Dean Radin is Chief Scientist at the Institute of Noetic Science (IONS), Associated Distinguished Professor of Integral and Transpersonal Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), Honorary Distinguished Professor at the Swami Vivekananda University in Bangalore, India, and chairman of the board for the neurogenetics biotech company, Cognigenics Inc.
His early career track as a concert violinist shifted into science after earning a BSEE degree in electrical engineering (magna cum laude, with honors in physics) from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and then an MS in electrical engineering and PhD in psychology from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. For a decade he worked at AT&T Bell Laboratories and later at GTE Laboratories.
For nearly four decades his research has focused on the nature and capacities of consciousness. Before joining the research staff at IONS in 2001, he held appointments at Princeton University, University of Edinburgh, and SRI International, where he worked on a classified program investigating psychic espionage for the US government (now commonly known by one of the codewords: Star Gate).
Radin is author or coauthor of over 300 scientific, technical, and popular articles, four dozen book chapters, two technical books, and four popular books including the Scientific and Medical Network’s 1997 book award, The Conscious Universe (HarperOne, 1997), Entangled Minds (Simon & Schuster, 2006), the 2014 Silver Nautilus Book Award, Supernormal (Random House, 2013), and Real Magic (Penguin Random House, 2018).
Entangled Minds, Supernormal and Real Magic are available as paperback, e-books, and audio books. These books have been translated so far into 15 foreign languages. His 130+ articles can be found in peer-reviewed journals ranging from Foundations of Physics and Physics Essays to Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, Psychological Bulletin, Brain and Cognition, and Psychology of Consciousness.
He serves as a referee for 25 journals, including PLOS One, Frontiers in Bioscience, Integrative Cancer Therapies, Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, Physics Essays, and Psychology of Consciousness. He was featured in a New York Times Magazine article, and he has appeared on dozens of television programs around the world.
His 650+ interviews and talks have included presentations at Harvard (medical), Stanford (statistics), Princeton (psychology), Columbia (education), Cambridge (physics), Edinburgh (psychology), The Sorbonne (parapsychology), University of Padova (physics), University of British Columbia (parapsychology), and University of Allahabad (cognitive neuroscience,).
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Follow Along with the Transcript – Episode 042
Alex Ferrari 0:09
I'd like to welcome to the show, Dr. Dean Raiden. How you doing Dr. Dean?
Dr. Dean Radin 0:13
I'm fine. Thank you.
Alex Ferrari 0:14
Thank you so much for coming on the show. I'm really excited to talk about your your work that you've been doing for, arguably not for the last, what, 15 20 years at this point?
Dr. Dean Radin 0:25
Alex Ferrari 0:27
Almost 40 total. So you've been you've been going at this for quite some time. So you're not new to this concept. I love your new book Real Magic. Because you're coming at it from a scientific perspective. But before we dive into that world, what made you decide to go down this road? This kind of esoteric, scientific, spiritual kind of road?
Dr. Dean Radin 0:51
Because it's interesting,
Alex Ferrari 0:52
It is that it is that.
Dr. Dean Radin 0:54
You know, all you need to do is look at what proportion of the entertainment business is saturated with stories having to do with psychic phenomena, with mysticism with superheroes, all of that. Clearly, it's of interest a lot of people. So I'm no different than anybody else. The only difference is being a scientist, I was trained to be able to use the tools of science to study virtually anything that study a bowl. And as it turns out, psychic phenomena can be studied too. So I've managed to create a career where that's primarily what I've done.
Alex Ferrari 1:33
Now, how can you can you discuss a little bit about how magic would the concept of magic from a scientific perspective, which is always a dichotomy a little bit, because when you think of magic, you think of things that are not that that can't be real, that's generally what the public public perception of magic is. But that's what's so fascinating that you're coming at it from a scientific perspective. So I'd love you to discuss that.
Dr. Dean Radin 1:57
If you go back far enough in history, nothing was understood. Everything was considered to be magical, supernatural, all that. So science is very good at figuring out things, including, I think, now, some elements of magic. And the reason I say that is because the new look at what magical practice is all about it falls into three categories. The first one is divination. The second is force of will. And the third is called theology. So divination, cast into scientific terms, or at least into other terms, is all about perceiving through space and time. That's what it's about. So are there scientific methods that have been used to study perception through space and time? Yeah, I mean, in the modern vernacular, it's remote viewing. That's what that's all about. And of course, remote viewing is a euphemism of clairvoyance, which has been around for a very long time. So studies have been done studies strongly suggest that these phenomena are real, not ancient magic, but they're, they're still real. So force of will, you can think of from a magical perspective, we imagine ritual magic where lots of people are dressed in fancy costumes, and dancing and doing other things. The point of all of that is to use your intention to change aspects of the world. That's what that's what grimoires are all about books of spells. They're about I want this to happen. So it's an expression of intention to change the world. And then, in the scientific world, we're looking at the relationship between mind and matter. From from a research perspective, we're looking at psychokinetic effects, those the mind influence aspects of the world directly. So up until already 70 or 80 years ago, it was thought that this was literally impossible. In fact, all of this magical stuff was impossible, because it didn't seem to fit into our physical models of reality. But with the development of quantum mechanics, in particular, and also general relativity, our notions of what we thought were Apple absolutes, like space and time and energy matter, it turns out that they're actually relationships. It's much more flexible in our understanding today of the physical world. And more importantly, the mind matter. relationship within modern physics, is now acceptable to talk about their journals devoted to this within the mainstream. There are many more and more people beginning to look at alternative philosophies that describe the nature of reality, which allows for mind and matter to directly interact. And then the third category is called theor G, which is a Greek term which roughly means God work and it refers to spirits so The other aspect of doing ritual magic is to evoke spirits or to communicate with them or somehow get them to do something on your behalf. If you're lucky, you're not so lucky, then you have a problem. So in the in the modern world, what the what we see then what we can test are the whole range of evidence for survival after bodily death. What we can bring into the laboratory is rather limited among those anecdotes, we can study things like near death experience in the lab, but the ones that I have been involved with is mediumship. So psychics who specialize in speaking to spirits. So all of these magical practices can be recast into terms that are compatible with what we can do today from a scientific perspective. And that's what I do.
