I can't recall right now). Sometimes the reaction was quite powerful like when a cat licked me in the face and I got bloated eyes, but usually the reaction was distinct but not too strong (like runny nose and itching in mouth and eyes).

    Four years ago (after about 14 years of allergic reactions) I talked to a colleague of mine about my cat allergy, and she told me about this book that she had bought, describing different principles that different animals express. She said that the gift of the cat is to love oneself and that cat allergy/phobia can have to do with difficulties to love oneself. I thought that this sounded kind of dopey (although I am deeply impressed by the integrity expressed by most cats I have encountered). But since I had heard that you tread paths in the brain so that thought patterns that are often used get easier to think and thought patterns rarely used get harder and harder to think, I thought that I would have nothing to lose working on my self esteem. So I started doing that. I tried to focus on things that I was proud of about myself, and started to give credit to myself when I did something for my own sake (I kind of lived with the idea that my actions could only be worth something if they were good to someone else, and that caring for myself would be egoistic and bad...).
    About a month after I started this training, we received a kitten. When this cat came to our home I not only stopped being allergic to cats, but all my allergies seemed to disappear. Since then I do from time to time get the symptoms of the allergies I had (in rare occasions when in contact with some allergen, but most often without any such contact). The big differences now is that it always seem to happen just when I'm about to do something that I don't want to (stamping down on my integrity) and that I then can go away to be alone and breath deeply while affirming myself with the result that the "allergic" reaction vanishes within a minute or two. So now I consider my (nowadays almost entirely psycho-somatic) allergies to be a resource, since it seems to be my body's way of providing guidance towards a more sustainable way of living.

    If certain illnesses can function as some kind of guidance away from destructive patterns towards more constructive ones. Then it would make pedagogical sense that we get the guidance that we are more likely able to respond to. And the same could be said about psi-phenomena.
     
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  13. Hurmanetar

    Hurmanetar New

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    I really enjoyed the format of this interview including the section at the end! I liked to hear some of the personal details exchanged about the author's experiences and how he developed and integrated them into his world view.

    I think I am also in the same boat as Alex being someone who has come from a relatively "thick boundary" background without any over-the-top type awakening experience, but my boundaries have been thinned out through the rational and intellectual exploration of the data and contemplation of philosophical ideas.

    Another way to think of thick or thin boundary mindsets is to consider them to be highly structured or not so highly structured. Structure is created through proportioned alternations of boundaries and spaces (which are mental constructs). A strong mental structure is resilient to non-rational information. Weaker or more fluid mental structure provides openings for non-rational information to enter. Practices and experiences that are boundary dissolving open the door for non-rational information to enter. Creativity and innovation requires a balanced measure of structured thought and boundary dissolution. In our left-brain logical wordy hierarchical society, structure (or thick boundaries) is emphasized making true creativity and innovation (as well as psychic sensitivity) somewhat rare - especially within established institutions.

    I like how Jawer points out that e-motion is a type of motion and that this may be somehow fundamental to reality. In the latest revision of my model of reality, the three fundamental building block concepts of reality are Spirit, Logos, and Void (or Abyss). Logos is the proportioned alternation of boundaries and spaces. Void is the non-sense or lack of proportioned boundaries and spaces. And Spirit (or existence or consciousness) is change or motion through the Logos and Void. E-motion is movement is Spirit.
     
  14. I think this is why some people have such a problem with belief in God. They think they should have an intellectual connection with God when what is more available is an emotional connection. They are searching for God in the wrong place, their mind, instead of their heart.
     
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