Monday, July 2, 2012

Intentions and the 'Law of Attraction'

The effect seen in REG (Random Event Generator) and other intention experiments is usually so small, that there might seem no basis for the extraordinary claim that intentions can actually influence significant events in the physical reality we experience, as suggested in the 'Law of Attraction' and related concepts. There are however several key differences between most REG experiments and the LOA idea.

1. Time. LOA might require repeatedly focusing on something over hours, days, weeks, or months, whereas a REG is usually expected to respond more or less now.

2. Specificity of Result. A REG is usually expected to do something simple and specific, but rather general LOA intentions might in principle be 'manifested' in an infinite number of ways.

3. Focus of Intention. Instead of focusing only on a REG or roulette ball, etc., LOA intentions are addressed to the entire 'Universe' (or 'God', etc.). Is it possible that consciousness can slightly influence arbitrarily small or large physical systems, without regard to conventional understandings of 'force' or 'power' or 'energy'?

4. Believability and Expectation. Our consciousness and/or the rules of our reality seem to prefer (however this might be described) that we experience a more-or-less materialistic, classical mechanics sort of world. From birth, most humans are programmed to believe that thoughts have no effect on physical reality and that 'magic' or 'miracles' are 'impossible' or at least extremely rare; and to the extent that beliefs influence perception and experience, we won't experience 'impossible' events. While a REG producing visibly, rather than merely statistically significant anomalous results, or levitation, etc., are clearly out of character in our consensus reality, the results of LOA intentions can never be shown, from a 'scientific' or materialist perspective, to be magical or impossible.

Two approaches might be used to test the ideas that intentions influence events in our lives. Presumably both approaches have already been described, if not actually undertaken as experiments; links to online articles describing such efforts are welcomed.

The subjective psychological approach might involve constructing a simple explanation of how intentions might influence events in our lives, along with appropriate mental exercises, and testing on a group of interested volunteers for several weeks or months. Questionnaires could used to explore the attitudes, beliefs, and sense of well-being, etc., before and after the experiment. Would a change in attitudes or sense of well-being, etc., be seen in any of the participants?

Another approach might be to construct a real or virtual large REG array connected to a computer simulation or 'lifelike' game, without the normal user inputs from a keyboard, mouse, or game controller. The array elements would be used as a substitute for the pseudorandom or actually random data used in a control version of the experiment. The simulations or games would be run for at least hours or days, perhaps longer, and intentions would be directed toward general results, and to the array as a whole rather than a single REG. Even if the intended outcome is specific in one sense, e.g., that in a simulation of a sporting event a particular team is intended to win, the complexity of the game, with inputs from many REGs, and the many possible scores, etc., would allow many possible paths to achieve the result.

This experiment differs from normal REG intention experiments by several of the criteria which distinguish them from the LOA idea:

1. Time--It's played over hours or days.

2. Specificity of Result--Rather than intending a specific result from a REG, i.e., higher or lower, a more general result is intended. In a competitive game simulation, a team or player might be intended to win, but without specifying how, or by what score, etc. In 'lifelike' simulations, various 'life' events might be intended, without specifying how they might be achieved or occur, or the details of the outcome. In a graphic image creation program, either a particular pattern might be intended, without regard to size, color, etc.; or the created pattern might be intended to be more attractive or interesting, and results might be judged by third parties compared to images created by random or pseudorandom inputs.

3. Focus of Intention--Intentions would be focused on an entire array of REGs rather than a single REG, and thus the collective behavior of the array determines the outcome.

4. Believability and Expectation--With millions or billions of REG values processed, it would be nearly impossible to show how the desired outcome occurred, or that anything strange happened, except that the results appear to be different from those of the control versions.

Thus the experiment would be at least a slightly better analog to the LOA concept than current single REG experiments.

While a large REG array--hundreds of REGs--on a chip would be enormously expensive to create, perhaps a prototype version with fewer REGs, constructed on a circuit board, using an attached computer to handle some of the processing, might be constructed for hundreds or a few thousand dollars.

A simpler, and much less expensive approach might be to construct a REG with a much higher output than the common 200 bits per second, and create virtual array with time division of the output. Perhaps the theorists could comment on whether there's likely to be any practical difference between a virtual array in which each REG exists only in brief moments of time, as opposed to an actual array in which each REG has a 'real', continuous existence.

The computer game or simulation controlled by the array might also be expensive to create, unless it could be undertaken as an open-source project.

Would any effect be seen? If so, could such a system be used to explore the effectiveness of various LOA ideas and approaches? Could it be used as a training device?

If experiments showed consistently significant and interesting effects, then a variety of commercial products might eventually be constructed and sold, both for research, and as consumer products. In the (perhaps near) future, as interaction of consciousness and reality is accepted by scientists and the public, perhaps such devices or systems could be marketed to the general public, for entertainment and education, etc.

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