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A Scientific Approach To Magic with Dean Radin, Ph.D.

Program Number: 3632

In this far ranging dialogue, scientist Radin separates magic into three categories: divination, force of will, and theurgy (evoking spirits – God force – through ceremony). Divination would include such things as tarot cards, rolling dice, and runes. He says of the other two: There is the “force of will in which your intentions impress into the world and manifest things – shape the world somehow. The third category is theurgy, which is a word that roughly means ‘God work’ but the connotation is that you can make the gods work for you. In the traditional magical ceremonial context, it’s evoking spirits and getting them to do things on your behalf.” Radin has studied what science has to say about precognition, clairvoyance, force of will, psychokinetic effects, mind/matter interaction effects, and more. He speaks of the difficulty of studying these phenomena in laboratory settings. Both Toms and Radin share some fascinating and “magical” stories from their own lives. Radin has found in his research over many decades that “the secret power of the universe is not made out of matter and energy and physical stuff but is probably made out of consciousness which is not physical . . . Consciousness is more fundamental than the constructs we have of space and time and matter and energy.” (hosted by Justine Willis Toms)



Dean Radin, Ph.D. is senior scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) and Associate Distinguished Professor of Integral and Transpersonal Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies. He earned a BSEE degree in electrical engineering, magna cum laude with honors in physics, from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and then an M.S. in electrical engineering and a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. For a decade he worked on advanced telecommunications R&D at AT&T Bell Laboratories and GTE Laboratories. For over two decades he has been engaged in frontiers research on the nature of consciousness. Before joining the research staff at IONS in 2001, he held appointments at Princeton University, University of Edinburgh, University of Nevada, Interval Research Corporation, and SRI International.

His books include:

To learn more about the work of Dean Radin go to www.deanradin.org.


Topics Explored in This Dialogue

  • Why Radin wrote a book on magic
  • How do laboratory experiments on intent change the outcome
  • Why might people be separated into categories of sheep and goats prior to a scientific experiment
  • How a belief filters how we see things
  • What is Radin’s personal experience of an extraordinary synchronistic event
  • What is the paradox of “effortless striving” that makes something happen by our intention
  • What is the quantum Zeno effect and how do elemental particles change their behavior when observed
  • What is an example of divination by Michael Toms using the I Ching
  • What is the difference between precognition and presentiment
  • Radin describes a true precognition experiment
  • Radin shares how the general scientific community views these sorts of experiments
  • How the second law of thermodynamics may occasionally reverse its flow
  • How awareness and consciousness are not located in the brain

Host: Justine Willis Toms         Interview Date: 12/18/2017         Program Number: 3632

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