5. Theories and Speculations

Philosophical and theoretical issues raised by psi research, such as problems of investigative methodology. Papers range from notes on aspects of psi to philosophical essays on its implications and attempts to construct appropriate scientific models. Topics include the mind-body relationship and where psi fits with developments in physics. Papers devoted to sceptical debates, educational initiatives and terminology can also be found here.

keywords: theory, methodology, psi, consciousness, physics

Sidgwick, Henry. GENERAL MEETING, Journal 1, 1884, pp. 71-2. Report of a meeting in which Sidgwick responds to scepticism of the Society’s aims and intentions. psi/theory

Stewart, Balfour. [FREE WILL], Journal 1, 1884, pp. 92-3. Brief remarks on free will in relation to psychical research. psi/theory

Edgworth, F.Y. THE CALCULUS OF PROBABILITIES APPLIED TO PSYCHICAL RESEARCH, Proceedings 3, 1885, pp. 190-9. A discussion of probability law, with reference to the French mathmetician Laplace. psi/methodology/theory           

Busk, R.H. COINCIDENTAL DREAMING, Journal 1, 1885, pp. 226-38. Argues the case against coincidences having any supernatural significance, for instance on the basis that incidents in dreams are bound occasionally to coincide with real events. theory/precognition/dreams/coincidences

Barrett, W. et al. TIME INTERVAL, Journal 1, 1885, pp. 460-61. Brief report of discussion of the time interval sometimes observed in the impression given by an agent of thought transference and its reception by the percipient. theory/telepathy

Sidgwick, E. ON PHYSICAL TESTS AND THE LINE BETWEEN THE POSSIBLE AND IMPOSSIBLE, Journal 1, 1885, pp. 430-32. Exposes likely errors involved in Spiritualistic research: confusing moral and physical evidence; forgetting that the burden of proof lies with Spiritualists; overlooking the lack of definition between the possible and the impossible. CORRESPONDENCE, pp. 465-6. psi/beliefs/methodology/theory

Anon. ON THE METHOD OF RESEARCH PURSUED BY THE SOCIETY, Journal 2, 1885, pp. 25-32. A critic with Spiritualist inclinations complains at the failure on the part of the Society to deliver a verdict on the voluminous evidence received. Myers explains the reason for its hesitancy. psi/beliefs/methodology/theory

Beatty, Octavius. THOUGHT READING WITH AND WITHOUT CONTACT, Journal 2, 1885, pp. 34-7. Makes the case for accepting as genuine certain instances of thought-reading where physical contact exists. theory/telepathy

Sidgwick, E. ON PHYSICAL TESTS AND THE LINE BETWEEN THE POSSIBLE AND IMPOSSIBLE, Journal 1, 1885, pp. 430-32. Exposes likely errors involved in Spiritualistic research: confusing moral and physical evidence; forgetting that the burden of proof lies with Spiritualists; overlooking the lack of definition between the possible and the impossible. CORRESPONDENCE, pp. 465-6. psi/theory/methodology

Anon. ON THE METHOD OF RESEARCH PURSUED BY THE SOCIETY, Journal 2, 1885, pp. 25-32. A critic with Spiritualist inclinations complains at the failure on the part of the Society to deliver a verdict on the voluminous evidence received. Myers explains the reason for its hesitancy. psi/theory/methodology

Edgworth, F.Y. THE CALCULUS OF PROBABILITIES APPLIED TO PSYCHICAL RESEARCH 2, Proceedings 4, 1886, pp. 189-208. Proposes mathematical formula applicable to psychical research. psi/methodology/theory

LODGE, O.J. ADDRESS AS PRESIDENT OF THE PHYSICAL SECTION OF THE BRITISH ASSOCIATION AT CARDIFF, Journal 5, 1891, pp. 131-4. Discusses the interest of physics in psychical research. psi/physics/theory

Podmore, Frank. TELEPATHIC DREAMS, Journal 6, 1893, p. 52. Brief abstract of a paper on the varying evidential value of telepathic dreams. theory/telepathy/dreams

Myers, F.W.H. RETROCOGNITION, Journal 6, 1894, pp. 244-7. Brief report of Myers’s remarks on premonitions and retrocognition. retrocognition/precognition

Myers, Frederic W.H. RESOLUTE CREDULITY, Proceedings 11, 1895, pp. 213-34. Myers puts on record what he is not prepared to believe. Some widely believed claims he dismisses out of hand: that occult powers can be acquired by ascetic practices; that Mahatmas exist in Tibet (Theosophy); as well as astrology and palmistry. On the claimed cures at Lourdes, he says he would like it to be true but sees little evidence of it. Concerning the claim that some public performers use supernormal powers in their shows, he is equivocal, saying that if it were true it would suggest a more regular operation of telepathy or clairvoyance than the Society has ever seen in experiments. On the ability of mediums to perform genuine materialisations and movements at a distance, he says he has been convinced by the case of Eusapia Palladino. However he describes at length the cases of fake mediums, including a Mrs Abbott, who employed muscular feats to achieve her effects; Mrs G.A. Smith, who was assisted in deception by confederates, and Husk and Williams, who used simple tricks. CORRESPONDENCE, Journal 7, 1895, pp. 142-4. theosophy/healing/physical mediumship/telepathy/theory

Myers, Frederic W.H. GLOSSARY OF TERMS USED IN PSYCHICAL RESEARCH, Proceedings 12, 1896, pp. 166-74. Undertakes to clarify the origin and meaning of the various terms used in psychical research to date, for instance ‘telepathy’ which Myers himself proposed. However some other terms given here were never widely used, and many others have fallen into disuse. psi/telepathy/theory/methodology

Johnson, Alice. COINCIDENCES, Journal 8, 1898, pp. 229-31. Discusses the relevance of coincidences to psychical research (summary and discussion). coincidences/psi/theory

Gale, Harlow. PSYCHICAL RESEARCH IN AMERICAN UNIVERSITIES, Proceedings 13, 1898, pp. 583-8. Reviews the position of American academics and the extent to which American universities carry courses on psychical research. Several professors, including James at Harvard, Hyslop at Columbia, and Newbold at Pennsylvania are sympathetic, but only James covers the subject to a significant degree in his classes. A number of others are also mentioned, including Stanley Hall at Clark University, who has developed an antagonistic position. psi/theory/methodology

Myers, F.W.H. REVIEW OF: GUESSES AT THE RIDDLE OF EXISTENCE BY GOLDWIN SMITH, Journal 8, 1898, pp. 163-4. Myers takes issue with an apparently uninformed sceptic, writing: ‘There is ... something depressing in the light thus incidentally thrown upon the position which psychical studies occupies in many minds which one cannot disregard. While Spiritualism is vaguely heard of and uninquiringly despised, our own work is as yet, not ignored only, but absolutely unknown’. psi/theory

Richet, Charles. ON THE CONDITIONS OF CERTAINTY, Proceedings 14, 1899, pp. 152-7. Draws attention to a psychological process sometimes noted by researchers who have become convinced of the genuineness of paranormal processes after witnessing them personally - in this case with Eusapia Palladino and others - only to find themselves returning inexorably to their wonted scepticism. SUMMARY & DISCUSSION, Journal 9, 1899, pp. 33-4. psi/theory

Schiller, F.C.S. PSYCHOLOGY AND PSYCHICAL RESEARCH: A REPLY TO PROFESSOR MUNSTERBERG, Proceedings 14, 1899, pp. 348-65. A reply to Hugo Munsterberg, professor of psychology at Harvard and a noted sceptic, writing on ‘Psychology and Mysticism’ in the Atlantic Monthly, January 1899. The author describes Munsterberg’s inability to ‘grasp the nature of the case for psychical research’ as of ‘an emotional rather than an intellectual character’ (348) and dismisses his criticisms as incoherent. NOTE, Proceedings 15, 1900, pp. 96-7. Corrects an omission. psi/theory/methodology

Anon. PREMATURE GENERALISATIONS ABOUT TELEPATHY, Journal 9, 1900, pp. 169-76, 197-200. Critique of generalizations on the workings of telepathy made by an American experimenter that are considered too flawed to be valid. telepathy/theory

Myers, F.W.H. PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS, Journal 9, 1900, pp. 254-5. Summary report of an address on the aims and achievements of psychical research. psi/theory

Anon. FOURTH INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS OF PSYCHOLOGY, Journal 9, 1900, pp. 256-61. Schedule of topics. consciousness/theory

Myers, F.W.H. PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS, Proceedings 15, 1901, pp. 110-27. Personal reflections on science, religion and psychical research. psi/theory

Lodge, Oliver. PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS, Proceedings 18, 1903, pp. 1-21. Examines the work and methods of the Society. psi/theory/methodology

Barrett, W.F. PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS, Proceedings 18, 1904, pp. 323-50. Discusses scepticism of psychical research and speculates on some difficulties involved in research on telepathy, hypnotism and mediums. psi/hypnosis/methodology/theory

Richet, Charles. [PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS], Journal 12, 1905, pp. 38-43. Remarks by the French psychical researcher on physical and other kinds of phenomena (reported summary). psi/theory

Lodge, Oliver. ON THE SCIENTIFIC ATTITUDE TO MARVELS, Journal 12, 1906, pp. 179-84. Discusses the prejudices of scientists towards psychical research (summary of paper). psi/theory

Sidgwick, Eleanor. PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS, Proceedings 21, 1908, pp. 1-18. Review of the Society’s work and methods, including remarks on mediums, the Census of Hallucinations, and the abortive N-ray claim by Blondlot. psi/theory

Mitchell, T.W. SOME RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN PSYCHOTHERAPY, Proceedings 24, 1910, pp. 665-86. Discusses new approaches by Morton Prince, Sigmund Freud, Milne Bramwell, and others. psi/theory/methodology

Sage, M. A FRENCH VIEW OF THE SPR, Journal 15, 1911, pp. 3-12. (In French). Sketch of the rise of modern spiritualism and the work of the SPR. psi/theory

Lang, Andrew. PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS, Proceedings 25, 1911, pp. 364-76. Includes brief comments on dowsing, the psychic experiences of famous authors and politicians, Piper, and the cross-correspondences, with reference to the criticisms of sceptics. psi/theory

Constable, F.C. PSYCHICAL RESEARCHERS AND THE WILL TO DISBELIEVE, Journal 16, 1913, pp. 6-14. Reasoned defence of belief in the reality of telepathy against the objections of a sceptic. theory/telepathy

Constable, F.C. PROFESSOR BERGSEN AND MIND, Journal 16, 1913, pp. 146-8. Suggests that the human awareness of cerebral activity is an argument in favour of the two being distinct from each other. consciousness/theory

Lodge, Oliver. CONTINUITY, Journal 16, 1913, pp. 132-44. Arguments in favour of ‘the ether’ as ‘the uniting and binding medium without which, if matter could exist at all, it could exist only as chaotic and isolated fragments.. .the universal medium of communication between worlds and particles’ (137). See also Journal 18, 1918, pp. 237-8. psi/theory/physics

Lodge, Oliver. EFFECT OF LIGHT ON LONG ETHER WAVES AND OTHER PROCESSES, Journal 19, 1919, pp. 32-4. Physical characteristics. psi/theory/physics

Anon. CORRESPONDENCE, Journal 19, 1919, pp. 34-5. The author comments on his use of the term ‘telergy’, coined by Myers who defined it as: ‘The force exercised by the mind of an agent in impressing a percipient - involving a direct influence of an extraneous spirit on the brain or organism of the percipient’. theory/telepathy

