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Metaphysics & Psychology

The World’s Largest Clairvoyance Experiment Has Begun

The World’s Largest Clairvoyance Experiment Has Begun 86

By Roc Morin

Icelanders call it Berdreymin—the ability to see the future in dreams. On my travels collecting dreams from around the world, clairvoyance has been one of the most persistent themes. I’ve met Ukrainians in Donbass who report having dreamed about the war before it began, New Yorkers who recounted dreams of plane crashes and smoke-filled rooms on the morning of 9/11, and people across the globe who claim to have foreseen the deaths of loved ones. Historically, there has never been a scientifically rigorous way to evaluate these experiences. Still, clairvoyance and other forms of ESP have been taken seriously enough that both the KGB and CIA had extensive Cold War Era programs. More recent experiments into the phenomena have yielded inconsistent results. Skeptics commonly cite false-memory research to dismiss believers, while supporters often blame unfavorable results on unrealistic laboratory settings.The World’s Largest Clairvoyance Experiment Has Begun | VICE | United States

A new app called Shadow is poised to answer skeptics and believers alike. The app records dreams (which you submit upon waking) and enters them into a massive database, allowing thousands of the time-stamped transcripts to be searched by keyword. Clairvoyance could be identified through specific keyword spikes before major events. While the app was first envisioned as an introspection tool for the Quantified Self Movement, it may end up finally answering a fundamental question about the nature of consciousness.I met with Hunter Lee Soik, the 33-year-old visionary behind Shadow—a man seeking to predict the future by creating it.

VICE: What was your original goal for Shadow?
Hunter Lee Soik: The first goal was to just give people a mirror to look at their own subconscious data and say, “Oh, I didn’t even realize it was doing that. I didn’t even realize I was worried about these things.” The goal is to bring some of these subconscious issues into the conscious mind where they can be addressed.

How has that process played out for you?
Well, I was adopted, and I’ve gone through a lot of things. I know what pain feels like. I know what loss of identity feels like. I went through all of that, and I came out on the other side, and now everything is awesome. We all have that one thing we have to deal with, and it’s not something that can be suppressed. When you suppress something, it always comes out in some weird way. You have to address it, get past it, and move on to the critical question of, “Why am I here?”

How did your issues show up in your dreams?
If we talk about that, some things will have to be off the record.

Is there a meaningful dream that you can talk about?
Well, in one, I died—well, I don’t know if was really dead, but I had gone somewhere else. I had this glimpse of some sort of other world. And, when I woke up, I was sad because I had to come back.

What was the world like?
It was the most religious thing I’ve been through, without being really religious—more spiritual than religious. But it had all the underpinnings of the typical religious story. I had the feeling of tumbling, and felt like I was going into some sort of underground negative world. Then I remember coming back up on this conveyor belt and seeing light. [In the dream] I attached God to that concept, and made that the reality.

It’s remarkable how often mystical concepts appear in dreams. When I first heard about Shadow, it struck me as a massive experiment about collective unconsciousness.
Could be. I mean, what happens if we can start looking at precognitive dreams, and say, “Oh there are actually correlations that are happening in real time.” If we had this data back during 9/11, we could point to a time-stamped audio file describing the dream that predates the actual event. So, how could you then refute that kind of hard data? But, then what happens, when that reality becomes the reality? It’s kind of like Schrodinger’s Cat. What kind of loop happens there?

What have you found so far?
We have a very small user base right now of 9,000, so we don’t have a large enough dataset. But there is something to be said about media content going into dream consciousness. I could be completely unaware of what’s happening in the news, but I would know what the top trending things are because they come up in the dreams: ISIS, Ebola, Robin Williams.

What’s your ultimate aim now for the app?
Ultimately, we want to use technology to make people more human. Dreams are a perfect way to start. The idea is, if someone can trust us with their dreams, then they’re likely to trust us with other important aspects of their lives. And what I mean by that is if you walk 10,000 steps in a day, do you fall asleep faster? Do you record more positive dreams? Does the mattress you sleep on make a difference? Right now, technologies are providing a tremendous amount of service, but the business psychology is wrong. [Corporations are] on an ad-based revenue model, so they have a lot of data about you which they don’t share with you. They can use it to manipulate you.

What’s the alternative?
I think there’s a sunrise on a new paradigm where we use data intelligently to help people live better and find better products.

