Jun 29, 2007

Thoughts Affect Reality. Let's Imagine Muscles

Hilariously, some readers are still missing the point. I wonder when they'll get it.

I have been using different sorts of examples to illustrate the "thoughts affect reality" concept.

But when I used Buddhism as an example, some readers said I shouldn't use Buddhism.

When I used quantum physics, some readers said I shouldn't use quantum physics.

When I used financial markets, some readers said I shouldn't use financial markets.

When I used rats and children in the Rosenthal experiment, some readers said I shouldn't use rats and children.

They miss the point. They just don't see that reality refuses to be divided up into neat slices according to our academic classifications.

Reality is not "Buddhism". Reality is not "quantum physics". Reality is not "financial markets" and reality is not "rats" or "children".

Reality is just reality. And thoughts affect reality - all of it. Whatever you think about.

And that is why you can look into ANY area of reality, including such diverse areas as Buddhism, quantum physics, finance, psychology etc, and still find evidence of the same "thoughts affect reality" phenomenon at work.

Today, what shall we talk about? Ummm, let's see. How about health and fitness? Shall we proceed to grow our muscles just by thinking about them?

"Ridiculous! Mr Wang is insane! Next he'll tell us that scientists have really discovered that you can increase your muscle size AND strength, just by thinking!"

Yawn. It's quite old news, actually:
Physical Training in Your Dreams

Scientists have come up with just about the best news that a couch potato could ever want to hear.

They say you can increase the strength of your muscles just by sitting back and imagine yourself taking exercise.

The discovery could help patients too weak to exercise to start recuperating from strokes or other injuries.

If the technique works in older people, they might use it to help maintain their strength.

Muscles move in response to impulses from nearby nerve cells called motor neurons. The firing of those neurons in turn depends on the strength of electrical impulses sent by the brain.

Dr Guang Yue, an exercise physiologist at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Ohio, says that this suggests you can increase muscle strength solely by sending a larger signal to motor neurons from the brain.

New Scientist magazine reports that Dr Yue and his colleagues have already found that visualising exercise was enough to increase strength in a muscle in the little finger, which it uses to move sideways.

Flexing biceps

Now his team have turned their attention to a larger, more frequently used muscle, the bicep.

They asked 10 volunteers aged 20 to 35 to imagine flexing one of their biceps as hard as possible in training sessions five times a week.

The researchers recorded the electrical brain activity during the sessions.

To ensure the volunteers weren't unintentionally tensing, they also monitored electrical impulses at the motor neurons of their arm muscles.

Every two weeks, they measured the strength of the volunteers' muscles.

The volunteers who thought about exercise showed a 13.5% increase in strength after a few weeks, and maintained that gain for three months after the training stopped.

Controls who missed out on the mental workout showed no improvement in strength.

The researchers are now repeating the experiment with people aged 65 to 80 to see if mental gymnastics also works for them .....
Boy, this sure gets repetitive. Do I have to say it again? Thoughts affect reality, yadayadayada.

62 comments:

Blogter said...

Bravo Wang, you're still at it!!

I think I'm getting more successful nowadays. And really, I am. Though I would think there are factors than just thinking about it. Maybe thinking positive thoughts at least prevents us from thinking negative ones, and hence reduces inefficiency in our lives.

me said...

Soo.... how come your thoughts haven't managed to change the minds skeptical readers?

Danielsg said...

Thought changes reality. Some or most your personal realities not ABSOLUTELY ALL PAST, PRESENT OR FUTURE REALITIES.

Everything is relative.

I can accept this 'thought changes reality' without being a PITA.

Kai said...

This is interesting.

I applaud your attempts to make a point in the minds of the skeptics.

Don't give up! :)

blurry said...
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blurry said...

cf. David Bohm's On Dialogue, specifically, the section 'Proprioception of Thought' in Chapter 2, "On Dialogue".

And oh, for your sceptical readers:

David Bohm was supposed to be Einstein's successor.

Hopefully that lays something down about using quantum physics.

zhixiang said...
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zhixiang said...

