Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Unified Field Theory of the Paranormal

My best friend was a master at the "come hither" look. He could sit in a bar, stare at a girl in a certain way, and in most instances he would establish a contact that often led to... well, let's just say that it led to "something". I remember once betting him a pint beer that he couldn't get a particular girl to notice him. He went even further.

"Make it a pitcher of Stella Artois," he said, "and I'll have her and her friend at our table in ten minutes."

That seemed to be too good a deal to pass up, because while I didn't think he could do it, the girl's friend was cute and I had no problem playing wingman, so I took the bet. Seven minutes later, I was ordering him a pitcher of beer... and buying a couple of drinks for the girls, who had come over to our table without my friend saying a word to them, or motioning, or anything like that. He just looked at them in that certain way of his, and by doing so he changed the course of events. I could never do it myself - I would almost always look away at the pivotal moment, and even if I didn't look away, I could never quite read the "signs". Indeed, years later I wrote a song about the experience (and other related things).

This is, in its own way, akin to the observer effect - when you observe something, you invariably change it.

The theoretical physics of all of this is far beyond my proverbial "pay grade", so I'm not going to use the word "quantum" here - it's something that's tossed about far too frequently by people who don't understand what it truly represents in all its facets (including me). But we can see the basic principle that observation changes behaviour in the real world, without getting into theoretical physics. The example of my friend in the bar is amusing, but a far more concrete and pervasive example comes from my own work as a documentary filmmaker, and "reality" television, where the first rule of thumb is that as soon as you point a camera at someone, you will almost invariably change their behaviour. People react to being observed.

Many documentary filmmakers tend to look down on "reality" television as some kind of abomination on the grounds that it's not an accurate representation of reality, because such shows are often heavily scripted, and even if they're not, how can you expect someone like Gene Simmons tor Rick Harrison to behave the same way he normally would without a camera crew following him around. But here's the question that needs asking: what is reality, and what is normal? We change our behaviour all of the time, in both big ways and small ways, based on our interactions with others, or based on being observed. All that "reality" television does is create a different reality than the one which might have existed had the cameras not been there, but either reality would have largely been structured according to people dealing with other people in some way. It is an observed reality regardless, just as any "traditional" documentary is based on an observed reality, and the filmmaker's ultimate presentation and interpretation of that reality.

History shows us that you don't even need other people to have an observed reality where behaviour is constantly influenced and changed. All one has to do is read the diaries of Christians throughout the years to see that even the belief that they were being observed by God was enough to significantly influence their actions (indeed, an atheist might posit that the whole idea of God was introduced as a behavior control mechanism, but that's a debate for another day). In essence, a God that observes, and from time to time interacts in some way with humanity, as many people believe happens, is no different than a camera crew and writer working on a "reality" television series. What was Jesus and the crucifixion but the ultimate plot change in the "story"? Indeed, if it all happened now, it would probably look something like this:

In short, we live in an "observed reality", where our actions are constantly influenced by the awareness of being observed, whether this "awareness" is conscious, or unconscious (it's worth noting that the observers are increasingly artificial in nature, like the pervasive video cameras that we see on almost every street corner in most North American cities these days).

The tricky bit, as my friend knew was the case with women, is whether one can actually control the change induced by the observer effect, and therefore control people's behaviour, as opposed to generating a random effect that just changes their behaviour in unpredictable ways. My friend didn't just want anything to happen when he looked at the girl in the bar - he wanted a particular result. Accordingly, he looked at her in a particular way. If it had been someone like me, who was less adept at "the look", the likelihood of getting the desired result would have been much lower (trust me on this one).

All of which is to say that I think Jacques Vallee was essentially right. Vallee proposed that there is a genuine UFO phenomenon which has been active throughout human history, and which  appears in various forms to different cultures. In his opinion, the intelligence behind the phenomenon has been engaged in social manipulation by using deception on the humans with whom they interact. In essence, we have been living in their reality show. 

I would go further than Vallee, however, and suggest that all paranormal phenomena are interrelated, and a manifestation of the same non-human intelligence. Thus, ghosts and UFOs, for example, are simply different ways of trying to achieve the same effect. Sometimes this has taken a "world historical" form, as in the appearance of a "cross in the sky" to Constantine the Great at the Battle of Milvian Bridge, or Kenneth Arnold's UFO sighting in 1947, but most of the time it takes the form of little moments in the day-to-day lives of people, some of which might be noticed, but most of which are not, at least not on a conscious level (something like "deja vu" or a string of coincidences falls into the latter category). But somewhere, deep inside all of us (even the atheists), I think there is a feeling that we're being "watched", and an awareness that there is something out there which for whatever reason is influencing us to some degree, and for some unknown reason.