Woolley, VJ. A PSYCHO-ANALYST ON PSYCHICAL RESEARCH, Journal 16, 1914, pp. 248-50. Critique of a seemingly confused debunking of psychical research informed by an unusual interpretation of Freud’s theories. psi/theory

Barrett, W.F. NOTE ON TELEPATHY AND TELERGY, Proceedings 30, 1918, pp. 251-60. Distinguishes the meanings of the terms ‘telepathy’ and ‘telergy’ (the power of propagating influences or phantasms at a distance... ‘) coined by Frederic Myers. The paper goes on to consider the problem of determining what force is involved in telepathy. psi/theory/telepathy/psychokinesis

Dearmer, Percy. NOMENCLATURE, Journal 19, 1919, pp. 104-5. Argues that better terms are needed than ‘spiritualism’, ‘spiritism’ and ‘medium’. CORRESPONDENCE, Journal 19, 1919, pp. 141-3, 180 The term ‘psychic’ is preferred by several readers. spiritualism/psi/methodology/theory

Salter, Mrs. W.H. THE FIRST INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS FOR PSYCHICAL RESEARCH, Journal 20, 1921, pp. 175-9. Report of the first such international conference, organised by the Danish Society for Psychical Research at Copenhagen. The article offers a list of papers and their authors and a brief description of resolutions. psi/theory/methodology/experiments

Flammarion, Camille. PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS, Proceedings 34, 1923, pp. 1-27. (Illustrated, in French). Reflections on psychical research as a science, with special reference to astronomy. psi/theory/physics

Anon. THE SECOND INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS OF PSYCHICAL RESEARCH, Journal 21, 1923, pp. 152-6. List of papers and conclusions at the Warsaw conference. psi/theory/methodology/experiments

Piddington, J.G. PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS, Proceedings 34, 1924, pp. 131-52. Discusses difficulties involved in psychical research and the dangers of credulity regarding spirit communication. psi/theory/methodology

Fisher, R.A. A METHOD OF SCORING COINCIDENCES IN TESTS WITH PLAYING CARDS, Proceedings 34, 1924, pp. 181-5. Note by a statistician outlining scoring approaches. theory/methodology/coincidences

Barrett, W.F. SOME REMINISCENCES OF FIFTY YEARS’ PSYCHICAL RESEARCH, Proceedings 34, 1924, pp. 275-97. A co-founder of the Society looks back at the history of psychical research, from the seventeenth century to the work of his colleagues Henry Sidgwick, Myers and Gurney, William Crookes, and others. He speaks briefly of his own introduction to the subject and his work with the slate-writing medium Henry Slade, a convincing case of materialisation with the medium Husk, elsewhere considered to be fraudulent, and spirit photography. He goes on to compare physical with psychical research. psi/theory/slate writing/photography/physical mediumship/cheating

Richet, Charles. DES CONDITIONS DE LA CERTITUDE, Proceedings 35, 1925, pp. 422-44. (In French). Comments on researcher’s difficulty in achieving certainty in psychical matters and of conveying that certainty to the public. psi/theory/methodology

Constable, F.C. MEMORY, Journal 22, 1925, pp. 23-6. Argues against the materialist view of brain, arguing that an organism subject to changes in time and space cannot be a storage device for ideas. consciousness/theory

Barrett, W.F. GLADSTONE’S OPINION OF THE VALUE OF PSYCHICAL RESEARCH, Journal 22, 1925, pp. 108-9. A founder member of the SPR describes the former prime minister’s interest in its activities. psi/theory

Trethewy, A.W. [PSYCHIC RESEARCH AND ANTHROPOLOGY], Journal 22, 1925, pp. 134-6. Laments the dismissive attitude towards psychic questions displayed by the anthropologist J.G. Frazer and urges and open-minded and systematic investigation of supernormal phenomena reported in other cultures. psi/theory/methodology

Driesch, Hans. THE CRISIS IN PSYCHOLOGY, Journal 22, 1925, pp. 158-9. View of human psychology that pays an unusual degree of attention to psychic experiences. psi/theory

Driesch, Hans. PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS: PSYCHICAL RESEARCH AND ESTABLISHED SCIENCE, Proceedings 36, 1926, pp. 171-86. Argues that psychical phenomena are a continuation of ‘vitalist’ biology. psi/theory

Sidgwick, Eleanor. THE OBJECTS OF THE SOCIETY, Journal 24, 1927, pp. 30-32. Corrects a mis-statement, made during recent correspondence in the magazine Nature, about the objectives of the SPR, which Sidgwick emphasises are in the interests of scientific investigation, not the endorsement of spiritualism. psi/theory

Warcollier, René. L’ACCORD TELEPATHIQUE, Journal 24, 1928, pp. 319-23. English translation of a French paper numerating the various factors involved in telepathy. theory/telepathy

Brath, Stanley de. THE FELICIA SCATCHERD MEORIAL LECTURE, Journal 25, 1929, p. 73. Affirms the credibility of psychical phenomena. psi/theory

Schroder, Christoph. CONCERNING METHOD IN PSYCHICAL INVESTIGATION, Journal 25, 1929, pp. 73-6. A continental researcher is invited to list his complaints about the SPR’s attitude towards physical phenomena, which he takes to be overly sceptical. psi/theory/methodology

Prince, Walter Franklin. PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS, Proceedings 39, 1930, pp. 273-304. Reflects on the rationale for psychical research and the need for objectivity and scientific rigour. psi/methodology

Anon. SIR ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE’S RESIGNATION, Journal 26, 1930, pp. 45-52. The publication of a review by Theodore Besterman (Hack, Gwendoline Kelley. MODERN PSYCHIC MYSTERIES, Journal 26, 1930, pp. 10-140) prompted the resignation from the SPR of Arthur Conan Doyle, who circulated open letters claiming that ‘since the death of Myers and the end of the Piper sittings, the Society has done no constructive work of any importance, and has employed its energies in hindering and belittling those who are engaged in real active psychical research.’ The writer continues: ‘This latest article of Mr Besterman may be insignificant in itself, but it is a link that long chain of prejudice which comes down from Mr Podmore, Mrs Sedgwick [sic], and Mr Dingwall, to the present day.’ Conan Doyle also urged other members to resign in protest. The SPR council points out that the cross-correspondences ought to rank as work of importance, while Besterman defend himself against the charges relating to his original criticisms. CORRESPONDENCE, p. 81. See also Journal 27, 1924, p. 24, where it is revealed that Conan Doyle’s attack had led to only seven resignations, none of them by individuals actively involved in the Society’s work. That did not prevent claims, published in Nandor Fodor’s ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF PSYCHIC SCIENCE that as many as 84 members had defected (see Journal 28, 1934, p. 208). psi/theory/methodology

Wales, Hubert. MODERN SCIENCE AND ‘SURVIVAL’, Journal 27, 1931, pp. 135-6. Comments on a remark by the scientist James Jeans on ‘the general recognition that we are not yet in contact with ultimate reality’. psi/theory

Sidgwick, Eleanor. THE SOCIETY FOR PSYCHICAL RESEARCH: A SHORT ACCOUNT OF ITS HISTORY AND WORK ON THE OCCASION OF THE SOCIETY’S JUBILEE IN 1932, Proceedings 41, 1932, pp. 1-26. Survey of the Society’s work and achievements from the point of view of a Council member present at its founding. Sidwick briefly reviews the finance and administrative structures, before discussing the research that culminated in Phantasms of the Living, experiments with thought-transference, the investigation of theosophy and Helena Blavatsky, investigations of Slade and Eglinton, the founding of an American branch, Hodgson’s work with Leonora Piper, Gurney’s experiments with hypnotism and thought-transference, the Census of Hallucinations, dowsing, Myers and Human Personality and its Survival of Bodily Death, the cross-correspondences and trance mediums, including Eusapia Palladino, Eva C. and Willy Schneider, etc. She ends by drawing attention to the probability of telepathy underlying much of the phenomena researched by the Society. An appendix classifies material to 1932: general (including theoretical, historical and anthropological); mental phenomena (automatisms, cross-correspondences, book-tests, clairvoyance, premonitions, scrying, telepathy, trance mediumship); intermediate phenomena (apparitions, poltergeists, dowsing); physical phenomena, slate-writing, spirit photography, Marthe Beraud, Mina Crandon, D.D. Home, Eusapia Palladino); psychology (dreams, hallucinations, hypnotism, multiple personality, psychotherapy, the subconscious). psi/theory/methodology

Lodge, Oliver. PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS: THE PAST AND THE FUTURE, Proceedings 41, 1932, pp. 61-74. Draws on Frederic Myers’s introduction to his work Human Personality for inspiration as to the Society’s objectives and methods, particularly as regards its work on establishing the reality of survival. Lodge goes on to discuss precognition and the recent publications of Dunne. Concludes with a brief personal affirmation of his own belief in survival. psi/survival/precognition/theory

Carington, W. Whately. POSITIVE IMPLICATIONS OF TELEPATHY (MEETING), Journal 28, 1933, pp. 57-64. Argues against a physicalist interpretation of telepathy in favour of a mystical approach that suggests ‘an underlying community of consciousness’ (reading of paper). CORRESPONDENCE, pp. 197-200. theory/telepathy

Chant, Stephen. PSYCHICAL RESEARCH AND THE WRITTEN WORD (MEETING), Journal 28, 1933, pp. 99-102. Comments on the inability of the classification of psychical phenomena to susbtitute for understanding. psi/theory/methodology

Tyrrell, G.N.M. NORMAL AND SUPERNORMAL PERCEPTION, Journal 29, 1935, pp. 3-19. Argues that normal and supernormal perception need to be understood in relation to each other. Starts by pointing out that so-called ‘normal’ perception only seems so because it is a given: philosophical analysis makes the process seem quite mysterious. The conception of a material world rests on the senses of sight and touch, as is shown by analysis of what happens when an individual sees an object such as a red post box. Tyrrell then embarks on a discussion of the perception of colour and the difficulties of making sense of the process. Although we imagine we have no hand in shaping our perceptions, philosophical analysis shows that we have, but the fact is carefully concealed from us. Science states that a post box is not red but that it causes red, that ice is not cold but causes cold. But this is not to advocate any form of subjective idealism, but rather that both science and philosophy point to the world of our senses as being an aspect of something which lies behind it. Turning towards supernormal perception - classified as telepathy, clairvoyance and precognition - Tyrrell points out the difficulties in any physical approach involving radiation, for instance the problem of attenuation with distance. However, if the world of perceptual consciousness is not so much the world as our world, as previously demonstrated, the assumption underlying such attempts at explanation are themselves false. Objects perceived supernormally are not bedrock entities, but ‘highly specialised pictures of something else, and it is not in the least probable that the percipient is getting in touch with what we call ‘physical objects’ themselves. He is getting in touch with whatever it is that lies behind physical objects... ‘ Tyrrell concludes that the physical object and the clairvoyant impression are both derived from the same source, rather than that there is some form of communication from the object to the percipient. CORRESPONDENCE, pp. 35-6, 41-2, 122-3. psi/telepathy/clairvoyance/precognition/theory

Driesch, Hans. MEMORY IN ITS RELATION TO PSYCHICAL RESEARCH, Proceedings 43, 1935, pp. 1-14. The proponent of ‘vitalism’ explores the faculty of memory in a dualist context. psi/theory

