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INTO THE PSYCHOKINETIC (PK) ZONE: A PHENOMENOLOGICAL STUDY OF THE EXPERIENCE OF PERFORMING PK.

ABSTRACT: Stories of mind-matter interactions, from poltergeists to the "special" abilities of religious and spiritual figures, exist across all cultures and times (Barclay, 1973; Gauld & Cornell, 1979; Goss, 1979; Rogo, 1982). Add to this the fact that a variety of labs and researchers across the globe have found that random samples of ordinary subjects demonstrate a small, but statistically significant, ability to effect targets through non-physical means, and it seems possible that PK could be a general human ability (Radin, 1997). If so, this opens up new avenues of research. It becomes not only possible, but advantageous, to look at PK from the same perspectives as we would look at any other human capability.

Phenomenology was originally developed as a means of describing the key features which constitute a human experience as it is lived. It involves a rigorous method of teasing out the essence of an experience from the verbal and written descriptions of percipients, and is widely accepted in both psychology and the social sciences. It would thus seem to be a particularly effective tool for revealing the qualitative aspects of PK. But while phenomenology has been used to elucidate the meaning of a number of exceptional human performance experiences, such as those that occur in sports, trance mediumship, ESP, and the near-death experience, no one has yet looked at the experience of performing PK itself (Alessi, 1994; Barrett, 1996; Murphy and White, 1995; Reed, 1996a, 1996b; West, 1998).

This study attempts to remedy that need by using the phenomenological method to look at the apparent PK experiences of eight individuals whose PK abilities had been "verified" by (a) being witnessed by another, reputable person, (b) their PK having been experimentally ascertained, or (c) having a general reputation as a successful PK performer. The participants were interviewed in depth on their apparent spontaneous and intentional PK experiences, then the interviews were transcribed and analyzed.

Though the analysis is still ongoing, preliminary review of the transcripts suggests that while target types vary considerably, certain key features of the experience appear repeatedly across participant descriptions. These key features seem to add up to one primary kind of PK experience that involves an altered state of consciousness with a narrowing of attention and a loss of sense of surroundings, a sense of connection, dissociation from the individual ego identity, suspension of the intellect, the frequent presence of peak emotions or playfulness, a sense of energy, focused intent, lack of effort, release of attention, openness to the experience, a sense of impact, a "knowing," and an overlap between ESP and PK states and/or energy. A variation of this experience was described by half (4) of the participants, and seemed to be primarily, but not exclusively, related to spontaneous PK events and initial attempts at intentional PK. This variation had less emphasis on an altered state of consciousness and aw areness of energy, and more emphasis on the presence of a peak emotion. Neither confidence or motivation appeared to be a key aspect of the PK experience.
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Author:HEATH, PAMELA RAE
Publication:The Journal of Parapsychology
Date:Sep 1, 1999
Words:505
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