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Carlos S. Alvarado, PhD, Research Fellow, Parapsychology Foundation

“Post-Bereavement Hallucinatory Experiences: A Critical Overview of Population and Clinical Studies,” by Anna Castelnovo, Simone Cavallotti, Orsola Gambini, and Armando D’Agostino (Journal of Affective Disorders, 2015,186, 266–274).

Abstract

Background: Removal of the “bereavement exclusion” criterion for major depression and proposed research criteria for persistent complex bereavement disorder in DSM-V pose new compelling issues regarding the adequacy of current nosographical boundaries. Post-bereavement hallucinatory experiences (PBHE) are abnormal sensory experiences that are frequentlyreported by bereaved individuals without a history of mental disorder. Given current uncertainty over the continuum of psychotic experiences in the general population, whether or not they should be considered pathological remains unclear. Methods: In order to systemize available knowledge, we reviewed the literature describing general population and clinical studies on PBHEs. Given the relatively low number of articles, all peer-reviewed, published studies in English were included. No study characteristics or publication date restrictions were imposed. Results: Overall, evidence suggests a strikingly high prevalence of PBHEs – ranging from 30% to 60% – among widowed subjects, giving consistence and legitimacy to these phenomena. Limitations: Whereas general population studies had adequate sample size numbers, all studies in the bereaved population had a very small number of subjects. No consensus for method of evaluation exists in the literature, with some studies using a free interview method and others using semi-structured interviews. Conclusions: The available literature appears to support an elevated frequency of PBHEs in bereaved individuals, but further research is needed to increase the reliability of these findings and refine the boundaries between physiological and pathological experiences.

The authors wrote:

“Two different models have been postulated to account for the high prevalence of hallucinatory experiences in the general population . . . These two models – called the “splitting” and the “lumping” model – seem to hold true also for the sub-group of hallucinatory experiences addressed in this review – i.e. PBHE. From the “splitting” standpoint, the fact that PBHE are found among “normal” people suggest that either hallucinations are not as pathologic as they are typically taken to be, that less-than-hallucinatory experiences (i.e. pseudo-hallucination, illusion, inner speech, felt presence, memories), as previously discussed, are routinely mischaracterized as hallucinations, or that mechanisms which maintain hallucinatory experiences in non-clinical populations are different. According to the alternative and increasingly popular “lumping” model, the higher-than-expected rates of abnormal experiences among non-patients is justified by the existence of a distributed spectrum or continuum of severity between pathological and non-pathological experiences . . . In this view, pathology is determined by variables such as frequency, content control, subjective distress, objective impairment and co-occurrence with other symptoms. In clinical practice, it is generally defined by the level of distress and functional impairment beyond which therapeutic interventions are advisable or necessary . . . Whereas awareness of the internal origin of the phenomenon is also of importance, this cannot always be considered significant per se. Indeed, subjects who experience hallucinations present varying degrees of insight ranging from the firm belief of their existence in the external environment to a full acceptance of their internal origin. However, all intermediate interpretations are commonly observed and are known to depend on the subject’s cognitive level, culture and personality . . . While a continuum model based on distress and impairment is broadly supported by the literature and the clinical practice, it raised both theoretical and practical problems. The difficulty arises in the subjective reflection upon one’s experience: one may wrongly ascribe internal experience to outside reality because the phenomenon is obtrusive, undesired and vivid. When one is relying on memory to describe the experience, what was actually imagined may be judged as having being perceived.”

The authors concluded:

“Over the past decade or so, PBHE have been often reported, yet poorly investigated. A 30%-60% prevalence emerged from the reviewed literature, giving consistence and legitimacy to the phenomena described. However, current data should be cautiously interpreted, given the limited number of studies and the many   theoretical / methodological biases. It seems likely from the present review that several heterogeneous entities hidden under one general term confound epidemiological data. Nevertheless, compelling evidence encourages further well-designed studies, comprising a deeper phenomenological investigation and sub-categorization. As such, structured questionnaires in support of free clinical interviews need to be developed and refined, as well as new neuroimaging paradigms designed to shed initial light on the neurobiological substrates of these phenomena.”

Considering the “many theoretical/methodological biases” one wishes there was more attention paid in these studies to veridical experiences of the sort studied by psychical researchers.

Carlos S. Alvarado, PhD, Research Fellow, Parapsychology Foundation

Hector Durville (1849–1923) was a well-known French student of magnetism and psychic phenomena. He founded the Société de Magnétisme de France and defended the existence of a magnetic force that could cause healing and other phenomena, a topic he discussed in his two-volume work Traité Expérimental de Magnétisme (2 vols., Paris: Librairie du Magnétisme, 1895–1896). In his book Le Fantôme des Vivants: Anatomie et Physiologie de l’Ame: Recherches Expérimentales sur le Dédoublement des Corps de l’Homme (The Phantom of the Living: Anatomy and Physiology of the Soul: Experimental Researches on the Doubling of Man’s Body; Paris: Librairie du Magnétisme, 1909), Durville focused on the projection of phantoms of the living, or what he termed doubling.

Hector Durville 2

Hector Durville

Durville Traite Experimental Magnetisme

Durville Les Fantome des Vivants

The first part of the book was about the history and conceptual aspects of the topic. This included the idea of subtle bodies and their manifestations.

The latter part consisted of OBEs as well as apparitions of the living with and without the consciousness of the person represented by the apparition. Durville concluded the section stating:

“The physical body is seen at the place that it really occupies; and at the same moment its phantom is seen at a distance. . . . The sensations felt by the phantom are reflected on the physical [body]. . . . The physical [body] is never in its normal state during doubling. The mystics are always in ecstasy; the sorcerers and nearly all the common people are more or less profoundly asleep, the mediums are in trance, the somnambules in a state of magnetic somnambulism and the dying delirious or in syncope . . . . Some of the doubled recollect perfectly everything that was seen, said, or that took place . . . ; others remember vaguely . . . , most others do not keep any recollection. . . .” (pp. 136–138; this and other translations are mine)

Durville believed that doubling showed that the thinking principle could leave the physical body while the person was alive and that this double could perceive and sometimes act on the environment.

In the second part of the book, Durville reported tests he conducted to study intentionally projected phantoms of the living. In this work Durville followed on the previous investigations of Albert de Rochas (1837–1914), a pioneer in the laboratory study of phantoms of the living and of the exteriorization of sensibility, in which the magnetized person’s tactile sensibility was projected around her body or to an external object or substance such as water.

Albert de Rochas 2

Albert de Rochas

Durville worked with several ladies whom he magnetized repeatedly, asking them to project their phantom in order to explore its perceptual and motor capabilities. He said very little about his participants but they were obviously sensitive to magnetization (or suggestion). One of the ladies in question, Mme. Lambert, was also studied by de Rochas. She was later described as a medium who had physical phenomena at home as well as in the séance room (Lefranc, L. Comment il faut étudier le probleme spirite. Le Monde Psychique,1911, 1, 162–172, 195–199).

Durville wrote that he considered the exteriorization of sensibility and doubling to be similar. The first was a state in which the sensibility was believed to radiate around the person, while the second was a state in which the sensibility was contained in the phantom. Durville wrote:

“We have seen that the subjects submitted to the action of magnetism . . . exteriorize . . . , all of them keep their usual state of consciousness, their sensibility which had disappeared at the beginning of somnambulism . . . radiates now around them, up to a distance that may reach a distance 2 m. 50 and even 3 meters. At some moment . . . such sensibility, which all the subjects see in the form of vapour, a whitish fluid, gray or grayish, sometimes with light iridescent shades, is condensed and localized on each side of them, at a distance that may vary from 20 centimeters . . . to 80 centimeters. . . .” (p. 178)

Several chapters contain descriptions of such aspects as the appearance of the phantom, its perceptual capabilities, influences on other persons, and physical effects presumably produced by it. The point of the studies was to obtain evidence that perceptions and physical effects could take place from a location distant from the physical body of the projected persons, at the place where the phantom was supposed to be. Because some aspects of Durville’s reports have been published in English in the Annals of Psychical Science, I will cite some descriptions from one of them to take advantage of the translations.

Durville Annals

Some tests were performed to test for vision. In Durville’s words:

“The projected double can see, but rather confusedly, from one room into another. While I was at the end of my study with Edmée, whose double was projected, I asked three of the witnesses of the experiment . . . to go into the lecture room of the society and perform some simple and easily described movements, so that we could ascertain whether the double, which I would send there, could see anything. Dr. Pau de Saint-Martin stood near the window, between my study and the hall where the witnesses were, in order to see almost at the same time both the subject and what these experimenters were doing.”

First Experiment. — Mme. Fournier seated herself on the table. ‘I see,’ said the subject, ‘Mme. Fournier seated on the table.’ ”

Second Experiment. — The three persons walked into the room and gesticulated. ‘They walk and make gestures with their hands; I do not know what it means.’ ”

Third Experiment. — Mme. Stahl took a pamphlet from the table and handed it to Mme. Fournier. ‘The two ladies are reading,’ said the subject.”

Fourth Experiment. — The three persons joined hands, formed a chain and walked round the table. ‘How funny!’ said the subject; ‘they are dancing round the table like three lunatics.’ ” (Durville, H. (1908). Experimental researches concerning phantoms of the living. Annals of Psychical Science, 1908, 7, 335–343, p. 338).

Durville believed that the phantom emanated N-rays, a controversial form of radiation prominent during the first decade of the twentieth century that was eventually dismissed by the scientific community as being due to artefactual observations. To detect the projected phantom, he used screens covered with calcium sulphide, a substance believed to produce brightness in contact with the rays. Durville wrote as follows:

“The double of the subject having been projected, I took the three screens and showed them to the witnesses, who observed that they were completely dark. Laying the small screen aside for a moment, I placed one of the large ones on the abdomen of the subject and held the other in the phantom, which was seated on an armchair to the left of the subject.”

“The screen placed in the phantom became rapidly illuminated, and the one on the subject remained completely dark. After several minutes I took both screens and showed them to the witnesses, who were much astonished by the phenomenon. I then took the screen which had been on the subject, and remained dark, and placed it in the phantom. It immediately became illuminated like the first. I again showed them to the witnesses, who saw that they were sufficiently illuminated to allow them easily to count the spots of sulphide of calcium at a distance of a yard.”

“I then took the small screen which had not been used, and placed it on the abdomen of the subject for two or three minutes without obtaining the slightest trace of luminosity. I then placed it in the phantom, and it became very strongly illuminated. The witnesses found that it gave enough light to enable one of them to tell the time by a watch.”

Durville phantom

Photo of Screen with Shape of Phantom

“These experiments, repeated about ten times with seven or eight different subjects, always gave similar results, which were very intense when the screens had been well exposed to the sun, less so when the exposure had been insufficient.” (Durville, H. Experimental researches concerning phantoms of the living. Annals of Psychical Science, 1908, 7, 335–343, p. 341).