Broad, C.D. NORMAL COGNITION, CLAIRVOYANCE, AND TELEPATHY, Proceedings 43, 1935, pp. 397-438. A philosopher tackles the theoretical difficulties of understanding how ESP works. He compares ‘pure’ clairvoyance, if such a thing occurs, with normal sense-perception, examining the physical, physiological and psychological assumptions that would be involved. He enumerates various ways in which telepathic interaction between two brains might be conceived, which he distinguishes from the cognitive element involved in knowing what someone else is thinking or feeling. He examines in depth different types of cognition, again comparing telepathic thinking to normal thinking. psi/telepathy/consciousness/theory

Maby, J. Cecil. SOME OBSERVATIONS ON EXTRA-SENSORY PERCEPTION, Proceedings 44, 1936, pp. 169-82. Maby follows up Broad’s study with further reflections on the visual and other senses involved in telepathy and clairvoyance. psi/consciousness/theory

Tyrrell, G.N.M. INDIVIDUALITY, Proceedings 44, 1936, pp. 7-12. Questions the concept of separate individuality, with reference to Whately Carington’s research of trance personalities. Saltmarsh, H.F. SOME COMMENTS ON MR TYRRELL’S PAPER ON INDIVIDUALITY, Proceedings 44, 1936, pp. 183-8. Offers alternative approaches to the question of individuality. CORRESPONDENCE, Journal 29, 1936, pp. 292-4. psi/consciousness/personality/theory

Huxley, Julian. MEMORY AND TELEPATHY, Journal 29, 1936, pp. 311-12. Brief comment on the material basis of memory. telepathy/theory

Mace, C.A. SUPERNORMAL FACULTY AND THE STRUCTURE OF THE MIND, Proceedings 44, 1936, pp. 279-302. A psychologist reflects on the issues involved in accepting the existence of telepathy and formulating a hypothesis to describe its functioning. telepathy/theory

Salter, W.H. STATISTICAL AND OTHER TECHNICALITIES IN PSYCHICAL RESEARCH, Journal 30, 1937, pp. 34-6. Reflects on the growing importance of statistics in psychical research, but hopes this element will not displace other types of enquiry. psi/methodology

Soal, S.G. A NOTE ON TESTS FOR RANDOM DISTRIBUTION, Journal 30, 1937, pp. 83-6. Analyses the behaviour of a random number generator to discover whether any bias exists that might distort its use for ESP experiments. CORRESPONDENCE, pp. 101-3, 123. clairvoyance/methodology/theory

Gregory, C.C.L. & Tyrrell, G.N.M. THEORY AND METAPHYSICS [DISCUSSION], Journal 30, 1937, pp. 95-9. Discussion as to the extent to which theory and metaphysics are important to psychical research. psi/theory

Salter, W.H. THE POSITION OF PSYCHICAL RESEARCH, Journal 31, 1939, pp. 106-11. Discusses reviews of recent publications about psychical research in Nature and in Light. Reviews in the science Journal are generally favourable, giving rise to the hope that they will interest scientists in the topic. However Salter draws attention to a hostile paragraph, unattributed, which suggests that cases described are flawed and with proper scrutiny will not stand up. Regarding the spiritualist publication, he takes issue with its confusion regarding the Society’s lack of corporate views about the reality of telepathy and survival. psi/theory/methodology

Carington, Whately. FREAK BRIDGE HANDS, Journal 31, 1940, pp. 181-3. Argues that the frequent appearance of particular hands in Bridge does not, as some claim, cast doubt on the applicability of probability theory and statistical methods to psychical research. psi/methodology/theory

Price, H.H. THE PRESIDENT ON TELEPATHY AND CLAIRVOYANCE IN RELATION TO PHILOSOPHY, Journal 32, 1941, pp. 10-14. Extracts from an article by H.H. Price, president of the Society, published in Philosophy and aimed at interesting philosophers in psychical research. Comments on spontaneous cases and telepathy. CORRESPONDENCE, pp. 42-4. telepathy/clairvoyance/theory

Price, H.H. A NOTE CONCERNING THE NATURE OF PARANORMAL AWARENESS, Journal 33, 1943, pp. 12-13. Briefly comments on the difficulties of understanding clairvoyance, suggesting a Bergsonian approach. ‘We shall have to change the question, and puzzle ourselves not about clairvoyance, but rather about normal sense-perception, treating it not as ‘normal’, but rather as a sub-normal and biologically-explicable limitation imposed upon an inherent and aboriginal omniscience’. clairvoyance/theory

Wilson, Richard. PRECOGNITION AND THE UNCERTAINTY PRINCIPLE, Journal 33, 1945, pp. 121-2. Mathematics-based theory of ESP, based on quantum mechanics. CORRESPONDENCE, p. 171, 175-6. precognition/physics/theory

Bendit, Laurence J. & Pheobe B. [SCIENCE AND PSYCHICAL RESEARCH], Journal 33, 1945, pp. 123-4. Argues that psychical research should not be obliged by scientific orthodoxy to devote itself to statistical experiments at the expense of a wider study of paranormal phenomena. CORRESPONDENCE, pp. 171-2. psi/theory/methodology

Carington, Whately. CORRESPONDENCE, Journal 33, 1945, pp. 130-31. Carington discovers a 1914 paper that appears to have anticipated his Association Theory of Telepathy. See Proceedings 1944. telepathy/theory

West, Donald J. THE REALITY OF PSYCHIC PHENOMENA, Journal 33, 1945, pp. 161-4. A structured argument between a hypothetical believer and a sceptic on the validity of telepathy, as evidenced by crisis apparitions, experimental ESP and mediums. CORRESPONDENCE, pp. 166-9. telepathy/mental mediumship/physical mediumship/apparitions/theory

Rhine, J.B. et al. TELEPATHY AND CLAIRVOYANCE RECONSIDERED, Proceedings 48, 1946, pp. 1-28. Rhine examines the theoretical difficulties in identifying which of the various elements of ESP is active at one time. Comments by CD Broad and other British parapsychologists follow. Editor’s abstract: ESP is generally considered to consist of telepathy and clairvoyance, either of which may be precognitive. ESP and precognition are regarded as established capacities. But it is submitted here that we have no clear proof that a truly telepathic form of ESP ever occurs. It is even hard to design a sure test for true telepathy. Precognitive clairvoyance can account for all the ‘evidence’ on record for telepathy. On the other hand, there is evidence of true clairvoyance that cannot be explained by precognitive telepathy, and there are methods available for testing true clairvoyance further. These considerations have far-reaching significance, even on the survival hypothesis. They do not in any way alter the case for ESP, but they will have much to do with its explanation. (This is an abridged version of an article which first appeared in JOURNAL OF PARAPSYCHOLOGY, September 1944.) Whately Carington (pp. 8-10) maintains it is a waste of time to argue about whether telepathy is explicable in terms of clairvoyance and vice versa. He says: ‘If we stick resolutely to what alone we know, namely ordered sequences of cognized cognizables ... we shall find that telepathy and clairvoyance are not mutually exclusive alternatives, or even rival hypotheses, but only closely related varieties of the same fundamental process’ (p. 10). J. Hettinger (pp. 10-15) cites examples that seem to be illustrative of telepathy rather than clairvoyance from Rhine’s books, The Ultraperceptive Faculty and Exploring The Ultraperceptive Faculty. R. H. Thouless, (pp. 15-17) classifies experimental conditions that would help distinguish between clairvoyance and telepathy, and describes his own research on ‘pure telepathy.’ G. N. M. Tyrrell (pp. 17-19) criticises the notion, of which he maintains Rhine’s article is an eloquent statement, that statistical ESP experiments can suffice to determine its true nature. He says: ‘The issued raised in the article of whether certain apparently telepathic phenomena are in reality clairvoyant is relatively unimportant. What is of vital importance is that Professor Rhine has been led, through an unconscious bias, to deal with the evidence in a completely distorted manner.’ C.D.Broad suggests substituting the wider phrase ‘paranormal cognition’ for ‘telepathy’; recognizing that there is now experimental evidence for precognition and for pure clairvoyance; and admitting that when these possibilities are allowed for, ‘it becomes uncertain whether many well-attested cases of paranormal cognition which were counted as instances of telepathy really were so.’ However he doubts whether this does much either to strengthen or to weaken the already existing case for the spiritistic hypothesis; arguing that only a detailed investigation of the best cases would justify a confident pronouncement. The fault lies not with the method but with the fact that we do not know how to produce at will strong and persistent instances of psi. PsiLine Parsons, Denys, (pp. 26-27). Argues Rhine has not given spontaneous cases and mediumistic material their due, but feels his experimental results make an excellent case for clairvoyance. Rhine briefly replies to these comments (pp. 27-8). psi/telepathy/clairvoyance/precognition/experiments/theory

Robertson A.J.B. TELEPATHY AND ELECTROMAGNETIC WAVES, Journal 34, 1947, pp. 7-10. Expresses doubts about the prevailing view of telepathy as a non-material process and suggests an alternative. telepathy/physics/theory

Heywood, Rosalind, et al. CORRESPONDENCE, Journal 34, 1947-8, pp. 25-6. Also pages 59, 96-7, 163-4. Heywood’s suggestion that there might be benefits to relaxing the stringency of evidential standards for ESP initiates a lively controversy. psi/methodology

Anon. IMPLICATIONS OF PSYCHICAL RESEARCH, Journal 34, 1947, p. 87. Brief description of four talks on the implications of psychical research given on the radio. psi/theory

Salter, W.H. PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS, Proceedings 48, 1948 pp. 239-52. Recounts the accomplishments of the SPR as an example of what can be done to further knowledge in an area that has yet to receive any widespread academic recognition. Examines its standards of evidence in relationship to the standards of evidence used in other fields, concluding that no single discipline has a monopoly on the method best suited for establishing truth. Concludes by offering a few reflections on the nature of telepathy and the problem of personal survival. PsiLine psi/theory/methodology

West, D.J. THE INVESTIGATION OF SPONTANEOUS CASES, Proceedings 48, 1948, pp. 264-300. Considers the difficulties of making a case for the supernormal on the basis of spontaneous incidents. Some of the obstacles are considered in detail, to find out how far they have been met already by past records, and what else is needed in the way of investigation before the present prima facie case can be said to be scientifically established. Precognitive dreams are difficult to assess owing to the possibilities of chance and illusion of memory. Only by gathering an unselected collection of such predictions before fulfillment could these problems be resolved but what little has been done along these lines is not very promising. Apparitions and hallucinations are reviewed to determine how much credence can be placed in reports of ghosts. West considers the possibilities of fraud, mistaken identity, deceptive memory, expectancy and suggestion, chance coincidence, insanity, and subjective hallucination. He also examines the evidential quality of the cases published by the SPR, which he judges mediocre at best. Concludes with various suggestions as to what would constitute evidence more conclusive than that already obtained. W. H. Salter (pp. 301-5) argues that the SPR’s early work in spontaneous cases is relatively free of serious flaw, researchers being alive to the weaknesses inherent in reports of unusual occurrences. He suggests that they differed so much in their respective attitudes toward the material that their biases, if any, cancelled each other out. He concludes that the work of the SPR stands up rather well to adverse criticism. PsiLine CORRESPONDENCE, Journal 34, 1948, pp. 306-8. spontaneous psi/theory/methodology

Strong, L.A.G. THE ART OF PSYCHICAL RESEARCH, Journal 34, 1948, p. 247. Argues that both laboratory tests and the study of spontaneous phenomena are necessary to psychic research. spontaneous psi/experiments/theory/methodology

