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The Sense Of Being Stared At: And Other Aspects of the Extended Mind [Anglais] [Broché]

Rupert Sheldrake

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7 octobre 2004
Have you ever had a premonition, the feeling of being watched, or a telepathic experience? Renowned biologist Rupert Sheldrake explores the intricacies of the mind and discovers that our perceptive abilities are stronger than many of us could have imagined.

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Extrait

Chapter 1

PICKING UP AND INTENTIONS

Telepathy comes from the Greek tele, "distant," as in telephone and television, and pathe, "feeling," as in empathy and sympathy. It literally means "distant feeling."

Telepathy is classified by psychic researchers and parapsychologists as a kind of ESP, or extrasensory perception-a form of perception beyond the known senses. Alternatively, it can be seen as an aspect of the sixth or seventh sense.

Telepathy and other psychic phenomena contradict the assumption that the mind is confined to the brain. Therefore, from the materialist point of view, they are impossible, and dogmatic skeptics dismiss them as illusory. Nevertheless, many people claim that they themselves have had telepathic or other psychic experiences.

In one national survey in the United States, 58 percent of those questioned claimed personal experience of telepathy. In another national survey, in 1990, 75 percent said they had had at least one kind of paranormal experience, and 25 percent had had telepathic experiences. In recent random household surveys in Britain and the United States, 45 percent of the respondents said they had had telepathic experiences. In a large newspaper survey in Britain, 59 percent of the respondents said they were believers in ESP.

The figures vary, but they show clearly enough that many people in western Europe and the United States claim to have experienced telepathy, and most people believe in the reality of psychic phenomena.

THE TWO MAIN KINDS OF TELEPATHY

There seem to be two main kinds of telepathy, the first of which is exemplified by thought transference, and usually occurs between people who are nearby, each aware of the other's presence, and already interacting with each other. Although thought transference is most common between people who know each other well, it can also occur with others with whom they are currently interacting. I discuss this kind of telepathy in this chapter and the next.

In the second kind of telepathy, which I will discuss in chapters 3 through 6, one person picks up a call, intention, need, or distress of another at a distance. This results in thinking about the other person, or seeing an image of that person, or hearing his or her voice, or experiencing a feeling or impression. In this kind of telepathy, someone's attention is attracted, just as it is by hearing one's own name called, or by seeing an alarm signal, or by hearing the telephone ring. A connection or channel of communication is opened up. This kind of telepathy typically occurs between people who are closely bonded.

The same principles apply to telepathy between people and animals.

PETS PICKING UP THEIR OWNERS' INTENTIONS

Many people who keep pets have noticed that their animals respond to their thoughts and intentions. In surveys of randomly chosen pet owners in Britain and the United States, on average 48 percent of those with dogs, and 33 percent of those with cats, thought that their animals were sometimes telepathic with them.

Many cats, for instance, seem to know when their owners are planning to take them to the vet, and disappear. For example:

I was always most careful to give my cat no clues when we were due to visit the vet, but from the moment I got up in the morning she viewed me with suspicion. She was very wary of me (not her usual loving self) and as the time to leave home approached she would try to escape. — jean segal, london

There are hundreds of similar stories on my database. And in a survey I described in Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home, my research associates and I asked all the veterinary clinics listed in the North London Yellow Pages whether they ever found that some cat owners canceled appointments because the cat had disappeared. Sixty-four out of sixty-five clinics had cancellations of this kind quite frequently. The one exception was a clinic that had abandoned an appointment system for cats, because cancellations had been so frequent. People simply had to show up with their cats, and so the problem of missed appointments had been solved.

One of the commonest ways in which dogs seem to pick up their owners' intentions is by anticipating walks. No one thinks this is strange if the walk is at a routine time, or if the dog sees its person picking up the leash, or putting on outdoor clothes. But some dogs anticipate walks at nonroutine times, even if they are in a different room.

