Carlos S. Alvarado, PhD, Research Fellow, Parapsychology Foundation
2014 has been an interesting year for me, a year of uncertainty, and a year of change, but also a year of good things. My thanks to those who have made possible my living in North Carolina and my work. This includes my wife and colleague Nancy L. Zingrone, and others I can truly describe as good friends and benefactors, who I will only identify as E., E., J., N. & J., and B.
In this, my last blog in 2014, I will not only say something about the blog during this year, but also about my work in parapsychology. I will start with the blog.
According to an end-of-year report I recently received from WordPress.com, where my blog lives. I posted 69 blogs in 2014 (114 since 2013), and had about 34,000 views. Not including this one, I have uploaded 453 photos this past year. The blog with the most views in 2014 was the recent Parapsychology Massively Open Online Course (MOOC).
Most of the blogs are about recent publications, mainly articles, and some books. But I also write about people in parapsychology, digital resources, education, and various events such as conferences.
Among the blogs I will mention:
Voices from the Past
I have been particularly pleased with my People in Parapsychology interviews. These not only provide information for the general public about the work of particular parapsychologists, but also convey much about their beginnings and motivations, something of particular
As in previous years I have continued to do one of the things I love the most, writing and publishing scholarly articles about the history of psychical research. Here is a list of my papers about past developments, and past figures, all of which appeared in 2014:
(first author, with E. de O. Maraldi, F.R. Machado, & W. Zangari). Théodore Flournoy’s contributions to psychical research. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 78, 149-168.
(Second author, with E. Cardeña). Anomalous self and identity experiences. In E. Cardeña. S.J. Lynn, & S. Krippner (Eds.), Varieties of Anomalous Experiences (2nd ed., 175-212). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Mediumship, psychical research, dissociation, and the powers of the subconscious mind. Journal of Parapsychology, 78, 98–114.
Classic Text No. 98: ‘Visions of the Dying,’ by James H. Hyslop (1907). History of Psychiatry, 25, 237-252.
Stanley Hall on “Mystic or Borderline Phenomena.” Journal of Scientific Exploration, 28, 75-93.
On W.J. Crawford’s studies of physical mediumship. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 28, 351-357.
(First author, with N.L. Zingrone). Eileen Coly (1916-2013). Journal of Scientific Exploration, 28, 505–507.
In memoriam Robert Van de Castle (1967-2014). Mindfield, 6(2), 60-61.
Vignettes on Frederic W.H. Myers. Paranormal Review, No. 70, 3-13.
On constancy, stability and the antiquity of psychic phenomena. Paranormal Review, No. 69, 3-7.
(first author, with N.L. Zingrone). Psychic mists. Vital Signs, 33(1/2), 12-13.
But I have also worked on other topics, such as papers about out-of-body experiences and shared-death experiences that I hope will appear in 2015. One of the OBE papers is about those experiences that take place while the person’s physical body is physically active in some way.
I have new papers about historical topics that will continue to appear in 2015. Two of them were accepted by the Journal of Scientific Exploration. One is about the nineteenth-century work of John Purdon in which pulse rates were presented as evidence of telepathy. The other is an overview of the first volume of three influential journals: the Revue Spirite (1858), the Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research (1882-83), and the Journal of Parapsychology (1937). I am also working on papers presenting excerpts of the writing of old researchers and theorists. Some of these are about ideas of vital and nervous forces projected from the body of mediums to produce physical phenomena by authors such as Oliver Lodge, Gustave Geley, Joseph Maxwell, and Edward C. Rogers, among others.
More recently Nancy and I have been organizing online events that bring together many different speakers, something that has not been done at this scale. The first one was a conference that focused on parapsychology and psychology, while the second is an open and free online course, coming in January and February, that will cover different areas of the field and include discussion forums, assignments aimed towards obtaining a certificate of completion, and some introductory lectures from us. The really important part of the course will be the over 20 guest speakers, among them: Steve Braude, Richard Broughton, Etzel Cardeña, Kathy
Dalton, Fatima R. Machado, Joe McMoneagle, Everton de Oliveira Maraldi, Sonali Marwaha, Ed May, Roger Nelson, Alejandro Parra, Dean Radin, and Chris Roe. As of this morning we had 533 learners and 11 speakers signed up in the online classroom. Enrollment is still expanding, usually at the speed of about a half dozen new learners everyday.
Nancy and I hope to continue to organize more online educational activities during the coming year. We plan to offer online lectures about specific areas of parapsychology as well as offer another conference and provide consulting services for others in the field who are also planning online courses, conferences and events.
Regarding changes, Nancy and I have reorganized our organization, The AZIRE, to be more active in online educational and other projects. We have formed an Advisory Board consisting of: Dr. Dean Radin (Institute of Noetic Sciences), Dr. Stanley Krippner (Saybrook University), Dr. Charles T. Tart (University of California-Davis, Emeritus, and Sofia University), Dr. Christine Simmonds-Moore (University of West Georgia), Eberhard Bauer (Institüt de Grenzgebiete der Psychologie und Psychohygiene), Dr. Chris Roe (University of Northampton), and Dr. Erlendur Haraldsson (University of Iceland, Emeritus).
Our first project was the coordination of online presentations in the virtual conference “Parapsychology and Psychology: Research and Theory.” Nancy and I did the first presentation: “Parapsychology and Psychology: An Overview.” The rest of the presentations were: “How Psi Works: The First Sight Theory” (James Carpenter, PhD), “Clinical Dimensions of Psychic Experiences” (Renaud Evrard, PhD, University of Strasbourg, France), “Cognitive and Emotional Empathy in Relation to Five Paranormal/Anomalous Experiences’ (Alejandro Parra, PhD, Universidad Abierta Interamericana & Instituto de Psicología Paranormal, Argentina; “We Are All Psychics, but (Often) We Do Not Know How To” (Patrizio Tressoldi, PhD, University of Padova, Italy); “ESP and
Altered States of Consciousness” (Chris Roe, PhD, University of Northampton, England); and “ESP and Synesthesia” (Christine Simmonds-Moore, PhD, University of West Georgia). In addition there were several poster (slide) presentations. The recordings of the presentations will be made available on our new YouTube Channel, Parapsychology Online, which is available here. In fact, we are also uploading recordings from the free online course that starts January 5th to our YouTube Channel as well as continuing Nancy’s “Primer” series on educational resources in parapsychology and uploading other content as well. Our new joint blog, Parapsychology Online, and Facebook page of the same name, are also part of our new educational activities.
Some of you may have noticed that the affiliation after my name in these blogs has changed. The last seven blogs have appeared under my new affiliation, the Parapsychology Foundation. I used to work for the Foundation some years back and I am glad to have the opportunity to do so again. Together with Nancy I hope to help the Foundation develop its programs during 2015, something I will keep you posted of in future blogs. I am also posting more frequently blogs to the Parapsychology Foundation’s blog page.
This “end of the year report” is incomplete but I hope it will be of interest, at least to some of you. I realize that my blogs are not for everyone. I focus on scholarly and scientific material, and several are bibliographical in nature. But I hope that at least some of the information I put out is useful and interesting to some. With a few exceptions the purpose of my blogs is to spread information about parapsychology (research, bibliography, history), and I only provide criticism in a few of them (no one is perfect).
My thanks to those of you who have been following what I write, and my best wishes for the coming year.