Jacobo Grinberg-Zylberbaum (1946-?) was a Mexican psychologist and consciousness researcher who carried out experiments in telepathy and extraocular vision.
Life and Career
Jacobo Grinberg-Zylberbaum was born in Mexico City on 12 December 1946. He graduated in the Psychology School at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), then studied psychophysiology at the Brain Research Institute of New York, where he obtained his PhD.
Grinberg founded laboratories for psychological research at UNAM and the University Anáhuac (both in the Mexican capital). In 1987 he inaugurated the National Institute for the Study of Consciousness (Instituto Nacional para el Estudio de la Conciencia, INPEC), where he carried out most of his investigations. He published technical articles in international peer reviewed journals and nearly fifty books of scientific research, philosophical and religious reflections, also some fiction.
Grinberg disappeared in 1994, being last seen in Mexico City on 8 December. Police efforts to find him were ineffectual and nothing is known about his fate.1
Grinberg described experiments with seven pairs of participants, of both sexes, to determine whether the effect of a stimulus applied to one might also be seen in the other.2 Each member of the pair was placed in one of two electromagnetically isolated Faraday chambers that were more than fourteen meters distant from one another, and asked to meditate for twenty minutes. One of the pair was then stimulated by light flashes at random times. In about one in four cases, Grinberg wrote, EEG brain activity similar to the person being subjected to light flashes was also recorded in the second person. No such matching was seen with participants who had not previously interacted or when a flash was not applied.
Extraocular Vision (EOV)
Grinberg claimed also to have made successful experiments with children who were able to ‘see’ without using the eyes.3 The subjects were blindfolded, guided in meditation exercises, and then asked to try to perceive printed images by scanning them with their fingers. In some cases, he wrote, the quality of detail and accuracy appeared similar to that of ordinary retinal vision.
From his brain experiments Grinberg derived the theory of sintérgica, a term formed by the Spanish words síntesis and energía (synthesis and energy).
Grinberg also explored the implications of the EPR paradox,4 which asserts that, if quantum theory is a complete model of reality, non-local interactions ought to exist between particles. He set out to prove that a quantum system in the brain creates a non-local, EPR correlation among human brains. He called this phenomenon the ‘transferred potential’ (TP), according to which a brain, suitably prepared by a period of meditation, is capable of both proximate and distant interactions with other brains, by a direct involvement of consciousness, and without sensory transmission or local effects.5
Grinberg further proposed that his syntergic theory can explain the emergence of conscious experience, which he saw as the outcome of complex multidimensional interactions. The brain initiates an interaction between an energetic field (neuronal field) and the structure of space and thus gives rise to consciousness.
Against the naïve realism that postulates reality as external to the subject, Grinberg, adopting an idealistic stance, proposed that perception is neuropsychologically constructed, with information being located in space in the form of ‘complex patterns of energy’.6 Conscious experience, he thought, properly occurs when we synthesize the information-energy in space; this is how it becomes syntergic. Neuronal changes in the brain cause micro-distortions in the framework of the space-time continuum, and these, in turn, interact to create a ‘hypercomplex macro-distortion’ of the neuronal field.7 The final outcome of this process is perceptual experience.
With regard to vision, the components of the neuronal field and those of the quantum field ‘fit together’ in experience, so that the noise produced by the interaction is minimized by a specific, emergent ‘interference pattern’ (IP). This pattern represents the structure of experience, and contains the perceptual components which are perceived as lines and geometric forms, conceived as energetic forms of high complexity. The percepts, or images, which we ‘objectively’ see as colours and objects are ultimately products of the IP.8
Grinberg’s ideas can be seen to relate to the ‘implicate order theory’ developed by American physicist David Bohm, in which space is conceived as a holographic ‘sea of potentialities’ from which the universe and consciousness unfold explicitly. Here, the quantum wave/particle duality paradox is eliminated, while the ‘principle of nonlocality’—the capacity of one particle to influence another instantaneously—is preserved.9
Research with Shamans
Grinberg travelled extensively across Mexico during the 1980s to interview shamans and psychic healers, hoping to recover the ‘native psychology’ and ‘original wisdom’ of the Mexican people. From his case studies he concluded that shamans have highly ‘neurosyntergic’ brains that allow them to activate experiences in several locations of space, and to manipulate reality to create immediate, astounding effects, most notably materializations.10
Grinberg’s ideas never received much academic attention in Mexico or elsewhere. No critical, annotated edition of his principal books and articles has been made or even seriously projected, in spite of their evident interest for neuropsychology, parapsychology, and other scientific fields.
