Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Rose Marie: The Reminder case

Stories about many psychic experiences do not seem particularly meaningful as they get told to others but this one interests me. This is a story about actress Rose Marie. I read about this case some time ago and wrote her and asked some questions.

One of the things in her biography that interested me was that she was the daughter of a suit cutter. Latter, you will see why this interests me. She started in show business by winning an amateur singing contest and got her own radio show. By the time she was six, she was a national celebrity and she started a recording career for Brunswick Label. When she started making personal appearances, people didn't believe that the husky mature voice belonged to such a little girl. She appeared in 1933 movie International House.

As World War II came to end, she married Bobby Guy, who became the first trumpeter of the NBC orchestra. The two had been married for 19 years when he died on May 27, 1964 of any blood infection. He was 48. Her husband's death came as quite a blow. She wrote me, “The first six months I didn't go anywhere at all.”

She was on the Dick Van Dyke show, playing Sally, a breezy writer, whose aggressiveness scared away men. Soon after Bobby’s death she asked Richard Deacon, who also was a regular on the Dick Van Dyke Show, if he wanted to have any of her husband's old clothes. He did mention that he would like Bobby’s tuxedo, but he did not bring it up again. Rose Marie says, “he was very nice to me after my husband died, always trying to get me out and back in the, so called, living world.”

Eight or nine months past.

Then one evening, he was escorting her to an evening at the Playboy Club on the Sunset Strip. They were having a good time and Deac thought it might not be amiss if he mentioned the tuxedo. Finally he took a deep breath and plunged into the conversation while they stood in line at the club’s buffet table.

“Rose, do you remember when you. . . “, he began.

“Deac, are you still interested in . . ." she started at the same time. They were both talking about the same subject at the same time; many months after they had first discussed it.

In order to make sure there was something beyond chance, I asked her, “How formal was the ‘affair?’ What I mean is in everyone else had on tuxedos, then both of you thinking of one, since it didn't have one, would be so hard to understand would it?”

She said, “No, it was not a formal affair. Deac had just called me to take me out for dinner and to hear a new group that was playing there. He was always doing things like that, because he knew I was home and wouldn’t be out of the house, so to speak. No one was wearing tuxedos.”

For this purpose of this discussion we will assume that what happened was of a psyche nature; though it may not be as dramatic as most events I have researched. It interests me because there seems to be a link between her father’s work as a suite cutter and the subject of the psychic experience — as Tuxedo. The psychic activity, in this case does resemble the activity, at least the interest, of a suit-cutter. As we look into the question of “Why do psychic experiences happen?” the psychic events can best be understood if we think of the psychic actions as a special personality within the psychic. This personality that we can see in the psychic events was formed by our early ideas about the nature of the unknown. So the Unknown has a personality. A personality that was formed by early childhood experiences. In this case the personally had an interest in clothes.

Many of our patterns of interest are affected by our parents, psychic events are only one variety.


Kleiner, Dick. “The Ghost Who Danced with Kim Novak.” New York: Ace Publishing Corp., 1969. p. 100

Letter from Marie, Rose to author, 15 June 1970

Monday, December 1, 2008

Sensing death

Since the earliest recorded times we have noticed that animals seem to know of coming death and danger. So it is natural that parapsychologists have attempted to bring these animal psychics into the laboratory and test this ability. Could animals have the ability to know of things like death as a result of some basic psychic activity? If so how do we measure this ability for science?

We can look for some significance to the many age-old stories and superstitions that animals know about death. One behavior that people have often noticed was an uneasiness even depression in animal behavior before the death of a companion or themselves.

These sad slow movements of the dog who knows, even before the rest of the family, when his master has died, have been reported too many times the disbelieved. Animals seem to have ability at knowing about death. Undoubtedly it served them well in the wild.

Robert Morris reported an experiment that involved rats. He took a group of rats scheduled to be killed. And let each one run individually in an open change, two minutes. The assumption was that those who were to be killed would not move around as much as those who were not. That is like the dog that stayed in one corner or under the porch when he knew of a death and his family.

Immediately after running, each was taken to a coworker who either destroyed it or returned to its cage. This was done according to a random plan that was not known to the open field scorer. To that open field scorer didn't know which animals were to live and which were to die, and the coworker didn't know how each animal had performed in the open field. After the test, the scores based on how often a given rat had crossed a line in the cage, were compared with record of which one dies. Half of the animals that lived were active enough to leave their original square, but not one of those who died were even that active.

Also animals know what their masters are going to do, especially if that will hurt them. Another experiment was recorded by two scientists who used the pseudonyms of Duval and Montredom. They reported it in 1968. Animals can use psi to protect themselves from harm.

The procedure of the experiment was too randomly give one side of the cage or the other a small electrical shock. The whole procedure was automated so that no experimenter needed to be present. The experiment illustrated that the mice used psi sensations to protect themselves from shock. “Actually,” the report reads, “the mice avoided the shock more than one would expect by chance... (probability < .001). This significant result can be ascribed to psi, for the animals apparently must have used precognition or clairvoyance in order to make these correct choices in responses.”

If the situation is hopeless animals relax and await their fate whereas if they know of approaching danger and take measures to avoid it. The psychological motivations for these psychic flashes of awareness are easy to see.

Morris, R.L. 1970 “Psi and animal behavior: a survey.” The Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research 64:242-260

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Awareness of Life

One night in February 1966 lie detector expert Cleve Backster’s life was changed. He was working on a puzzle. A lie detector can measures changes in the Psycho-galvanic-response (PGR). These changes help the operator to know if a person is nervous. It measures the changes in the skin’s ability to conduct electricity. But exactly what is the change in conductivity of the skin really measuring? Some suggested that it was the change in the moisture content of the skin, as perhaps the subject is sweating. But that could not explain the changes back to lower conductivity when a truthful response was given. For the skin was still as wet as before. Still that seemed to be the best explanation. Cleve Backster had a plant in his office and he decided to hook up the PGR sensor and then watered it. But the plant didn't increase in its ability to conduct electricity, instead it decreased. If this reaction had been from the skin of a person it would indicate that the person was experiencing some kind of emotional response. That interpretation seemed hard to accept at first.

So he tried the next logical thing, that was to burn the leaf and see if a decrease in water content would send the needle in the other direction. Backster looked for a match. When he finally found one, he noticed that the graph had already begun to react to what he was doing. The plant seemed to have read his mind. The needle on the graph-paper had been making rapid-wide jerks for some time. It started when he had thought of burning the plant. This was the beginning of a long difficult time in the life of Cleve Backster. One of the conclusions he has reached is that a life signal may connect all creation; he calls it “primary perception.”

What interests me is that his little plants have shown a great deal of interest among their caretaker does. He reported, “We’ve found that whenever I’m away on a speaking engagement— even if it's a 1000 miles from New York—the moment a slide of that philodendron is flashed on the screen during my lecture there is a very dramatic reaction by the plant back in my laboratory. Backster has said, “We've done this many times. My associate in the lab attaches the electrodes to the philodendron. I keep a stopwatch record of the exact time the picture of the plant is projected on the screen. At that precise moment, bank in New York, the polygraph shows a leap. It's as though the plant were showing pleasure at being talked about.”

Plants also seem to be able to sense danger. Backster has established that death in particular seems to be sensed by plants. Death is reacting to, no matter what kind of death it is. Death is sensed when it is the death of plants, shrimps and even human cells. Plants are particularly sensitive to the condition of the person who most often takes care of them. When a lady asks Cleve to watch her plant when she went on a plane ride, he found that the plant reacted at the exact moment its owner’s plane touched down in Cincinnati. It seems that the owners stress during the landing was passed on to the plant.

