Saturday, October 6, 2012

Sheldrake’s morphic fields, other field effect theories, the vast number of people on antidepressants, and why recovery from SSRI’s may be taking longer than before

What does the Morphic Resonance theory of Rupert Sheldrake have to say about why people are taking longer to heal from psychotropic drug damage, and what can be done to accelerate healing?

I tapered off of SSRI antidepressants from the end of 2003 to the middle of 2005.  I couldn’t go any faster that that because I had severe muscle contractions every time I went down in dose.  I thought that, after my last dose, I could look forward to slowly recovering from the grueling taper, and, indeed, I felt better for about a month.  Then, I started to have physical, cognitive, and emotional symptoms I had *never* had before.  It seemed like it must have to do with the medications, but how was that possible? 

I Googled and discovered that there were people who had a post-taper syndrome after discontinuing antidepressants.  I had all the symptoms.  In 2005, the post-taper syndrome was lasting people somewhere from a few months to two years, with 1.5 years being the median.  I joined an excellent support forum and decided I would steadily heal and be completely back to normal in 1.5 years.

It is now over seven years since my last dose, and I am still very ill.  I became progressively worse for the first 1.5 years, then got better, then got worse again, then have slowly – excruciatingly slowly, and still with setbacks – improved since the beginning of 2009.

In the meantime, I have watched as more and more people on the various online support forums take longer and longer to recover.  Why is this?  We don’t know, because no research is being done on this question, even though the number of people taking this class of medication is skyrocketing all over the world.

There are many possible reasons for the lengthening duration of the recovery process.  For example, people have now been on meds in this class for longer (Prozac was introduced in 1987, Paxil in 1992); people are now more likely to have taken more than one psychotropic drug; the overall environmental toxic load has increased; the specific toxic load of these drugs and their breakdown products in the environment has increased.

Is it possible that Rupert Sheldrake’s theory of morphic resonance might shed some light on why people are taking longer to recover from the same toxic exposure?  And, if so, can the theory also give us some ideas about how to aid recovery?

The theory of morphic resonance

Rupert Sheldrake, Ph.D. is a biologist and author of many books, including the most recent  “The Science delusion:  Freeing the spirit of enquiry” and the 1988 classic “Presence of the past:  Morphic resonance and the habits of nature.”  His theory of morphic resonance proposes that everything in the world comes into its form due to the influence of a field that has been created by its predecessors.  This applies to atoms, cells, organs, plants, animals, human cultures, crystals – anything formed in the world. 

“Morphic fields are shaped by morphic resonance from all similar past systems, and thus contain a cumulative collective memory.  Morphic resonance depends on similarity and is not attenuated by distance in space and time. Morphic fields are local, within and around the systems they organise, but morphic resonance is non-local” (Sheldrake, 2012, p. 100).

This theory is rooted in the work of early 20th century biologists who came before Sheldrake, but he added the idea that “the structure of these fields is not determined by either transcendent Ideas or timeless mathematical formulae, but rather results from the actual forms of previous similar organisms” (Sheldrake, 1988, p. 108).   For example, every growing crystal of copper sulfate resonates with previous crystals of copper sulfate.  Every oak sapling is shaped by the collective field created by previous oaks (Sheldrake, 2012, p. 99).

The morphic resonance theory also supplements the gene theory in crucial ways.  Genes, alone, cannot predict how an embryo will develop, nor can they predict what form a protein will take (Sheldrake, 2012, pp. 142-5).

One of the fascinating aspects of this theory is that it may explain some mysteries such as why human IQ scores are going up over time, and why, when rats learn a new trick in one lab, rats become able to learn that same trick faster at a lab in another country, even if there has been no contact nor genetic inheritance between the two groups.  There is some research evidence to suggest that when one member of a species learns something s/he contributes that learning to the collective memory or morphic field of the species, making it easier for future members of that species to learn the same thing, or even for some members to just know the new information without having to learn it (Sheldrake, 2012, pp. 207-9).

If we look only at this aspect of the theory, it would seem that people should be recovering from SSRIs faster.  There may be a subset of the population for whom this is true, but in the three online support forum communities I’m familiar with, this does not seem to be the trend.  What else can we borrow from the morphic resonance theory to account for this?

What Sheldrake has said about repairing physical damage, particularly neurological damage

We know that the human body in general and the nervous system in particular have a substantial ability to heal and regenerate themselves.  SSRI antidepressants cause pervasive, subtle, neuro-endocrinological damage, but, due to neuroplasticity, people do heal once the offending toxin is removed.  New neurons, receptors, and synapses are made, and neurochemical levels are adjusted.  People who go through SSRI exposure and recovery find they first lose and then regain physical, cognitive, and emotional functioning.  Some of this return to original condition might be accounted for by morphic resonance.

According to Sheldrake, individuals self-resonate to their own past patterns of form and function.  “All organisms are dynamic structures that are continuously recreating themselves under the influence of their own past states” (Sheldrake,1988, pp. 132-3).  This is essential to an individual’s continuity and memory, and goes some way toward explaining how we perpetuate both illness and identity, despite the fact that almost every cell in our body is continuously replaced.

Living beings at all stages of development, from embryonic to adult, have a great capacity to re-direct their development toward the original target, despite environmental interference.  “The main reason that developmental biologists proposed the idea of morphogenetic fields in the first place was because organisms can retain their wholeness and recover their form even if parts of them are damaged or removed.  The field in some sense contains the form or pattern of the entire morphic unit, and it attracts the developing or regenerating system towards it” (Sheldrake, 1988, p. 317).

This capacity to regain one’s sense of self and many functions can be seen in many cases of neurological damage.  “After damage to parts of the brain, these [morphic] fields may be capable of organizing the nerve cells in other regions to carry out the same functions as before.  The ability of learned habits to survive substantial brain damage may be due to the self-organizing properties of the fields – properties which are expressed in the realm of morphogenesis in regeneration and embryonic regulation” (Sheldrake, 1988, p.168).

These aspects of the morphic resonance theory account for the fact that people do heal from SSRI-induced neuro-endocrinological damage, but do not, at first blush, seem to account for why recovery from the same toxin might be taking people longer.  Let us now bring to bear other aspects of the morphic resonance theory to generate several hypotheses for this puzzling phenomenon.


I.  The need to wait a generation or more

Perhaps the simplest hypothesis is that we have to wait for a generation or two to pass before we see the benefits of inherited learning.  Prozac was introduced in 1987, and the other drugs in this class came after that, and the really large numbers of people taking the drugs didn’t start until the mid-90’s, so we are still only in the first generation.

II.  There’s something different about neurological damage 

The second set of hypotheses is grouped around the main idea that there is something different about neurological damage / recovery, or something different about this particular form of neuro damage / recovery.

The nervous system is far more complex in design than any other part of the body.  And it can learn and change far more than any other part of the body.  Neurological healing is still the least understood healing process.

The brain is very dynamic, responsive,and changeable (Sheldrake, 1988, pp.166-7).  It may be that this responsiveness to changing conditions depends on what appears to be an element of randomness, with ongoing fluctuations in electrical potential across the cortex (Sheldrake, 1988, p. 120,  Is the nervous system more stochastic than other biological systems?

Interestingly, Sheldrake proposes that morphic fields are similarly probabilistic and not deterministic.  They do not absolutely control the development of forms.  They are a composite of previous similar forms, and they provide a guiding template for new forms, but there is still individual variation (Sheldrake, 1988, pp. 119-20).

Furthermore, the particular form of neurological injury we are looking at, caused by SSRIs, seems to entail dysautonomia or dysregulation of the autonomic nervous system.  (I wonder if most neurological injury and many chronic illnesses have an element of dysautonomia.)  Dysautonomia makes the nervous system even more sensitive, reactive, and possible stochastic.

Therefore, the nature of the nervous system, morphic fields, and dysautonomia may conspire to make it harder for recovering individuals to self-resonate to the morphic field of their nervous system as it was before they were exposed to the medications. 

Sheldrake notes the intriguing relationship between brain damage and morphic fields when he points to the mysterious way that injured people can often regain lost abilities despite permanent damage to certain parts of the brain. Essentially, a new part of the brain becomes able to tune into the old morphic field.  This would be an example of self-resonance via regeneration (Sheldrake, 1988, p. 218).  Of course, this re-acquisition of lost abilities does not always happen, and we don’t yet know why it sometimes does and sometimes doesn’t.  In the case of SSRI-induced neurological damage, full recovery is very likely, although dysautonomia may make it take a long time.  The question is why self-resonance seems to be taking even longer to achieve than before.

Dysautonomia existed long before SSRIs.  Is there something about SSRI-induced dysautonomia that’s different?  Is there something about SSRI-induced dysautonomia that is changing over time?  For one thing, contrary to the old generalizations about brain damage recovery, with this syndrome, functioning does not come back rapidly in the first six months and then cease improving after a couple of years.  On the contrary, the regaining of functioning may not even start for a couple of years, and then appears to go on indefinitely after that.

Other questions in this group would be:  Are people healing from non-neurological diseases faster over time?  Are people healing from other forms of neurological disorder faster over time?

III.  There’s something different about these toxins 

The third set of hypotheses groups around the main idea that there is something different about this particular class of toxin.

The SSRIs – Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, etc. – and the SNRIs – Effexor, Cymbalta, etc. – are new human-made molecules.  Now that they exist, there is a morphic field for each of them, and perhaps an over-arching morphic field for these closely-related, similarly-acting molecules.

According to Sheldrake:  “The appearance of a new kind of field involves a creative jump or synthesis.  A new morphic attractor [the form that is the goal of that field] comes into being, and with it a new pattern of relationships and connections.  Consider a new molecule, for example, or a new kind of instinct or a new theory” (Sheldrake, 1988, p. 321).