And you’re giving the data back to the people who generate it?
Absolutely. And you’re helping people use the data to make connections. Who else is dreaming what you’re dreaming, for example? I really believe a lot in quantum field mechanics. And I believe that a lot of the science jargon [means] simply: If you’re happy, and you hang out with someone, you make them happy, and they make someone else happy. That’s what I believe it’s all about.

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Metaphysics & Psychology

Psilocybin mushrooms sprout in the blood of an ‘experimental’ patient

Psilocybin mushrooms sprout in the blood of an 'experimental' patient 97
Image: Giphy.com

US doctors described the story of a man who tried to relieve depression with psilocybin mushrooms in an unconventional way. He injected an intravenous infusion of mushrooms, causing the mushrooms to continue to multiply in his blood and cause multiple organ failure. The case was reported in the Journal of the Academy of Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry.

Many drugs that people traditionally use as psychedelics are increasingly becoming the focus of medical attention. Some of them have already been repurposed and started clinical trials: for example, micro-doses of LSD have proven to be at least safe in the case of Alzheimer’s disease, and psilocybin has helped patients with  migraines and  depression. Often in such experiments we are talking about microdosing – that is, the mass of the substance is not enough for a psychoactive effect.

The story of an American who decided to experiment on his own was described by doctors led by Curtis McKnight of Creighton University School of Medicine. According to relatives, the 30-year-old American suffered from bipolar disorder, but shortly before the incident stopped taking his prescribed medications and suffered from alternating states of mania and depression.

When he stumbled upon research on the potential benefits of psychedelics, he boiled psilocybin mushrooms and injected the filtered solution into his vein. A few days after this experiment, relatives found him in a lethargic state with jaundice, diarrhea and bloody vomiting and took him to the hospital.

Doctors discovered the patient had a problem with multiple organs at once: acute renal failure, liver damage, tachycardia, and low blood saturation and ionic imbalance. He was prescribed droppers to normalize the composition of the blood, vasoconstrictors to raise blood pressure, antibiotics and antifungal drugs. Despite this, he developed septic shock and DIC (excessive blood clotting) and needed plasmapheresis. Only eight days later he was discharged from the intensive care unit, and at the time of publication of the article he had already been in the hospital for 22 days.

In the patient’s blood tests, in addition to the Brevibacillus bacteria , there were also Psilocybe cubensis fungi  – the same ones from which he injected himself intravenously. Apparently, due to insufficient filtration of the solution, the fungi entered the bloodstream and multiplied there, causing intoxication and multiple organ failure.

Psilocybin mushrooms sprout in the blood of an 'experimental' patient 98

The authors of the work note that this is not the first such case – at least in the 80s of the 20th century, doctors already described a patient with similar symptoms after an intravenous injection. Therefore, McKnight and coauthors warn their colleagues: since psychedelics are increasingly used as a medicine (at the end of 2020, they began to legalize it in the United States), it is important to remind patients of the inadmissibility of self-therapy. Intravenous administration can be dangerous – doctors still do not know if it has the same psychoactive effect as the classical methods of administration.

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Metaphysics & Psychology

A part of a person’s essence accompanies him throughout his life: this is confirmed by a brain scan

A part of a person's essence accompanies him throughout his life: this is confirmed by a brain scan 99
Photo: pixabay.com

A new method of scanning the human brain has produced amazing results. It turns out that in every person there is a certain part of his essence, which accompanies him all his life from the moment of birth to death.

Scientists believe that this is the core of a person’s self-awareness. It combines memories of the past with fleeting sensations of reality and provides a basis for anticipation of events in the future.

It turned out that a certain part of a person’s consciousness is consistent as they grow older and older.

For centuries, scientists and philosophers have been interested in the question: can this sense of “personal self” be stable throughout life? A new psychological study with the results of a brain scan made it possible to conclude that a certain part of a person’s consciousness really accompanies him throughout his life.

It is consistent as it gets older and older. Miguel Rubianes, a neuroscientist at the Complutense University of Madrid, says the aim of the study was to answer the question: Are we the same person throughout life? In combination with the results of other studies, scientists have concluded that there is a certain component that remains stable from birth to death.

The other part of consciousness remains susceptible to current changes. The scientists recognized independence as the basis of identity. And every time a person uses the word “I”, he means a thread that connects together all the events and experiences that have occurred in life.

