by Michael E. Tymn via e-mail|
Although now retired from the teaching profession, James E. Beichler, Ph.D., a
long-time academy member, continues to occupy himself with research and writing.
“I really hadn’t planned to be so busy in my retirement, but I want to get everything
done before I am no longer able to function mentally in a material sense of the
word,” he explains. “Since I believe that my mind and consciousness will survive
my material death, I will continue to work for several centuries or more but I won’t
be able to write out my ideas after another decade or two.”
Beichler’s primary fields are “history of modern physics” and the “physics of
consciousness” but he also has a strong interest in cosmology, including dark
matter and dark energy. He has developed a fundamental theory of physical reality
called “single [operational] field theory,” of SOFT, which utilizes a
five-dimensional Einstein-Kaluza space-time geometry as expressed in the general
theory of relativity, modified to include the quantum and quantum theory. He also
plans to soon develop a new physical model of the atom.
Beichler obtained his Ph.D. in 1999 from the Union Institute and University in
paraphysics, a new branch of theoretical physics. He previously published and edited
an online journal, Yggdrasil: the Journal of Paraphysics. He has published two books,
To Die For: The Physical Reality of Conscious Survival, which gives a thorough explanation
of his theory of consciousness and survival in laymen’s terms, and Evo; The Next Step, a
geek sci-fi novel that applies his theoretical research to a fictional story about the end
of the homo sapiens and the emergence of their evolutionary replacement homo paradoxus.
Dr. Beichler, would you mind explaining exactly what paraphysics is?
“Paraphysics is usually defined, or rather oversimplified, as the physics of the
paranormal, but I define it more broadly. Physics, or the science of nature itself,
is ultimately based on the observations of our external material world through our
five normal senses. Physics normally does not include the internal world of mind and
consciousness, Therefore paraphysics which is basically 1) ‘physics beyond the normal’
would include any physics of mind and consciousness, 2) any physics of
higher-dimensional spaces that exist beyond our normal sensations, and 3)
the physics of any physical reality that we could know of or ‘observe’ through a sixth
sense. You put all of these elements together, as I have tried to do, and you
automatically come up with the simple fact that our consciousness can act within a
higher spatial dimension as a sixth sense, which is basically my theory. So
paraphysics is actually a branch of theoretical physics. What we call paranormal
may not be normal, but it is certainly natural. Since physics is the science of nature
itself, then it must include the paranormal.”
What prompted your interest in paraphysics?
“Everyone asks me that, but it is always difficult to answer, because there is no
single event or occurrence that persuaded me to go into this area of academic studies.
I started college as a physics major and never made a decision to enter that field either.
After completing a master’s degree in physics, I changed to the history of science because
it was more interesting and gave me a much broader view of science as a whole. After
nearly completing a doctorate in the history of science I left school to take care of my
dying mother. I had always been interested in the paranormal so when I again returned to
school for my doctorate I changed majors and developed my own program in paraphysics. It
just seemed natural for me. I have always just naturally assumed or believed in the
paranormal although I am not a psychic or practitioner of the paranormal. I have never
really found anything in science that would render the paranormal impossible. By attending
a unique university that allowed me to design my own doctoral program in paraphysics, I
was just fulfilling what I thought to be what was most natural for me and my way of
thinking. Although my Ph. D is actually in paraphysics, I am careful and only tell some
people that I do research in the “physics of consciousness,” an academic area that is a
little more agreeable to some hardcore scientists. But then I have developed a working
physical theory of life, mind and consciousness on which my work in paraphysics is based
as is my work in normal cosmology and physics.”
Then there was no single event that convinced you of the reality of the paranormal?