Is there something about the morphic fields of these new molecules – perhaps especially those of Effexor and Paxil which are notoriously hard to withdraw from – that is more indomitable?  Does such putative dominance have to do with them being artificial forms that did not arise slowly on this planet?  Is it something about their chemical structure?

Anecdotally, many people in recovery from SSRIs seem to have the experience of trying some kind of therapy to help with the neuro-endocrinological symptoms, and often it will work well initially, but only briefly, and then it stops having any impact.  It *feels* as though the field of the medications overwhelms any other therapy’s field.

Are some morphic fields more compelling than others?  Something Sheldrake wrote about top down v. bottom up creation of new fields may pertain here.  I’m not sure if I’m understanding correctly, but I think he is saying that some new fields emerge in the more Darwinian evolutionary way of  “ever more complex forms at higher levels of organization” (bottom up), while others emerge more rapidly, often in response to human activity, when a higher-order morphic field produces “within itself a new lower-level field” (top down).  Sheldrake believes that these two processes are interactive (Sheldrake, 1988, pp. 180, 321-2). 

There may be something more compelling about a human-created substance and morphic field, or about these potent chemical compounds / morphic fields in particular, but, again, these theories don’t account for why recovery from these agents appears to be taking more time than it did when the medications and their morphic fields were first created a few years ago.

IV.  There’s something about the size of the morphic field of people on SSRIs 

The fourth set of hypotheses is grouped around the main idea that the vast size of the population currently taking this class of medication is causing an effect on ex-users.

a.  The morphic field of people on the drugs has more and more members.

The number of people taking these medications is increasing.  This is one thing that has definitely changed since the medications were introduced.  There is a morphic field being created by people who are *on* these drugs.  This morphic field may be getting stronger.  It may be influencing the people who have been on the medications, are now off them, but still might self-resonate to their own past state of being on the meds.

Are people in recovery resonating too much to their recent past state under the influence of the drug, and not enough to their more distant past state-of-being prior to exposure to the drug?  Interestingly, many people in recovery report the experience of two selves fighting for supremacy within them.  I, myself, had never felt this before in 40 years of life, but have felt is many times during recovery from the antidepressants.  It feels like there is a self that is normal and familiar struggling with a self that is riddled with alien withdrawal symptoms.

The colossal number of humans taking these drugs could be generating a morphic field of the human-brain-while-on-these-drugs.  Or, you could say that the morphic field of the human species has been altered because so many members are taking these drugs.

Sheldrake has written that abnormality can begin to dominate a morphic field.  “If fruit flies develop abnormally under abnormal conditions, then the more the abnormality occurs, the more likely it will be to happen again under the same conditions, through cumulative morphic resonance” (Sheldrake, 2012, p. 180).  Now, he is talking here about intergenerational morphogenetic fields, but it raises the possibility of something similar happening over time within a generation.

Could the morphic field of people on the drugs be entraining ex-users to itself?

b.  The Maharishi Effect

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was a spiritual leader who developed and popularized a mantra-based form of meditation called Transcendental Meditation.  He originally predicted that if 1% of a population practiced this meditation method, it would have a measurable, positive impact on the whole population.  Later, he developed an augmented training program, and it was predicted that only the square root of 1 % of a population would need to practice this method in order to show a benefit to the whole population.  There have been numerous studies around the world that suggest that even such a small percentage of a local population, practicing the meditation method, has had a statistically significant effect on quality-of-life measures such as crime rate and car accidents (Wiki).

What percentage of the population is now taking antidepressants?

In Oct 2011, the C.D.C. reported that from 1998 to 2008, U.S. antidepressant prescriptions rose 400 %, and more than 1 in 10 Americans over age 12 were taking an antidepressant (  That is not a typo – yes, 400 %.

In 2010, there were 3.5 million antidepressant prescriptions written in Wales, where antidepressant use had risen 71 % over the previous eight years.  In 2010, there were 4.3 million prescriptions in Scotland, an increase of 43 % over the previous eight years.  And, in 2009, there were 39.1 million prescriptions in England, an increase of 61% over the previous eight years (the population of England was 52.5 million then) (  In 2011, 46.7 million antidepressant prescriptions were written in England, a 9.1 % increase over 2010 (

Worldwide sales of antidepressants reached $20.3 billion in 2008 (  In 2007, the Eli Lilly website stated that Prozac had been prescribed for more than 54 million people in 90 countries" (,  The world population in 2007 was about 6,625,000 (

You can see that the numbers are big and increasing rapidly.  It’s easier to get numbers of prescriptions than numbers of actual people taking the drugs, but in 2008, the U.S. government found that roughly 10% of Americans over age 12 were taking an antidepressant (, and in September 2011, the government of Scotland estimated that 11.3% of Scots over age 15 were taking an antidepressant (

According to the Maharishi Effect theory, you only need the square root of 1% of a population to be meditating in a certain way to have an influence on the whole population.  What happens to the whole population when 10% are taking the same type of powerful medication?  Does that 10% have an even stronger influence on people who have previously ingested the same medication, even though they are now off it?

c.  The Rensselaer study

A 2011 study at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute used computational models to discover the tipping point at which a minority belief is adopted by the majority of a population.  Despite experimenting with several different social network models, they repeatedly found that the magic number was approximately 10%.  Once 10% of a population holds an unshakable belief, that belief will spread rapidly through the rest of the population (, thanks to for the find).

While the Maharishi Effect suggests that the square root of 1% can have some sort of influence on a population, the Rensselaer study suggests that 10% can have a very direct, almost imprinting effect on a population (personal communication, Chris Bache, 12 Aug 11).

It’s also worth noting that, not only are 10 % of Americans consuming antidepressants, but more than 10 % of Americans are convinced of the safety and efficacy of antidepressants, and of the validity of the serotonin model of depression despite compelling evidence to the contrary. (Sheldrake, 2012, pp. 271-2;  So, there may be morphic resonance not only from the direct biochemical and epigenetic effects of the drugs, but from the beliefs about them.

People in recovery from this class of drugs are often hypersensitive to reinstatement of any of these meds, even at extremely low doses.  Re-exposure to the drugs causes an exacerbation of the neuro-endocrinological damage symptoms, including dyautonomic chaos.  Might these people be similarly hypersensitive to the morphic field of an enormous number of people on this class of drugs?  For some reason, it is phenomenally hard for us to restabilize and become as robust and resilient as many of us were before we took the meds.  And, for some reason, it is getting harder, not easier.

d.  The placebo effect is increasing

Before we sink too far into the slough of despond over this situation, let us look at another trend which might counterbalance the above-mentioned pathogenic morphic fields.  The placebo effect appears to be getting stronger over time.

In an excellent 2009 article for, journalist Steve Silberman reported on Big Pharma’s scramble to cope with the recent, mystifying increase in placebo effect, particularly in relation to psychotropic medication, and how this is undermining their ability to turn a profit.  Wrote Silberman, “Two comprehensive analyses of antidepressant trials have uncovered a dramatic increase in placebo response since the 1980s. One estimated that the so-called effect size (a measure of statistical significance) in placebo groups had nearly doubled over that time” (Silberman,, 2009).

Silberman reviewed a couple of factors that may be contributing to the global rise of the placebo effect:  1)  since 1997, Americans have been bombarded by direct-to-consumer medication advertising, which has practically brainwashed us to believe in meds; and 2) in new drug trials conducted in developing or low infrastructure countries, participants are responding as much to the lavish care they get in the drug trial as they are to the med itself (Silberman,, 2009).

However, no one thinks we fully understand this new phenomenon yet.  In fact, as of Spring 2009, the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health in the U.S. has begun a massive data-gathering effort called the Placebo Response Drug Trials Survey, reviewing decades of trial studies. It is funded by "Merck, Lilly, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Sanofi-Aventis, Johnson & Johnson, and other major firms....In typically secretive industry fashion, the existence of the project itself is being kept under wraps. FNIH staffers are willing to talk about it only anonymously, concerned about offending the companies paying for it" (Silberman,, 2009).

What if the worldwide, but especially American, increase in placebo response is due to a change in a morphic field?  We know the placebo response is due, at least some of the time, to expectations.  If you expect a treatment to work -- and the expectation might be conscious or unconscious -- it is more likely to work.  Having said that, we don’t actually know how the mechanism of expectation works.  For all we know, the expectation of healing may be what links you to the correct morphic field for your healing.

And, it’s not at all clear that expectation is the only mechanism driving the placebo response, nor accounting for the recent rise in the placebo response.  What if the placebo response is increasing because the placebo morphic field is increasing in potency?  And might the increasing potency of an hypothesized placebo morphic field be partly a response to the threat posed by the increasingly potent new pathogenic fields such as the human-body-on-antidepressants?

According to Sheldrake, morphic fields are always changing, they are inherently creative, and, as with evolution in general, they are adaptive and purposeful.  As such, they could be said to be ultimately biased toward viability, vigor, and élan vital!  Earlier, we touched on the possible role of morphic fields in repairing physical damage in general and neurological damage in particular.  What we’re emphasizing now is how creative and innovative morphic fields may be.

There are many examples of this, in both biological and non-biological systems.  Sheldrake gives the example of how a newt embryo that has been damaged can still create the needed organs from alternative cells (Sheldrake, 1988, pp. 317-8).  And he gives a couple of astonishing examples of how new human-made chemical compounds have spontaneously changed over the decades.  They may change the point at which they liquify, or they may start crystalizing in a new form that has very different properties.  And this happens in a way that humans can’t predict or control (Sheldrake, 2012, pp.101-3).  (Could such a spontaneous change have occurred to any of the antidepressant molecules?)

