Einstein and ESP: Organized “Skepticism” as a Historical Aberration

MentalRadio

Little known fact: Upton Sinclair, renewed author of The Jungle, wrote a book about his experiments with telepathy between him and his wife called Mental Radio. Even less known: the man who wrote the introduction to the German edition of the book was Albert Einstein. You may have heard of him.

JL have read the book of Upton Sinclair with great interest 
and am convinced that the same deserves the most earnest consid- 
eration, not only of the laity, but also of the psychologists by 
profession. The results of the telepathic experiments carefully and 
plainly set forth in this book stand surely far beyond those which 
a nature investigator holds to be thinkable. On the other hand, 
it is out of the question in the case of so conscientious an observer 
and writer as Upton Sinclair that he is carrying on a conscious 
deception of the reading world; his good faith and dependability 
are not to be doubted. So if somehow the facts here set forth rest 
not upon telepathy, but upon some unconscious hypnotic influence 
from person to person, this also would be of high psychological 
interest. In no case should the psychologically interested circles 
pass over this book heedlessly. 

[signed] A. EINSTEIN 
May 23, 1930

The organized “skeptic” movement, many people do not realize, is a recent historical aberration, and mainstream science has only become ideologically hostile to investigations of anomalous or paranormal phenomena in the past few decades. Don’t take my word for it: read some history. Real science is not afraid to apply its methods to subjects that make some people uncomfortable. That is actually how science is supposed to function—by challenging its assumptions and not sweeping outlying data under the rug.

I don’t know of any other ideology that has turned so many smart, decent people into angry, self-righteous fundamentalists about things they’ve never taken a moment to actively study—and things that have been such a huge part of the human experience and narrative for as long as we’ve existed. It’s bizarre, and I’m confident we’ll get past it. We’re too smart as a species to stay stuck in willful ignorance about the immense spectrum of our consciousness.

Michael Hughes
Written by Michael Hughes

Michael M. Hughes is a writer and performer. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

1 Comment responses

  1. Avatar
    October 09, 2014

    I couldn’t refrain from commenting. Well written!

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