“I shall not commit the fashionable stupidity of regarding everything I cannot explain as a fraud.” ~ Psychiatrist Dr. Carl Jung in a 1919 address to the Society for Psychical Research in England
Psi (from the Greek letter ψ), more commonly known as Extrasensory Perception (ESP), sixth-sense, or “spidey sense,” is an umbrella term that includes phenomena such as:
Precognition, the ability to predict future events,
Telepathy, direct mind-to-mind communication (“mind-reading”),
Clairvoyance (or Remote Viewing), the ability to acquire information about distant locations, and
Psychokinesis, the ability to create changes in the physical with thoughts.
Topics relating to Postmortem Survival (or “life after death”) are also sometimes considered within the scope of psi. For more information about afterlife topics, please visit the Windbridge Research Center.
Parapsychology is the scientific study of psi. As opposed to psychology, which is the study of how the mind interacts with itself, parapsychology studies how the mind, separate from the brain, interacts with the outside world.
Here at the Windbridge Institute, we investigate psi through three pathways:
Intuition, the ability to understand something without using conscious reasoning,
Directed Intention, placing mental focus to achieve a specific outcome, and
Synchronicity, or “meaningful coincidences.”
Is psi real?
That depends on who you ask.
According to a 2018 Pew Research Center poll, four-in-ten American adults believe in psychic ability.
To date, parapsychologists from around the world have conducted thousands of carefully controlled experiments and published the results in peer-reviewed journals. This has resulted in a large amount of data which support the existence of psi (reviewed in Cardeña, 2018).
“The evidence provides cumulative support for the reality of psi, which cannot be readily explained away by the quality of the studies, fraud, selective reporting, experimental or analytical incompetence, or other frequent criticisms. The evidence for psi is comparable to that for established phenomena in psychology and other disciplines, although there is no consensual understanding of them.” ~ Etzel Cardeña, Department of Psychology, Lund University, Lund, Sweden (Cardeña, 2018)
However, the materialist-based scientific community is generally quick to dismiss psi based mostly on theoretical arguments which state that psi can’t be real because it doesn’t fit into our current understanding of how things work.
There is evidence to suggest that this entrenched resistance to psi may be changing. A recent survey of 175 scientists and engineers found that 93.2% of them “endorsed at least one EHE [Extraordinary Human Experience]”. In addition, advances in quantum physics may be providing new insights into the mechanisms of psi.
Even the United States military continues to invest in psi research:
“Today’s Navy scientists place less emphasis on trying to understand the phenomena theoretically and more on using technology to examine the mysterious process, which Navy scientists assure the public is not based on superstition.” ~ The U.S. Military Believes People Have a Sixth Sense by Annie Jacobsen April 3, 2017
Our position at the Windbridge Institute is that, given the large body of experimental evidence, psi is most likely a real—albeit, not fully understood—phenomenon. Moving forward from there, our approach is to not be hampered by trying to demonstrate the existence of psi but to focus on how we might harness psi to solve real-world problems and improve people’s lives.
Normalize: A large body of data currently exists which demonstrates the prevalence of reported psi functioning (like precognition, telepathy, clairvoyance, and mind-matter interactions), and other spiritually transformative experiences. Our goal is to demystify and destigmatize these events through empirical research and education.
Optimize: In addition to basic research in parapsychology, we also study traditional mindfulness practices, new emerging technologies, and creative expression, in order to develop new tools and experiences which allow people to understand and potently tap into and enhance their own intuitive abilities.
Utilize: Armed with this better understanding of our full human potential, we attempt to apply what we have learned to solve real-world problems.
A lot has been written about the evidence for the existence of psi. If you are interested in learning more, here are a couple of places to start:
Book: (Affiliate Link) An End to Upside Down Thinking: Dispelling the Myth That the Brain Produces Consciousness, and the Implications for Everyday Life by Mark Gober
Book: (Affiliate Link) Real Magic: Ancient Wisdom, Modern Science, and a Guide to the Secret Power of the Universe by Dean Radin PhD
Free Website: The Psi Encyclopedia. This on-going project is a collection of articles, case studies about psi research, and the scientific investigation of psychic phenomena created by the Society for Psychical Research in London.
Cardeña, E. (2018). The experimental evidence for parapsychological phenomena: A review. American Psychologist, 73(5), 663–677. doi: 10.1037/amp0000236 https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2018-24699-001
For more suggestions please visit our Recommended Reading page.
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