Sheldrake proposes that these examples demonstrate that fields are historical and evolutionary – always changing.  And the way they’re changing is creative and adaptive:  “Morphic fields appear to have an inherent creativity, which is recognizable precisely because the new pathways of development or behaviour often seem so adaptive and purposeful” (Sheldrake, 1988, p. 319).  Often, as in the case of the newt embryo, it’s clear that the creativity is directed at repair:  “In all processes of regulation and regeneration, the developmental process adjusts in such a way that a more or less normal structure of activity is regained by a more or less new route.  In other words, there is an element of novelty or creativity in the developmental process” (Sheldrake, 1988, p. 317).

So, maybe the placebo field is increasing in strength as a creative route to regenerating human health, in response to the many new threats to our health.  Remember that “....habits acquired by some animals can facilitate the acquisition of the same habits by other, similar animals, even in the absence of any known means of connection or communication” (Sheldrake, 1988, p. 181).  The placebo effect may have been around forever, but humans may be learning to use it even more to their advantage. 

Harnessing and enhancing the morphic field of the placebo effect

Just as mass marketing probably has contributed to the placebo response in the US, so might other mass movements contribute further.  There is mounting evidence that groups of humans can combine their consciousness to create a field effect.  The Maharishi Effect and the Rensselaer study were mentioned earlier.  In “The intention experiment:  using your thoughts to change your life and the world,” researcher and science writer Lynne McTaggart has collated fascinating information about many different existing projects that suggest the power of group intention (McTaggart, 2007).  She has also conducted several international group intention experiments on her own website with very promising results (

Can a field effect created by human consciousness affect a morphic field?  And how does the placebo response create a morphic field anyway?  The hypothesized morphic field of the placebo response is, itself, a field that is intimately related to human consciousness.  More precisely, it could be called the-morphic-field-of-the human-brain-while-on-placebo.  So, as long as we’re being highly speculative anyway, there is no obstacle in our theory to humans modifying this field, especially by intentional effort, especially in groups.

In 1962, the FDA began requiring that new drugs be compared to placebo.  This helped determine drug safety and efficacy, but had the side effect of casting placebo as the enemy.  “The fact that even dummy capsules can kick-start the body's recovery engine became a problem for drug developers to overcome, rather than a phenomenon that could guide doctors toward a better understanding of the healing process and how to drive it most effectively" Silberman,, 2009).

What a missed opportunity!  How can we make the placebo response *more* robust and reliable?  The obvious course of action is to study more how placebo works, what enhances it, what interferes with it, and more about the history of it.  We will hope to get some publicly available information from the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health’s Placebo Response Drug Trials Survey.

Another intriguing avenue would be a McTaggart- / Maharishi-style group intention experiment focused directly on increasing the efficacy of all placebo phenomena and/or expectations of healing.  To some extent, this process is probably in effect already – there are many different groups of people who pray ongoingly for the safety, health, and happiness of all beings.  And their efforts may be why we humans haven’t, for instance, blown ourselves up completely yet.  But, it would be fun to focus specifically on boosting placebo phenomena, and then watch drug trials go even further awry.  Instead of a headline about a 400 % increase in antidepressant prescriptions, let us envision a headline about a 400 % increase in placebo response!

Harnessing group intention in other ways

As long as we’re daydreaming about group intention experiments, there are a few other trials it would be great to see: 

1)  an experiment focusing group intention on healing all humans in recovery from antidepressants;

2)  an experiment focusing group intention on healing all members of the three major English-language online antidepressant withdrawal support groups –,, and  This would make it easier to measure outcome.

3)  an experiment focusing group intention on the highest good for all humans currently taking antidepressants.  After a suitable waiting period, we could see what happens to the statistics for prescriptions, adverse incident reports, suicides, etc.  The nice thing about this experimental focus is that, according to some of our speculations above,  benefiting the user group might benefit the ex-user group as well.

It is thought-provoking to consider what the Maharishi Effect and Renssalaer research has to say about how many people might be needed to have a measurable impact on any of these groups.  The current population of the U.S. is about 312,000,000.  One percent of that is 3,120,000 people.  The square root of 1 % is 1766 people.  The current population of the world is about 7 billion.  One percent of that is 70,000,000.  The square root of 1 % is 8,367 people.  This would be hard to organize, but conceivable with the new Internet-driven research methods being used by people like McTaggart and Sheldrake.

Anecdotally, I have read umpteen stories of people in dire health straits whose families organize huge prayer chains with amazing results.  For a long time, I have wished we could get large groups of people to pray for people suffering terribly in recovery from antidepressants.  Over the years, I have seen a few people make a stab at this, but barely.  This course of action has great potential.

Toward the tipping point on the battlefield of fields

Human biology and consciousness in relation to SSRI antidepressants are evolving.  There are several trends.  One trend is the skyrocketing increase of people taking antidepressants and / or “spellbound” by the belief in their safety and efficacy.  This includes true believers who aren’t even taking a medication.  (The term “spellbound” was coined by the whistleblowing psychiatrist Peter Breggin, M.D. to describe the obliviousness of people on psychotropic medications to how impaired the drugs are making them (Breggin, 2008;

Another trend is the more slowly growing awareness of the harmfulness of the antidepressants.  This includes people who are on the meds or trying to get off them, who have become aware that there is a serious downside to the meds.  It also includes people who are paying attention to the how drugs affect people they know, or paying attention to the news reports of things like medication-propelled violence and pharmaceuticals in the water supply.

The Internet is an historically unprecedented aid to raising consciousness, to collaboration among people, and to the creation and modification of fields.  This can cut both ways, and there are, unfortunately, ways that the Internet serves to reinforce people being enamoured of their medications.  It can also promote a nocebo effect when people who have been made sick by their antidepressant come together and unintentionally create an expectation of continuing to be sick.  However, mostly, on the Internet, I have observed the breathtaking human resolve to heal and to help others heal.

We might say that there is a struggle going on right now between opposing fields.  It’s a struggle in the classic mold – a clash of the Titans; a Zoroastrian battle between good and evil; a Darwinian competition for survival of the fittest.  People may be taking longer to recover from the neuro-endocrinological damage of SSRIs because, right now, the morphic field of the human-brain-while-on-these-meds is growing stronger.  But, the countervailing forces are gathering strength.  We must continue until we get to the tipping point where what is currently esoteric knowledge about the dangers of antidepressants becomes “rapidly and dramatically more common” (

Religion professor Chris Bache, Ph.D. has studied human group fields.  He is the author of several books including “The living classroom:  Teaching and collective consciousness,” and has been influenced by Sheldrake and Alfred North Whitehead, among others.  He believes there can be a battlefield of fields, and has suggestions about how to win fields and influence them.

According to Bache, group fields accumulate power over time.  You can treat the field like a being -- relate to it, analyze it, nourish it.  The individual helps the group develop -- any work you do on your own consciousness spreads through the field automatically.  His advice about how to dilute or weaken undesirable fields is:  Don't feed them by resisting them.  Instead, create something that makes it impossible for the undesirable thing to exist (IONS workshop, San Francisco, July 2011).

It might be important to acknowledge the battlefield of fields between antidepressant harm v. healing, but to also look beyond it to the bigger picture of what is being created by the tension between the two.  We now know that evolution is as much about cooperation as it is about competition, and both contribute to creativity.  It may turn out that this era of pandemic neuropathology becomes the springboard to an evolutionary leap.  Previously, this blog has looked at the tantalizing links between neurological damage and psi openings.

Whether we look at neuro-endocrine harm from antidepressants as an ill or as a descent experience with a silver lining, healing and the relief of suffering must still be our goals.  Among our strategies, we could be learning how to maximize the placebo effect and use group intention to strengthen the preferred fields.

Coda (To help kickstart your own placebo effect)

I think most of us can never get too much reassurance, so I just wanted to remind anyone going through recovery from psychotropic medication or other brain injury that, in the last decade, the positive news about the brain just keeps on coming. We used to think you formed no new neurons after young adulthood. Wrong. We used to think no new healing occurred 1-2 years post brain injury. Wrong. We used to think if you had two short alleles of a certain gene for depression, you were doomed to depression. Wrong.

On the contrary, it turns out that the brain is amazingly flexible and responsive to doing anything good for it. And all the things that we already knew were good for us turn out to be even MORE good for us than we realized – for example, there is an spate of new research showing how exercise rewires the brain. We are continually presented with the opportunity to rewire ourselves to be who we really want to be. And, ironically, it can be the unwanted experience of neurological injury that makes you really grasp how much power you have, even now, to influence your own neurological system.


Thanks to Barbara Croner, MFT, for her conceptual contributions to this essay.  And thanks to Luc for the antidepressant usage statistics.  And thanks to Stan for always promoting this blog!


Bache, C.M.  (2008).  The living classroom:  Teaching and collective consciousness.  Albany:  SUNY.

Breggin, P.  (2008).  Medication madness:  The role of psychiatric drugs in cases of violence, suicide, and murder.  New York:  St. Martin’s Press.

McTaggart, L.  (2007).  The intention experiment:  using your thoughts to change your life and the world.  New York:  Simon & Schuster.

Sheldrake, R.  (1988 / 1995).  The presence of the past:  morphic resonance and the habits of nature.  Rochester, VT:  Inner Traditions International.

Sheldrake, R.  (2012).  The science delusion:  Freeing the spirit of enquiry.  London:  Hodder & Stoughton Ltd.

Antidepressant statistics:

Monday, September 3, 2012

What one NDE has to say about iatrogenic medication

Amy C. was a 30-year-old California woman suffering since she was 17 from worsening chronic pain that may have been fibromyalgia  (thanks to for the find).  In 2010, she reported on the NDERF site that she had had an NDE a couple of years prior.  Her NDE is of particular relevance to this blog because it was triggered by a lethal medication reaction, and reveals one instance of how the issue of iatrogenic medication is being framed on “the other side.”

After 13 years of illness, Amy had reached the point where she could only sleep 15 minutes at a time due to pain.  Her doctor then experimented with a new medication to help her sleep.  His intentions were good, but, as is too often the case, he minimized the seriousness of the adverse effects she immediately showed.

