Belief, Intent & Pattern Recognition or the “Lanier Effect”

What does belief and intent have to do with pattern recognition?  Well, first a couple of odd words: Pareidolia and Apophenia. Both, in broad definition, essentially mean that when you see shapes in clouds or hear voices in traffic passing by (this doppler effect happens as sound waves are compressed in front of the car (high pitched) and stretched behind the car (low pitched) or see faces in dust orbs, your brain is seeking to make something recognizable out of the chaotic.  One short definition I found for the latter is: unmotivated seeing of connections.

The “Lanier Effect” has to be credited to George Foy who wrote the great sci-fi thriller novel “The Shift”. Now, Jaron Lanier is the pioneer of virtual reality and coined the term. In the book the Lanier Effect refers to a time shift lag in a virtual reality program. It is a trick of perception where the brain fills in the spaces where the program is not keeping up.

The brain knows what’s up and gives you what you believe in. And that is where belief and intent come into the picture.

Take the Oiuja board, tarot, automatic writing, dowsing; any of the diviniatory arts are based on intent. The board, the cards, the pendulum are simply tools to focus the intent of the person or medium using them. By the way, I believe we are all mediums in the sense that all sensory and extrasensory perception exists because of the human condition. So if you have a long standing belief in ghosts and you go to a location that has been reported as haunted intending to experience paranormal activity then you probably will. That banging is a water pipe, the light flickering is a loose bulb, the black apparition is the oak tree outside casting a shadow. But you intended to find a ghost and you believe they are there so despite zero evidence to the contrary you think maybe the spirits were just hiding. If you are listening to an EVP recording with the intent of finding voices something certainly will pop out at you and you will understand what it says even if no one else can. If you intend to see a face in an orb photo that has been blown up and pixilated out, then you will.

To try and put this in a human consciousness light, each and every one of us creates to some large extent our own reality. As such each sees or hears what is left after applying their personal filters and blinders. Naturally then not everyone who sees a rose will see beauty or think that gasoline smells terrible. Not everyone will relax to the sound of the rain and thunder or like the taste of chocolate cake. Once you run the input coming into your five regular senses then through your belief system and ego, the stimuli becomes unique to you alone. Five people riding in an elevator are experiencing five different realities.

And much if not all of our personal reality depends on what we want to see, hear, feel, etc. Intent. This from our beliefs and world view. But it can get complicated from there because some of these beliefs are probably not even your own. They may be your parents or teachers beliefs and you just accepted them as your reality. Say your parents spanked you when you were a child as a disciplinary action. You grew up and had children of your own and believed that this was the only way to control them despite what others may say or even a feeling within you telling you it is wrong. Your parent’s belief, not yours. Perhaps people alway told you the boogie man was just your imagination and there are no such things as ghosts. Thirty years later you are still skeptical of all things paranormal. Maybe you still hang on to family religious beliefs even though they have lost their luster for you.

I think elementary teachers along with parents have the greatest impact on children’s perceptions of the world around them. Very young children seem more receptive to true paranormal experiences as they do not have a solid belief system in place and their every intention is pure and spontaneous. Children are impressionable and beliefs taught as facts can certainly distort their reality. So before you were old enough to start middle school, already your perceptions are distorting because of other peoples ideologies.

Try examining some of the things you believe in and I’ll bet you come up with a bunch of stuff that you can’t even remember where you got it from. Beliefs you’ve never examined or tested against yourself because you just assumed they were true. Investigate those beliefs with the intention of dumping the ones that don’t hold water with you. You will clear up your personal reality and get rid of hang-ups.

Now you can look at paranormal activity much more objectively when trying to determine whether it is true activity or if something in our physical world is causing the disturbance. But the human mind is capable of much trickery so you need to be on your toes when investigating the unkown and going over evidence. Your mind WILL try to compensate for what it does not understand.

The brain is still the best computer out there, but like all computers, are outstanding at some tasks and damnably slow at processing others. And with that in mind, so to speak, can we train ourselves to recognize when our brain compensates or over-compensates for stimulus it has never encountered before? When it fills in the spaces, the pixels, the sound waves as a result of our intent and belief in the situation? Pretty easy to find a ghost if you really want to find a ghost. And the intent of most ghost hunters is to find a ghost.

Each one of us has a unique brain “program” or virtual reality system that accounts for why some people “see” and some don’t. But the operating system must be the same for there are accounts to numerous to list of hauntings and ghosts. I for one have seen and heard and experienced enough to make me a believer while letting the skeptic in me do the research and evidence review.

(End note)      During the first thought processes of this article I was doing an EVP recording where I was explaining to our friends on the other side what I was trying to get across in this article and got an outstanding Class A of one word, “Commission” in a loud male whisper. I didn’t take this to mean getting paid for the writing. After looking up some definitions I felt that it more meant: responsibility or charge, assignment, authority granted for a particular action or function, authority to act as agent for another or others, the power thus granted. I don’t know who this wonderful entity was but he strengthened my belief in the miracle of the other side and renewed my passion for life here on the Earth plane.

Published by Jazzi Ryan Ranes

Disseminator of anomalous information. Curator of Letters, Word Maker, Poet, Freethinker.