The double was said to be able to produce raps and movement of objects, which was taken by Durville to indicate its objective nature. This body, Durville wrote in his book, carried the “very principle of life, as well as will, intelligence, memory, consciousness, the physical senses, while the physical body does not have any faculty” (p. 354). This suggests that the subject’s awareness was out of the body, something that is not always clear throughout the experiments reported in the book.

The tests reported by Durville represent a historically important attempt to empirically study the topic through the induction of experiences, and one deserving further investigation. The book was repeatedly cited by later writers on the topic. Some aspects of his work were replicated and extended, but the reports have fewer methodological details than Durville’s (e.g., Lefranc, L. (1911). Les états du sommeil magnétique du fantôme du vivant ou corps ethérique. Le Monde Psychique, 1911, 1(2), 3–7).

Hector Durville

Hector Durville

Carlos S. Alvarado, PhD, Research Fellow, Parapsychology Foundation

I recently published a paper entitled “Psychic Reach of the War: Comments on Psychical Phenomena and the War, by Hereward Carrington” (Paranormal Review, 2015, 76, 18-20). The Paranormal Review is the magazine of the Society for Psychical Research. The article appears in the second issue of the magazine devoted the First World War.

Paranormal Review Issue 76

Carrington Psychical Phenomena and the War

As stated in the title, the article is about Psychical Phenomena and the War, a book published in 1918 by psychical researcher Hereward Carrington. As I wrote: “Carrington’s ideas, referring to World War I, were part of a general reaction to the war that focused on spiritual and psychical concerns, something I am calling the psychic reach of the war. This ‘reach’ included the growth of interest in Spiritualism and

HerewaRD cARRINGTON 2

Hereward Carrington

psychic phenomena during and soon after the War, as well as an openness to the notion of discarnate action. That such issues were part of the social and cultural history of the war has been recognized in some historical studies . . .” An example of the later are the following books: Kollar, R. (2000). Searching for Raymond: Anglicanism, Spiritualism and Bereavement Between the Two World Wars (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books), and Winter, J. (1995). Sites of Memory, Sites of Mourning: The Great War in European Cultural History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).

Kollar Searching for Raymond

Winter Sites of Memory

Carrington’s book was divided in two parts. The first one, and the shorter of the two, was about “normal” aspects, such as psychological factors affecting soldiers. The second was about the “supernormal,” and had accounts of such phenomena as premonitions, apparitions and mediumistic communications. Carrington stated at the beginning of the second part: “We have now studied the mind of the soldier from the moment he left his home, during mobilization, while in the cantonments, the trenches, and during the attack—to that moment when he has met death at the hands of the enemy; and it now becomes our duty to endeavour to trace that noble soul beyond the grave, and to show that he is still active, that he still possesses the same memory and characteristics we associated with him in life, and which we knew and loved.”

Carrington Psychical Phenomena and the War Table of Contents

Table of Contents of Carrington’s Book

In Carrington’s view “death ennobles and glorifies, and … the whole human race seems to be spiritually lifted up by the sacrifices made.” But he also advised caution: “Good mediums are rare. Unfortunately, a vast amount of fraud is practised in this field; then, too, mediums may be honest, but misguided; they may give ‘messages’ which they honestly believe to be obtained from ‘spirits of the departed’; whereas, as a matter of fact, they have originated only in the depths of their own subconscious minds. Chance-coincidence, aided by shrewd commonsense and a knowledge of human nature, have aided much; until we finally arrive at that small residuum of truth, which is so difficult to find, and which, in the majority of cases, is perhaps lacking altogether.”

In conclusion: “Psychical Phenomena and the War probably fulfilled many functions . . . All around [Carrington] . . . people used Spiritualism and psychic phenomena to provide support to the grieving world both in real life, and perhaps less consciously, in the novels and dramas of the day . . . Public discussions of personal loss during the war, coupled with the spiritual and the psychic considerations may have done much for those whose sons, parents, and spouses had been forcefully removed from their lives. Carrington’s book, like Lodge’s Raymond (1916), was of this hope-bringing genre. However, because Carrington’s work was not as personal as Lodge’s book was, it was not, in my view, as effective a soothing balm as Raymond was . . . Nonetheless, Carrington’s work was most definitely part of the genre that sought to bring hope and comfort through its support of the possibility of survival of death.”

Lodge Raymond

 

 

 

Carlos S. Alvarado, PhD, Research Fellow, Parapsychology Foundation

The Parapsychology Foundation (PF) announces a new online conference featuring five presentations about parapsychology in various countries. It will take place in January 23-24, 2016. For a more detailed schedule and to register go here.

If you can’t join the conference on the 23rd or 24th, not to worry; all presentations will be recorded and if you register, you will be able to revisit the presentations at your leisure.

The PF has released the following information about the event:

The Parapsychology Foundation is celebrating its 65th year in operation this year. Dedicated to providing support for students and researchers in the field of scientific and academic parapsychology, the PF decided to launch the Parapsychology Foundation Online Academy on WizIQ with its first online International Affiliates Conference. For unprecedented access to this elite group of scientists and researchers, join us for this conference by clicking the link above!

The Parapsychology Foundation International Affiliates program was inaugurated in 2000 and includes 27 extraordinary individuals from 26 different countries around the world. For this inaugural event, five international affiliates will talk about institutional, educational and research developments in their own countries over the last 40 years.

Here are the International Affiliates who will be speaking at the conference:

  • Dr. Alejandro Parra, the PF International Affiliate for Argentina, is a clinical psychologist in Buenos Aires, the director of the Instituto de Psicología Paranormal, and a past President of the Parapsychological Association.
Alejandro Parra 3

Dr. Alejandro Parra

  • Hideyuki Kokubo, the PF International Affiliate for Japan, is the editor and director of the Journal of the International Society for Life Information, the Journal of the Japanese Society for Parapsychology, and the Journal of Mind-Body Science, as well as the director of the International Research Institute in Chiba, and a researcher at the Bio-Emission Laboratory of Meiji University.
Hideyuki Kokubo

Hideyuki Kokubo

  • Dr. Chris Roe, the PF International Affiliate for England, is Professor of Research at the University of Nottingham and the Director of its Centre for the Study of Anomalous Psychological Processes, past and current President of the Parapsychological Association, and the editor of the Journal of the Society for Psychical Research.
Chris Roe 2

Dr. Chris Roe

  • Dr. Mario Varvoglis is the PF International Affiliate for France, the Director of the Institut Métapsychique International in Paris, a past-President of the Parapsychological Association and the author of La Rationalité de l’Irrationnel, an analysis of contemporary psi research and its social and theoretical implications.
Mario Varvoglis

Dr. Mario Varvoglis

  • Dr. Wellington Zangari and Dr. Fátima Regina Machado are joint PF International Affiliates for Brazil. Dr. Zangari is Professor of the Social Psychology of Religion at the University of São Paulo, Dr. Machado is a Postdoctoral Fellow in Psychology at the Pontifical Catholic University also in São Paulo, and both are founders of Interpsi: Laboratory of Anomalistic Psychology and Psychosocial Processes at the University of São Paulo.
Wellington Zangari

Dr. Wellington Zangari

Fatima 2015

Dr. Fatima R. Machado

In addition, Lisette Coly, the President of the Parapsychology Foundation, and PF Research Fellows Dr. Carlos S. Alvarado and Dr. Nancy L. Zingrone will conduct the opening and closing sessions for the conference, focusing on the breadth of the PF International Affiliate program, its goals and accomplishments, and, in the closing session, on such upcoming activities as the Parapsychology Foundation Online Academy that will debut later in the spring of 2016 on WizIQ.

To register for free go here (click enroll now).

Carlos S. Alvarado, PhD, Research Fellow, Parapsychology Foundation

Perhaps no other psychologist in the world is identified so much with parapsychology than Stanley Krippner. He received his doctoral degree at Northwestern University in 1961 and is currently Professor of Psychology and Integrative Inquiry at Saybrook University. Stanley, who I first met in the late 1970s in California, is well known for many contributions to parapsychology, among them his studies of ESP in dreams. Another contribution is his series of anthologies containing detailed reviews of the literature, Advances in Parapsychological Research (for the last volume click here).

Stanley Krippner

Dr. Stanley Krippner [Photo taken by Stuart Fischer]

Advances Vol 2

Advances Vol 9

Examples of his research on ESP and dreams in the laboratory include: Krippner, S., & Persinger, M. (1996). Evidence for enhanced congruence between dreams and distant target material during periods of decreased geomagnetic activity. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 10, 487-493; Krippner, S., Honorton, C., & Ullman, M. (1973). An experiment in dream telepathy with “The Grateful Dead”. Journal of the American Society of Psychosomatic Dentistry and Medicine, 20, 9-17; Krippner, S., Honorton, C., & Ullman, M. (1972). A second precognitive dream study with Malcolm Bessent. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 66, 269-279; Krippner, S., Honorton, C., Ullman, M., Masters, R.E.L., & Houston, J. (1971). A long-distance “sensory bombardment” study of ESP in dreams. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 65, 468-475; Krippner, S., & Ullman, M. (1970). Telepathy and dreams: A controlled experiment with electroencephalogram-electro-oculogram monitoring. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 151, 394-403; Ullman, M., & Krippner, S. (1969). A laboratory approach to the nocturnal dimension of paranormal experience: Report of a confirmatory study using the REM monitoring technique. Biological Psychiatry, 1, 259-270; Ullman, M., Krippner, S., & Feldstein, S. (1966). Experimentally-induced telepathic dreams: Two studies using EEG-REM monitoring techniques. International Journal of Parapsychology, 8, 577-603.

Ullman Dream Telepathy

His work covers many areas and topics, and it is not limited to parapsychology. This includes anthropology and various psychological topics, such as creativity, dissociation, dreams, hypnosis, psychotherapy, psychedelics, PTSD, and shamanism. An overview of his contributions appears in Jeannine A. Davies and Daniel B. Pitchford (Eds.), Stanley Krippner: A Life of Dreams, Myths and Visions (Colorado Springs, CO: University Professors Press, 2015).

Davies Stanley Krippner

Much information about Stanley appears in his web page (click here) and in the following autobiographical writings: (1975). Song of the Siren: A Parapsychological Odyssey (New York: Harper & Row; and (2013). My parapsychological odyssey. In R. Pilkington (Ed.), Men and Women of Parapsychology, Personal Reflections: Esprit Volume 2 (pp. 199-224; San Antonio, TX: Anomalist Books).

Over the years he has earned many awards. A few of the most recent ones are: Lifetime Achievement Award (International Network on Personal Meaning, 2014), Human Treasure Award (Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 2013), Charles Honorton Integrative Contribution Award (Parapsychological Association, 2011), The Ways of Knowing Award: Exploring Culturally Based Healing Traditions and Practices (Life Science Foundation and the University of Minneapolis Center for Spirituality and Healing, 2008), Lifetime Achievement Award (International Association for the Study of Dreams, 2006), Award for Distinguished Contributions to Professional Hypnosis (American Psychological Association, Division 30 [Psychological Hypnosis], 2002), Award for Distinguished Contributions to the International Advancement of Psychology (American Psychological Association, 2002), and Outstanding Career Award (Parapsychological Association, 1998).