If the plant can react to situations its mistress finds herself in, then there would have to be a sort of memory. If the plant can tell who has been good to it then it must be able to remember. So Backster looked into this. He made one plant the witness to the other plant’s destruction. To the witness this would be murder; for murder is to kill a member of your group. Then an experimenter, who didn't know which suspect had killed the plant, hooked up the lie detector to the witness plant. After that, five suspects were brought into the room, one by one. From the reactions of the plant the experimenter could tell which one of the five suspects committed the plants “murder.” Another scientist has duplicated this experiment.

Some people have had trouble duplicating these results. But if more scientists duplicate these results we would be looking at a whole new field, the psychology of plants. Plants become excited about growth and food, and also about death and danger. They are agitated when powerful people in their lives take an interest in them. Dr. Gardner Murphy has said that the relationship of all living things can be compared to volcanic islands in the Pacific. Each person and animal only appears to be separate. In fact, below the surface, we are all one. Just as below the surface all volcanic islands have their origins in the ocean bottom. Parts of each of us touch on all of us.

Backster, C. 1968. Evidence of a primary perception in plant life. International Journal of Parapsychology 10:329-348

Monday, November 17, 2008

ESP Imprinting

Psychologists have found that animals including people learn some things at particular phases of life. At a certain time in our lives we learned the characteristics of some stimulus and so became “imprinted” onto that subject. The earliest studies of imprinting centered about “filial imprinting.” In which a young animal learns the characteristics of its parent. In 1996 Betty Hart and Todd Risley reported on their study that showed there is also a critical period for people to learn to learn. The quality and quantity of intellectual stimulus a child gets between the ages of 9 months and 3 years will be shown when good feedback during this critical period is followed by good things happening intellectually for the kids latter on. A greater understanding of a psychics’ ESP may also be discovered by looking at the influences that we get during this time.

This is that very active part of childhood, some call it the “terrible twos”, when the child is exploring the world: pulling at the plant, pushing your nose and tasting everything they can get their hands on. Today’s psychologists suggest that this is also a time when they should have a lot of feedback. “Yes, that leaf comes off the plant”, “I have a nose just like yours” and “Your shirt doesn’t taste good, does it?” I suggest that at the same time we should be aware that the child is learning the characteristics of the unknown itself and so these impressions influence their future ESP ability.

This is the time when we must strike a delicate balance between letting the child learn about all those things they need to study and making sure they do not hurt themselves. For in a larger sense we are teaching the child about the unknown. How do I approach those things I do not know about? Should I reach over and find out what it is like? Should I run and hide? Should always go to my big brother to help me? As we give the child feed back during their exploring of the world we are teaching them —what the unknown is like. This impression of the unknown will effect their attitude about school but also about the occasional sensations they get of a psychic nature. Will the child embrace them and try to include those impressions in their world or will they push them away and decide to ignore them?

Those who spend that critical period with a child are teaching them much more than just how to use a spoon. They are imprinting the child’s concept of the psychic unknown, what is it like and how do they deal with it. They are answering the questions the child will use whenever they face something they do not understand, whenever they sense something they have not sensed before. How will they fill in the blank: If I do not know about this sensation __________.

I will run from it.

I will attack it.

I will kiss it.

I will wait to see if it comes back again.

I will ask someone about it.


What is your answer?


Scientific News, 17 August 1996; p.100

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Psychic Child like Parent

As we look at psychic activity we need to ask: why is this psychic behavior at work here? Take for instance the behavior of dogs finding their way home. The mother of the puppies modeled the various activities of keeping the family together. Birds that migrate find their way back to nesting grounds year after year and so do the young birds. Some serious observers have expressed the belief that these navigational efforts required more than just heightened sense of smell or direction. I am not going to get into that debate but I what of those cases where a dog has found its why back to the family it grew up in even after they moved hundreds, even thousands of miles? What lead that dog to reunite with its human family? And what can we learn about psychic activity from that activity?

I think we could learn a lot by looking at the modeling by the parents of the young puppies. And then look at what some dogs have been able to do when left on their own. They often seem to be able to reunite the family. Here we begin to see the part played by their parent-concept. Reuniting of the family seems to be something like what the parent did. When animals are domesticated they start to see their human keepers like a parent.. Animals want to be at home and have every member of the “family” there. Animals in the home are like those in the wild in many ways. They are rarely left unprotected, on their own. And when they are they seek to reunite the new human family.

When we see a domestic animal who is happy because the family as reunited, or when it performs some psychic feat in order to rejoin the “family.” Just as young animals in the wild. They follow the example of their parent-concept and find him. Dogs seem particularly sensitive to and happy about the reuniting of a human family. There are many reports of dogs following a family a thousand miles or more to where they have had moved.

Psychic animals seem to be following the pattern of their parent-concept. As they perform the activity that they saw their parent do — reunited the family. They call upon some psychic awareness to do the same thing. They are acting like their parent, but the performance now is achieved by some connection to the unknown. They are acting like their parent-concept and when they do they get a little boost from some unknown power. It almost seems as if the parent is invested in the activity in some way, or at least a copy of the parent.

So this parent-concept is not really that parent. It is, however, made and operated by that child. Just as a little girl might say, “But my dolly wants to watch TV.” So the parent-concept may sometimes appear, even to be objective observer, to have wants and needs. It doesn't. The things it is interested in are completely manufactured by the psychic. It is made in the likeness of a parent, often a parent of the opposite sex. It is made to act like the parent. So understanding this activity is very important if we are to understand the psychic.

Any human trainer or caretaker will soon become the parent-concept of the animal. Sometime plants also seem to act like they believe they have a human parent, but that is for another blog. The parent-concept can be many things besides the real parent of the animal.

This helps explain the major topics of animals psi: death, danger and reuniting of the family. Those are needs that are typical of parents. The child doesn't need to have heard the parent express such concerns. The child has seen these concerns for himself, in a thousand ways. So, the parent-concept is a psyche filter.

The psychic occurrences that people experience also seem to have this personality. This personality is one that the psychic person, like the animal, has come to see in their parent-concept. Psychic activity one of many life activities that are tied to our parent-concepts.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Parapsychology and Psychoanalysis

The word “parapsychology” begins with the prefix “para-“ which means “beside.” Perhaps someday the subjects covered by those who study parapsychology will not be beside psychology, but will be part of psychology. But for now, they will need to be called “parapsychological.” I look for those areas where the two are indeed close.

Psychoanalysis offers insights but no proofs. Given a certain kind of illness, a psychiatrist can expect to find a certain kind of childhood, but given a certain childhood he still cannot be sure there will be a certain what, if any, illness will develop. Many times the corollary of a principal in the human sciences is not valid. Indeed if there were only one result for a child who has a certain childhood then the mental health profession would be helpless to provide even a hope for recovery.

The solutions to many problems in psychology are revealed when we look at the activity of the family. If we are to understand psychic sensations, parapsychologists must also look to the family of the psychic. Unfortunately, when studies of psychic events have been made this has not always been done. We can find great insights when we look at the psychic person’s family dynamics.

I would like to see parapsychology include more studies of the psychoanalysis of the psychic. How do they feel about their parents especially the parent of the opposite sex. For it seems that often when we study the relationship between the subjects and their parent we see some clues about the nature of the psychic’s ESP. There often seems to be a symbolic relationship between the parent relationship and the psychic phenomena. In the eyes of subjects, the psychic phenomenon seems to be acting like the parent-concept.

