Plants as the test subjects
What are some reasons to do small-scale plant experiments to establish accountability for some religious and spiritual beliefs?
Here is a reason. Modern society is moving to put prayer in the category of false beliefs.
Also, the mounting evidence of the unspiritualization of society is being acknowledged by religious people. There is a recognition that religious values are diminishing for new generations.
To argue a point about providing evidence, children and adults ask for some evidence to support the value of some ancient Jewish and Christian beliefs and practices. The Spindrift founders proposed modest tests on lower plant systems as a beginning to seek evidence for some spiritual beliefs and practices. For example, if the values and qualities that go into prayer could be shown to manifest modest positive effects, an argument could be made for the importance of spirituality in society.
For the Spindrift research, simple plant systems were easier to handle than complex human beings.Israeli scientist, Daniel Chamovitz, is establishing that plants think.The following is an interview with biologist Chamovitz which includes a beautiful slideshow.
The Spindrift experiments are a fresh look at "Observe how the lilies of the field grow." (Matthew 6:28, New American Standard.)
That prayer is an ancient belief bugs the high-tech youth.
Atheists say, "'Believers are sold a ghost. People pray, but nothing visibly happens.” Satirist, Bill Maher, adds, "Christians sell an invisible product." Failures of prayer are cited by skeptics as proof that prayer is a superstition that dupes most of humanity.
Yes, failures of prayer do happen, but when the psychic forces that undergird prayer are understood within predetermined parameters, some prayer effects should manifest a footprint. A footprint should be exciting to find, but some believers are offended by the prospect of investigation.
Our increasingly secular and technological society requires some explanations for perceived outrageous claims of religion and prayer. John Klingbeil explained:
World religions, churches, Christianity tend to be reactive and not proactive to what is happening in society. There are dark days coming when the human mind and intellect will use science to do away with Christianity and religion. We should be proactive and give science a chance to strengthen religion since Christianity generally has failed to address science directly. We should be aware of and apply the best in science to help the best in Christianity and religion. The application of science is not just to help religion survive in a rising secular society but to be pertinent in a scientific age.
Give me another reason to do research?
Another reason is this: Prayers are a constant input on our collective consciousness.
Even though some human beings are labelling prayer as a superstitious cultural relic, every country of the world still has millions of people who pray daily about family, local matters, and the collective conditions of the consciousness of the world.
How lack, less, and loss should be perceived as a problem.
Another reason to do research is this: Proportional to a century with less and less God and religious training for children, such as not memorizing the Ten Commandments, has resulted in the potential loss of prayer and values being considered to heal and help people. That reason of a lack of religious training for children, some Christians and Jews did grasp as a need for doing spiritual research.
The mirage of virtual realities is a threat to spiritual perception.
Bruce and John Klingbeil were pro-science. John did explain to Christians and his fellow church-mates what science and technology were also doing to disparage religion, spirituality, and maintaining individual thoughts. Most Christians didn't grasp John's point about how some technological advances had dire consequences for Christians, Jews, and religious people.
What should we know about the threat to mankind’s’ perception of spiritual progress? It’s the high-tech manipulation of our sensory world and the reprogramming of mankind to live separate lives from divine Truth, Life, and Love. The Spindrift Research view of separateness is explained here.
The reasons for Spindrift doing research of prayer as a psychic effect emitting from human consciousness must sound ridiculous to some people and blasphemous to other people. People may scorn now. However, the logic of events should wakeup mankind to realize that this fringe science group called Spindrift has something profound to say to a sophisticated world.
People of prayer are people of psi.
The term psi refers to actions that apparently happen by a person's thoughts. Put another way, psi produces actions at-a-distance. Prayer falls under actions-at-a-distance that are moved by psi. To preserve research to illustrate the subtle power of psi in prayer is another reason to do research.
If prayer and natural psi are replaced by intelligent machines and deep cyber influences, not only will little be left of what is human, little to nothing will be left of having a perception of God and spiritual man as God’s creation and reflection. People say, “So what. Technology is better than God.” That statement defines the challenge for both the religiously minded and those interested in a psi-awareness within human consciousness.
Why not try to connect some dots between religion and change?
For people who believe that there are some spiritual and paranormal effects that are legitimate effects, there is an urgency to establish a connection between competing realities. The competing realities are an entirely Godless material universe which could include virtual reality and an implicit divine Intelligence behind the universe.
