The Intention Experiment

by Lynne McTaggart

Silver Chalice E-zine ~ Book Review

Did you ever wonder: if the Law of Attraction, power of Intention, Wiccan magick, and healing prayer really work, why is there no scientific evidence of it?

Well, The Intention Experiment is good news for that stubbornly rational part of your brain that doubts your power to influence the world through your thoughts.

The Intention Experiment is the follow-up to Lynne McTaggart's revolutionary book, The Field: The Quest for the Secret Force of the Universe. Written as an exciting quest for answers, The Field revealed the science of an Energy Field connecting everything in the universe... a field which finally explains phenomena that scientific sceptics have denounced for generations:

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  • energy healing,
  • alternative medicine,
  • clairvoyance,
  • ESP, and more.

Chronicling cutting-edge scientific research at some of the most prestigious labs in the world, McTaggart sets out to determine whether setting an intention for a specific result can be a quantifiable cause of change.

Of course, she finds that it can, and this book is the most comprehensive collection of hard data on intention to date. And although it's gratifying to have proof at last, that's not even the best part of this book.

The Intention Experiment goes on to examine how this information can be used in real life to change your circumstances and the world.

Through measurable data and impeccable blind- or double-blind experimentation, she explains the techniques that make intention and prayer work best, and what makes them fail, as verified by objective testing.

This is one of the most exciting aspects of The Intention Experiment, in my opinion. And then she takes it a step further into the unprecedented: she invites us to participate in the largest study of manifestation ever conceived.

The book documents fascinating discoveries, like ...

  • the detection of highly organised light emitted during healing touch
  • the build-up of resonance that increases with repetition
  • the relative power of negative and positive intentions
  • the spontaneous healing that occurs with many "terminal" illnesses
  • the ongoing communication between all living things
  • the heart receives information first, and then informs the brain
  • the universal ability to sense things even before they happen
  • the capacity to affect things backward as well as forward in time

(Only a small sampling!)

Quantum Reality Is All That's Real

"The Intention Experiment is an extraordinary advance
in our understanding of consciousness."

— Deepak Chopra

I've always thought that there can be no real qualitative difference between reality at the subatomic (quantum) level and reality at the level of our senses (everyday level).

How could two such completely contrary realities co-exist... especially when the latter is made up of the former?

So everything I knew about science, as well as my spiritual training and magickal experiences, always convinced me that the powers of attention, intention, magick, etc. are real.

If they are real, I thought, they must be measurable. So either science...
  • wasn't asking the right questions,
  • was misinterpreting the data,
  • simply lacked instruments of sufficient sensitivity to perceive what was happening.

Now, I'm thrilled to say, all these difficulties are being resolved.

And in The Intention Experiment, McTaggart sets out to find exactly which of these seemingly miraculous effects are now scientifically verifiable.

Science and Spirituality: Conflicting Realities?

For almost a century, scientists have insisted that there are two separate sets of physical laws that govern reality... and that there is no overlap between them.

While the quantum-level (subatomic) reality is a nebulous world of pure energy, potentiality, and entanglement — not only of "individual" pieces but observer and what's observed — it was believed this couldn't possibly have any direct relation with the world as we know it: solid matter, separation of objects, and physical cause-and-effect.

But gradually, bleed-through between the two sets of laws was being discovered.

As spiritual trainees caught on to the quantum insights, they drew the links between what science was discovering and what spiritual geniuses have averred for millennia (The Dancing Wu Li Masters and The Tao of Physics are two awe-some examples of books bridging the new science and ancient spirituality: game-changers, both).

How could this be, unless the spiritual masters had truly been accessing fundamental reality, thousands of years before we invented mechanical tools to perceive it?

And if that's so, then their other assertions should be considered likely to be accurate as well.

So maybe they're not spouting esoteric philosophy but revealing subtle insights into reality, when they say that...
  • we can heal with our hearts and hands
  • we can change our reality with a thought
  • we are all interconnected and one
  • everything inevitably affects everything else

This is a huge leap for hard-core rationalists to make, but as the evidence accumulates, some are taking the risk of challenging scientific orthodoxy and saying (radically), Hey, why don't we experiment and actually find out??

The Proof Accumulates...

The Field was the first book to present findings from such experiments around the world. An investigative journalist, McTaggard didn't set out to prove this woo-woo stuff was real — she had no belief that it was. In her own words…

"In the course of trying to find a scientific explanation
for homeopathy and spiritual healing, I had
inadvertently uncovered the makings of a new science."

What she started to find, to her intellectual discomfort, was sounding a lot more like New Age philosophy than science. At one point, she realised that if she wrote this book, she'd be, in effect, summarising a whole new scientific view of the world... one with which most scientists would take great exception.

But the evidence was there. And she couldn't ignore it. So she dared her reputation and published what she found.

I consider this to be a really brave move on her part. Many others would cave in to the pressures of "scientific" scepticism and turn their backs on the research. That happens over and over, as science excludes anything that challenges the orthodox (mechanistic) views.

Now, in the sequel The Intention Experiment, she goes even further out onto the leading edge and explores — and eventually initiates — experiments on intention itself...

  • Is it a natural phenomenon that's always been around, mostly unnoticed, or is it supernatural and miraculous?
  • Can everybody do it, or only a few exceptional people?
  • Does it really work or doesn’t it?
  • If it does, how can we hone our ability to get the best results?