We could see that a certain psychic experience comes to those who had a certain childhood. But we can not say that this or that childhood will produce a psychic. We can only look for typical pattern in the lives and psychics. Those “one-way-proofs” don't satisfy everyone, nor should they, but they offer helpful hints at understanding the dynamics of a psychic’s mind.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Profiling the Psychic

So now, the question is “What kind of a person is psychic?” From the beginning of the popular use of personality tests in the 1940’s psychologists have been trying to find the answer to this question. What type of a person, what kind of a mind sees the future in dreams, or hears warnings from voices, or senses the presence of spirits? The answer is beginning to take shape.

In earlier postings to this blog I have detailed much of what has been found. Psychics are able to keep their cool in the mist of confusion. They are creative and many of the artists of all kinds have had psychic experiences to tell. At the time of their psychic flashes a person is self confident and sure of themselves. A psychic is typically a person who is in the mood to reach out and include people in their lives, extroverted. Quite often a feeling of disassociation accompanies a psychic experience. Yet psychic ability also is accompanied by a greater than average stability. And finally those who do will on ESP tests are observed to be in the more spontaneous group. All of these traits are considered “Socially desirable” by our society. Yet people in our society continue to have problems when they reveal their psychic ability. As we can see by the results of a Gallop Poll. Though 73% believed in one of the list of “paranormal items” including witches and astrology. When individual paranormal beliefs were tallied they found that, for instance, only 41% of those interviewed believed in ESP.

One of the most interesting things about the personality profile that has been drawn up in the “typical psychic” is that it also seems to fit the “typical entertainer.” I like to occasionally use some incident reported by entertainers because I can also easily find biographical information about them. It is easy to find quite a few incidents. Dick Kleiner, the Hollywood columnist said, “A surprisingly large percentage did have a tale to tell me (about their psychic experiences). I estimated that 75% of the show business people I have interviewed claim they have ESP in varying degrees.”

There are two main areas of research into “parapsychology,” as the broad study is called. There is the gathering and analysis of incidents telepathy, dreaming the future, ghosts, etc.; then there are the researchers who attempt to bring these psychic things into the laboratory. Case histories, or spontaneous psychic phenomena are the best type to study in order to chart the hidden depths of the unconscious.

Spontaneous psychic phenomena are the things that have come without our asking. The dictionary defines spontaneous as “arising from a momentary impulse not apparently contrived nor manipulated.” And things that show a person to be psychic show him to be “sensitive to nonphysical or supernatural forces and influences.” By “non- physical” we mean “not within our present understanding of the physical or natural.” Of course, these are only apparently uncontrived or manipulated and much of what interests me is the mental activity involved.

What has been called “extrasensory perception” I find is simply a sensory perception, but one that is only used occasionally; and one has resisted easy study. So spontaneous psychic events will tell us about the activities in the person’s mind that will govern the emergence of these rarely used senses.
Kleiner, Dick. “The Ghost Who Danced with Kim Novak.” New York: Ace Publishing Corp., 1969.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Spontaneous Psychic

As I have warned before attempts to understand human behavior by using personality tests have limited validity. It can be an aid but we should not rely too heavily on them. At best, they tell what mood the person was in when they took the test. But again sometimes that is just what we need to know. As I said in earlier blogs those personality tests that were given along with some test of a group’s psychic ability may be very useful in understanding what made a psychic event happen in the mind of someone.

Attempts to measure spontaneity with ordinary written tests have not been very successful, at best you get that person’s self image which may not be what is seen by others. Still this has been studied by a number of parapsychologists. Ways have been devised to define and measure spontaneity. One test was done by Drs. Alan C. Ross, Gardner Murphy, and Gertrude R. Schmeidler. They tested grade school children between the ages of 4 and eight-and-a-half for ESP. Then the judges divided the children into two groups: one was “spontaneous” the other group wasn’t. The judges were psychologists and teachers.

Spontaneity was defined as, “a quality which is found in the young child before he becomes encrusted by the habits of social routine and invention. It is shown a wholehearted, fresh, and unconstrained approach to life situation. A zestful, fluid approach and usually an unreflective originality are considered attributes of the spontaneous individual.”

They found a high degree of correlation between their various estimates of which child was and was not spontaneous, so it is reasonable to assume that there is such a thing as spontaneity, and that they all knew it when they saw it. There were only thirty students used yet they had correlation with high ESP and high spontaneity. The correlation was P = .06. This was still not the .05 that makes for a “marginally significant” result but they did say, “it was concluded that the highly spontaneous subjects seem to have a tendency to score higher in ESP than the less spontaneous subjects and that this was especially true in the spontaneity-favoring situation.

One of the possible tests is the Factor R on the Gifford Inventory used by Nicol and Humphrey. They call it “Rhathymia” and describe those who score high as “happy-go-lucky types.” It gave a P = .05 correlation. But not every attempt at duplicating this was successful. Some tests have attempted to find out who reacts to projects in an uninhibited way, occasionally these scores correlated significantly with psi ability.

“Adequate spontaneity” is one of the measures that a psychologist will consider important for a normal person, it is good. So again we find that what is considered a good personality factor will also be seen at the time a person is psychic.

Yet, it can lead to “impulsiveness.” Many tranquilizing drugs inhibit spontaneity. Impulsive people say things they are sorry for later, or they may behave immorally on an impulse and cause embarrassment to themselves or others sometimes. Impulsiveness is not good. But where do we draw the line between spontaneity and impulsiveness? To answer that we must take a larger view. What goals you are working toward? What behavior does your society need?
Ross, A.O.; Murphy, G.; and Schmeidler, G.R. 1952. The spontaneity factor in extrasensory perception. The Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research 46: 14-16.

Nicol, J. F., Humphrey, B.W. 1955. The repeatability problem in ESP personality research. The Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research 49: 125-156.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Paranormal Viewpoint

I know I have an unusual viewpoint on the paranormal. I believe at times almost all of the types of psychic gifts can be granted to an individual. For a short time you may get one gift in spades. But I don't want this "gift" again. I have spent most of my life trying to turn it off and ignoring those occasional snippets of conversations that still slip into my consciousness during that vulnerable time when I am waking up. When I am asked to advise someone on how to increase their psychic ability I always take the position that they should first seriously question if they really want what they are asking for. I had it once and I don't want it again.

There are two main reasons I do not want this gift and they both come from my personal experiences which may not be typical. When you read the story in OPERATION BLUE LIGHT: My Secret Life among Psychic Spies my reasons for not wanting psychic ability should be obvious. First of all psychic ability disrupts your thoughts and your life. The more accurate it is the more disruptive it is and the more addictive.

When I had this gift it was so detailed and so accurate that I could not live with it. If it was spotty and questionable like most psychic ability I might have been able to live with it. I found I can only live without it. Also I understand how addicting that ability can be. The more perfect the ability is the more you want it. What I don't understand is the group of people who do not believe in telepathy. And it seems to actually be growing.