Alex Ferrari 5:58
So you've mentioned remote viewing. I mean, there's been so much literature, and obviously a few movies dedicated to government programs, about remote viewing, and it's been proven it is a real thing as far as what the I mean, the government thought it's a real thing. And I'm not sure if they continue to think it's a real thing. But they did kind of like, open up a, a special department that just focused on remote viewing, and they did this. And please correct me World War Two. I know when we were in the Cold War, things like that, or even maybe farther back, I'm not sure. But is that true?
Dr. Dean Radin 6:32
Yeah, it is true. The program you're probably referring to, which is most well known, as was called was codenamed Stargate. So that was that was a classified program, and went from 1972 to 1995. And it was not known during that at least not known publicly. In 95, it became declassified. And some years later, almost all of the documentation was released through a Freedom of Information Act from the CIA. There's now four volumes for big fat volumes, which is a accumulation of almost all of the research and a whole bunch of the behind the scenes, work with the government, like memos, and who was involved and all that sort of stuff. Some of it is still not public, because it involves identifying people and methods. So those will probably always remain classified, but the vast majority of it is now in the public domain.
Alex Ferrari 7:36
And, you know, the one thing I found interesting in in looking through your your work is that many of the founding fathers of science were really interested in esoteric ideas and a lot of the concepts that you talk about.
Dr. Dean Radin 7:54
Yeah, and and increasingly so today, but again, using different language. So academics are, except for those who are specializing in the history of origins of science and religion, and so on. They're studying esoterica. But most scientists stay away from that word, because it sounds spooky. Scientists are not supposed to study spooky stuff. So we recast it into terms which are more comfortable in the academic world, which is primarily about metaphysics. And I'm not talking about metaphysics in the in the popular sense, but in the philosophical sense. It's a word used in philosophy, which first to what is the ultimate nature of reality? So we use fancy terms like ontology, and epistemology, and all of that, those kinds of terms. And what philosophy is very good at, which many scientists don't pay much attention to is what are the underlying assumptions that we use when we study a topic. So in science, the underlying assumption is called the doctrine of materialism. And that the assumption is that everything, all of reality, including our own conscious awareness, and everything else, is ultimately made out of matter and energy. Like that's all there is, and which from that perspective, we live in a nihilistic universe, another philosophical term, which means that we don't see in the physical world things like meaning or purpose, right? We think more like physics, we're measuring stuff and you know, there doesn't seem to be any meaning in Iraq or meaning in an electron or anything like that. So the nihilism notion is that there's no meaning or purpose in the physical world, including in you. You may have you may think you have some meaning and purpose, but ultimately, you die. That's the end of it, and of the game. Well, that's based on a set of assumptions. And the assumptions have been extremely effective in In terms of what science has been able to learn about the nature of reality, what more and more scientists and academics are coming to view, though is that there's something very peculiar about our sense of awareness, our internal sense of having an experience. Well, this is all about consciousness, and where does it come from? And what can you do and all of that? When you look at that in detail, and you see more and more trends going in this direction, as the academic world is coming around to the idea that there's something different about consciousness. And when you then turn to philosophers and say, Well, what do you think about this? It turns out, there's a very long history about this going back to Plato, and even before where the notion of all of the esoteric traditions are, the consciousness came first, then the physical world. So this is called idealism, that it's a philosophical stance about assumptions. So what happened first is our did our awareness come first, or did matter come first. idealism says that consciousness comes first. So from that set of assumptions, it turns out, that thing is psychic things, mystical things magical. All of that is very easy to understand. That was the underlying assumptions within the magical traditions, among other things. It also turns out that almost all of the founders of quantum mechanics, physicists, were idealists, you can see the writings they do all of them basically wrote that consciousness is fundamental. It comes before anything else. And it's not hard to think about why this comes about. Because when you think about what it is that you know, the only thing that you know, and the only thing you will ever know, is what comes through your awareness. But like, by definition, you're not aware of it, it's not part of you. But that extends even to our inferences about the nature of reality. So I make a measurement of something well, how do I know what it is? Well, it has to become aware, I need to be aware of the measurement. So was the measurement independent of me? Or is it part of me that I created? These are the kinds of questions that are at the leading edge right now, in science. And you don't need to search too far in Google, to find experiments that are testing whether or not a reality is either literally created out of our consciousness, or is modulated in some way through consciousness. So what used to be very, very spooky stuff is in the past 30 years or so becoming a respectable topic, even in the academic world, which tends to be very conservative about these sorts of things.
Alex Ferrari 12:49
So science is catching up to what philosophers and ancient texts have been talking about for four or 5000 years.
Dr. Dean Radin 12:56
In one sentence, yes.
Alex Ferrari 12:59
In one word, yes. So you know, from my understanding of quantum physics and quantum mechanics, and again, my rudimentary understanding of it, is that if you go as far down as you can with a microscope, we see nothing. Now it's energy, essentially, that we are all made of energy. There is no solid matter. Is that a fair a fair statement? Yeah. So if that's the case, then what is the force that is shaping the things around us? So why is a rock if it's just energy? What created the shape of the rock? What created the bookshelf behind you? What created the shirt that you're wearing? What created you, your glasses? What is that force that has put all this energy together? And I know, it's an easy question. I know. But But in your opinion, what do you think?
