Scientist Explains What Happens When People Channel
When you hear the word channeling, what comes to mind? Many of us would think of Bashar, Seth, Barbara Marciniak, Edgar Cayce, etc. In other words, most people think of trance channeling, where a person allows a supposed entity (deceased spirits, aliens, angels, higher self, etc.) to use their body as a vehicle to communicate.
I am a trained clinician, naturopathic physician, and Director of Research at the Institute of Noetic Sciences. I also happen to come from a long line of trance channelers and received a BIAL grant for researching the physiological effects of full-trance channeling:
As someone who bridges the worlds of scientific inquiry and the esoteric, I have a more encompassing definition for channeling:
“Channeling is the process of revealing information and energy not limited by our conventional notions of space and time that can appear receptive or expressive.” – from The Science of Channeling
One of the most confusing things about channeling is its name. Many people associate it with trance channeling. Others use it interchangeably with terms like psychic, medium, psi, ESP, etc. When I first engaged in conversation with people about these phenomena, I found that the terms meant different things to different people.
For example, as a naïve new researcher in the field, I formally reviewed the literature to understand the terms used for trance channeling. There were 29 different terms used to describe this form of channeling and the people who do it.
Multiple research studies show that channeling is experienced on a spectrum. On one side, you have widespread experiences like intuition and gut hunches. Telepathy, clairvoyance, and precognition lie somewhere in the middle. Rarer experiences like trance channeling and out-of-body experiences are on the far side of the spectrum. Channeling comes in so many forms.
At IONS, we call your unique way of channeling your Noetic Signature™. There is no right or wrong signature. All are beautiful and unique. Just as each snowflake is different yet equal in its exquisite beauty, each person’s Noetic Signature™ has inherent value.
An Overview of Channeling
In my book, The Science of Channeling: Why You Should Trust Your Intuition and Embrace the Force That Connects Us All, I share about the IONS Channeling Research Program and what we’ve learned by investigating these research questions:
- How common is channeling, and what are its characteristics?
- How does channeling work?
- Are there defining characteristics of someone who channels easily?
- Can we verify the information?
- Is the content useful?
In this blog post, I’d like to share an overview of these findings with you. You can also watch a video about some of our findings here.
How Common Is Channeling?
Not only are channeling abilities found in perfectly healthy people, but the experience of channeling is actually quite common.
In another study conducted by IONS, we surveyed scientists, engineers, the general public, and IONS members about their channeling experiences. We were surprised to find that of the 900 participants, a whopping 90% (93-99%) had at least one channeling experience in their lifetime.
This suggests that channeling experiences are common. In fact, Rapoport, Leiby-Clark, and Czyzewicz put out a survey each year to gather information on the number of Americans that believe in paranormal phenomena. What’s interesting is that this number has increased year over year.
One overarching theme in parapsychological research is that the more we believe in phenomena, the more likely we are to experience them. This could account for that growing number. That being said, some channeling experiences are more common than others.
I think of channeling as being like a spectrum. On the subtler side, people experience clairempathy, claircognizance, lucid dreaming, and telepathy. Somewhere toward the middle are precognition and mediumship. And at the far end of the spectrum are rarer experiences like trance channeling, geomancy, psychic healing, pyrokinesis, and levitation.
Is Channeled Information Real?
Channeling may be common — but is it real? “Real” would mean that channeling can be observed with objective measures rather than just anecdotal accounts.
Jessica Utts published an interesting statistic in a study featured in the Journal of Scientific Exploration. She showed us that the effects observed in ESP research are significantly larger than the effect size of 81 mg of aspirin therapy.
In other words: Many channeling phenomena appear to be very real.
Some evidence for channeling can be found in the work of Rupert Sheldrake. Sheldrake has compiled a database of 4,000 case histories, 2,000 questionnaires, 1,500 interviews, and more than a decade of controlled experiments — all of which indicate that consciousness is nonlocal and fundamental. He and many other scientists have conducted direct mental interactions with living systems (DMILS) experiments that show us a person (the sender) can remotely influence another person’s (the receiver’s) physiology.