Murphy, Gardner. PSYCHICAL RESEARCH AND PERSONALITY, Proceedings 49, 1949, pp. 1-15. Reflects on the relation between the study of personality and the subject matter of psychical research, finding much common ground. Murphy begins with Myers’s conception of personality as an integration, of which only a limited portion appears at a conscious level. Acknowledging that paranormal powers may be a general human faculty, he asks whether it is true of all humans, arguing that the evidence suggests that the phenomena of psychical research should be treated generically, rather than as the product of a few gifted individuals. He goes on to consider what personality characteristics make individuals susceptible of psychical abilities. He goes on to outline the value of psychological and psychoanalytical research to a full understanding of psychism. psi/theory/methodology

Wilson, A.J.C. HOW DO BIRDS NAVIGATE?, Journal 35, 1949, pp. 30-36. Examines four theories to account for the ability of migrating birds to find their way over large distances: visual, kinesthetic, electromagnetic, and psychic. Points out difficulties with the visual explanation, rejects the kinesthetic as impractical, and shows that experiments to test the validity of the electromagnetic theory were inconclusive. Does not suggest any psychic mechanism but concludes that the phenomenon is still unexplained. Wilson, A.J.C. HOW DO BIRDS NAVIGATE? A REVIEW OF FURTHER EXPERIMENTS, Journal 36, 1951, Journal 35, 1949, pp. 521-2. animal psi/theory

Hardy, A.C. TELEPATHY AND EVOLUTIONARY THEORY, Journal 35, 1950, pp. 225-38. Argues from evidence of telepathy that ideas such as those of Lamarck and Samuel Butler, rejected by Darwinian proponents of purely mechanistic evolution, may after all have some basis in truth. CORRESPONDENCE, pp. 315-6. theory/telepathy

Plesch, P.H. PSYCHICAL RESEARCH AS SEEN BY A PHYSICAL CHEMIST, Journal 35, 1950, pp. 272-83. Argues that physics and biology are more likely to bear fruit than psychology in understanding psychic phenomena. With reference to Whately Carington’s Association Theory of telepathy, the author proposes the existence of ‘psi fields’ associated with every living organism, also structured in beings of classes or groups and as part of a whole. theory/telepathy

Soal, S.G. SOME ASPECTS OF EXTRA-SENSORY PERCEPTION, Proceedings 49, 1951, pp. 131-53. Discusses the scientific acceptance of parapsychological findings, arguing that many well-controlled experiments, by independent investigators dealing with specific problems regarding ESP, will have more influence than efforts, however rigorous, confined to a mere demonstration of the existence of the faculty. Soal questions whether any natural phenomenon can it be said to have been successfully established until something is known of the conditions in which it takes place. Soal discusses the criticisms that have been made of the data of parapsychology, and argues that 95 per cent of present-day attacks on ESP are either uninformed criticism by persons who have never made any competent study of the experimental reports of the past thirty years or blind irrational prejudice by writers who merely dislike the subject and its implications. Soal then responds in detail to a recent critique of ESP entitled ‘Rhine or Reason’ by John McLeish (Modern Quarterly, Autumn, 1950). He also discusses the displacement effect, Carington’s ‘psychon’ theory, and examines and criticizes the evidence for clairvoyance. PsiLine psi/theory/methodology

Tyrrell, G.N.M. A DECISIVE FACTOR IN THE ASSESSMENT OF EVIDENCE, Journal 36, 1951, pp. 355-61. Comments on the irrational behaviour of sceptics confronted with the evidence of psychical research. psi/theory

Knight, Margaret. REVIEWS ‘THE THEORETICAL IMPLICATIONS OF TELEPATHY’, Journal 36, 1951, pp. 429-31. Speculations prompted by recent successful telepathy experiments. telepathy/experiments/theory

Smythies, J.R. THE EXTENSION OF MIND: A NEW THEORETICAL BASIS FOR PSI PHENOMENA, Journal 36, 1951, pp. 477-502. Author’s abstract: The results of the recent experiments in parapsychology cannot be fitted into any current scientific theory. This suggests that the fundamental assumptions, on which natural science is based, should be reconsidered and possibly revised. The aim of this paper is to examine some of these fundamental assumptions, and to suggest a series of alternative assumptions which give a more coherent account of the universe and the place of the conscious mind in it. We can then account satisfactorily for the facts of parapsychology. Price, H.H. et al. COMMENTS, pp. 537-70. Salter, W.H. QUALITATIVE MATERIAL AND THEORIES OF PSI PHENOMENA, pp. 630-33. Points out that Smythies and his critics tend to focus on quantitative results, ignoring the advantages of qualitative material. CORRESPONDENCE, p. 736; Journal 37, 1954, pp. 295-7. psi/physics/theory

Wilson, Richard. PREJUDICE, Journal 36, 1951, pp. 532-4. Mathemetical proof that the critics of parapsychology will never be satisfied. psi/theory

Murray, Gilbert. PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS [1952] Proceedings 49, 1952, pp. 155-169. Reviews the history of human-kind’s attitude toward the paranormal, providing illustrations of both strong belief and disbelief, with plausible reasons for each. Finds little ground for accepting most commonly reported wonders, but finds the experimental work of Soal and Rhine to be impeccable. Finds the evidence for precognition and psychokinesis difficult to accept because they are so far outside what science and common sense deem possible. Telepathy he finds more acceptable, primarily on the ground of personal experience. Reviewing the experiments in which he took part as subject, the author can find no explanation short of thought-transference that makes sense. Agrees with Bergson that there is a store of vague, undifferentiated sensitivity belonging to all gregarious creatures, which is then ‘canalised’ into clearer and more efficient forms as the creature develops definite sense organs. Views telepathy as a part of this undifferentiated sensitivity. PsiLine SPR matters/psi/telepathy/theory

Flew, Antony. ESP AS GUESSWORK, Journal 36, 1952, pp. 634-5. A sceptic suggests that ESP is not a species either of cognition or perception but a kind of guesswork. CORRESPONDENCE, p. 695. psi/theory

Salter, W.H. THREE SCORE YEARS AND TEN: THE SPR 1882-1952, Journal 36, 1952, pp. 639-45. Short review of the Society’s investigations. SPR matters/psi/methodology

Dalton, G.F. THE SOLUTION OF PROBLEMS IN DREAMS, Journal 36, 1952, pp. 645-74. Author’s summary: Brief accounts are given of a number of dreams in which problems are solved, or (as a special case) lost articles found. A general description of such dreams is given. All of them are wish-fulfillment or anxiety dreams, and the dream-figures which appear in some do so as a part of the wish or the anxiety. The wish-fulfillment principle is further used to account for the fact that the lost-article dream usually shows the article as at the time of finding, not of losing. In some cases there is a precognitive element, although the essential information is obtained through retrocognition; to explain these the hypothesis of a double dream is put forward. In some cases where the dreamer is not the loser of the article ... there must be a telepathic communication; the difficulty of locating this at any moment of ordinary time is considered, and it is concluded that communication takes place between four-dimensional entities. It is shown that clairvoyance is not a necessary hypothesis, retrocognition, telepathy, and precognition being sufficient to explain all the facts. In cases not concerned with lost articles ... the prima facie conclusion is that much intellectual work must have taken place in sleep. The incongruity of this with the general habits of the dreaming mind is pointed out, and it is suggested that here too there may be a precognitive element. In conclusion, the ‘solution’ dream is compared with other psychological events, including religious conversion. psi/dreams/theory

Lossky, N. EXTRASENSORY PERCEPTION AND PSYCHOKINESIS: AN EXPLANATION IN TERMS OF INTUIVIST EPISTEMOLOGY AND PERSONALIST METAPHYSICS, Journal 36, 1952, pp. 702-8. A philosophical investigation based on personalism, the theory that the world consists of actual and potential individual centres of consciousness. CORRESPONDENCE, Journal 37, 1953, pp. 75-8. psi/theory

Blunden, Jessie. RESISTANCE IN ESP EXPERIMENTS, Journal 36, 1952, pp. 739-41. Comment on the intrusion of fear in contemplating or experimenting with psychic matters. psi/personality/theory

Murphy, Gardner. PSYCHOLOGY AND PSYCHICAL RESEARCH, Proceedings 50, 1953, pp. 26-49. Makes five points: that official psychology ignores psychical research; that despite this fact all the problems of psychical research present psychological aspects; that all the problems of psychical research likewise present non-psychological aspects; that technical psychology is already being put to work in psychical research; and that the discovery of the nature of the non-psychological processes at work is a problem not soluble by speculation even of the most brilliant kind, but only by a long series of research studies. PsiLine psi/theory

Mcconnell, R.A. TRAINING FOR RESEARCH IN PARAPSYCHOLOGY, Journal 37, 1953, pp. 40-41. Argues that as psi phenomena are more, not less difficult than other problems in modern physics, training is required for their study. psi/theory/physics

Chesters, Denis. COSMOLOGY AND PSYCHICAL RESEARCH, Journal 37, 1953, p. 81. Briefly contests the claim that telepathic communication is instantaneous and not impaired by distance (letter). CORRESPONDENCE, Journal 37, 1953-4, p. 180-81, 214-6, 256-7, Journal 37, 1954, p. 297. theory/telepathy

Fry, Agnes. NON-CAUSAL SYNCHRONICITY, Journal 37, 1953, pp. 81-2. Briefly questions the use of the term ‘non-causal synchronicity’ (letter). coincidences/theory

Beck, Theodore Toulon. ESP ABILITY AND HORMONE TREATMENT, Journal 37, 1953, pp. 112-4. Infers from the fact that a preponderance of mediums and psychics are women that hormone treatment may be conducive to psi. CORRESPONDENCE, pp. 216-7. psi/theory

Parker-Rhodes, A.F. ON CAUSATION IN PSI PHENOMENA, Journal 37, 1953, pp. 85-9. Explores the links between psi and the quantum behaviour of particles. psi/theory/physics

Wasserman, G.D. THE INTERPRETATION OF EXPERIMENTS, Journal 37, 1953, pp. 181-4. Exposes sceptical bias in reviews of books on psychic research. psi/theory

Hardy, A.C. BIOLOGY AND PSYCHICAL RESEARCH, Proceedings 50, 1954, pp. 96-134. Reviews the evidence for telepathy and its bearing on the study of the physical and chemical properties of the animal body. Hardy considers the remarkable adaptive capacities displayed by some species and the explanatory theories put forward, arguing that these do not account for the whole of the bodily evolution of animals. He suggests that members of a species telepathically share a design of form and behavior as a sort of psychic ‘blueprint’. This ‘plan of life’ sets a selecting-standard for each species, and individual members that do not meet it tend to be eliminated in the struggle for existence. It might slowly change as the population is modified by external selection, gradually transforming itself in accordance with the unconsciously shared experience of all members of the race. Hardy concludes by applying this concept to humankind, finding that the notion of an extraphysical influence explains much that is mysterious from the standpoint of ordinary biology. PsiLine psi/theory

Stratton, F.J.M. PSYCHICAL RESEARCH A LIFELONG INTEREST, Proceedings 50, 1954, pp. 135-52. A brief account of the author’s involvement with psychical research. Describes the personalities and chief works of some of the persons he knew that were active in the work, including E.M. Sidgwick, Margaret Verrall, Oliver Lodge, and Alice Johnson. Expresses his views on the value of well-evidenced spontaneous cases, primarily hauntings, and recommends continuing to collect such accounts as being of equal value with the quantitative studies of Rhine and Soal. Also discusses why psychical research has been given such a hard time by conventional scientists. PsiLine psi/theory