Dr. Dean Radin 13:55
Well, the truth is, we don't know. There, there's a lot of very interesting work having to do with self organizing systems. It's all about in the domain of complex systems and chaos theory and other theories that say that if you, you have a big bunch of energy eventually coalesces into matter, it will self organize, and it organizes into larger and larger structures, things emerge out of it. In fact, this is true with throughout science, that you you assume that you have a pyramid shape, which, which is our rough description of reality. So if you start with standard physics, at the bottom of that pyramid is energy and matter. But things emerge out of that, like, you know, things are made up out of electrons, and they get together and they form molecules, and they form larger and larger structures. Eventually, it turns into what we call chemistry. And eventually, that also then turns into biology and that turns into physiology, and that turns into psychology and so on. So that's the way that we think of it how things are made from what we're talking about from an esoteric point of view is exactly the same structure, this hierarchical structure, except that at the bottom is consciousness, it doesn't magically pop up somehow in the brain. But it was there from the very beginning. So from that perspective of consciousness at the bottom, somehow the physical world emerges out of that. So consciousness, in this sense, is some kind of a strange substance, I'll put that word in quotes, some primordial something that is part of the fabric of reality. And from that things emerge. So about the closest that we have today, for a physical substrate would be something like zero point energy.
Alex Ferrari 15:43
Okay. So if consciousness is what is his consciousness, what drives us as far as like, I mean, we're obviously a vehicle, a car, let's say, someone's driving this car. That's awareness, that's consciousness. Is there something behind the driver? You know? Because if someone's asking the question, in your mind, who's asking the question, if it's not you, I know we're starting to get into some deep waters here. But I'd love to hear what you think of that.
Dr. Dean Radin 16:19
Yeah, is there a homunculus, a little tiny man living in your head.
Alex Ferrari 16:26
Like in men and black, like men and black.
Dr. Dean Radin 16:29
Is it making your body move? Well, we haven't found a little man we've looked, it appears as though like, like, virtually all organisms, our prime directive is to survive, right, just from an evolutionary point of view, we were created, we want to survive as long as we can, all of those things. So who's driving the boat, but it's probably it's ourselves. It's our it's our whole nervous system, our brain, our surroundings, which modulate what we think we want to do, all of it is involved in, in the way that people behave. So it's not, it's not just even one organism, it's the relationship between this organism and the rest of the world that determines how it is that I have a sense of what I want. And what I do. Combined with things like well, physiologically, I need food. Well, that's a driver. So as part of the process of remaining as an a homeostatic, state as best as I can, for 80 years, or however long, much of that is going to be driven by physiological needs, some of it by genetic inheritance, and a lot of it by how society tells me how I should behave.
Alex Ferrari 17:48
Now, with that example, you gave that we are, you know, a being, let's say, but everything inside of us, we're not just a single matter where there's there's millions upon if not billions, of organisms and things and systems working together to keep this system moving to keep this, this, this being moving. Same can go with the planet, same could go with ecosystems, all of that. And I find it so interesting that one of the main reasons we as a species has been able to survive and go to the top of the food chain, is because of our ability to cooperate and to work with each other. Because without cooperations. There were so many other animals that were much stronger, much faster, could see better than we could hear better than we could smell better than we are. But our ability to cooperate with each other is what able to do it. And yet, in today's world, we seem to be so fragmented. And they think, and we have this AI mentality, or this kind of me mentality where the world is not connected. People think we're separate, but it just from a scientific perspective, we are all interconnected. We are all interdependent. Is that a fair statement?
Dr. Dean Radin 19:02
Sure. No, there's no doubt of that. I mean, you, you can go off in the woods and live by yourself. There are people who want to do that. But that's not generally how we're we are social creatures. I mean, we come out of a long evolution of tribes. And so one of the things you're talking about then is that tribalism is raising it's it's had, tribalism is useful for the individual because it helps your survival. But if you have too many tribes, and they have different ideas about the way things work, it rips apart the fabric of society and that limits what any individual can do. So why does that happen? I mean, what is new now that we didn't see in the past? And I think the real answer is nothing is new. We've always been tribal. We get together at times when we need to get together like somebody is attacking our country and suddenly everybody's like One minute of what we're going to do. But I think that's the exception rather than the rule. The other thing that is happening is because the climate is changing, and because we know that we are interconnected with the climate, that many, many previous studies have shown that even things like there's more violence in the summer than there is in the winter, because there's a temperature goes up, we get agitated. So climate change is agitating the whole population. And people who are on the edge and don't have very good impulse control. They're striking out with violence. So car accidents are way up and murders are way up all kinds of things related to violence, which fortunately doesn't affect most people, but you only need a small percentage of the population which are on the edge and can get pushed. So you have temperature changes, weather changes, pandemics, and endemics, of course. And then eventually, and we're beginning to see this already migration, people are moving away from places that they either is because their own country is falling apart, or because the climate is changing. Whenever you have when we're talking about hundreds of millions of people who were forced to go somewhere else, to people where they're going to don't like it very much. And it's that's creating even more conflict. So we're we're in for an interesting ride over the next 10 years or so.
Alex Ferrari 21:28
Yeah, and it's interesting, even within, even within our country, the migration, there's a great migration going on, from all the big cities are being spread out to. And I just moved from Los Angeles to Austin. And so many people are moving to Austin, Nashville, North Carolina, Florida, they're just starting to spread out. And then I haven't ever seen anything, because most of the most of my life is like, you got to go to the big city. That's where everything is, but now with technology, and also just people are going you know what, I don't know, if I want to do two hours of traffic every day. You know, can I and I don't want to spend $5,000 for a closet in New York City like I, why am I in the pandemic I think did a little bit of a shake up and made people re evaluate their, their perceptions in life.
Dr. Dean Radin 22:17
Yeah, a big shake up. Yeah. And so another example, though, of how we are interconnected, in the society and our health and all of that it's all interconnected, you can't have a big change in one place without changing everything. So that and this is going to continue to so if we're lucky, COVID will turn into something like the flu. And, you know, we could have we could have vaccines or something, but it's not gonna go away. No, it's gonna get worse.
