The Weiler Psi

Parapsychology Journalism: The People, The Theory, The Science, The Skeptics

Consciousness Optimized: People with Superpowers

And therefore as a stranger give it welcome.
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

Hamlet Act 1, scene 5, 159-167

There are some people out in the world who just defy our conception of what is humanly possible.  They are the white crows among us, disproving the notion of absolute limits to what people are capable of.  While none of these sources actually mentions psychic ability, it is perfectly clear that in all of these cases, the mind is pushing the body to do things that have not been believed to be possible:

Laurence Kim Peek (November 11, 1951 – December 19, 2009)  Known as a “megasavant.”

Kim Peek, Megasavant

Mr. Peek was not autistic, but he was born with brain abnormalities that affected his normal reasoning and severely affected his physical coordination to the point that he needed assistance dressing himself and brushing his teeth.  He also could not conceptualize and found metaphors incomprehensible.  Nevertheless, what he could do was nothing short of amazing.  He had an extraordinary depth of knowledge for arcane facts, based on the fact that he could read two pages at once.  Using one eye for each page.  He could remember everything he ever read, which amounted to over 12,000 books.

In an article in the New York Times:

They added: “He knows all the area codes and ZIP codes in the U.S., together with the television stations serving those locales. He learns the maps in the front of phone books and can provide MapQuest-like travel directions within any major U.S. city or between any pair of them. He can identify hundreds of classical compositions, tell when and where each was composed and first performed, give the name of the composer and many biographical details, and even discuss the formal and tonal components of the music. Most intriguing of all, he appears to be developing a new skill in middle life. Whereas before he could merely talk about music, for the past two years he has been learning to play it.”

There is no brain based explanation for this ability.  Common sense neuroscience tells us that when people have brain abnormalities, they are brain damaged and less capable in brain functions.  The only explanation for this is that normal brain function filters consciousness and that when the balance is disturbed, we can actually let more, not less consciousness through.  It’s as though the brain is like a TV that was normally designed to get only 10 channels, and that’s all we thought that existed.  But now someone has a TV where the channel selector was defective and they receive 100 channels, but with no sound;  It’s still 90 more channels than we thought existed.

Wim Hof  (born 20 April 1959, in Sittard, Limburg) is a Dutch world record holder, adventurer and daredevil, commonly nicknamed the Iceman for his ability to withstand extreme cold.

Wim Hof is pretty well known, having been in commercials and in the news for his incredible feats.  He is able to regulate his body temperature to withstand cold temperatures over long periods of time that would normally kill a human.  He hiked to the top of Kilimanjaro and got part way up Mt. Everest . . . in his shorts.  He also holds several world records for withstanding cold.  Scientists examined him and came to this laughable conclusion:

The results obtained are remarkable, however, the investigators emphasize that so far, these results have only been obtained in a single individual. Therefore, they can not serve as scientific evidence for the hypothesis that the autonomic nervous system and the immune response can be influenced through concentration and meditation techniques.

The rest of the science article is a materialist’s wet dream, full of cautions about damaging the body by doing this sort of thing and how no conclusions can be reached and more study is needed.  If you read the article you can clearly see the hoops that the scientists have to jump through to maintain their belief in a brain based consciousness.  It’s almost funny.  Wim does yoga and meditation, to which he credits his extraordinary ability.  He learned how to do this over the course of thirty years and now teaches other people this skill.  This crucial fact seems to have escaped the scientists.  And in any case, he is not the only one who can do this.

Master Jo and Three Buddhist Monks

Master Jo, (The video does not give his full name) is shown here demonstrating an ability to heat an object up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. (93.33 degrees centigrade)  (Begin watching at the 3 minute mark.  Like most videos on this subject, it’s pretty hyped.)

A team of Harvard scientists has demonstrated that three Tibetan Buddhist Monks can raise the temperatures of their fingers and toes by as much as 15 degrees Fahrenheit.  (8.3 degrees centigrade.)  There is plenty of evidence, in other words, that we have the ability to control our body temperatures through disciplines of the mind.  People who have learned these extraordinary skills have demonstrated this.

Isao Machii:  Sword skills far beyond the ordinary

In the picture above, he is cutting an air pellet shot from a pellet gun in mid air with his katana.  To understand how ridiculously hard this is, it is important to understand that the pellet is literally moving too fast to see, and its trajectory is too unstable to anticipate.  (The barrels of pellet guns are not rifled.  The pellets have no spin, are not designed aerodynamically and can be affected by wind.  In other words, they are wildly inaccurate to aim and shoot.)

Here is a video of him cutting a flying bullet:

You’ll notice that he begins the attempt with the sword sheathed.  He might have made more than one attempt, but does it matter?  You could do this all day long and never hit the thing, yet if you look carefully, you’ll see that he not only hits it, but it connects with the sweet spot on the sword at the power apex of the swing.  (Horizontal to the trajectory of the object.)  As the doctor says in the video, it involves processing at an entirely different level.  I don’t personally see how this could be anything but precognition combined with incredible reflexes and coordination.