Stanley Krippner Zimbardo

Stanley receives the Award for Distinguished Contributions to the International Advancement of Psychology (American Psychological Association, 2002) from Dr. Philip Zimbardo

Stanley is also known for helping many persons, something that is not mentioned often enough. This includes colleagues and students, among others. His contributions, thus, transcend academia, and include a real and quiet attempt to help his fellow human beings.

I encourage my readers to peruse Stanley’s publications, as seen in the bibliography after the interview. Generally I present from 50 to 65 references in the interviews. Here I present more because Stanley has more publications than anyone else I have interviewed. I focus mainly on parapsychological topics, and related issues. Those of you wishing to see a longer list click here.

Interview

How did you get interested in parapsychology?

After meeting him when he spoke at the University of Wisconsin, J.B. Rhine invited me to visit the Duke University Parapsychology Laboratory and I was able to do so a few years later when I was working in the special education department of the Richmond, Virginia Public Schools. He put me up at his home, introduced me to his wife and two daughters, and spent considerable time discussing psi research with me. Rhine also suggested I visit “Lady Wonder,” a horse with alleged psychic powers who lived with her owner on a Virginia ranch. I reported that the horse gave remarkable answers on a huge typewriter, but it was obvious to me that she was responding to cues from her owner. He also asked me to visit a young woman who possessed the alleged ability to read newspapers while blindfolded. I did so and immediately observed that the blindfold was not secure enough to prevent peeking.

When I became a graduate student at Northwestern University, I was able to invite Rhine to be the invited speaker at the annual Phi Delta Kappa banquet. This was an educational society, and there was no objection to the invitation. The psychology department objected to Rhine’s appearance and the department chair ordered his faculty to boycott it. The one professor, Donald Campbell, who ignored the boycott expressed his reservations regarding psi research but was polite in doing so. He later was elected president of the American Psychological Association, and we remained friends until his death.

A fellow graduate student, Arthur Hastings, and I drove Rhine to Chicago for his next engagement, passing by my parents’ farmhouse. It was a thrill to introduce them to Rhine who lived in a farmhouse himself, the one I visited several times over the years.

While at Northwestern University, Hastings and I arranged a meeting of graduate students interested in psi with Gardner Murphy after his seminar for the psychology department. Subsequently, Murphy, his wife, and I became close friends and colleagues.

I was still at Northwestern when Rhine asked me to check out a poltergeist case at nearby Gutenberg, Iowa. I asked Hastings to accompany me. After a day of interviews and observations, we concluded that the disturbances were engineered by a grandson who had been given the unpleasant task of taking care of his grandparents. His efforts were successful and they fled their home in terror. This episode became the topic of my first article reporting psi research. Hastings and I wrote about expectancy set and how it can lead to misinterpretations of easily explained phenomena.

When the Parapsychological Association was formed, I became a Charter Member. By this time I was director of the Child Study Center at Kent State University, and I could have stayed there, received tenure, and retired happily. But the maintaining factor in my parapsychological interests kicked in. At a Parapsychological Association convention, I met Montague Ullman who had received a grant to study psi effects in dreams. Half a dozen prospects had turned down his offer to direct the laboratory and, perhaps in desperation, he asked me. I eagerly accepted and worked with Ullman at the Maimonides Medical Center for ten years — until the funds ran out. We published dozens of articles (many co-authored with Charles Honorton). Ullman often referred to our partnership as a “dream relationship.” In any event, this is what maintained my interest in psi research, which persists to this day.

Ullman Krippner Dream telepathy Monograph

What are your main interests in the field and how have you contributed to its development?

My interests in the field cover the waterfront. I need to keep informed because I have edited nine volumes of Advances in Parapsychological Research, which I would list as one of my “contributions.” Following a symposium on Kirlian photography and acupuncture, Plenum Press asked me if I would like to edit a yearbook on the topics. My own reaction to Kirlian photography was that it was best viewed as an art form, at least at that time, and I was not an expert on Traditional Chinese Medicine. So I created a spin that turned the offer into three volumes on psi research, featuring excellent literature reviews of PK, ESP, survival, and various other topics. After disappointing sales, Plenum Press was happy to turn the series over to McFarland, which has published the subsequent volumes. The series still does not make anyone any money but its preparation is now subsidized by Saybrook’s University’s Chair for the Study of Consciousness.

My most influential publication was Varieties of Anomalous Experience, co-edited with Etzel Cardeña and Steven Lynn, and published by the American Psychological Association, most recently in a second edition.

Cardena Varieties second ed

Of course, my major contribution to the field was my ten years directing research into anomalous dreams at Maimonides Medical Center. During that decade I authored or co-authored (usually with Montague Ullman and Charles Honorton) over one hundred articles, a monograph, and a popular book. I designed two precognitive dream experiments (with Malcolm Bessent as the sole participant), installing such safeguards as hiring graduate students from a local university to monitor dreams with no knowledge of the purpose of the experiment. When asked to comment on the psychic dream research by the San Francisco Weekly, arch-critic Ray Hyman commented, “There’s no smoking gun to say they didn’t have something,” but added that no one has ever duplicated the “striking success” of the Maimonides dream lab. When Wikipedia trashed the Maimonides work, several friends attempted to insert Hyman’s comments into my entry but Wikipedia refused. Nor would Wikipedia admit James Randi’s statement, in the same article, that “in this field…there are so many people who are prejudiced and biased. But I can depend on Stan. And I don’t think he’s biased at all.” Instead, Wikipedia featured an appraisal of the Maimonides work by C.E.M. Hansel that was not only biased but inaccurate.

On the positive side, I designed a 4-night experiment in an attempt to replicate Charles Tart’s 1968 study with a “Ms. Z” who reported an OBE in which she correctly identified a five-digit number on a shelf in Tart’s sleep lab. My study eliminated all of the alternative explanations proposed by Tart, and on the fourth night, our participant reported an OBE in which he correctly identified an image that had been placed on a similar shelf, but in a way in which nobody could have seen the image and passed on its identify by cuing or by telepathy.

Another contribution was to survey (with Michael Persinger) the dream telepathy “hits” and “misses” from the perspective of geomagnetic field activity; “hits” were significantly associated with “calm” nights, and “misses” with “stormy” nights. When the spontaneous precognitive dreams of psychic claimant Alan Vaughan were subjected to a similar analysis by James Spottiswoode and me, we found the same results. Later, I led a team that worked with the claimant medium Amyr Amiden in Brazil; his recurrent spontaneous PK was significantly associated with high geomagnetic activity as well as psychophysiological measures.

Finally, I have presented papers on psi research at half a dozen conventions of the American Psychological Association, and have stimulated research efforts on psi by students at Saybrook University and several other colleges and universities both here and abroad.

Why do you think that parapsychology is important?

Psi research is important for several reasons. Various meta-analyses of the data have demonstrated that the evidence for psi is overwhelming. At the very least, psi research may point out that statistical anomalies and/or experimenter effects are more profound than mainstream science suspects. In addition, surveys of spontaneous cases of psi-like experiences have found many links to personality traits but not to psychopathology. Our work at the Maimonides Medical Center was published in most of the US psychiatric journals, and modulated the earlier claim that claiming to dream about future events or other people’s activities was a sure-fire marker of schizophrenia and other disorders.

In addition, parapsychological researchers have pioneered novel methods of collecting and analyzing data about human (and non-human) behavior, and (in another innovative move) have published non-significant results in their journals . Hence, even if the psi hypothesis is eventually found to be unsubstantiated, our work has not been in vain.

But what if there is, indeed, a capacity for living organisms to engage in remote sensing and remote perturbation? For these traits to have persisted over time, they must have had a survival advantage, and I have turned to “costly signaling theory” (CST) to support this thesis. Psi could well have provided adaptive functioning, helping living creatures avoid danger, identify sources of support, and facilitate communication and cooperation. These signals are “costly” because they involve effort, energy, and time. Peacocks exhibit plumage during mating season, birds manifest warning calls, and bees perform elaborate dances to signal a source of nutrients. These behaviors are not easy to produce, and if they were faked, they would not carry accurate information that would confer survival benefits. From an evolutionary perspective, costly signals are inherently “honest” and promote species collaboration. Montague Ullman spoke of the “honesty” of dreams, and this lack of guile is due to the likelihood that REM sleep and its accompanying dreams were costly signals, psi-related dreams included. This topic is dealt with at length in the Postscript to the book Mysterious Minds, which I co-edited with Harris Friedman. It is also compatible with the “first sight” theory of James Carpenter, which I consider to be a major theoretical contribution.

Krippner Mysterious Minds

Psi research is important for another reason, in that many debunkers have over-reacted whenever the topic is mentioned verbally or in print. Decades ago, James McConnell trained planaria to turn left or right, then fed them to untrained planaria that seemed to learn the skills more quickly than non-cannibal planaria. Other researchers reported that trained responses in rats could be transferred to untrained rats by peptides extracted from their brains. Attempts at replication fell short of confirming these neurobiological changes, the conformation of which would have led to major revisions in biological theory. The positive results were attributed to experimenter effects, methodological defects, and extrinsic influences — but not to fraud and deliberate manipulation of the data, as has been asserted by debunkers of psi data.

The tendency of debunkers to go overboard when faced with positive results from parapsychological research is exemplified by the outrageous statements they have made concerning the Maimonides experiments. I took up each of these charges in the book Debating Psychic Experiences (also co-edited by Harris Friedman) finding that only one of them (lack of replicability) had any basis in fact. The psychology and sociology of debunkers, most of who have been well trained to engage in scientific pursuits, will make an important contribution to the literature on bias and “logic-tight compartments,” especially by men and women who hold important positions in academic and research institutions.

Krippner Friedman Debating

In your view, what are the main problems in parapsychology today as a scientific field?

It is fairly easy to “round up the usual suspects” when discussing the major problems facing parapsychology’s attempt to enter the scientific mainstream. Parapsychology needs to be recognized as a legitimate disciplined inquiry (i.e., a science) and not, as Wikipedia claims, a “pseudoscience.” The “usual suspects” include underfunding, the lack of serious media coverage, and the paucity of accredited graduate schools allowing students to conduct psi-oriented research. Many of my colleagues would add the absence of replicable experiments to this list and there is some degree of validity to this claim, but this issue plagues mainstream psychology (and many other sciences) as well, evidenced by articles in recent issues of Science and Nature on repeatability and falsifiability A more serious problem is the prejudice parapsychologists encounter, even among scientists who should know better. But, as cognitive scientist Donald Hoffman revealed in a computer simulation study, organisms (including humans) evolved to produce “fitter” behavior, not to construct accurate representations. For mainstream scientists, those “fitter” behaviors often include attaining awards, tenure, and professional prestige—all of which trump the search for truth.

