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Robert Jahn, the scientist of the power of the mind

Robert Jahn, who died on November 15, 2017 at the age of 87, has spent his life trying to combine heart and mind in modern science. Like some of the brightest minds in Western science including Einstein, Newton and Planck, Jahn believed that science and spirituality were two sides of the same coin.

For fifteen years as head of engineering at Princeton University, Jahn was an influential scientist in space propulsion. Many scholars thought it impossible for a rocket to thrust into space without fuel and using an electric propulsion. But Jahn managed to invent this system, which will probably lead man to Mars.

And even when his career reached such great heights, his heart told him to look beyond the ordinary boundaries of material science. In 1979 Robert Jahn founded Princeton engineering anomalies research (Pear) to start specific studies on human consciousness. This laboratory concluded that consciousness can not be reduced to the brain and that the materialist paradigm is too limited. Hacked by more 'orthodox' colleagues, Jahn endured not a few adversities, but managed to carry on this workshop for almost thirty years, until the closure that took place in 2007.

A typical Pear experiment involved using the mind to condition an electronic device. It has been discovered that the mental effect has a statistically significant relevance to the point of hypothesizing that the human mind is able to change two or three random processes every ten thousand. Furthermore, it seems that people who share an emotional connection are particularly capable of inducing anomalies. In other words, Jahn has provided evidence of the powers of the mind that even today official science does not accept.

Brenda Dunne, a best friend of Jahn and colleague at the Pear, told Epoch Times the life and work of this frontier scientist.

Dr. Dunn begins by saying that Jahn "had an office that helped him get rid of people because he was full of stuffed animals and toys. He was never interested in the reactions of others and that place was not the sterile and formal environment that was expected ".

This light-heartedness has characterized much of Robert Jahn and Brenda Dunne's work: they treated the study subjects as participants and co-investigators, breaking the classic pattern that the scientist and the subject must be separated. And the Pear resembled a family playroom: there were comfortable couches, wood-paneled walls, and knickknacks everywhere. All because "to test the mind it is better to be relaxed".

Dr. Dunne recalls an anecdote: one day, a scientist came to Pear asked them to repeat an experiment that he had done but with a negative result: influencing photons with the mind. The Pear managed to get positive results and the only difference was the approach of the study participants. The difference had been that the scientist colleague, in his previous experiment, had given some technical information and boring instructions with absent tone saying sentences like: "Some people think that we can influence this object with the mind"; while at Pear the task was made easier and more enjoyable: the participants were simply told to try to pick up or down the line with the power of the mind.


The Pear team discovered that interpersonal dynamics play an important role in experiments that seemingly scientists consider goals: Brenda Dunne said that when the team worked well, the experiments achieved better results. It was as if the physical strength of their minds resonated and prevailed over possible dissonances.

There was harmony between the Dunne and Jahn: she was trained in psychology, he was in engineering. Jahn was studying protocols, Dunne took care of people. Using the metaphor of quantum physics according to which matter exists as a wave and a particle, the Dunne was the wave and Jahn the particle (based on this perspective, a wave collapses as a particle when observed). Jahn was practical and liked to get to the point but "although many people thought I was mystic and he was a scientist, I was actually a mystical scientist and he was a scientific mystic."

The colleague then further described the paradox of the wave particles and its relationship with the scientific point of view: "When you create an experiment and you are looking for a wave, you find a wave. If you look for a particle, you will find a particle. They are not different things, but complementary aspects. The subjective and objective dimensions of the experience are also two sides of the same coin. The way in which one chooses to observe an event determines what will be seen ".

When, for example, some scientists examined the Pear laboratory, anchored to their beliefs, they admitted that they were frightened.


Scientists outside Pear often thought that there were bizarre people in there who were studying paranormal phenomena. But Dunne and Jahn made it clear that the anomalies analyzed were not paranormal phenomena but natural and common events.

Nevertheless, one day a fellow scientist told Dunne that if all they were doing was right, then his job would be wrong. Dunne had replied that it was not wrong but simply incomplete. But the colleague did not understand the answer.

The association between the work of Pear and a sort of scientific heresy is well illustrated when one day a sign posted on the laboratory door showing the psi letter of the Greek alphabet was misunderstood. Although 'Ψ' is a symbol that often appears in physical equations (and is also widely used to indicate extrasensory perception, telekinesis and related phenomena) Dr. Dunne recalls: "two or three people had been wondering why we had a pitchfork on our door ".


Pear has lived an ambivalent relationship with Princeton. To be fair, the laboratory was not confined to the basement by negligence, but simply because Jahn wanted a quiet space to conduct his experiments. Princeton did not criticize their working protocols, but every now and then Jahn's chair wobbled, as his research was controversial and some considered it embarrassing for the prestigious university. But during one of these periods of tension, a representative of the United States Department of Defense intervened, encouraging the university to support Jahn's work.

Jahn and Dunne gave talks to NASA, the NSA (the most important US secret service) and other government facilities (and the Defense Ministry had consulted with them even to discover missiles remotely by exploiting the vision remote ').

Jahn was an "unperturbed. He was brave, he did not back down for something he believed. He was fighting for what he considered the right to ask questions, that is, the freedom to investigate, of which the academics speak continuously without necessarily following it ».

But in order to keep his program active under the auspices of the university, Pear had to fulfill some conditions: it had to be financed independently and could not involve the students. Professor Jahn, as told by Dunne, had received clear instructions: "It is important to ensure that the subjects do not think they are deluding themselves of having abilities as a result of these experiments". Therefore, before the experiments, the researcher informed the subjects that, once they left the laboratory, they did not have to deceive themselves of 'being god' as a result of any exceptional results.

Over the last few years, Pear had published several research papers on mainstream scientific journals, while many others were rejected and branded as inappropriate subjects for society. Once the director of one of these newspapers had sarcastically replied that when they would be able to transmit his work telepathically, he would take it seriously. Nevertheless, some articles have managed to get to the Journal of the Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineers and the Journal Foundations of Physics.


Robert Jahn contributed to the foundation of the Society for scientific exploration: a platform for comparison between fellow researchers designed for scientists who study unconventional topics. In addition, with Brenda Dunne he founded the International consciousness research laboratories after the closure of Pear in 2007.

The latter structure consists of a network of scientists called 'Pear tree', a continuation of Pear's studies, in which Jahn and Dunne acted as mentors to guide new scientists to investigate frontier science. In addition, International consciousness research laboratories published their own book this month, Being & Biology: Is Consciousness the Life Force? [Existence and biology: consciousness is the life force ?, ndt].

Brenda Dunne ends by recalling how Professor Jahn, at the end of his life, knew that his work would have an important impact, although his full recognition would have been posthumous. "He was quite comfortable with himself. The nice thing is that at that level we are still very much in touch with each other. We were a molecule where everything was bigger than the sum of its parts ».

And the work of this extraordinary scientist has helped to unite the scientific and spiritual visit point; Robert Jahn often said: "I'm tired of having to choose between my head and my heart. I have both". His studies also allowed him to face death, after a long illness, without fear. As Jahn himself said: "each has its own characteristic wave function, metaphorically speaking, which is placed in a physical environment and has a mortal reach". And eventually it returns from the source it comes from.
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About Minh Hiếu

Le Minh Hieu is a national-level weightlifter and a Singapore Weightlifting sports performance coach. Hieu's biggest passion is helping everyone find confidence, happiness, and health through fitness.


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