Which brings me to the second reason I do not want this gift again. The 2005 Gallup poll on the paranormal reported "Three in Four Americans Believe in Paranormal" The poll let the respondent check entries on a list of ten types of paranormal beliefs they might have held. They could check all that applied and they could check either "believe in", " not sure about" or "don't believe". The poll revealed that 73% checked one or more of the list of paranormal beliefs. This got the headline, but for a week in the summer of 1966 I had near perfect telepathic ability, (I could not get names, but I got about anything else from those who were also gifted at that time). So I am interested in the telepathic ability. The Gallup pollsters found that 31% believed in telepathy, 27% were not sure and 42% did not believe in it. Even more disturbing is that in spite of the growing amount of press that psychics get. The same Gallup organization in 1990 found that 36% believed in telepathy, so there are even fewer believers now than 18 years ago.
Our culture today has not found a place for psychics. We do not fit in anyplace. For most of my life I have not talked about the troubled 6 years after high school that gave birth to my near perfect psychic ability that summer in 1966. I made a life for myself where no one knows I even had psychic ability. It is a very comfortable life and I am lucky to have my bills paid and a State of California pension check coming in. If my life were not so comfortable I probably would not have published that book. I would have just gone on not talking about that 6 years. My friends and relatives have always allowed me not to talk about it. But I am glad that my situation allows me the privilege of putting my story out to the public.

I wrote the book for various reasons. Mostly I felt I owed it to "the casualties of the cold war's psychic battlefields" as I called them in the dedication of the book. Then also I have avoided talking about it for so long that I still find it difficult. So now I can just point you to the book or the videos and i will not need to tell it. I have gotten to a place where I don't care how unbelievable people find it. Also it needs to be told because it is unlike any other. The accuracy and details of my "spoken telepathy" I had that summer was not like any published experience. So my story needs to be put on the record. Finally I chose to publish it because it is just a good story and I believe you will enjoy reading it even if you are among 42% that do not believe in telepathy.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Psychics and Stability

In spite of the fact that psychics enjoy confusion, both inside and outside themselves, they are stable. Or maybe they are stable because they enjoy confusion. Perhaps "stability" should be defined here. There seems to be some misunderstanding about that personality trait. An emotionally stable person can take a great deal of pressure before showing any sign of emotional illness, but that is not to say he never will. By comparison and emotionally unstable type is the "typical juvenile delinquent type." The emotionally unstable person gets angry at little slights, and will get violent as a result of seemingly minor annoyances. To a degree, being emotionally stable as much in common with having low irritability.

An early paper by Gertrude Schneider said that, "All other things being equal, well-adjusted subjects will do better at ESP than will poorly adjusted subjects." For long time individual psychics were observed to be emotionally stable. To return to the Nicol-Humphrey tests reported in 1953 and 1955 they said, "Another striking correlation was found to exist between ESP and the factor of emotional stability (from Cattell's personality inventory.)" The correlation with the total runs was P= .003 level. As they said, "For the correlation of total ESP score with emotional stability, we have coefficient of +.37, a result that would occur by chance about once in 350 investigations of the size."

People who think of psychics as "emotionally unstable" are wrong. Shortly after these results were released Dr. Nicol was speaking at a number of conventions. At one conference for a parapsychologists he told them of an event that had happened at another meeting where he spoke. He recalled, "At that conference there were a fair number of psychiatrists experienced in psychical research. They pounced on this finding that emotional stability was favorable to psychic impressions, saying this was contrary to their experience." But they reply was that they only see emotionally unstable people. Dr. Nicol had said earlier, "With only a mild play on words we may wonder whether instability is associated with 'fear of the (ESP) unknown signal." Even normally emotionally stable people have their "breaking point." So most people who have experienced psi phenomena of some kind are probably stable. We can even add those occasional ones who couldn't take it from the psi Unknown and so began to exhibit degrees will "mental illness."

In the mind of the psychic there is desire for improving himself yet there is a natural stability and ease in tough situations. These things may seem contradictory, but motivations for any behavior in a psychic will spring from great depths and travel many complicated and pathways. Most importantly, the person himself likes this way, he feels perfectly comfortable with the situation.


Nicol, E., and Humphrey, B.M. 1953. The exploration of ESP and human personality. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research 47:133-178.

Nicol, J. F., Humphrey, B.W. 1955. The repeatability problem in ESP personality research. The Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research 49: 125-156.

Schmeidler, G. R. 1949. Personality correlates of ESP as shown by Rorschach studies. Journal of Parapsychology 13: 23-31

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Clairvoyance and dissonance

Exactly what mood does a person have to be in to be psychic? This question has been asked again and again by parapsychologists and many research papers have been written in an effort to answer that question. The failures of one parapsychologist to duplicate the results of another researcher have frequently been blamed on the subjects not being in the right mood. So we come back again to the question: What is the right mood? Unfortunately the answers have sometimes been as cryptic as the question.

Dr. Rex G. Stanford said that he felt in general the above chance scoring ESP subjects might show a greater difference between “self" and “ideal-self” than would the below-chance scoring subjects. This would be caused by the psychics trying harder. They feel a need to improve and so they are comfortable dealing with the Unknown. The Unknown is confusing and conflicting and if the subject is at ease with her idea of self being different from her idea of “ideal-self” she will be comfortable with the Unknown. Dr. Stanford adapted the semantic differential scale of Charles Osgood for a test he reported in September of 1964. The test consisted of giving pairs of adjective, such and “intelligent-dull,” or “religious-skeptical,” to the subject who was asked to rate himself on the ideal self , and then on a different page they rated their self. There were seven points between the two extremes offered by the pair of adjectives.

Religious __ __ __ __ __ __ __ Skeptical

So the person rated his ideal-self on the topic of “Religious-skeptical” on any one of seven degrees between these two extremes. Then another sheet was given to the subject and he rated your-true-self on the same scales.

Then the subjects were given a clairvoyance test.

When the two semantic differential scales were compared the doctor could see if a subject’s idea about “himself” or “Herself” was close to or far from their idea about “ideal-self.” Then the results were compared to the results from the clairvoyance test. Dr. Stanford was right. The above chance scorers had a greater discrepancy between “self” and “ideal self” then did below chance scores. Clairvoyants are more comfortable with this psychological dissonance. The p-value was much less then .005.

The difference between self and ideal self can be interpreted in a great many ways. It might be said that a person who feels very inferior is closer to childlike state of mind. Or it could be seen as an early stage of such mental states as multiple personality, that causes activities like somnambulism. This happens when action is taken by a part of a person’s mind that they don't usually identify with. These may be disassociated states. In fact these mental states have been seen in psychics.

For now the important thing, is that those who score well on ESP tests feel comfortable even in situations that cause or threaten to cause confusion. Psychics can choose methods of reducing this confusion even about themselves and maintain their self confidence.
Stanford, R. G. 1964 Attitude and personality variables in ESP The Journal of Parapsychology 28: 1966-175.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Extraverted Psychic

Since psychiatrist Carl Jung first described the terms extravert and introvert they have become widely used to describe a certain personality traits. The person who is extroverted is outgoing in social relations, prefers to be involved with people and is energized when around other people. The introvert is just he opposite. He wants to be alone, enjoys private pleasures and is energized when alone.

Introversion and extroversion are seen as extremes on one continuum. So in a given test a person will register as either an introvert or an extrovert but we are all constantly changing. So there are times and certain situations when we will move up and down this scale.

Since it was first described by Jung this factor has been seen and tested in many ways. One test is a part of Guilford inventory (Factor T Thinking extroversion). It was also used by Nicol and Humphrey. There are some problems with the written test for “extroversion” though. There is a large amount of what is called, “Self-confidence" mixed in with the scale called “extroversion."

To quote the Dr. Gardner Murphy, “As measured then, extroversion may prove to consist primarily of the capacity to retain self-confidence despite social onslaughts upon it . . .”

Then it is no surprise, since self-confident people tend to score will on tests of psi ability, and extroverted subjects scored well most of the time, too. In the Nicol-Humphrey test, extroversion correlated with above-average clairvoyance scores with better than a .05 probability.