***Soo.... how come your thoughts haven't managed to change the minds skeptical readers?***

to "me":

it seems like mr wang and the mindhack supporters are not interested in changing anyone. all these posts and comments are to help, not to influence.

everyone has one greatest desire in mind and is mindhacking their way to it.

its just that none of our greatest desire is to change anyone.

Mr Wang Says So said...

"Soo.... how come your thoughts haven't managed to change the minds skeptical readers?"

I could really take this as a serious question, and give you a long thorough reply. But I'll save it, because it could become a full post in itself one day.

For now, suffice to say that in the "thought affects reality" concept, there is this important consideration of everyone having the fundamental ability to choose their own thoughts.

It links up very closely to the concept of "free will" in Christian theology. Even the Devil can't take your soul unless you give him permission.

Essentially each of us has ultimate freedom to choose our own thoughts, and that is why there are some serious issues surrounding the idea that one might have the ability to "magically" influence others against their will.

To put it in the context of an old saying, you can create the horse, you can create the water, and you can lead the horse to the water, but you can't make the horse drink.

Mr Wang Says So said...

So you see, the muscle experiment has been shown to work for the little finger muscle, and it has been shown to work for the bicep.

But the skeptics will still come along and say:

"Aha! This is not proven to work for the tricep!"

or

"Aha! This is not proven to work for the muscle in the thumb or middle finger!"

or

"Aha! This is not proven to work for the muscles in MY body."

Etc etc. You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it _____.

Blogter said...

Just read the second part of your blog; which has given me an ingenious way to train for IPPT. Just imagine I'm jogging! That way, I can jog even if I have feet injuries.

If true, it would really be great.

Mr Wang Says So said...

Of course it's true. May post more on other mind experiments involving sports & exercise etc.

PZ said...

Mr Wang wrote:

"But the skeptics will still come along and say:

"Aha! This is not proven to work for the tricep!"
__________________

I hope admirers and fans of Mr. Wang are not going to vilify and accuse me of *flaming* him for this apparently heretical act of rebuttal.

You have now introduced another fallacy in this long list of fallacies committed in furtherance of your argument.

Yours is a straw-man sceptic. You really mean *cynic* who says no to everything mindlessly.

Most sceptics would be happy to accept new theories no matter how bizarre if there was indeed evidence to support it.

Open minded inquiry is fine. But considering all ideas with an open mind is not the same as accepting those ideas when there is no evidence they are real.

The closed minded ones are the believers who won’t accept that their particular fantasy is nonsense despite the evidence

PZ

BTH said...

Mr Wang said...

"Aha! This is not proven to work for the muscle in the thumb or middle finger!"

or

"Aha! This is not proven to work for the muscles in MY body."

Donchu just love sarcasms!

Aiyah Mr. Wang. Puhleez lah.

I don't mean to be rude but there's a saying that when you have dug yourself into a deep hole and want to get out - "STOP DIGGING!"

From where I sit, you clearly have a strong if not obsessive belief.

You then forward this belief as a theory supported by your arguments.
Now your arguments have been resoundingly demolished yet you still believe.

So now what you have left is belief with Blind faith.

That's fine too.

But for goodness sake abort that argument and stop digging. It's time for another approach.

I am amazed that even I, a mere mortal can see this but Mr Wang who is so advanced in meditation is unable to realise this.

geriatric_eunuch said...

PZ said:

I hope admirers and fans of Mr. Wang are not going to vilify and accuse me of *flaming* him for this apparently heretical act of rebuttal.

[/begin vilification]

Bah! Humbug! I see you're employing a vacuous framework of blinding logic and scintillating reason to bolster your feeble arguments AGAIN, PZ? Clearly the last refuge of an effete casuist!

Nurse, prepare the suppository.

[/end vilification]
.
.
.
What are we going to do tonight, PZ?

The same thing we do every night, G_E:

* try_to_take_over_the_Wang_Blog *

;-)

Lim Leng Hiong said...

Hi Mr. Wang,

Thanks for posting this interesting science news!

I agree that the human mind is very powerful and mysterious, as you have observed.