Sometimes I suspect that advances in other fields, such as physics, biology, and the neurosciences, will run across some data that cannot be explained by dominant paradigms. I can imagine these investigators saying, “Years ago, parapsychologists found much the same thing but their experiments were so poorly constructed and they made so many bizarre proposals that they were not taken seriously.” This is what happened when positive psychology garnered respect – and massive funding – from mainstream sources. Humanistic psychology is rarely mentioned in positive psychology’s articles and books. When this omission is brought up in open forums, the usual response is, “Yes, humanistic psychologists had some of the same ideas but these notions were not backed up by solid research and the leaders in this field were very ‘New Agey,’ not serious thinkers.” Neither of these assertions is correct, of course, but they continue to be cited.

There is some excellent work being done by sleep and dream researchers who have investigated ways in which one’s waking life experiences are reflected in the content of their dream reports. The research designs exist that would allow investigators to determine if some of these dream reports also matched future life experiences. If such experiments demonstrate that dreams can be premonitory, would parapsychologists get any credit for what we have done for decades in our studies of precognitive dreams? Parapsychologists have offered a number of viable theoretical hypotheses that would be of value to the social and behavioral sciences generally, yet most of them fall on deaf ears.

In the meantime, I have done my best to bring psi research to the attention of conventional psychologists. I have presented more psi-oriented papers than anyone at the annual conventions of the American Psychological Association, and chaired a symposium on parapsychology at an annual convention of the Association for Psychological Science. Psi is a complex phenomenon, one that will require a systems approach to comprehend. Parapsychology has become a transdisciplinary discipline, rather than a multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary discipline. As a result, newcomers to the field have a massive amount of material from many fields of disciplined inquiry to study and comprehend before they can make their own contributions. This situation, by itself, may discourage interest in the field.

Can you mention some of your current projects?

In addition to my work with graduate students and my professional presentations, I am a frequent guest on podcasts, which gives me an opportunity to speak on behalf of parapsychology and associated topics. Along with several former Saybrook students, I am currently involved in a remote viewing study. The participants’ judging is finished and one of them attained 19 “hits” and one “miss.” He did his ‘viewing” from Southeast Asia, where he had to pay close attention to the time framework. With one of another of my former students, I am co-editing a book on various approaches to clinical work with dreams, including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder nightmares. My two co-authored books on PTSD (written with Saybrook graduates who are clinicians) have received better notices from mainstream reviewers than any of my books on parapsychology! I am also continuing my cross-cultural study of gender differences in dream content, using the method co-authored by my old friend Robert Van de Castle.

I am studying the recurring dreams of an assistant chaplain who dreams about soldiers who were killed in Afghanistan and Iraq; all were known personally by her colleague, another assistant chaplain, and contain specific names and locations that have been verified.

Before my memory deteriorates even further, I would like to do more autobiographical writing and set the record straight before Wikipedia corrupts it.

Stanley Krippner drums

Selected Bibliography

Books Authored or Co-Authored

Jones, S.M.S., & Krippner, S. (2012). The voice of Rolling Thunder: A medicine man’s wisdom for walking the Red Road. Rochester, VT: Bear.

Rock, A., & Krippner, S. (2011). Demystifying shamans and their world: A multidisciplinary study. Charlottesville, VA: Imprint Academic.

Feinstein, D., & Krippner, S. (2008). Personal mythology: Using ritual, dreams, and imagination to discover your inner story (3rd ed.). Santa Rosa, CA: Energy Psychology Press/Elite Books.

Kierulff, S., & Krippner, S. (2004). Becoming psychic: Spiritual lessons for focusing your hidden abilities. Franklin Lakes, NJ: New Page.

Krippner, S., Bogzaran, F., & de Carvalho, A. P. (2002). Extraordinary dreams and how to work with them. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

Krippner Extraordinary Dreams

Krippner, S., & Welch, P. (1992). Spiritual dimensions of healing: From native shamanism to contemporary health care. New York: Irvington.

Ullman, M., & Krippner, S., with Vaughan, A. (1989). Dream telepathy: Experiments in nocturnal ESP (2nd ed.). Jefferson, NC: McFarland.

Krippner, S., & Villoldo, A. (1987). The realms of healing (3rd ed.). Berkeley, CA: Celestial Arts.

Villoldo, A., & Krippner, S. (1987). Healing states. New York: Fireside/Simon and Schuster.

Krippner, S. (1980). Human possibilities: Mind exploration in the USSR and East Europe. Garden City, NY: Anchor Press/Doubleday.

Krippner, S. (1975). Song of the siren: A parapsychological odyssey. New York: Harper & Row.

Krippner Song of the Siren

Ullman, M., & Krippner, S. (1970). Dream studies and telepathy: An experimental approach (Parapsychological Monograph No. 12). New York: Parapsychology Foundation.

Edited or Co-edited Books

Cardeña, E., Lynn, S.J., & Krippner, S. (Eds.). (2014). Varieties of anomalous experience: Examining the scientific evidence (2nd ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Krippner, S., Rock, A. J., Beischel, J., Friedman, H. L., Fracasso, C. L. (Eds.). (2013). Advances in parapsychological research. Vol. 9. Jefferson, NC: McFarland.

Krippner, S., & Friedman, H.L. (Eds.). (2010). Mysterious minds: The neurobiology of physics, mediums, and other extraordinary people. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger.

Krippner, S., & Friedman, H.L. (Eds.). (2010). Debating psychic experience: Human potential or human illusion? Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger.

Krippner, S., & Ellis, D.J. (Eds.). (2009). Perchance to dream: The frontiers of dream psychology. New York: Nova Science Publishers.

Krippner Perchance to Dream

Krippner, S., & Waldman, M. R. (Eds.). (1999). Dreamscaping: New and creative ways to work with your dreams. Los Angeles: Roxbury Park/Lowell House.

Krippner, S., & Powers, S. (Eds.). (1997). Broken images, broken selves: Dissociative narratives in clinical practice. New York: Brunner/Mazel.

Krippner, S. (Ed.). (1997). Advances in parapsychological research. Vol. 8. Jefferson, NC: McFarland. Krippner, S. (Ed.). (1994). Advances in parapsychological research. Vol. 7. Jefferson, NC: McFarland.

Krippner, S. (Ed.). (1990). Dreamtime and dreamwork: Decoding the language of the night. Los Angeles: Jeremy P. Tarcher.

Krippner Dreamtime

Krippner, S. (Ed.). (1990). Advances in parapsychological research. Vol. 6. Jefferson, NC: McFarland.

Krippner, S. (Ed.). (1987). Advances in parapsychological research. Vol. 5. Jefferson, NC: McFarland.

Krippner, S. (Ed.). (1984). Advances in parapsychological research. Vol. 4. Jefferson, NC: McFarland.

Krippner, S. (Ed.). (1982). Advances in parapsychological research. Vol. 3. New York: Plenum Press.

Krippner, S. (Ed.). (1979). Psychoenergetic systems: The interaction of consciousness, energy and matter. New York: Gordon and Breach.

Krippner Psychoebergetic Systems

Krippner, S. (Ed.). (1978). Advances in parapsychological research. Vol. 2. New York: Plenum Press.

Krippner, S. (Ed.). (1977). Advances in parapsychological research. Vol. 1. New York: Plenum Press.

White, J., & Krippner, S. (Eds.). (1977). Future science: Life energies and the physics of paranormal phenomena. Garden City, NJ: Anchor/Doubleday.

Krippner, S., & Rubin, D. (Eds.). (1975). The energies of consciousness: Explorations in acupuncture, auras, and Kirlian photography. New York: Gordon & Breach.

Krippner Rubin Energies of Consciousness

Krippner, S., & Rubin, D. (Eds.). (1974). The Kirlian aura. Garden City, NY: Anchor Press/Doubleday.

Krippner, S., & Rubin, D. (Eds.). (1973). Galaxies of life: The human aura in acupuncture and Kirlian photography. New York: Gordon & Breach/Interface.

Chapters

Krippner, S., & Achterberg, J. (2014). Anomalous healing experiences. In E. Cardeña, S. J. Lynn, & S. Krippner (Eds.), Varieties of anomalous experience: Examining the scientific evidence (2nd ed., pp. 273-301). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Cardeña, E., Krippner, S., & Lynn, S.J. (2014). Anomalous experiences: An integrative summary. In E. Cardeña, S. J. Lynn, & S. Krippner (Eds.), Varieties of anomalous experience: Examining the scientific evidence (2nd ed., pp. 409-426). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Krippner, S. (2013). My parapsychological odyssey. In R. Pilkington (Ed.), Men and women of parapsychology, personal reflections: Esprit volume 2 (pp. 199-224). San Antonio, TX: Anomalist Books.

Fracasso, C., Friedman, H., & Krippner, S. (2013). Near-death experiences from a Christian vantage point. In J. H. Ellens, (Ed.), Heaven, Hell, and the afterlife: Eternity in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Volume 2: End time and afterlife in Christianity (pp. 293-299). Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger.

Krippner, S., & Bragdon, E. (2012). Contributions of Brazilian Spiritist treatment to the global improvement of mental health care. In E. Bragdon (Ed.), Spiritism and mental health: Practices from Spiritist centers and Spiritist psychiatric hospitals in Brazil (pp. 257-266). London, England: Singing Dragon.

Krippner, S. (2012). Parapsychology and dreams. In D. Barrett & P. McNamara (Eds.), Encyclopedia of sleep and dreams: The evolution, function, nature, and mysteries of slumber, Vol. 2 (pp. 479-481). Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood.

Hageman, J.H., & Krippner, S. (2012). A survey of Afro-Brazilian mediums: Gender differences and distinguishing characteristics. In D. Eigner, G. Fleck, S. Kreitler, & L. Repolyi (Eds.), Consciousness: Cultural and therapeutic perspectives (Vol. 2, pp. 77-108). Frankfurt, Germany: Peter Lang.

Hageman, J.H., Peres, J.F.P., Moreira-Almeida, A., Caixeta, L., Wickramasekera, I., II, & Krippner, S. (2010). The neurobiology of trance and mediumship in Brazil. In S. Krippner & H.L. Friedman (Eds.), Mysterious minds: The neurobiology of physics, mediums, and other extraordinary people (pp. 85-111). Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger.

Krippner, S. (2010). The scientific study of anomalous dreams. In J. Millay (Ed.), Radiant minds: Scientists explore the dimensions of consciousness (pp. 39-42). San Francisco, CA: Author.

Krippner, S. (2010). National and gender differences in reports of extraordinary dreams. In J. Millay (Ed.), Radiant minds: Scientists explore the dimensions of consciousness (pp. 44-54). San Francisco, CA: Author.

Moreira-Almeida, A., Moreira de Almeida, T., Gollner, A.M., Krippner, S. (2009). A study of the mediumistic surgery of John of God. Journal of Shamanic Practice, 2(1), 21-31.