Experience gained over the years changes a person, changes the components of his identity. Each case associated with personal experiences, a broken heart, a successful career step, expected or unexpected failure lead to the fact that a person compares himself to himself before and after these events. It is a neurological programming scheme that involves visual self-knowledge as an indicator of connection with your impressions of yourself.

This effect makes it possible to cope with memories and recognition of information when it is associated, for example, with one’s own photograph of an infant. Although this principle has a lot of evidence, scientists believe that the very mechanism of the brain involved in this remains a mystery.

This study was published in the journal Psychophysiology.

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Metaphysics & Psychology

Beauty and diversity of our world: 10 movies that will make time stop

Beauty and diversity of our world: 10 movies that will make time stop 100

In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, we sometimes do not notice how time flies past us, what miracles surround us. We do not have time to listen to the rustle of leaves in the wind and we miss those minutes when the crimson moon hangs at the very horizon.

Below are 10 films that reflect the beauty and diversity of our world. You watch such a movie and forget about everything.

Kytice

Beauty and diversity of our world: 10 movies that will make time stop

7 fairy tales-ballads based on Czech folklore are filmed colorfully and poetically. 

They endure a time when people were closer to nature, believed in miracles and the spirits of the forest, when the terrible and the beautiful were merged together.

Ashes and snow

Beauty and diversity of our world: 10 movies that will make time stop

Gregory Colbert’s documentary has no plot, but it attracts with its stunning, unrestrained beauty, reflecting the unity of man with nature.

The film was shot for 13 years in the most exotic corners of our planet: Burma, Ethiopia, India, Antarctica, Sri Lanka, Tonga islands and many other picturesque places.

The fountain

Beauty and diversity of our world: 10 movies that will make time stop

The main character Thomas tries to find a cure for his wife Isabelle. Every day she gets worse, and he cannot be near, because he puts experiments in the laboratory. In his soul, love, the desire to be with Isabelle and the desire to extend her life are fighting. 

Darren Aronofsky’s philosophical drama was filmed in vivid colors, despite the fact that the director did not use computer special effects.

Samsara

Beauty and diversity of our world: 10 movies that will make time stop

This is a beautiful one and a half hour trip to the most amazing places on the planet. 

Director Ron Fricke showed the inextricable connection of all people and events on earth, the cycle of death and birth, the versatility of our world, where beauty coexists with nondescriptness, and the end means the beginning.

The Bear

Beauty and diversity of our world: 10 movies that will make time stop

The story of a bear cub that lost its mother and nailed to a large wounded bear. Together they have to go through many trials, the worst of which is meeting the hunters. 

The wonderful plot of the film is combined with stunning music that helps you immerse yourself in the world of nature and feel it with your whole body.

Happy People: A Year in the Taiga

Beauty and diversity of our world: 10 movies that will make time stop

The harsh Siberian nature, untouched by man, the majestic Yenisei River and the small village of Bakhta with a simple way of life. 

People live and survive in these parts, rely only on themselves and also ask only themselves. Four seasons – four lifestyles for each of them.

August Rush

Beauty and diversity of our world: 10 movies that will make time stop

Young musician August Rush does not know his parents, but he really wants to find them and for some reason is sure that if he plays, they will hear and recognize him by his music. 

Mesmerizing music permeates the entire film and works wonders to dispel the evil spell of separation.

Baraka

Beauty and diversity of our world: 10 movies that will make time stop

A documentary masterpiece, a philosophical essay accompanied by superb cinematography and music, goes without words. The only and main actor here is life in all its diversity and unity. 

The gaze of a monkey sitting in a hot pond is equal to all the depths of cold space, and the dances of the aborigines are synchronized with the movements of the forest.

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring

Beauty and diversity of our world: 10 movies that will make time stop

This is a beautiful and unhurried philosophical parable about a wheel of time moving into infinity. Each time, with the beginning of a new cycle of rotation, life on earth is renewed, and everyone has the opportunity for a new rebirth. 

The film by Korean director Kim Ki-dook tells about two monks – a teacher and his student – and the obstacles that must be overcome on the way to finding harmony.

Chronos

Beauty and diversity of our world: 10 movies that will make time stop

The main characters of the documentary narration are cultural and historical monuments. 

They absorbed the life of the people who created them, and have remained for centuries as an imprint of bygone eras.

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