I think this is the "Unified Field Theory" of what we call the "paranormal". Shakespeare said it best: "All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players."

If all of this is true, however, then the question that remains: why would a non-human intelligence would engage in such activities. Are we simply actors, playing a particular role set out for us by the NHI... or are we also the writers and directors, and the NHI is the producer, providing us with the stage so that we can exercise our own creativity in our own way.

It's a question of being controlled versus free will, and it's the central existential question of human history. it's also the fundamental question that anyone interested in the "paranormal" needs to be asking.

Paul Kimball


somethgblue said...

I agree it is a question everyone should be asking, not necessarily those involved in the paranormal. However if you take your article just a little further, you may consider that the way in which humans are learning to communicate with each other is becoming more telepathic and intuitive on perhaps a 'quantum' level.
I suspect that the end of the age of man that the Maya refer to in essence is the next stage of our evolutionary process in which mechanized man (computers) will become obsolete as humans learn to communicate mind to mind and even create using simple their minds. I believe that mankind is going through an awakening period, manipulated by those with a sense of humor. Think crop circles as ink blots, perhaps everyone sees something different?! I believe the female spirit will become the driving force behind man's endeavors and to learn that all the wars and famine and disease is necessary to forge a spirit of compassion and nurturing.
We live in interesting times, I believe the Earth is our Mother and that life is a college for our souls and everyday we are given the chance to learn, God coincidence whatever you want to call it.

Bill Missett said...

I first proposed a unified field for all "paranormal" "psychic" or "psi" events in my collective volume, "Awakening The Soul: The Trilogy," which posits three things:

1. All "metaphysical phenomena" (also described as paranormal phenomena, psi, psychic event, parapsychology, etc.) is actually our spiritual nature at work.

2. Religions suppressed awareness of our spiritual nature by making almost everything metaphysical off-limits, sinful or evil, and intimidated science into not investigating metaphysical phenomena (our spiritual nature) under the penalty of death

3. This led to our current confusion and ignorance about our spiritual nature, with most of us thinking it is something outside ourselves, while in truth it is really our internal spiritual nature in action.

The original works in this volume were originally published in the 1990s and early 2000s, before Lynn Taggart or Rupert Sheldrake revealed their "field" theories.

Mike Henry said...


What a great find you are. Your tentative synopsis of the paranormal represents the first occasion when I have found someone who thinks and perhaps experiences reality somewhat as I do. Bill I will seek your book out, thank you.

Here is a way to experience this intelligence in your own life. All one needs to do is think about and entertain the possibility that cause and effect can be. . . sideslipped is the best word I can think of. As you entertain this notion in your daily life watch out for things that make no sense. Be prepared to be astonished.

For me this comes in the form of disappearances and reappearance's amongst other things. You will know when it happens to you because you will be utterly astounded!

Forget the chance to prove it to anyone. You can however experience these phenomena as a group and this actually appears to be a stimulant to the phenomena.

Here is the thing. These and perhaps all paranormal phenomenon will only manifest when it can not be proven or measured in any way. It is as if this phenomenon, and I would suggest intelligence, exists totally outside of our frame of reference, our reason, our orderly life of cause and effect. . .

Mike Henry

Anonymous said...

Based on my experience, perception is so much more. I've changed reality on ways that most believe impossible, most of which I do for the good and betterment as a whole. In essence we're all here to experience and learn, which also determines our constant and ever changing destiny.

Army of Strawmen said...

It may be your 'self' watching you. Since time does not exist i.e. everything exists already and all perceived changes in energy states are actually just changes in your ego's point of focus. It is your point of focus that establishes your experience.

In sum, 'time is the ego's way of catching up to the self'.

No reason for the self not to watch.

Army of Strawmen said...

Oh, a follow on if I may.

This could well mean that 'free will' resides in the self, and the ego is 'fated' to supply value, positive or negative, to the experience e.g. the emotional content, learning...

It could explain how free will and fate can both be true simultaneously.

And, it could help make sense of a lot of the old sagas that deal with these issues

Anonymous said...

Let me question one point of your posting: Why must it be a non-Human intelligence that watches us? Perhaps it may be a situation akin to that of Asimov's Foundation, where a society of humans lives with and/or beside us, intervening when they feel the need.

There is strong conjecture that advanced societies existed before our own. Are we really so sure that some element of these past civilizations did not survive, even to the present day? Makes sense as a theory in that it would provide them the perfect "cover" in that they could walk amongst us undiscovered, being us to begin with. Episodes of strangeness such as the Spaceships of Ezekiel scenario are more plausible as the remnant of past technologies in a world that has forgotten them, rather than the visitation of some trans-galactic mission.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting stuff as usual Mr K, but...umm the song thing, please don't do that again. :P