Alex Ferrari 22:47
Yeah, I don't think so either. And I think that I agree with you that it probably will eventually live with this, this is not this is never going to go away, this is not going to be eradicated thing, because it's kind of like a flu. And flu is not going away, colds not going away. But it's also fascinating, because if if, you know as foreign countries like our were vaccinated, we'd have to worry about anybody else. But if another country has an outbreak, and one or two come over, as we just saw with Omicron, there was a complete, you know, a complete rise in cases. That was insane. It was it's in and now we have another variant. And like, all of this stuff is happening, I keep from a scientific perspective, I just like to hear your opinion why you think that? You know, there's obviously a change going on. In my lifetime. I've never seen anything like this. The whole world is is feeling it, which is also something that generally doesn't happen, I don't think is ever happened in the way that this pandemic, and everything that's going on, you can just sense that the world is feeling it. It's not one country or group of countries or Europe, or Africa. Everyone's feeling this at the same time, there seems to be a great shift. There's something something's happening. From your perspective, what do you think that is? And how do you think it's going to affect us in the future?
Dr. Dean Radin 24:09
Well, one way to look at it is that the evolution of the first microbe on the earth to today now project out another large amount of time. We go from an organism to the new o sphere, which is a term that Teilhard de Shar Dan and others have talked about, which is a conscious planet. That the you know, we're we're momentarily in a form, where we have individual bodies, and we know we're interconnected, but we don't pay much attention to it, except when the supply line goes bad and then we worry about it. The paper. Yeah. And so from a from a longer term perspective, I think a case can be made that we're moving towards a global society, for reasons that you At its media instantaneous connections and all of that, whenever you have a system that is very complex, and there's more and more feedback systems within it and more and more interconnection, it becomes its own organism. It's it's a thing. Right so like the the Terminator series of movies is the Skynet becomes a thing. Like, against conscious where, where, for where? Well, so the internet today is moving in that direction you add on the new forms of AI that are being created and the interconnectivity at a computer level, combined with all of the humans involved in that process as well. A case can be made. And this is, of course, what people are calling the singularity. It's related to the singularity in the sense that the moment that some fancy system that has non human games awareness, the game for us is over, unless we turn out to be important in some way for its livelihood, whatever that may be. But we become a planetary creature to become Gaia. So what's interesting is that maybe we're already Gaia, maybe guy is dreaming at this point, not fully awake. Because you think about you go in your brain, and you'll look at one cell. Well, the cell thinks it's a separate thing, you know, what is physically a separate thing, but it has a huge number of connections going out to other neurons. You ask that individual neuron? You know, what, why do you do the things that you do? Well, it can give you reasons, just like I gave you reasons before, it has no idea that it is part of 100 billion other neurons and a trillion interconnections that is creating this new organism, which I call me. Well, the same I think would be true here that the planet can become actually aware as an independent entity. And we may or may not even be aware of it, I think some people would be aware of it. And maybe that is what we're feeling that there's something bigger than us. It's like, all planet has become alive. So my first book that I wrote already over 20 years ago, is called a conscious universe. Because you can play this game and say what was written start with microbes, but you can expand it out to the entire universe pretty quickly. Because there are all kinds of interconnections going on. between planets between solar systems, elements of the galaxy, no one, it just goes all the way out. So maybe the entire universe at some point, either is already or at some point becomes conscious.
Alex Ferrari 27:41
Very easy questions, Doc. It's very easy stuff that we're talking if you'd like. Now, to go back a little bit to the magic aspect of what you have your book real magic, and some of your prior works. I think it was supernatural as the other book that you wrote, in regards to supranormal choose me, thank you. You discuss the yogic superpowers. You studied the Eastern Yogi superpowers. I mean, I've I've studied a lot of ancient Indian texts, Yogananda and so many others, you know, religious texts, and they talk about these yo yogic superpowers where it's loving, you know, levitating and being in two places at the same time, and walking through material things, all these kind of things that seem very superhero ask, but can you explain it? Can you discuss your exploration of those kind of yogic powers and what you did? And what you discovered?
Dr. Dean Radin 28:38
Well, it is it's part of supernormal is a book that's looking at Eastern, esoteric traditions. And my most recent book, which is their real magic is looking at it from the western perspective. If you go back far enough in history, there's no difference between East and West. So it's sort of a convenience way of thinking about these things. And the Eastern perspective, Yoga has been around for a long time. And one of the first written books that wrote down what had been an oral tradition at that point was the Yoga Sutras by potentially. So the third of four little books that make up the Yoga Sutras is all about the development of special powers, cities, they would call it. So the reason why it caught my attention is that in the modern world, and science, today, we're struggling with the idea of do these psychic things even exist? And so I knew from the esoteric traditions that it was assumed that these exist, so I went back all the way as far back to the first written account that I could find where these powers were not only described, but methods of developing them were described. Well, that's the Yoga Sutras. So you look at the third book and it basically goes through about 2025 Different kinds of powers that develop as a result of yogic practice by which they've been primarily meant, not the calisthenics that are thought of as yoga today, but the meditation part of it, which was the core. So the idea was, like a lot of the older philosophies, the assumption was a consciousness is fundamental. You learn how to dive deep within your own consciousness. And from that perspective, if you do certain kinds of practices, you went to apathy, you can have telepathy, one precognition, you get precognition, some of the things that they talk about, like invisibility, and super strength, and so on, we don't generally see that sort of thing. But it's also true that even those who practiced those kinds of things I could get get into these deep states called Samadhi. They couldn't do it either. So these superpowers apparently may have been real. But they were very, very rare, even among people who were practicing their whole life. What is not so rare is when you look at the spectrum of 25 or so different sorts of powers. The very first one is called perception of past, present and future. Today, we would call that somewhere between clairvoyance and precognition. Almost everybody has some of that some people are better than others, but it's sort of across the board. And interestingly, that's the first city that is that is thought to arise as a result of dedicated meditation practice. We did a survey, at one point asking both experienced and new meditators. What sort of experiences have you had, as a result of doing your meditation practice? Well, perception of past, present and future. One of the ways that that manifests is through things like synchronicities, so we asked, you know, you're finding Abraham more synchronicities as a result of meditative practice. Yeah, 75% of people who start meditating say, Yeah, I've, I'm noticing that more, it's happening more. So this tells us combined with a laboratory study showing that these phenomena are real, it strongly suggests that these effects have been around basically, as long as humans have been around, and probably are not limited to humans. It's simply a part of the fabric of reality is interconnected across space and time, which made no sense before the idea of quantum entanglement. Now, we know that is the real thing. So somehow, we can experience that directly. That's that's what the suggestion is, at this point.
