Random event generators or REGs (also known as random number generators, RNGs) are devices that produce output very much like random coin tosses. A person sits in front of the REG connected to a computer, and each time a key is pressed, the REG produced a new heads or tails. The person attempts to mentally shift the output over many trials (each trial being a new bit) to produce more heads than tails or vice-versa. The computer keeps track of the relationship of heads to tails, and lets the person know how they are doing relative to the chance expectation. The more skewed the outcome is in the pre-stated direction of intention, the more statistically significant the output becomes. To succeed repeatedly is to suggest that the mind has the ability to bend reality in what used to be called a mind-over-matter effect. Today, we look at it more as consciousness research, finding the current outer boundaries of what consciousness is capable of, and building a model of how it is possible.
This unusual “game” has been played for more than 40 years now, since technology made the device possible. REG studies have been part of major research projects carried out at high-profile institutions, including Princeton University and the Stanford Research Institute (now SRI International). The results of their studies and others indicate that there is indeed an effect of consciousness on the output of the REG. The effects tend to show up as small, and they are not reliable, but they are definitely more prevalent than would be expected by chance.
It is important to note that the way the REG output bits are produced uses a quantum process with inherent uncertainty. Conventionally speaking, it is not possible to know ahead of time what next bit will be produced. Further, the bits are scrambled inside the REG with software, and before the human subject sees them. So the impact of consciousness does not seem to be a mechanical force as we usually think of it. One doesn’t “press” on the REG in any sense. Rather, we might think of a process that works through a relationship with the future. One decides on what one wants to see in the future, and then somehow gets the sequence of events to play out that image. Thus, the effect resembles a field that bends or guides reality toward a desired outcome. As an analogy, if you want a train go left at the fork, you don’t press on the side of the train to push it in that direction. Rather, you go ahead of the train and set the switch or the path to the left. The train is then guided in that direction. And further, the process seems to work equally well at a distance, across a town or even across a continent.
This process has enormous implications for how we think about the mind. We are only just beginning to grasp how this ability changes our understanding of nature. Lots of research is going on, and I hope this site and blog will help foster that growing community of interest. It has important implications for consciousness, the nature of reality, and how each of us may find better ways to live our lives.
I was associated with the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research Laboratory (PEAR lab) for most of its 28-year existence, from 1979 to 2007. The goal of the lab was to study anomalies created by the direct interaction of consciousness with either physical devices or other consciousnesses. One of the main research programs involved extensive use of random event generators.
In 2003 I met John Valentino at the PEAR Lab and we started a company called Psyleron with the support of PEAR. The objective was and remains to develop consciousness-related research tools and technologies and make them available at affordable prices for researchers and others interested in researching consciousness. In 2005 we released our REG line of products, as well as a REG-based “Mind-Lamp.” We also received a patent on a REG-based text messaging system.
I have now spent more than 15 years personally using the REG device to explore states of mind that correlate with the ability to affect the REG output. The experience helped shape my own theory development by providing data-driven feedback. I produced a book about this project, called The Selection Effect, just released: February, 2020.
Psyleron recently stopped selling its products directly to the public so that it could use its limited time to focus on further research and development. Mind, Matter, and Meaning now takes over the sales function to make sure that the growing interest in REG-based research and personal exploration is supported. While the very popular Mind Lamp is not currently available, REG Systems (the dba for sales of these products) is planning on re-releasing it in the future. I also plan to provide a forum for discussion related to REG work as well. I am hoping that together we can share our own experiences and theories and encourage a wide array of institutions to begin working with these devices.
My educational background is a mechanical engineering degree from Princeton University. I have also given talks, lectures, and workshops in academic institutions in the U.S. and Canada, and presented multiple times at the yearly conference of the Society for Scientific Exploration.