Dalton, G.F. SERIALISM AND THE UNCONSCIOUS, Journal 37, 1954, pp. 225-35. Applies Dunne’s theory of Serialism to account for psychological phenomena arising in cases of hypnosis, multiple personality, amnesia, etc. CORRESPONDENCE, pp. 312-20, 358-61, 390-99; Journal 38, 1955, pp. 43-6. theory/precognition/dreams/personality/hypnosis

Underwood, V.P. DO WE KNOW WHAT WE ARE LOOKING FOR?, Journal 37, 1954, pp. 362-6. Examines the aims of psychical research. CORRESPONDENCE, p. 399. psi/theory

Nash, Carroll. THE PK MECHANISM, Journal 38, 1955, pp. 8-11. Briefly discusses the question of whether or not PK is a physical force. theory/psychokinesis

Lambert, G.W. THE USE OF EVIDENCE IN PSYCHICAL RESEARCH, Proceedings 50, 1956, pp. 275-93. Discusses the use of testimony in psychical research. Lists points to consider, such as the possibility of observational errors or mistaken inference, the percipient’s mental background, and later distortions due to rationalization, faults of memory, and exaggeration. Lambert argues that the difficulties involved are matched by opportunities offered for understanding the phenomena, with reference to his ‘underground water’ theory of poltergeists which, when adequately observed and understood, he believes will clear the ground for the study of real problems in psychical research. psi/theory/poltergeist

Whiteman, J.H. THE PROCESS OF SEPARATION AND RETURN IN EXPERIENCES FULLY OUT OF THE BODY’, Proceedings 50, 1956, pp. 240-74. Discusses the process of separation and return in the out-of-body experiences, mostly the author’s own.   Whiteman reviews the state of body and mind during separation and the various conditions under which separation occurs, with numerous illustrations of each. He notes a difference in structure between free personal consciousness in a separated state, and the normal state of personality when immersed in the world. Concludes that the process of separation is essentially a simplification of the physical personality, a sloughing-off of some or all of the improperly harmonized elements in it. (Reprinted, with slight revisions, in J.H.M. Whiteman, The Mystical Life, London: Faber & Faber, 1961). out of body experiences/theory

Zorab, G. THE USE OF THE WORD ‘PARANORMAL’ IN MEDICINE, Journal 38, 1956, pp. 212-5. Points out that the term ‘paranormal’ is increasingly used to describe unusual or seemingly mysterious occurrences, and argues that its meaning needs to be sharply defined. psi/theory

Denbigh, K.G. NON-LOCALISATION AS A MODEL FOR TELEPATHY, Journal 38, 1956, pp. 237-44. Suggests a parallel between the development of psychical research as a science and that of quantum mechanics. CORRESPONDENCE, pp. 389-92. psi/theory/physics

Dalton, G.F. OPERATIVE FACTORS IN SPONTANEOUS TELEPATHY, Journal 38, 1956, pp. 287-319. Author’s Abstract: From Phantasms of the Living and other sources, 124 cases are selected by elimination of (1) experimental cases, (2) those of lower evidential value, and (3) those which are possibly precognitive. The selected cases are analysed in respect of : (1) the sensitivity of the percipient, (2) his state at the time, (3) and 4) the efficacy and state of the agent, (5 and 6) the orientation of each, (7) the linkage between them, (8) the intensity of the experience, and (9) the information conveyed. The following conclusions are reached: 1. The fundamental process in spontaneous telepathy is the transference to the percipient of a psychical experience of the agent. 2. In death cases, the agent’s experience occurs after death, is of great intensity, and is connected with the loss of the body. 3. collective cases are due to interaction between percipients under conditions of positive feedback, resulting in a building-up of the experience to great intensity. 4. Reciprocal cases may be due to the similar building-up of a common drama underlying the apparently separate experiences of the percipients. CORRESPONDENCE, pp. 332-4. telepathy/theory

Cox, W.E. THE INFLUENCE OF ‘APPLIED PSI’ UPON THE SEX OF OFFSPRING, Journal 39, 1957, pp. 65-78. Speculates that the yearning of parents of four children of one sex to have a child of the opposite sex might bring about a psi influence to that effect. The author seeks to verify this by consulting genealogical listings. He claims to find a suggestive trend after four girls but not after four boys. psychokinesis/theory

Robertson, L.C. THE LOGICAL AND SCIENTIFIC IMPLICATIONS OF PRECOGNITION - ASSUMING THIS TO BE ESTABLISHED STATISTICALLY FROM THE WORK OF CARD-GUESSING SUBJECTS, Journal 39, 1957, pp. 134-9. Philosophical analysis of the conceptual problems involved in precognition. CORRESPONDENCE, Journal 39, 1957, pp. 178-9. precognition/theory

Scott, Christopher G. SPENCER BROWN AND PROBABILITY: A CRITIQUE, Journal 39, 1957, pp. 217-34. Critical review of Spencer’s book Probability And Scientific Inference, described as ‘containing three serious arguments and a little conventional philosophy; the rest is, almost without exception, either erroneous, irrelevant or frivolous.’ CORRESPONDENCE, Journal 40, 1960, pp. 319-20. book review/psi/theory

Gregory, C.C.L. & Kohsen, Anita. A COSMOLOGICAL APPROACH TO A THEORY OF MENTAL IMAGES, Proceedings 52, 1958, pp. 33-52. Attempts to formulate a world view that does justice to the facts of physical science and psychical research. Pictures the universe as a growing, living organism, whose elements are inter-linked in a vast informational network. Explores how micro-events occurring at the quantum level of reality may be related to large-scale events at the perceptual level. Describes what may be going on at the quantum level when mental images are formed, finding it plausible that the suggested process, if carried far enough, might result in a large-scale ordering of matter in conformity with the images. Speculates that under certain conditions mental images might take on most of the qualities of ordinary objects, thus explaining accounts of apparent materializations. PsiLine consciousness/psi/physics/theory

Broad, C.D. DREAMING, AND SOME OF ITS IMPLICATIONS, Proceedings 52, 1959, pp. 53-78. A philosophical consideration of ordinary dreaming and how this may relate to certain psychical phenomena. Compares dreams and waking sense perceptions in relation to the external world and our perception of it. Argues that telepathy and clairvoyance exhibit both dream and non-dream characteristics, being veridical in the same way a normal veridical sense-perception corresponds with its object, but dreamlike in that the causal connections between the perceived object and the percipient’s brain are absent.   The case is similar with the out-of-body experience, which combines the characteristics of a peculiar dream with those of a normal sense-impressions, especially those that are both collective and reciprocal. Broad concludes from this that the notion of an ‘astral double’ is a working hypothesis worth serious consideration by critical psychical researchers. PsiLine dreams/clairvoyance/telepathy/out of body experiences/theory

Maddeley. ANECDOTE V EXPERIMENT, Journal 40, 1959, pp. 17-9. Compares the culture-science divide with the split in parapsychology between those who favour the experimental method and those who consider investigation into spontaneous cases. Points out the shortcomings of both: the qualitative analyst cannot confirm results by experiment, while anecdotes of spontanous phenomena are liable to be distorted by human errors. Recommends that the two be seen as complementary approaches. psi/experiments/methodology/theory

Heywood, Rosalind. [Correspondence], Journal 40, 1959, pp. 198-9. Letter commenting on the possible relevance of the classical belief in a link between psychism and seasonal factors. psi/theory

Thouless, R.H. WHERE DOES PARAPSYCHOLOGY GO NEXT?, Journal 40, 1960, pp. 207-19. Reviews the argument of G. Price, that significant ESP results can be attributed to fraud, and suggests ways of countering it. Instead of Price’s suggestion that the experiment be conducted with ESP cards in welded steel containers in front of a jury of strongly unbelieving scientists, Thouless proposes that a pool of high scoring subjects be put at the disposal of sceptics to investigate in a non-antagonistic way. He goes on to discuss ways in which subjects can be made to score at will, demonstrating repeatability. He then turns to the view propogated by Spencer Brown, that high ESP scores may be statistical artifacts of no signficance and suggests self-experimentation as a means of getting reliable ESP results. He concludes by affirming the repeated-guessing technique as the best hope of demonstrating psi to sceptics. psi/theory/methodology

Anon. TELEVISION BROADCASTS, Journal 40, 1960, pp. 308-11. Brief description of programmes dealing with paranormal topics: a sitting with a mental medium and ESP tests. psi/mentalmediumship/methodology

Smythies, J.R. THREE CLASSICAL THEORIES OF MIND, Journal 40, 1960, p. 385. Burt, Cyril. THEORIES OF MIND, Journal 41, 1961, pp. 55-60. Argues that the cognitive relations involved in psi are essentially of the same generic character as those or normal perception and normal thought, and that parapsychology must become a special branch of normal psychology. consciousness/theory

Roll, W.G. THE PROBLEM OF PRECOGNITION, Journal 41, 1961, pp. 115-28. Attempts to show that there is no need to suppose that the phenomenon called ‘precognition’ implies a reversal of the cause-effect relationship. The first part shows that experimental precognition results can be understood in terms of conventional psi processes assisted by biological mechanisms. In the second part the author discusses non-experimental cases in the light of a closer scrutiny of ESP and PK. He argues that the precognitive experience and the verifying event can be the two effects of the same psi forces. precognition/experiments/theory

Ducasse, C.J. et al. THE PROBLEM OF PRECOGNITION, COMMENTS ON W.G. ROLL’S PAPER, Journal 41, 1961, pp. 173-83. Points out the difficulties involved in Roll’s hypothesis. See: Roll, W.G. THE PROBLEM OF PRECOGNITION, Journal 41, 1961, pp. 115-28. precognition/experiments/theory

Dodds, E.R. EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH AT THE UNIVERSITIES AND IN THE SOCIETY, Proceedings 53, 1962, 247-63. Dodds relates how he became interested in parapsychology and describes the work of a psychical research society which he helped to found at Oxford University. He discusses the academic standing of psychical research and the possibilities for future development. He also looks at the SPR’s future role and concludes with some proposals for research. PsiLine psi/experiments/theory/methodology

Broad, C.D. SOME NOTES ON MR ROLL’S ‘THE PROBLEM OF PRECOGNITION’ AND ON THE COMMENTS EVOKED BY IT, Journal 41, 1962, pp. 225-34. Detailed consideration of both Roll’s arguments and the responses of Ducasse, Mundle and others, showing little enthusiasm for the PK hypothesis. See: Roll, W.G. THE PROBLEM OF PRECOGNITION, Journal 41, 1961, pp. 115-28, and Ducasse, C.J. et al. THE PROBLEM OF PRECOGNITION, COMMENTS ON W.G. ROLL’S PAPER, Journal 41, 1961, pp. 173-83. precognition/experiments/theory

Slomann, A. A PROJECTED DICTIONARY OF PARAPSYCHOLOGY, Journal 41, 1962, pp. 295-9. Proposes that parapsychology terms be standardised, offering suggested examples for ‘abnormal psychology’, ‘basic technique’, and ‘extrasensory perception’. psi/theory