“I have experienced a few events that have reinforced my beliefs, but I was already
convinced before they occurred. I was at ground zero during the Ramstein Air disaster and
had a slight NDE experience, although I wasn’t injured at all. I blacked out (while I was
still consciously moving away from the air crash) for a few seconds and something external
to my own mind ‘spoke’ to me through my mind. A few months later I was going to fly home
from Germany for Christmas and couldn’t decide whether to fly on the Wednesday or Thursday
before Christmas. I made reservations for Thursday, but planned on showing up a day
earlier if I could. Then I experienced a month of intense premonitions that I was going to
die on the trip home. I made it to Frankfurt on Wednesday planning to take the earlier
flight, but as I was walking into the Pan Am office, I changed my mind. The flight that I
didn’t take was the Pan Am 103 flight that blew up over Lockerbie, Scotland.”
When you were teaching was there a lot of interest by students in parapsychology,
consciousness studies, and spiritual matters?
“Oh yeah, and perhaps that’s part of the reason why I was forced into early retirement
and no longer teach. My purely scientific beliefs gave me something of a bad reputation
among my scientific ‘peers’ in my last teaching position, and I use the word ‘peers’
rather loosely for a few of the people I used to work with because they were so
close-minded that I would never consider them my academic equals or true ‘peers.’
I am just not that close-minded. On the other hand, my students were so interested in my
work that I gave special lectures on the subject of consciousness (to which I also invited
other faculty members, although they never came), purely as a matter of conventional
science. I also developed and taught courses on ‘anomalous physics’ and the ‘physics
of consciousness.’ I had a small but regular following of students who took these
courses, and some of them have gone on to be medical doctors and professionals in other
disciplines, including at least one Ph.D. physics candidate.
Please elaborate a little more on how your colleagues reacted to your courses.
“I was supported by a few, including my division chair who considered that ‘physics of
consciousness’ was a legitimate field of science. Others just kept quiet and let me decide
on what represented good physics because I was the only physicist teaching at the school.
I was literally the whole physics department. Unfortunately a few people did not like what
I was doing and stated in my annual peer review that my research and publications were
only ‘circuitously related’ to the physics that I taught. This phrase began a heated
debate in private that did not sit very well when our school hired a new president. Those
few people who criticized me got the ear of the new president and an excuse was found to
get rid of me even though everyone admitted I was a good teacher.”
Do you see any change in the attitude of mainstream science toward the field?
“Yes, a few more people in science are taking the paranormal more seriously, but only
a few. I think that there is also a huge ‘silent majority’ that has nothing against
including the paranormal in science, but being silent and ‘passive’ they don’t help
the situation very much. It’s funny but modern physics actually implies the paranormal.
In quantum theory they say something like ‘consciousness collapses the wave packet’ to
create our commonly perceived material reality. It is also commonly known that
different parts of out material reality are ‘entangled’ together, meaning that what
we do at one time and place immediately affects what happens elsewhere with no signal
or knowledge of the original event ‘causing’ the corresponding event elsewhere to
occur. If you put those two ideas together, modern quantum theory strongly implies
that consciousness can collapse the ‘wave packet’ elsewhere in the universe, which is
as good a definition of the paranormal as anyone has ever developed. If your
consciousness collapses a ‘wave packet of energy’ in my brain via entanglement then
I have read your mind telepathically. If my consciousness collapses a ‘wave packet
of energy’ around a distant material object via entanglement then I can move that
object with my mind alone, which is psychokinesis. It is all possible in normal
quantum physics, just highly improbable, so I don’t see why more scientists don’t
get on board and accept the reality of these possibilities. Many of the material
events that modern physics accepts are far more unlikely to be real than the paranormal
and most scientists will admit that, but they just won’t take the final steps and
accept the reality of the paranormal and survival until a new scientific revolution
that changes the current paradigm takes place.
How does the possibility of a new paradigm shift relate to your work? If so, would you
mind summarizing that case?
“Well, I have been writing about and giving presentations on the development of a new
Third Scientific Revolution for quite a while now. The new revolution will give mind
and consciousness equal billing with physics and the other sciences. Many distinctions
between mind and matter in the Cartesian sense of the categories will just evaporate.
