Fear of Psi is a Challenge

For many years I wondered why there was an almost universal rejection of anything having to do with “mind” and mental capabilities, including all forms of mind-matter interaction and psi in general. I kept thinking, ‘if only I can increase responsivity to the next higher level,’ or ‘if I provide valuable, real-world applications,’ then people will realize the amazing potential and opportunity it presents.

I never experienced any kind of uneasiness about using my mind to gain valuable results so it never occurred to me that others might have significant negative feelings about the idea. Recently, after nearly 30 years working on the technology, I started reading about people’s – mostly unconscious – dread about the existence of mental abilities.

This requires rethinking the approaches to gaining public acceptance of MMI and Mind-Enabled Technology. Now the subject is revealed, I have come across a significant number of articles on conscious or unconscious fears of psi, and the nature of people’s responses. Below are a couple of references and excerpts from the papers:

Tart, C. T., Acknowledging and Dealing with The Fear of Psi, J. Am. Soc. Psych. Res., V. 78, 1984

Excerpt: ABSTRACT: Unacknowledged fears of psi can create unconsciously motivated behaviors that inhibit and/or distort the operation of psi in the laboratory. Observations suggest that unacknowledged fear of psi is widespread among parapsychologists, as well as others. The ingenious approaches of K. Batcheldor and J. Isaacs for producing psi may be effective because they bypass fears of psi, but have long-term limitations through not dealing directly with it.

Tart, C. T., Labore, C. M., Attitudes Toward Strongly Functioning Psi: A Preliminary Survey, J. Am. Soc. Psych. Res., V. 80, 1986

Excerpt: ABSTRACT: Informal experiments and depth psychological studies have suggested that strong fears of psychic abilities frequently underlie ostensibly rational discussions of the subject and may distort scientific research. In this study, a more systematic survey of negative feelings about two kinds of psi was made in the context of a “belief experiment.” A mixed population of college students and townspeople were asked to temporarily believe either that a new, safe procedure had been developed that would permanently allow them full access to all the thoughts and feelings of anyone within a 100-yard radius (mind-reading condition, 19 respondents), or that they would permanently be able to move physical objects by thought alone (psychokinesis condition, 18 respondents) within a 100-yard radius. Reactions were predominantly negative in both conditions.