However you say that:

Shall we proceed to grow our muscles just by thinking about them?

"Ridiculous! Mr Wang is insane! Next he'll tell us that scientists have really discovered that you can increase your muscle size AND strength, just by thinking!"

Yawn. It's quite old news, actually...


I think you might have misunderstood the results of the scientific study that you quoted.

The researchers observed an increase in muscle strength after mental training, but they did not observed any increase in muscle size.

They did see an 8.3% volume increase in a muscle of the little finger for the subjects who did physical training.

The researchers concluded that:

Based on the MRCP data (Figs. 3-5), we are confident that the primary mechanism underlying the strength increase is a mental training-induced enhancement in the central command to muscle. The data suggest that repetitive mental attempts of maximal muscle activation trained and enabled the brain to generate stronger signals to muscle.

In fact, they did not expect to see any major change to muscle size at all, because the increased strength was due to increased stimulation from the brain.

The authors did not claim that mental training can make you grow your muscles.

The lead scientist (Dr. Guang H. Yue at the Lerner Institute in Cleveland Ohio, USA) of this research project first discovered this curious effect in 1992. He published a research paper showing that imagined muscle contractions can increase the muscle strength of the little finger.

Another team of researchers in UNSW Australia were unable to repeat his results in 1998 when they tried mental training on bicep muscles. They see no significant change between mental training and control subjects.

Later Dr. Yue was able to get results for both the little finger and bicep muscles and published his findings in 2004.

Dr. Yue has not published further research articles on this topic.


References

Ranganathan VK, Siemionow V, Liu JZ, Sahgal V, Yue GH. From mental power to muscle power--gaining strength by using the mind. Neuropsychologia. 2004;42(7):944-56.

Herbert RD, Dean C, Gandevia SC. Effects of real and imagined training on voluntary muscle activation during maximal isometric contractions. Acta Physiol Scand. 1998 Aug;163(4):361-8.

Yue G, Cole KJ.Strength increases from the motor program: comparison of training with maximal voluntary and imagined muscle contractions. J. Neurophysiol. 1992 May;67(5):1114-23.

akikonomu said...

Of course thoughts affect reality!

Here's a free video for Mr Wang, on the same topic, from a documentary called The Secret:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=_b1GKGWJbE8

ashash said...

hey, when i play mahjong i will always wish silently or vocally for the tile I need.

It's spooky to say, but it does work, 80% of the time!!

ashash said...

Hey guys,

For those who are still skeptical, it's good to free your mind to new (or you may think controversial) ideas because then you understand it more easily.

i.e No religious, scientific, moral, rational inhibitions etc etc.. don't let them get in your way. (I'm not suggesting you give up your beliefs, it's just to make you see things from another perspective)

Try it an you'll see how at ease you will be =)

Henry Leong said...

Of course thoughts in our minds create causes.
http://henryleongblog.blogspot.com/

JB said...

Hi Mr. Wang and dear readers.

I chanced on this Blog recently and have followed this "mind affecting matter" topic as advanced by Mr. Wang and the counterpoints raised by clearly some very sharp individuals with great interest.

What strikes me as an oddity is twofold.

1. The stubborness, arrogance and ego that Mr. Wang displays are quite at odds with his self-professed claims of advanced meditative achievement - an irony in humility, if there ever was one.

2. The weakness of his argument which employed only fallacies, a mistake that a first year, undergraduate student of logic wouldn't make, never mind, a fully trained lawyer, seems to be at odds with his training as a lawyer.

I find myself asking, "What is wrong with this picture?"

Just a thought.

I am sure the astute readers can make their own conclusions as I have.

I would contribute some of my thoughts on what I think of Mr. Wang's claims but some readers have beaten me to it. And I might add with wit, humour and incisive logic.

A most enjoyable read.

I look forward to making a contribution, in future perhaps when time permits - on other issues. This one seems like flogging a dead horse with several cycles of rebirths which Mr. Wang appears determined to resurrect.

I am reminded of the saying that, "Ignorance can be cured, but stupidity is forever."