Science will become subjective and objective rather than just objective. To a historian
of science such as myself, the past few decades of scientific accomplishments and
events look a lot like a replay of the scientific changes and events that occurred
in the final decades of the nineteenth century, just prior to the Second Scientific
“Speculations about material reality have taken over modern physics (aether vortex atoms
in the 1880s and superstrings in the 1990s) as have speculations about the paranormal
and afterlife (Modern spirituality in the 1880s and parapsychology and paraphysics in
the 1990s). Physicists had to deal with the twin ‘crises’ of a failure to detect the
‘luminiferous aether’ and ‘blackbody radiation’ in the 1890s, but since the 1990s
physicists have had to deal with the twin ‘crises’ of dark matter and dark energy.
The new science of ‘mind’ – psychology – developed after the 1890s and the new
interdisciplinary studies of consciousness, including the physics of consciousness,
began to develop in the 1990s. Yes, I would say that the paradigm shift is going along
nicely and that a new Scientific Revolution has begun. It is just awaiting the acceptance
of a new theoretical leap forward before it becomes apparent to everyone, and I am working
toward that goal.”
It often seems to me that parapsychologists and those in related fields are continually
reinventing the wheel. Do you think there will ever be a time when certain things will be
accepted as fact and additional research will not be required?
“Science is always reinventing the wheel, that’s what science does. If the reinvention
is small then all of science goes along and readjusts, but if the reinvention is large and
radical then a scientific revolution occurs. Science is constantly reinventing itself
because new discoveries are made, new applications of old ideas lead to new phenomena
and observations of new events are always challenging old science to expand and account
for them. Unfortunately, paranormal phenomena and survival have had to reinvent themselves
because science does not accept them as worthy or relevant to science – they are literally
defined out of normal science – so parapsychologists have had to redefine their techniques
and results to look too much like what the present paradigm of science deems relevant.
This form of redefinition has gone about as far as it can go without some kind of real
paradigm changes in science itself, especially within physics. Even if events in physics
alone were not already leading to a major paradigm shift in the form of the coming
scientific revolution, then how physics accounts for life, mind and consciousness would
alone necessitate at least a corresponding paradigm shift although probably not a
full-fledged revolution in science.”
What do you see as the primary message in your book, To Die For?
“The primary message of my book was to reassure people that mind and consciousness
survive death of the material body and science will soon be capable of verifying this
fact. If we as individuals have advanced enough (through our personal evolution of
consciousness) during life we would be aware of that survival and continue evolving
(learning) after death. Science should soon be able to confirm this fact to some extent.
Or at least viable scientific theories on survival are now beginning to emerge. The book
was to inform people of our continuing existence after bodily death in the hope that it
would help some to ‘evolve’ more easily to the next step in human existence and
evolution – the afterlife. The second message was that religions and various other
metaphysical disciplines have gotten part of the message correct, but have also
garbled the message to some extent for political purposes.
What is your position on the Superpsi vs. Survival issue?
“To me, the question is irrelevant because the source for Superpsi is the same as that
thing that survives material death – the mind/consciousness complex. While we are in our
material bodies before death our consciousness (through what we normally call intuition)
acts as the source for our sixth sense and mediates between our mind/brain and the rest of
the space-time cosmos, including other consciousnesses. This is the physical source of
Superpsi. However, when we die the physical but non-material mind/consciousness complex
survives and consciousness continues to act as a sensory mediator between physical
space-time and our mind. So the paradox between Superpsi and Survival becomes irrelevant
when they are explained.”
Thank you, Dr. Beichler. Do you have any closing remarks?
“[Yes, let me just say] that the most important issue facing parapsychology today
is developing a theory that explains how the various phenomena work and how they are
related to one another. It does not need to be a ‘final theory,’ but it must at least
be a guiding model for future research. We cannot continue proper research in the
field of parapsychology and paraphysics unless those conducting research in the field
have at least a working hypothesis – but better still a theory – because we are
running out of ideas about what to look for in experiments and observations.
A hypothesis or theory will point out areas where research into the various paranormal
phenomena will lead to more fruitful results.”