How we sense when we are being stared at

July 1, 2012

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How we sense when we are being stared at

© Brendan D. Murphy, 2012

Sight is energy leaving the person. –Leonardo da Vinci

It’s not polite to stare

There has been much discussion of the so-called ‘sense of being stared at’ over the years since it began being empirically researched. In this article, largely excerpted from my forthcoming book The Grand Illusion (Vol.1), I will offer some insight as to the energies and forces behind the phenomenon.

As far back as July of 1921 it was reported by the New York Times that Dr. Charles Russ had shown the Ophthalmological Congress at Oxford that with a properly designed apparatus a person could cause a solenoid to move by just gazing at it. 1 (See Figure 1.) Page 222–34 of the July 30th 1921 issue of the British medical journal The Lancet featured an article by Russ entitled ‘An Instrument Which Is Set In Motion by Vision or by Proximity of the Human Body.’2 The device he called a ‘sthenometer.’ (See Figure 2.) It consisted of a balanced needle suspended by a thread inside a surrounding transparent shield, preferably made of quartz (although glass worked too). A horizontal dial marked off in degrees was placed below the horizontally suspended needle. Russ stated that it would instantly respond to either a gaze or the proximity of a human body.3

Figure 1. Dr. Charles Russ’ solenoid. British Patent # 124,288. Source: Charles Russ, An Instrument Set in Motion and whose Motion is Controlled by the Human Eye, i.e., by Vision (March 24th, 1919).


Figure 2. Dr. Charles Russ’ ‘sthenometer.’
Source: G. Harry Stine, Mind Machines You Can Build, 21.

 Many experiments have shown the presence of a non-magnetic spin field around the body, including over 1,000 conducted and recently reported on by Dr. Buryl Payne.4 Apparently the earliest known such experiments were conducted by Frenchman Dr. Hippolyte Baraduc who evidently passed away in the early 1900s—little is known about him. The force field around the body—which he reportedly identified by using a copper needle suspended horizontally by a thread attached to the center of the inside of a glass dome—he dubbed the ‘vital current.’ 5 Reichenbach and Mesmer found it and called it ‘animal magnetism.’ (Baraduc’s work showed its flow could be modified through focused intent.) This force has also been referred to as ‘pseudo-magnetism.’ As a result of several years of research, Russ believed that there was a transmission of power and force between people when one person looked at another, attributable to a ray emanating from the eye. 6

Numerous studies into the sense of being stared at reinforce the idea that the act of looking at someone or something can actually affect the system being observed. According to biologist and paranormal researcher Rupert Sheldrake, many tests have been conducted in schools—at least twenty, several of which have won prizes at science fairs. This research has been popularized through New Scientist magazine, BBC TV, and Discovery Channel TV, and test procedures have been published on these organizations’ websites, as well as on Sheldrake’s own (, allowing many people to participate in the research. Overall, tens of thousands of trials have been run. 7

According to Sheldrake,

The results are remarkably consistent. Typically, about 55% of the guesses are right, as opposed to 50% expected by chance. Repeated over tens of thousands of trials this result becomes astronomically significant statistically…In experiments in which the same subjects were tested repeatedly and given trial-by-trial feedback, there was a striking learning effect, with a significant (p=0.003) improvement in scores with practice (Colwell et al., 2000). In a German school, with repeated testing, some 8 to 9 year-old children achieved accuracies as high as 90%. 8

The sense of being stared at effect is widely replicable, with many studies yielding positive results. In Russia the phenomenon has been known for decades. 9

In a student project in Ireland, Susan and Jennifer Brodigan compared the results with pairs of twins as lookers and starers with the results from pairs of untwinned siblings and people who were unrelated (subjects/starees were blindfolded and not given feedback). Twins scored significantly higher than untwinned siblings or unrelated people,10 suggesting stronger psi between twins—a suggestion common to anecdotal evidence. Noted parapsychologist and bestselling author Dean Radin analysed the results of variations of staring experiments, constituting 33,357 trials over sixty experiments from publications cited by Sheldrake and others. The overall success rate was 54.5% as opposed to the 50% expected by chance, registering odds against chance of 202 octodecillion (that’s 2 × 1059) to one. Even accounting for an estimated ‘file drawer’ of six unreported null-result studies, odds against chance remained absurdly high at 1046 to one. 11There is irrefutably an observer effect on living systems, in other words. Period.

