The adventure: Jose Silva UltraMind ESP Training
My father, a retired sawmill worker living in the northern wilds of British Columbia, took an ESP course and LOVED it.
Well, I found myself somewhat perplexed. It just seemed odd that an unusual program of this nature was offered in a remote community of 2600 people. Intrigued by his enthusiasm, I found myself registered in the very same Jose Silva UltraMind ESP course within the month – like father, like daughter, I suppose.
So who was this Jose Silva guy and why was he so popular? Silva, a parapsychologist, developed training programs to help people increase their IQ, enhance psychic skills, and the development of special healing abilities. Pseudoscience at it’s finest. ESP stands for ‘extrasensory perception’ – the ability to use that so-called ‘6th sense’ to perceive information without the use of the other 5 senses known to science (sight, smell, taste, touch, feel) – but Silva, however, called it ‘effective sensory projection.’ He suggested that by learning ESP, anyone could gain the superpower to read people, boost your intelligence levels, project your mind, find lost items and heal yourself.
But most importantly, Silva claimed he could teach anyone ESP in a matter of 2 days.
Anyone. Including me.
Interesting factoids about the whole ESP thing:
- Is considered to be a ‘Pseudoscience.’
- ESP is best known as a type of psi power (psi = psychic phenomena).
- At least 50% of all people believe in ESP.
- There are three types of ESP: Clairvoyance – getting information about objects, events, places; Precognition – prophecy, premonition, hunches, foretelling, seeing the future; Telepathy – mind reading
- In the ‘auto-Ganzfield’ experiments, participants in ESP experiments were correct 35% of the time – 10% higher than the 25% success rate predicted by ‘chance’ – which would be considered to be proof in any other field of science.
- One of the most famous predictions, prophecies, and premonitions of a real-life event was the sinking of the Titanic.
Biggest challenge I faced during the entire adventure:
- Getting over the $500 price tag.
It’s when the unexpected happens…that’s where the magic is:
I had to team up with a complete stranger to give an ESP reading in relation to a ‘person’ of their choosing. The only information provided to me was the first name of the individual, their age, and current known location. After going into an alpha state, I found myself visualizing all sorts of images that made no sense to me: two women, completely identical – but one with dark hair and the other blonde. A sense of feeling troubled. Not to mention problems with the throat. Tears rolled down my classmates face when I began to describe what I witnessed. Turns out, it was her daughter who ran away from home, dyed her blonde hair black, and then tried to commit suicide by hanging.
How can this adventure be used in everyday life?
After my strange experience, I realized that there is more to this world than meets the eye. It taught me that I need to become more open-minded about things of a pseudoscientific nature, and the notion that, perhaps, science limits us.
James Randi, a ‘challenger’ of paranormal claims and debunker of ‘pseudo-science’, has offered a cool million dollars to ANYONE who can demonstrate any evidence of any supernatural ability under scientific testing criteria. And so far, he has claimed that he has “never paid even one dollar or even one cent to anyone who ever sued me.”
Here’s the thing, I have two degrees in science. Not one, but two. This means that my brain patterns tend to work mainly on the left side of my brain. Now, I may have trained my brain to be logical and details-oriented, but it doesn’t stop me from having an open mind to the possibility that things exist of which I have no inkling. There is a lot out there that I don’t understand. A lot. In fact, the more I learn, the more I realize I know nothing at all.
With this adventure, I explored a realm of impossibility that my logical left brain has trouble comprehending. There are many things I don’t understand – but I refuse to reject something entirely out of hand just because skeptics like James Randi claim that pseudoscience is for the stupid.
This obviously begs further investigation.
I always wondered about the mind and things of an impossible nature. And I’ve pondered how many of us are limited by our thoughts , social norms, and belief patterns. For instance, if we are told that ESP is impossible, most will automatically believe anything they are told. But then there are those who are bullied when they choose to NOT to conform to acceptable social standards set out by ‘normal’ people. If anything, they get ridiculed and made a spectacle. It’s unfortunate, but true. For myself, I tend to closely associate with free-thinkers – those who know how to use both sides of the brain and are not limited by the norm, or by science. Kindred spirits, if you will.
© Monthly Adventure, Patricia Taylor, January 2008