Archive for July, 2019


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

Here is a new article discussing phenomena believed to present evidence against materialism: Toward a Postmaterialist Psychology: Theory, Research, and Applications,” by Mario Beauregard, Natalie L. Trent, and Gary E. Schwartz (New Ideas in Psychology, 2018, 50, 21–33; for a PDF of the article click here).

Mario Beauregard

Mario Beauregard

Natalie L. Trent

Natalie L. Trent

Natalie L. TrentNatalie L. Trent 2

Gary Schwartz

Abstract

“The majority of mainstream psychologists still adopt a materialist stance toward nature. They believe that science is synonymous with materialism; further, they are convinced that the view that mind and consciousness are simply by-products of brain activity is an incontrovertible fact that has been demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt. This is an incomplete view of what humans are. In this article, we review two categories of empirical evidence that support a shift toward a postmaterialist psychology. The first category of evidence includes mental events that seem to occur outside the spatial confines of the brain, whereas the second category includes mental events that seem to occur when the brain has ceased to function. Taken together, the two bodies of empirical evidence examined here indicate that the idea that the brain creates mind and consciousness is both incomplete and flawed. In the Discussion section, we argue that the transmission hypothesis of the mind-brain relationship can account for all the evidence presented in this article. We also discuss the emerging postmaterialist paradigm and its potential implications for the evolution of psychology.”

The authors argue that “the scientific materialist framework is completely at loss to explain a wide array of empirical phenomena that are thoroughly examined in this article.” They discuss ESP and near-death experiences, and other phenomena such as distant mental influence and reincarnation cases.

It is stated that psychology will be affected in different ways if a materialistic paradigm is rejected:

“Allowing for research from a postmaterialist perspective would impact many subfields within psychology. Not only would a postmaterialist paradigm allow for research to extend further into the potential of the mind, it would do so with an understanding of our interconnection, thereby moving forward in an ethical, holistic way . . . With respect to abnormal psychology, the belief in psi phenomena is currently classified as a symptom of a mental disorder, such as schizotypal personality disorder. A postmaterialist paradigm would recognize that many people do experience psi phenomena, and that these phenomena are not necessarily the products of delusions or pathological belief systems. Furthermore, a postmaterialist paradigm would take into account the enormous power of spirituality and mystical experiences to fundamentally transform one’s life in a positive way . . . As regards social psychology, adopting a postmaterialist paradigm would allow for deeper research into our interconnection and social bonds that may transcend the physical boundaries assumed by scientific materialism . . . The implications of postmaterialist paradigm also extend to crosscultural psychology, whereby other cultural belief systems often correspond to a non-materialist perspective . . . A postmaterialist paradigm can also create a bridge between modern medicine and traditional forms of medicine . . .”

It concluded that:

“Scientific materialism still continues to exert substantial influence in the academic world. QM and the numerous lines of converging empirical evidence discussed here, however, strongly suggest that this ideology is incomplete, erroneous and obsolete: the time is indeed ripe to embrace a broader and more inclusive postmaterialist conception of the world.”

“The history of science has been marked by a few special moments that were characterized by major conceptual breakthroughs that have been called paradigm shifts or changes . . . It appears that we are now approaching another crucial paradigm shift, namely the transition from materialist science to postmaterialist science. We may be witnessing the end of materialism . . . , at least as originally conceived. Holding great promise for science, this transition may be of vital importance to the evolution of the human civilization. Toward this end, a group of postmaterialist scientists . . . have founded a global Academy for the Advancement of Postmaterialist Sciences to foster theory, research, and applications in all branches of science.”

 

 

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

In a recently published article Zofia Weaver summarizes the psychical research contributions of Polish philosopher and psychologist Julian Ochorowicz (1850-1917):

Julian Ochorowicz and His Contribution to Psychical Research. Journal of Parapsychology, 2019, 83, 69-78.

Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to present the contribution of Julian Ochorowicz to the field of psychical research. From early youth Ochorowicz was interested in psychology, particularly in magnetism, hypnotism and mental suggestion, and his experience in these areas influenced his theoretical approach to the subject. His passionate belief that the essence of true science had to be to establish facts before forming conclusions led him to investigate a number of mediums, including
Eusapia Palladino and Stanisława Tomczyk.

Julian Ochorowicz 2

Julian Ochorowicz

 

Ochorowicz Suggestion mentale

Ochorowicz Mains Tomczyk

Article About Ochorowicz’s Studies of Medium Stanislawa Tomczyck in the Annales des Sciences Psychiques, 1912

The author ends her paper stating:

“Ochorowicz was very much a ‘hands on,’ practical investigator, pursuing every manifestation as far as possible, inventing devices for excluding fraud, and examining every possible and impossible explanation to its logical conclusion in his search for the truth. However, in his pursuit of facts he tended not to allow for the possibility of different interpretations, and in particular was not aware of the ‘experimenter effect’ his powerful personality might produce. In his impatience for answers he would construct theoretical explanations prematurely and without detail, something he acknowledged himself in his later writings . . . Working with the model of the world current at that time, he tried to go beyond it, yet in some respects perhaps he was not so much wrong as ahead of his time, as in his exploration and application of the idea that energy could not be destroyed, only transformed. But perhaps his most important contributions were as an innovative experimenter and a ‘science activist,’ who had the courage to keep pushing at the boundaries of current worldviews, always asking, ‘What is impossible?’ ”