Note that the success of staring trials does not depend on a minority of especially sensitive subjects, but rather represents a general tendency for subjects to score better when they are actually being looked at than when they are not. The results indicate that the intuitive faculties are innate in our species—hardly a revelation for frequenters of this website. ‘More than 100,000 trials have now been carried out, and the results are overwhelmingly positive and hugely significant statistically, with odds against chance of quadrillions to one,’ Sheldrake has stated.12

Gravity with a twist

Is there an unseen non-electromagnetic energy unconsciously emitted by an observer at all observed systems? In quantum theory, nonlocality doesn’t allow for the transmission of any detectable electromagnetic (EM) signals in space-time, but rather, simultaneous correlations. However, the twisting torsion forces, or spin fields, inherent in the ‘fabric’ of space (or gravity, or ‘aether’ if you prefer) allows for superluminal and instantaneous information transfer without EM energy transfer. This is interesting given that the physicist Roy Frieden postulates that conscious observation of a system injects information into it, which thereby interacts with the energy and matter within the object, and between this and other objects, flowing from one space-time object to another. 13 Torsion fields are fundamentally information fields—which are not directly observable under normal circumstances—and they are known to ‘transmit’ information without EM energy. (For more on torsion physics, see my article Torsion: The Key to a Theory of Everything here:

The postulation of information injection into an observed system by the observer is pertinent in the sense that even mainstream physics has reached the point of increasingly viewing the universe as a holographic information processor. * Information is now viewed as even more fundamental than energy. In this model, information provides the ‘bits’ that combine to produce what we measure and experience as matter and energy. The cosmos self-organizes using this information as its ‘building blocks.’ It is suggested by David Yurth—a scientist and patent holder who, over 25+ years of research, has read over 4,000 books and research papers on these and related subjects—that torsion fields are the mechanism by which the nonlocal holographic field of consciousness mediates the distribution and organization of information as it self-organizes into energy and matter, thus building the manifest universe.[xi]

* See my article Attention, Intention, and the Universe as a Conscious Holographic Information Processor, based on material from Chapter 7 of The Grand Illusion, at

Now it’s personal

Roughly two years into my own conscious journey—following my original metaphysical awakening—I was spending a little bit of time with a Spiritualist church in Sydney. This was mainly for the purposes of attending a weekly trance mediumship class (primarily to help my quality of meditation, and hopefully stimulate my psi faculties) and to occasionally observe mediums giving platform readings at the weekly church services. I also attended a couple of development workshops run by a gifted clairvoyant I will refer to as D.P. Before we get too far off on a tangent, I will come straight back to the point. I wanted to test D.P.’s clairvoyance, in particular to see if she could perceive mental energy and manipulations and/or projections of it. She suggested I send some love energy to some point of my own choosing on a large tree just outside the window of the hall we were using—she would clairvoyantly identify the point of contact on the tree.

Making sure there was no possibility for D.P. to physically observe where my head or eyes were pointing, I silently selected a spot on the tree and mentally beamed some energy at it. Almost immediately, D.P. (standing with her back to me) exclaimed ‘There!’ and correctly identified my target, pointing with no hesitation. She did this accurately and quickly each time we ran this little ‘test.’ I was convinced she could see my mental energy and where I was directing it. There were no reflective surfaces or other aides that might have revealed through ordinary means where I was aiming on the tree—which was large enough that there could be no ambiguity in terms of the accuracy of D.P.’s ‘guesses.’ This was my first intimate contact with the concept of consciousness energy emanating from the eyes. It showed me up close and personal that ‘mind’ undeniably has a visible energy that clairvoyants perceive as consisting of light (they perceive the light-based aspects or effects of the energy of consciousness).

Perhaps two or three years later I found myself with an intuitive and clairvoyant girlfriend (surprise, surprise). Out of the blue one day, while riding a tram in Melbourne, she made the comment that my eyes were emanating light in a way she had never seen before. I didn’t get much more information than that out of her, but again an independent source had presented me with the notion that there is indeed a bio-energy that radiates from the eyes.

Etheric energy and torsion

In standard occult terms, we can identify this energy we speak of—or its light-based aspects at least—as etheric/pranic/chi—depending on the framework you want to reference (there are many other names we could add to the list). (I spell ether without an ‘a’ to indicate the personal etheric field, and use aether with an ‘a’ to indicate the general transpersonal fluid-like aetheric medium which creates our entire reality—also referred to as the physical vacuum/space-time/implicate order, etc.)

Note that the human mind-field (‘aura’) has different qualities to it. Some (in particular, Russian scientists) refer to it as a torsion field—since every individual particle spins, thus generating a torsion field of its own, and a collective aggregate torsion field—while others, such as Jay Alfred 15 emphasise the plasma-like quality of its light-emitting particulate constituents by referring to it as magnetic plasma (‘magma’ for short). To acknowledge both elements, I sometimes refer to the mind-fields as torsion-plasma fields.