Eisenbud, Jule. COMPOUND THEORIES OF PRECOGNITION, Journal 41, 1962, pp. 353-5. Argues that no one hypothesis is needed to cover all the facts, and that one which explains an important class or sub-class may be valid. See also: Broad, C.D. SOME NOTES ON MR ROLL’S ‘THE PROBLEM OF PRECOGNITION’ AND ON THE COMMENTS EVOKED BY IT, Journal 41, 1962, pp. 225-34., Ducasse, C.J. et al. THE PROBLEM OF PRECOGNITION, COMMENTS ON W.G. ROLL’S PAPER, Journal 41, 1961, pp. 173-83. Roll, W.G. THE PROBLEM OF PRECOGNITION, Journal 41, 1961, pp. 115-28. precognition/experiments/theory

Chari, C.T.K. W G ROLL’S PK AND PRECOGNITION HYPOTHESES, AN INDIAN PHILOSOPHER’S REACTIONS, Journal 41, 1962, pp. 417-22. Takes issue with Broad’s difficulty in accepting macro-PK. CORRESPONDENCE, Journal 41, 1962, pp. 265-6; Journal 42, 1963, pp. 85-6. See also: Broad, C.D. SOME NOTES ON MR ROLL’S ‘THE PROBLEM OF PRECOGNITION’ AND ON THE COMMENTS EVOKED BY IT, Journal 41, 1962, pp. 225-34. precognition/experiments/theory

Roll, W.G. THE PROBLEM OF PRECOGNITION, Journal 42, 1963, pp. 6-16. A restatement and defence of the author’s theory of precognition. Argues, against his critics, that the general theory is both intelligible and applicable to a wide range of cases. PsiLine Roll, W.G. THE PROBLEM OF PRECOGNITION, Journal 41, 1961, pp. 115-28., Broad, C.D. SOME NOTES ON MR ROLL’S ‘THE PROBLEM OF PRECOGNITION’ AND ON THE COMMENTS EVOKED BY IT, Journal 41, 1962, pp. 225-34., Eisenbud, Jule. COMPOUND THEORIES OF PRECOGNITION, Journal 41, 1962, pp. 353-5. precognition/experiments/theory

Gilbert, Mostyn. THE PROMOTION OF RESEARCH, Journal 42, 1963, pp. 38-9. Questions whether universities are yet ready to take over parapsychological research from the amateur psychical researchers. PsiLine CORRESPONDENCE, pp. 91-2, 202. psi/theory/methodology

Beloff, John. EXPLAINING THE PARANORMAL, Journal 42, 1963, pp. 101-14. An evaluation of five basic interpretations of the paranormal. The first seeks not so much to explain the paranormal as to explain it away as the product of human credulity and self-deception. The second approach regards the paranormal as real but devoid of any further scientific or philosophical significance, the phenomena simply being flukes in an otherwise well-ordered universe. The third regards the paranormal as evidence that the accepted principles and laws of conventional science need revision so as to include the paranormal. The fourth dominant approach uses the methods of natural science to demonstrate the existence of phenomena that testify to an entirely different order of reality, one that does not seem to belong to the world of mere objects and mechanical causation. A fifth viewpoint is that of Jung, who interpreted paranormal events as meaningful coincidences, the expression of a definite tendency in nature for coincidences to occur in conjunction with certain psychic states of the individual. Critically evaluates these various positions, concluding that the one which makes most sense is that of substantial dualism: the view that there is an essential distinction between the normal and the paranormal. PsiLine CORRESPONDENCE, pp. 326-7. psi/theory/coincidences

Pozwolski, Alexandre. TELEPATHY AND ELECTROMAGNETIC THEORY, Journal 43, 1965, pp. 1-5. An examination of the possibility that thoughts may be telepathically transmitted by an already known form of energy. Suggests a number of tests that would definitely solve the problem of the electromagnetic hypothesis in the transmission of thought at a distance. From the evidence on hand, though, it appears that telepathy at a distance is an extra-spatial phenomenon, not energetic in nature. PsiLine telepathy/theory

Dobbs, H.A.C. TIME AND EXTRASENSORY PERCEPTION, Proceedings 54, 1965, pp. 249-361. Rejects genuine precognition, in the sense of foreknowledge of a presently actual future, as logically impossible. In its place Dobbs substitutes an alternative Ostensible precognition,’ which he believes provides a logically consistent theory, better able to account for the facts than existing theories. This involves an additional time dimension and the so-called ‘probability’ amplitudes’ of quantum physics expressed by complex numbers. The causal mechanism for ostensible precognition is then found in the direct stimulation of the central nervous system of a human being by particles of mathematically imaginary energy, emanating from exceptionally strong probability amplitudes. PsiLine CORRECTION, pp. 387-8. Journal 43, 1966, pp. 249-361. precognition/physics/theory

Hardy, Alister. PSYCHICAL RESEARCH AND CIVILIZATION: Presidential address, 1966, Proceedings 55, 1966, pp. 1-21. Reviews historical events and men that influenced psychic research, arguing that it has an important bearing on the future of civilization. Hardy offers examples of the survival of human personality after death, adding that this phenomenon should be approached with an open mind. PsiLine psi/theory/methodology

Whitely C.H. THE AWARENESS OF OBJECTIVE PROBABILITIES, Journal 43, 1966, pp. 255-6. Whiteley, C. H. Argues that to know that an event of a certain type is more probable than not, or has a certain probability, facts of two kinds must be known: first, some particular set of circumstances Y, and second, the statistical fact that circumstances of type Yare associated with events of type ? more often than not. Successful recognition presupposes that the percipient know these statistical facts, without which no representation of any actual physical state would enable him or her to predict anything. PsiLine psi/methodology

Dobbs, H.A.C. REPLY TO DR WHITELEY, Journal 43, 1966, pp. 257-63. Contends that his theory is not that an ostensible precognition of X consists of knowing that an event of the type X is more probable than not, or has a certain probability; rather, on the author’s theory, ‘to have an ostensible precognition of X is to have a ‘precast of X,’ at a time T[subO] when an X-like event has not yet happened, but when the occurrence, at a later time T[subl], of an X-like event has in fact a very high objective probability of happening. Unpacks what this means in terms of physics, epistemology, and the representative theory of perception. PsiLine theory/precognition/physics

Burt, Cyril. EVOLUTION AND PARAPSYCHOLOGY, Journal 43, 1966, pp. 391-422. A consideration of some of the implications of Sir Alister Hardy’s first series of Gifford Lectures, published as THE LIVING STREAM (1965), upon the elusive problems of parapsychology. Describes in some detail the criticisms urged by Hardy and others against the prevailing theory of mechanistic evolution, arguing that it is this theory, above all others, which constitutes the main obstacle to psychical research and to the tentative conclusions to which such research apparently points. The special importance Hardy assigns to consciousness in the process of animal evolution is also stressed as a necessar prolegomenon to the hypothesis of paranormal processes. Concludes with a summary of the author’s views on natural theology, together with a consideration of how these views relate to the concepts and methods of science and psychical research. PsiLine psi/theory

Klip, Willem. THE INTERPRETATION OF THE QUANTUM THEORY, Journal 43, 1966, pp. 441-2. Suggests a method of investigation of precognition based on quantum processes. methodology/theory/precognition/physics

Haynes, Renée. ESP AND PAINS, Journal 44, 1967, pp. 49-50. Suggests that conscious experience of ESP may be associated with a low pain threshold and that migraine sufferers may show a particularly high ESP capacity. PsiLine psi/theory

Rushton, W.A.H. FIRST SIGHT SECOND SIGHT, Proceedings 55, 1971, pp. 177-88. Proposes that sensory perception and extrasensory perception - ‘first sight’ and ‘second sight’ - are equally astonishing. The author compares ESP with means of obtaining information via the sense organs. He discusses the split brain and its relevance to ESP. He points out: ‘Though released from the limitations imposed by the senses, extrasensory perception is not a new kind of perception, only a very imperfect performance of the old kind.’ In comparison with the senses, ESP is trivial in substance and incompetent in performance. He says he cannot believe we could not catch information much better if we wanted to, which may mean we prefer not to. Perhaps our personal integrity rests as delicately upon the information we take in from outside as do our own individual proteins. We filter information with our sense organs and build our mentality in our own way from these elements of experience. Information seeking entry by extrasensory paths is almost completely kept out, and any successful entry quickly builds immunity against the like occurring again. PsiLine psi/theory

Heywood, Rosalind. [LETTER FROM SIR CYRIL BURT], Journal 46, 1971, p. 78. Recollections of the First International Congress of Psychology held in Paris in 1889, suggesting that at this time the discipline was sympathetic to psychical research. psi/theory

Randall, John L. PSI PHENOMENA AND BIOLOGICAL THEORY, Journal 46, 1971, pp. 151-65. Psi must have a place in the natural world.   Most biologists consider the origin of life to have been essentially mechanistic. However some disagree, arguing that a purely chance origin of life is highly improbable, and that life violates the law of entropy in requiring organizing forces. The orthodox view is that evolution is accomplished by natural selection operating on random mutations. Arguments of shape and homologous organs are not valid; also, mutations cannot account for the increasing complexity of evolving organisms nor random factors for the increasing order of the living world. The problem then is (1) to account for the great information increases required in life processes and (2) to provide an overall plan for the nature of the organism. By definition, psi is an information input without physical energy (presumably on the assumption that all energy must be physical). Living matter means tremendous increase of information plus organizing force. PK is an organizing force. The following postulates are suggested to account for the phenomena: 1. An entity (call it the psi-factor) distinct from matter but interacting with it. 2.The psi-factor when operating disrupts the second law of thermodynamics (that all physical systems tend toward a state of maximum disorder). 3. Psi interaction produces an increase of information without physical cause. 4. Psi interaction with the physical world was a factor in the origin of life. 5. Self-regulating tendencies of organisms reduce the need for operation of the psi-factor in evolution. 6. Most organisms may need the psi-factor only in crisis. If psi means demonstration of ‘vital force,’ man, associated with the psi field, can affect biological systems by psi and may be capable of imparting information by psi to other biological systems. PsiLine CORRESPONDENCE, 2nd section, pp. 48-9. psi/theory/physics

Nicol, Fraser. THE FOUNDERS OF THE SPR, Proceedings 55, 1972, pp. 341-67. Review of Alan Gauld’s The Founders Of Psychical Research, with reflections on the history of psychical research. The circumstances leading to the founding of the SPR are described, its initial activities, and the individuals who participated. Sections of the paper are devoted to William Eglinton, Helena Blavatsky, Eusapia Palladino, Leonora Piper and Rosalie Thompson, and the theories of F.W.H. Myers. G.W. Lambert (pp. 368-9) takes issue with the statement that the SPR’s founders were spiritualists, arguing that they were in fact scholars and scientists. PsiLine psi/theory

Tart, Charles T. CONCERNING THE SCIENTIFIC STUDY OF THE HUMAN AURA, Journal 46, 1972, pp. 1-21. Discusses methodological issues and distinguishes various theoretical types of aura. Conceptualisations of the aura include (a) physical ‘matter or energy fields that immediately surround the target person’ (b) psychological or phenomenological ‘mental’ concept that ‘something’ occupies the space immediately around a person.’ (c) psychical ‘a thing that ‘exists’ in the space immediately surrounding the target person.’ And (d) projected ‘something... which exists only in the mind of the O.’ Also discussed are empirical questions concerning completed and future research; individual variability within aura types; dimensions of differences and their causes; and detectability, measurement and function of auras. PsiLine CORRESPONDENCE, pp. 171-2. aura/theory

