Perception & the Psychic
There is no such thing as colour; only wavelengths of light. Now there’s a statement; am I talking out of my hat?
The human eye has have evolved for sound survival reasons to interpret different wavelengths of light as colour. It’s the mechanism which allows us to determine when fruit is ripe, which insects are potentially dangerous and help us see brown prey in green grass.
In my previous professional life, my colleagues and I designed and delivered training on a piece of equipment called a Crimescope. This cumbersome device produced individual wavelengths of light with great precision. Combine these single wavelengths of light with the appropriate filter and certain substances are caused to excite or fluoresce. This means that latent evidence, which is invisible to the naked eye can be revealed and photographed. Those of my colleagues and friends that use this sort of equipment have achieved amazing results over the years retrieving apparently invisible fingermarks and blood pattern, this evidence has proved instrumental in the conviction of many perpetrators of the most terrible crimes.
The use of this extraordinary piece of equipment always made me think about how we perceive a crime scene. In recent times, my work with Helena B. has brought this question of our perception of the ‘real’ back to the fore of my mind. Our senses, though very effective in relation to our existence are relatively limited in their ability experience what perhaps actually surrounds us. If we now add interpretation to the mix, then ‘reality’ starts to become even more tenuous. The human brain contains an inbuilt model of the world which is of our own creation and borne of our experience. This model is constantly updated/refreshed, we do not see the world afresh every time we gaze upon it, if we did, this would lead to a complete information/data overload for the old noggin. Our brain would simply be unable to crunch such a quantity of data in a continuous stream. Our view is also seriously compromised, we obviously only pay attention to specific things that attract our interest and ignore the rest. It’s why photography, I think fascinates me the way it does. The photographer shows you the parts of the world you would normally walk past or ignore and then freezes an instant and view which gives the viewer all the of the time they require to digest it in detail. It’s in this vein that I tend to think of photography as the retention of instants in an individuals own stream of personal consciousness, which through the wonders of technology they can share with others.
Whilst enjoying a large brandy of an evening in my smoking jacket and underpants (comfort at this time of the day is most important) I tuned in to watch a TV programme about Quantum Mechanics. The presenter, Jim Al-Kalili stated that on a sub-atomic level everything, including us; was vibration, frequency, and energy. On this sub-atomic level, there is no matter.
It seems strange to me that the human mind applies rigid fixed rules and principals to an existence which seems to be in a constant state of flux. All of these empirical and apparently unshakeable concepts are based upon experiment and subsequent observation. Fair enough. However, the outcome of the ‘2 slit experiment’, the Copenhagen interpretation, was that the observer was a key element in the perceived outcome or conclusion drawn from the experiment. Eugene Wigner commented - “it will remain remarkable, in whatever way our future concepts may develop, that the very study of the external world led to the scientific conclusion that the content of the consciousness is the ultimate universal reality.” This sentiment was echoed by Max Planck - “science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are part of the mystery we are trying to solve.” This inclusion of our consciousness in relation to the way we perceive the world is explored in a book written by Bob Berman and Robert Lanza entitled ‘Biocentrism’. The basis of their work asks you to relinquish the idea of thinking of yourself as part of an external world within which you exist and to try to imagine that your consciousness is contributing to your experience of your world. Your perception of ‘your world’ is governed by your consciousness. When someone who is mentally ill sees people in the room we can’t, to that person, the extras in the room are very real. Our dreams have the capacity to be full experiences. Once again our perception of the world is no longer as substantial, solid and matter of fact as we perhaps believe it to be.
Could it be that Psychics and those who are more ‘in tune’ with these energies, vibrations, and frequencies are seeing content in their consciousness that those of us who are insensitive don’t? When we shuffle off this mortal coil does our energy dissipate completely or do environments, buildings and objects retain some of this energy? There is, of course, the ‘tape recorder theory’ which suggests that buildings absorb energy into the fabric of their construction. Is the energy of distress, suffering, and violence more easily absorbed or more easily detected? I for one am not sensitive to any of these energies, I have spent many hours alone in pitch darkness in Ireland’s most haunted house with my camera and other than a general feeling of unease, have not personally experienced a supernatural event. I have however witnessed Helena B. having a very disturbing experience. I was perhaps 30-40 feet from her on the top floor of Loftus Hall when I quite literally watched the colour drain from her face, as though exhausted. It was obvious that she was experiencing something I clearly could not. The Hall on this day was closed to the public, there was only myself and one member of the Loftus team in the building. I say this to make it clear that there was no group think or emotion, I was completely calm and mid-sentence in conversation when I saw this incident occur. I now begin to wonder if there is perhaps some basis in quantum physics and our respective perceptive abilities that might explain Helena B’s different interpretation and experience of the ‘real world’ in Loftus Hall that day.
Any input from anyone out there with an expertise or interest in these ideas/topics would be appreciated. This post is very much the start of a train of thought…