Torsion fields arising from the spin-spin interactions within the vacuum/aether/implicate order—though we can’t see them—are ultimately the most fundamental aspect, since they are ultimately responsible for organizing undifferentiated information into what we think of as light and ‘matter.’ Author Sol Luckman succinctly refers to prana/chi/orgone, etc., as the light-based aspects of torsion fields. To illustrate the point: the vortices of light interpenetrating the human body and energy fields, as described by clairvoyants, are created by the spin frequencies of the chakras; the light is a secondary effect, not the primary organizational force.

Everything spins, from galaxies to quarks, meaning that everything generates its own torsion waves and field. It is the spin currents arising from the vacuum/aether/implicate order that then create all matter, light, and polarity. Russian scientists have established that every electromagnetic expression is accompanied by a torsion aspect (See TGI 1 and/or Torsion: The Key to a Theory of Everything), therefore, any plasma-like configuration (say, an astral or etheric body) has an aggregate torsion field by definition. The significance of linking torsion to our subtle bodies and therefore our consciousness is that torsion fields cannot be shielded by natural substances, and even most man-made ones, with the exception of aluminium. Therefore neither can our consciousness—as thousands of rigorously controlled scientific experiments have shown. 16

Reich and the visual ray

The scientific genius and pioneer Wilhelm Reich re-discovered etheric particles (or ‘prana’) and called it orgone (pronounced as ‘organ’). His device, the orgone accumulator, was a simple, layered solid-state structure that actually succeeded in harnessing free orgone energy. It not only generated ‘anomalous’ temperature increases from ‘out of nowhere,’ but, rigged in a particular way, it could run a 25-volt motor indefinitely—thus slaughtering the sacred cow (to borrow David Wilcock’s phraseology) known as the Second Law of Thermodynamics. For his troubles in breaking new scientific ground which could have benefitted the whole of mankind, Reich was persecuted by the U.S. government and A.M.A., jailed, and ultimately died under the strain of it all while incarcerated. (Such is life in the ‘land of the free.’)

What matters for us here, as veteran UFO and orgone researcher Trevor James Constable notes, is that orgone/etheric energy is actually physical rather than ‘spiritual.’ It is mass-free and non-electromagnetic but still part of our space-time reference frame in that it can even be perceived by people with ordinary vision. (Metaphysicists such as Charles W. Leadbeater referred to these particular particles as vitality globules. 17 ) When we can tap the energy of the etheric plane, we discover negentropy—time-reversed effects that orthodox science cannot explain. This is where ‘free energy’ resides, as Reich and many, many others have shown.

Pranic/orgone energy is something I have spent much time observing in its free state in the atmosphere. It looks like a ‘soup’ of highly energetic bright pin-points of light which ‘wriggle’ and spiral through the air before vanishing from sight. Many of you have probably seen it too. The primary source of this life-energy is indeed the sun, locally speaking. Spend long enough observing and you may find that these particles will cover the expanse of your visual field, at which point it will create the effect of a moving ‘web’ of life energy that feels strangely internal while yet looking external to you. To my way of thinking, this is because your own etheric double (and visual ray) is composed of the very substance you are observing in free form in the atmosphere.

We all have an etheric or ‘vital’ body—of that we can permit no reasonable doubt, due to the large amounts of empirical evidence available proving it. It is an exact holographic energetic duplicate of the physical body, and, according to Constable, it is also the source of the beam of mass-free orgone/etheric energy that emanates from our eyes. Constable states, as someone who verified Rudolph Steiner’s remarks on the matter: “Departure of a ray of energy from the human eye is an integral part of the process of vision.” Thus, the visual ray of orgone energy is literally an extension of your consciousness out beyond the confines of the body. It acts like a radar, only a more sophisticated one that both imparts to and receives information from whatever it interacts with—this includes ‘inert’ matter as well as living systems. Constable states that, with some practise, you can physically feel this beam of energy cruss your hands as you pass it back and forth over them in a darkened room. 18

There is other good, if indirect, empirical evidence for a non-EM ray of energy which can be directed from our bodies to a selected target, as I detail in TGI 1.

Being stared at

When the visual info-energetic beam/ray contacts the etheric body of another living being, it is detected by the recipient’s own etheric/orgone field. A meaningful interaction then takes place, as subconscious levels of awareness process the exchange of information and energy, and the observed organism assesses the event, perhaps even ‘scanning’ for a potential threat. Empirical research has revealed not just that people are statistically more likely to feel like someone is staring at them when they actually are, but that the very act of looking creates subtle physiological effects that are not even registered consciously.