“My doctor had an idea for a medication that wasn't typically used for sleep, but might have the side-effect of numbing me.  I noticed that whenever I took it, even in the tiniest amounts, my nose would swell and my breathing became too shallow.  It was scary and uncomfortable, but the relief from pain came, so the temptation to take it was great.  I informed the doctor that I believed I was having an allergic reaction to the medication and he chuckled and said that my body simply needed to "get used to the med" and that the amount I was taking was so low, it couldn't possibly do anything.  He asked me to take three whole pills.  I had been taking one half of a half.  One night, after a week of agonizing pain and no sleep, I considered the doctor's prescription of three whole pills and decided to take them all and trust him.

I went to bed after taking all three and within minutes felt myself begin to go numb.  Then the inside of my nasal passages swelled up and I couldn't breathe at all.  I couldn't even open my mouth I was struggling to get air, but could not.  My entire body felt like it was mummified.  I couldn't call out for help, and it only took a couple of minutes before, the struggle was over.  

There was a strong suction coming from the top of my head (like a vacuum) and an absolute sense of relief.  There was no longer a need to breathe, and no feeling of being drugged on a medication.  I had no sense of my own body.  I've forgotten much of this next part, but it seems I travelled very quickly.”

The next thing she remembers is being pulled through a portal into a waiting room with many other people.  She knew that they had probably just died, and that they had all died from not taking better care of themselves in some way.  For example, there were some boys who had died from drunk driving, and a woman who had overly tanned herself in pursuit of beauty who had died from skin cancer.

After an interval, a teacher appeared who explained to her that everyone in this gathering had died by some form of indirect suicide, and that they hadn’t learned vital lessons while embodied.  None of them had intentionally killed themselves, but all had shown a flagrant disregard for their own safety.  They had taken unhealthy risks with their lives in a way that was described by Amy as self-obsessed and prideful.

She then left that area and moved on through a long, detailed NDE with her own guide.  She had a life review, an interplanetary tour, and learned a lot about how things work.  Among other things, she was shown that Earth crops are poisoned and impure (the implication was pesticides and GMO) and we are all adjured to return to pure, unadulterated food.  There is much more to Amy C.’s NDE than I will focus on here.  It is a particularly uplifting and complex one, very much worth reading in toto (see Sources below).

Her guide told her she was in between life and death, “as if in a coma,” and after all these experiences, he persuaded her to return to her body.  She found herself back in her bedroom standing out-of-body next to her body, and felt panic at not being able to enter her body or wake it.  With her guide’s help, she managed to make a noise to wake her husband.

“My husband heard this and woke up and asked, "Amy?  What is it?  What's the matter?"  I couldn't answer.  I tried to scream or cry out to him, but could not.  He leaned over and I saw him shake me.  I felt through his hands a level of electricity move through me.  But I was unable to connect or move.  He got up and turned a light on.  My eyes were still shut, but I witnessed the look on his face.

He suddenly went very pale and his mouth dropped open.  Beads of sweat formed instantly around his hair line.  He was perspiring heavily.  I'd never seen such a frightened look on his face before.  He grabbed me and yanked my body upward toward him, trying to hold me up, shouting, "AMY!!  AMY, AMY!!!"  Again and again.  He was trying to check my pulse.  My head dropped back and he pulled my eyelids open.  He was nearly screaming my name.  As he continued to shake my body (he later described as being so heavy, it was shocking... and I was very small/petite at the time.) I felt more and more electricity moving all around my body.  Then, I felt something like a POP, and I was back.  I sucked in a long, deep breath and just hung there, limply, breathing in and out.  Unable to speak.

After a few minutes, my husband was asking, "What should I do?  Should I call 911?"  I answered firmly, "No.  I'm fine.  Don't call anyone.  I just need to sit down for a minute."  He helped me to the other room where I sat on the couch and tried to tell him what had happened.”

After her NDE, Amy’s health recovered dramatically, and she shifted to a vegetarian, organic diet.  She also left the religion she had been raised in; became less politically conservative; more interested in her spiritual and psychological development, and in deeper relationships with others; and less interested in material things.  She said that, prior to the NDE, she “had lived in fear and distrust and panic for 30 consecutive years.”  Afterwards, she slowly and successfully integrated the peace, security and trust she had experienced during the NDE into her embodied life.

Amy continued to have visions after the NDE, saw light around everything, and had other psi experiences.  She synchronistically met the mother of one of the women she had seen in the afterlife waiting room, and was confirmed to have veridical information about the deceased woman. 

From her post-NDE meditations and communications with her guide she learned --

“…I had been pulled into the specific portal with others who had brought themselves to their own demise, because I had for so many years been taking strong medications for my health problems that were slowly killing me.  And that I had seen myself as a helpless victim for so long….I gave up all of the labels that doctors had given me for my health problems, and let go of my ‘story’  of what I thought I was.  I worked toward humility and opened myself up to learning and growth.  I took full responsibility for my own suffering and blamed no one and no thing.”

This NDE account is unusual in that it gives us some information about how iatrogenic medication is being seen in the part of the universe we inhabit when not embodied.  I have some familiarity with NDE accounts and after death communications (ADCs), and I have not come across a lot of information like this.

This is not the only path that an NDE from a medication reaction can take.  There are several other drug reaction NDEs listed below in the Sources, and none of them has this “portal for indirect suicide” element in common with Amy C.’s, nor do they have much to say about iatrogenic medications.

I know of one other reference – an ADC from a young man named Erik Medhus, who killed himself with a gun in 2009, and said, through a professional channeler in 2010, that the drugs he took --  Lamictal and Abilify -- will be removed from the market because they’re harmful to children and teens.  He was not taking the meds at the time of death, and he denied they had anything to do with his suicide (  (But, based on my experience, I have to wonder whether he was unwittingly in withdrawal from them, and does not yet realize that the neurological disruption caused by stopping these meds may, indeed, have contributed to his state of mind.)

Amy C. had a severe adverse reaction to a prescribed medication. This occurs much more frequently than is currently recognized by mainstream Western medicine.  And less severe adverse reactions are even more common.

As an aside, consumers and physicians often refer to these crises as an “allergic reaction,” which is almost cute-sounding and misleading.  It implies that the person taking the medication is unusual, and has something wrong with them in how they react to honest, hard-working medication.  In fact, adverse reactions and serious side effects are very, very common.  And the fault lies with the medications, which are increasingly potent and shamefully under-tested.  In the U.S., TV advertisements for medications in all categories are larded with warnings and disclaimers, in an attempt to protect the manufacturers from liability.  This shows that the manufacturers know that many risks exist and that they’re common.

The message that Amy C. got from her NDE was that she was “taking strong medications” that were “slowly killing” her.  She was also encouraged to give up the labels her doctors had put on her health; to take responsibility and empower herself; and to abjure unnatural food.  She was asked to look at some of her previous choices as a form of indirect suicide, and then asked to take much better care of her safety and well-being from here on out.

This message and the channeled one from Eric Medhus validate what a growing number of consumers and health professionals are coming to believe.  I am keen to see what other information we get on this topic from the other side in the coming years, and how it will shape the discourse about medication here on Earth.

These two communications also bring up bigger questions about how new developments on Earth are metabolized on the other side, and how and when other beings or aspects of universal consciousness intervene with unwholesome happenings on Earth.  The possibilities for transpersonal partnership are very intriguing.


Other NDEs from medication reactions –

Christopher Reeve (second NDE due to meds) –

Saturday, August 11, 2012

James Carpenter’s First Sight model and neurological damage-induced psi openings

What is the First Sight model?

Clinical psychologist and parapsychologist James Carpenter, Ph.D. has recently published his magnum opus “First sight:  ESP and parapsychology in everyday life.”  It may very well turn out to be the turning point in a profound paradigm shift that moves psi from its reputation as anomalous, skittish in the lab, and rare to normal, robust, and ubiquitous.

This is an incredibly impressive, rigorous, scholarly piece of work that integrates a lifetime’s encyclopedic familiarity with parapsychology, clinical psychology, and general psychology.

The name for the model is a play on the colloquial term “second sight” historically used to describe inherited psychic ability.  Carpenter’s theory turns the colloquial assumptions on their head and proposes that psi is not an ability, it is not inherited, and it is going on all the time unconsciously without any sensory input.  Instead, we are continually existing and transacting in an extended, nonlocal universe in a way that extends beyond our physical boundaries, so it is “first sight” (Carpenter, 2012, pp. 8, 13, 18).

Carpenter’s model proposes that psi is analogous to subliminal perception.  Subliminal perception has been very well substantiated by experimental psychology and by clinical observation.  We have an unconscious level of functioning that goes on all the time, integrates sensory data, handles automatic activities, and feeds information to our conscious level based on what is most salient to us at the time.  Carpenter’s innovation is to say that psi behaves analogously.  It is unconscious, going on all the time, integrates non-sensory data, contributes to the handling of automatic activities, and also feeds information to our conscious level.  In the case of PK, it manifests as unconsciously-driven behavior.

As a normal, ongoing, unconscious way of being in the world, psi undergirds all psychological functioning for all people all the time.  Therefore, it is not an ability or gift or character trait that only some possess, nor is it anomalous.  It is aggregating into our other normal, unconscious processes constantly.  For Carpenter, what’s unusual about it is that we sometimes consciously see the effects of it, such as when we have an experience of ESP or PK.  Most of the time, it operates unconsciously, shaping our choices and way of being in the world.

People who appear to be more psychic can more accurately be said to have more “control over the expression of psi and some skill in understanding and using these expressions” (Carpenter, 2012, p. 315).  These people tend to be interested in psi and in subliminal processes in general, and to cultivate them.  They tend to be less anxious, more adventurous, believe more is possible, tolerate ambiguity, and have very aligned, unconflicted healthy entitlement to being efficacious in the world.