Alex Ferrari 32:40
In you said, not just human, I mean, if you could just just look at animals, animals know when there's an earthquake, animals know when there's a hurricane coming, they don't have weather channel, but yet, they're like, oh, something's coming. I'm out of here. And like, you can literally see it, and it's, it's everywhere, we're in the animal kingdom, they can't see things or feel things. Before we do even dogs, even if you're just your dog will be able to sense things. Not just the intruder, but since things that we we just don't sense many times,
Dr. Dean Radin 33:12
Yeah. But of course, keep also in mind that most animals have much better senses than we do much more sensitive. So in the case of a an approaching tsunami or an earthquake, they may be able to hear it, or hear, I mean directly, not nuts, not with any kind of psychic thing, but can their sensory system is much better. But experiments have also been done like Rupert Sheldrake did experiments with dogs who changed their behavior when their owners decided to come home. Well, they're not going to smell that because the owner might be 20 miles away.
Alex Ferrari 33:48
We have seen I've seen those studies, like they put the video on the lake, the second the owner leaves the office, he comes to the door, because he knows he's on his way. Yeah. How is that even a thing?
Dr. Dean Radin 33:58
Well, it's the same question for how to humans know how to do that. So the best thing we can do at this point is say, well, at least it's compatible with what we know about the physical world, there are interconnections. So we can make up stories at this point. And there are only stories, theories. And in my, my colleagues and I around the world are are looking at these theories and saying, Can we figure out ways of testing? Like, you know, make up an idea of how do we think that's working, that can be tested, and in false falsified? Because just, you know, you can test something and see that it's real, but that's not going to tell you very much you need to know, is this theory or that theory correct, or more? Correct? Well, it has to be a way to discriminate between the two. That's most of what we do today. We're doing studies that are involved in the process of these kinds of phenomena, and then we're not that interested anymore and whether they exist because Those of us who have studied the evidence, it's very clear that the phenomena exist.
Alex Ferrari 35:05
Now you discuss meditation as in the yogic practices. And also just I mean, meditation in general is one of the most studied, scientifically studied things now for the last 3040 years, there's just so many different studies, on the benefits to health benefits, what happens in meditation? What do you think happens inside of meditation? Because, I mean, I've been meditating for five years now five or six years, I've, I can meditate anywhere between an hour to three hours at a time, think my record is four and a half hours. There are obviously health benefits, because my blood work shows it my nutritious like you meditate, don't you like? Because there's no reason why here, these, these markers should be as low as they are so on. But there are other things that you feel when you're meditating, it almost feels blissful. When you're inside of a meditation, first of all, do you meditate? And secondly, what do you think happens? From a scientific perspective? When we meditate that starts to unlock? Possibly these these things that you've been studying?
Dr. Dean Radin 36:09
Yeah, I do meditate not regularly. I go through periods where I'll be very disciplined for a year or two. I'll drop it for a while. And then I'll start up again. So exactly why that happens. I don't know why I start in stop. But I first learned how to meditate 1970. From because TM was pretty strong on campuses, maybe they still are. But anyway, that's, that's the first one that I learned. And so I did that. And I've done many, many different styles over the years. And now when I get back to doing meditation, it's usually Vipassana. It's the it's the thing that works best for me. So how does it work? Well, there there are theories about what's going on. And certainly, physiologically, we come down significantly. But I think your interesting question, though, is at very deep levels of meditation, why do we sense it as bliss, right?
Alex Ferrari 37:09
Because I walk I walk out of it, I walk out of it, like in this almost a haze of blissful haze, where everything just, I am almost kind of still wet as I'm walking. I'm still kind of waking up from it. It's almost the grogginess you feel when you wake up, or you're woken up in the middle of the night, when you come out of a deep meditation, there is this in the word bliss is the only word that I can explain it because it's not happy. I'm not sad, but I'm not happy, it's bliss. And then it'll start to wear down as maybe five or 10 minutes walk down, but I'll walk back and my, my daughters will come up to me, like, they'll just sense like, you were just meditating, weren't you? I didn't say a word. But they could even sense that this there's something different about my energy, if you will. So yeah, bliss is what I came up with it for my practice, at least.
