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Record Type: Review   ID: 840

Spontaneous Psi, Depth Psychology and Parapsychology: Proceedings of an International Conference Held in Berkeley, California October 31-November 1, 1987

Shapin, Betty, & Coly, Lisette (Eds.).

 This proceedings contains 10 presentations followed by discussions involving the participants and 34 knowledgeable observers. The participants, primarily active researchers, presented new angles in the study of psi as it occurs spontaneously. J├╝rgen Keil describes the advantages and disadvantages of spontaneous and experimental psi studies and explores whether all psi events are not spontaneous. Julian Isaacs discusses the existing clinical approaches that might enable experimenters to obtain large-scale PK effects and calls for more qualitative data collection in laboratory studies, using ethnographic field work as a model. He recommends the application of psychotherapeutic procedures to the enhancement of psi performance. Marilyn Schlitz notes some potential examples of spontaneous psi in the literature of anthropology, psychology, and folklore, such as the phenomenon of cultural parallels, in which the psi hypothesis has not been considered. Ruth-Inge Heinze cites some precognitive, telepathic, and channeling experiences she has had, and she develops the intriguing hypothesis "that spontaneity in psi experiences is an artifact which is an outgrowth of the incomplete information we have on the nature of psi. What is called 'spontaneity' seems to be . . . an unexpected access to what is called 'universal knowledge.' This knowledge has, so far, escaped intellectualization" (p. 83). Arthur Hastings discusses motivations for psi development in childhood, everyday life, and psi and meta-motives (Maslow's term for "ultimate" or "being" values). Motives control (direct) psi just as they control other elements of the personality. Robert Morris deals with meaningful coincidences, noting their importance in both parapsychology and depth psychology. He attempts to "synthesize synchronicity and related concepts with the subject matter of parapsychology as viewed from a communication perspective" (p. 137). He also takes a fresh approach to the role archetypes may play in identifying seemingly meaningful coincidences. Vernon Neppe provides a detailed phenomenological classification of the various types of subjective paranormal experience that parapsychology, anomalistic psychology, and psychiatry deal with in their different ways. Helen Palmer describes the consequences of a series of spontaneous experiences that occurred during a situational life crisis she underwent years earlier, and discusses the positive aftereffects. She proposes that psi may be an independent factor co-existing with psychological defense mechanisms. Keith Harary analyzes movie and TV depictions of people who have apparent psi experiences, noting that negative stereotypes predominate. He suggests that this can have a potentially harmful effect on both individuals and society and even affect laboratory psi. He calls for a more positive fictional mass media approach to spontaneous psi. Rex Stanford shows how studies of ostensible spontaneous ESP and PK, folklore depictions of the paranormal, and inexplicable interactions in the laboratory can be mutually enriching, and he shows how hypotheses derived from spontaneous experiences, such as faith and vicarious suffering, can be tested in the laboratory. The conference participants criticized standard approaches and presented new methods, theories, and especially, interdisciplinary approaches. Several papers broaden the view of psi and parapsychology by incorporating views from one or more other disciplines.
Publisher Information:New York: Parapsychology Foundation, 1992. 287p. Chap. bibl
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