We have all heard the tales of people defying the known laws of physics and biology: mothers lifting a car off their child; the placebo effect or spontaneous remission from degenerative diseases like cancer; the effects of group meditation on crime rates and random event generators; walking on a bed of hot coals without incidence or injury;  Dr. Emoto’s studies on the formation of water crystals in response to human emotion; and so on.

Can such phenomena be explained away or are these truly cases where consciousness has an effect on so-called external reality, wherein the rules we have become so accustomed to being fixed can be bent or even broken?

Just as importantly, when confronted with information that appears to contradict the map of reality we have already drawn for ourselves, are we more inclined to want to discard such information or to call our map back into question?

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