Krippner, S., & Wickramasekera II, I. (2008). Absorption and dissociation in spiritistic Brazilian mediums. In T. Simon (Ed.), Measuring the immeasurable: The scientific case for spirituality (425-438). Boulder, CO: Sounds True.

Krippner, S. (2007). Anomalous experiences and dreams. In D. Barrett, & P. McNamara (Eds.), The new science of dreaming (Vol. 2, pp. 285-306). Westport, CT: Praeger.

Krippner, S. (2006). Getting through the grief: After-death communication experiences and their effects on experients. In L. Storm, & M. A. Thalbourne (Eds.), The survival of human consciousness (pp. 174-193). Jefferson, NC: McFarland.

Krippner, S. (2005). Psychoneurological dimensions of anomalous experience in relation to religious belief and spiritual practices. In K. Bulkeley (Ed.), Soul, psyche, brain: New directions in the study of religion and brain-mind science (pp. 61-92). New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Krippner, S., & Hövelmann, G. (2004). The future of psi research: Recommendations in retrospect. In M.A. Thalbourne & L. Storm (Eds.), Parapsychology in the twenty-first century (pp. 167-188). Jefferson, NC: McFarland.

Krippner, S. (2004). Psi research and the human brain’s “reserve capacities.” In A. Combs, M. Germine, & B. Goertzel (Eds.), Mind in time: The dynamics of thought, reality, and consciousness (pp. 313-329). Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press.

Krippner, S. (2002). The scientific study of anomalous dreams. In V.G. Rammohan (Ed.), New frontiers of human science: A Festschrift for K. Ramakrishna Rao (pp. 119-141). Jefferson, NC: McFarland.

Krippner, S. (1999). From chaos to telepathy: New models for understanding dreams. In S. Krippner & M. R. Waldman (Eds.), Dreamscaping: New and creative ways to work with your dreams (pp. 265-269). Los Angeles: Roxbury Park/Lowell House.

Krippner, S., Wickramasekera, I., Wickramasekera, J., & Winstead, C.W., III. (1998). The Ramtha phenomenon: Psychological, phenomenological, and geomagnetic data. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 92, 1-24.

Krippner, S. (1997). Dissociation in many times and places. In S. Krippner & S. Powers (Eds.), Broken images, broken selves: Dissociative narratives in clinical practice (pp. 3-40). New York: Brunner/Mazel.

Krippner, S. (1997). The varieties of dissociative experience. In S. Krippner & S. Powers (Eds.), Broken images, broken selves: Dissociative narratives in clinical practice (pp.336-361). New York: Brunner/Mazel.

Krippner, S. (1994). The Maimonides ESP-dream studies. In K. R. Rao (Ed.), Charles Honorton and the impoverished state of skepticism: Essays on a parapsychological pioneer (pp. 40-54). Jefferson, NC: McFarland.

Krippner, S. (1993). Telepathy and dreaming. In M. A. Carskadon (Ed.), Encyclopedia of sleep and dreaming (pp. 612-613). New York: Macmillan.

Krippner, S. (1991). An experimental approach to the anomalous dream. In J. Gackenbach & A. A. Sheikh (Eds.), Dream images: A call to mental arms (pp. 31-54). Amityville, NY: Baywood Publishing.

Krippner, S. (1991). The role of “past life” recall in Brazilian spiritistic treatment for multiple personality disorders. In A.S. Berger, & J. Berger (Eds.), Reincarnation: Fact or fable? (pp. 169-185). London: Aquarian.

Krippner, S. (1991). Observing psychic wonder kids: Pitfalls and precautions. In A. A. Drewes & S. A. Drucker (Eds.), Parapsychological research with children: An annotated bibliography (pp. 26-29). Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press.

Greene, F. G., & Krippner, S. (1990). Panoramic vision: Hallucinations or bridge into the beyond? In G. Doore (Ed.), What survives? Contemporary exploration of life after death (pp. 61-75). Los Angeles: Jeremy P. Tarcher.

Krippner, S. (1989). Some touchstones for parapsychological research. In G. K. Zollschan, J.F. Schumaker, & G.F. Walsh (Eds.), Exploring the paranormal: Perspectives on belief and experience (pp. 167-183). Lindfield, Australia: Unity Press.

Krippner, S. (1989). Touchstones of the healing process. In R. Carlson & B. Shield (Eds.), Healers on healing (pp. 111-113). Los Angeles: Jeremy P. Tarcher.

Krippner, S. (1989). A call to heal: Entry patterns in Brazilian mediumship. In C. A. Ward (Ed.), Altered states of consciousness and mental health: A cross-cultural perspective (pp. 186-206). Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications.

Krippner, S. (1988). Parapsychology and postmodern science. In D. R. Griffin (Ed.), The reenchantment of science: Postmodern proposals (pp. 129-140). Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

Krippner, S., & George, L. (1986). Psi phenomena as related to altered states of consciousness. In B. B. Wolman & M. Ullman (Eds.), Handbook of states of consciousness (pp. 332-364). New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold.

George, L., & Krippner, S. (1984). Mental imagery and psi phenomena: A review. In S. Krippner (Ed.), Advances in parapsychological research (Vol. 4, pp. 64-82). Jefferson, NC: McFarland.

Krippner, S., Honorton, C., & Ullman, M. (1983). An experiment in dream telepathy with the Grateful Dead. In P. Grushkin (Ed.), Grateful Dead: The official book of the Dead Heads (p. 90). New York: Quill.

Krippner, S. (1982). Holonomy and parapsychology. In K. Wilber (Ed.), The holographic paradigm and other paradoxes: Exploring the leading edge of science (pp. 124-125). Boulder, CO: Shambhala.

Krippner, S. (1982). Psychic healing. In I. Grattan-Guiness (Ed.), Psychical research: A guide to its history, principles, and practices (pp. 134-143). Wellingborough, UK: Aquarian Press.

Krippner, S., & Hastings, A. (1981). Parapsychology. In A. Villoldo & K. Dychtwald (Eds.), Millennium : Glimpses into the 21st century (pp. 104-119). Los Angeles: Jeremy P. Tarcher.

Krippner, S. (1980). Psychic healing. In R. Herink (Ed.), The psychotherapy handbook (pp. 503-506). New York: New American Library.

Krippner, S. (1980). Folk healing and parapsychological investigation. In M. L. Nester & A. S. T. O’Keefe (Eds.), Exploring parapsychology (pp. 2-3). New York: American Society for Psychical Research.

Krippner, S. (1980). Psychic healing. In A. C. Hastings, J. Fadiman, & J.S. Gordon (Eds.), Health for the whole person (pp. 169-177). Boulder, CO: Westview Press.

Krippner, S. (1978). “Psychic healing”–A multidimensional view. In J. L. Fosshage & P. Olsen (Eds.), Healing: Implications for psychotherapy (pp. 48-83). New York: Human Sciences Press.

Krippner, S. (1978). The interface between parapsychology and humanistic psychology. In M. Ebon (Ed.), The Signet handbook of parapsychology (pp. 79-87). New York: New American Library.

Krippner, S. (1976). Research in paranormal healing: Paradox and promise. In M. L. Nester (Ed.), Exploring ESP and PK (p.15). New York: American Society for Psychical Research.

Krippner, S., & Murphy, G. (1976). Extrasensory perception and creativity. In A. Rothenberg & C. R. Hausman (Eds.), The creativity question (pp. 262-267). Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Krippner, S., & Murphy, G. (1975). Parapsychology and education. In T. B. Roberts (Ed.), Four psychologies applied to education: Freudian, behavioral, humanistic, and transpersonal (pp. 478-481). New York: Schenkman.

Krippner, S. (1975). Parapsychology. In J. Paradise et al. (Eds.), 1976 yearbook: Annual supplement to Collier Encyclopedia (pp. 72-78). New York: Macmillan Educational Corporation.

Krippner, S. (1974). Telepathy. In J. White (Ed.), Psychic exploration: A challenge for science (pp. 112-131). New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons.

Krippner, S., & Ullman, M. (1974). Telepathic perception in the dream state. In L. LeShan, The medium, the mystic, and the physicist (pp. 292-299). New York: Viking Press.

Ullman, M., Krippner, S., & Vaughan, A. (1974). The influence of telepathy on dream content. In R. L. Woods & H. B. Greenhouse (Eds.), The new world of dreams (pp. 406-408). New York: Macmillan.

Krippner, S., & Ullman, M. (1974). ESP in the night. In J. B. Maas (Ed.), Readings in Psychology Today (3rd ed., pp.62-65). Del Mar, CA: CRM Books.

Krippner, S., & Fersh, D. (1972). Spontaneous paranormal experience among members of intentional communities. In G. B. Carr (Ed.), Marriage and family in a decade of change (pp. 220-233). Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.

Ullman, M., & Krippner, S. (1972). ESP in the night. In Readings in Psychology Today (2nd ed., pp. 46-51). Del Mar, CA: CRM Books.

Ullman, M., & Krippner, S. (1969). Two studies using EEG-REM monitoring techniques. In G. Schmeidler (Ed.), Extrasensory perception (pp. 137-161). New York: Atherton Press.

Journal Articles

Krippner, S. (2015). Research perspectives in parapsychology and shamanism. Paranthropology: Journal of Anthropological Approaches to the Paranormal, 6, 2-53.

De Oliveira Maraldi, E., & Krippner, S. (2013). A biopsychosocial approach to creative dissociation: Remarks on a case of mediumistic painting. NeuroQuantology, 11(4), 544-572.

Hageman, J., Krippner, S., & Wickramasekera, I. II. (2011). Across cultural boundaries: Psychophysiological responses, absorption, and dissociation comparison between Brazilian Spiritists and advanced meditators. NeuroQuantology, 9, 5-21.

Alvarado, C., & Krippner, S. (2010). Nineteenth century pioneers in the study of dissociation: William James and psychical research. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 17, 19-43.

Krippner, S. (2004). The dreams and visions of Eva Hellstrom: A Swedish psychic claimant. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 68, 210-225.

Krippner, S. (2002). Stigmatic phenomena: An alleged case in Brazil. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 16, 207-224.

Krippner, S., Winstead, C.W. III, & White, R.A. (2002). Phenomenological analyses of first-person reports of “healers” and “healees” in unexpected recoveries. Exceptional Human Experience, 17, 64-80.

Krippner, S., Wickramasekera, I., & Tartz, R. (2002). Scoring thick and scoring thin: The boundaries of psychic claimants. Journal of Subtle Energy, 11(1), 43-61.

Krippner, S. (2002). A systems approach to psi research based on Jungian typology. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 96, 106-120.

Krippner, S., & Faith, L. (2001). Exotic dreams: A cross-cultural study. Dreaming, 11, 73-82.

Krippner, S. (2000). A cross-cultural model of dissociation and its inclusion of anomalous phenomena. European Journal of Parapsychology, 15, 3-29.