There was another test conducted by Eloise Shields, a school psychologist. She divided 98 school children, who were referred to her, into two groups on basis of personality tests and observations by her and other teachers. Twenty-four were classified as “withdrawn,” while 74 were classified as “Not-withdrawn.” The children who were Not-withdrawn scored significantly above chance on ESP, P = 000001 to be exact.

Now we must ask: why are extroverts more likely to be psychic? It would appear that the introverted person spends more time reflecting on the deeper nature of any question and would be more likely to sense answers from the next level. Further it would seem that an extroverted person rarely listens to that still small voice within that whispers answers from the great unknown universe. But isn’t it also possible that with every exchange in a social situation there is also a pause as when we listen and try to respond to that deeper question that the individuals in the group are asking. If a person is truly successful at the exchange of ideas and attitudes with a group they must be listening to a deeper level; perhaps even more often then they know. So an extroverted person actually is more frequently tuning in to that great psychic unknown than they are aware.

Conversely what about the introverted person that occasionally gets a flash of ESP? Here, I think, we must remember that even when a person is alone they may be thinking of those people in their lives that they would want to be with. In those quite moments they are thinking of what they would do when they next see their friends or lovers. So even an introverted person who is alone could often be thinking outside their current situation. Indeed this is often what a person reports when questioned about a psychic experience. They report that they were thinking about being with the person who was the center of their psychic flash of intuition.

Murphy, G. 1947. Personality: A Biosocial Approach to Origins and Structure. New York: Harpers.

Nicol, J.F., and Humphrey, B.M. 1953. The exploration of ESP and human personality. The Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research 47: 133-178

Nicol, J. F., Humphrey, B.W. 1955. The repeatability problem in ESP personality research. The Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research 49: 125-156.

Shields, E. 1962. Comparison of child’s guessing ability (ESP) with personality characteristics. The Journal of Parapsychology 26: 200-210.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Psychics and Self-Confidence

As we look at the literature about the psychology of psychics some observations and test results may seem hard to understand but we are not surprised that psychics have been found to be very self-confident. How else could they continually reach out to the unknown world and deal with what comes back at them? Indeed self confidence has been observed again and again when a person is getting in touch with that great unknown. And situations that help you feel better about yourself are also situations that frequently enhance your psychic ability.

Some of this evidence comes from Dr. J. Fraser Nicol and Dr. Betty Humphrey. They were among the first who found that being self-confident is a factor. “We found persons who rated high on self-confidence (from the Guilford-Martin questionnaire) also scored high on ESP.”
Psychics apparently tend to have high self-confidence when they are being psychic. In fact this personality factor was one of the more statically significant. And the evidence shows that the more self-confident the subject, the more likely he was to be psychic.

“From the work of our subjects there is evidence that extrasensory perception is related to at least eight factors of personality. The most striking of these is Guilford-Martin’s factor I, Self-confidence. which is highly correlated with the total ESP scores (p = .0015)”, they reported.

This personality factor has been observed in many psychics who have been studied by psychiatrists. Dr. Berthold E. Schwarz published a study of three psychics; Mrs. Krystal, a “Dr. Cambell’s” mother – “Dr. Cambell” is a pseudonym, and dowser Henry Gross. His study is very helpful in understanding the psychology of psychics. About Mrs. Krystal he says, “She gave the impression of processing a great amount of energy and self-confidence.”

In general we see that there are many good things about the nature of the psychic. As Drs. Humphrey and Nicol say in another place, “Broadly speaking, those personality attributes that may be described as ‘Socially desirable,’ were found to be associated with high ESP scores.”

However, all psychics will not necessarily have all of these personality factors all the time. People change from day to day and even from hour to hour, depending for instance on who they are with. And certain personality factors may be important to some types of psychic phenomena, while others would be important to other psi activity.

This personality factor of self-confidence is very important for those who can control things by just thinking to them. This psychic ability is called psycho kinesis. A psychic, who feels that he can move matter, that his force of thought can do that, obviously doesn't feel hampered by the material world.

Self-confidence doesn't always come to those who talk a lot and mix easily with people though. Some people misunderstand that. Self-confident people are often quiet and easy-going. However, if a person is both self-confident and extroverted he is more likely to be psychic. For extroverted is another, personality trait known to show up in the psychic.
Nicol, E., and Humphrey, B.M. 1953. The exploration of ESP and human personality. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research 47:133-178.

Nicol, J. F., Humphrey, B.W. 1955. The repeatability problem in ESP personality research. The Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research 49: 125-156.

Schwarz, Bertrhold E. A psychiatrist Looks at ESP. New York: New American Library, Inc., 1965

Monday, August 11, 2008

Psychics and Creativity

Even those psychics who have very high sensitivity skills also have off days. And we know that personality tests measure the mood a person is in when they take the test and may not tell us much about the long term values or priorities of a person. Still just knowing what mood a person is in when some psychic ability comes to them will be interesting and perhaps useful.

Early in the 1900’s Frederic W. H. Myers theorized that there were some common factors in both creativity and ESP but creativity has always been a difficult personality trait to measure. That problem was solved in one test by parapsychologist Thelma Moss and J.A. Gengerelli when they chose to group jobs as creative or not creative. So they could find out how creative psychics realy are. In 1968 Dr. Thelma Moss and J.A. Gengerelli started a series of tests designed to find out how creative people scored on a telepathy test.

They paired up test subjects and tested their telepathic ability. The telepathic ability of artists (writers, musicians, actors, painters, etc) was then compared to that of non-artists.
The group was divided into pairs and each pair was tested separately. One of two was the Transmitter and the other was the Receiver. The Transmitter was bombarded with sight and sound show, down the hall in a soundproof room from the Receiver.

At the same time the Receiver was dictating his or her thoughts into a tape recorder. Then a selection from the Transmitter's slide show, along with one that was not from the set of slides the Transmitter saw, was shown the Receiver. He tried to pick the one that was shown to the Transmitter. On any given call the Receiver had a .5 chance of guessing right.

Also the subjects were looked at in relationship to how creative their jobs were. “Included in the sample were 38 artists ( writers, musicians, actors, painters, etc.), 19 businessmen, 28 students, 24 housewives, 20 psychologists or psychiatrist, 5 professional ‘sensitives,’ and 10 of various occupations."

After the first test was over an analysis was made (post hoc as they say.) And the artists proved to be very good, “the 72 teams were redivided according to artistic ability, the criterion the professional occupation. These three groups were labeled, ‘Both Artists’, ‘One an Artist’, and ‘Neither an artist.’

“Of the 12 teams in which both T (Transmitter) and R (Receiver) were artists, 11 score two or three correct ( p=.003); and of the 14 teams with one member and artist, 13 scored two or three correct ( p= .0009). Pooling these groups (26 teams), results give a probability of .000005."
Since it isn't good practice to change the purpose of a test halfway through, they did the thing again with another group and got similar results. Then the probability was .003 against the positive scoring that the artists group did.

So as well as keeping cool, the second personality trait that a contributes to a psychic’s sensitivity is that they may be in a creative mood.


Moss, T., and Gengerelli, J. A. 1968 ESP effects generated by effective states. The Journal of Parapsychology 32:90-100.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Keeping Cool and ESP

Most people enjoy taking personality tests. You get to select desirable and undesirable options and then at the end you are usually told the results and find what larger category you fit into. What you are finding out really is just what mood you are in when you take that test. Quite often you could take the same test tomorrow and get different results. And even if you get the same results you are only finding out that when you take that test you are in a certain mood. So what? You are probably not really measuring any long term characteristics. Nor are personality tests particularly deep, in that you could fake the answers if you want.