There are many more corollaries to his theory.  These are just the highlights.

Extending the model to neuro-damage-induced, abrupt psi openings, where psi is initially camouflaged

How might we extend this model to understand what happens when neurological damage triggers a discontinuous increase in psi?  Specifically, we will focus on people who have a neurological incident, followed by indications of an abrupt psi opening, but who take awhile to learn how to interpret the phenomena they are experiencing.  This experience of the psi being initially camouflaged as something else is much more common than the instances of neurological incident leading immediately to a huge increase in accessible, clear-as-day psi, such as in the case of Peter Hurkos.

Some people have been using psi extensively since childhood.  Some people have relatively gentle and satisfying psi openings in adulthood.  Today, we are going to focus on psi openings that originate in a form of neurological trauma, are unprepared for, and are highly distressing and confusing.  In this type of situation, it’s often not clear what’s psi, what’s a symptom of trauma or healing, or how to interpret either.  Also, much potential psi gets overlooked because of the general chaos.

This extension of the First Sight model will also be relevant for other abrupt, yet camouflaged, psi openings stemming from other causes such as NDEs, other spiritually transformative experiences, illnesses and trauma.

Carpenter refers briefly to the connection between brain damage and psi.  He suggests that it is the prolonged disorientation, confusion, cognitive uncertainty and possibly passive acceptance of brain damage that may facilitate the bringing to consciousness of the normally unconscious, ongoing psi interface between the individual and the universe (Carpenter, 2012, p. 71).

We are going to expand on this; look closely at the relationship of fear to psi; follow his example of using analogies from other fields of psychology to look at the question of unconscious v conscious psi; and propose a strategy to facilitate neurological healing and psychic development.

Fear, psi, and abrupt openings

Fear is such a big part of this kind of experience.  So let’s start with what Carpenter’s First Sight model has to say about fear and psi, and then add a few other observations specific to neurological damage from psychotropic medication and distressing psi openings.

i.  Carpenter’s collation

Carpenter has collated dozens of research studies that have bearing on the relationship between anxiety and psi, and he generates several over-arching observations.  We will focus on three main points here – 1) anxiety can be a feature of any one of three constituents of a situation, 2) anxiety tends to interfere with psi, and 3) anxiety may explain psi-missing.

In trying to understand the role of anxiety in experiencing psi, it is useful to consider three ways that anxiety can enter into any given situation – the person may be fearful, the thing being perceived may be fearsome, and/or the context, itself, may be stressful.  All of these factors will influence the person’s ability to process psi (Carpenter, 2012, p. 189).

Anxiety tends to decrease conscious psi, but increase unconscious psi.  Fear affects the mind’s unconscious use of extrasensory information the same way it affects unconscious usage of subliminal, sensory information. Although unconscious attention orients rapidly to threat, “anxiety reliably hampers the effort to bring preconscious information quickly, completely, and accurately to conscious awareness” (Carpenter, 2012, p. 241).

And, to combine these first two points, Carpenter states:  “Anxiety must be low enough to be manageable, whether the anxiety is about psi itself, the information involved, other aspects of the situation at the moment, or some more general state” in order for psi to be a useful resource (Carpenter, 2012, p.316).

Lastly, anxiety may explain psi missing.  Psi missing is when a person misses the target more than could be accounted for by chance.  In other words, something non-random is going on; they are demonstrating an unconscious, negative use of psi to *not* hit the target.  Carpenter attributes this to two things – in an anxious state, our focus of attention narrows to managing our anxiety.  We are less open to the infinite array of information out there. And, also if the material is seen as fearsome, it is likely to be perceived unconsciously, but avoided consciously (Carpenter, 2012, p. 66). 

He refines this generalization later in greater detail, taking into account the existence of different defensive styles (Carpenter, 2012, pp.229-241).  One observation particularly relevant to our topic is cited from the work of De Graaf and Houtkooper (2004).  They found that people with more trauma history demonstrated *displaced* psi.  In other words, they avoid the assigned target (psi miss), but they accurately fixate on a nearby target – say the one in the previous or following test (Carpenter, 2012, pp. 229-230).  This is a fascinating glimpse of the unconscious, suggesting a combination of hypervigilance and avoidance.

ii.  Neurological damage from psychotropic medication

One type of neurological incident that occurs is the withdrawal and recovery from psychotropic medications.  Chronic, intense fear is a common symptom of this syndrome.  The nervous system has been altered by exposure to the medications, and it is deeply unbalanced for a long time until neurogenesis finally re-creates equilibrium.  So, in a simple way, the anxiety is a symptom of neurological damage.

In addition, this sometimes very long-lasting recovery syndrome can be seen as a toxin-induced Kundalini rising.  As such, the process of healing the damage may also re-activate very early developmental stages in order to heal any psychological or physical harm in the individual’s past.  Like Grof’s holotropic breathwork, it may even go back to perinatal experience.  So, in this way, the anxiety may be a symptom of deep working through or Kundalini clearing blockages.

Also, those of us who have stumbled into this syndrome are going through a shockingly unexpected, severe, chronic illness.  This is anxiety-provoking, and we will each deal with it in our characteristic, pre-existing personality / defensive style.  So, in this way, anxiety is a reaction to a current stressor.

However, in addition to all these real sources of anxiety, the pervasive anxiety may also a reaction to a psi opening which has been triggered.  The evidence for this is that many people report an uptick in psi experiences and report the overall sense of being relentlessly in the kind of altered state that is psi-conducive.  However, this putative psi opening is a chaotic, elusive one.

One of the ways that Carpenter’s observations about First Sight theory and fear may illuminate this situation is that there may be a big increase in unconscious psi, but only a small increase in conscious psi.  One other person in recovery who I know of and I have shown unusually high waking delta on an EEG, which the neurofeedback and meditation expert Anna Wise has interpreted as a primal tracking beacon and a major component of intuition.

“Though usually thought of as the brainwaves of deep sleep, in a waking state delta waves are often referred to as the orienting response….On the very deepest level, they are our beacon that senses danger and safety.  They serve as our automatic tracking device, our scanning function….This very primal, almost animalistic response can be fine-tuned to sense emotions, needs, and attitudes in other people.

“I like to call delta a kind of radar.  As such, these brainwaves are a major component of our intuition and empathy….These very slow, low-frequency brainwaves are also present during most experiences of psychic phenomena and ESP” (Wise, 2004, p. 198).

This jibes nicely with Carpenter in a couple of ways.  Like Carpenter, Wise also posits an ongoing, unconscious level of psi.  And the fact that two of us with this neurological syndrome are having so much waking delta, but only sporadic psi experiences, and plenty of anxiety fits suggestively with the general rule that anxiety may increase unconscious psi, but decrease conscious psi.

Let us now apply to this particular neurological syndrome / psi opening Carpenter’s organizing idea that the potential source of anxiety in any situation is either in the person, in the stimulus, or in the context.

There is anxiety in the person.  In this neurological syndrome, autonomic arousal goes through the roof, cortisol levels are constantly high, with adrenal overactivity, depopulation of serotonin and dopamine receptors, and a generally dysregulated and over-reactive neuroendocrinological system.  Several studies by parapsychologist Dean Radin and others suggest that presentiment or anticipatory physiological arousal is strongest when the stimulus is more aversive and when the person is especially vulnerable to a stress response (Carpenter, 2012, pp. 200-202).  It is an open question as to how much of the autonomic arousal of this syndrome is a symptom of brain damage and how much is a symptom of unfamiliar psi.

There is anxiety in the context.  This is not an intentional psi opening, and it comes at a time of illness.  To the extent that there is new, conscious psi, it may be anxiety-provoking because of its implications.  It is a momentous paradigm shift to discover that we are more connected all the time than we thought, and that we have more ability and power than we thought.  The conscious psi that people seem to be experiencing is sporadic and inchoate, yet there are some indications of unconscious psi.  Psi missing might be part of the explanation for what is going on.  Carpenter found considerable support for the theory that anxiety can lead to psi missing.

Furthermore, the particular form of psi missing that De Graaf and Houtkooper (2004) found, where people displace psi and avoid the target but accurately fixate on a nearby target (Carpenter, 2012, pp. 229-230) may explain, in part, the common symptom in psych med neuro recovery of OCD or obsessive rumination.  Of course, these symptoms may be thought of as purely signs of neurological damage, or as psychological attempts to cope with neurological damage, but it may be that they are also driven by an unconscious need to psi miss.

There may be anxiety in the stimulus.  It seems likely that there is some bias in what we unconsciously target during this syndrome / opening.  There are many factors conspiring to cause this – this was not a voluntary, planned developmental step; we are unprepared; there is bona fide neurological damage; Kundalini may be exacerbating old hurts as it repairs the system; and the morphic field or energy pattern of these medications may predispose one to pick up on a darker part of the collective unconscious.  (Anecdotally, several alternative healers and psychics have said that they can’t tolerate or interpret the energy of someone on Paxil (Paroxetine)and that is very abrasive).

One piece of evidence for this is that people in recovery from antidepressants often report spontaneous, hypnagogic, closed eye visuals of faces that are very sharply focused and specific.  This is something they do not recall experiencing before withdrawal from the medication.  In early recovery, the faces tend to be emotionally darker – angry, startled, even grotesque.  Often, as recovery progresses, people report a shift to faces that are curious, friendly, smiling.

It is certainly possible that these visions are solely the product of psychoneurological distress, however, it is noteworthy that they are more sharply focused than other mental images or dreams that we experienced before exposure to drugs and after.  Another possibility is that we are spontaneously connecting with other people, who could be drawn from somewhere in the contemporary world, or the past, the future, etc.