Compelling experiments known as Distant Mental Influence of Living Systems or DMILS have been carried out by psychologist William Braud at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in Palo Alto, California, and anthropologist Marilyn Schlitz, Research Director for the Institute of Noetic Sciences. They have repeatedly shown that if a watcher simply attends fully to a ‘watchee’ whose physiological activity is being monitored, then the watcher can influence the distant watchee’s autonomic galvanic skin responses. In four separate experiments involving seventy-eight sessions, one person staring intently at a closed-circuit TV monitor image of a distant participant, influenced the watchee’s electrodermal (galvanic skin) responses. In these cases no techniques of intentional focusing or mental imaging were used by the influencer. He or she simply stared at the ‘watchee’s’ image on the video screen during the 30-second trials, which were randomly interspersed with control periods.

In these studies, Braud and Schlitz discovered something even more interesting than this telepathically induced effect on our unconscious system. They found that, while they were being stared at, the most shy, anxious and introverted people had the largest unconscious electrodermal responses, meaning they ‘reacted with significantly more stress to being stared at than did the sociable and extroverted people.’ 19 Quiet introverts may possess, or have developed, a higher sensitivity to the consciousness or at least the direct attention of others.

Interestingly, decades ago, the electrochemist Douglas Dean discovered by using a plethysmograph that when someone concentrates on the name of a person with whom he or she has an emotional tie, the distant subject registers a measurable change in blood pressure and volume in his/her finger (showing autonomic nervous system activation). Dean found about one in four people to have this sensitivity. 20 Thus, we can see that even without directly observing a living system—and therefore not ‘contacting’ it with our visual ray—we can still influence it merely by thinking of it, especially if there is an emotional component present in the thought to amplify the signal. This supports the idea that torsion/scalar fields in the aetheric medium can and do interact with one another ‘outside’ the standard restrictions of the electromagnetic space-time reference frame, and can do so at speeds far beyond that of ordinary light (superluminally). The aetheric medium is effectively a totally integrated medium that has a ubiquitous ‘nonlocal’ character. Everything is interconnected at vastly superluminal speeds—even instantaneously. (In a more complete version of this article to later be made available at, I elaborate on superluminal information transfer and torsion field technology used to facilitate instantaneous communication.)

Could there be an electromagnetic component to the sense of being stared at?

Despite the fact that we are emphasising a non-EM form of ‘hyperdimensional’ energy (‘torsion’) as the primary culprit behind someone being able to detect the gaze (or thoughts) of another, there was an experiment conducted by Dr. Colin A. Russ fairly recently and reported in Anthropology of Consciousness in March, 2010, that deserves a mention. Briefly, Russ was looking for an electromagnetic basis—in the ELF 1–40 Hz range, from 1–100 microvolts—for the ‘evil eye,’ as well as the sense of being stared at. Using a high-impedance electrode in an EM-insulated environment, his results did indeed show that the extremely-low-frequency (ELF) EM signal coming from the eyes was stronger in amplitude in certain frequency ranges than that emanating from the rest of the skull, even if only detected at shor,t range.

While ELF EM signals suffer extremely little attenuation as they propagate—and therefore may conceivably be involved in local staring effects—Russ acknowledges, however, that the small EM signals he measured cannot account for the fact that the sense of being stared at can be transmitted ‘through,’ for instance, CCTV cameras to distant people. He points out that his results obviously do not rule out other non-EM emissions functioning in tandem with the detectable EM frequencies, and mentions the possibility of Sheldrake’s non-EM morphogenic fields, which we have speculatively identified here and in TGI as torsion/scalar fields: ‘The measurable component of ocular extramission [radiation] in the 0–40 Hertz range could be considered to be a special limited instance of the larger theoretical category of morphogenic fields.’ 21

Nonlocal staring effects require a little more conceptual flexibility than the local variety. Why does looking at someone through CCTV monitors—or even just thinking about them—affect them physically? ‘The fact that consciousness is inextricably infused in the fabric of our being at the primary [nonlocal and holographic] level of complexity means that the exercise of “seeing” exerts a demonstrable effect on whatever we observe because everything is equally and similarly infused with “consciousness” that operates in the non-local holographic field as well.’ 22 As any mystic will tell you, we—and our entire universe—are all extensions or projections of an underlying holographic (and conscious) field of potential, something physicist David Bohm called the ‘implicate order.’ It is as if the act of observing produces an instantaneous sense of ‘recognition’ within the object we observe, because ultimately subject and object are simply different facets of the same nonlocal holographic consciousness (all is ultimately one).


