Constructive Creativity

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Happy Holiday Gardening!

Nearly two years ago, in January of 2005, I created a post titled Welcome To My Winter Garden. It featured the beauty of naturally formed ice crystal patterns discovered on my window one cold and frosty morning. Well, just in time for the Holiday Season, my Winter Garden is once again in full bloom! I hope these pictures, while not quite as spectacular as the previous Garden pics, will help to get you into the Holiday spirit. Please enjoy them, and I wish a very HAPPY HOLIDAY SEASON to all my friends! :)

Monday, December 04, 2006

Do You Perceive Extra Sensorially?

Recently, my friend Madas wrote a post in which she described what seemed like a possible psychic connection between her and her brother. She had some very uncomfortable feelings about her brother, difficulty sleeping, and bad dreams for several days. Finally, she called him, and he told her that he was very upset that one of his friends had died of a fall from a high window. As part of this post, I would like to share an excerpt from a comment that I wrote in response to her post:

"Some people seem to somehow know when someone they love is suffering. Do you feel a very strong emotional connection to your brother (I am guessing the answer is yes)? Perhaps you somehow sensed his deep sense of loss from his friend's passing. I am not superstitious either, but I have had repeated experiences that make me wonder if I have some sort of minor ESP talent. What has happened many times over the years is that I will have a silent thought in my mind and then several seconds later another person will say the exact same words. My mother has told me a number of times that she has had the same experience too. On top of this, the same thing will happen between myself and my mother. I will think it and she will say it, or sometimes I will see an image in my mind and she will then talk about the thing that I mentally saw. This sort of thing used to freak me out a bit, but it happens so often that I am quite used to it. I have even tried to rationalize how this might be possible. It is a well documented fact that the human brain can produce measureable electromagnetic fields. Each neuron produces a tiny field when it activates to stimulate adjacent neurons as a thought or stimulus to move the body occurs in the brain. At any given moment, millions of neurons are "firing", as a neuroscientist would say. These millions of little electromagnetic fields add up to produce a significant and measurable EM field. Maybe it is possible that such a field could influence another person's brain over a short distance. The analogy to physics that I like to relate this to is called induction. If you pass a current through a loop of wire that is located near but not touching another loop of wire, a current will be induced to flow in the second wire by the magnetic field generated by the current in the first wire. Anyway, I'm probably getting way too technical here and a real neuroscientist might think I was crazy! So much for my theory of short distance telepathy. Now, how could two minds communicate over a long distance? Well, I haven't got a clue. In fact, such a concept defies rational explanation, as far as I am concerned. Nevertheless, some people believe that they can do it. Considering my own experiences, I am at least willing to be open minded and not dismiss the possibility."

I have told very few people about my experiences because, quite frankly, I doubt that many people would believe me! Ever since my early teen years, I have thought of myself as a very rational person, not given to magical thinking or beliefs based on emotion rather than reason. I can't remember when I had my first experience with what seems like mind reading or thought transference, but for many years I was very resistant to the idea that it was really happening. I kept trying to convince myself that it was just coincidence. However, at some point, it was happening so frequently, that I just couldn't dismiss it out of hand anymore. Now, I should make it clear that this does not happen with everyone. Also, it has happened with people that I am related to, people who are my close friends, and people that I hardly know at all.

A few years ago, something happened that I could hardly believe. I was playing the child's game of Rock, Paper, Scissors with someone that I had known very closely for many years. For those of you unfamiliar with the game, rock is represented by a closed fist, paper by an open hand, and scissors by a two fingered victory sign. The winner of a round is determined as follows: paper covers rock so paper wins; scissors cut paper so scissor wins; and rock smashes scissors so rock wins. If both players "throw" the same shape, then the round is a draw. Normally, I don't play child games very often, but this occurred after we had watched an episode of the SciFi series Farscape. The main character on the show played the game with his artificially created twin self (it was a fun but wierd series!). The character and the twin apparently had a psychic bond because they kept throwing identical shapes in the game. For example: Rock/Rock; Paper/Paper; or Scissor/Scissor. Well, when we played the game that night, the same thing happened to us seven times in a row, and we only played for seven rounds! We were both astonished at the improbability of such an occurrance! A few days ago, I did some research on probability theory and learned how to calculate the odds against what happened. For each round of the game, there are nine possible combinations of outcome. Three out of the nine (0.3333) result in a draw. So, the odds against what happened are: 0.3333 raised to the power of 7 which results in one chance out of 2187. Those are pretty long odds against what happened! Well, this weird occurrance was only one out of many events that I and this person experienced over the course of many years. It often happened that I would think something and she would say it seconds later.

Have any of you heard of a famous mentalist who bills himself as
The Amazing Kreskin? When I was a kid, he had a TV show in which he would perform various mind reading tricks. At the time, I thought it was all fake, but like an excellent magician, I couldn't figure out how he could do what he did. Well, he claims to actually be able to read people's minds. Considering my experiences, maybe he really can! So, have any of you had any strange experiences that you were afraid to tell anyone about? Now is your chance. I promise you will receive no ridicule from me! :)

A Few Unrelated Notes:

My friend
Kyubai, who lives in Baghdad, is conducting a little experiment in virtue. The first virtue in the experiment is "Respect". There are no particular rules, we are just trying to think about showing respect to other people. I promised Kyubai that I would mention it in my blog. You can read about it at his blog if it sounds interesting and you would like to work on your virtuous capacity.

I wrote a new post for my Apolitical blog. It is a letter to my U.S. Senators urging them to take some action to help reduce the level of violence in Iraq. I also asked them to check out the writings of three outstanding Iraqi bloggers. Who knows, they might just listen to my suggestions if they can tear themselves away from re-election fundraising!