A Fascinating Page-Turner

"A must for everyone interested in advancing
the creative abilities of [their] own consciousness."

— Caroline Myss

So in an easy and intriguing read, we find scientific evidence that thoughts, emotions, intentions, and prayers actually do change reality, not only for yourself but the world as well.

The research reported in The Field implied that our thoughts and emotions physically impact not only our own bodies but other people and material reality.

The Intention Experiment presents the research that proves it.

I consider both these books Must-Haves in everyone's New Paradigm library for 3 reasons:

  1. They provide solid evidence that spiritual perspectives on reality and our role as co-creators of the world is real — in other words, corroboration that how we do magick really works
  2. They document the science behind the New Paradigm world-view that's coming into ascendancy
  3. They give rigorously-tested insights into how to hone our own manifestation and healing skills

What I gained from The Intention Experiment was deeper trust that this stuff is real and potent (which incidentally increases my ability to do it) and practical tips to help my magick and intention work better.

But the greatest gift of reading this books is that with every page, it realigns me with Deep Reality and validates my belief in a reality so miraculous that it's thrilling beyond description to be participating in it. This book proves (or starts to) that we are all indeed co-creating our world.

What could be impossible, then, if enough of us choose to create it!

This is a feeling that has me rereading these pages regularly, steeping my cells in the knowledge, so that I never again need to doubt our power to heal the world.

For those of us who've known all along that there's a lot more to life than the materialists claim, this is validation that we are right. Finally, solid science that backs up our beliefs and experiences!

It's not just a philosophy or belief any longer.

I don't know about you, but after a lifetime of being thought crazy for believing this stuff, I find that priceless. I love The Intention Experiment largely because it finally offers proof that all I've channeled and experienced and known about magick and manifestation and reality is true! I've bought copies for my family. Wicca Spirituality Winking Witch ©

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Excerpts from The Intention Experiment

Directed intention appears to manifest itself as both electric and magnetic energy and to produce an ordered stream of photons, visible and measurable by sensitive equipment. - p 32-3

If plants could register the death of an organism three doors away, it must mean that all life-forms were exquisitely in tune with each other. Living things must be registering and passing telepathic information back and forth at every moment, particularly at moments of threat or death. - 39

Every strong emotion—whether love, hate, or anger—produced an extraordinary effect on the light discharge of the recipient. … Every last thought appeared to augment or diminish something else's light. - p 46

… our emotional responses are constantly being picked up and echoed in those closest to us. - p 56

Stone had discovered evidence in both the healing and the paraphyschological literature that belief in the process assists in the success of psychic porcesses such as ESP, which, like intention, involves "transferring" information across distance. - 57

Neophytes who had practiced mindfulness meditation for only eight weeks showed increased activation of the "happy-thoughts" part of the brain and enhanced immune function. - 71

Here was physical evidence that meditation increases not only our ability to receive intuitive information, but also our conscious awareness of it. - 75

Persinger realised that living things are attuned not only to each other, but also to the Earth and in continually shifting magnetic energies. - p 100

In these conditioned spaces, the very law about the proportion of magnetic force had altered. A basic property of physics had completely changed. - 120

The Institute of Noetic Sciences has gathered together all scientifically recorded cases of so-called miracle cures. Although the received wisdom is that these cases are rare, a scan of the medical literature is instructive. One in eight skin cancers heals spontaneously, as does nearly one in five genitourinary cancers. Virtually at all types of illnesses, including diabetes, Addison's disease, and atherosclerosis, where vital organs or body parts are supposedly irretrievably damaged, have spontaneously healed. - p 142

It showed that instantaneous cause and effect occurs not only through space but also back and possibly forward through time. … It may well be that every action we take, every thought we have in the present, alters our entire history. - p 173

According to the Maharishi's formula—that the square root of 1 percent of any population practicing advanced meditation will have a positive impact— only 1,730 advanced American meditators would be required to have a positive influence on the United States, and only 8,084 to affect the entire world. - p 185

Nelson's work with FieldREGs had suggested that the size of the group was not as important as the intensity of focus; any group, however small, exerted an effect so long as the parties were involved in rapturous attention. - 185

… I was thrilled with the atmospheric conditions— a dark, stormy night would only aid our activities. Weather this wild often results from geomagnetic or atmospheric disturbance, which … enhances psychokinetic effects. - 190

Dozens of scientists have produced thousands of papers in the scientific literature offering sound evidence that thoughts are capable of profoundly affecting all aspects of our lives. As observers and creators, we are constantly remaking our world at every instant. Every thought we have, every judgment we hold, however unconscious, is having an effect. - p 194

We will have to reframe our understanding of our own biology in more miraculous terms. We are only beginning to understand the vast and untapped human potential at our disposal... - p 194

Our thoughts may be an inexhaustible and simple resource that can be called upon to focus our lives, heal our illnesses, clean up our citites, and improve the planet. We may have the power as communities to improve the quality of our air and water, our crime and accident statistics, the educational levels of our children. - p 195

-- The Intention Experiment: Using Your Thoughts to Change Your Life and the World, Lynne McTaggart. 2007, Free Press, ISBN-13: 9780743276955.

(All bold text, my emphasis.)

Rating for The Intention Experiment: 5 Stars

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With Bright Blessings,

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Return from Intention Experiment Book Review to Silver Chalice E-Zine, August 2014