Do The Right Psychic Stuff
Interview with Apollo 12 astronaut Edgar Mitchell
Let me lead you down the path of the unusual and the strange. A short stop in the field of screams reveals a glimpse of unnerving dreams. Look under that rock, isn’t that a three headed salamander? Well, it’s more than a genetic mishap, it’s an omen. See the shadow of the raven on your heels? I know it means something, but what? Feeling the hairs on the back of your neck standing on end yet? Feeling psychic yet? Break out the Ouija board and get in touch with your psychic powers. Remember the time you weren’t sure who was moving the plastic thing across the board. Well what the hey was that about? What about the time you were going to call your friend and when you picked up the phone they were already on the other line? Yikes!
Many of us have experienced weird odd freaky things that we couldn’t readily explain. We knew someone was staring at us and they were. OooooooHH. We knew a letter would come in the mail and it did. AAAhhhhhhh. Sure the skeptics say “look, you think about the phone ringing all the time, it’s only a matter of time before it rings at the same time you’re thinking about it.” But you and I know it’s our psychic powers. We’re starring in our own personal Twilight Zone episode.
As much as we love the creepiness of knowing something is going to happen, very rarely do we blurt out that we can read others peoples thought. If you’ve paid attention to our rabid society you know that if you are truly psychic, desperate fates await you. Psychics always end up locked up in a padded cell as a nutball, or, stowed away in a government lab like a psychic La Femme Nakita (the movie, not the series), or, return to kill everyone in your High School Class ala Carrie, or begin to think that their Jesus. Believe it or not, but psychic powers are still considered to be a precious commodity by society and governments. But is it really worth getting locked up for?
Me, I’m not afraid of some shrinks Diagnostic Manuel. I’ll say it loud and proud I’m telepathetic and I vote. I’m telepathetic, I can see the future, and it’s all bad. Don’t believe me? Well I’ll prove myself. Pick a number between one and ten. Multiply it by 9. Add the two digits in the number together till you get a single number, like if it’s 24 then 2+4=6. Subtract five. Take that number and find it’s letter equivalent like a=1 b=2 c=3 etc.. Take that letter and think of a country that starts with that letter. Take the last letter of the country and think of an animal that starts with that letter. Take the last letter of the animal and think of a fruit. Good going……………… you passed.
At this point you probably feel ridiculous that you just obeyed some random commands in a paragraph. For those of you who know me, you can begin to feel scared that perhaps I am indeed willing my telepathetic powers over you. For those of you who know me not, feel lucky.
Imagine a world where we could see each other’s thoughts. Frankly it worries me endlessly. I barely like to hear what people are up to, let alone see their every thought. Unfortunately for me, a total breakthrough between humans psyches will occur and soon, according to sixth man ever to walk on the moon, Dr. Edgar Mitchell. Dr. Mitchell’s Institute of Noetic Sciences explores the scientific principals behind ESP, telepathy, psychokinesis and other ‘powers’ he considers part of the natural evolution of humans and the universe. His new book “The Way of the Explorer: An Apollo Astronauts Journey through the Material and the Metaphysical Worlds,” is a brilliant look at Mitchell’s life.
If you really dive into this interview certain ideas should present themselves to you. You might think something like this:
You-“ Wow, this astronaut dude is really into ESP. He used to do experiments with Uri Geller, that Israeli Psychic who used to go on talk shows in the seventies and bend spoons with his mind. Weird. Huh? Edgar Mitchell thinks that because of an experience he had in space he was going to devote his life to trying to prove ESP is real. And he’s done it. Cool.”
Others of you probably won’t understand a word of this interview and probably didn’t get Kangaroos eating Oranges in Denmark either.
If you ended up with Cats eating Strawberries in the Dominican Republic, or Dogs eating Strawberries in Deutsche Land, you’re far too analytical for your own good.
Rev up the engines, hit the boosters, start the countdown, feel your throttle, tilt your head back, engage warp drive and put your, hand-built to scale, pyramid on your head (to recharge your brain cells) and let Spaceship HUMP take you to the moon and back with Edgar Mitchell.
Ever since I was ten I’ve been fascinated by books such as “Psychic Discoveries Beyond the Iron Curtain,” “Surgeon of the Rusty Knife,” and of course the Uri Geller books. As an Astronaut and a mainstay of our society, how did you get involved in such fringe culture?