Dr. Dean Radin 37:59
Yeah, I don't know why that happens. I mean, it clearly does happen in literature, as from your own experience, these kinds of states do happen where you, you get into some state that seems to transcend the limitations of the body. And for reasons that the perception, the way that we describe, the state that we go into is this, in my case, for example, a infusion of yellowish light, like a yellowish light that happens, and it feels really, really, really good. Well, so that that's the bliss state. I don't know why that happens. I'm not sure that anybody knows why is that why that happens, unless, at these very deep states in Samadhi, generally, that you're contacting something else about the nature of reality, like you're dying. Normally, we're embedded in some some sort of ocean of consciousness or, or fabric of reality. But our conscious daily, everyday awareness keeps us pretty far away from that. It's actually quite far away all the way to the point where normal waking awareness doesn't pay any attention to that at all. No, we're consumed with things we have to do or things like talking and that sort of thing. But in this these other deep states, it's almost as though you're you're connecting back with the essence of what you really are. And the you hear is a little bit in quotes, because, you know, is there a self in there is, you know, what is that? Is it just pure awareness, whatever that is that pure awareness it when we later describe what it's like, or even during the day while you're meditating, it feels very pleasant. Well, so you take like a punt on your neuroscience hat. And you'd say, well, feeling pleasant, is associated with all kinds of things. It's neuro chemicals, and there's portions of the brain that light up and all of that it's like you're amygdala is all very happy at the moment. Well, maybe that's the way that it's reflecting within the nervous system that the nervous system gets to a state of quiescence, where everything can just relax in a way that normally can't even during dreaming. So maybe it's a little bit like going into deep sleep, but you haven't lost your awareness. And a deep sleep, we're in some kind of regeneration mode. And so if you can go into that state consciously, maybe that would feel blissful. Like you're plugging in and recharging your battery.
Alex Ferrari 40:33
Yeah, and I always find, after a good meditative, have a good meditation, I am recharged. And I do have a new, the battery has kind of been recharged a bunch. It's not the same as sleeping. But it can be and especially when you start listening to some of these Yogi's yogic masters who talk about like, oh, I only meditate for two, three hours, and I don't need to sleep it three or four days. And I'm perfectly fine. There, Adam, obviously, at a different level of the path on the path and Uri are, but I just find it so interesting that it's such a simple thing, meditation, I mean, you sit quietly, and try to clear your mind or allow the mind to chatter, to come to a place where you can just be. And I think you're right, I think you're kind of like if you're at the top level of the, of the ocean, during normal awakened state. In a meditative state, you're down at the Mariana Trench, all the way down there with those funky looking fish. And you get to go down there to a place that you normally can't access, not even inside a sleeping state. So it's, but yet it gives you so many physical benefits, mental benefits, psychological benefits, it's so powerful. And now before I mean, you were you know, you if you were learning TM in the 70s, you know, in the 70s, if you were meditating, you're a whack job. You're completely out there, you're a hippie, you're gone. But now, there's apps now CEOs, like Yeah, meditate every day. It's part of my, my, my my hustle. So it's, it's amazing to how the awareness of meditation has become completely mainstream, completely mainstream.
Dr. Dean Radin 42:22
Yeah, that's part of what I talk about in my book supernormal. It's the normalization of something that used to be considered super, or wacky, as you said, right. Right. And so that's, I think that is a good sign. This is part of the pendulum that keeps swinging back and forth on what is society regard as normal versus not normal? Well, the paranormal includes a huge mishmash of different kinds of weird stuff. psychic phenomena, unfortunately, is considered part of the paranormal. It shouldn't be because it is actually amenable to science. And we know a lot more about that than we do about things which are regarded as the paranormal, like Bigfoot, perhaps. But it falls into that class. So I see that part of the work that I'm doing and my colleagues do is normalizing at least one aspect of the paranormal. And also, as I said before, if we go back far enough in history, everything was paranormal, everything was magic. We didn't have good ideas about anything. Well, we slowly normalize and be better understand the aspects of reality. That's, that's what science is really good at.
Alex Ferrari 43:37
So it's always interesting is no matter what part no matter at what point in time you're at, man think thinks that they know everything. So, you know, I, you know, when the sun was a, you know, a God, it was a God, when the flat the Earth was flat, it was flat. And it just obviously, the the markers are changing, the chains keep moving, if you will, for football metaphor, the chains keep moving, the markers keep moving. So what was crazy in the 70s is now completely acceptable and actually encouraged. You know, things that I mean, I remember reading Autobiography of a Yogi. And when Yogananda brought over meditation and yoga from the east, in the 20s, can you imagine him walking around as a yogi, when no one had ever even most people had never even seen an Indian before, let alone a yoga master. So at that point, he was, you know, it was completely out there. I mean, there was there was riots, people were trying to push them out of cities and things where we are today where the things that he was talking about are completely normalized now. So things that are today, taboo or wacky, or these kinds of ideas, some of the things that you talk about, in 100 years, they're gonna be like, well, that's, they were just barbaric back in 2022.
Dr. Dean Radin 44:57
Yeah, that's the entire history of of our civilization really, and especially within science, like science, scientists tend to be very conservative and naturally skeptical as I am. And when you look at the history of Nobel laureates, just as one example, you find that a lot of them came up with some brilliant idea. And occasionally, they will recognize very quickly for the further advancement. But there's many, many cases where people were basically laughed at for 2030 years, until finally there was enough evidence to say, oh, okay, they were right, after all. Okay, here's a prize, here's a prize, because you, you, you have persisted in making us think about other things. But the initial reaction is, oh, that's, that's crazy. That's crazy.
Alex Ferrari 45:43
Well, Galileo obviously a very famous example of that.
Dr. Dean Radin 45:47
Yeah. there's I mean, there's a long history of such things.
Alex Ferrari 45:52
And it there is kind of like scientific, there's a scientific blinders that you talk about is that basically what you're deciding this, there's just there's just very conservative
Dr. Dean Radin 46:03
We fall in love with our ideas. And then it's really, really difficult to change them.
Alex Ferrari 46:10
Because science shouldn't be fluid. It shouldn't be evolving at all times, it should be like, Oh, well, we figured eight, one plus one equals two, there can never be one plus plan equals apple.