Krippner, S., Vaughan, A., & Spottiswoode, S.J.P. (2000). Geomagnetic factors in subjective precognitive experiences. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 64, 109-118.

Krippner, S. (1996). A pilot study in ESP, dreams and purported OBEs. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 61, 88-93.

Krippner, S., & Persinger, M. (1996). Evidence for enhanced congruence between dreams and distant target material during periods of decreased geomagnetic activity. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 10, 487-493.

Krippner, S., Winkler, M., Amiden, A., Crema, R., Kelson, R., Lal Arora, H., & Weil, P. (1996). Physiological and geomagnetic correlates of apparent anomalous phenomena observed in the presence of a Brazilian “sensitive.” Journal of Scientific Exploration, 10, 281-298.

Krippner, S. (1995). A psychic dream? Be careful who you tell! Dream Network, 14(3), 35-36.

Krippner, S. (1995). Psychical research in the postmodern world. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 89,1-18.

Krippner, S., Winkler, M., Weil, P., Amiden, A., Lal Arora, H., Kelson, R., & Crema, R. (1995). The magenta phenomena, Part II: Twenty Sessions in Brasilia, March 1994. Exceptional Human Experience, 13, 44-63.

Krippner, S., Braud, W., Child, I. L., Palmer, J., Rao, K. R., Schlitz, M., White, R. A., & Utts, J. (1994). Demonstration research and meta-analysis in parapsychology. Journal of Parapsychology, 58, 275-286.

Krippner, S., Bergquist, C., Bristow, J., de Carvalho, M., Gold, L., Helgeson, A., Helgeson, D., Lane, J., Petty, C., Petty, W., Ramsey, G., Raushenbush, M., Reed, H., & Robinson, S. (1994). The magenta phenomena, Part I: Lunch and dinner in Brasilia. Exceptional Human Experience, 12, 194-206.

Krippner, S. (1992). Fechner’s interest in psychical research: Perspectives from parapsychology and humanistic psychology. Journal of Pastoral Counseling, 27, 63-78.

Krippner, S. (1990). A questionnaire study of experiential reactions to a Brazilian healer. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 56, 208-215.

Persinger, M. A., & Krippner, S. (1989). Dream ESP experiments and geomagnetic activity. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 83, 101-116.

Krippner, S. (1985). Parapsychological research: Past, present, and future. Psi Research, 4(3/4), 4-35.

Krippner, S., & Solfvin, J. (1984). Psychic healing: A research survey. Psi Research, 3 (2), 16-28.

Krippner, S. (1984). Psychic healing: Past, present, and future. Spiritual Frontiers, 16, 3-6.

Krippner, S. (1983). Three more recommendations for parapsychology’s future. Zetetic Scholar, No. 11, 151-153.

Krippner, S. (1982). Parapsychological research: A century of inquiry. Parapsychological Journal of South Africa, 3(2), 60-69.

Krippner, S. (1982). Parapsychological research: A century of inquiry. Journal of Indian Psychology, 2, 19-26.

Krippner, S. (1982). Parapsychological research: A century of inquiry. Journal of the American Society of Psychosomatic Dentistry and Medicine, 29, 121-127.

Krippner, S. (1982). Eidetics: Some parapsychological considerations. Journal of Mental Imagery, 6, 69-71.

Krippner, S. (1981). Psi phenomena and transpersonal experience. Phoenix: Journal of Transpersonal Anthropology, 5, 11-17.

Krippner, S. (1980). Humanistic psychology and parapsychology. Parapsychological Journal of South Africa, 1(2), 45-77.

Krippner, S. (1980). A suggested typology of folk healing and its relevance to parapsychological investigation. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 50, 491-500.

Krippner, S. (1979). Transpersonal experience and psi phenomena. Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, 11, 64-65.

Krippner, S., & Greene, G. (1979). Transpersonal experience and psi phenomena. Forum for Correspondence and Communication, 10(2), 7-10.

Krippner, S. (1979). “Psychic healing” and psychotherapy. Journal of Indian Psychology, 1, 35-44.

Krippner, S. (1977). Evaluation of a clairvoyance training program. New England Journal of Parapsychology, 1, 95-101.

Krippner, S. (1977). Preliminary investigations of Kirlian photography as a technique in detecting psychokinetic effects. International Journal of Paraphysics, 11, 69-73.

Krippner, S. (1977). Current parapsychological research in the United States. Psychoenergetic Systems, 2, 277-280.

Krippner, S. (1976). Psychic healing in the Philippines. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 16, 3-31.

Krippner, S. (1976). Psychotronics and the study of human personality. International Journal of Paraphysics, 10, 40-43.

Krippner, S. (1975). Evaluation of a clairvoyance training program. International Journal of Paraphysics, 9, 90-92.

Krippner, S. (1975). Paranormal communication: Dreams and other conscious states. Journal of Communication, 25, 173-182.

Krippner, S., & Bova, M. (1974). Environmental influences on clairvoyance and alterations in consciousness. International Journal of Paraphysics, 8, 48-56.

Krippner, S., & Davidson, R. (1973). Paranormal events occurring during chemically-induced “psychedelic” experience and their implications for religion. Anglican Theological Review,55(3), 324-334.

Krippner, S., & Zeichner, S. (1973). Telepathy and dreams: A descriptive analysis of art prints telepathically transmitted during sleep. A.R.E. Journal, 8, 197-201.

Krippner, S., & Dreistadt, R. (1973). Electrophysiological studies of ESP in dreams: Content analysis of witness-participant variables. Human Dimensions, 2 (3/4), 34-37.

Krippner, S., & Hubbard, C. C. (1973). Clairvoyance and alterations in consciousness evoked by the Electrosone-50 and other devices. Journal of Paraphysics, 7, 5-17.

Krippner, S., & Murphy, G. (1973). Humanistic psychology and parapsychology. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 13(4),3-24.

Krippner, S., & Ullman, M. (1973). Experimentally-induced paranormal effects in dreams and other altered states of consciousness. Journal of Paraphysics, 7, 147-161.

Krippner, S., & Nell, R. (1973). Clairvoyance and the lunar cycle. Journal of Paraphysics, 7, 180-186.

Krippner, S., Honorton, C., & Ullman, M. (1973). An experiment in dream telepathy with “The Grateful Dead”. Journal of the American Society of Psychosomatic Dentistry and Medicine, 20, 9-17.

Krippner, S., Hickman, J., Auerhahn, N., & Harris, R. (1972). Clairvoyant perception of target material in three states of consciousness. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 35, 439-446.

Krippner, S., Honorton, C., & Ullman, M. (1972). A second precognitive dream study with Malcolm Bessent. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 66, 269-279.

Krippner, S., Becker, A., Cavallo, M., & Washburn, B. (1972). Electrophysiological studies of ESP in dreams: Lunar cycle differences in 80 telepathy sessions. Human Dimensions, 1(1), 14-19.

Foulkes, D., Belvedere, E., Masters, R.E.L., Houston, J., Krippner, S., Honorton, C., & Ullman, M. (1972). Long-distance, “sensory bombardment” ESP in dreams: A failure to replicate. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 35, 731-734.

Krippner, S. (1971). Telepathic transmission in sleep. Psychiatric Spectator, 6(12), 2-3.

Krippner, S., Honorton, C., Ullman, M., Masters, R.E.L., & Houston, J. (1971). A long-distance “sensory bombardment” study of ESP in dreams. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 65, 468-475.

Krippner, S., & Davidson, R. (1971). Implications of experimentally induced telepathic dreams. Journal for the Study of Consciousness, 4, 105-114.

Krippner, S., Ullman, M., & Honorton, C. (1971). A precognitive dream study with a single subject. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 65, 192-203.

Krippner, S., & Zirinsky (1971). An experiment in dreams, clairvoyance, and telepathy. The A.R.E. Journal, 6, 12-16.

Ullman, M., & Krippner, S. (1970). An experimental approach to dreams and telepathy: II. Report of three studies. American Journal of Psychiatry, 126, 1282-1289.

Krippner, S. (1970). Electrophysiological studies of ESP in dreams: Sex differences in seventy-four telepathy sessions. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 64, 277- 285.

Krippner, S., & Davidson, R. (1970). Religious implications of paranormal events occurring during chemically-induced “psychedelic” experience. Pastoral Psychology, 21(206), 27-34.

Krippner, S., & Fersh, D. (1970). Paranormal experience among members of American contra-cultural groups. Journal of Psychedelic Drugs, 3, 109-114.

Krippner, S., & Ullman, M. (1970). Telepathy and dreams: A controlled experiment with electroencephalogram-electro-oculogram monitoring. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 151, 394-403.

Honorton, C., & Krippner, S. (1969). Hypnosis and ESP performance: A review of the experimental literature. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 63,214-252.

Krippner, S. (1969). The paranormal dream and man’s pliable future. Psychoanalytic Review, 56, 28-43.

Krippner, S. (1969). Investigations of “extra-sensory” phenomena in dreams and other altered states of consciousness. Journal of the American Society of Psychosomatic Dentistry and Medicine, 16, 7-14.

Ullman, M., & Krippner, S. (1969). A laboratory approach to the nocturnal dimension of paranormal experience: Report of a confirmatory study using the REM monitoring technique. Biological Psychiatry, 1, 259-270.

Krippner, S., & Ullman, M. (1969). Telepathic perception in the dream state: Confirmatory study using EEG-EOG techniques. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 29, 915-918.

Krippner, S. (1968). Experimentally-induced telepathic effects in hypnosis and non-hypnosis groups. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 62, 387-398.

Krippner, S. (1968). An experimental study in hypnosis and telepathy. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 11, 45-54.

Krippner, S. (1967). The cycle of deaths among U.S. Presidents elected at twenty-year intervals. International Journal of Parapsychology, 9, 145-153.

Ullman, M., Krippner, S., & Feldstein, S. (1966). Experimentally-induced telepathic dreams: Two studies using EEG-REM monitoring techniques. International Journal of Parapsychology, 8, 577-603.

Krippner, S. (1965). Coding and clairvoyance in a dual aspect test with children. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 20,745-748.

Krippner, S. (1963). Creativity and psychic phenomena. Gifted Child Quarterly, 7, 51-63.

Krippner, S. (1962-1963). An expansion of consciousness and the extensional world. Parapsychology: Indian Journal of Parapsychological Research, 4, 167-184.

Krippner, S. (1962-1963). Creativity and psychic phenomena. Indian Journal of Parapsychology, 4, 1-20.

Krippner, S., & Hastings, A. (1961). Poltergeist phenomena and expectancy set. Northwestern University Tri-Quarterly, 3 (3),43-47.

Stanley Krippner 11

Carlos S. Alvarado, PhD, Research Fellow, Parapsychology Foundation

In a previous comment I summarized the content of E. Cardeña, J. Palmer, and D. Marcusson-Clavertz’s edited work Parapsychology: A Handbook for the 21st Century (Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2015). Here I would like to summarize a chapter I wrote with others for the book. I was the second author, with N.L. Zingrone and G.H. Hövelmann, of “An Overview of Modern Developments in Parapsychology”(pp. 13-29).