Well, let me simply tell you the experience then let you know of the “wow” that occurred to me. I had a PHD in aeronautics and astronautics before I went The experience was a sudden realization that the molecules in my body and the molecules in that spacecraft and the molecules in the bodies of my friends were manufactured by an ancient generation of stars out there. Suddenly instead of an intellectual exercise in how stars form it became a very personal experience and that became kind of a “wow.” I realized from that experience that our scientific cosmology on how we came to be and how the universe formed was incomplete and flawed. The religious cosmologies and esoteric cosmologies were archaic and flawed and we needed a new story about ourselves. At some point in human life people always ask the questions “who are we,” “how did we get here,” and “where are we going?” It seemed to me as a newly minted space herded civilization that we needed to re-ask those questions. I experienced the Universe as interconnected and an intelligent process yet neither were described nor understood in any of our official ways of knowing. It is mystical experiences that are the basis for all religion. I began to ask myself “what is this brain. Why am I beginning to feel this exhilaration?” It was enigmatic and I’ve spent the last 25 years trying to resolve those issues.
Did you at one point on the re-entry of Apollo 12 turn to Alan Shepard and say “dude, I’m having a religious experience.”
No, it was too powerful for that, too personal, too much wonderment. I did look at my colleagues and wonder if the y were experiencing any of this but they seemed to be busy doing other things. Many Lunar Module pilots like myself after the lunar surface activity was complete had a light workload on the way home. We were systems engineers flying the command module home on a well functioning spacecraft, we didn’t have to pay that much attention to what was going on. There was time to be contemplative and meditative and gawk at the universe. Most of the LMP had a heightened experience, but for most of them it took many years to acknowledge it and talk about it, which was also true for me. When my duties with NASA were done I formed the Institute of Noetic Sciences and set out to understand what my experience and what all this means.
Did your contemporaries see you as a heretic?
I’m sure some of them felt that. Interestingly enough, I did an ESP experiment on the mission from the moon and you would be surprised how many state conservative engineers furtively slipped into my office, closed the door, and asked me to tell them about it. Once it became public that is. So yes, I was seen as different, but I had too good a reputation as an intellect to be dismissed out of hand. There was a certain measure of respect that went with all of it.
If it’s true that Russia had been working on paranormal experiments since the fifties did you ever learn of what our government was up too? Was NASA involved in the pursuit of telepathes?
Well NASA had no such agenda, but our intelligence community, the CIA had a lot of work going on in the late sixties and seventies just like the soviets did and I happened to know about that, although I wasn’t on the inner circle of that. Nearly all of that work has been declassified in the recent years. Some of my colleagues, who I worked with at SRI with Uri Geller back in the early seventies have written papers on it. The work focused primarily on remote viewing.
If you could get a kid who could see across country into someone’s file cabinets, that would be a pretty powerful weapon.
That was the idea they were working on.
Uri Geller seemed promising, was it just that he didn’t have the control?
Well, he didn’t have the control he would have liked to have. The problem was that if a person is put in an environment that isn’t conducive to relaxing, they have great difficulties in utilizing their capabilities. The mental environment and the environment of acceptance either help you along or hinder you. After 25 years of research I understand pretty darn well how this works. My new book that I’ve been working on for the last three years explains the theoretical properties behind the experience.
In a world where any half bit actor or actress establishes their own Psychic network, it does seem that, based on supply and demand, people really do want to believe.
I always try to set out and show what is real and what is not real. I have good physical science and brain neurology to show what happens and how it happens.
Are some people more prone to ESP than others?
Yes, but it all has to do with early training. If you grew up in a home where it was allowed and encouraged, it becomes developed like a muscle. If you exercise it becomes developed if you don’t it atrophies. By the time were nine or ten, if we don’t exercise that muscle the brain starts pulling out those neurological circuits. There is a neurological component to it. What we are dealing with here is a very basic way that the universe has organized itself. There is nothing supernatural about it. The institute trails behind my own work, independent schooling and research.
People have been having these types of experiences forever. They call them Mountaintop Experiences or Eureka Experiences or Epiphanies. I just happened to choose going into space to have a really powerful one. I assimilated information in a new way. For me it was looking at my Universe from a new perspective that gave me the experience. The intriguing question is why does the brain do that? Why does the brain reorganize ideas? It’s an evolutionary cosmological fact that nature does that. We’ve been overlooking something that is very natural and evolutionary. I try to explore why and to have it make sense.
It turns out that all the psychic effects are tied to what is called in physics as quantum non-locality. This was discovered years ago, but only proven in 1982. It ties right in to many of the parapsychological studies. I don’t use the word “para” anymore. It’s all psychological to me, science. It’s the way nature works it has a non-local component that quantum physics has talked about for 75 years and that’s what we are seeing, that information is ubiquitous in the universe.
In Village of the Dammed, a generation of kids become psychic and the adults destroy them. Aren’t there many people who profit from secrets and wouldn’t it seem that destroying telepathy would be a main goal of theirs?
