In a test of
general extrasensory perception, the individual (human or animal)
who looks at the information constituting the target and who is
said to “send” or “transmit” that information to a percipient; in
a test of telepathy, and in cases of spontaneous extrasensory
perception, the individual about whose mental states information is
acquired by a percipient; the term is very occasionally used to refer to
the subject in a test of psychokinesis or the focus in a
poltergeist case. [From the Latin agens (agentis),
derived from agere, “to drive, do”]
In the context
of brain science: a distinctive brain-rhythm or brain-wave which occurs
mainly in the occipital region of the cortex, and which is correlated,
on the psychological level, with feelings of drowsiness, relaxation and
disengaged attention on the part of the subject; it is of relatively
high amplitude, and has a frequency range of between 8 and 13 Hz (Hertz,
or cycles per second); of parapsychological interest as a possible
physiological indicator of a psi-conducive condition in the
subject. [From the Greek alpha, first letter of the Greek
ALTERED STATE(S) OF CONSCIOUSNESS
Expression popularized by Charles T. Tart which can
refer to virtually any mental state differing from that of the normal
waking condition; of parapsychological interest as possibly
psi-conducive states; they include dreaming, hypnosis, trance,
meditation of the yoga or Zen tradition, the hypnagogic-like state
induced by the ganzfeld, and drug-induced states.
Term first used by Leonard Zusne and Warren Jones
(1982) to indicate that part of psychology that investigates
“anomalistic” psychological phenomena, that is, phenomena which have
tended to be explained in terms of the paranormal, the
supernatural, magic, or the occult; the term is also meant
to include belief in UFOs, in astrology, and in such creatures as the
Loch Ness Monster.
quality of an anomaly.
applied to a phenomenon which implies that the phenomenon is unexpected
according to conventional scientific knowledge, but which does not
commit the user to any particular type of explanation; sometimes
sometimes preferred to “paranormal.”
Term coined by
J. B. Rhine to refer to psi ability in non-human animals. [Contraction
of “animal psi”]
experience usually visual but sometimes in other sense-modalities in
which there appears to be present a person or animal (deceased or
living) and even inanimate objects such as carriages and other things,
who/which is in fact out of the sensory range of the experient; often
associated with spontaneous extrasensory perception, for example,
in connection with an agent who is dying or undergoing some other
crisis (in which case, it is likely to be termed a "crisis apparition,"
or in connection with haunting (in which case, it is likely to be
referred to in non-technical contexts as a "ghost")
said to be an exact, quasi-physical replica or “double” of the
individual physical body, which can separate itself from the physical
body, either temporarily, as in dreaming or in the out-of-the-body
experience, or permanently, at the moment of death. Also known as
the “etheric” body. [From the Latin astralis, derived from
astrum, “star,” derived from the Greek astron]
Astral Projection under Out-of-[the]-Body
A field of
subtle, multicolored, luminous radiations said to surround living bodies
as a halo or cocoon; the term is occasionally used to refer to the
normal electromagnetic field forces surrounding the body. [Latin, from
the Greek, “breath of air”]
A technique which enables a person to
monitor on-going changes in one of their own physiological processes; as
a result of such information, the individual may be able to acquire some
degree of control in regulating internal processes normally outside the
range of voluntary influence; of parapsychological interest mainly in
connection with altered states of consciousness and with the
possibility of controlling the incidence of the alpha
Term used by William
G. Braud (1978) to denote the situation in which one subject, A, is
attempting to influence, psychokinetically, the physiological
processes of another person, B, aided by biofeedback to A
concerning those processes in B. [From the Greek allos,
“other,” + bios, “life,” + feedback]
used to refer to psychokinetic effects brought about on living
systems; examples of such effects would be the paranormal
speeding up or slowing down of the sprouting of seeds or of the growth
of bacteria, the resuscitation of anæsthetized mice, and so on; may also
include psychosomatic effects; symbolized “PK-LT” (“psychokinesis on
living targets”) by J. B. Rhine; modern researchers refer to it
as DMILS, or direct mental influence on living systems.