Cardena et al Parapsychology

Nancy Zingrone 3

Nancy L. Zingrone

Gerd Hovelmann 2

Gerd H. Hövelmann

The chapter was somewhat difficult to write because we were asked to review the field from 1977 to the present, and this period literally includes hundreds of relevant publications (this was the case because the book was, to some extent, a follow-up to Benjamin B. Wolman’s Handbook of Parapsychology. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1977). Unlike most other chapters focusing on a particular topic, we had to cover almost everything related to parapsychology. But we only had to focus on trends, not on details about the topic as done in other chapters, something that facilitated our task somewhat. Furthermore, and as stated in the chapter, we were not trying to write a history of modern parapsychology. We aimed at presenting an outline, with references, of some developments.

The chapter had the following sections:

Research Topics and Approaches

Scholarly Work: History, Religion and Other Disciplines

Conceptual and Disciplinary Approaches

Influential Conceptual Frameworks

Methodological and Statistical Developments

Social Aspects: Criticism and Institutional Developments

Under “Research Topics and Approaches”we covered some ESP and PK experiments, as well as selected laboratory and non-laboratory work on out-of-body experiences, near-death experiences, mediumship, and other phenomena (surveys of various experiences, poltergeists, previous lives). Some of these topics were covered in more detail in chapters by other authors.

The “influential conceptual frameworks” we discussed were anomalistic psychology, quantum mechanics, and ideas about a nonphysical mind. “Methodological and Statistical Developments” were about the impact of computers and other technology, statistics, and qualitative research.

We discussed the impact of criticism in our field, paying attention to self-appointed critics. We wrote: “From our perspective, parapsychology has taken internal and external criticisms . . . and conceptual prescriptions . . . very seriously. Because of criticism, ESP-testing methodology was been improved by advances in automated ESP-testing systems . . . psychophysiological measurements were refined . . . and the recording of PK experiments has been modified . . . An active tradition of self-criticism . . . also exists and detailed replies to critics have been undertaken . . . This mix of internal and external criticism has had some definitional consequences, however: A proper distinction between ‘parapsychologist’ and ‘skeptic’ is lacking and seems to be anybody’s guess . . .”

There was also an attempt to summarize institutional developments around the world. For example, we wrote that the Parapsychology Foundation has made many important contributions over the years, such as hosting international conferences. “The University of Edinburgh is still a seat of research in the field. The Koestler Parapsychology Unit, a research group in the Department of Psychology, owes its existence to the endorsement of the Koestler Chair of Parapsychology. The late Robert L. Morris held the chair from 1985 through his untimely death in 2004, after which the University decided not to seek a new candidate. However, two faculty members attached to the KPU obtained permanent faculty appointments ensuring the persistence of research relevant to the field in the department at least while they still hold their positions. As for Morris . . . his principle achievement at Edinburgh was mentoring more than 20 doctoral students. Because a good number of these new PhDs have been able to obtain mainstream faculty positions in psychology the UK and elsewhere, new research units have been established as well as new sites for post-graduate student supervision . . . In 2005, another important chair was established at Lund University . . . Etzel Cardeña, holds the Thorsen Professor of Psychology at Lund and is also the head of the research group called Centre for Research on Consciousness and Anomalous Psychology . . .”

Robert L. Morris2

Robert L. Morris

Also mentioned was the problematic issue of funding and institutional developments in France, Germany, and Brazil. The latter includes the work at the University of Sao Paulo of Wellington Zangari, Fatima Regina Machado, and others.

At the end of the article we listed the work of several individuals that represent a sustained effort in research on specific topics for many years. “One of these is the systematic program of research that was carried on by Robert Jahn, Brenda Dunne, Roger Nelson, and others at the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research (PEAR) Laboratory for over 25 years. The PEAR Laboratory focused primarily on a very

Robert Jahn Brenda Dunne

Robert Jahn and Brenda Dunne

productive line of PK research, and to a lesser extent pursued remote perception research . . . Another remarkable line of research that was active for over 35 years was the work of Ian Stevenson who focused mainly on spontaneous cases, especially on the study of children claiming to remember previous lives . . .” Other individuals mentioned were William Braud, Bruce Greyson, and Charles Honorton. One person that we inadvertently omitted was Edwin May, whose work in remote viewing and other areas has spanned several decades. His work was, and is still, very important to the field.

Ian Stevenson 10

Ian Stevenson

Charles Honorton

Charles Honorton

Ed May 2

Edwin May

We concluded:

“Although we have not performed a systematic analysis of trends in the literature, it seems to us that the shape of the field has not changed much since the earlier period. Not only are we still emphasizing experimental and quantitative work over spontaneous cases and qualitative approaches, we are still battling armchair skeptics who refuse to do research—a fact that makes the skeptics who do conduct research . . . all the more appreciated. Our primary problems remain: the lack of researchers; the difficulty of obtaining or maintaining a normal academic or scientific life while dedicated to the field; the unavailability of mainstream funding; and the social, financial and intellectual disadvantages of being involved with a hotly contested science.”

“We can say that parapsychological research is more varied, more interdisciplinary, and more international than in the earlier period. More of our articles now appear in mainstream journals in psychology, physics, and other disciplines . . . Our research constituencies have also broadened: Instead of the small group of parapsychologists who published mainly in parapsychology journals, today researchers in our field have wider professional identifications and broader agendas.”

“While proof-oriented studies are still conducted, many of us have set that issue aside to investigate the features of claimed experiences, and the psychological correlates of experients and successful experimental participants. The importance of clinical research and its integration into clinical practice has also increased.”

“Still, with the weight of continued criticism and the debilitating advent of organized skepticism, it does not seem likely that the field will be accepted as a part of any mainstream science any time soon.” We believe that we are realistic, and not pessimistic. Nonetheless, there has been growth in the field. Some areas not focusing on evidentiality, we wrote, may fare better.

In addition to casting a wide net and going beyond research, we also tried to transcend the English-language bias prevalent in the field. That is, we included references to work published in languages such as French, Italian, and German. Examples include citations to Belz, Biondi, Bouflet, Cassoli, Evrard, Hövelmann, Iannuzzo, Machado, and Zangari.

Massimo Biondi 2

Massimo Biondi

Fatima 2015

Fatima R. Machado

Due to space limitations we were not able to cover everything we wanted, but it is fair to say that one of the editors gave us some extra and greatly appreciated pages. Our work was mainly one of summarizing trends, of presenting the big picture and offering plenty of bibliographical references for those wishing to explore the topics in more depth. As one of the authors I can only wonder what developments will come a few decades from now.

Carlos S. Alvarado, PhD, Research Fellow, Parapsychology Foundation

Those of you who have followed this blog may be aware of the parapsychology MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) Nancy L. Zingrone and I organized in 2015 (click here). We are now organizing the ParaMOOC2016. This is the joint effort of our organization The AZIRE  and the Parapsychology Foundation (PF), which is well-known in the field for its long history of supporting parapsychology via conferences, grants, and in other ways (click here for information about the PF).

MOOC Course Banner

The 2016 MOOC is being organized following our previous thinking, that, in addition to the few currently available introductory and popular information offerings about parapsychology on the Web, there is a need to present high level scientific and scholarly discussions of parapsychological topics to inform the general public and interested others. These discussions are presented by individuals with recognized academic credentials (doctoral degrees), and with research experience.

The ParaMooc2016 was approved by the administration of the WizIQ learning platform this morning and Nancy has been uploading the schedule as we know it at the moment, as well as welcoming the dozen students who have already signed up. WizIQ is the social media teaching platform that we and the Parapsychology Foundation are using in our online teaching/online conference activities. The benefit of getting approval is that the course is marketed by WizIQ to it’s 500,000 or so teachers, and 4.5 million students already using the system worldwide. Because of the system’s reach we are hoping to get the word out about the scientific side of the field to as many newcomers as we did in last year’s MOOC.

Registration is definitely open. Just create a free account by using your Facebook log-in or creating a new one that’s just for the WizIQ system, then click this link: http://the-azire.wiziq.com/course/139659-parapsychology-research-and-education-paramooc2016. The MOOC is free and live presentations are scheduled at 2:00pm Eastern time for the majority of the speakers. The presentations will be recorded and available soon after (usually within 24 hours). Later on, as we finish uploading the edited versions of the lectures from last year’s MOOC on our YouTube Channel, Parapsychology Online, we will start editing and loading up the lectures from this year.

While the ParaMOOC2016 schedule may still change, we have received confirmation for the participation of such persons as Drs. Bernard Carr, Arnaud Delorme, William Everist, Renaud Evrard, Erlendur Haraldsson, Janice Holden, David Luke, Antonia Mills, Ginette Nachman, Serena Roney-Dougal, Stefan Schmidt, and Patrizio Tressoldi. A few others may join us soon.

Some of the topics discussed include hyperdimensional and quantum theory ideas related to psychic phenomena, clinical perspectives of psychic experiences, and studies of recollections of previous lives, near-death experiences, mind-body medicine, distant intentions, the psychophysiology of mediumship, meditation and psi, and apparitions.

The complete (so far) information on the course is available on the enrollment link, so feel free to click just to check out the information at this link: http://the-azire.wiziq.com/course/139659-parapsychology-research-and-education-paramooc2016

Carlos S. Alvarado, PhD, Research Fellow, Parapsychology Foundation

Philosopher Dr. Michael Grosso, who I have known for many years, has a PhD in philosophy and an MA in classical Greek. He is known for various publications in which he has used psychic phenomena to broaden our understanding of the world and ourselves, among them Frontiers of the Soul: Exploring Psychic Evolution (1992), and Experiencing the Next World Now (2004). In addition, he has discussed in various forums the implications of parapsychology for religion.

Dr. Michael Grosso

In the book discussed here, The Man Who Could Fly: St Joseph of Copertino and the Mystery of Levitation (Rowman and Littlefield, 2015), Michael continues and extends his work focusing on the levitations of Italian saint Joseph of Copertino.

Grosso The Man Who Could Fly

Here is the book’s table of contents, followed by an interview with Michael.

Table of Contents

Introduction

Part I: The Man and His Marvels

1. Life and Times

2. A New Force

3. The Case for Joseph’s Levitations

4. A Complement of Talents

5. The Mystic

Part II: Steps Toward Understanding

6. Reconnoitering Explanations

7. Joseph as Performance Artist

8. Speculations on the Physics of Levitation

Part III: Concluding Reflections

9. The Parapsychology of Religion: A New Science of Spirit?

Appendix

References 

Interview 

Can you give us a brief summary of the book? 

The book has an Introduction and three parts. The Introduction discusses the general purpose and peculiar challenge of writing about a man who could fly. The first part is about the man and his strange talents: the first chapter on Joseph’s life and turbulent times; a chapter that describes the eyewitness testimony of his levitations; one that reviews accounts of his precognition, clairvoyance, supernormal healing, odor of sanctity, etc.; and a crucial chapter on his mystical life and practices. The repeated ecstasies are causally linked to the anomalous movements: his body hovering, soaring, and flying backwards.