Mundle, C.W.K. STRANGE FACTS IN SEARCH OF A THEORY, Proceedings 56, 1973, pp. 1-20. Points out that psychical research originated as a theory in search of facts that would confirm it, but argues that the phenomena put forward by researchers do not, as they hoped, provide evidence for dualism. Mundle doubts scientists - particularly psychologists and biologists - can be persuaded by explanations given in terms of metaphysical theories rather than verifiable hypotheses. To avoid scaring them off, he suggests it might be best to follow Sidgwick’s maxim that we should ‘ascertain the facts ... without any foregone conclusions as to their nature.’ PsiLine CORRESPONDENCE, Journal 47, 1973, pp. 123-4, 206-7. psi/theory

Gregory, Anita. ETHICS AND PSYCHICAL RESEARCH, Journal 47, 1974, pp. 283-305. Proposes establishment of a code for psychical research which would require accurate recording of data and clarification of the mutual obligations of research workers. Some of the moral problems that arise in research,and other issues such as confidentiality, sensationalism in the media, and the proper circumstances for publication are examined. PsiLine psi/methodology

Phelps, Margaret M. [PHYSICAL BASIS OF ESP], Journal 47, 1974, pp. 342-3. Briefly explores the idea that ESP evolved as a physical sense. psi/theory

Orme, J.E. PRECOGNITION AND TIME, Journal 47, 1974, pp. 351-65. Notes that in precognitive experiences temporal distance is a major variable: events in the next few days are more often foreseen than those more distant in time. The author asks: Why do we tend to precognise a trivial event instead of an important one? In order to answer this and other questions, large-scale, cumulative fact-finding and a systematic ordering of these facts are required. To understand precognition and hopefully other paranormal phenomena, a drastic change may be required in our standard views of the nature of time and more generally, the nature of behaviour and experience. PsiLine CORRESPONDENCE, pp. 526-31; Journal 48, 1975, pp. 55-6. theory/precognition

Brookes-Smith, Colin. [DEEP-SEATED EMOTIONAL REACTION TO PARANORMALITY], Journal 47, 1974, pp. 532-8. See Spedding, Frank, pp. 277-9. Attempts to answer a correspondent’s doubts about the validity of the idea of deep-seated emotional reaction to paranormality, quoting examples from current literature and the PK experiments of Batcheldor. psi/theory

Beloff, John. ON TRYING TO MAKE SENSE OF THE PARANORMAL, Proceedings 56, 1976, pp. 173-95. Argues that psi phenomena are best explained by a dualistic view of the brain as a mechanism operated psychokinetically by the mind. Psi phenomena appear when the mind by-passes the brain and operates directly on the environment. The mind apparently has two principal properties: transcendence, in being free from constraints of space, time, matter, and energy; and intentionality, in being purposive in its interactions with the material world. Thus the mind cannot be said to reside in the brain but is ‘nowhere’ in a spatial sense, being omnipresent. Mental images are not produced by brain processes as an epiphenomenon but are the factor which organizes the associated processes in the brain. Such an animistic position conflicts with present-day scientific materialism, but seems justified by paranormal observations. Historically, people have tried to accommodate psi phenomena within the belief systems of (a) religion or mysticism, (b) magic or sorcery, and (c) science. It is with the second of these that the phenomena show their greatest affinity. To dismiss these traditions as superstitious nonsense may be a mistake. Philosophy should allow for the coexistence of mind and matter without giving exaggerated importance to either one. PsiLine consciousness/psi/theory

West, D.J. THE PROBLEMS OF PROMOTING PSYCHICAL RESEARCH IN BRITAIN, Journal 48, 1976, pp. 261-8. [nb. This pagination appears twice in this volume-first go to page 364] The elusiveness, changeability and ill-defined nature of psychical phenomena account for much of the difficulty experienced in trying to sponsor research. Problems of funding in such an unorthodox field add to these problems, which in the end can only be resolved when investigators finally succeed in trapping the elusive psi phenomena long enough to make coherent observations and discoveries. Until that time arrives, however, progress will depend upon the foresight of private sponsors who have some faith that scientific method must ultimately triumph in this as yet unconquered field. PsiLine psi/methodology

Oram, Arthur T. HIERARCHICAL PSI, Journal 48, 1975-6, pp. 301-305. [nb. This pagination appears twice in this volume- first go to page 364]. A discussion of the plethora of choices and selected events that constitute the total experimental situation in the field of psychical research. At any point during this process psi could have an entry, so changing things as to dramatically affect the end result. In designing our experiments, therefore, it is well to be aware that our decisions about such matters as score sheets may prove, in the context of the total situation, to be themselves of possible psychic significance. PsiLine psi/theory/methodology

Nash, Carroll B. PSI AND THE MIND-BODY PROBLEM, Journal 48, 1976, pp. 267-70. Many metaphysical theories have been advanced about the relation relationship between mind and body. Considering these in the light of psychical phenomena may reveal their strengths or weaknesses and at the same time may clarify the nature of psi. Several concepts are discussed and found inadequate in terms of explaining psi phenomena. One theory, advanced by Spinoza, is found to be consistent with empirical parapsychological evidence. This theory postulates that mind and matter are dual aspects of a single neutral substance (the ‘tertium quid’) which is the underlying reality. The tertium quid does not have extension in public space and time, and thus information can be transmitted between its elements instantaneously and without physical energy. It is shown that this dual-aspect theory affords an adequate basis for such phenomena as apparitions, out-of-body experiences, and materializations, as well as ESP and PK. PsiLine consciousness/psi/theory

Parker-Rhodes, Frederick. CAUSALITY AND THE PARANORMAL, Journal 49, 1977, pp. 509-24. Contends that there is a definable ‘adiasemic situation,’ in which the human observer is blocked from the normal observation of the pattern of cause-and-effect. Events observed in this situation will be subjectively perceived as paranormal. In fact, all paranormal events must be experienced, if at all, in the adiasemic state, but some of them involve other complications for which no elucidation is offered. Two predictions are derived from these concepts: (a) that the paranormal must ultimately be dominant over the causal order, and (b) that paranormal events should exhibit the quality of spontaneity. Psi-Line CORRESPONDENCE, pp. 676-7; Journal 50, p. 418-9. psi/theory

Jones, John Spillman. [THEORY OF UNIVERSAL PROCESS], Journal 49, 1977, pp. 565-6. Suggests that books by Arthur M Young offer a consistent cosmology for psychical research. book review/psi/theory

Beloff, John. PSI PHENOMENA: CAUSAL VERSUS ACAUSAL INTERPRETATION, Journal 49, 1977, pp. 573-82. Discusses the meaning of the synchronicity relationship, or acausal connecting principle, as the force behind ‘coincidence,’ and examines how the understanding of that relationship can be useful when it is applied to psi phenomena. He raises two principal questions: What precise meaning can we attach to those expressions that may be used to characterize the essence of the synchronicity relationship such as ‘a meaningful coincidence ‘(Jung), ‘confluential events’ (Koestler), ‘seriality’ (Kammerer) etc.? Secondly, assuming that we can give a clear meaning to this concept, how useful or illuminating is it when applied to the sort of events that we now designate as ‘psi phenomena’? PsiLine CORRESPONDENCE, Journal 49, 1978, pp. 766-7, 904-6. psi/coincidences/theory

LeShan, Lawrence. THE PURPOSE OF PSI, Journal 49, 1977, pp. 637-43. The problem of what sort of information psi is organized to transmit best has received little direct attention from workers in the area. Is psi, like our senses, designed to handle similar sorts of information for everybody, or are we dealing with a modality which communicates one sort of information best for one person and another sort for somebody else? Unless we are clear about our assumptions on this matter, not only shall we be unable to test them for truth, but they will influence our behaviour as parapsychologists in ways we are not aware of and might not approve of if we were. PsiLine psi/theory

Ellison, A.J. MIND, BELIEF AND PSYCHICAL RESEARCH, Proceedings 56, 1978, pp. 236-49. Suggests parapsychologists explore psi-conducive states in themselves rather than looking for psi in others. Techniques might include bio-feedback, raja yoga, and other Eastern techniques. Theosophical literature is also a rich source of techniques and ideas. Ellison also cautions against excessive dependence on random numbers as a basis for psi research. He feels that it is important to consider the role of the mind and its state in regard to physical events. He advocates repeating Batcheldor’s work and that of Owen and the Philip group in Toronto. He also discusses the importance of research into psychic healing and out-of-body experiences. PsiLine psi/theory/methodology

Nash, Carroll B. AURA, KIRLIAN PHOTOGRAPHY AND ACUPUNCTURE, Journal 49, 1978, pp. 764-9. Argues that the aura seen by psychics is not an objective physical reality, but ‘a way in which the unconscious mind of the psychic presents to his consciousness paranormal information concerning the individual observed’. aura/photography/healing/theory

Gruber, Elmar R. HANS DRIESCH AND THE CONCEPT OF SPIRITISM, Journal 49, 1978, pp. 861-74. Hans Driesch, over a number of years, moved from a ‘machine theory of life’ to a frankly vitalistic view of the morphogenetic laws which regulate and shape life processes. He also became increasingly aware of the relevance of paranormal phenomena to biological phenomena, even to the point of positing some form of individual survival after bodily death. For reasons of scientific economy, the concepts of telepathy and clairvoyance ought to take precedence in our attempts to explain mediumistic phenomena, but he admitted that, in many cases, the spiritist hypothesis seemed to be more convenient. Later Driesch developed the idea of calling spiritism ‘monadism’ because he regarded the monad as a part of a superior unity persisting after death as a person or perhaps as a temporary personality comparable to secondary personalities in dissociation cases. He also tied in the spiritistic hypothesis with the data of psychometry by positing that the token object serves in some manner to connect two minds with one another so as to allow thought reading on the part of the medium, which in cases of deceased persons implies that the minds being read still exist. Driesch’s views on these and related matters were far from settled, especially on the subject of monadism, but his purpose was not to provide a unifying hypothesis that would tie up all the data in a neat package. Such a theory might someday come, but until then we can only continue to speculate, to suggest new ways of interpreting the data, and above all to collect and verify all the facts we can. This is a necessary first step before we can hope to catch a glimmer of what it all means. PsiLine psi/theory/survival

Gauld, Alan. PSYCHICAL RESEARCH IN CAMBRIDGE FROM THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY TO THE PRESENT, Journal 49, 1978, pp. 925-37. There is a stream of parapsychological endeavour which sprang up in Cambridge almost a century ago and still retains some impetus today. Several hundred years ago there was another powerful expression of Cambridge-centered parapsychological interest, involving such well known persons as John Worthington, Henry More, Jeremy Taylor, and Samuel Pepys. Even a cursory glance at their published letters and diaries shows that there was, in the second half of the seventeenth century, a serious and almost systematic attempt to collect and sift authenticated accounts of all sorts of psychic phenomena. Matthew Poole, for example, composed a document (hitherto unpublished) entitled An Essay For Recording Illustrious Providences in 1657, recommending systematic collection, attestation by the witnesses, investigation of the witnesses’ bona fides, and central registration and publication of the accounts. The most active of the Cambridge circle, though, was Henry More, who was especially interested in happenings that seemed to suggest the interaction of spiritual beings, angelic, demonic, or discarnate human, with the mundane world. He had introduced a considerable collection of such stories into his An Antidote Against Atheism (1653), and co-authored, with Joseph Glanvill, that most massive collection of ‘illustrious providences,’ Saducismus Triumphatus (1681). While at the outset somewhat credulous in his approach, More became progressively critical as a result of his investigations. Despite the differences between More and his circle, the Cambridge men who built up the SPR, and modern parapsychologists, all shared a sense of the strangeness and complexity which lies just below the surface of things, together with the firm conviction that the challenge which this strangeness and complexity make to the mind of man is to be met by rational and empirical inquiry rather than by, on the one hand, a naive love of the marvellous, or, on the other, a determined scepticism which resists all indications that some simplistic scheme of thought does not contain the whole truth about human nature and about our relation to the universe we live in. PsiLine psi/personality/methodology/theory

