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Presentiment: Can Your Body Sense Future Events Without Any External Clue?

by Ian R Thorpe

Coverpic: Crystal Ball, Islandguy, Flickr

Psychics and fortune tellers have been claiming ability to see the future for years and sensible people have always taken their claims with a very big pinch of salt

especially if those claims were accompanied by offers to part you from your hard earned cash. When serious neuroscientists at respectable universities start claiming success in experiments aimed at proving humans do have precognitive abilities, maybe we ought to be thinking again. Recent work at the outer limits of scientific enquiry has had some success in looking at the phenomenon of presentiment (knowing stuff is going to happen before it happens) Research in this area that mainstream science has previously been dismissive of is discovering that our bodies anticipate events below our level of normal conscious awareness. This, if translated down to the cellular level (search the SR archives on "quantum biology"). Schwartz Report says the recent research is entirely consistent with current experiments and work already done in Quantum Entanglements. Though I am a cynic (A true cynic who questions everything, not a science pseud who sneers at and dismisses everything that does not fit neatly into a mathematical model of reality) and therefore reserve judgement on
May the farce be with you

this because findings as yet are far from proof, I do not reject it either because as a true

cynic I look to my own experience of pre cognition and those described to me by perfectly rational, level headed people for confirmation that there is more to beimng human than can be expressed in a mathematical formula. Many people scoff at the idea that our bodies might have precognitive ability and thus are able to prepare us for future events that could be very important in our lives, even if there's no clue about what those events will be? WOW, you might well say, that would be almost as good as being a Jedi Knight, how can I get such powers, you might well ask? Well you could try using The Force but first you'd have to know what The Force is. Perhaps you have already have experienced such abilities at work in yourself or observed them in others. You will probably only have talked about your experiences to people you trust implicitly, there is enormous peer pressure to express disbelief

when people are publicly confronted by such ideas. But what if I were to tell you work carried out by the science faculties of several respectable universities shows presentiment without any external clues may, in fact, be a reality. According to new Northwestern University research that analyzes the results of 26 studies published between 1978 and 2010 this is the case. I can almost hear the Scienceology cult and mathematics worshippers screming in outrage already, but remember Mathematics is not a science it is an art, an artifice, not a thing of nature but a creation of the human mind. And those who claim to have greater faith in science to provide answers to the universal unknowns need to be reminded there is no room for faith or belief in science. So where does the research on presentiment stand? Researchers already know that our subconscious minds sometimes know more than our conscious minds. Physiological measures of subconscious arousal, for instance, tend to show up before conscious awareness that a deck of cards is stacked against us. The research project at Northwestern University, Illinois, USA, reveals we can do just that, according to it's project leaders. Researchers elsewhere have already shown that our subconscious minds sometimes know more than our conscious minds. Physiological monitoring of brain activity during subconscious arousal, for instance, tends to show up before conscious awareness that a deck of cards is stacked against us. Here, in the interests of objectivity I must interject a note of
Cards stacked against us?

personal scepticism, my own research on the whole field of neuroscience, inspired by my recovery from a serious brain haemorrhasge when “the science” indicated I was dead, led me to question the claims of biologists to the effect that they are making rapid progress towards understanding the relationship between human consciousness and the brain. The brain and the mind, as several of the more enlightened kind of