Dr. Dean Radin 46:22
Yeah. Well, humans are I mean, this is a human thing. Really, it's like science in the academic worlds are supposed to be have complete freedom in terms of what you study. But that's a fiction. That has never been the case. Anytime you have humans get together and devise some kind of enterprise, there are taboos, things you don't talk about openly. And there are constraints in terms of the way that money is used generally, or supportive anytime, like, what are we going to support? Well, if if you're proposing something that is going to push the status quo too much, you're you're not allowed to do that, you'll you'll, you'll find very quickly that you're either shunned, or if you're in the academic world, you don't get 10 years, so you have to leave it, there's a lot of pressure to maintain the status quo. And when the status quo is pushing against things that have a huge economic interest, like in medicine, like an energy and so on, you have to be very, very careful how you tread. So within the domain of psychic phenomena, we're not at this point anyway, we're not pushing the status quo too much, because people, most people have these experiences, whether they want to admit it or not. And we tell from you can see from our entertainment that people enjoy it. So it's not pushing too much. But if we get to the stage where, for example, one of the projects we're working on is the genetic genetics, of psychic ability. And we think from a small scale study that we did, and also from enormous amount of folklore, across cultures, that some people are talented, and that talent runs in families. Just just like every other talent that we know runs in families that has a genetic component. If we continue to do these studies, and we find that there are genetic or epigenetic reasons for the talent, it will mean that we'll be able to identify people who have talent through their DNA, which some people which actually some people find is great and others, they freak out, as we probably also can find ways of enhancing the ability to take a quote, normal person and turn them into a super psychic by doing a genetic modification. And you can do the flip side too, you can turn off these capabilities, which you know, you think about where is this? Where would this push society to the point where the status quo is saying, Oh, no, you don't imagine we create a pill, you take the pill and you become incredibly good at telepathy? Well, very first thing that's going to happen is that there will be no secrets. You cannot have a government, you cannot have business, you can't have any international relationships, if there are no secrets, right? So that that would strongly push against the way civilization works now on this planet, and there will be a very, very strong suppression of any knowledge of that type. I mean, that if tomorrow we came out with something, it would probably be classified so so far in the deep black, that we'd never be able to talk about it.
Alex Ferrari 49:41
I mean, it'd be an episode of The X Files that will talk about maybe
Dr. Dean Radin 49:46
You could talk about it as stories but not as real.
Alex Ferrari 49:49
Dr. Dean Radin 49:49
Alex Ferrari 49:51
No, it's it's, you know, the concept of the placebo effect that still, like you know, medical, the medical profession doesn't even know To talk about the placebo effect, I read a read a, an interview where a doctor is like, oh, that placebo effect is messing up my results. There's obviously something there. So even It took years to figure out that the mind has some sort of effect on your healing. What you think and what you believe, is extremely powerful. And in the process of healing, that has been scientifically proven, but nobody likes to talk about that. Because there's no money in you thinking you can feel yourself better.
Dr. Dean Radin 50:32
That's right. Yep. Unfortunately, pharmaceuticals are actually, you know, they you have to do a placebo controlled trial. So you're able to show that yeah, you can get 5% over placebo, with this particular drug, which in some cases is very valuable, right? I mean, especially things like pain control. And Shawn, you, sometimes you could struggle internally to prevent the pain and just can't? Sure, of course, in which case, yeah, so pharmaceuticals are quite good. Can in the future, we figure out a way of doing purely through mind, I think maybe we can write once we understand better about consciousness and its relationship to the body and all that stuff. As an engine, we are amazingly good at creating all of the chemicals that we need, in order, you want to create an opioid internally and endogenous one, we could do that.
Alex Ferrari 51:26
You can it's it's being able to turn it on and off is the question. Yes. And would you control? Yeah, exactly. And also, can you like, if you if you if you want to feel ecstasy at all times, would we just have a bunch of people just like, high because they keep releasing that within them.
Dr. Dean Radin 51:44
Some of them Yes, um, some people will get addicted to it in the same way that they get addicted to, to any kind of drug.
Alex Ferrari 51:52
It's really interesting. You're you're talking in regards to genetics, inside of psychic abilities, or satisifed abilities. Because, you know, if you start looking at the literature, you know, you've got grandma who's a medium, or a psychic, and that gets passed on to the granddaughter. And then she discovers that she has some abilities as well. And you know, whether you believe it or not, it doesn't matter. But I never thought about the genetic capabilities of psychic abilities, which is really an interesting concept that you're actually studying that and usually you're taking people who are psychic or have some sort of psychic power that you can test, and then seeing what their genetic makeup is, and seeing what's the common denominator across basically your experiment?
Dr. Dean Radin 52:44
Yeah, yeah, we find it's called a case control study, you find cases that have the characteristics that you're interested in, you find controls that don't, you run their entire genome. And there's lots of bioinformatics methods to analyze differences between the two, and we found something. So the the world today of what we have the tools available for genetic understanding are really, really good, and only getting better like a well, practically every day. So they just give you one example. We there we know today that there is a difference between different kinds of intelligence that has a genetic basis. So the two types, one is called crystalline intelligence, and the other is fluid intelligence. So that sort of what you would imagine they are. So crystalline intelligence is extremely good at analytical stuff, mathematics, and so on. Fluid intelligence is more like being highly creative. There are constellations of hundreds of genes, which discriminate between those two kinds of intelligence. So, I mean, we're not talking about one gene is making this happen. We're talking about the interaction of lots and lots of genes. So in our study of for psychic phenomena, we found a variant, one variant in the, in the intron sequence. So in you know, you look at the, if you sequence the whole genome, it's it's over a billion different genes and interactions. The intron sequence is the primer is most of what the genome is, it's about 95% of the genome. And it used to be called junk DNA because nobody knew what it did. So the two parts that are the exome and the intron. The exome is the part of the DNA that creates proteins that makes us we're made out of proteins. Well, what is the other 95% doing? The other 95% is essentially an epigenetic switch. It tells the genes how to express. So if you have roughly I forget exactly 20 To 30,000 genes and procreate proteins, but they can do all kinds of interesting things, but they need to be told what to do. Well, that's what the x that's what the intron sequence does this epigenetic part, that's where we found a difference. So I actually strongly suspect that it's not just the intron sequence, it's not an epigenetic effect, there are actual combinations of the genes that will also turn out to be important in terms of what is grandma passing down, that makes the granddaughter a medium? Well, there are methods that will look at the combinations of hundreds of 1000s of genes at the same time, to see what's interacting with what. So those methods are available, it's kind of expensive still to do that. So again, like anything else, all you need is money. And, and some people with clever machinery and knowing what they can do, we could figure this out. And interestingly, I would say that maybe 75% of the people I talked to about this project, or think it's this is fabulous, you could learn all kinds of interesting things. And then about 25% are just totally freaked about it. Because they become so paranoid about how, how their private information is being used, that they don't like the idea of somebody getting their DNA from something and figuring out like everything about you? Well, of course, it isn't everything. But it's a lot you can me, we're learning more and more about the way that people are based on their physiological structure and their genetic structure. So some of the best personality tests, about half of the personality test is looking at how what is your biological state? Like? What do you made up of what are your natural inclinations, because that strongly drives your personality? And so that personality tests, which is asking questions like What do you prefer, and had, you know, ways of thinking and all that they're valuable, but you get much more information if you get at the basic physiological structure of the person, because that's a very strong driver of what you end up being in, that's why people are afraid of the genetics, because that even tells you more.