Tammy, our Maltese, always knew when we were going for a walk even though she was sleeping in the garage when we made our decision and would come racing in to the bedroom all so excited, jumping up and down. We could never figure out how she knew, as it wasn't a regular thing at a regular time or day. We wouldn't have changed our shoes or clothes but she always seemed to know. — gillian coleman, australia

There are more than a hundred such stories on my database. Of course, the fact that many people think their dogs are reading their minds, rather than picking up subtle sensory cues, does not prove that they really are doing so. But I take seriously the opinions of people who know their animals well and have had years of experience in observing them. Nevertheless, the most convincing evidence is that which comes from experimental tests specifically designed to eliminate explanations in terms of sensory clues and routine.

In Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home, I describe an experiment in which dogs were shut up in an outbuilding and videotaped continuously. At randomly chosen times, their owner, who was inside her house, silently thought about taking them for walks for five minutes before actually doing so. In most of these tests, during this five-minute period the dogs went to the door and sat or stood in a semicircle around it, some with their tails wagging. They remained in this state of obvious anticipation until their owner came to take them for their walk. They did not wait by the door in this way at any other times.

Many dogs and cats seem to know when their owners are intending to go out and leave them behind, especially when they are planning to go away on a journey or holiday. This is one of the commonest ways in which domestic animals seem to pick up people's intentions. In random household surveys in Britain and the United States, an average of 67 percent of dog owners and 37 percent of cat owners said their animals knew when they were going out before they showed any physical sign of doing so.6 Some parrots do this, too. Robbi, an African Grey belonging to Michael Fallarino, a New York writer and herbalist, often announces when he is about to leave the room or go out of the house, saying, "Bye-bye, see ya later! Have a good day," then whistling plaintively.

She even knows ahead of time when I am going to leave the house when she cannot see me; for example, when I am upstairs and she is downstairs. Once after working at my upstairs desk for hours I stopped and simply thought, "It's time to run some errands." No sooner had I thought this than she (downstairs) began uttering her plaintive cries of protest. I'm utterly convinced that her knowing is intuitive and beyond any form of sensory perception.

Some animals seem to read their owners' minds by knowing when they are going to be fed. No one thinks this strange if it happens at a routine time, or if the animal sees, hears, or smells the person getting out the food. The most striking examples concern unscheduled treats or snacks. And many blind people with guide dogs have noticed that their animals seem to pick up their intentions in a seemingly uncanny way. Sometimes dogs even respond to thoughts the owners are not planning to put into action immediately.

Among dog trainers, telepathic abilities are often taken for granted. "No one in their senses disputes them," said the well-known British dog trainer Barbara Woodhouse.

You should always bear in mind that the dog picks up your thoughts by an acute telepathic sense, and it is useless to be thinking one thing and saying another; you cannot fool a dog. If you wish to talk to your dog you must do so with your mind and willpower, as well as your voice. . . . A dog's mind is so quick at picking up thoughts that, as you think them, they enter the dog's mind simultaneously.

HORSES AND RIDERS

Some riders experience a close connection with their horses and find that the horse seems to respond to their thoughts.

It is like being one. What you think immediately gets picked up by the horse. It is almost as if the horse becomes part of yourself. So if you think of something the horse will do it. p paul hunting, hampshire

I am certain that Chip and I have a telepathic link. When I ride Chip I only have to think of something and he responds. I have tested out thinking things and making sure that I am not giving the slightest move. For example, I think we'll go down to the end of the field and canter back, he immediately starts going to the end of the field and then canters back to the same point where I had the thought. p andrea oakes, cheshire

But precisely because the horse and the rider are in such close physical contact, it is difficult to disentangle mental influences from unconscious body signals, such as small changes in muscular tension. It remains an open question how such impressions of experienced riders can be explained. Unfortunately, experiments that rule out slight movements would be practically impossible while the horse is being ridden. As in so many cases of apparent thought transference, telepathic influences may often work together with communication through the recognized senses. In real life it is hard to tease them apart. That is why it is necessary to carry out formal experiments to find out whether telepathy really happens. Here is one example.

