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As the prefix ‘para’ indicates, parapsychology investigates the phenomena that lies beyond the normal world and does not work according to the established laws of physical sciences.
It is true that people have believed in the occurrence of the supernatural events since ancient times. Nonetheless, parapsychology as an academic subject for study and research was introduced in the late 19th century in response to the spiritual movement.
Parapsychology is the study and research in the scientific basis of the various aspects of the psychic phenomena such as the metaphysical, the psi or the psychic, the divination, world of spirits, extra sensory perception, psychokinesis, the paranormal occurrences and so on.. While the metaphysical phenomenon remains hidden from the eyes, the paranormal phenomenon, being besides, unusual or beyond the normal, cannot be easily explained in terms of everyday understanding and knowledge. Paranormal phenomena may occur both at mental and physical levels.
The types parapsychology and schools of parapsychology
Different universities and educational institutions across Europe and United States took up research in various paranormal phenomena. For example, Stanford University in the U.S. conducted research in Extrasensory perception-ESP and Psychokinesis.
Duke University in the United States set up an autonomous department of parapsychology under the leadership J.B.Rhine, who along with McDougall, his associate, also published the Journal of Parapsychology . He conducted a series of experiments and came up with his book New Frontiers of the Mind in 1937.
Although the word parapsychology was originally coined by a psychologist Max Dessoir some four decades back, it goes to the credit of Rhine to popularize it among general public.
Rhine also developed a card game in association with one of his colleagues, Karl Zener. It was aimed at statistically measuring the ESP of the participants. The process involved guessing the right symbol out of the five selected from a deck of cards. It was decided that those who could make above 20% correct guesses possessed significant psychic ability.
Rhine and his team conducted 90,000 trials and came to the conclusion that ESP can be demonstrated in actual and reliable way.
A Parapsychological Association was formed which was affiliated with the American Association for Advancement of Science. It conducted studies and research in various occult and psychic phenomena. More institutions related to the study and research in parapsychology came up during this period.
Notable among these were Academy of Parapsychology and Medicine, Academy of Religion and Psychical Research, International Kirlian Research Association, Institute of Noetic Sciences and Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research Laboratory. Stanford Research Institute also conducted intensive research work during this period.
Research on the subject of reincarnation was also carried out by psychiatrist Ian Stevenson. A book on this subject, ‘Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation’ was also published during this period.
According to an estimate research work in parapsychology is currently being carried out in the universities and educational institutes across 30 countries in the world. Some of the important subjects on which research work is being carried out include:
Telepathy: Telepathy is the psychic art of feeling what is happening in the mind of the other person especially in painful situations.
Pre-cognition: The ability enables the psychics to take cognizance of the events about to occur in near or distant future.
Clairvoyance: Clairvoyance is the ability of the psychics to clearly visualize events, people and objects across space and time. Clairvoyant psychics can see through the future, distant present as well as the past and can collate the events and situations related to a problem in proper context and sequence. They can see the events occurring thousands of miles of away.
Psychokinesis: The psychic ability to change the shape of the metallic objects lying at a distance with the power of mind. Psychics can heal the sick and injured people located at distant location with this power.
Intuition: A natural ability to instinctively sense what is about to happen without using the rational approach.
The parapsychological occurrences are usually of three types: extra sensory perception, psycho kinesis, and immortality of the soul. These types of parapsychology are further split into parapsychology schools.
- Extra sensory perception is the ability to perceive events or things that normally cannot be experienced through our five physical senses. Extra sensory perceptiveness usually consists of the ability for clairvoyance, clairaudience, telepathy, precognition and mind-matter interactions.
- Clairvoyance is the psychic ability to accurately remote- visualize what the physical eyes cannot view. It is an ability to see beyond the veil of the mundane reality, into the distance, the world of spirits, the past and the future. Clairaudience means the ability to hear clearly. Its connotations are the same as that of clairvoyance.
- Telepathy means to establish contacts, understand and communicate with people or spirits without the use of scientific or physical aids. It is a sort of heart-to-heart communication.
- Precognition is sensing accurately what is going to happen immediately or in the distant future. The term includes both the good and the bad tidings. Premonition, almost synonymous with precognition, strangely enough is often associated with ominous occurrences, due probably to the fact that people remain usually apprehensive about their future, though the word premonition in its pure sense should mean sensing both good and bad future.
- Psychokinesis and mind-matter interaction are the other two terms. While the matter does make its impact upon the mind, psychokinesis implies the psychic ability to influence the movement and shape of the material objects. By extension, the term may also include reshaping the attitude and behavior of the sick and depressed people by using the psychic abilities and tools.
What is the relationship between parapsychology and mediumship?
An important area of parapsychological studies is the immortality of the soul or the spirit which embodies the material human form and survives its death. It is this spirit/soul that enlivens the human body made of five elements and also activates the five senses through which the human body acts and reacts. The spirit appears in the astral form of the human body and carries the impressions of its actions and reactions not only of its stay in the immediate previous birth, but also of many past incarnations. The psychics through their psychic medium abilities and use of special tools can see and interact with this astral form. They can also communicate with it to solve the mystery of the problems that plague and baffle their clients and are beyond the comprehension of the experts.This communication and interaction with the spirits, the spirit guides and angels-they are the various levels of the evolution of the human soul that stems from their actions or ‘karmas’. This is the essence of the paranormal phenomenon that mystifies the common man, but is normal for a psychic, who is quite attuned to the existence of the spirits.
Parapsychology Study of the Paranormal
Psychic and any phenomena related therein are really bound to be bombarded with criticisms. The study of these phenomena is commonly called as the parapsychology study. The study of the paranormal aims to know what is real and what is a figment of imagination. Abovementioned are the types of parapsychology that are studied for they show evidence of actually happening.
It is safe to say that those who study parapsychology do not possess psychic abilities because they depend on science to prove its existence. Every phenomenon here on earth, for scientists, needs explanation. And for them psychic phenomena need more than that. Parapsychologists say that they need to see extraordinary proof before even taking a specific psychic phenomenon seriously.
For those curious, parapsychology study of the paranormal is a good start in understanding psychic phenomena from a more objective approach. It is always good to know other perspectives before plunging into something that is not usually done or possessed. Take note that parapsychology is psychic phenomena, which was coined by a scientist for study purposes. It is not a type of psychic ability or a psychic person.
Psychic phenomena happen every day. They spark curiosity to many. They create questions that are hard to answer. It is not wonder that a branch of study is coined specifically for these phenomena. But those who believe in psychic phenomena should not be critical of parapsychologists’ works. They should not beg to disagree with every word and every experiment because it is known that psychic abilities are out of the ordinary and need more than science to prove its existence.
The parapsychology study of the paranormal only proves one things and that is that science has acknowledged the possibility that there is a greater truth out there that is waiting to be discovered.
If you would like to find out more about parapsychology why not ask a psychic expert during a Psychic Reading
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