Dr. Michael Persinger is a researcher in neuroscience at the Laurentian University in Sudbury, Canada. He has made a wide-range of often controversial claims for the origins of “spiritual” experiences – for example, that magnetic stimulation of the brain can cause out-of-body and “Sensed Presence” experiences, or that natural geomagnetic disturbances, from “earth-lights” and similar geo-plasma, can cause people to see UFOs and the like. Here are some recent papers of particular interest, an annotated bibliography of neuro-theology.
On the Possible Representation of the Electromagnetic Equivalents of All Human Memory within the Earth’s Magnetic Field: Implications for Theoretical Biology …in this 2008 paper he discusses the possibility of “all human memory” being represented/stored in the Earth’s EM field. All animals with similar neurology, and maybe plants with electrically active biology, could also being stored there, I’m extrapolating. Does provide a possible explanation for ‘telepathy’, ‘race memory’, ‘past-life memories, and similar esoteric tropes.
ON THE POSSIBILITY OF DIRECTLY ACCESSING EVERY
HUMAN BRAIN BY ELECTROMAGNETIC INDUCTION OF
FUNDAMENTAL ALGORITHMS …a 1995 paper in which he describes a possible mechanism for ‘telepathy’ and mass influence, an often remarked feature of cultural groups. He mention briefly a lot of ideas for the way consciousness and the body’s neurology interact, some of which feature in recent neuro-imaging studies that try to identify the neural correlate of consciousness.
Johnjoe MacFadden is another bioscientist with a theory of consciousness, the Conscious Electro-Magnetic Information field theory, which he discusses most recently in this paper… Conscious Electromagnetic Field Theory …from 2007. He also has an interesting theory of Quantum Evolution that’s well worth exploring. Basically, due to the quantum nature of DNA’s atomic components a sequence of DNA can exist in a superposition of all possible mutational states and, somehow, this can steer mutation towards a selectively advantageous direction. Read Johnjoe’s discussion to understand it further. Interestingly Greg Egan, a Western Australian SF writer I heartily recommend, uses a quantum-trick about a fictional “super-mutational” enzyme in his novel Teranesia, an apparently independently developed idea.
Evidence of Macroscopic Quantum Entanglement During Double Quantitative Electroencephalographic Measurements of Friends vs Strangers …in this December 2009 paper Persinger et.al. discuss apparent evidence of macroscopic quantum entanglement between the brains of different people. Apparently “telepathy” though just what information exchange in this fashion means is difficult to discern. One doesn’t know that “telepathically” received information is correct or otherwise without a regular communication to verify the content. Prior to the conventional signal arriving one has to take one’s “impressions” entirely on ‘faith’. Makes for an interesting SF scenario, perhaps.
The Neuropsychiatry of Paranormal Experiences …a 2001 paper, quite lengthy, discussing exactly what it says. I’m currently reading this one, so I’ll elaborate more in part 2 of this post. Persinger’s philosophical stance is made clear within its conclusion…
To date there has not been a single type of paranormal experience that is not understandable in terms of known brain functions. The consideration of these experiences as predictable components of brain activity will allow the differentiation between the illusions of intrinsic stimulation and the validity of information obtained through mechanisms yet to be explained.
As his other papers indicate, there’s something collective about human consciousness too. We’re not just a blob of neurones locked away in our skulls. A “geopsyche”, as he dubs it, can be produced like the sub-domains of a magnetic field can merge together to form one field. In the case of humans, for good or ill. In esotericism such a concept, without a physical cause, is known as an ‘egregore’.