Other people say, “Why find reasons to research prayer? Why chase ghosts in the mind? No one can research or test prayer. Prayer is a matter of faith and belief. You can’t test faith and belief. That would insult God.”
Moving forward in time, there may be no God to insult. Gadgets, robots, virtual realities, 3D printers are going to eclipse and replace our lives making our lives easier: Concurrent with technological progress, is going to be an anti-God, anti-Christ, effect on the collective consciousness of mankind.
The founders of Spindrift asked, "What are Christians and religious people going to do when God's creation is replaced with algorithms?" Could the anti-Christ evolve to become a supreme digital Artificial Intelligence device that humans turn to for advice and guidance all day long? Each day of AI progress makes that science fiction prediction less absurd to consider.
Individuals who are able to steer their individual consciousness enough to not accept or be tricked by man created digital realities blocking out divine realities are rare individuals indeed. These individuals are nonconformists who will fight to maintain their human and spiritual identities. These rare people should feel more and more like the lonely people who hide from being found out by society in a similar way to the actors in the movie Body Snatchers. In Body Snatchers, a person can’t be found out and fall asleep, or his mind and body is snatched and becomes another person altogether.
That scenario may sound extreme and ridiculous, but the Spindrift founders predicted that could be our semi-human future without maintaining subjective prayer, spirituality, and divine intuition in one’s life experiences. Take notice of how much human existence has changed already? That change is a foretaste of what’s next for mankind.
Research should show that prayer brings micro-changes.
For the research, Bruce and John Klingbeil were effect, footprint, and result oriented. The labor of many volunteers praying for a collection of experiments illustrated that micro-changes followed the effects of prayer.
The experiments couldn't illustrate that prayer worked consistently. The experiments could illustrate that some prayers could improve order beyond chance.
Why go through many tedious experiments? We all know that Thomas Edison tried out numerous items before he got his light bulb to work. Scientists may try many approaches before they find the effect that is needed. What they discover may be a surprise to them.
The Curiosity Effect
Curiosity often brings something new to the surface to be considered. Spindrift developed a phrase called "The Benjamin Franklin Effect." The Benjamin Franklin Effect is when you start out to discover one thing and you end up discovering something else. The following Benjamin Franklin Effect is from, A Journey Into Prayer: Pioneers of Prayer in the Laboratory, page 233:
"In Benjamin Franklin’s experiments with electricity, he was given the credit for discovering the distinction between conductors and insulators. In the Klingbeils’ experiments with prayer, they made the distinction between the effects of goal-directed and goal-free thoughts.
From the mysterious accounts of what actually occurred when Benjamin Franklin flew his kite, drew electricity from lightning down a wet string, and survived electrocution, one detail is usually missed. The form of electricity Ben Franklin captured on that string has not yet been harnessed efficiently by science. Yet Franklin’s discoveries lead to usable forms of electricity. Similarly, no form of prayer has been isolated by traditional science. Yet the Klingbeils’ discoveries may lead to usable patterns of prayer.
In the words of Benjamin Franklin in 1749, 'Let the experiment be made.'”
What do you suppose is the big mistake that Spindrift made?
For Spindrift, the most shocking mistake and reluctant lesson to learn dealt with magic tricks not being taken seriously. It was out of left field that the Klingbeils and the Spindrift staff had to grasp that trained magicians and illusionists could replicate virtually all psychic effects and spiritual healing claims made by psychics and spiritual healers. Exposure to enough of these tricks by magicians and illusionist healers was a hard pill to swallow. The skeptics trained in magic talked with Spindrift members or wrote to Spindrift Inc. that magicians could do what Spindrift did.
The Klingbeils were told that they couldn't count on volunteers not being magicians. It was recommended that Spindrift add a magician to its research staff. That way, tricks and infiltrators could be rooted out. Spindrift did not take the advice to add a magician. A magician would have saved Spindrift a lot time and effort.
Bruce and John said that there is a potential way around the problem of the infiltration of magicians and their magic tricks. Spindrift proposed that there is at least one phenomenon that cannot be replicated by a magician, a skeptic, or an atheist. That would be for a magician to occasion the phenomenon of a non-goal-directed qualitative effect. The Spindrift hypothesis is that a spiritual qualitative effect, produced by some prayers, can be replicated only by a qualitatively imbued human mind. Time will tell if Spindrift is correct.
For more discussion about magicians and experiments of the paranormal, see A Journey into Prayer, Chapter Six, "The Skeptics."