Yours, in the interest of scientific and spiritual inquiry,
JB

Cobalt Paladin said...

Interesting post. I think all motivation books in general asks us to be positive and believe in ourselves. I guess the DVD or the book "The Secret" epitomises the points which you've raised in your recent entries.

The DVD was quite cheesy but it was a fun to watch. :)

hunguptodry said...

Hilariously, some readers are still missing the point. I wonder when they'll get it.

perhaps u r the one who doesn't get it.

u keep saying that thoughts affect reality. well, so does, sunshine, curry, coffee, the color of your underwear and lighting. and don't forget dinosaurs and christmas trees.

the point is, in this well mixed world of ours. everything is likely to affect everthing else.

so what is your point?

BTH said...
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C.K said...

bth,

If you have a point to make, please do so in an amiable and -objective- manner rather than sardonic and irrelevant ramblings like the above. You pretty much killed any credibility you have with such a childish display.

And your posts reek of arrogance. Puhleez provide "objective" rebuttals rather than mindless and puerile retorts befitting of a pinhead.

BTH said...
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BTH said...
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Jon said...

hunguptodry wrote "u keep saying that thoughts affect reality. well, so does, sunshine, curry, coffee, the color of your underwear and lighting... so what is your point?"

Let me try to answer your question.

Your thoughts affect your reality. Only to the extent that sunshine, coffee, etc affect your thoughts will it affect your reality.

For example, if an event happen somewhere out there that does not affect your thoughts, then it will not affect your reality.

Jon said...

BTH said... "OK, now the definition of Secretards..."

I think "The Secret" movie is similar to the Christian Bible, or the Buddhist Sutra, in the sense that many viewers don't take it 100% literally.

But I think there are many useful practical concepts that you can pick up from the movie, just like you can learn a lot from religion (even if you are a scientist).

hunguptodry said...

For example, if an event happen somewhere out there that does not affect your thoughts, then it will not affect your reality.

like what? i can't THINK of any.
hehe.

Mr Wang Says So said...

Exactly.

Mr Wang Says So said...

"u keep saying that thoughts affect reality. well, so does, sunshine, curry, coffee, the color of your underwear and lighting. and don't forget dinosaurs and christmas trees."

There is no sunshine, curry, coffee, underwear etc, if there is no consciousness.

Mr Wang Says So said...

"Schrödinger’s Cat has never actually been performed as a real experiment, and in my view could never even in principle be performed as a real experiment. The reason should be obvious."

I think that scientists would not agree with you that it could not in principle be performed as a real experiment.

Some of those who would disagree with you include Roger Penrose, Andreas Mershin, Stuart Hameroff, Koch, Hepp and others.

http://www.science-spirit.org/article_detail.php?article_id=387

http://www.physorg.com/news7222.html

http://www.klab.caltech.edu/news/koch-hepp-06.pdf

http://www.oup.com/uk/orc/bin/9780198792949/01student/updates/0612/ch06/

BTH said...

Jon said:

"I think "The Secret" movie is similar to the Christian Bible, or the Buddhist Sutra, in the sense that many viewers don't take it 100% literally."

Err Think? Remember that to assume anything and jumping to conclusions without checking the facts is the mother of fuck-ups?

Watch the movie and then come back and report that it is similar to the Bible or Buddhist Sutra.

Do let me know what the movie is really saying and exactly what is the LOA?

BTH said...
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Jon said...

hunguptodry said "like what? i can't THINK of any."

well, if I had not thought about the color of your underwear, then whatever is the color of your underwear will NOT affect MY reality.

However, once I start thinking about it, my reality is affected.

Jon said...

bth wrote "Err Think? Remember that to assume anything and jumping to conclusions without checking the facts is the mother of fuck-ups?"


To "think" is to "ponder, reflect on, and reason about".

You appeared to be confused with the word "guess" (which is to express a belief with incomplete evidence).

Jon said...

I'm not sure whether this promotion applies for those outside U.S.

