Gabriel D. Roberts of Reality Sandwich interviewed the controversial (in some quarters) biologist Dr. Rupert Sheldrake. It’s well worth a read. Here’s a snip:
You’ve experimented a good deal with the sense of being stared at. This sort of thing seems so simple to the average person, and yet a scientific materialist might say, “That’s just nonsense.” Is this another example of the dogma you refer to?
One of the ten dogmas I discuss in Science Set Free is that the mind is inside the head. The assumption of materialism is that the mind is nothing but the activity of the brain, therefore it is all inside the head. That means that when you look at somebody, your image of that person is inside your head, it’s not out there in any way. So when you look at somebody, you shouldn’t be able to affect them.
Yet almost everybody has the experience of knowing when you are being looked at from behind, when you turn around and someone is looking at you. Or you look at somebody and they turn around. So that suggests the sense of being stared at is real. It’s found all over the world. I’ve interviewed surveillance officers, private detectives and so forth, and they all take it completely for granted. It’s taught in the martial arts; you can train this ability and get better at it. I’ve done lots of experiments, and so have many other people, that show this is indeed a real phenomenon.
This is no surprise to most people, because they have experienced it and so have most of their friends and family. The phenomenon is well known, yet there has been an almost complete systematic denial of its existence in science for a hundred years because, if the mind is inside the head, it’s impossible. It ought to not happen. Therefore the evidence was dismissed as illusory. There are still organized groups of skeptics who take that line and try and just explain it all away as coincidence. Yet the science we gathered does show it’s real, and if it’s real, then something about our mind reaches out to touch what we are looking at.