Dean Radin, PhD
For decades Dean Radin has been engaged in research on the frontiers of consciousness. In this latest book he explores whether yoga and meditation unleash our inherent supernormal mental powers, such as telepathy, clairvoyance, and precognition.
Buddha, Jesus, Moses, Mohammed, Milarepa and many other prominent people over time are associated with special illumination, wisdom or grace. Were they just nice guys?
“. . . or did they understand something genuinely deep about the human condition, and our capacities, that is not yet within the purview of science?”
About two thousand years ago Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras were written. They teach if you sit quietly, pay attention to your mind and practice this diligently, then you will gain peace, transcendence and supernormal powers. These are regarded as ordinary capacities we all possess – we’re just too distracted by our minds most of the time to be able to access them in any reliable way.
The sutras describe telepathy (mind to mind communication); clairvoyance (gaining information about distant or hidden objects beyond the reach of ordinary senses); precognition (clairvoyance through time); and psychokinesis (direct influence of matter by mind, also known as PK). They also describe invisibility, levitation, invulnerability and superstrength. The dangers of these abilities are also highlighted because “. . . this can reinforce one’s sense of separate self, leading to ego, pride, and arrogance, and this becomes an impediment toward further spiritual unfoldment.” These powers are a byproduct of a serious meditation practice, not the goal. They are not to be put on display or highlighted.
Here in the West yoga is associated with Hatha yoga (postures). Yoga as exercise or postures is relatively new and is a combination of traditional yoga postures, Swedish gymnastics and British Army calisthenics. It cannot be traced to Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. We also accept meditation and breathing techniques to relieve stress.
Meditation is a fascinating subject, especially as set forth in the sutras. Mind “enjoys a status separate from the material world,” argues the Dali Lama. While the benefits of meditative yoga are accepted here in the West, meditation as a means of consciousness transformation, especially the ancient relationship between meditation and superpowers, is still considered a taboo topic with most scientists. I am a meditator and I experience “the gap” for maybe 10 seconds, sometimes, certainly not at will. Meditators, monks and others who have seriously followed in this tradition can stay in the gap at will as long as they choose – they transcend consciousness.
“Beliefs determine what we can see.” Scientists – and many of us – are taught supernormal capacities are impossible, so mysticism and miracles are rarely taken seriously. And yet when surveyed, the majority of us believe in them and/or have a story or two to tell about our own experiences.
Mainstream science has not accepted any of these abilities as real and ignores any serious scientific research in this field of study. Most of us don’t realize there is a large body of scientific evidence that at least some of these powers described in the sutras are real. Not all have been extensively studied. These studies are the real thing even though largely ignored by the main stream scientific community. Obtaining funding for studying consciousness is very difficult due to its controversial nature.
A large portion of this book takes us deep into each study, explains how the studies were designed, and how the results were calculated. A very convincing scientific case is put forth – the evidence is clear – these abilities do exist and have been proven to exist. These studies span many years, were performed by different scientists in various countries. Most of us have heard of the U.S. government’s remote viewing program. Many other fascinating studies are described.
“As science and society begin to appreciate that some of the siddhis [powers] are real, and that other aspects of yogic lore also provide legitimate road maps of reality, we can anticipate that some scientists and scholars, especially those who have bet their careers on past theories, will become increasingly marginalized and resentful. But the teeth grinding will eventually settle down as younger investigators, who were not so entrenched in passé prejudices, reach their prime.
“From what I’ve seen in recent years, this transition has already begun. When it reaches fruition, humanity may finally find itself at childhood’s end.”
This was a fascinating book. The depth and breadth of the scientific studies was surprising. Hard to believe we still marginalize this work and hold on to our very out dated ideas.