Realistically the personality tests are by no means perfect. They attempt to measure what a person feels about a certain type of experience. They offer a wide spectrum of possible opinions and attitudes ask you to select one. Then the answers are given a number value and a conclusion is drawn as to where you stand on some scale. The subjects’ attitudes and opinions may indicate where they are on the sociability, creativity, conformity to social standards, etc. Some tests only reveal two groups of people, such as: you are above average or below average in the given area, such as creativity. Or they may show where you stand in comparison with the group on any one to ten scales. The person may be high on some scales and low on others. If you are highly creative you may be low on the social conformity.

Even though generally personality tests have limited value they could be very useful to the parapsychologist. Because as we study those occasional flashes of ESP we ARE concerned with what mood a person it in at that time. We assume that they are not always in the mood for ESP or we would all be getting psychic impressions all the time. So it can be most useful to take these personality tests along with ESP tests and compare the results.

The procedure is to divide the test results into two groups; one that has an above-average score in some personality trait and the other that has a below-average score. Then they reshuffled the papers and separated again, this time into two groups: one that has above chance scores on the psi tests and the other that has merely chance. Then they try to see if there is an unusual number who are in both the above chance-psi-scores group and one or another of the personality traits they have tested. It is then possible to see how these personality traits are related to psychic ability.

The standard card guessing tests are often used. They were first used at Duke University by Dr. J. B. Rhine and his associates. These tests were the first to impress the scientific community with the existence of psi. Even though we have gone far beyond these tests today, we still owe them a great deal. Today precognition of targets that a computer will randomly select gives consistently high results; and subjects that have been hypnotically training are also impressing even the skeptical.

But for the parapsychology lab that must work on a budget, the old pack of 25 cards (five each of five faces) is still is popular. Sometimes, tables of random numbers serve the purpose selecting the target cards, these are arranged on a target paper. The deck itself may really be collecting dust on the shelf or the back of some drawer.

Keeping cool

One area that was studied was irritability. Some people are very irritable and the least little thing bothers them. Others will remain calm if the world were falling apart around them. Dr. J. Fraser Nicole and Dr. Betty Humphrey reported the results when they compared two test results. One was a clairvoyant test. The other was designed to find out how easily person becomes annoyed.

If they score high, they get annoyed easily, as if the subjects scores low, he doesn't get annoyed. The group who scored below average on this scale was above average and above chance on the clairvoyant test. The degree to which this was true is such that if tests were given 1000 times this result would only be expected 26 times for the P value (probability) was .026.

When a result is less than .05 it is considered “marginally significant." If it is below .01 it is “significant.” So .026 is something more than marginally significant. However, when a test result is in this degree of significance the required degree of .01 can usually be achieved by repeated tests. Most learned journals require at least .05 p – value before they will publish the paper. When testing psychic ability the advantage goes to well funded researchers who can afford to test large numbers of subjects. They can get those rare results that are highly significant: .01 or .0001, etc.

So in the case of the irritability test Dr. Nicol and Humphy summarize this part of their results, ”The evidence favoring the hypothesis that ESP is a correlate ( of low irritability ) .. is good."

In order to understand these results better we should remember something about the nature of that great mass of knowledge that psychics must tune into; the psi-unknown. An encounter with it would connect you with information from every source; everything and every mind. It is very complicated and would be confusing to face this thing, if a person were unprotected by his ability to feel at ease in spite of annoying things. So psychics are not easily annoyed.
In my book Operation Blue Light: My Secret Life among Psychic Spies I quote from some declassified papers in the National Security Archive at George Washington University. Even back in 1952 the CIA analyst who wrote the request for funds saw the value of these personality tests in understanding who would be of value to the CIA “It is quite possible,” he wrote, “that some of these (personality) types might be related to ESP ability.” So it was that Subproject 136 MKULTRA-ESP Research, was born .


Nicol, J. F., Humphrey, B.W. 1955. The repeatability problem in ESP personality research. The Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research 49: 125-156.

Subproject 136 MKULTRA-ESP Research, CIA behavior control experiments collection, National Security Archive, George Washington University.(1952)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Learning and Psi

Though not common, the paranormal has been studied and the more we include those findings in the everyday study of psychology the more comfortable we will all be with psi phenomena. As psychic researcher Rene Sudre said, the way to get acknowledgement for psychical research is, “to incorporate it with the rest of learning, not to show it as a separate world without any connection with the world of daily experiences.” One way to fit psi into our world is to see that psychics view the Psi-Unknown just as we all view those things we do not know about.
Another of the areas in psychology that can shed light on psi phenomena is the psychology of learning. Psi (pronounced sI) is the twenty third letter of the Greek alphabet Ψ ; and, like Psychic Phenomena is a is a catch-all word.

What we learn is controlled, in a way, by what we are comfortable learning. We each view what we do not know in our own way. Our view of the unknown effects our ability to deal with all manner of things we do not know. Our knowledge has grown or it hasn’t, because of personal ideas about the unknown. The specific things we learn are the result of some detail in our concept of the unknown world. When a new subject is presented we may think, “Oh I could never learn that.” Or we could think, “Oh that would be easy to do.” We each have made an image of what we can learn and what we can not. You have decided what you think you can learn and what you can not. The Psi-unknown, that great mass of total knowledge that psychics can tune into, is seen by psychics just as each of us sees our own ideas of what we can know. The psychic will say, “I see dead people.” Or “I just knew who would win that ball game.

The efforts made by educators to learn how students hold on to some new fact or why another one will slip away will also help us understand how psychics get the information into their conscious minds or don’t. This means that when we want to discover how people gain knowledge about psi we should start by looking at how they get their ideas about anything they don’t know.
One way of understanding this process of seeing or not seeing a fact is to realize that there is some filtering process at work. Our preconceptions about the unknown act as filters or barriers. If we are not optimistic about mastering something or using an ability, then we won’t learn that subject well. In the same, way if we are not optimistic about getting an extra-sensory-perception we won’t.

Even the effort to get something in to consciousness is dependant on what we have learned; what our world is like. We see not only what we want to look at but also what we have been educated to look for. Also our concept of the world is then shaped by what we have learned in the past. One interesting test was done by Doctors J. S. Bruner and Leo Postman. They asked people to identify playing cards, and, gave only a fraction of a second to do it. The time was adequate for the regular cards, but then the doctors slipped in a “ringer.” There were some cards that were not normal--a red six of spades, and a black four of hearts. The people needed longer and longer times to "see” what the card really was, ten times longer. Some never did “see” it right. They lost all ability to trust their preconceptions about cards first. One subject in desperation admitted, “I’m not even sure what a spade looks like. My God!”

These beliefs are like the foundation of a building, if they are not sound, then the whole structure is not sound. Both the size and the quality of the edifice are based on the foundation. Likewise both the size and the quality of a parson's ability to deal with unknown objectss are based on her belief about the unknown’s place in the world.

Much has been written about this activity of forming beliefs and linking new impressions to them. The connectionist position holds that learning consists essentially in the attaching or connecting of a response to a stimulus S (R - S) which did not originally call forth that response.
Opposed to this connectionist philosophy of learning are those who try to accent the Gestalt, or whole thing. They want to see the entire “lay of the land” first, so that they do not build too small a foundation. In many cases we need to see the general outlines in the beginning, the whole Gestalt. So we come back to that problem, how do we fit psychic impressions into our world? And if our whole world does not have a place for the experiences of psychics what do we do with those how keep having those experiences?

