What does Parapsychology say about Dreams?

Parapsychology is a term coined by J.B. Rhine to refer to the experimental and quantitative study of paranormal phenomena. Now generally used instead of “psychical research” to refer to all scientific investigation of the paranormal. Much of this research has centred around the apparent ESP that happens during dreams.

This is a copyrighted extract from my book  Psychic Dreaming  by Craig Hamilton-Parker ( ISBN 1-4027-0474-7 Sterling Publishers 2004 )

Sigmund Freud, who is considered the father of modern psychiatry, proposed that dreams served as windows into the psyche and reveal unfulfilled wishes and desires expressed through symbolism. Nonetheless, he also believed that sometimes ESP occurs in dreams.  In 1925, Sigmund Freud created a scandal by writing in a memorandum to the members of his inner circle that he believed in mental telepathy and that he had undertaken tests that convinced him of the existence of such phenomena. Freud retracted and stated that “…my adherence to telepathy is my private affair like my Jewishness, my passion for smoking, and other things, and the theme of telepathy–inessential for psychoanalysis.” Nonetheless, Freud was so impressed by Cecil Murray’s report on telepathic experiments at the Society for Psychical Research that he was “prepared to give up my resistances to the existence of thought transference”.

Similarly the pioneering psychologist Carl Jung proposed the theory of spiritual archetypes that he believed occurred in dreams which came from the collective unconscious. In his autobiography Jung cites many instances of psychic dreams that clearly shows they were a recurrent influence in is life and work. The scientific communities resistance was such that he only dared write about them openly towards the end of his life as he drew closer to death.

Many scientists have viewed parapsychology with great suspicion because the term has come to be associated with a variety of supernatural phenomena and pseudoscience. Parapsychologists study “anomalous” phenomena – that is things that are difficult to explain within current scientific models. Generally this includes Extra Sensory Perception ESP, Psychokinesis PK, and phenomena suggestive of survival after bodily death, including, out of body experiences OOBE, near-death experiences NDE, apparitions, and reincarnation. Many of these themes may be experienced in dreams.

Important work in the field of psychic dreaming and altered states of consciousness during sleep has been done by the parapsychologists Ullman, Krippner, and Vaughan who conducted elaborate dream telepathy experiments during the 1970’s. if you are interested in the scientific basis for psychic dreaming their work is worth detailed  study.  I have already spoken about the pioneering work of Joseph Banks Rhine in the ESP section but others worthy of further reading include Eileen J. Garrett, Charles C Tart, Celia Green, Fred Alan Wolfe and Robert Moss. I have listed some of their best titles in the Bibliography.

Some psychologists today believe that dreams are nothing more than the mind’s way of allowing the emotions to calm down. Without them we would simply overheat. Dreams may be unnecessary bits of information being cleared from a person’s memory- just as a computer’s files are cleaned of unwanted data. Conversely, the ancients regarded sleep as a second life when the soul was freed from the body and had access to the past and future. The tide of scientific materialism is turning and today many researchers believe that dreams can have paranormal content. Like their ancient forefathers, they believe dreams may have a psychic element that reveals information about the past, present and future.

Parapsychology Research

Parapsychology Research

Parapsychology and Carl Jung

Carl Jung had many paranormal visions in dreams and many of these are recalled in his autobiography called Memories Dreams Reflections. Some of his most interesting dream visions happened towards the end of his life as he approached death. In one vivid dream he saw the ‘other Bollingen’ (his home beside the upper lake of Zürich) bathed in a glow of light, and a voice told him that it was completed and ready for habitation. The golden tower on ‘the other shore of the lake’ was now ready for him to move into.’  Jung died in Küsnacht, near Zürich, at a quarter to four on Tuesday afternoon, 6 June, 1961. An hour later, lightning struck a tall popular tree in his garden at the lake’s edge.

This is a copyrighted extract from my book  Psychic Dreaming  by Craig Hamilton-Parker ( ISBN 1-4027-0474-7 Sterling Publishers 2004 )

This is an extract from my new book

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