Dreams, Telepathy, and Various States of Consciousness

You can read March 2011 issue, Table of Content and Articles

We are pleased to present this special edition on Dreams, Telepathy, and Various States of Consciousness. This edition includes a broad array of articles from well-known authors in the field, as well as graduate students whose work also addresses topics such as anomalous experiences of mediums and advanced meditators, shamanic experiences, near-death experiences, experiences related to dreams and body wisdom, and the various ways that anomalous experiences can be conceptualized and categorized.

In “Across Cultural Boundaries: Psychophysiological Responses, Absorption and Dissociation Comparison Between Brazilian Spiritists and Advanced Meditators,” Joan Hageman, Stanley Krippner, and Ian Wickramasekera II present results of a study they conducted with two claimant mediums and one non-medium living in Brazil, compared with seven advanced meditators living in North America. Hageman and colleagues used several instruments to measure peripheral and central autonomic nervous system activity, and found several physiological incongruences in the medium group. They conclude that this finding is consistent with previous studies, which suggests that claimant mediums and medium-like practitioners may need to create “buffers” to maintain their physical and emotional well-being.

In “The Interpretation of Telepathy-like Effects: A Novel Electromagnetic and Synchronistic Version of the Psychoanalytic Model,” Alan Haas introduces an original approach to explain the appearance of telepathy-like effects and presents an electromagnetic version of Freud’s psychoanalytic model. Haas concludes that telepathy-like effects may be the consequence of disturbances in the normal equilibration or “equilibrated non-equilibrium” of ordinary human experiences, which is substantiated by a review of the literature in the fields of biology, physics, and chemistry that can be tested experimentally.

In “BioPhysics at Death: Three Hypotheses with Potential Application,” Michael Persinger and Linda St. Pierre present three unique hypotheses to account for various anomalous activities observed at the moment of death. They present a review of the literature and conclude that various anomalies observed at the moment of death may be applicable to related activities that are better understood.

In “Near-Death Experiences and the Possibility of Disembodied Consciousness: Challenges to Prevailing Neurobiological and Psychosocial Theories,” Cheryl Fracasso and Harris Friedman provide a brief overview of scientific theories that have been presented to account for the occurrence of near-death experiences (NDEs), highlighting their strengths and weaknesses in accounting for all aspects of NDEs – especially reports that include veridical perception. They conclude that the “hard problem” of consciousness and its relation to the brain remains unsolved, but the occurrence of NDEs provides an important avenue for understanding a disembodied concept of consciousness. Fracasso and Friedman provide suggestions to advance this area, such as encouraging advocates and counter-advocates of the veridicality of NDEs to strive toward a consensus on definitions (e.g., as on what meets the scientific threshold for these experiences to be considered scientifically valid), so that theories that can account for phenomena that seem to suggest a disembodiment of consciousness can be better tested.

In “Shamanism and the Evolutionary Origins of Spirituality and Healing,” Michael Winkelman presents findings from cross-cultural and cross-species research that provides a basis for describing shamanism, its relation to human nature, and its deep evolutionary origins. He concludes that the evolutionary roots of shamanism are found in the capacity for ritual, which provides the most important communication and integrative processes in lower animal species, and that the evolution of shamanism can be deduced from these bases, highlighting the similarities between shamanic practices to the rituals of chimpanzees.

Next are two articles by Vernon Neppe, who presents two different models to evaluate anomalous experiences and out-of-body experiences (OBEs). In “Models of the Out-of-Body Experiences: A New Multi-Etiological Phenomenological Approach,” Neppe compares several models of OBEs and presents a new multi-etiological phenomenological model that could accommodate the multiplicity of causes and different subpopulations among OBE experiencers. He concludes that this approach includes analyzing form, content, circumstance, and predisposed populations using a predominantly biopsychofamiliosociocultural approach that differentiates experiencers into five possible groups.

