The following are questions people often me about the kind of work that I do:
“You’ve been in many fields and professions that people have difficulty describing who you really are and what you do. For example, you have been a corporate man, a management consultant, a psychic researcher, a hypnotherapist, a newspaper columnist, a college professor, a book writer, an international lecturer and a spirit medium, among others. How would you describe yourself and what you do?”
I am just an ordinary person with extraordinary interests. There’s nothing special about me. As one great prophet and man of God said over 2,000 years ago: “Everything that I have done you can do, and much more than these.”
“You are more known publicly as a paranormal researcher and writer. If you did not pursue your interest in this strange field, what would you be doing?”
You know, when I was about to graduate from my liberal arts studies in college, I was offered a scholarship by the famous dean of the College of Law of our school. He promised to grant me not only free tuition, but also free books and even transportation just for me to take up Law.
He was under the impression that I was a potential bar topnotcher because of my consistently high grades in college. I graduated magna cum laude.
But I decided to work in a business establishment instead. I was elated when I was immediately accepted when I applied for a job in an appliance installment financing company as training specialist. I never left the corporate world until 20 years later.
So, if I did not pursue my interest in exploring the unknown world, I would probably still be in the corporate world. But I guess that is not my real calling.
“What motivated you to establish a school or institute to develop the inner awareness or consciousness of man?”
I established the Inner Mind Development Institute (IMDI) in 1998 because there was no school or institution in the Philippines that is devoted to the study of the potentials of the human mind and their application. The orthodox sciences and the whole of the academic community were not interested in it.
So I thought of filling this gap by creating a forum and conducting research on these so-called “esoteric” and taboo topics.
But, from the very beginning, the approach that I adopted in conducting these researches was phenomenological rather than the empirical, the main approach of Western researchers.
I felt that the Western empirical method was not suited to my temperament, nor to the nature of paranormal, supernatural or psychic phenomena it is supposed to study. We do not have sophisticated scientific instruments to validate these nonphysical phenomena.
By phenomenological, I mean I try to immerse myself in the phenomenon and experience it from the inside as a participant, rather than studying it from the outside as an observer.
Also, when validating the testimonies of people who have reported experiencing a supernatural, psychic or paranormal phenomenon, I found the criteria suggested by 17th-century French philosopher Voltaire to be more useful:
“A testimony is sufficient when it rests on: First, a great number of very sensible witnesses who agree in having seen well; second, who are sane, bodily and mentally; third, who are impartial and disinterested; fourth, who unanimously agree; and fifth, who solemnly certify to the fact.”
“How come, despite your many years of explaining the nature of paranormal, psychic and supernatural phenomena through books, seminars, newspaper and magazine articles, and public lectures and open forums, the general Filipino public still misunderstands the nature of your work?”
That’s easy to answer. There’s a very strong bias by the mainstream scientific and religious community in the country against such studies. Anything which cannot be explained by science or religion is considered heretical, fraudulent or a product of one’s imagination.
The scientific and religious skeptics have never really bothered to look into the volumes of scientifically controlled evidence for the existence of such phenomena. They are content to just pass judgment on my work without question.
But everything is not hopeless. More and more mainstream scientists like Werner Heisenberg, Neils Bohr, Sir Stanley Eddington, James Jeans, Fritjof Capra, William Tiller, Rupert Sheldrake, Dean Radin and others have begun to question their own traditional scientific paradigms. In time, there will be a change in science’s attitude toward this subject.
“What is your motto in life?”
To make the invisible visible, and the unknown known.
E-mail the columnist at email@example.com.