EXPERIMENTS WITH A LANGUAGE-USING PARROT

After Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home was published in 1999, ... --Ce texte fait référence à une édition épuisée ou non disponible de ce titre.

Revue de presse

"You will certainly never take the miracle of the senses for granted again" (Dr James Le Fanu The Tablet)

"Sheldrake uses many case studies, along with scientific theory, to support his research, and the result is, quite literally, mind-expanding" (The Good Book Guide)

"Dr Rupert Sheldrake continues to chart a new course in our understanding ...The application of this understanding has the potential to heal our world" (Deepak Chopra, M.D.)

"[Sheldrake's] genius lies in his taking well-attested anecdotal phenomena like telepathy, the sense of being stared at and anticipating alarm calls, then puts them to the scientific test. In doing so his work not only extends - indeed stretches - the mind, it extends science in a new and creative direction." (David Lorimer, Scientific and Medical Network Review)

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Amazon.com: 3.6 étoiles sur 5  24 commentaires
56 internautes sur 58 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Engaging stuff! 14 juillet 2005
Par Hakuyu - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
As ever with topics of this sort, opinions tend to be polarised. Sheldrake's supporters tend to be 'up-beat' about his ideas, the sceptics - well, they'll just have to remain sceptical. If you haven't read this book - it is certainly worth looking at. For his own part, Sheldrake claims nothing - that is not already there, waiting to be acknowledged.He would be the happiest of all, if you discovered the basic truth of what he is saying, in your own experience, without pre-meditation.

It strikes me that many people are predisposed to recognise or experience - what Sheldrake is getting at. In common parlance, it used to be called 'sixth sense' - with a kind of tacit understanding that it is more marked, in some people. The title of this book (The Sense of Being Stared At) - was selected because it is a sensation which almost all of us have felt, at some time. For any perceptive person, it is probably a daily occurrence (not to be confounded with paranoia, owing to a sense of shyness). Needless to say, the obvious way to 'test' the theory - is to tackle it in the active, rather than passive sense. Try staring at someone's back on the tube or bus, and see how long it takes before they turn their heads, in the direction of the gaze. Eight times out of ten, it 'works' within 90 seconds. The strange thing, is that it also works, if you focus on a person's image reflected in a train/bus window, the curious thing being that they look in the direction of the gaze, as mediated by the reflection. It is as if they pick up a node of energy.

Of course, the whole point here, is that if minds operates with 'fields' - that there is kind of 'extended mind,' it has all sorts of dimensions, ramifications and implications. It was nice to hear one reviewer saying that Sheldrake's book had changed him, and that he'd decided to be kinder to other people. The 'sense of being stared at' is simply a test case.

Sheldrake has extended his experiments to the animal kingdom, especially the inter-action or rapport between pets and owners. There may be limitations to the 'biological' bases that Sheldrake uses to justify his experiments, not least because the powers or energies he is dealing with seem to be psychic, or psycho-physical, rather than physical. Still, I object to the remarks of certain reviewers, who suggest that there is an element of academic posing in Sheldrake's work. Luckly, I had a chance to meet Sheldrake last year - at the British Library. He struck me as a modest man, unpretentious, genuinely curious about life and its mysteries. He shew videos in the lecture theatre at the B.L., giving ample illustration to his theories -about pets who know when their owners are returning home, even when separated by hundreds of miles.

An Australian friend of mine, who had once endeavoured to educate Aborigines in the ways of the white man, returned from Ayer's Rock, totally changed in outlook, after discovering that the Aborigines invariably knew - days in advance, when someone was coming - and even the day of their arrival, without the use of a telephone or any other visible means. For them, it was a matter of fact that they could discern such things.

