History of Psychic Phenomena Part 3

About the various forms of psychic phenomena, an introduction with history, definitions and a look at the controversy surrounding it.

Psychic Phenomena


Again, there is a close connection between psi and the occult, so close, in fact, that many people find it hard to separate the 2. Occultists believe that their path will enable them to develop and use psi at will, that ESP and PK may be used in both white and black witchcraft, for example. Let us examine this further. Occult rituals use candles, altars, and geometric designs; however, to designate psi as occult would be as foolish as saying that all candles or all geometric designs are occult. Rather, it should be understood that the forces, powers, faculties, or whatever are used to produce psi seem to be neutral. If they exist and can be harnessed, they can be used to heal or to hurt, to comfort or to terrify. Like atomic power or electricity, they are of themselves neither good nor bad; their effect depends on the orientation and intentions of the person using them.


The Imprisoned Splendor by Raynor C. Johnson. Wheaton, Ill., Quest Book, 1971; 1st published in 1953. Johnson is rather biased toward the "psychic aether" explanation of psi, but whether he is right or wrong, the book remains an excellent introduction to psychic phenomena.

The Medium, the Mystic, and the Physicist by Lawrence LeShan. New York, Viking Press, 1974. LeShan uses his extensive contacts with one of this century's finest mediums to compare the experiences and theories of mediumship, mysticism, and physics, and concludes that all are actually saying the same thing. Essential reading for anyone interested in theories about how and why psi works.

Human Personality and Its Survival of Bodily Death by F. W. H. Myers. New Hyde Park, N.Y., University Books, 1961. One of the basic source books of psi. A parapsychologist once wrote that it sometimes seems that everything modern researchers have discovered is just a footnote to Myers and his survey of various aspects of psychic phenomena. The depth and breadth of his insight are incredible. Though 1st written in 2 volumes in 1901, this work has been abridged and the one-volume version is easier to read and adequate for all but the most dedicated student.

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