Grattan-Guinness, I. WHAT ARE COINCIDENCES?, Journal 49, 1978, pp. 949-55. A report and discussion of several meaningful coincidences that have befallen the author. From these and other examples, he comes to the following conclusions: (1) Coincidences appear as a kind of converse telepathy: instead of two people sharing the same event, two events are sharing the same person; (2) they are a residual category even among psychic phenomena, which themselves are a residual category relative to phenomena as a whole; (3) there is no overall or holistic explanation of coincidences; (4) persons prone to coincidence may have some particular way of experiencing them e.g., opening unread books at the right place; (5) all the theories tendered to explain coincidence are unfalsifiable including the synchronistic and psi hypotheses; (6) there are coincidences involving coincidences, which means that any explanation for coincidences has to posit coincidences as part of its ontology of events and states of affairs. PsiLine CORRESPONDENCE, Journal 50, 1979, p. 131. coincidences/theory

Lawden, D.F. A DOUBLE ASPECT THEORY, Journal 49, 1978, pp. 973-7. A theory is offered to provide a realistic compromise between a dualism which regards mind and matter as quite distinct entities having independent, though related, existences and an epiphenomalism which accords to mind the inferior status of a puppet controlled by its sovereign matter. The two facets of our psychophysical substratum are given equivalent status in the basic equations of the theory, although it is recognized that in certain situations the physical element will dominate, and in others the psychical element. Although there is an interaction between the two aspects of the psychophysical field, the physical state of the field does not determine its psychical state or vice versa. This, therefore, offers a balanced view of the mental and material aspects of our experience. PsiLine consciousness/psi/theory

Grosse, Maurice. [TECHNICAL JARGON], Journal 50, 1979, pp. 39-40. Appeals to academic researchers writing in the Journal either to use plain English or to provide a glossary for terms unlikely to be recognised by the layman. CORRESPONDENCE, p. 125, 195-6, 259; Journal 50, 1980, p. 322, 421; Journal 51, 1981, p. 260; Journal 52, 1983, pp. 90-91. Agreement, but also a suggestion that technical terms are often unavoidable in scientific research. psi/methodology

Thakur, Shivesh C. HIDDEN VARIABLES, BOOTSTRAPS AND BRAHMAN, Journal 50, 1979, pp. 135-48. Among recent attempts to provide an adequate theoretical foundation for paranormal phenomena, that of Evan Harris Walker has attracted a good deal of attention. The essence of his account lies in the identification of the ‘hidden variables’ of quantum theory with consciousness. Walker’s postulation of consciousness as the key factor in the determination of quantum processes is an ingenious and intriguing speculation, even if his working out of the theory is not completely coherent. Still, Walker’s formulation, suitably amended, gives some additional credence to the view that all the things and phenomena we perceive with our senses are but different aspects or manifestations of the same ultimate, non-physical reality,   it would seem that modern physics, like ancient mysticism, has dissolved the tricky problems of interactionism and physicalistic reductionism by discrediting the traditional definition of matter and the attendant perplexities involved in relating mind to matter. PsiLine consciousness/physics/theory

Green, Andrew M. [PARAPSYCHOLOGY ?-LEVEL COURSES FOR ADULTS], Journal 50, 1979, pp. 194-5. Progress report on parapsychology courses for adults in Tunbridge Wells and Folkstone, initially given welcome publicity by attacks from local fundamentalists, and now showing a shift of emphasis from PK and hauntings towards healing, UFOs and the scientific aspects of research. psi/psychokinesis/healing/theory

Parker-Rhodes, Frederick. BODY, MIND AND SOUL, Journal 50, 1979, pp. 238-43. There are three ‘planes’ that collectively make up reality as we know it: the physical, organic, and human (cultural) planes.   The various planes are not causally isolated, as some have held the two ‘worlds’ of dualism to be, but arise out of each other the human plane is epiphenomenal to the organic, which is in turn epiphenomenal to the physical. While we can study each plane without reference to the one beyond it for example, the physicist need not bother with biological matters, and the biologist can easily avoid attributing human traits to his objects of study each plane exhibits epiphenomena pointing to the plane above. Paranormal phenomena, which seem largely independent of space-time, suggest an effect impingement from another, thus far undiscovered place. PsiLine CORRESPONDENCE, Journal 50, 1980, pp. 418-9, 548-9. consciousness/personality/theory

Mcintosh, Alastair. [ALTERED STATES OF CONSCIOUSNESS], Journal 50, 1979, p. 258. The author writes: ‘May I suggest that the study of ASCS (altered states of consciousness) be termed ascology (with the A pronounced as in aim), and thus that one who specialises in the study of ASCs be known as an ascologist’. altered states/consciousness/theory/methodology

Beloff, John. COULD THERE BE A PHYSICAL EXPLANATION FOR PSI?, Journal 50, 1980, pp. 263-72. The author challenges the assumptions that mind-matter interactions can all ultimately be reduced to matter interactions. He argues that there can be no physical explanation for psi by first examining the presuppositions of the communication theory of psi and then those of the observational theories of psi. He rejects the ultimate reducibility of any of these theories to a physically based reality. Beloff does not claim to know of a better, non-physical explanation for the phenomena, rather, he leaves it in doubt whether there should be any explanation of psi in any sense of explanation that would be recognized as such by the exact sciences. PsiLine psi/theory

LeShan, L. & Margenau, H. AN APPROACH TO A SCIENCE OF PSYCHICAL RESEARCH, Journal 50, 1980, pp. 273-83. The authors propound a philosophical approach to parapsychological phenomena that focuses on those psi phenomena that are need determined rather than flaw determined; that is, psi that arises from the positive need of an individual to obtain information about an event or another individual, rather than psi that passes an inadequately functioning cognitive filter on its way to conscious apprehension of the information. Some of the hypotheses that follow from this philosophical approach are that psi occurrences are more frequent between individuals whose relationships have been cooperative rather than they are between individuals whose relationships have been competitive; that psi occurrences are more frequent in egalitarian than in authoritarian groups; that people who identify themselves as members of the same, important (to them) group will report psi occurrences between them more frequently than those who do not; that psi occurrences between two members of different social classes will be reported much less frequently than those between members of the same social class, unless the two individuals belong to a special group that includes both of them and is important to at least one of them; that a psi occurrence will be in keeping, both sociologically and psychologically, with the role that the ‘agent’ plays or has played in relation to the ‘percipient’; that psi occurrences are more likely to occur when the stability of an important relationship is threatened and communication is necessary to maintain it, but sensory modes of communication are blocked; that verbal communications preceding psi occurrences are more frequent, as in the Bayles system of verbal communication analysis, positive reactions, attempted answers, questions, or negative reactions; and that psi occurrences will tend to stabilize identity rather than to destabilize identity. PsiLine psi/theory

Cooper, Barbara. A NOTE ON CAUSALITY: MUST EFFECT FOLLOW CAUSE IN REAL TIME?, Journal 50, 1980, pp. 317-9. The author suggests that there is no real and absolute distinction between events in the future that can be predicted by humans and those that cannot. She contends that the human distinction between events in the future that can be known and acted upon and those that cannot is meaningless in nature. She proposes that if we can accept that future events may have present effects and that the effects may be perceived by sensitive subjects, then we would have some basis for understanding precognition. PsiLine precognition/theory

Rogo, D. Scott. THEORIES ABOUT PK: A CRITICAL EVALUATION, Journal 50, 1980, pp. 359-78. Over the years, several different theories about the nature of PK have been suggested. One basic controversy is whether we are entitled to conceptualise it as an energy, as the term is defined in western science, or as simply the direct translations of thought into physical actions. Both of these models are evaluated. It is also argued whether PK can be best understood as a purely mental force linked to the (nonmaterial) mind, or as a paraphysical force linked to and housed in the human physiology. Also considered are theories that PK is either a force which organizes and directs sources of pre-existing conventional energy or an impersonal force existing in the universe which is merely channelled through living organisms on occasion. In conclusion, it is argued that none of these theories can explain the range of PK effects and its behaviour under certain conditions. Instead, it is argued that we might possess a hierarchy of PK ‘forces,’ all of which may have intrinsically different natures. PsiLine psychokinesis/theory

Lawden, D.F. POSSIBLE PSYCHOKINETIC INTERACTIONS IN QUANTUM THEORY, Journal 50, 1980, pp. 399-407. Lawden discusses some possible solutions to the problem of the collapse of ‘state vectors’ or the possible influence of observation on that which is observed, keeping in mind the need to reconcile these theories to the experience of observers in the act of observation. Ultimately he accepts the commonsense hypothesis that there is a unique world, whose state has an objective reality largely independent of our perception of it, a hypothesis that forces him to conclude that, in certain circumstances, the conscious registering of the state of a system will disturb the system in a non-physical manner, or, in other words, that acts of observation induce psychokinetic interactions between minds and physical objects (therefore constituting a special case of the phenomenon of psychokinesis). On these grounds, Lawden contends that the postulation of a psychokinetic effect is the most promising line of approach for the resolution of the longstanding difficulties in interpreting quantum theory associated with the phenomena on the collapse of the wave packet. PsiLine CORRESPONDENCE, pp. 549-50; Journal 51, 1981, pp. 39-40, 113-4. psychokinesis/physics/theory

Gregory, Anita. [VERISIGN], Journal 50, 1980, p. 486. According to the FINANCIAL TIMES for June 4, 1980, p. 14. The author writes: ? signature verification technique known as ‘Verisign,’ originally developed at the National Physical Laboratory, has just been licensed, and is to be marketed by Transaction Security of Guildford. Handwriting involves unique physiological attributes, and this microprocessor based system is said to be a patented device for the automatic verification of personal identity by real-time analysis of writing style as exemplified by signature. As the pen moves, its position is digitised at frequent intervals, geometric and rhythmic properties being extracted and reduced to a unique and personal sequence of numbers which can be encoded onto an identification card. The writer who wishes to establish identity only has to sign again on a similar digitising pad, and the resultant digit sequence can be compared with the original specimen which is inserted into the machine. It is claimed that the system can take into account normal day-to-day variations in signature, style, and rhythm; this is necessary since people can produce different signatures in different states of mood, tension, and fatigue. The technique has also been successfully tested with large populations of signatures such as Arabic, Chinese, and Japanese. A technique such as this seems to offer new opportunities for survival research...’. PsiLine psi/methodology/survival

Spray, Martin. PSYCHICAL RESEARCH IN CHINA, Journal 50, 1980, pp. 547-8. Spray presents an item taken from a Chinese publication that mentions investigations by a Chinese scientist into ostensible paranormal abilities in Chinese persons. In addition, Spray mentions other similar investigations in China of which he had heard and speculates on Chinese interest in the topic as shown by these investigations. PsiLine psi/theory

Dingwall, Eric J.   LIGHT AND THE FARMER MYSTERY, Journal 51, 1981, pp. 22-5. In honour of the centenary of the British Spiritualist Journal, Light, Dingwall presents a brief history of the publication followed by a short biography of one of its editors, John Stephen Farmer. Dingwall discusses Farmer’s work in spiritualism and as an associate member of the SPR. Before the end of the nineteenth century, however, Farmer ceased to