Carpenter cited one study that might support the theory that we are initially skewed in the direction of picking up more threatening material from the infinite options out there.   “Gray et al. (2009) showed that subliminal presentations of frightening material induced a heightened tendency to quickly perceive angry rather than neutral faces (but only for people who were high in vulnerability to anxiety)” (Carpenter, 2012, p. 208).

Are we spontaneously tuning in to the collective unconscious like parapsychologist Roger Nelson’s REGs dotted around the world in the Global Consciousness Project, but due to the toxin- and damage-driven nature of the psi opening, we home in on whatever threatening material out there jibes with our own psychoneurological profile?

Many people also report hearing music in early recovery.  These are people who have never heard music before.  And, again, there can be a skew to the ominous.  I heard very threatening, specific, minor chord symphonic music for several months in 2004, after an episode of moderate serotonin syndrome.  Recovery from medication-induced neurological damage is very much like a bad LSD trip – initially acute, then attenuating -- where the doors of perception may be more open but you’re either picking up only on the negative half of reality or you’re negatively misinterpreting everything.

How can we help people who are going through a neurological damage-induced, abrupt psi opening, where there is a lot of fear, and the psi is coming to consciousness in a sporadic, confused, and skewed way?  One approach would be to help people to make the spontaneously occurring psi more conscious, and to interpret it more accurately.  Let us look at the issue of unconscious v. conscious psi.

Unconscious v. conscious psi and “the return of the repressed”

Carpenter proposes in the First Sight model that psi is a continuous, unconscious engagement with the world beyond our senses that informs our every thought, feeling, and behavior.  He uses the concepts of subliminal perception, unconscious process, and defense mechanisms from perceptual, cognitive, and clinical psychology (including phenomenological, existential, and psychoanalytic orientations) to explain unconscious psi.

I’m going to extend his First Sight Model to address the experience of neurological damage-induced psi openings by using psychoanalytic psychology.  In order to do this, I’m going to extend the model’s correct emphasis on continuous, unconscious psi to encompass conscious psi as well.  I think that people going through this kind of distressing, chaotic psi opening are experiencing “the return of the repressed’, and would benefit from help to make their psi more conscious.

Carpenter has developed a brilliant model, which makes excellent sense to me.  However, I would extend it in just this one way.  Unconsciousness and consciousness are polarities on a continuum, with infinite gradations.  Psi is continuous and unconscious, but it also can be sometimes conscious.  And we need to make it more conscious for people who are being buffeted unconsciously by it.

For Carpenter, it is a major tenet of his model that psi can be only unconscious (Carpenter, 2012, pp. 76, 89), therefore let me take a moment to defend my belief that psi can be conscious as well.

Carpenter focuses on situations where it seems very legitimate to say that people are only noticing the clues left by unconscious psi, such as when they interpret fragments of their own free association and espy an instance of clairvoyance, or when they notice ex post facto that a dream held a vague precognitive reference to something that happened in the day after the dream.  But, this does not cover the full range of psi experiences that people have.

People have macro-psi experiences ranging from intentional energy healing that yields immediate, tangible results through “crisis apparitions” where the vivid image of a person in mortal danger appears to a distant loved one at the exact moment of the crisis to cases like that of Eileen Garrett and the zeppelin accident where she had multiple precognitive visions and synchronicities.

The accomplished British medium Eileen Garrett saw a distinct and vivid image of a zeppelin over peacetime London in 1926, 1928, and 1929.  Each time she saw it, it was in progressively worse condition due to fire.  It was also a design that had not been made public yet.  Once the new design and the plan for a flight to India were publicly announced, she began to meet people who were scheduled to be on that flight.  She did pass on a warning.  The flight did end in flames and 48 deaths.  Later, she learned that another medium had also passed along a message from a recently deceased military man who tried to warn his friend, the navigator of the flight (pp 210-13).

Just as Carpenter has so aptly used analogies from other fields of psychology to illuminate unconscious psi, so can we use analogies from psychoanalytic psychology to show that psi exists on a consciousness gradient.  Just as sensory perceptions and memories can be repressed or return from the repressed or be sort of repressed, so it is with psi.

Sometimes, the unconscious comes barreling through to consciousness like a freight train.  A classic example would be the spontaneous recall of childhood sexual abuse that had been forgotten for several decades.  There can be also the spontaneous recall of something wonderful that has been forgotten for several decades.  Contrariwise, things that have been consciously experienced can be repressed.

A lovely example of someone experiencing conscious psi and then repressing it and then unrepressing it can be found in psychoanalyst Elizabeth Lloyd Mayer’s account of having a paradigm-cracking experience with a dowser, and only then unrepressing the memory that she, herself, had once found an intentionally-hidden wristwatch in a closet by non-sensory means.  She had completely forgotten that she had done that.  Because of this incident of spontaneous recall, she proposed that many of us forget a lot of psi phenomena because to remember it would rupture our whole worldview (Mayer, 2007, pp. 58-59).

Freud created the construct “the return of the repressed,” and explained that wishes, fears, memories, and thoughts that a person cannot accept are repressed into the unconscious.  Yet, they never go away, and they continuously seek to reveal themselves, because they are important to the health of the individual.  They are inconvenient truths.  Sometimes, they emerge in partial, disguised, distorted forms that allow for some expression or relief of unconscious pressure, while still safeguarding the person from the consequences of full awareness.  These forms are sometimes uncomfortable psychological and physical symptoms, which can drive a person to seek help.  The psychoanalytic therapist provides support for the process of making the unconscious conscious, and the symptoms become unnecessary. (

So, here we have psychoanalytic descriptions of how the conscious can become unconscious and vice versa.  The earliest psychoanalytic theorists thought in terms of a more clear-cut topographical map of the psyche with an unconscious, preconscious, and conscious.  Later analytic thinkers have proposed a less black-and-white view.

In the essay “Knowing and not knowing:  A clinical example,” the 20th c. psychoanalyst D.W. Winnicott presented a short anecdote that illustrated the paradoxical phenomenon of unrepressing something, knowing that one has unrepressed heretofore forgotten information, yet also feeling that somehow one has known it all along (Winnicott, 1989, pp. 24-25).

Contemporary psychology professor Matthew Erdelyi sees unconscious and conscious knowing as polarities, not categories.

“Erdelyi (2001, 2006) further believes that the claim that repression is unconscious and suppression is conscious is based on an outmoded and erroneous conception of mentality.  Rather than proposing a categorical distinction between consciousness and unconscious, he refers rather to an “unconscious-conscious continuum” (Erdelyi, 2006, p. 513), comparing the distinction between conscious and unconscious with the arbitrary “child-adult”distinction: ‘It does seem clear that our popular distinctions—conscious-unconscious, explicit-implicit, supraliminal-subliminal—are polar rather than categorical. They are more-or-less . . .’ (Erdelyi, 2004, p. 88)” (Boag, 2010, p. 169).

Psychologists in other fields have also contributed to the view of consciousness as a gradient.  Social cognition psychologist Alain Morin and developmental psychologist Philippe Rochat have written about self-awareness.  Morin (2006) compared and integrated several recent models that are predicated on there being various levels of consciousness, and Rochat presented a very interesting model suggesting that adult self-awareness is a “dynamic flux between basic levels of consciousness that develop chronologically early in life” (Rochat, 2003, p. 717).

The First Sight model makes a vitally important contribution to our understanding by proposing that unconscious psi is operating absolutely all the time, and that it is a substrate of all human experience.  This fits quite nicely with all the other processes that psychoanalytic theory claims are operating unconsciously all the time, but which can, under the right conditions, be brought to consciousness.  And, just as psychoanalytic theory assumes that part of the reason things are kept unconscious is that they are threatening in some way, so we will assume that part of the reason psi is kept unconscious is that it is threatening in some way.  (It is also true that part of the reason things are kept unconscious is that they are being held as procedural knowledge and that it would be inefficient to be conscious of all things at all times.)

In fact, it is axiomatic that psi is threatening to many people at this time in history, and it can easily be imagined how more people with more efficacious psi would threaten various political, economic, and social protected interests.  Over the last year, it has come to my attention repeatedly that famous financiers and politicians have consulted assiduously with some medium, astrologer, or clairvoyant.  Yet, for centuries the dominant message in most of the world’s cultures has been that such things are hogwash or evil.  What would happen if the vast majority of people were to become more personally effective with their psi?

Personal, familial and societal pressures have encouraged the repression of psi, keeping it unconscious and small.  As Carpenter says, we are all psychic all the time, but mostly at a level that acceptable to our families and cultures.  In other words, what we call normal, non-psychic behavior is, in fact, informed by psi, but the influence of psi is mostly hidden and unconscious and the behavior that manifests is at a level of efficacy that is acceptable in the world.  More efficacy than that – ESP and PK -- is taboo.

When someone has a neurological incident and psi starts to leak through more, it can be thought of as the return of the repressed.  Some kind of pressure – from the personal unconscious, from the collective unconscious, from Gaia, from the Tao – has demanded that the individual repair the normative, but unnatural repression of psi.  Perhaps pressure has been mounting for some time out of sight. 

This is a chaotic opening – in fact, a spiritual emergency.  Psi is still so taboo.  The paradigm shift from not believing in it to believing in it is so big.  The ramifications of greater personal knowledge, power, and connectedness are so huge.  Very few people can roll with the punches as they are introduced abruptly to a whole new relationship with reality.  There is often tremendous fear.  People may also feel guilt and shame about having so much more potential.  And, for all the exciting aspects of it, it is still terribly inconvenient.  A big psi opening requires that you change your life.  So, there is an opening to psi and, for many reasons, a lot of resistance or blockage to psi.  Tempest ensues.

