The Selection Effect: How Consciousness Shapes Reality, by Herb Mertz

Reviewed by Joseph Gallenberger

Herb Mertz creates a page turner accurately describing the inner struggles of a researcher attempting to achieve a figurative black belt in psychokinesis (PK). In doing so he conveys fresh insights into the power of intention in manifestation which has profound significance on both a personal and a societal level.

Mertz had me at How Consciousness Shapes Reality, as this is a life-long interest of mine. I dogeared many pages as he accurately describes some of the key psychological challenges of learning to become a consistent and powerful PK practitioner. In essence these challenges have to do with fear. For example, there is formidable place when results mount well past standard levels of statistical significance to the thousands-to-one by chance then toward the millions-to-one by chance. At this point the practitioner becomes aware that normal reality is bending, Here, one is both afraid of failure and afraid of success at the same time.  To succeed further brings into question core concepts of how reality operates and one’s power to influence it. This threatens the ego’s attempts to keep us in familiar territory.

Through trial and error and acute observation Mertz applies mindfulness techniques to handle these challenges, and honestly admits his failures and his slow, slippery progress. This is extremely useful as all PK practitioners have hit similar challenges and frustrations and can use Mertz’s journey as a template to understand that failure is part of the game and to increase their success.  He also hints at the role of love in softening the ego and being in the present PK moment most powerfully, when he discovers reactivating his loving feelings toward his grandmother is an effective PK approach.  I have personally used the generation of loving feelings and technology assisted meditation as the best ways to quiet ego concerns for most people while teaching PK in one hundred Inner Vegas Adventure workshops.

Mertz then moves beyond his personal PK experiences at the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research (PEAR) lab and Psyleron to draw cogent insights into the more general nature of how intention and our consciousness shapes reality. I agree with Mertz that these PK derived insights and skills, so clearly elucidated by him in The Selection Effect, have highly relevant applicability to our current world issues and can be instrumental in our species creating a much more sustainable and healthy reality on this planet.


Dr. Joseph Gallenberger is a clinical psychologist, psychokinesis practitioner, and author of Inner Vegas: Creating Miracles, Abundance and Health and Liquid Luck: The Good Fortune Handbook.