Alex Ferrari 57:13
So you're actually able, you're starting to find that there is a creative sequence, and a more analytical sequence. So in other words, some of the different states you're saying the flow, the flowing, I forgot what the term you used,
Dr. Dean Radin 57:27
Alex Ferrari 57:28
Fluid, excuse me, intelligence, fluid intelligence. So fluid intelligence would be more of a creative an artist, a musician, a filmmaker, a writer, an artist of some sort, and then the other intelligence would be much more analytical academic,
Dr. Dean Radin 57:42
Crystalline, until it you know, you get nobody can imagine crystal.
Alex Ferrari 57:46
Right, exactly. So one one's an accountant, musician, to make it as simple as that. Because, for me, I, you know, for me, I look at, I look at accounting, and it just like, it makes my head hurt. Because it's just not the way I'm built. But I can look at something in the creative space, in the more esoteric areas of life, meaning marketing concepts and things like that, which are more of the creative side, and I flourish in that world took me a long time to figure that out. Where, but in school so many times, they jam you in the other way, and you just can't, you can't find yourself. But it's interesting that you're able to now identify a gene sequence that can say, oh, this person, I can't tell you, he's going to be a musician, or she's going to be a musician or a writer, but she definitely has the abilities that are leaning towards the creative side.
Dr. Dean Radin 58:39
Right. And so the best test for students generally what they don't know what they want to do, when they're when they grow up, is an in a vocational inventory that matches their personality characteristics to people who are happy in those jobs. So you start doing some kind of job because you're kind of pushed into that. And then you start doing and say, this sucks. Well, because of that matching who you are, well, what does match it? Well, you take this inventory, and you find out that, oh, well, people who have your personality are really happy doing this kind of job. And what you hope it is that it you know, your personality would be best suited for manual labor. You should be digging ditches. Well, maybe people don't want to hear that. But on the other hand, somebody who, who likes that, like heavy physical work outside, they feel good about it. Yeah, they'd say, okay, yeah, that makes a lot of sense. So when I took that test in graduate school, because I didn't know what I wanted to do, it came up with three things. The first one was policeman, which I'd never thought of before. Now. I think the why in the world, why match a happy policeman? Well, I'm interested in social justice and things like that, and like societal orders important to me. The second was priest. I'm not a religious person at all. And I thought, Well, why was that that match? Well, okay, I'm concerned about things like compassion and empathy. And so I can see that that would kind of fit. The third was social scientist. And I thought, oh, okay, that makes sense. Because I kind of like the science side. I like how studying how how people are and interactions among people and all that stuff. And it brings in elements of the other two things, too. So it was around that time they switched into for a after got my master's degree to get a doctorate in psychology. And turns out, yeah, I kind of like this. I mean, I can see how I how that inventory, the personality that I have fits into somebody who would be happy in that profession. So those tests are pretty good.
Alex Ferrari 1:00:46
Well, the sign and being a scientist is almost almost like being a priest, but just different texts that you study constantly in many ways.
Dr. Dean Radin 1:00:59
And even on the police side, you know, part of part of policing is about skepticism. Right? I mean, a policeman has to learn pretty quickly to be very skeptical about everybody, because they're always watching. Well, that's true in science, too. You know, you're you're never quite sure you're doing this right. And you know, you're forced to be evaluating and judgmental, almost, especially when you're a referee for papers. You're what you're looking for is what's wrong with this? That's that's usually the way it goes, there's, something's wrong with this. And then you have to figure out why. I'm not sure that policemen do that. But I bet that there is an element in there saying, well, that that person looks suspicious. Why? Why do they look suspicious? Well, they, they learn things to look for? Well, so I've learned things to look forward to.
Alex Ferrari 1:01:44
Now where can people find out more about your work and purchase some of your books?
Dr. Dean Radin 1:01:50
Well, they can go to DeanRadin.com which is my personal site, or then go to noetic.org, noetic.org, which is where I work, the Institute of Noetic Sciences. And we have we have a science team, which is all of us working together on various kinds of projects. And a we call an experiential team, which tries to take the kinds of things that we're learning about and turning it into programs and workshops and materials for people to learn about it without having to do the Science.
Alex Ferrari 1:02:24
Dean, thank you so much for coming on the show. It has been a fascinating conversation with you as I knew it would be. So I appreciate you coming on the show and the work that you're doing. Hopefully, the things you're talking about now will be just the norm and hopefully not 100 years, maybe maybe a little bit sooner, but I appreciate you my friend.
Dr. Dean Radin 1:02:43
Links and Resources
- Dr. Dean Radin – Official Site
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