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Information, Consciousness, and Health

By Robert G Jahn
Alternative Therapies, MAY 1996, VOL. 2, NO. 3

This classic paper is 20 years old this month. It is worthy of a thorough review by anyone interested in the science behind health and consciousness. Jahn was a professor of aerospace sciences, dean emeritus of the School of Engineering and Applied Science, and director of Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research (PEAR) lab at Princeton University. He was a heavyweight in the physical sciences and also a visionary who weathered the storms of closed-minded critics who — like the Church refusing to look through Galileo's telescope in the 1600s — refused to look at Jahn's meticulous work.


It is still far too easy to be influenced by the closed minds of the last century barking their empty rhetoric from the bully pulpits of modern media. Don't succumb to Caesar's coliseum. Make the effort to fill yourself with hard science and understand its very personal implications for your health and wellbeing. What follows is a brief summary. The full PDF is available here.


The ability of a human consciousness to create profound subjective experiences for itself and others via art, music, or literature is not disputed. The sublime experience of human love and empathy enhance the subjective information perceived by both sender and receiver. However, the documented, quantifiable change in the objective information content of a physical system or a biological system solely by action of a human consciousness is vastly more controversial to discuss.

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The most magnificent of all information processing systems is the human consciousness. It handles both objective and subjective information with an elegance and sophistication that no contemporary data processor can approach. Likewise, the most magnificent of all communication and response systems is the human physiology. From its atomic structures, to its many biological networks, the body handles all manner of objective and subjective information via processes that involve certain random components. Many diseases including allergies, HIV, cancer, and various neurological conditions are the result of disruptions in the many levels of information processing. However, when functioning properly the consciousness and the body are masters at exchanging information with the external environment, learning from it and adjusting to it.


The most intimate of all system resonances is that between the physical body and its associated consciousness. Each is heavily committed to the other for survival and growth. Through an amazing array of hard-wired and — in all likelihood — wireless connections, the mind and body have elaborate options for guiding, protecting, and providing for each other to the higher welfare of the whole.


As PEAR lab has demonstrated, focused consciousness can bring some degree of order into a simple random information string of ones and zeros. It is not unreasonable then to suggest that it can also influence the far more relevant and precious information processing systems that underlie its own health.


What are the elements of the process? The four critical ingredients are: (1) the consciousness addressing with volition, (2) its own physical body, or that of another partner, into which it instills (3) some form of beneficial information via (4) an appropriate resonant bond. It remains only to specify and achieve this last element that enables the information transfer.


To achieve such bonds, whether in a physical space or consciousness space, it is first necessary to acknowledge that there are distinct individuals who will partner. Then the individual identities must be at least partially surrendered to a bonded state if the exchange is to be activated. Success involves some blurring of identities between operator and machine, between consciousness and body, or between two human partners as sender and receiver. This is also the recipe for any form of love: the surrender of self-centered interests of the individual partners in favor of the pair.

Quantum Physics & Consciousness

A classic presentation by Amit Goswami, Ph.D.

Our state of mind influences everything we perceive. Our state of mind also influences our genetic expression. Mind and DNA are inextricably combined. Whatever the mind is, the body becomes, and the environment reflects. Watch this brief 3-part video set with retired professor of physics Amit Goswami to learn more:

Consciousness is the ground of our being. Quantum Physics shows us directly that we can make sense of the world only if we base the world on consciousness.


For example, the movement of objects are describable only in terms of possibilities. Who or what chooses among the possibilities to bring about the actual events that we experience? Consciousness must be directly involved. The Observer cannot be ignored.

We can only describe the objects, not the subject. So the subject must be more fundamental than the objects. Consciousness is more fundamental than the material world of things.

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