PRAISE for The 90s Club & the Secret of the Old Clock
Just received this review from the Midwest Book Review: “An impressively well crafted and thoroughly entertaining mystery that plays fair with the reader from beginning to end.”

Enter the book giveaway for this book at goodreads.com. Starts Feb. 14, ends Feb. 25.

MORE THINGS IN HEAVEN AND EARTH

We all know our perception of the world around us depends on how well our senses function. This fact alone should cause us all to be humble about any pronouncements we make on the nature of reality.

For instance, plants. How conscious are they? Do they really care if I talk to them? When I weed my garden, do the weeds know I’m killing them and are screaming at me? Do I not hear them because their voices are beyond my range?

Sounds crazy, but I just read a review by Amy Stewart of the book, The Cabaret of Plants by Richard Mabey. Stewart cites from the chapter on plant intelligence in which Mabey describes a study of mimosa plants. Mimosa leaves snap shut when they’re touched as a defensive mechanism. In the study, potted mimosa plants were dropped several times from a height of six inches. After several drops, some of them stopped shutting their leaves as if they had learned that this movement was not a threat.

They even remembered this a month later. Experiments with other plants suggest that they may have lives beyond our current understanding and may even be able to take deliberate action.

In which case, I’m glad the vegetables I eat are cooked and dead, dead, dead.

Thinking about perceptions and reality, I began wondering about mental telepathy since a friend’s novel deals with the subject as if of course some people can be psychic. I am a skeptic, but I came across an interesting article on the subject by Steve Taylor at the Psychology Today website. He gives seven reasons supporting mental telepathy—and his reasons make sense. Here they are in essence.

1. Philosophical. Every species has its own unique awareness of reality. Isn’t it likely that forces, energies, and phenomena in the universe exist beyond those we can presently perceive, understand, or detect? This may include phenomena or energies which generate—or explain—telepathy and pre-cognition.

2. Consciousness. After years of intensive research, scientists have not learned how the brain might give rise to consciousness, leading some theorists to propose a “radio model.” In this theory. the brain receives a consciousness which exists outside us. This theory sees consciousness as a fundamental property of the universe, potentially everywhere and in everything. The brain’s function is to “pick up” consciousness around us and to channel it into our own individual being. This is consistent with telepathy, since it suggests a shared network of consciousness among living beings through which information can be exchanged from unit to unit.

3. Quantum Physics.
Nothing about microcosmic quantum physics excludes the possibility of telepathy. The vagaries of the quantum world suggests that, on the microcosmic level, all things are interconnected and an exchange of information via telepathy is possible.

Quantum physics also supports his first argument—that the world is infinitely more complex than it appears to our normal awareness, and there are phenomena in existence which we presently cannot understand, or even conceive of.

4. Empirical Evidence. A large number of empirical studies offer convincing evidence of telepathy and pre-cognition. For example, the social psychologist Daryl Bem published in a highly respectable academic journal, the results of nine experiments, involving more than 1000 participants, eight of which showed significant statistical evidence for precognition and premonition. Bem’s results caused a great deal of controversy and criticism, but they have been successfully replicated a number of times although skeptics emphasize the unsuccessful replications.

5. Personal Experience.
Throughout his life, Taylor has had a number of psychic experiences which he thinks were too significant to be explained as coincidence or chance.

6. Anecdotal evidence. Anecdotal evidence isn’t proof, but it can serve as a ‘supporting argument’ with other, more solid evidence. This is particularly true of psychic phenomena. A vast number of reports of psychic experiences continue to be reported all the time.

7. Skepticism of the Skeptics.
Could skeptics have unconscious psychological motives? To be able to ‘explain’ human life and the world is a powerful human need. You can see this in religions. To admit there are phenomena we can’t fully understand or explain, and that the world is stranger than we can conceive, weakens our power and control—which may be one reason why skeptics are reluctant to accept psychic phenomena.

Two common themes in Taylor’s arguments and in the plant studies are (1) we are interconnected with all things in the universe and (2) our awareness is limited and characterized by the sensory abilities and limitations of our species, which may perceive only a small part of the spectrum of reality. Or as Hamlet said, “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

All of this makes intriguing possibilities for your next novel. Or mine.

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