BUT for readers in U.S., Barnes and Noble is selling Stephen Hawking's The Illustrated A Brief History of Time AND The Universe in a Nutshell for US$10 (Each of these books usually retails for a lot more). Link

Seems like a good reference for laymen (me!) who want to understand what Mr Wang has been saying.

BTH said...
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PZ said...
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Mr Wang Says So said...

"You should not be invoking QM to try to prove your theories.

If it makes you feel any better, you're welcome to think of my theory as "non-scientific" in nature.

As I've mentioned, the theory, whether correct or not, simply cannot be solely examined from a purely scientific perspective.

It cannot be examined from any single perspective.

The idea that "thought affects reality" has implications for every aspect of reality, including areas which the hard sciences cannot or has not ventured into; and including areas that do not fit into Karl Popper's set of rules about what constitutes the "scientific method".

This is essentially the same point as I made in the post - the point is that we could look into diverse areas such as quantum physics, financial markets, psychology, religion (and many more, which I haven't touched upon yet), and still find evidence of this theory at work.

Reality refuses to be divided up into neat slices according to our academic classifications.

So while science can shed some light on some aspects of this theory, clearly science cannot shed light on all aspects of this theory;

no single discipline can.

You have to understand that science can say what science can say, and what it says can be very, very important,

but there are many, many things that science cannot say, one way or the other.

"Remember the Principle of Falsifiability in REAL Scientifc methodolgy?"

Examples - all of the following statements could, depending on the context, be very important, but none of them are falsifiable in real scientific methodology. It is EXTREMEY unscientific to assert:

1. Your mother hates you

2. Your father loves you

3. Love exists

4. Hate exists

5. Lee Kuan Yew is a capable leader and Singapore owes much of its success to him.

6. Global stock markets are likely to experience strong volatility in the next six months.

7. Hard work and interpersonal skills are the two most essential elements for career success.

8. I am happier than you are.

9. It is important for a musician to have a good sense of pitch and a strong sense of rhythm. Furthermore he must have a strong "feel" for music.

10. Gods do not exist.

11. Supply and demand in the economy have a distinct relationship.

12. If you carry a young baby a lot, he will feel more secure and loved.

12. Homosexuality is immoral.

13. Successful entrepreneurs are risk takers.

14. SMU is a better university than NUS.

15. Some people are natural leaders.

16. Mother Teresa was a very kind person, and she helped to ease the suffering of many poor people. She was an inspiration to many volunteer workers around the world.

.... whether you agree or disagree with any of the above statements, none can be scientifically tested. It does not follow that all of them are false; AND it does not follow that none of them are significant;

AND it does not follow that none of them can be proved or tested.

They just cannot be proven or tested by science. That is all.

BTH said...
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hunguptodry said...

There is no sunshine, curry, coffee, underwear etc, if there is no consciousness.

and presumably consciousness is everything.

so you're saying everything affects everything else.

thats not saying very much.

now to summarize ....
1) u think about something.
2) this sets off a chain reaction.
3) which inevitably affects a host of other things.

now, that seems to sum up the workings of our universe.

the only problem is we have not understood it one bit more.

PZ said...
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Mr Wang Says So said...

"the only problem is we have not understood it one bit more."

I could say a lot more. And I will.

But I have to lay the groundwork first. You may not have noticed, but I have been laying the groundwork since late May.

Look back over my old posts, and I think you may begin to see. See these posts for instance - 1, 2, 3, 4 - I have been slowly, slowly preparing you readers.

I do not wish to move any faster than I have been moving. As you can see, even at my current pace, many readers are already screaming and protesting in pain at the rate at which I drag them up the learning curve. Even my earlier posts, "mild" as they were (compared to my latest ones), encountered fierce disagreement from some readers.

Currently I've barely even scratched the surface of this topic - which literally encompasses the whole of reality.

Meanwhile I have been steadily recording my personal experiments in writing all along (I still do, and I'm quite meticulous and detailed about this). I've been doing that for quite some time now; some experiments are quirky and fun; some are quite serious.