doctors explained to me, are two very different things. Parapsychologists (and we are talking about serious researchers here, not showbiz psychics) have been making astounding claims about precognition (knowledge of unpredictable future events) for many years. Most scientists dismissed this outer fringe of research as “magical thinking” while at the same time chasing their own tails in pursuit of a shadowy illusion known by some as The God Particle. The phenomenon was recently given a big push up the league table of public perception when a paper providing evidence for its existence was accepted for publication by the leading social psychology journal. What’s more, sceptical psychologists who have pored over a preprint of the paper say they can’t find any significant flaws. “My personal view is that this is ridiculous and can’t be true,” says Joachim Krueger of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, who has blogged about the work on the Psychology Today website. “Going after the methodology and the experimental design is the first line of attack. But frankly, I didn’t see anything. Everything seemed to be in good order.” Julia Mossbridge, lead author of the study and research associate in the Visual Perception, Cognition and Neuroscience Laboratory at Northwestern comments, "What has not been clear is whether humans have the ability to predict future important events even without any clues as to what might happen," Ms Mossbridge offers us an example. A person playing a video game at work while wearing headphones, for example, can't hear when his or her boss is coming around the corner. "But our analysis suggests that if you were tuned into your body, you might be able to detect these anticipatory changes between two and 10 seconds beforehand and close your video game," Mossbridge said. "You might even have a chance to open that spreadsheet you were supposed to be working on. And if you were lucky, you could do all this before your boss entered the room." This phenomenon is sometimes called "precognition," as in "knowing the future,"

but Mossbridge said she and other researchers are not sure whether people are really sensing the future. "I like to call the phenomenon 'anomalous anticipatory activity,'" she said. "The phenomenon is anomalous, some scientists argue, because we can't explain it using present-day understanding about how biology works; though explanations related to recent quantum biological findings could potentially make sense. It's anticipatory because it seems to predict future physiological changes in response to an important event without any known clues, and it's an activity because it consists of changes in the cardiopulmonary, skin and nervous systems." The study, Predictive Physiological Anticipation Preceding Seemingly Unpredictable Stimuli: A Meta-Analysis," can be found in the journal Frontier in Perception Science. In addition to Mossbridge, co-authors of the study include Patrizio Tressoldi of the Università di Padova, Padova, Italy, and Jessica Utts of the University of California, Irvine. Results from earlier studies have suggested to researchers that early childhood education should focus on building behavioural, social and emotional skills just as much as building academic skills. Interaction with others, it has been said, help us tune in to the world around
Illustration 1: The persistence of memory Salvador Dali

us. Freed from distractions by the resultant self confidence, the mind will allow intuition to guide us effortlessly

through life. It is this cumulative knowledge known to the Greeks and still in northern and rural Britain as nous, aelsewhere as common sense which our feelings summarize for us, that allows us make better predictions. In a sense, our feelings give us access to a privileged window of knowledge and information, “a window that a more analytical

form of reasoning blocks us from,” says Julia Mossbridge. Now many of those phonies who like to call themselves “scientists” but do not understand what the word science actually means and delude themselves that by so labelling themselves they will put ordinary mortals in awe of their superior intelligence, will dismiss such research as “unscientific”. Such people are really mathematics geeks, they will happily tell you the universe is made out of numbers and yet will become really vicious and aggressive in trying to discredit some of the really exciting work that is being does because it threatens to turn their safe, mathematically ordered world not only upside down but inside out too. They pile acclaim upon people who capture via electrical sensors the side emissions from minute electrical pulses travelling along neural pathways, turn these into binary data, programme a computer to convert the data into a vibrantly coloured graphic image and
Illustration 2: Collective consciousness

claim to be able to divine from that a person's state of mind. Or for that matter

the same scientific community heap praise on “Cosmologists” who capture in a similar way the very weak radio active pulses that reach us after travelling across the universe for millions of years from distant stars and claim to be able to intuit from the pictures this data is turned into, valuable lessons about how the universe works. What we can divine from the delusions of such “scientists” is the scientific education they are always banging on about left they wide eyed, credulous and seriously deficient in critical thinking skills. Which is why they react in exactly the same way to credible research that shows there is evidence for life after death, for human precognitive powers, for the existence of a free, clean, sustainable source of energy knowledge of which has been suppressed to protect corporate profits and for the. Idea that there was no Big Bang, the Higgs Boson is a shadow of an echo of an

idea and “The Standard Model” (String Theory) is a craptangle of wishful thinking, mathematical speculation and attempts to plug the logic holes in Einstein's thought experiments.

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