Dr. Jim Carpenter | RealitySanwich.com
First Sight is a model and a set of theoretical ideas about psi: the collection of controversial phenomena that are studied by parapsychologists. These phenomena primarily involve knowing things and affecting things in ways that go beyond the immediate boundaries of the organism.
Perhaps you know something of these matters from your own experience. Perhaps you remember a dream in which you seemed to have been alerted in an unusually accurate way to something that developed in your life later, well after the moments of dreaming. Perhaps you and a loved one sometimes anticipate each other’s thoughts or know when each other will call on the phone or punch ‘send’ with an e-mail. Or you may know of someone who has told you stories along these lines. They happen in my life at times, and I encounter them not infrequently in my practice of psychotherapy.
The First Sight Model that I have been working on for perhaps the past 15 years asserts that a psychic connection to the world is going on all the time for everyone. If that is so, someone might ask why everyone isn’t having psychic experiences (ESP or PK) all the time?
The model also has an explanation for this. The psi-connection is innately unconscious. For First Sight, psychic engagement is not just rarely conscious, it is actually never conscious.
Then why do we ever think we have a psychic experience?
Because we succeed in interpreting some implicit expression of the psychic engagement. We notice a hunch or a shift in mood or pay attention to imagery appearing on the mind’s inner screen, or reflect on the events of a dream, and connect them to something real and beyond our sensory boundaries -- something either hidden or far away or yet to happen.
In the case of PK we notice an odd behavior of some physical object, and then see a plausible connection to some inner state of desire or frustration. We can do these things on purpose, or we can just happen upon them.
Back up a bit. Why should psi engagements be expressed by such inadvertent, implicit events? Because we know that all unconscious mental processes are liable to be, and psi seems to work as just another one of those processes.
For example, this is how we know that a subliminal prime has influenced someone. It alters the probability of the content of the prime turning up somehow in the person’s spontaneous imagery or feelings or decisions -- all without the person ever knowing that the prime has participated in forming those experiences!
There is another wrinkle that has to be added in. Unconscious information like extrasensory events or subliminal primes do not always enter into experience in an additive way. Sometimes they enter in in a negative, subtractive way, leading us to avoid the content in our images, etc.
This would seem to make it hopeless to know when such a stimulus is active or not, except that this unconscious decision of pro or con follows meaningful patterns that can be figured out by the right kind of research. Cognitive psychologists and parapsychologists both have been busy trying to determine these hidden patterns, and both have made a lot of progress. One fascinating thing -- without their knowing it, the patterns they have found tend to look very similar!
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