Like a soldier who is dropped down in a battle field, or a disaster victim wandering around the place that was once their home. If we are introduced to a new world too violently different from what we have known. We can not absorb it; we go into shock.

Some people have been able to sense psychically because they have made a place for psychic experiences in their world. Their overall world view includes the Psi-unknown and their world includes psi experiences on which to build. Just as a grade school student learns to count then they can learn to add and subtract; because their world now includes numbers.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Sensational Psychic Abilities

In order to understand the psychic person’s success or failure in sensing the psychic world of information or the psi-unknown we only have to explore a person’s success or failures at sensing this world. The similarities between sensing this world and the next have been observed by scientific researchers from the beginning of serious study of psychical research.

As Dr. Gardner Murphy said in the Journal of the Society for Psychical Research in 1943, “In normal perception you will perceive most easily the beginning and the end of a series of items presented; and so it is with extrasensory processes when the items in a closed box must be perceived. In normal perception you will see most clearly the objects which stand out in contrast with the matter to which you have become habituated; and so it is with extrasensory perception. In normal perception you will see best when free from disturbance and distraction; and this holds likewise for the paranormal.” So many observed patterns of extrasensory perception show it to be similar to the other senses.

Dr. Murphy pointed out three principles of perception which are of interest: (1) The principle of figure and ground, that is one part of the area sensed will be regarded as figure or subject, and the rest will be the “ground,” not the subject. What is subject and what is ground depends on past experiences and present needs;” A psychic could sense all the things in the great unknown but will see something as the subject and the rest as just background. That subject will be selected based on what has been a rewarding subject in the past and will reflect the psychic’s current needs.

The second rule that Dr. Murphy pointed out was, “ the principle of ‘mental set,’ the present outlook the subject has or his general feeling toward that thing or person sensed. This mental set will have a great deal to do with the way a subject is perceived. Of course the physical state will affect the mental state of mind or mood. Food looks batter to a hungry man, etc.” And the psychically sensitive person will find that they get the good news from a phone call they “happened” to stay home and receive; or they avoided a traffic jam when they luckily took the scenic way home.

And finally just as “… ambiguous pictures were interpreted in terms of food objects with increasing frequency as his subjects went longer and longer with out food… We may then say that perception moves in the direction of need satisfaction, tension reduction,” Dr Murphy reminds us. So too lost explorer may find his way back and the sixth sense of a mother snatches her baby from danger at the last moment.

We must also remember that psychic abilities are not always going to serve societies morality or even what we may think are an individual’s best interest. They may assist a person as they do something that society thinks is wrong. If a person has given up on life, for some personal reason, they may psychically arrange to be in that accident or if they have built a life around carefully following mechanical procedures they may use their psychic ability to loose at the gaming tables. In some people’s world things go better if they avoid psi.

Our psychology effects what we sense when we see, hear, taste, smell and feel the physical world. We may not always realize it. We probably must have our attention called to the effect our minds are having on us as we process the data that comes to us. Whereas we can not help but see how very important the psychology of the psychic is on their occasional efforts at telepathy, precognition or clairvoyance.

So then, you may ask, why is it that we are frightened of ghosts? Well Freud had that answer a long time ago. There are two types of fear, conditioned and neurotic. A mother conditions he child to be afraid of fire with a slap or a loud shout when the child approaches that source of potential danger. Neurotic fears reflect hidden desires. Desires we do not want to admit we have. So they surface as fears. In the case of a ghost you may want to see some dead friend or relative but do not want to admit it. So this confect, this denied desire, shows up as a fear. This brings up again how important our psychology is to our psychic ability. Other people in the room may not sense the ghost at all, some may only hear it. While others may feel a cold breeze or a hand on their shoulder. What is figure? What is ground? What do you expect to feel, hear or see? What do you need to sense?

We also must consider that all of our senses have limits, boundaries. Psychologists call these thresholds. So all perceptions are somewhat filtered. Psychological filters are different from one person to another. But there are also physical limits to what we can perceive. Each type of sensation is bracketed.

These thresholds can change. Changing of thresholds are affected by our mental set. So it is when we are excited. Our ability to resist pain is increased. The human animal is more sensitive to the lesser sensations when relaxed. So, too, the psychic usually does better in a quite dark relaxing place. The athlete finds she is able to resist pain during an athletic match. The ability to take it from the psi-sensation is also a part of getting excited for many people.

You can not hear too soft a sound, nor can you hear too load a sound it would break your eardrum. You can not see when the light is too dim, nor when it is too bright -- it will blind you. If something touches you too softly it will not he noticed, nor will too severe a pain be felt, the area will be numbed. Each type of perception is bracketed by an upper and a lower threshold. Of course in the physical world the sensations thresholds we experiment most with are the lower thresholds. We find how little light a person needs to see rather than how much will blind them. It is naturally very difficult to find volunteers to be blinded. Are we not sensing psychic impressions because they are too load or too soft? Perhaps at a very early age we were blinded or deafened by the psychic world? In order to build a meaningful world we may have blocked out some psychic sensation.

Another thing we can learn from normal perception and its workings, is that these thresholds change. They adapt. We easily adapt to odors and grow insensitive to the familiar tough of cloths. A smell must have a different quality before it can be sensed. The same maybe true of psi. Like the news alert that triggers an email in your inbox. It means there is some disturbance that will interest you out there in the great Internet unknown. So a psychic sensation may be a notice of a change in the psi world that should interest you.

Murphy, G. 1943. Psychical Phenomena and human needs. The Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research 37:163-191.
Murphy, G. 1952. The natural, the mystical, and the paranormal. The Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research 46:125-142.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Psychics and the Unknown

If we venture to study the paranormal we soon must face the ultimate Psi-Unknown. We soon are asking where are these sensations coming from? What must that place be like?
Psychics may be compared to sighted people in a world of the blind. Think about that for a moment. A world where it was normal to be blind and it would be paranormal just to see.
The blind majority, would try to study these gifted ones. Now imagine the type of report that those investigators would send in. Their first problem would be to find words to describe, “seeing” to the rest of the blind world who had no such experience.

So the investigators of this ability would, as a test, take one of those who had the ability to perceive this “strange” way, into an office. The gifted person would say, “There is a shelf full of books on the other side of the room.” And the investigator, unable to know the shelf was there without walking over and feeling it, would investigate. He would walk over and find the books.
He would say, “Why you’re right.” After further investigation he would find that the person who put the books there was dead. The room had been locked away. No one alive knew about these books so the investigator would say, “This extra sensory perception allowed the special person to know what a man had done who is now dead.” The investigator would think that sightedness gave the power to learn from the dead. The sighted person would appear to be a communicating with the dead. So the ability that passes in this blind world for mediumship would really just be sight.

Then another investigator would take a different individual with “ESP” into the same office and this one would say, “You had better not continue on the same path you are in. You will bump into a. desk if you do.”

The blind investigators would proceed because he doesn't want to spoil the experiment. So he goes along the same route and bumps into the desk. He concluded, “Well you must have the ability to tell the future.” He might read the report of the other investigators who found a mediumship ability but not make any connection. He may not see that they are the same.
Then still another blind investigator might start to study these persons who could see. He would take another person. With this ability into the same office but he would chose to sit down and start taking notes on a brail typewriter. The sighted person could look over the shoulder of the blind investigator and see that he was typing about the subject’s perfume being too strong. The subject could then say, “Oh, so you think my perfume is too strong do you?”