Well, now you’re getting to the evolutionary component of all this, we live in a trial and error universe and it’s one that is constantly developing. We have 400 years lived under the classic Newtonian and Cartesian worldview, or system of thought where everything is separate and discreet. We have built a whole civilization in the west under those ideas. It turns out those ideas are wrong and flawed, that is not the way that the Universe is structured and we are just now realizing it. People have a lot vested in the old order of things. Cartesian duality and separation of religion and science have been the dictum, the sacred cow for four hundred years, they don’t want to see that order changing, but in an evolutionary universe it’s going to change anyway. So the answer is yes and that is exactly what has to change. The religious community has always said these things are true they just happen to be supernatural and the scientific community has always said that they are not true because they don’t have a model that explains them or theory that explains how they work. I have to say sorry your both wrong, it does work and it is very natural if you understand how mind and matter are related. I have done physical experiments that prove my theories but it’s a slow process getting them accepted by the scientific community.
Even psychology wasn’t accepted for quite a while.
The BF Skinner school of behaviorist thought and the Pavlovian notion of how learning takes place dominated it. In the seventies transpersonal thought and several other things transcended those ideas. So now we are finding ways to how it works. We explain through Quantum Holograms, which is a non-local portion of matter, it carries the information about the event history of every object in the Universe. Since a Quantum Hologram is non-local it is available to any human or object that can tune into it.
Aboriginal tribes supplement their rituals with hallucinogenic materials in order to transcend locality. Does your institute ever work with those types of factors?
Well, those earlier cultures all seemed to use hallucinogens of one kind or another. By and large what this does is gets the left brain out of the way so that you are perceiving through the primitive more emotional right part of the brain, and that’s all well and good, but it’s unnecessary. The evolutionary leap, in my opinion is a better integration of the left and right hemispheres of the brain into a more holistic way of learning. We know how to train peoples how to do that. Ancient meditative techniques help people to do that.
What is the breakthrough that you see coming in the next couple of years?
What I’m talking about is he a better understanding of the Quantum Hologram. We now know that it is a basic part of all nature and it is responsible for what we perceive as mystic, spiritual, esoteric insights. It is firmly rooted in the way matter is structured. The mystics have always said that Universe is interconnected and this is exactly what the Quantum Hologram proves.
The story goes when my mom was pregnant with me when she would walk in front of the TV the station would change. Where doe this fall into the realm of things you’ve seen.
Well I’ve never heard of that one before, but it doesn’t surprise me, we have seen with people like Uri Geller and hundreds like him that these are ubiquitous human capabilities centered around what we call intention. The way we think and the way we choose does have an effect on the physical world and if you have any doubt about that look at this century and the way human intention have changed the face of the planet. It also works on a much deeper level than that as well. Our intention does affect physical reality and that is demonstrable.
What about the story where Uri Geller manifested your tie clips that had been missing for two years?
Was it good science, no? Was it a good a awakening experience that anchored for me that we are dealing with a powerful real phenomena here and the question is how do we explain it and that of course is what I have been able to do. The Institute is a very powerful organization and we have 50,000 sustaining members and we are a potent force for how we bring the spiritual and the scientific together into a common understanding. We are currently trying to refocus on how we should go in the next twenty-five years.
When you build a bridge between eastern and western thought you realize that the Easterners understood all along what he nature of the universe was while the westerners have had to have the truth almost kill them before they caught a glimpse.
It was the Cartesian duality in the West that allowed science to arise. The intellectual power at the time and the investment in the inquisition and the Roman Catholic Church allowed intellectuals of that time to look at science because it didn’t threaten the church’s position. So physical science was capable of rising and doing all the wonderful things its done n the last three hundred years. Now we realize that it was an artificial division. Hegel said that thesis; antithesis and synthesis make progress. We’re at a point of new synthesis where we are capable of putting it all back together again where science and the mystical experience must be understood within the same framework.
So whereas Maslow said only some people could achieve peak experiences, you are saying that it is available to all?
Maslow was right as far as tradition and our evolutionary path, but what we are talking about is an evolutionary future in which these capabilities are available to anyone. It is a matter of choosing, it is a matter of training, it is a matter of cultural bias and if we train people and it becomes an acceptable worldview in our culture then these capabilities are available to everyone. If people open themselves to the knowledge I think they will choose it. Especially if we find ourselves in world crisis like we do at this moment where civilization is in peril there is no insurance that we are going to survive and we won’t unless we change our minds a little bit.
In your own family have you fostered the psychic muscle in your kids?
I have tried yes. My older children are adults; my eldest daughter just turned 44. All of my children are open to these ideas and are experimenters themselves. There are groups raising their kids this way.
Doesn’t the church see your ideas as the work of Satan?
I call it the death road of the dinosaur. The dinosaurs were a successful species for a couple of hundred million years but then they failed to be able to accommodate to changing times. Maybe they were helped along by an asteroid impact by its no matter, we are in evolutionary universe and we will either evolve or we will perish. There is always resistance to change but nature has a way of kicking us in the but when we get too complacent. Things move along in spite of our desires not to evolve. If we don’t evolve willingly we will evolve out of sheer necessity.