During my brief encounter with Sheldrake, I mentioned J.W. Dunne's book - 'An Experiment with Time' - in which Dunne related details of dreams, which concerned future events. It led Dunne to postulate his own theory of the 'extended mind' and minds as fields. Moving out of the fixed 'spatial' boundary i.e. the idea of consciousness as 'in here' - is one step. Moving beyond temporal boundaries - the idea of time as strictly 'linear' - is another.
62 internautes sur 68 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Science at its very best 24 août 2003
Par Dean Radin - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
Sheldrake's genius is taking commonly reported tales of human and animal abilities that challenge accepted scientific wisdom and developing simple ways of testing those claims under scientifically valid conditions. As with any series of experiments, especially those investigating controversial topics, they gradually evolve into ever-more sophisticated designs to eliminate possible flaws. Sheldrake has done this for the "feeling of being stared at," and the evidence he and others have amassed is persuasive, if reviewed without prejudice.
I do not agree with his theoretical explanation for the "staring effect." In Sheldrake's view it suggests a mind that literally extends through space. I think there may be other explanations that better fit the data. But I heartily applaud his proposal of such a theory. Great advancements in science always encounter initial hosility and knee-jerk dismissals because they run counter to accepted wisdom. But without scientific mavericks unsettling the dogma of existing theories, science would rapidly congeal into religion. Indeed, for some hyper-rationalists, "scientism" is already such a religion, with its own set of doctrines, saints, and blasphemers.
Sheldrake is a living reminder that by applying conventional scientific methods to unconventional ideas one can sometimes seriously challenge prevailing dogmas. Sheldrake's research and books, including this one, is science at its cutting-edge best.
57 internautes sur 65 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 the so-called 'skeptics' look silly again 24 juin 2003
Par Christopher Carter - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
Renegade biologist Rupert Sheldrake analyzes in depth an experience that many of us have had at some point - a strange compulsion to look up or behind, only to see someone staring intently at us. In his latest installment Sheldrake discusses a variety of anecdotal and experimental evidence that establishes the reality of the phenomenon, and attempts to explain it with his theory of the 'extended mind' - the idea that our minds are not confined to our brains, but may extend into our environment. Needless to say, Sheldrake's work is a challenge to scientific orthodoxy, making Sheldrake the modern equivalent of a heretic. Shortly after publication of his first book, Nature magazine, one of Britain's leading scientific periodicals, called it "the best candidate for burning there has been for many years." In an interview broadcast on BBC television in 1994, John Maddox, the former editor of Nature, said: "Sheldrake is putting forward magic instead of science, and that can be condemned in exactly the language that the Pope used to condemn Galileo, and for the same reason. It is heresy."
However, Sheldrake follows an impeccable scientific approach. The writing in this book is very clear, and the evidence for the reality of the phenomenon is very impressive. The empirical sections of the book are the most persuasive. His theoretical explanations will likely generate the most controversy among those scientists and philosophers who are willing to drop their prejudice and concede the reality of the sense of being stared at.
Sheldrake combines his theory of the 'extended mind' with his idea of morphic fields - regions of influence not currently recognized by mainstream physics, but (it is argued) necessary to explain the growth and regeneration of organisms. Those readers interested in this will want to read Sheldrake's best and most important work, The Presence of the Past.
Where this explanation of ESP in terms of fields may falter is that all of the other fields recognized by physics decline with distance. Parapsychology experiments have demonstrated that ESP is not affected by distance, or by shielding of any sort. Explanations of ESP in terms of electromagnetic fields, for example, have been convincingly falsified by such experiments. Morphic fields, if they exist, must have very different properties from the known fields if they are to explain ESP. Some physicists feel that the non-local quantum mechanical effects that have been corroborated in physics experiments may more plausibly explain ESP. If there is any shortcoming to this book, it is that related profound issues - such as the mind/body problem or the implications of quantum mechanics - are dealt with only briefly. Again, this is not true of Sheldrake's masterwork, The Presence of the Past.
So, readers who wish to delve more deeply into Sheldrake's theories know where to look. Sheldrake is a bold scientist, one who never lets convention or dogma interfere with his explorations.
As Sheldrake writes in the Introduction,
