IONSX is the Institute of Noetic Sciences’ innovative research program focusing on practical applications of nonlocal consciousness-related phenomena. This program is studying how mental intention directly affects the physical world, and ways that our perceptions can transcend the conventional limitations of space and time. These effects are often referred to as psychic or psi phenomena.
One motivation for IONSX is to address the stubborn skepticism that persists about these phenomena in the academic world, despite experiential reports found throughout history and across all cultural and educational levels, the substantial scientific evidence supporting the reality of these effects, and the high levels of belief in these phenomena expressed (usually in private) among scientists and engineers. Another motivation is that attempting to develop pragmatic applications of psi abilities can act as a forcing function to explore radically novel ideas.
One of the primary reasons for entrenched skepticism about psi is the current scientific worldview, the set of assumptions about the nature of reality that most scientists have adopted and most educated people are taught. This perspective assumes that everything, including consciousness and all of its associated properties, emerges from matter (even though no one has the slightest idea how “dead” matter can give rise to “living” subjective awareness). The materialistic worldview considers “you” to be identical to your brain activity, and from that stance psi is impossible. This allows any form of evidence for psi to be dismissed as flawed or fraudulent.
IONSX may be able to finesse this skeptical position because it is difficult to deny a pragmatic application. Still, a successful IONSX application by itself may not be sufficient to force a change in the status quo because there are already psi-type applications known to be effective in dowsing for water and other materials, in healing,, and in counseling (e.g., bereavement therapy, assistance in making financial decisions, espionage, and psychotherapy). None of these successful applications have made much of a dent in the hard-core “it’s impossible” position, but as new applications are developed, dents will appear.
IONSX is incorporating theoretical ideas and empirical data from IONS’ scientists and collaborators around the world. It is an explicitly multidisciplinary effort designed to explore a very broad range of possible physical targets, analytical methods, physical and personality characteristics of the participants, environmental factors, as well as ways of combining the data from these studies.