How would that scientists report read? You guessed it. “It appears that there are some people who are gifted with the ability to read people’s minds.”

Also we could expect that a sighted person in this blind world may chose to close their eyes for most of the time just to fit in to the society. So, the sighted ones themselves would read all these reports with interest, because they too don’t know what they are doing. They might agree with all three studies, and their interpretations.

Investigators in such a blind world would think they were finding separate abilities in each of these three, when actually it was the same ability. What the sighted individual talked about was not what was outside of him, but what was inside. He told of the things in the place that interested him. One was into what people left here during their lives, the other like to project current events into their logical future, and the last was nosy.

Psychic power seems to be just that way. Psychics have abilities to know and do what interests them with their special ability. This is most likely all that separates them from each other. We could further suggest that what separates them from the rest of the people in this world is that they chose to open their eyes.

I assume that the differences between psychics are just that each psychic is an individual. Each has formed associations to the Psi-Unknown. It is that set of patterns that color individual concepts of psi and filter the Psi-Unknown also. The same research that helps educators understand why some students like math, others like art, and still others like languages will help us understand why some psychics are good at mediumship, others at precognition and finally still others at telepathy.

So it seems to me that the Psi-Unknown has one nature. We should see that the Psi-Unknown in particular has its shape, size, and power. Since there are many people looking at it and each observing a different things, it must be large. Perhaps it is larger than the total of all viewpoints as some say­. But on the other hand suppose that it is smaller and that many people are over-estimating its size and strength. It seems most logical to assume there is no more of the psychic world than of the physical world multiplied by the time we have been here. It seems even to be a function of the physical world rather than independent. It has law's and those are only special cases of our present rules, and if it is a part of this world its rules will someday be ours. Our old concepts will change.

The Psi-Unknown has been called by many names. Perhaps some of' them should be reviewed here. The Buddhists call this thing the Karmic records and say that all things that have ever been are known, or ever will be known are recorded there. They think of the Karmic Records as large old books, that are being read up the sky some place.

Western psychical researchers have also talked about the knowledge side of the Psi-Unknown. Some have called it the World Mind. The World Mind would be physically closer; in fact it would be a part of us. We would, according to this concept, be interconnected. Here the future is not a part of the present. This would cut its size down considerably. There seems no reason for objecting to that part of the World Mind. All precognitive events, that is knowing of the future, could be the result of knowing all of the present and then just projecting the logical course of current activity. But the term “Mind” doesn't allow for the power that this psychic thing has. A better term would be World Matrix, which would mean the interconnectivity substance. A thing that connected not just thought but things and powers also. A matrix is the raw material from which many things can be made. It is the object that holds an impression from one thing and passes it on to something else. It stores and plays back various things. It could store and give back some kind of power.

We can be sure that the Psi-Unknown can be described if not quantified.
1. It records the sum total of all things that have happened and are happening.­
2. The matrix is also a conductor of bits of information, and the medium that carries thoughts from one mind to another, and from one thing to a mind.

3. Its ability to group and organize information must be very basic if it exists at all
4. It has some power. This power seems to be directed toward one group of activities in the wild animal. Those are the reproductive functions. This power can be used for other things though. The matrix may allow one thing to use the energy of others.

One of the primary laws of science is the Law of Parsimony: be frugal. Don’t spend more time and effort in forming a theory than is necessary. The scientist is to select from several theories the one that explains most and is the least complicated. For me, this description of the Psi-Unknown works.

Whenever we are in contact with the Psi-Unknown, we will not see it all or even most of it. We only notice and a remember relatively small part of that total mass of knowledge and experience. What we see in the Psi-Unknown is like what we choose to see in this world. We see what we have learned about. We see what we want to see. We see what reduces tension for us.

Saturday, July 5, 2008


Reading textbooks in school gives an impression of the way science built itself up. They make it seem as if there were first one neat-clean block, then a second one put beside it, and a third on top of those, and so on. This is not what happened. The writers of textbooks are trying to sell Science. Science really was not that well organized Like a real-estate salesmen who tries to tell you that the house was built as you see it now, or at least that it now is at its ideal state. The window should be there, the door here, etc. Of course, this isn't usually so in old homes. No, there was a shack here once upon a time, and then a wood floor was put in. After it rotted there was a stone floor. When one wall got weak it was knocked out and a new one constructed of stone. And so it went. As something became useless it was torn off and a new part of the house was added. If a window was needed a. hole made in the wall.

Like the dynamic structure it is science is again in need of expansion More and more information appears in print which shows that ideas about many things must be renovated.

One such area is the field of mind body. Those who have studied parapsychology have pointed out problems there. There is one practical problem. As the owner of the home would say, “Don’t you dare tear down that wall until you know all the details about what is going to be put there. I want a blueprint, the labor to be available, and the materials paid for first."

He has a point. Parapsychology may really need a new room but nobody is quite certain what should be put up how, or even for sure that it can be done. So, the scientific community that lives in the house will wait before building they allow new rooms, but parapsychologists are out in the cold. The ghost-hunters can only come to visit inside when the troublesome uncle is out. Where can we find a room for them?

Most would be satisfied if only a hole were knocked in the wall and a tent put up outside. Of course, a wooden floor should be in the tent before winter, but that is many months away.
It would be nice if we had some blueprints, labor and materials to build a regular room, but there isn't. No one is even sure where the door should be. But there is enough material to make a tent, if only a sewing machine could be borrowed. This blog will discuss some of the necessary substance, and needs we will have to provide when parapsychology is invited in to the scientific homestead.

The subject of this study, psychics will be easy to please For instance, psychics feel comfortable in the middle of this change. The psychic likes to be close to the Unknown. In fact they probably have been too patient. We can learn from him. After his nature is discovered, and the influences on him are seen it will be possible to deal with lesser unknowns The knowledge of his nature may help us cope with a new problem, a new friend, a new town, and a new machine. What can the non-psychic learn from him? In a larger since: is there a non-psychic or just people who have chosen to not look there, not listen?

There was a time when it was difficult to tell astronomy from astrology, but as the centuries passed these became two distinct studies. Both have continued to this day, but are two studies now instead of one.

In days past it was difficult to tell alchemy from chemistry, but now they are separate subjects.
This is a similar period of change. Today it is hard to differentiate between parapsychology and occultism. But for the previous century, and probably long into this one, the two have been growing apart, and will undoubtedly continue. Here we will not be concerned with occultism. It is about parapsychology, and especially the psychology of psychics, that we'll study.

The Freud has provided a useful vocabulary and many studies have been done that help us understand the personality of the psychic. Here we will try to be objective and avoid, if possible, the emotional overtones that the vocabulary offered by Mysticism.

We will not be exploring the physics of psychic events nor trying to prove that every type of psychic event is true, though I do lean in that direction, feel free to call me to task if you think I have fallen too far.

When the events I describe in my book Operation Blue Light: My Secret Life among Psychic Spies were over I spent years studying the papers from the Society for Psychical Research in England, the American Society for Psychical Research, the Journal of Parapsychology, and the books reviewed in these Journals. I want to share some of these research findings and hear from you on these.

These should be helpful if you want to understand how to handle the Unknown in general, and also the world of the paranormal. It is for the many who want to deal with psychics, and for psychics who need to understand themselves better. The topics have been chosen from scientific discussions and should offer perspectives that will be useful. I hope my discussions will help psychics and non-psychics to communicate and share this fragile world together with minimal ranting and raving.