We are also completely unprepared for and untrained in how to integrate psi into our lives, so there is much misinterpretation of what’s coming up.  You could say, in general, that in the First Sight model, psi is camouflaged as “normal perception and behavior” most of the time.  Only once in awhile does it shed its protective coloring and stand out like a white crow in a flock of black crows.  By extension, you could say that when neurological incident triggers a sudden increase in psi, and there is chaos, the psi is camouflaged as various psychological and physical symptoms.  The predominant one is fear.  And, as Carpenter’s review of the literature shows, anxiety interferes with psi.

What can we do to help? 

If we extend our psychoanalytic analogy, we might say a good therapeutic relationship, abreaction, working through, and insight would be indicated.  However, these elements may be either contraindicated or not enough in a full-on spiritual emergency….That is, unless you can be in a 1940s Menninger’s Clinic type set-up where you are housed, fed, secure, and have no responsibilities….The fact is that in the early part of recovery from the neurological damage caused by many psychotropic medications, the dysautonomia is so severe, that people cannot use these techniques.

Indeed, early recovery is a very primal struggle just to survive – to be able to tolerate eating, to be able to sleep, to weather the storm of physical and psychological symptoms such as akathisia, where relentless inner vibration and agitation make you want to crawl out of your skin.  For many people in this phase, the idea that they might be having a psychic opening, and that they might get some relief from re-interpreting some of their symptoms in this way, would be abhorrent.  Each individual has to cobble together the best approach for them in this nearly impossible situation.  But, for others, this idea is a hopeful pinprick of light in the darkness.

For these people, we need more systematic guidelines for how to slowly, gently facilitate the return of the repressed psi on their own, when a therapeutic relationship is not available or tolerable.  With some guidelines, these people who have become dismantled can slowly begin to put themselves back together in a new way.  Teasing out the psi from the neuro-psycho-spiritual chaos should lead to symptom reduction. 

Indeed, the ethnologist and psychologist Holger Kalweit (1988, 1992) has interviewed countless shamans from many different cultures, and found a common thread which is relevant for us here.  The shamanic initiatory illness – a chaotic, miserable concatenation of physical and psychological symptoms that the culture has no treatment for – can go on for years, and often abates only when the sufferer agrees to shamanize.  Shamanizing can take different forms – prophecy, healing, clairvoyance, etc. – but only when the person embraces their latent, greater psi potential do they emerge from the debilitating illness.

There are examples of contemporary Americans who illustrate this pattern.  Laura Alden Kamm (personal communication 2005, 2006) had a massive cerebral infection and surgery, and later a neurological shaking syndrome.  She found she could get relief from the non-stop shaking when she used her newly emerging ability to see inside the human body at every level from the molecular to the gross anatomical.  Laura Bruno (2008) sustained traumatic brain injury from a car accident, and began having terrible migraines, the first of which lasted many months non-stop.  She found she could get relief from the migraines when she communicated to the intended recipient medical intuition that came to her through claircognizance.

Facilitating the return of the (transpersonal) repressed

Psychoanalytic theory is about the return of the repressed personal unconscious.  It could be said that we are now talking about the return of the repressed transpersonal unconscious, which is starting to leak through more, wants to be known, but which needs help for that to happen, due to pathogenic beliefs and the traumatic nature of what spurred the opening.  Our hypothesis is that facilitating the bringing to consciousness of psi – our non-sensory connection to the whole – will bring relief from suffering and ultimately lead to greater happiness.

The psychoanalyst and clinical parapsychologist Djohar Si Ahmed has observed that non-ordinary states of consciousness – which can be triggered by trauma or by certain therapies – create the opportunity for needed transpersonal material to emerge to consciousness.  The individual unwittingly will “recall to the surface…the exact material that the psyche most vitally needs to promote a process of change, development and healing” (Si Ahmed, 2012, pp. 69-70).

The Jungian analyst Marie-Louise von Franz wrote that the Self (the Jungian construct meaning the individual’s whole psyche – ego, unconscious, and conscious) is at the center of the field of the collective unconscious (von Franz, 1980, p. 64).  It’s an intriguing paradox that Jungians sometimes also say that the collective unconscious is at the center of the Self!  (Gad, 2000,  Von Franz went on to say that, according to Jung, the Self “is in an eternal process of constant rejuvenation” that has a certain rhythm that dominates “the field of the collective unconscious”  (von Franz, 1988, pp. 65-66).

Especially relevant, for our purposes, is von Franz’s belief that one could use well-crafted, classical divination techniques to bring useful information to consciousness.

“…[O]ne could say that divination techniques are attempts, by a chance throw of numbers, to find out what is the rhythm of the Self at a particular moment.  Jung sometimes describes what we do when we consult the I Ching oracle by saying that it is like looking at the world situation watch to find the moment one is in, while the oracle would give the inner and outer world situation by which to govern one’s actions” (von Franz, 1988, p. 66).

These observations by Si Ahmed and von Franz complement Carpenter’s premise that all conscious experience and behavior are derived from an ongoing, unconscious process of information-gathering and assessment that includes psi (Carpenter, 2012, p. 18).  These observations jibe even more with what Carpenter says later in his book about how people who are more psychic seem to get that way.

Carpenter coins the term “inadvertency” to capture the way unconscious psi perceptions (he more precisely calls these “prehensions” since they are not conscious perceptions) are often inadvertently alluded to by spontaneous psychological events such as in image, mood, slip of the tongue or impulsive act.  Only through careful observation and with enough data can we discern that such an inadvertency is the telltale sign that we are being influenced by unconscious psi perceptions (Carpenter, 2012, pp. 48, 52-55).

According to Carpenter, people who are more psychic are more receptive to these inadvertencies, and more skilled and interested in exploring them (Carpenter, 2012, pp. 317, 319-320).  He is focusing on those persons who show some control over the expression of psi and some skill in understanding and using these expressions (Carpenter, 2012, p. 316). 

However, the case being made here is that people having a neurological damage-induced psi opening are in a chaotic, crisis condition caused, in part, by pressure for normal unconscious psi to become more integrated into conscious awareness, as it probably should have been all along.  The thesis is that some of our symptoms are misinterpreted psi or are caused by overly repressed psi, and that if we could make the chaotically intruding, mostly camouflaged, psi more conscious, symptoms would be reduced.

There are many methods for increasing effective access to psi, including formal divination techniques, brainwave entrainment, meditation, psychotherapy, psychic development circles, classes, and exercises.  All of these have great value, but in the case of some neurological incidents, including the early phase of recovery from psychotropic medication damage, most people simply cannot tolerate them.  The drug-induced dysautonomia is so severe that even the most gentle therapies – such as guided relaxation and visualization -- are over-stimulating!

What’s left is giving people a tool they can use themselves, alone, at home, at their own pace, under their control, and that responds to what is already going on. What’s being proposed is a kind of divination of daily life, which can be started slowly and sporadically, and can be developed, if found useful, into a whole new way of walking through life.  This means approaching daily life with an eye out for things like synchronicities, and paying close attention to thing like spontaneous precognitions, and putting more focused effort into interpreting them.

The ultimate goal would be for one to integrate information from these sources more automatically, and to graduate to more advanced psi.  This scrupulous interpretation of subtle evidence of psi is not the end point; it is the gateway.  In a class I once took with parapsychologist Loyd Auerbach, he paraphrased the renowned psychic Alex Tanous as saying “Everyone is psychic.  You just have to notice.  Once you notice, you notice more.  Then, it snowballs.”

Many people already live their lives this way, using daily life as one big divination.  But many people do not, or only do it spottily.  If neurological incidents are partly about the return of the repressed, natural psi, and if psi can be made much more conscious, then this approach might be a crucial element of the recovery process.

At this point, I’m not sure whether the symptoms of neurological damage contain specific unconscious psi meaning, or if it’s more that they are a general sign that psi is being over-repressed and needs to come out.  The latter seems to have been the case with Laura Alden Kamm and Laura Bruno, mentioned above, who both became medical intuitives after brain trauma.  Their neurological symptoms simply abated when they “shamanized”; the symptoms did not seem to be related to the specific content of the psi that was expressed.  Conceivably, it is the general release of repressed psi that causes the general reduction in painful symptoms.

The kind of phenomena one might pay closer attention to includes synchronicities (ranging from the minor to the major), precognitive elements in dreams (including precognitions about “unimportant” things), occasional spontaneous hypnagogic visions (closed eye visuals), lucid dream visitations from deceased loved ones (including asking “why now?,” as well as paying closer attention to any messages and symbolism), mistakes or minor accidents, and treating the whole day as one coherent message.

Much of the time, we note these things fleetingly, say “that’s cool,” or “that’s weird,” and then forget them.  A little practice with paying more attention to them reveals that they are meatier than they appear at first glance.  We will briefly discuss a more substantial approach to synchronicities and to mistakes.

i.  Synchronicity

The “A Course in Miracles” teacher Robert Perry (2009) has done a remarkable job of creating an extremely helpful, thought-provoking model of how to scrupulously analyze your own synchronicities and more fully extract the guidance in them.  This guidance can easily remain latent or camouflaged unless you have the mind-set and take the trouble to look at the synchronicities more closely.

In his book, “Signs:  A new approach to coincidence, synchronicity, guidance, life purpose, and God’s plan, “ Perry focuses on super-synchronicities, which he calls Conjunctions of Meaningfully Parallel Events (CMPEs).  His criteria for these super-synchronicities is that the two events occur very close in time (within 12 hours, preferably less), and occur independently.  When you look at them more closely, you must be able to identify many parallel features in the two incidents (preferably about eight).  Some of these parallels will be likely, some unlikely, and some more general. When, you string together the list of parallels, it will form a narrative (Perry, 2009, pp. 8-10,

The first incident is called the Subject Situation.  It will be something in your life that is “current, uncertain, unresolved, or at least needing confirmation” (Perry, 2009, p.58).  The second incident is called the Symbolic Situation.  Although it will have a lot of parallels to the first situation, it will also contain new information that illuminates the first situation.