The constellation of undefined causal
factors which are considered to be irrelevant to the causal relationship
under investigation; often spoken of as if it were a single, independent
agency; the expression “pure chance” is sometimes used to describe a
state characterized by complete unpredictability, that is, an absence of
any cause-effect relationships. The term “chance” is frequently a
short-hand expression for “mean chance expectation” as in “deviation
phenomenon in which, according to Arthur Hastings (1990, p. 99), “a
person purports to transmit information or messages directly from a
personality or consciousness other than his or her own, usually through
automatic writing or trance speaking; this other personality
usually claims to be a nonphysical spirit or being.”
acquisition of information concerning an object or contemporary physical
event; in contrast to telepathy, the information is assumed to
derive directly from an external physical source (such as a concealed
photograph), and not from the mind of another person; one particular
form of extrasensory perception, it is not to be confused with
the vulgar interpretation of “clairvoyance” as meaning “knowledge of the
future” (for which see Precognition).
As a noun,
a person endowed with a special talent for clairvoyance; not to
be confused with its colloquial usage meaning “a fortune-teller”; As an
adjective, involving or pertaining to clairvoyance.
COINCIDENCE; IN THE
Two events are said to constitute a coincidence
if they occur in such a way as to strike an observer as being highly
related as regards their structure or their “meaning”; to dismiss such
an occurrence as a “mere coincidence” is to imply the belief that each
event arose as a result of quite independent causal chains (that is,
they are “acausal”) and that no further “meaning” or significance is to
be found in this fortuitous concurrence; sometimes, however, a sense of
impressiveness is engendered by the belief that the concurrence is so
very unlikely as to have been the result of “pure chance” that there
must be some cause or reason for the concurrence, thus investing the
coincidence with a sense of meaningfulness. See also
A set of
statements purportedly gained by paranormal means but which in
fact is wholly based on broadly accurate generalizations and/or on
information obtained directly from the person seeking the
reading, such as can be gleaned from facial gestures, clues in
conversation, and so on.
personality purporting to be that of some deceased individual, believed
to take control of the medium’s actions and speech during
trance, and/or who habitually relays messages from the
communicator to the sitter. (ii) In the context of
scientific investigation, a control is something (a procedure,
condition, object, set of subjects, and so on) which is introduced with
the purpose of providing a check on (that is, of “controlling for”) the
influence of unwanted factors.
complex series of independent communications delivered paranormally (and
ostensibly from one or more discarnate entities) to two or more
geographically separate mediums such that the complete message is
not clear until the separate fragments are pieced together into a
French for “already seen,” the feeling or illusion of
having previously experienced an event or place actually being
encountered for the first time; also called “false memory,” or “memory
without recognition,” although the phenomenon could conceivably involve
precognitive or clairvoyant information, in which case
Frederic Myers gave it the name promnesia. [From the Greek
pro, “prior to,” + mnesis, “memory”]
Term used by G. Razran to refer to the ability to
discriminate color and brightness by means of touch. Also known as “skin
vision,” “finger vision,” “dermal vision,” “digital sight” [From the
Latin digitus, “finger, toe”], or “cutaneous perception” [From
the Latin cutis, “skin”]. [From the Greek derma,
“skin,” + optikos, “of sight,” derived from opsomai,
“I shall see”]
The determination of the nature and circumstances
of a diseased condition by means of extrasensory perception. See
also Healing, Psychic.
in which a body of awareness (perceptual, memory, physical) becomes
separated or blocked from the main center of consciousness; examples are
trance-speaking, automatic writing, amnesia, multiple
personality, and so on; thought by some to be a psi-conducive
sometimes used to refer to the acquiring of paranormal
information, frequently (but not invariably) by the use of such various
practices as tea-leaf reading, palmistry, scrying, the I
Ching, Tarot cards and so on.
apparitional double or counterpart of a living person. See also
Astral Body; Bilocation [German for “doublewalker”]
automatism in which, generally, a “dowsing rod” (also called a
divining rod: often a forked twig but sometimes a pendulum) is employed
to locate subterranean water, oil, and so on, or other concealed items
by following the direction in which the rod turns in the user’s hands.
Some practitioners use their bare hands with no gadget.
apparently paranormal dream, inasmuch as some of the dream
details give information about events normally unknowable to the
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