Parapsychology and “Borderland” Phenomena

Parapsychology

Carlos S. Alvarado, PhD, Visiting Scholar, Rhine Research Center (http://Rhine.org)

James H. Hyslop James H. Hyslop

Over a hundred years ago James H. Hyslop (1906) published a book entitled  Borderland of Psychical Research. This was a reference to conventional psychological explanations of unusual phenomena including the workings of hallucinations, memory, motor automatisms, and particularly the dramatic and creative manifestations of secondary personalities.

Hyslop Borderland

Years later Charles Richet devoted a section at the beginning of his influential Traité de métapsychique (1922) to discuss what he referred to as the “talents of the unconscious,” or the creative capabilities of the subconscious mind to form personalities that simulated spirit-produced mediumistic phenomena. Unfortunately, the “borderland” seems to be neglected by many parapsychologists.

Theodore Flournoy Theodore Flournoy

Knowledge about hyperesthesia and unconscious perceptions should be useful to evaluate some ESP claims. Similarly, there have been ideas related to hypnosis and mediumship postulating the possibility of individuals learning…

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