While there are many experiments proving beyond rational doubt that people can and sometimes do sense when someone is looking at them (or thinking about them), even the scientists doing these important experiments have by and large failed to postulate a convincing causal mechanism for the phenomenon. It may seem evident to a student of the esoteric that the answer has been staring science in the face for some time: the etheric/pranic/orgone/chi/vital body known for millennia to seers and healers alike—and its torsion field—generates a non-EM beam of force (and hyperdimensional/‘virtual’ light) and information that interacts apparently instantaneously (certainly superluminally) with all that the human observes.

We cannot help but affect any system we observe (this is, in fact, a fundamental premise of modern physics). Whether we like it or not, we always leave our energetic signature behind, while simultaneously obtaining information about the target.

© Brendan D. Murphy, 2012

About the author:

Brendan D. Murphy is the rising Australian author of the forthcoming science-meets-metaphysics non-fiction epic The Grand Illusion: A Synthesis of Science and Spirituality (Vol’s 1 & 2), and a contributing writer for several popular alternative magazines and websites. While is under construction, readers are warmly invited to visit ‘The Grand Illusion (TGI)’ fan page on Facebook for more articles, information, and free book excerpts:


  1. New York Times, July 9, 1921. For a detailed article by Russ see:
  3. H. C. Stine, Mind Machines You Can Build, 21–22.
  4. B. Payne The Biofield: A Different Type of Magnetism? Nexus 15(4) 2008.
  5., Stine, 21.
  6. Our Amazing Visual Ray! Compiled and edited by Thomas Joseph Brown.
  7. R. Sheldrake, The Sense of Being Stared At, Part 1. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 12(6) 2005, 10–31.
  8. Ibid.
  9. S. Ostrander & L. Schroeder, Psychic Discoveries Behind the Iron Curtain, 121–2, 139.
  10. R. Sheldrake, The Sense of Being Stared At, Part 1. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 12(6) 2005, 10–31.
  11. D. Radin, Entangled Minds, 127–9.
  12. R. Sheldrake, Minds Beyond Brains: Recent Experimental Evidence.
  13. R. Schoch & L.Yonavjak, The Parapsychology Revolution, 114.
  14. D.G. Yurth, Variations on the Maharishi Model: An Integration of Consciousness and the Unified Field. Presented to the 5th Annual International Symposium of the New Energy Society. Salt Palace in Salt Lake City, Utah, August 28, 1999. This transcript is to be found in  G.C. Vesperman’s Torsion Field Physics.
  15. See Alfred’s worthy book Our Invisible Bodies for his informative take on the mind-fields and their plasma-like composition.
  16. See my book The Grand Illusion Vol.1.
  17. Ibid.
  18. T.J. Constable, Sky Critters: Living UFOs, 68–70.
  19. R. Targ & J. Katra, The Scientific and Spiritual Implications of Psychic Abilities.
  20. Ostrander & Schroeder, op. cit., 89.
  21. Ross, Hypothesis: The Electrophysiological Basis of Evil Eye Belief. Anthropology of Consciousness, 21(1), 2010, 47–57.
  22. Email communication from David Yurth, February 2012.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Frank July 29, 2012 at 2:39 pm

I came to the conclusion that the EM field that is produced by the heart, could possibly be the wave guide for thought/intent to travel a distance. Another thing to add here, is that the heart has a neural network of cells that are very similar to neurons in the brain. In fact, the first response of environmental stimuli in any form, is from this network of neurons in the heart. This is what I believe to be the information the brain receives and decodes to give us perception.

Everyone has the ability to feel attention, in fact its the guide which shapes our personality. I think the adulation type feeling that people get after a great achievement is an example of the enjoyment of a reciprocating two way connection with this force. Its just that we’re not aware and paying attention to recognise it as an effect that can be measured.


Mike Orrell July 6, 2012 at 10:29 am

Subject: Science meets Metaphysics

For Brendan D. Murphy, My front page story here in San Diego requires someone like you to thoroughly investigate it. Has an amateur armchair theorist really found the key to unravel some of mankind’s greatest mysteries, in an accidental photo of 10 UFOs? Well I’ve never heard anyone else make such a bold claim and if its true then YOU should check it out. Google my name or “Inaja UFO Photo”
There IS NOT a more important development in the world of the paranormal that what you will see in this 12 min. video.


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