In these studies, a sender directs positive intention toward the receiver. Both participants’ bodies are measured for physiological changes. The results are consistent: Small but significant effects can be observed in the physiology of the receiver. DMILS is probably why, for example, we can sense when someone is staring at us.
And yet the evidence for channeled information goes beyond any individual study. In the scientific world, a meta-analysis is the pinnacle of proof. A meta-analysis looks at general trends across many studies and yields an integrated result. These types of analyses are critical because they give a more precise estimate of effect size and may give us conclusive results where individual studies cannot.
Meta-analyses related to channeling illustrate that the evidence for psychic experiences are comparable to that of established phenomena in psychology.
So yes, we have good reason to believe that channeling is real. Which leads us to yet another question: How does channeling work?
How Does Channeling Work?
At this point, no one is sure exactly how channeling works. We understand bits and pieces but more research is needed.
Relative to other branches of science, psi research is notably lacking. On the one hand, this is exciting: Psi is a relatively untapped frontier. On the other hand, the field is underfunded. Additionally, these topics remain taboo in the scientific community.
With little funding (and the genuine possibility of staking one’s career), few scientists are willing to commit their time and energy to psi research (even though, behind the scenes, many are interested in this field!).
In any case, we are in the infancy of our understanding of extended human capacities. Right now, we just have ideas.
It appears as though channeling transcends time and space because the effects of psychic phenomena are instantaneous. For example, in Random Number Generator (RNG) studies, a generator produces random numbers. And yet, when a person directs their attention to the generator, the numbers become less random.
How is something like this possible?
All of parapsychology hinges on the idea that consciousness is nonlocal and fundamental; therefore, everything is interconnected. It’s as though we can all tap into a consciousness larger than the one we experience in our day-to-day life.
It also appears that our abilities to tap into this consciousness are limited by external stimuli. This is why meditation is often used to cultivate intuitive abilities: It’s about learning how to shut out the noise.
Where Does Channeled Information Come From?
We don’t understand all the mechanics of channeling yet…and we’re not sure where the information is coming from. We conducted a survey among channelers where participants were asked what they thought the source of their channeled information was. They were able to choose as many options as they wanted:
56% of participants thought the source of channeling was their higher self;
50% said the universal mind;
47% said the unconscious mind.
Fewer people reported channeling spirits, ETs, deities, or other entities.
Common Traits of Spiritual Channels
In our research, we have found that certain characteristics lend themselves to channeling.
First of all, believing that you can channel predicts that you will have more channeling experiences and do better on laboratory tests. In studies done in the West, women report stronger and more frequent experiences than men. This may be because women tend to carry more yin qualities. Yin is feminine energy. It is open, receptive, and connected. In these western studies, channelers also tend to describe themselves as “spiritual but not religious.” Other demographic information, such as age and race, have mixed results.
That being said, we believe that everyone can learn to channel.
What is your unique way of channeling? If you’re interested in discovering or further cultivating your channeling abilities, you can order a copy of The Science of Channeling. In it, I’ll show you how to identify and hone your own channeling skills, process the information you receive, and use your unique gift to improve your life — and the world around you.
Remote Viewing in Sidereal Time Can Enhance Telepathy
There appears to be evidence that psychic phenomena can be affected by external factors, including geomagnetic forces and our alignment with the cosmos. As strange as this may sound, researcher James Spottiswoode discovered significant data showing that remote viewing in sidereal time is directly correlated with success, or lack thereof, based on our orientation to the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. Though, he doesn’t know exactly why.
How One Researcher Knew to Calculate Sidereal Time
Sidereal time is a method used by astronomers to keep track of celestial objects. It is based on a time scale of Earth’s rotation in relation to fixed stars in the sky and was used to discover the mysterious nature of pulsars, the highly-magnetized, rotating neutron stars – a source of gravitational waves. But Spottiswoode’s use of sidereal time could point to something more intriguing than gravitational waves; possibly a source emitting or influencing our consciousness.