Are these people not amazing enough for you?  How about a guy who can kill a bull with one karate chop?

Masutatsu Oyama:  (大山 倍達 Ōyama Masutatsu?, July 27th, 1923 – April 26, 1994)

He served in the Japanese military during WWII, even volunteering to become a kamikaze pilot.  He was initially rejected, but finally accepted after he wrote a plea for reconsideration in his own blood.   However on the day of his mission, his plane malfunctioned.  That evening, when he sat alone in the dining room, empty chairs all around him, he realized he’d been given a second chance.  However, after the war, he started getting into fights with American MP’s in Japan.  Upon the recommendation of a sponsor, he retreated into solitude and practiced for three years with a break in between.

His power was simply unreal:

No, Oyama preferred a different sort of theater. He used to have live public demonstrations where he would fight and kill a bull with his bare hands. Just because it bears repeating, let’s write that again: He could kill a bull with his hands. If you want to know how idiotically hard that is, we cordially invite you to go out and punch a bull in the face. Go on, we’ll wait here. OK, we’re not really waiting since whoever just went out to try that isn’t coming back.

All in all, Oyama fought and killed 52 bulls, three of which were killed instantly with one blow. Forty-nine had their horns chopped off with karate blows. He gained the nickname of The Godhand and was considered the living manifestation of the Japanese warrior’s maxim “One strike, certain death.”

Gruesome and horrible, I know, but it illustrates a remarkable power of the mind.  He took it to a whole ‘nuther level.

With the exception of Kim Peek, it’s notable that all of these people rely on Eastern philosophies and practices which place no artificial limits on human potential and encourage people to explore the limits of their own abilities.

There’s more:

The Magnetic Man, Liew Thow Lin, a 70-year-old retired contractor in Malaysia who can pull a car with a chain stuck to a metal plate on his midriff.  (There are a few other people with this ability, which is apparently genetic).  Scientists have claimed that it is not magnetism, and speculate that it is some amazing type of friction, which seems to be even more incredible than being magnetic:

And there is the late American Al Herpin and

and currently Thai Ngoc of Vietnam

who claim(ed) to never sleep.

What does all this tell us?  That we need to take our understanding of human potential with a grain of salt.  We don’t know as much about human physiology as we think we do and by all appearances, consciousness is running the show, big time.

11 comments on “Consciousness Optimized: People with Superpowers

  1. Charlie
    October 22, 2012

    I know you mainly look at the science of psychic ability, but I’d like to request that you write something on telling people important to you. Sounds silly I know, but knowing someone is open minded and suspect you and finding the words to explain is very different.

    • craigweiler
      October 22, 2012

      Would you mind rephrasing that? I’m not clear on what you mean.

  2. insomniac
    May 7, 2012

    What happened to knowing one’s limitations? =-)

    Amazing stuff.

    Practice counts, of course, but first comes the belief that something is possible. Without the belief, the practice will never get done.

    • Peter
      May 7, 2012

      The lack of belief in superpowers, or, if preferred, the belief that one’s current limitations are permanent, is one of the points of the article and my response.

      • craigweiler
        May 7, 2012

        I think that we have both at the same time. We are far less limited in our potential -in our areas of strength- and much more limited in other areas.

        Put another way, could any of these remarkable people achieve this kind of excellence in accounting?

      • Peter
        May 7, 2012

        Accounting is a matter of interest. If you like it, you could do it. Accounting has nothing to with capacities or incapacities. It has only to do education and the interest in taking that education.

        Of the group in your article, my bet would be on Laurence Peek to be able to handle accounting principles and like it. He may not be able to dress himself but then neither can Stephen Hawking.

        • craigweiler
          May 7, 2012

          I would argue that interest has to do with limitations. No amount of meditating or spiritual enlightenment would allow me, (or many other people) to achieve success in accounting. We’d hate the job, the people we had to deal with and the whole corporate atmosphere. It’s a limit to what we can deal with.

    • craigweiler
      May 7, 2012

      Yeah, I know. One post I’m talking about our limitations and the next I’m talking about our limitless potential. But they’re both true.

      There is a way to reconcile these . . . I’ll let you know when I figure it out.

      • insomniac
        May 7, 2012

        How about this: The best way to know your limitations is to test them regularly.

        • craigweiler
          May 7, 2012

          I think that it depends on the limitation. Speaking, “ahem”, from experience, I learned to STOP testing my limitations in the corporate world because it led to feelings of failure, depression and ennui. No amount of testing my ability to do purchasing for a manufacturing firm was ever going to lead anywhere or achieve anything. However, testing the limits of my writing and speaking ability is a wonderful challenge for me. So it depends.

  3. Peter
    May 7, 2012

    Thanks for this reminder of “superpowers”. And for the pointing out the ridiculousness of the materialist attack article on Wim Hof. Some people hate to be reminded of their incapacities. They should, instead, be aware that those “superpowers” are available to all who want to put in the time and training. You know, just as the superpower of brain surgery can be practiced by those with the appropriate education and practice. Or, the superpower of space travel can be achieved by those who also have the appropriate education and level of practice.

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