Among other things, along the way I've become one of Singapore's top income earners my age. Also, by applying some big twists to the Rosenthal effect, I've managed to raise two extremely gifted kids (whose teachers keep insisting that I must move them up to classes meant for older kids; and send them for psychological testing etc etc). One kindergarten principal even angrily accused me of parental negligence for refusing to acknowledge and nurture the unusual giftedness of my older kid - as if I didn't already know that he is unusually gifted.

I may blog more about my numerous personal experiments, or I may not. The difficulty I see is that none of my experiments will, in any case, convince anyone who is determined to disbelieve.

For example my career success, mo matter how outstanding, could always be attributed to luck or market forces or personal attributes such as diligence or intelligence. Or one might say that my kids are very smart because they are born very smart, it has nothing to do with my homegrown Rosenthal experiments.

In the end, people will just have to find some way to personally convince themselves one way or the other.

In fact, as I have previously mentioned, this is a key feature in various "thought affects reality" theories. I cannot consciously create in another person's reality; a person's reality always depends on his own thoughts; and fundamentally each of us has the unassailable freedom to choose our own thoughts. It's what the Christians call "free will" - even the devil cannot take your soul unless you give him permission etc etc. In Buddhism, we would say that karma is always personal; you cannot, for instance, inherit the sins of your father, or be saved from a bad fate just because your mother was a very good person etc. What you think affects YOUR own reality.

Mr Wang Says So said...

"QM explains it all!"

No of course not. It explains only a part of it.

PZ said...

Mr. Wang wrote in part:

"The difficulty I see is that none of my experiments will, in any case, convince anyone who is determined to disbelieve."

Wrong. Straw-man sceptic again. You have a very short memory.

All we ask is proof, you know, the good ol' scientific way as opposed to pseudo-science nonsense.

"In the end, people will just have to find some way to personally convince themselves one way or the other."

No one has to convince himself to anything. That would be self-delusion.

It is you who are forwarding *your* theory. All we are asking, i. e. the saner sceptics, not the naive all believing morons who buy the DVDs and books of charlatans because another new-age quack comes along and says he knows a method using QM derived techniques that will take you to meet Jesus behind the Planet Uranus.

PZ

PZ said...

Sorry last paragraph should have read as follows.

It is you who are forwarding *your* theory. All we are asking is - i. e. the saner sceptics, not the naive all believing morons who buy the DVDs and books of charlatans because another new-age quack comes along and says he knows a method using QM derived techniques that will take you to meet Jesus behind the Planet Uranus - where is the beef?

hunguptodry said...

i guess we all owe senor wang some leeway. i concede that he may have something interesting lined up.

but my patience is limited. hell, i didn't even have enough to finish the wisdom in "don quixote".

even rocinante won't go on forever.

PZ said...

Mr.Wang wrote:

"If it makes you feel any better, you're welcome to think of my theory as "non-scientific" in nature."

Thank you but this has nothing to do with my *feelings*. That would be an honest statement and merely stating the truth.

"In the end, people will just have to find some way to personally convince themselves one way or the other."

So, ultimately we have to take *your* belief on faith.

If you had stated at the very outset that Mindhacking is merely your religion, we could haved saved ourselves a lot of time and grief.

Thank you for finally admitting that, even if it did take a long time coming.

PZ

Mr Wang Says So said...

"So, ultimately we have to take *your* belief on faith."

Ah, no you need not. You may read again my comment on June 27, 2007 at 2:29 pm over at this earlier post.

Like Buddha, I invite you to test the theory against your own experience. I had written:

"Mr Wang will blog more and more in future, explaining different aspects of how "thoughts affect reality".

When I feel that I have blogged enough about this idea, and have clarified sufficiently how all of this works,

then I will invite all interested readers to participate in an experiment;

over the period of, say, one month;

during which they will periodically blog their progress and results on their own blogs,

I will guide them on the experimental methodology;

and then they can judge for themselves whether Mr Wang is right or not.

But first, you must understand what Mr Wang is talking about (whether you believe in it or not). Hence Mr Wang needs to blog more first.