At a certain point during the day, our zenith, or the point in the sky directly above us, aligns with a particular point in the galaxy. Rather than measuring time based on the Earth’s orientation with the sun, one can measure time based on Earth’s orientation to this galactic point. Days measured in this sense are shorter than solar days by about four minutes, lagging by a little more than one day per year.
So, what does this have to do with remote viewing and psychic phenomena? It turns out that there are peak times during the day when our orientation to the galactic center can enhance success with remote viewing and psychic ability, what Spottiswoode refers to as anomalous cognition. There are also times during the day when psychic ability can be adversely affected by our orientation with the galaxy.
Spottiswoode came to this conclusion by examining a dataset of 20 years worth of psychic research, containing 1,524 trials, between 22 different studies. He found a 400 percent spike in the success rate of tests from remote viewing sessions and wondered what could be causing it. Upon initially examining the time of day when the sessions were being conducted, based on solar time, he kept finding discrepancies. But when organizing the data based on sidereal time, Spottiswoode found a correlation.
At 13:30 h local sidereal time (LST), the data showed that one would have 400 percent greater success with remote viewing. At this time, our planet is oriented with the Milky Way so that the galactic center is located directly on the horizon. This daily period of peak psychic cognition lasts for about three and a half hours, from 12:45 to 14:15 h LST. When the center of the galaxy is directly overhead, or at our zenith, psychic cognition drops to its lowest point, between 17.5 and 20 h.
This Spottiswoode Peak, as it came to be known, had to be connected with something outside of our solar system because sidereal time is based on right ascension, or a longitudinal line to a fixed point in the sky, which rules out anything local due to planetary movement.
But what exactly was this data that Spottiswoode was analyzing and who was he exactly?
Is Remote Viewing Real?
James Spottiswoode is a parapsychologist who has worked on an array of government-funded projects investigating psychokinesis and ESP. He also worked with the Stanford Research Institute during its CIA-funded remote viewing program, known as the Star Gate Project. During his time studying telepathy, Spottiswoode ran experiments testing quantum optics and extremely low-frequency electromagnetic waves on psychic functions.
In addition to discovering the sidereal effect, Spottiswoode found correlations between solar wind and geomagnetic activity in his measurements of anomalous cognition.
During times of low geomagnetic activity, he found that there was an increase in telepathic experiences. This he says, is the only known physical variable that affects anomalous cognition. Geomagnetism is due to interactions between solar wind and the ionosphere, when ionized plasma from solar storms hits the Earth, causing fluctuations in our geomagnetic field. So, if you want to optimize your remote viewing session, make sure you fall within the right sidereal window and plan to view when the solar forecast is clear.
But with all of this evidence, is remote viewing actually real? What did Spottiswoode make of all of this? While his goal was to look empirically at the data and not attempt to measure the quality of the successful sessions, he concluded that the effect sidereal time had on remote viewing was indeed real. He collected data from a new sample of 1015 trials to verify his findings on the original set, reaching the same conclusion. But could there have been a more mundane explanation?
He said that had he found it to correlate with our solar day, he would have associated the phenomenon with circadian rhythms or our scheduled work days, but this wasn’t the case. “…I’ve checked my data carefully and those kinds of effects could not mimic the sidereal correlation I found. Don’t ask me what it is, but it’s real,” he said.
Further research has found the same effect to occur on precognition in animals. One study found a correlation with the 13.5 h sidereal time on Zebra Finches’ precognitive reaction to a stimulus. A correlation was also found on a precognitive test run by Rupert Sheldrake, another researcher who studies psychic phenomena. During this experiment, subjects were tested to see if they could tell who was calling them on the phone before answering. They found subjects were significantly more likely to predict their caller during the peak, 13.5 h sidereal time, compared to the 19 h sidereal time.
If Spottiswoode’s discovery is real it warrants further research into the phenomenon and what could possibly be causing it. Unfortunately, government funding in projects relating to psychic phenomena and remote viewing was cut years ago, at least as far as we know. But for those who meditate, remote view, or astral project, sidereal time should be taken into consideration during your practice. It’s relatively easy to calculate, with websites that let you know what your LST is. Have you ever experienced enhanced psychic cognition due to sidereal time?