The Intention Experiment: Using Your Thoughts to Change Your Life and the World by Lynne McTaggart. Free Press/Simon and Schuster, 2007, 288 pages, $26.
FROM THE BOOK JACKET:
The Intention Experiment builds on the discoveries of McTaggart's first book, The Field: The Quest for the Secret Force of the Universe, which documented discoveries that point to the existence of a quantum energy field. It presented a picture of an interconnected universe and a scientific explanation for alternative medicine, spiritual healing, and extrasensory perception. The Intention Experiment updates the scientific evidence and invites the reader to join in an international group experiment.
WHAT THE CRITICS SAY:
"The Intention Experiment rests on an outlandish premise: thought affects physical reality. The book is also an invitation to worldwide experiments that you can participate in with a conference in March 2007. Plus she quotes some interesting research on experiments designed to affect past events (Praying for Yesterday); her own voodoo experiences (The Voodoo Effect), i.e., negative thoughts are stronger than the positive ones; and compassion with techniques such as Tonglen and work by Konstantin Korotkov, a pioneer researcher on measuring life force/chi/auras."
-- Feng Shui News
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Lynne McTaggart, a former investigative reporter, is an award-winning author of five books, including The Field, which has been published in 14 languages. She is also codirector of Conatus, which publishes some of the world's most respected health and spiritual newsletters, including What Doctors Don't Tell You and Living the Field. She lives in London with her husband and their two daughters.
A CONVERSATION WITH THE AUTHOR:
"What is 'intention'?"
"If you've ever felt someone watching you, experienced a psychic intuition, focused your mind by meditating, prayed for healing, benefited from taking medicine and discovered it was a placebo, employed biofeedback therapies, then you've probably experienced 'intention.' Intention is a directed thought, a thought aimed at something or someone with the goal of influencing something physical. It is using your consciousness to change something in physical reality. Intention manifests itself as electrostatic and magnetic energy. Thoughts are 'things' too."
"Is it psychobabble or something...real?"
"Intention? It defies conventional logic at points, but, yes, it's actual. There was a very serious book years ago about quantum physics, which is its base. Cleverly, every chapter was chapter one."
"You published a book six years ago entitled The Field: The Quest for the Secret Force of the Universe. It was a precursor of this one. Now there is this phenomenon called The Secret that is sweeping through the country. It started as a CD and then became a book touted on the front page of USA Today and the front page of the Style section in the New York Times."
"Yeah, this is very much in the air. The Intention Experiment is the science behind that. How it works. And it's an invitation to participate in an international group experiment at the end of this month ( theintentionexperiment.com ), which we're conducting worldwide and focusing our intentions on experiments set up for us on Museum Island in Hombroich, west of Dusseldorf, Germany."
"The Field attempted to interconnect alternative medicine (which you're very involved in), spiritual healing, ESP, psychic intuition, and collective unconscious. The Intention Experiment does as well, but the experimenting and thinking about this has much evolved."
"Definitely. Once upon a time, hypnosis was a vaudeville entertainment. Today it's an accepted medical tool. Professional athletes are taught visualization to improve their performance. People talk about their circadian rhythms. Doctors urge patients to try meditation and recommend biofeedback therapies. A lot of what were once thought odd and revolutionary are now perfectly acceptable concepts and treatments. The effect of the brain on physiology is accepted today. But intention is new on the scene."
"You're actually talking about something like psychokinesis then."
"Yes, that's exactly what I'm writing about. Mind over matter. The idea that your consciousness can affect physical matter."
"According to Stephen King, we can make arrows fly into our mothers."
Lynne laughs. "That's a scary thought. But the scientific basis for intention is serious. The idea that consciousness can affect physical matter may seem extraordinary to us, who grew up in a Newtonian universe filled with discrete objects that are separate and final, that can't be changed unless you freeze them, burn them, or give them a swift kick. A world where things exist independent of one another. Classical physics. But then along comes quantum physics, which says there is an odd and constant dance that goes on between subatomic particles in all of the universe. That they pass energy back and forth constantly, creating virtual particles or waves that go to the farthest reaches of the universe. This is all wave information, and waves go on to infinity. So we are basically connected to the furthest reaches of the cosmos."
"So this new science of quantum physics is suggesting everything is connected?"
"Totally. And we are all part of this giant energy field on which we are exerting a subtle influence all the time, that we are in a giant web of this underlying energy, and we are constantly beaming out and receiving information through it. In the subatomic world of quantum physics, physical matter is not so solid or stable or separate. It's more like unset Jell-O. Boundaries blur."
"Sounds like The Matrix."
Lynne laughs again. "It does!"
"So, I know why, instead of tuning into weather reports, you call up the U.S. Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration websites to check on the storms in outer space."
"Yeah. Storms out there are good for intention."
"In the book, you say this interconnection of all the atoms is called 'entanglement.' You also say that subatomic particles are less particles and more waves that go on into infinity. Quantum physics is also challenging the speed of light as ultimate, the idea that nothing is faster. Scientists are finding entanglement in our bodies, between stars, in the zero point field -- the energized space between things. Do you think people we know as psychics are able to access these fields that interconnect everyone and everything?"