The INPEC no longer exists, but some former students and colleagues are attempting to bring it back into operation under the name of Jacobo Grinberg Academy.11
A group known as Centro de Investigación de la Sinergia y de la Consciencia (Center of Research for Synergy and Consciousness-CISC), explores Grinberg’s thinking in web seminaries, talks, and other activities.12
La Construcción de la Realidad [The Construction of Reality] (1975). México: Trillas.
Las Creaciones de la Existencia [The Creations of Existence] (1976). México: Trillas.
El despertar de la conciencia. Psicofisiología de la conciencia 1 [The Awakening of Consciousness. Psychophysiology of Conscience 1] (1978). México: Trillas.
Los Fundamentos de la Experiencia [The Foundations of Experience] (1978). México: Trillas.
El cerebro consciente. Psicofisiología de la consciencia 2. (1979) [The Conscious Brain. Psychophysiology of Conscience 2.] México: Trillas.
El Espacio y la Conciencia [Space and Consciousness] (1981). México: Trillas.
Los Chamanes de México. V. El cerebro y los chamanes (1990). [The Shamans of Mexico. V. The Brain and The Shamans]. México: INPEC/UNAM-School of Psychology.
La Teoría Sintérgica [The Syntergic Theory] (1991). México: INPEC.
The Retrieval of Learned Information — a Neurophysiologieal Convergence-Divergence Theory (1976). Journal of Theoretical Biology 56, 95-110.
The transformation of neuronal activity into conscious experience: the syntergic theory (1981). Journal of Social and Biological Structures 4, 201-10.
Extraocular vision (1983). Psychoenergetics 5, 141-58.
The Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen Paradox in the Brain: The Transferred Potential (1994). Physics Essays 7, 25-43.
Patterns of interhemisphere correlations during human communication (1987, with J. Ramos). International Journal of Neuroscience 36, 41-53.
Human Communication and the electrophysical activity of the brain (1992). Subtle Energies 3, 25-43.
Roberto R Narváez
Bohm, D. (1983). Wholeness and The Implicate Order. London and New York: Ark Paperbacks.
Carballal, M. (2017). Dr. Jacobo Grinberg: vida, obra y misterio [Dr. Jacobo Grinberg: Life, Works, and Mystery]. El ojo crítico [The Critical Eye], 83-84, June, 64-67.
Grinberg-Zylberbaum, J. (1979). El cerebro consciente. Psicofisiología de la consciencia 2. [The Conscious Brain. Psychophysiology of Conscience 2.] México: Trillas.
Grinberg-Zylberbaum, J. (1981a). El espacio y la consciencia. Psicofisiología de la consciencia 3. [Space and conscience. Psychophysiology of Conscience 3]. México: Trillas.
Grinberg-Zylberbaum, J. (1981b). The transformation of neuronal activity into conscious experience: the syntergic theory, Journal of Social and Biological Structures 4, 201-10.
Grinberg-Zylberbaum, J. (1983). Extraocular vision, Psychoenergetics 5, 141-58.
Grinberg-Zylberbaum, J. (1990). Los Chamanes de México. V. El cerebro y los chamanes [The Shamans of Mexico. V. The Brain and The Shamans]. México: INPEC/UNAM-School of Psychology.
Grinberg-Zylberbaum, J. (1994). The Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen Paradox in the Brain: The Transferred Potential. Physics Essays 7, 25-43.
Grinberg-Zylberbaum, J. et al. (1992). Human Communication and the electrophysical activity of the brain. Subtle Energies 3, 25-43.
Horgan, J. (2018). David Bohm. Quantum Mechanics and Enlightenment. Scientific American. [Web page].
- 1. Carballal (2017).
- 2. Grinberg-Zylberbaum (1994), 423-25.
- 3. Grinberg-Zylberbaum (1983), 143-50.
- 4. Published in 1935 by physicists Albert Einstein, Boris Podolsky, and Nathan Rosen.
- 5. For a full description of the experiments and analyses of the results, see Grinberg (1994), 423-26.
- 6. Grinberg-Zylberbaum (1981b), 202-205.
- 7. Grinberg-Zylberbaum (1992), 27.
- 8. Grinberg-Zylberbaum (1979), chaps. 1 & 2. Grinberg-Zylberbaum (1981), chap. 2.
- 9. Bohm (1983), appendix; Horgan (2018).
- 10. Grinberg-Zylberbaum (1990), chapters V-IX.
- 11. See the websites https://www.jacobogrinberg.com/ and the Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/JacoboGrinbergAcademy/.
- 12. See the website https://sintergia-cisc.org/.