Considered since its creation as a pseudo-science, parapsychology fell into disuse at the end of the decades to almost completely disappear from psychic research. The paranormal is directly inspired by research on the psychic phenomena of this pseudo-science. Even if parapsychology is still practiced in a small circle, especially in France, it is still a taboo subject that is misunderstood by those who practice the descendants of this ancient art.
(public domain credit, Charles Richet)
The very basis of parapsychology was metapsychological research, research made it possible to study paranormal phenomena but also psychic phenomena (mediumnity…) while keeping an objective and rational aspect. Invented by Professor Charles Richet, metapsychology took into account two factors: the objective factor (which can be proven by photographs, recorders and all other cameras) and the subjective factor (linked to extra-sensory talents, for example, clairvoyance but also telepathy).
Moreover, to this day still exists the international metapsychic institute (Paris) founded in 1919 by Jean Meyer, passionate about this extraordinary research). The term began to run out of steam and parapsychology arrived. Wishing to create statistical and semi-scientific research, Joseph Banks Rhine and Max Dessoir, the two researchers propose to directly assimilate metapsychic research in order to keep a rational and logical aspect while seeking to prove by various scientific means paranormal and psychic phenomena.
The experimentation of these phenomena thus passes by statistics but also by meticulous observations of the subjects that they call the subjects PSI (mystical phenomena of the psyche) by the means of psychology and physiological. Parapsychology deals with two main research topics:
- Extra-sensory phenomena (ESP) grouping abilities such as clairvoyance, precognition, telepathy, mediumnity
- Psychokinesia phenomena: Relating to paranormal research, and the effect of the psyche on matter (PK) or living organisms (BIO PK)
Often criticized by scientific scepticism or even questioned, parapsychology has never been able to officially demonstrate the scientific existence of research, nevertheless, parapsychology has been able to facilitate the understanding of the psyche (the soul) but also its action on our environment but especially the relationship it maintains with supernatural phenomena.
It has also made it possible to understand and analyse man’s extra-sensory capacities and in particular to highlight false PSI phenomena such as charlatanism but also the grouping of certain pathologies by psychological elements. Parapsychologists have also questioned some scientific research to seek other valid explanations. Science does not recognize parapsychology, which is why it is considered a pseudo-science. Despite everything, traditional science has nevertheless taken up the work of these same parapsychologists to prove theories, particularly in the search for near-death experiences and the existence of the soul.
(image credit :Daswortgewand)
Over time, some parapsychologists have chosen to stop looking for the PSI factor and focus solely on the psychological and scientific aspect, while others have chosen to favour this same factor by discarding scientific analyses in order to allow more dynamic research while promoting rationality.
This is how parapsychology then splits in two, losing sight of the original research on understanding these phenomena, in order to prove to scientific sceptics the well done research on the PSI factor. Unfortunately, this has hindered parapsychological research. Despite the criticisms of the sceptics, it is thanks to parapsychological research that cases of fraud of psychological capacities but also RSPK (poltergeist) phenomena have been brought to light. Indeed, often working with mentalists or illusionists, parapsychologists have managed to prove cases of forgery especially during the era of spiritualism. Despite this scepticism, parapsychology has nevertheless been able to shed light on different types of phenomena that science has not been able to demonstrate.
Parapsychology could also have highlighted the state of self-suggestion, that is to say that the mind also makes it possible to fabricate phenomena of haunting or psychic. Science has also been able to prove this evidence. Nevertheless, contrary to popular belief, parapsychology is not present to completely demystify irrational phenomena, it is present to discard them and put forward the rational aspect in order to subsequently work on what remains unexplainable.
Even if parapsychology remains theoretical, methodology and research have made it possible to validate the theories as logically as possible, sometimes for years, even if science continues to highlight the sceptical and debatable aspect of all parapsychological studies. Even if it happened to have parapsychologists closing their eyes to the cases of fraud (in particular the SPR, society for psychical research, famous for its famous names at its direction as in its team, of which Arthur Conan Doyle where Maurice Grosse, the SPR is especially known to have voluntarily closed the eyes on the false mediums or paranormal experiments) these cases must not be reflected on the whole of the protocolary searches, in fact, even if the results can appear draft. Parapsychology has made it possible to understand irrational phenomena that until then had been associated with religion and mysticism.
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