QUESTION: What is mind-matter interaction (MMI)?

ANSWER: Mind-matter interaction, sometimes called psychokinesis (PK) and once known as telekinesis, is the ability of the mind to influence matter. Examples of PK include metal-bending, poltergeist phenomena, teleportation, psychic photography, and anomalous healing. Rhine did the original studies on PK with dice after a gambler claimed he had the ability to control which face landed up. RNGs and REGs (random event generators) improved the true randomness of events -- a crucial factor since the only way to determine whether anything had occurred was by comparing it to random chance. Any result away from random chance was considered normal -- whether something occurred far too often or not nearly often enough.

Mind-matter interaction is typically subdivided into one of two rather fuzzy categories: macro-PK or micro-PK. Micro-PK targets that require statistics to know whether you have been successful or not. Typically things that occur on an atomic or sub-atomic scale, such as random number generators, but can also include things like dice. Macro-PK involves targets that are big enough to see with the naked eye and do not require statistics to know whether mind-matter interaction has happened. What makes these categories problematic, is that some targets, like dice or some instances of metal bending, can be considered both macro and micro-PK. This can be rather confusing. Likewise, random number generator and random event generator research, which are very popular as they are easy to do with computers, could represent ESP or mind-matter interaction--and it may be impossible to tell which, if not both, is/are responsible for the>
Mind-matter interactions can include such things as:

  • ANOMALOUS HEALING: apparent psychic healing which may involve psychic surgery.
  • BILOCATION: the apparent ability of a body to be in two locations at the same time (multilocation involves being simultaneously in more than two locations).
  • FIRE IMMUNITY: the alleged ability to come into contact with fire or red-hot coals without being burned. Popular at motivational events.
  • HEMOGRAPHY: the paranormal patterning of bloodstains on cloth to make meaningful words or symbols.
  • INSTRUMENTAL TRANSCOMMUNICATION: the purported communication by discarnate or extraterrestrial beings through an assortment of electronic devices, which may depend at least partly on the mediumship of human operators. It includes electronic voice phenomena (EVPs) on audiotape and videotape.
  • LEVITATION: the paranormal suspension of a being or object off the ground, which may sometimes involve flying.
  • MATERIALIZATION: producing an object from what appears to be nowhere.
  • METAL BENDING: the paranormal ability to soften or bend metal, sometimes associated with the ability to teleport and stress. It was popularized by Uri Gellar with spoon-bending.
  • POLTERGEIST PHENOMENA: human stress-related PK including raps, the production of lights, object movement, and a host of other activities.
  • STIGMATA: the paranormal or miraculous production of marks on the body which in Christians mimic the wounds of Christ and in Muslims mimics those of Muhammad.
  • TELEPORTATION: the paranormal ability of a person to move from one location to another or through objects.
  • THOUGHTOGRAPHY (also called psychic photography): the projected of mental images onto film, photographic plates, or digital media.
  • WEATHER CONTROL: the paranormal ability to affect the weather.

Many people who accept ESP have trouble accepting MMI. Some of their problem may relate to the fact that if our thoughts and feelings are able to directly impact the world around us, then we have to accept responsibility for that. This is a pretty scary notion for most folks.

Although MMI research in the laboratory was originally focused on using dice as targets, computer games are a more popular method today because a large database can be built up quickly and easily. There has also been an increase of mainstream interest in the effectiveness of anomalous healing, with some well-designed studies on psychic healers appearing in medical journals.

MMI doesn't have to be done solo. Often, in séances and table-tipping parties, it is done as a group. This seems to be helpful, whether individuals are trying on their own to bend spoons, but are surrounded by others trying to do the same, or whether they are working together. The following covers a few basic questions about mind-matter interaction.

Finally, there is some controversy in Parapsychology as to whether RNGs and REGs measure MMI at all, but could be just as well explained by ESP -- knowing the exact moment to start your study to get the results you wish. It's called "Decision Augmentation Theory." However, the whole issue may be mute because more and more parapsychologist believe that MMI and ESP are not separate or distinct at all. Recent studies suggest they occur simultaneously and are essentially indistinguishable. Thus, it may be better to simply call them all "psi" phenomena. So, eventually the terms MMI and ESP may be meaningless.

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