The Authors of the Impossible Journal

Dean Radin: Changes in Consciousness | EU 2013 Off-Stage

This year's conference saw further expansion into new areas of research related to the Electric Universe, continuing the tradition of interdisciplinary cooperation that has already led to such success in understanding many of the strange things that humanity has seen as we've looked out into space.

In this interview we speak to Dean Radin, a specialist in the field of consciousness study who has conducted numerous trials into many scarcely studied aspects of the human experience. Learn more about Dr Radin's work here.

And for updates on everything The Thunderbolts Project is up to, follow them on Facebook here.

Authors of the Impossible: The Book and the Film

Jeffrey J. Kripal and Scott Hulan Jones

Part 1, The Book: From the Human Potential Movement to the Paranormal

by Jeffrey J. Kripal

By training and profession, I am a historian of religions, a field that most people would probably better recognize as "comparative religion".  Basically, I study and compare religious systems like other people study and compare cultural systems, political philosophies, novels, or movies.  More especially, I read, translate, and interpret mystical literature, that is, texts from around the world that express and enact “the secrets” (Greek: ta mystika) of humanity’s fundamental unity, even identity, with divinity.  Put bluntly, I study how human beings come to realize that they are gods—or superheroes—in disguise.

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Authors of the Impossible: A Creative Brief

In early April of this year, Jeff delivered a lecture on Authors of the Impossible at Southern Methodist University (hear the lecture in Episode 4 of the Impossible Talk podcast).  Prior to the lecture, we screened a rough cut of the first eight minutes of the film, the first such public screening.  This segment of the film largely consists of a re-enactment of an event that happened to Jeff's friend, the psychotherapist and accomplished historian of animal magnetism and Mesmerism Adam Crabtree.  In 1968, Adam awoke suddenly in the middle of the night and turned on his bedside radio.  Although Adam was in Toronto, the radio somehow picked up a California radio station, which was covering, live, a campaign speech event of Senator Robert F. Kennedy.  Alas, within a few minutes, the live broadcast of a campaign speech became a live broadcast of Kennedy’s assassination.
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Two Superheroes Captured!

2010-08-22 Wasan040 superheroes.jpg

Here's an instant classic: Dean Radin and Jeff Kripal at a recent conference entitled, "The Boundaries of Consciousness."  The conference was led by Sudhir Kakar and was sponsored by the Breuninger Foundation on Wasan Island, about three hours north of Toronto, Canada.

Parapsychologist Dean Radin is a Senior Scientist at IONS, the Institute of Noetic Sciences, and is author of Conscious Universe and Entangled Minds. He is featured in the Authors of the Impossible film.

The ESP Enigma

Diane Hennacy Powell was driven to research and write about psychic phenomema after she had two vivid encounters with the paranormal.  At thirteen she watched as a circus magician she'd met through a friend stood twenty feet across the living room and read, word for word, the contents of any books she randomly chose from among the hundreds on the bookshelf.  This fostered a deep curiousity that lead her to study neuroscience in college and neuropsychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.  While on faculty at Harvard Medical School she encountered a patient who claimed to be psychic.  The patient then told her several accurate details about her life and made specific predictions about her future, all of which eventually came true.  It was after this encounter that she decided to systematically investigate psychic phenomena.  The ESP Enigma is a summary of her research over 20 years into telepathy, psychokinesis, clairvoyance and precognition.
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The Third Thing

The Society for Psychical Research was formed in 1880’s London, in the fresh wake of Darwin’s publication of On the Origin of Species.  At the time, science was conquering all, and it did not look good for the believer.  While some embraced reason's science and rejected completely the now defunct and unbelievable claims of faith, others embraced the claims of faith and chose to reject science, or at least those parts of it that could not be reconciled with their particular belief system.  For the elite group of intellectuals at the London Society for Psychical Research, their rigorous investigations into the anomalous, the uncanny, and the strange represented a tertium quid, a "third thing" between science and faith.  They refused to be dogmatic about either their religion or their science.  Embracing science as a method that could throw new light on old religious questions, they attempted to work through the polarities of reason and faith, engaging in a fully rational and fundamentally comparative exercise of collecting, organizing, and analyzing experiential data that could not be fully explained by either the theological categories of the churches or the reductive methods of the sciences.  It was through this crucial act of comparison that patterns began emerging, patterns that pointed to theories of consciousness that were, well, impossible.
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Authors of the Impossible: A Long Synopsis

In Authors of the Impossible, a documentary film examining the paranormal and popular culture, historian of comparative religion Jeffrey J. Kripal teams up with XL Films to trace the history of psychical phenomena through the last two centuries of Western thought, illustrating in the process how psychical and paranormal events once considered mystical, spiritual, or occult are manifesting in our own modern, scientific culture. The film makes the bold assertions that many of the anomalous events denied and discarded by today's rationalistic mindset are, in fact, real, and that our present dismissals of these universally experienced realities reveal a broad cultural naiveté regarding our own consciousness and being.
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The Space Between

Consider a spectrum of belief. On one end you have those who fervently believe in their particular brand of God, and on the other you have those who believe just as fervently that there is no supernatural deity. The theists, of course, far outnumber the atheists, but as of late, the non-believers have been taking the fight to the righteous. In recent years, atheist scholars, buoyed by a general public with a favorable view of science and the scientific method, have published a number of pointed screeds aimed at swaying logically-thinking individuals toward the non-belief end of the spectrum. At it's most benign, the strong convictions of, and battles between, these diametrically opposed world views amount to little more than interesting, if not terribly fruitful, philosophical theater. The more sinister manifestations of absolute faith or reason are well documented throughout history and need not be recounted here.
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