There is often a lot of information in the synchronicity, not just one idea, although there is always a main idea.  Two independent raters, trained in this model, should be able to come up with the same main message from the synchronicity, and many of the subsidiary messages as well.

Perry has observed that these super-synchonicities often occur in a series over time.  In other words a new pair of synchronous incidents might occur a year later (sometimes on the very same date) that supports and elaborates on the first pair of incidents.  Also, although each super-synchronicity is about a specific, current situation in your life, they usually contain more general comments about your life as a whole (Perry, 2009, p. 102).

Perry et al. (2011) recently published a pilot study of his model in Psychiatric Annals, which reported very encouraging, measurable results.

Having strict criteria helps enormously to avoid the potential errors of inflating very small synchronicities or of misinterpreting synchronicities in the direction of our hopes or fears.  Following Perry’s rules is great training.  Then, you can branch out and more loosely and tentatively apply this way of thinking to lesser synchronicities, and to other psi events in your life.

ii.  Glitches

As you go about your day, errors, mistakes, and glitches can be another way that unconscious psi comes into view.  In keeping with our theme of borrowing from and expanding on psychoanalytic ideas, analyzing errors to make psi more conscious can be seen as an extension of the psychoanalytic use of slips of the tongue or parapraxes as a way to reveal the personal unconscious.  Also, you might think of mistakes as a kind of negative synchronicity.

The phenomenally innovative and accomplished electronic music composer Kim Cascone (2000) has written about the glitch genre of electronic music, which emerged in the 1990s and continues to evolve.  Over time, composers shifted from ruing the glitches or errors produced by electronic and digital equipment to becoming interested in them.  Composers began to utilize the spontaneously occurring sounds of technical error.  Eventually, they started to create glitches on purpose.  You can see how this would lead one to re-think what constitutes “failure and detritus” (Cascone, 2000,

More recently, Cascone (2011) has written a wonderful essay called “Errormancy: Glitch as divination” for an exhibition entitled T0P0L0G1ES by the Art of Failure collective.  He explains that, in addition to using glitches as a valuable part of your artistic lexicon, you can also use them for divination.  Digital glitches are not only a modern version of the age-old tradition of aleatoricism, or the use of chance, in creative endeavors.  They are also non-random, meaningful breakthroughs of information from another part of reality.

Just like earlier divination tools, electronic and digital equipment can act “like a receiver,
carrying bits of wisdom from an a-temporal, non-spatial, non-manifest reality.”  The glitch “parasitically uses a system as a conduit for the delivery of unexpected wisdom…”  The equipment does not produce these messages on its own; it is a medium through which information arrives.  The glitch “can form a brief rupture in the space-time
continuum, shuffling the psychic space of the observer, allowing the artist to establish
a direct link with the supernal realm” (Cascone, 2011).

Furthermore, like Perry, Cascone has observed that you can get a more elaborated message by following a series of glitches over time. 

“Glitches can serve as accidental data points…encrypted hieroglyphics. Each successive glitch helps to further define the previous one by steadily sharpening a blurred focus.  A cluster of glitches can form an outline, define an area, trace a route through uncharted space. This space is an n-dimensional ‘potential space’ and glitches can be used to navigate this space, seeking unexpected patterns, chance juxtapositions, and unveiling subliminal content” (Cascone, 2011).

He makes the excellent point that the digital artist can easily be swamped by file upon file raw material and revisions.  This is true for the rest of us as well.  “Navigating this space with glitches can help one discover an essence, a grain hidden in the data – much like a divining rod is used to seek out pockets of water underground.  Working with glitches can forge a path through this terrain, outline an approach, formulate an oblique strategy” (Cascone, 2011).

Cascone has made a poetic appeal for the use of errormancy in digital music, but the principle is the same for daily life.  Glitches, errors, mistakes, parapraxes of all kinds can be used as another way to make psi more conscious.

iii.  Daily life as divination

This discussion of synchronicities and glitches demonstrates how to begin to access unconscious psi, but these guidelines can be abstracted and applied to other elements of one’s daily life – including both events that seem anomalous, and those that simply call your attention.  They can also be used to look for overall patterns in a day or an epoch.

Anomalous events include, but are not limited to, precognitive elements in dreams, occasional spontaneous hypnagogic visions (closed eye visuals), lucid dreams, including visitations from deceased loved ones, or minor synchronicities, such as seeing the same uncommon word in three different places in an hour.  Events that simply call your attention could be anything.  Examples might be a song coming into your head, an image in a magazine fascinating you, or any dream content.

The day, itself, can be treated as unit of meaning that has camouflaged psi within it, as can an epoch of your life, such as the recovery period from neurological damage.  This way of thinking is analogous to the psychoanalytic approach of treating one whole therapy session as a single communication, sort of as if it were one dream..

In his chapter on people who have psi more integrated into their lives, Carpenter also mentions the idea of applying a divinatory approach more broadly –

“One particular technique apparently used by several relatively psychic persons I have known might be called ‘serial divination’, by which I mean a process of imagining associations to some inadvertency (say a bit of dream content), and following that by treating those associations as material to question by further imagining associations to those, and so on, all the while avoiding jumping to some conclusion that seems too ‘logical’.  Then, finally, one reaches a sense of unanticipated rightness” (Carpenter, 2012, p. 320).

The main idea of daily life as divination is that there is more to be gleaned from looking in a systematic way at the small instances of psi that are breaking through in a chaotic psi opening, and that practicing this systematic attention will make psi progressively more conscious, and that this will lead to symptom reduction and a blossoming of one’s overall development.

This is a very analytic approach, and it will be absolute anathema to some people.  There are many other ways to make psi more conscious.  This avenue is proposed because it potentially more manageable to people in the deep distress of recent neurological damage, specifically dysautonomia, who cannot tolerate many of the more interpersonal or intensive approaches to psi development.  This method is closely tied to what is actually happening in the individual’s day, and can be explored alone, and as slowly as needed.  It is also clearly meant for people for whom psi is coming to consciousness in a camouflaged way, as opposed to those more rare individuals who suddenly find themselves with a great deal of unambiguous psi.  They have different challenges.

Carpenter’s proposal of the ubiquity of unconscious psi is a crucial contribution to improving our understanding of what is happening in a neurological damage-induced psi opening, and to our brainstorming what to do to help it.

It’s like being born with two perfectly good arms, but you grow up in a culture that says you have no left arm, and if you ever use your left arm as a kid, your family frowns, so you stop using your left arm, and you go through the bulk of your life using only your right arm.  You forget you even have a left arm; it atrophies, and you’re even in denial about it being there. 

Then one day you get hit by a bolt from the blue in the form of some extreme experience.  Your life is turned upside down.  You’re sick as a dog.  The nerves in your let arm start twitching.  Circulation there increases.  It may hurt.  You sort of remember you have a left arm.  You start flexing it.  It’s discoordinated from lack of use. 

Slowly, you integrate your left arm into your life.  Now you’re whole….and now you can do handstands, which you could never do before.


Boag, S. (2010).  Repression, suppression, and conscious awareness.  Psychoanalytic Psychology, 27, 164-181.

Bruno, L.  (2008).  If I only had a brain injury.  Xlibris Corporation.

Carpenter, J.C.  (2012).  First sight:  ESP and parapsychology in everyday life.  Lanham, Maryland:  Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

Cascone, K.  (2000).  The aesthetics of failure:  “Post-digital” tendencies in contemporary computer music.  Computer Music Journal, 24, 12-18.

Cascone, K.  (2011).  Errormancy: Glitch as divination.  From an exhibition entitled T0P0L0G1ES by the Art of Failure collective, July 2011.

Gad, I.  (2000).  Jung’s model of the psyche.

Garrett, E.  (1968).  Many voices:  The autobiography of a medium.  New York:  G.P. Putnam’s Sons.

Kalweit, H.  (1988).  Dreamtime and inner space:  The world of the shaman.  Boston:  Shambhala.

Kalweit, H.  (1992).  Shamans, healers, and medicine men.  Boston:  Shambhala.

Kamm, L.A.  (2006).  Intuitive wellness:  Using your body’s inner wisdom to heal.  New York:  Atria Books.

Mayer, E.L.  (2007).  Extraordinary knowing:  Science, skepticism, and the inexplicable powers of the human mind.  New York:  Bantam Books.

Morin, A. (2006). Levels of consciousness and self-awareness: A comparison and integration of various neurocognitive views. Consciousness and Cognition, 15, 358-371.

Perry, R.  (2009).  Signs:  A new approach to coincidence, synchronicity, guidance, life purpose, and God’s plan.  Sedona, Arizona:  Semeion Press.

Perry, R., Landon, M.K., Greyson, B., Whitfield, C., Whitfield, B.H., Perry, N.  (2011).  An initial study of extreme, measurable forms of synchronicity.  Psychiatric Annals, 41, 577-583.

Rochat, P.  (2003).  Five levels of self-awareness as they unfold early in life.  Consciousness and Cognition, 12, 717-31.

Si Ahmed, D.  (2012).  Psychotherapeutic approaches to Major Paranormal Experiences (MPE).  In Kramer, W.H., Bauer, E., & Hövelmann, G.  (Eds.)  Perspectives of clinical parapsychology:  An introductory reader, Bunnik, The Netherlands:  Stichting Het Johan Borgman Fonds.

von Franz, M.  (1980).  On divination and synchronicity:  The psychology of meaningful chance.  Toronto:  Inner City Books.

Winnicott, D.W.  (nd / 1989).  Knowing and not knowing:  A clinical example.  In Winnicott, C., Sheperd, R., & Davis, M.  (Eds.)  Psychoanalytic explorations.  Cambridge, MA:  Harvard University Press.

Wise, A.  (2004).  The high-performance mind:  Mastering brainwaves for insight, healing, and creativity.  New York:  Jeremy P. Tarcher / Penguin.