In describing Joseph’s phenomena, I compare them to similar accounts, e.g., other saints and mediums. This leads to part two where I try to put Joseph’s case in a larger frame of meaning and suggest possible explanations. There are chapters on ecstasy and the mind-body connection; on the Counter-Reformation baroque sensibility; on Joseph as performance artist; on art, music, and architecture as conducive to mystical flight; and a chapter of conjectures on the physics of levitation.

The last part of the book is short, one concluding chapter. In light of phenomena of the Joseph type, it talks about the parapsychology of religion. It attempts to shift the emphasis in the science-religion debate from cosmology to consciousness research. 

What is your background in parapsychology, and with the topic of the book specifically? 

From early childhood I recall distinct but fleeting psychic oddities.   Periodically they flare up, sometimes with more panache than usual. For example, I’ve been physically attacked by ghosts and once foretold in public (from three dreams) the near-assassination of president Reagan in 1981. Along the way I discovered parapsychology and psychical research and soon found that my experiences were drops in an ocean of mostly forgotten data.

My interest lies in phenomena of extreme situations like near-death, crisis coincidences, emotions of love and war, artistic inspiration, shamanic trance, mystical transport, and so on. The more extreme claims of mind-body influence prompt one to wonder about the mind’s limits: voodoo deaths, placebos that melt tumors, hypnotic suggestions that cure congenital diseases like icthyosis, mediums that materialize hands you can shake, stigmata that never get infected and exude strange perfumes, and, of course, the star of anomalies — levitation. 

What motivated you to write this book?

On a trip to Italy I acquired a 1722 copy of Domenico Bernini’s biography of the Venerable Joseph of Copertino. Eric Dingwall singled out this text for its copious quotes of eyewitness testimony to Joseph’s phenomena. So the biography was translated into English and I started to write a short introduction. Instead, I wrote a book, feeling the need to put Joseph’s story into historical context.

Bernini Vita Copertino

Several things motivated me. The case is extraordinary in the annals of psychophysical supernormality; as far as the variety of the phenomena and the abundance of documented testimony. All in all, the friar’s tale is a whopping body-blow to materialism, for it appears that a peculiar mental state can under rare circumstances attenuate the common effects of gravity. This kind of fact, I think it can be shown, has implications for the theory of religion. Is levitation a “miracle” or a rare human potential? If, moreover, the facts are as described, they present a fascinating problem for modern science, especially for quantum mechanics. 

Why do you think your book is important and what do you hope to accomplish with it? 

I think it’s important to call attention to paradigm-busting phenomena like levitation, the records for which exist but lie mostly hidden in dusty archives, ignored and unexamined.

Without a vision the people will perish, said the old psalm writer, and William James strongly agreed. You hear it nowadays: the world needs a new vision, a new story to compete with the dominant visions and stories, the ones wreaking all the havoc on the planet.

Joseph is a radical counterexample to everything normal and comprehensible in our present world. At the same time, he had a strange gift for keeping at bay the might of the physical universe: gravity. A mystery to dwell on. How is such a fantastic thing possible?

What do I hope to accomplish? I would hope in some way to advance the cause of self-knowledge. I’m not sure how, except perhaps to thoughtfuly ask: Is there (after all) a spark of divinity in us that we have forgotten? Are we beings who exist in oblivion to what we are?

What have I learned from my study of Joseph? It is hard to explain but after my rummaging around in the saint’s universe for a while, I find myself more disposed to make light of things. An attitude, like an atmosphere settles around me. True, I may not be able to levitate like St. Joseph, but I can practice levity; in levity, I make light of myself and of the world. As long as I manage to abide there, nothing can bring me down.

To order the book click here.

 

At the End of 2015

Carlos S. Alvarado, PhD, Research Fellow, Parapsychology Foundation

Let me start offering my best wishes for the Holiday season, and if you do not celebrate the season, my best end of the year wishes to you.

Holly Image

Like in 2014, I am happy to say I have not lacked topics for this blog. I have particularly enjoyed the interviews with individuals active in

Hoyt Edge & monkey2

Hoyt Edge (right) and unidentified monkey (left)

parapsychology. The field survives thanks to the work of persons like these. Those featured in 2015 are Dick Bierman, Etzel Cardeña, Hoyt Edge, Fatima Regina Machado, John Palmer, Dean Radin, Marilyn Schlitz, Charles T. Tart, and Wellington Zangari. More to come in 2016.

Charley Tart

Charles T. Tart

Some postings have been about recent publications. These include: “Feeling the Future” Experiments: A New Meta-Analysis,”  “A New Handbook of Parapsychology,” “The Variety of Approaches to Mediumship: Some New Publications,” “Recent Articles About Out-of-Body Experiences: III.,” and “A Theory of Precognition.”

Cardena et al Parapsychology

Other postings about recent publications are interviews in which I ask questions to authors of recent books. Examples of these are the  Extrasensory Perception: Support, Skepticism and Science, edited by Drs. Edwin C. May and Sonali Bhatt Marwaha,” Beyond Physicalism, edited by Edward F. Kelly’s and others, and First Sight by James C. Carpenter.

Carpenter First Sight

Still on recent publications, I admit I take some pleasure writing about my articles. Most of these are about historical topics and appeared while I was Research Fellow at the Parapsychology Foundation. Some examples are: “Ideas About Théodore Flournoy’s Classic Study of Mediumship” (with N.L. Zingrone), “On First Volumes of Influential Journals About Psychic Phenomena,” and “ESP Via Pulse Rates? Some 19th Century Observations.”

One of the articles I published was about out-of-body experiences: “Study of the Features of Out-of-Body Experiences” (with N.L. Zingrone).

Many other topics are covered. In the blogs classified as Voices from the Past I talk about books and articles from the old psychical research literature. There are also topics I discuss under the labels Phenomena, Digital Resources, and Education.

I also like to comment on various events, such as conferences. But I am selective, focusing on the more scholarly and academic events. This has included reports of the MOOC I organized with Nancy L. Zingrone, “Live Parapsychology MOOC is Over,” and other events: “Parapsychology Foundation’s Online Book Expo,” “Parapsychological Association Awards,” and  “Parapsychology Foundation’s Online Forum.”

Parapsychology Foundation Book Expo 2015 Illustration

Overall it has been a good year. In addition to various published papers in academic journals, my wife Nancy and I have had the pleasure of working with the Parapsychology Foundation, from which some onlineevents will come soon in 2016 (stay tuned).

PF Logo

On a personal note, we moved to a new apartment and adopted two cats. Life permitting I will continue this blog in 2016 bringing you more information, and some of my opinions, about various aspects of parapsychology.

Pinky and Spotty 4

Spotty and Pinky

 

Carlos S. Alvarado, PhD, Research Fellow, Parapsychology Foundation

One of the oldest theoretical ideas to account for ESP is that of cerebral radiations, or physical emanations coming from the brain of a person or other sources carrying information. This is what many have speculated throughout the history of psychical research, emphasizing the existence of different emanations, radiations, waves, and various particles. Ideas of this sort have been postulated by William Crookes, Ferdinando Cazzamalli, Upton Sinclair, and René Warcollier, among many others. I discuss some nineteenth-century forgotten ideas of this sort in a paper entitled: “Telepathic Emissions: Edwin J. Houston on ‘Cerebral Radiation.’ ” (Journal of Scientific Exploration, 2015, 29, 467-490). Here is the abstract:

“Interest in telepathy during the Nineteenth Century developed in the context of ideas of magnetic, nervous, and psychic forces said to project from the physical body to cause various phenomena, as seen in the literatures of mesmerism, Spiritualism, and psychical research. An article about cerebral radiations authored by American electrical engineer Edwin J. Houston in 1892 is reprinted here and commented upon. Houston speculated that cerebral waves were projected to other brains via the ether, a process involving resonance with a similarly disposed brain. These ideas were affected by concepts from physics dealing with such forces as magnetism and constructs like the ether. In fact, the phenomena of thought-transference stimulated many speculations involving ideas of brain waves and radiations that were part of a tendency to reduce unexplained phenomena to physical and physiological principles, or in this case biophysical ones. Houston’s paper is one of the most detailed presentation of ideas of this sort published in the Nineteenth Century. Nonetheless, Houston showed no familiarity with the literature of his time about telepathy. While his article did not originate ideas of this sort, it is representative of speculations of the period about what today we refer to as physical transmission models of ESP.”

Edwin J. Houston 2

Edwin J. Houston

The reprint of Houston’s article, which was published in various journals, was preceded by an introduction about ideas of animal magnetism and thought-transference in the nineteenth-century assuming physical principles. As Mark Twain wrote in Harper’s New Monthly Magazine: “Doubtless the something which conveys our thoughts through the air from brain to brain is a finer and subtler form of electricity . . .” (Mental telegraphy: A manuscript with a history. Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, 1891, 84, 95–104, p. 101).

Mark Twain

Mark Twain

The paper was published in the Journal of the Franklin Institute and in other places. Houston believed that: “Postulating the existence of the universal or luminiferous ether . . . , and bearing in mind the fact that this ether passes through even the densest matter . . . , it follows that the brain atoms or molecules that are here assumed as the cause of cerebration, are completely surrounded by the ether . . . Now, since the ether is a highly elastic, easily movable medium, it would follow that thought or cerebration, if attended by vibrations, must necessarily develop in the ether wave-motions, which have the brain atoms or molecules for their centres . . . Cerebral energy . . . is dissipated by imparting wave motions to the surrounding ether, and such waves are sent out in all directions from the brain, possibly in greater amount, or of greater amplitude from some of the brain openings, as, for example, those of the eyes.”

Houston Cerebral Rediations Journal Franklin Institute 1892

First page of Houston’s article, Journal of the Franklin Institute

As I concluded:

“Simple transmission models based on radiations and waves such as Houston’s have been criticized in the past as failing to explain the evidence for ESP . . . Nonetheless, historically it is important to pay attention to ideas such as Houston’s because the study of past developments in parapsychology, and of any other scientific field, should not be limited to what is believed today to be correct . . .”

“While I do not claim that Houston’s article had an important impact on the study of ESP (the reverse seems to be the case), a discussion of its content contributes to our understanding of the assumptions surrounding past ideas on the subject. In this case it is clear that Houston was influenced by the then current concepts of physics (or by extensions of these concepts), which included constructs such as brain-generated radiations and the ether. The influence of physics on parapsychology, it is interesting to see, continues to recent times . . .”

“To conclude, Houston’s article allows us to see in detail a type of theory that has been prevalent throughout the history of interest in telepathy. In fact his paper is probably the most detailed discussion of the topic in the later Nineteenth Century. Houston’s ideas were part of a long conceptual tradition that has been influential both in parapsychological concepts, as well as in popular conceptions of telepathy.”

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