In “Ensuring Homogenous Data Collection for Present and Future Research on Possible Psi Phenomena by Detailing Subjective Descriptions Using the Multi-Axial A to Z SEATTLE Classification,” Neppe presents a multi-axial model to analyze detailed characteristics of various types of spontaneous and experimental “subjective paranormal/psi experiences” (SPEs). (Like most other writers in this field, Neppe uses the term “psi” to describe anomalies in communication and influence that seem to bypass conventional perspectives of time, space, and energy.) Neppe concludes that SPEs, such as those involving hallucinations, delusions, déjà vu, and temporal lobe symptomatology can be measured and scientifically phenomenologically subtyped with his proposed SEATTLE model.

In “Reflections about Parapsychology and the Philosophy of Science: Has Parapsychology Progressed as a Science to the Point Where Science can Include Psi and Transpersonal Views in its Hard Core?,” Jalmir Freire Brelaz de Castro evaluates the relationship of scientific criteria to parapsychology and argues that the most effective ways for the discipline of parapsychology to progress are: 1) to confront psi as a conceptual problem, 2) to combine several approaches to psi phenomena in their essence, and 3) to build psi “hard core” through a theoretical approach to resolving and clarifying the problems raised. De Castro concludes that in order for parapsychology to enter the scientific mainstream, it is necessary to establish a hard core of psi-related constructs, beliefs, and assumptions that are more operational, where the problem of ascertaining effectiveness is the focus of inquiry.

In “The Antique Roadshow: How Denier Movements Debunk Evolution, Climate Change, and Nonlocal Consciousness,” Stephan Schwartz describes how each of what he describes as “denier movements” is actively engaged in trying to debunk and impede the free development of science. He concludes that “deniers” are like pranksters who put up false direction signs that waste precious resources and time, and even worse – poison the atmosphere of scientific inquiry, serving not truth, but bias.

Following this, in “Visions, Hallucinations, and Dreams in the Context of Body Wisdom and Chaos Theory,” Ken Bausch suggests that dreams, hallucinations, and visions are some of the ways that bodies move unconscious knowledge into conscious (i.e., language-related) reality. He concludes that the imaginal realm is the workshop where our egos tap into unconscious body wisdom and construct the narratives that become people’s lives.

Next, in “Addicted to Bliss: Looking for Ecstasy in all the Wrong Places,” Stanley Krippner and Dustin Dunbar take the position that addiction is a social construct that differs from culture to culture. They conclude that bliss is a desirable human condition, but addiction to ecstasy and similar feeling states can become a serious mental disorder for many people who seek these ecstatic feelings through addictive type behavior.

To conclude the Altered States of Consciousness section, in “Intuition, Telepathy, and Interspecies Communication: A Multidisciplinary Perspective,” Deborah Erickson presents research on intuition and telepathy. She concludes that telepathic interspecies communication may be facilitated by utilizing specific meditation techniques that quiet the mind, and shift consciousness to a level outside of time and space.

In the Opinion and Perspectives section, Sultan Tarlaci, Editor-In-Chief, has selected three articles for the reader to ponder. Alexander Ya Temkin presents an article titled “Extrasensory Perception as a Natural, but Not Supernatural Phenomenon,” followed by an article by Wasney de Almeida Ferreia titled “The Role of the Observer in the Collapse of the Wave Function: A Cognitive and Linguistic Analysis of the Double Slits Experiment.” This section is concluded with an article by Thomas G. Schumann titled “Entanglement, Correlation, Causality and the Analogy of the Dreaming Brain.”

To conclude this edition, there is an article by Ursula Werneke titled “Psychiatry and Reality – Perception of Matter or Matter of Perception,” followed by Donald Frederick Parson’s piece titled “A Medical Informatics View of Quantum Computation.”

Together, these articles present a broad array of approaches to dreams, telepathy, and various states of consciousness for the reader to ponder from various perspectives. It is our hopes that the reader will find this issue engaging and enjoyable.

You can read March 2011 issue, Table of Content and Articles

Special Issue Editors
Stanley Krippner and Cheryl Fracasso

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