15 February 2013


Past posts have been critical of the World Futures journal, a publication that is associated with Ervin Laszlo (the savant notable for notions of communicating with the dead - or undead - via valve radios) and that has featured problematical articles regarding dowsing (supposedly demonstrating that "the mind's ability to communicate information from across the solar system is much faster than the speed of light"), remote healing, remote sensing, precognition and so forth.

The latest issue - 69(1) - features 'Evolution of Intelligence and the Human Fifth Dimension' by Shing Yiu Yip, an echo of the quantum mysticism evident in work by Laszlo and Dhall, with for example all entities apparently having a shared 'memory' through the cosmic Akashic Field.

Yip explains that
“Information” has been postulated by the Daoist theory of Qi-energy fields system to be encoded and inherent in the Qi-energy complex (Qi) since the beginning of time. This became the origin of intelligence when it was passed onto humankind. This abstract entity is extended as a concept of “quantum information/intelligence” (QI) when correlated with quantum physics. Human psychic power, spread over interconnected biological to cosmic spatial fields, would constitute a new Fifth Dimension, woven into the fabric of space and time. This would create a psycho-bionomic model of the universe.
DaDa, it seems, is alive and well, in academia.

The SMH has concurrently run an item on Australian psychics, including the comment that
In the United States, the psychic services industry is worth $US2 billion annually. Here in Australia, half the population believe in some form of psychic power, such as extrasensory perception, according to a 2009 Nielsen survey.
Global financial uncertainty has prompted a "big rise" in the number of mediums, says Australian Psychics Association president Simon Turnbull. "People want to feel assurance and mediums provide that reassurance."
We meet in the brown-brick apartment near Sydney Airport he shares with 11 cats. Why so many? "It used to be 13, but two died," he says.
The pale-skinned Turnbull, 62, says he is telepathic and a "remote viewer" who can see far-away places such as Wagga Wagga or Jupiter without leaving his office.
The Association started in 1983 with about 50 psychics and now has close to 1600 members, he says, a third of whom speak with the dead. "It's a quest for God," he says. ...
His Japanese-born wife, Hiromi, arrives with mugs of tea. After she has left the room, he says, "She's psychic, but she's more on the admin side." Anyone can learn to talk with dead people if they have sufficient motivation, he says.
To test this theory, Good Weekend signs up for a short lesson with the 2013 Australian Psychic of the Year. Signs on her office door, above a skateboard shop in Sutherland, read, "Debbie Malone, spirit medium, psychic, clairvoyant" and, "We welcome Visa, MasterCard and eftpos."
Presumably there are psychic rules that require clairvoyants and other people who chat with the dead to  rely on EFTPOS rather than advising fund managers about which shares will fall, which will rise, which horse will win the Melbourne Cup and where the next disaster will hit an insurer.
Inside, hundreds of toy fairies squat on shelves and nest in an elaborate "fairy tree". Malone, 49, who describes herself as a "sceptical medium", is wearing a necklace with silver pendants saying "Believe" and "You are never alone". Sometimes, Malone says, she sees spirits fly out of her bedroom television. "Would you like a cake?" she asks, proffering a Portuguese tart.
No indication whether the tart is home made ... it might be a tad inconvenient if spirits flew out of the tv while she was watching MasterChef.
She teaches people on weekends to speak with spirits, for $200 including light refreshments. "Psychics are the new rock stars, they're the new thing," she says.
To speak with the dead, you must first be relaxed and quiet, she says. Today's lesson is in psychometry, or the ability to "read" an object and its owners by touching it.
She hands me a brown felt hat, which is dusty and floppy and has a hole torn in the front. "Don't try too hard. Don't think about it. Write down what you see," she says. I close my eyes and see an old man with a small head in a country town. Perhaps he once worked as a stock agent.
As it turns out I'm not even close. The hat's owner was a cross-dressing roustabout who has gone missing in Rockhampton, Malone says. But she is encouraging. "You have made a connection."