8 thoughts on “Belief, Intent & Pattern Recognition or the “Lanier Effect”

  1. Interesting article to be sure. I never argue with someone who thinks things through in this way – even if I did disagree, the logic is too sound. I have found myself fightings these misconceptions and perceptions about life and whatever else there is, repeatedly. It becomes a duty – you don’t have a choice once you put on that investigator’s cap. If you bring the wrong “stuff” to the table, you just leave with a belly ache.

    But, I’m also surprised how frequently I am able these days to analyze before I react. I think I may have trained myself somehow to pay more attention to denying my senses as opposed to just going with any old flow. But when all is said and done, and there are no more boogie men in the closet, no more oak trees to cast those shadows, and no more eerie sounds from the loose window pane, one realizes there are more things we don’t know than there will ever be known. Thats part of the human condition – I think we’re stuck with being these curious, intelligent creatures who will never run out of things to figure out.

    But geeez… when it speaks to you – ya just hafta listen, doncha…


    1. Yes, we grow into ourselves as we learn …we understand there is more to reality than what is presently known. And when they speak to you, well…you simply cannot turn away…that would be like turning against yourself, it ain’t happnin’!:-)


  2. Hmmm… I don’t know how I missed this post in my e-mail. I probably saw the title and my brain clouded up a bit. 🙂 Actually… apparently I liked the post already.

    I’ve been thinking about this kind of stuff a lot in the last week or so. My EVP experimenting has not turned up the evidence that I would have hoped so far. So I started thinking about intent…. believing I was getting EVP… and then as I was listening I was BELIEVING I was going to hear an EVP. 🙂 When I wasn’t sure if that was working I started focusing more on my meditating beforehand. I’ve never been great at meditating. I think I’m broken… so they don’t know I’m looking for them. It makes me go back to wondering if my scoliosis (I have a severe S curve in my spine and the lower half is fused) has anything to do with it. Some people tell me that is silly… but I’ve read books that focus so much on alignment and chakras and blah blah blah… Once again… am I still talking? 🙂


    1. It has everything to do with belief and intent, Patrick. You already know from your experience that the voices are there. You have to keep faith in that…it doesn’t matter about religious beliefs or lack of, you already know the truth of the voices. And I don’t think your broken, lol…I had back surgery in 1996 for a herniated disc and other surgeries I won’t mention here…and just recently, officially diagnosed with osterarthritis, degenerative disc disease, and fibromyalgia..and possibly a new herniated disc. Our new friend, Randall Keller, has had heart attacks and other medical conditions that actually acted as a catalyst to his journey into EVP. If broken or blocked Chakras had anything to do with the communications, then none of us would ever record a damn thing. 🙂 I would recommend one thing. Try recording in the quietest condions you can manage. I know you like the pink noise but the quieter you can make your environment the better the quality of the EVP when it does come through. And you don’t have to go through half the clean up on the file. The more you gotta mess with the recording the more chance it won’t stand up to close inspection. These beings don’t seem to need all that noise to communicate if they truly desire to. Now look who’s talking too much! Keep the faith you! 🙂


  3. Thank you so much. Wow! I guess there is plenty of proof that there are some very spiritual broken people. I hadn’t really thought about that.

    Well I definitely have the intent and the belief… maybe I need more confidence. Maybe that’s the problem.

    When it comes to background noise source… I actually am NOT a fan. About 50% of my sessions are in silence (minus the sound of my tummy or a dog scratching every now and then)… Research tends to show that a background noise source is where it’s all happening. I believe ATransC gets most of their EVPs with some kind of background source as well. I just try to hit several different areas. I’m REALLY trying to learn more about EVP maker and spirit box because I think it’s interesting… I just don’t really trust it yet… and I for sure don’t know how to “hear” it yet. Trying to stay open. But yes… the sound of silence is my favorite…


    1. Point taken! lol…whatever is working for you. I absolutely respect your interest in trying different stuff. I’m just sayin’ that right now if you got a clear, no-doubt-about-it, class a, kiick-ass EVP out of the silence, it would do worlds for your confidence. 🙂 It took me some time and a lot of dissappointing recordings before the good ones started coming…If these are mostly people, like we think, then I suppose a certain amount of trust must be there for clear voices. I admire your initiative, keep recording…it will work out if you are respectful but persistent.


      1. I am one of those people who believes that the vast majority of the time, the EVP voice makes himself or herself known. It’s their decision, in other words, to be heard. And I just don’t think there is any real research that suggests they need anything from our existence to do it. I know there are all kinds of opinions out there, but the idea that they require help from us seems false to me on a spiritual level as well. I’ve done a lot of EVP research, tests, and what have you, and I try as often as possible to make the environment as quiet as I can. And thats where my results come from, and always have. As to what might “encourage” them to talk, that’s another story, but I think it has very little to do with conditions we impose. Just an opinion. 🙂


      2. Hmmm… Won’t let me reply to Randall.

        I think I’d have to say that your opinion is a respected and welcome one. It makes me happy, actually. I’d love to ditch all the noise for silence.


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