Mythical Wednesday: Understanding Parapsychology
January 7, 2015 Leave a comment
To understand what parapsychology is, you have to understand first what it isn’t. Parapsychology is not the study of anything considered weird or bizarre. It doesn’t have anything to do with astrology, UFOs, searching for Bigfoot, paganism, vampires, alchemy, or witchcraft.
Parapsychology is the study of phenomena that falls outside of human experience or experiences that tend to be ‘unusual’. The most interesting aspect of parapsychological phenomena is that they aren’t limited by the known boundaries of space or time. They blur the distinction usually made between mind and matter.
The basic parapsychological phenomena are:
Telepathy: A direct mind-to-mind communication
Precognition: Also known as premonition, it’s the act of obtaining information about future events and information that cannot be extrapolated through normal means. Some people claim their dreams are precognitive.
Clairvoyance: Sometimes referred to as Remote Viewing, information is obtained about events at remote or specific locations, beyond the reach of the normal senses.
ESP: Extra-sensory perception, is a general term for gathering information about events beyond the reach of normal sense. This term would include telepathy, clairvoyance, and precognition.
Psychokinesis: Also known as PK, this is a direct mental interaction with animate or inanimate objects.
Bio-PK: Direct mental interactions with living things.
NDE: Near Death Experience: These experiences are reported by those who have come close to death or have been revived from dying. At the core of this, are feeling of peace, seeing lights, and other phenomena.
OBE: Where the Human consciousness is detached from the body for a period of time. Many who have had this experience say they were floating over their bodies. Some have even reported ‘crossing over’ to heaven.
Reincarnation: The belief that we live a number of lives. The primary evidence coming from those who have strong recollections of places they have never been.
Haunting: Phenomena reported to occur in particular locations that include apparitions, sounds, movements of objects and other effects.
Poltergeists: PK phenomena on a large scale, often attributed to spirits, but lately there are suggestions that they are linked to living people. In particular, young adolescent girls.
People view parapsychology with suspicion because the name is associated with a huge variety of mysterious phenomena, fringe topics and what many feel is pseudo-science. It’s often linked with a broad range of people who claim to be psychic entertainers, magicians and investigators, even though psi phenomena occurs in all cultures and throughout history.