Is there a direct link between voodoo, prayers and creative genius? A decorated scientist named Dr. Ervin Lazlo says yes.

A central tenet of voodoo is the ability of practitioners, or voodoo priests, to cast spells upon another person. According to Wikipedia, a spell is “a conceptual system that asserts human ability to control… people through mystical, supernatural or paranormal means.”

Creativity is the ability to “make or bring into existence something new.” When we think of history’s instances of creative genius we unanimously give each responsible person acknowledgment for his contribution. Certainly creators, even the great ones, are influenced by external forces – colleagues, society, education, family – but ultimately each creator gets credit for making his creation.

Whose idea was this, anyway?

Let’s shake things up a bit and ask a question: What if society’s unusually creative individuals do not actually make the creations they bring into existence? And what if they are not just influenced by external forces but are literally “in spontaneous, direct, though usually not conscious, interaction with other minds in the creative process itself?” Lazlo calls this alleged phenomenon instantaneous spatiotemporal connectivity.

It’s hard to believe, the stuff of science fiction, that two or more human minds can connect by some invisible network and actually wield some sort of unspoken influence upon each other, in this case by sharing ideas to bring into existence something new.

Before you discount this notion out-of-hand, let’s discuss a similar phenomenon in quantum physics dubbed nonlocality. Physicists often utilize this term when referring to the fact that two particles can have simultaneous effects on each other, even when separated by vast distances. Einstein called this a “spooky interaction at a distance.” Ultimately though, even if science has a precedent for two physically unconnected particles affecting each other, it doesn’t make the case for the infinitely more complex human mind accomplishing the same feat.

Get out of my fantasies

Enter the brain holo-tester. Scientists in Italy have been utilizing a computerized EEG device to demonstrate how the two cerebral hemispheres of a human brain will synchronize while the subject is in a meditative state. More importantly, while testing two subjects, the scientists stumbled upon the shocking fact that the subjects’ brain waves were synchronizing with each other. In ongoing experiments, these subjects have been able to pass mental images and even interact with each other’s fantasies.

Later, scientists in San Antonio, Texas built upon these Italian experiments by positioning one test subject as a sender while the other subject played the receiver. In controlled experiments the senders were able to repeatedly send positive and negative images/thoughts/energy to the receiver. These sent images often created effects on the receiver’s body by first influencing the receiver’s mind.

Just thinking about you

The power our mind can wield over our body, through positive (and negative) thinking, is well documented. It seems certain gifted individuals, like these test subjects, possess the ability to extend this power to the minds, and indirectly, the bodies of other people.

Perhaps those gifted people who have been sending positive energy to their brethren are history’s prayer warriors while those who have been sending negative energy to their victims are our infamous witch doctors and voodoo priests. Compare this theory with our above definition of spell: A conceptual system that asserts human ability to control… people through mystical, supernatural or paranormal means.” Creepy stuff.

If you want to read more about this topic, I suggest you read Dr. Lazlo’s essay The Genius Hypothesis: Exploratory Concepts for a Scientific Understanding of Unusual Creativity.