In fact, whether Mr Wang is right or not is not the point. The point is whether you will acquire invaluable, practical insights to shape and influence your own reality the way you want it.

The experiment will cost you no money; require you to do nothing hazardous to your health; or anything embarassing in public; and it will take only about 10 to 15 minutes of your time every day, or a total of 7.5 hours in a month. And one way or the other, the only person you need to convince is yourself - it is after all your own reality. And if you feel that there are gaps in my proposed methodology, it is entirely possible for you to change the methodology for your own little experiment and faithfully record the changes on your own blog.

So the greatest possible loss to you is only 7.5 hours; the greatest possible gain is very, very great indeed - is there any possible logical reason why you would not participate?"

PZ said...

*buddha* Wang wrote:

"Like Buddha, I invite you to test the theory against your own experience."

Yes, a *spiritual* claim to test *my* subjective experience.

But you slipped in NEW claims of *scientific* proof using QM, Jahn, Wolf etc remember?????? Was this just a sleight of hand? Misdirection? Hmmm.

If you had stuck to this *spiritual* approach and had not introduced science, we wouldnt be having this discussion.

Any body else having a headache with these slippery equivocations?

PZ

Mr Wang Says So said...

PZ:

Why are you so afraid? Yes, it is your subjective experience. So if you choose to participate, it is entirely up to you to conclude whether your experiment yielded any results or not, and if so, how they should be interpreted.

If you like, you need not even post the results on a blog. You could simply record them in a private notebook that no one else will see.

Mr Wang Says So said...

You still do not understand.

The theory is "thought affects reality".

Science is also part of reality, you know.

"reality refuses to be divided up into neat slices according to our academic classifications.

Reality is not "Buddhism". Reality is not "quantum physics". Reality is not "financial markets" and reality is not "rats" or "children".

Reality is just reality. And thoughts affect reality - all of it. Whatever you think about.

And that is why you can look into ANY area of reality, including such diverse areas as Buddhism, quantum physics, finance, psychology etc, and still find evidence of the same "thoughts affect reality" phenomenon at work."

Mr Wang Says So said...

By the way, in my opinion, it is ENTIRELY possible to achieve clear, definite results WITHOUT

even understanding ANYTHING very much about hypnosis, meditation, quantum physics etc.

For example, the teachers in the Rosenthal experiment were never told anything about "mindhacking", or "thoughts affect reality" or whatever.

In fact all they were told was an outright lie.

Yet the kids they falsely believed to be "smart" were transformed into smart kids,

and the kids they falsely believed to be "not smart" were transformed into "not-smart" kids -

all this despite the fact that the teachers never set out to make any particular kid "smart" or "not-smart".

PZ said...
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Mr Wang Says So said...

I think that this statement:

"Thought affects reality"

has scientific backing, yes. The question is only to what extent, what kind of backing etc etc.

For example, we have that study where hypnosis made flesh wounds and broken bones heal faster.

We have statements from prominent scientists like this:

"The doctrine that the world is made up of objects whose existence is independent of human consciousness turns out to be in conflict with Quantum Mechanics and with facts established by experiment.""

We have that experiment which shows that mere thinking (imagining that you're working out) leads to gains in muscular strength.

And there are many, many others.
Etc etc.

Certainly there may be disagreements between scientists on these various experiments. Similarly scientists also have their controversies over the consumption of Vitamin C.

But certainly it would be false that there is NO scientific backing for the statement that "thought affects reality".

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Wen said...

>>Scientists have come up with just about the best news that a couch potato could ever want to hear.

>>They say you can increase the strength of your muscles just by sitting back and imagine yourself taking exercise

Those scientists are a bit late in the day. The kungfu masters of China already knew about this long ago: practising kungfu with their thoughts as the acme of kungfu mastery.

There is in fact a video at YouTube which shows how just by imagining chi moving to your palm it literally expands in size within a few minutes. Anyone can test it out.

Skeptics, search around in YouTube and you will find it.

Take also the art of moving chi in what is called the microcosmic circulation along the spine. A master can literally transform his body into a youthful one looking at least 10 years younger and get rid of even obesity.