"I believe it is more scientific to explore phenomena we do not understand than to pretend they do not exist. I also believe it is less frightening to recognize that the seventh sense is part of our biological nature, shared with many other animal species, than to treat it as weird or supernatural."
Sheldrake is a daring and imaginative theorist, and his ideas deserve to be taken seriously. This is an important work, well-worth reading.
24 internautes sur 27 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Sheldrake Presses On 8 juillet 2003
Par "dakini63" - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
In The Sense Of Being Stared At Rupert Sheldrake publishes more results of investigations announced in Seven Experiments That Could Change The World (1994). His New Science of Life (1981), in which "morphogenetic fields" function as the organizing primal material principle in a novel theory of evolution, promotes the idea of an oak seed developing into an oak tree (rather than into something completely different) out of mere habit. Thus Sheldrake endows the material world with an intelligence that keeps alive by projecting memories of itself into the future, claiming by the same token that the laws of nature are neither eternal nor immutable but rather acquired and in constant process of adaptation.
Sheldrake's tenets hit the world of the hard sciences like a bombshell, and he has been busy providing proof for his thesis of interwoven memory fields ever since. Thus he became involved with pets and others animals, subjects he is particularly fond of since their perceptions are incorruptible. Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home (1998) lead him to a series of other applications, where a projection of the senses into the future was involved. The mental sensor seemingly responsible for these feats he calls the "seventh sense" or "extended mind". The result of his latest research does not only encompass a discussion of telepathy but also of the human eye and its unchartered perceptions. Analogous to Albert Hofmann?s sender-receptor conception of reality, the exchange of energy and information reaching and leaving the eye are paramount to visual activity. Or why would most of us feel when we are being stared at?
Some further questions are: do you know who it is when your phone rings? Do you wake up before your alarm clock sounds? Are you or your pets prone to forebodings? Are you a woman who starts lactating when her baby is about to cry for milk? What is a mental field? How does the mind send and receive mental impressions? There is no doubt that the traditional sciences fail to explain these experiences in a satisfactory manner.
"Clues lie disregarded all around us," Sheldrake announces. Entertaining as always, he leads us to a telepathic parrot, introduces us to dogs, cats, horses and their owners as well as showing us many humans whose emotional bonds have unexpected side effects.
The good news in all this: the phenomena discussed by the author are universal, and he makes good headway in demonstrating that Darwinists inhabit a racist victorian suburb rather than living on the 8 Mile of quantum reality. The bad news: it takes a long trip across the land of statistical probability for you and I to get there!
19 internautes sur 21 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Clear and concise explanation of "psychic" phenomena 25 mai 2003
Par TD - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
Dr. Sheldrake is no "paranormalist." He's a highly respected researcher and theorist, a retired professor of cell biology at Cambridge University, who investigates unexplained powers of the mind because they can tell us a great deal about the nature of mentality. He not only reveals irrefutable statistical evidence for the existence of telepathy, remote viewing, precognition, and the power of attention, but more importantly his explanation of these phenomena roots them firmly in the biological sciences. He refers to them collectively as the "7th sense," after the five senses and the lesser-known ability of certain animals to sense electromagnetic fields. The field concept, which began in physics and spread to biology in the 1920s, is essential to Sheldrake's theory. "Morphogenetic fields" are invoked by developmental biologists to account for the curious ability of cells in a given organism to perform different tasks even though they all have identical DNA. Why does one area of an embryo form into an arm, for instance, while another area forms into a heart? Because cells fall under the influence of different "form-giving" fields. Most biologists assume that these fields, which are essential in describing organic development, will one day be explained according to genes. Sheldrake is not the only theorist who disagrees and claims that these fields are as real as gravitational or magnetic fields. What we call the "mind" may simply be the morphogenetic field associated with the brain. According to this view, sense organs involve extended fields that embrace the object of perception. This is why people can tell when they're being stared at. While this book is not the first to provide overwhelming evidence of the 7th sense (see Dean Radin's The Conscious Universe), it is the first to place this material within the context of an explanatory hypothesis. The importance of this book cannot be overstated.
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