Parapsychology and “Borderland” Phenomena
Carlos S. Alvarado, PhD, Visiting Scholar, Rhine Research Center (http://Rhine.org)
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.
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.
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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