NOW SERVING Psychedelic Culture

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What does meditation and ayahuasca have to do with precognition? Does Dr. James Carpenter’s First Sight theory of psi unlock the secrets of psychic potential? Is there a changing tide in the public’s perception of the skeptical sub-culture? Find out in this edition of Psi in the News.

I’m excited to announce that Craig Weiler, of the Weiler Psi Blog and Ex-TEDWestHollywood, and I will be co-hosting an upcoming Evolver webinar on psi and psychical experiences. We’re working on the details right now, and will be confirming dates and speakers soon! 

  • Friday, November 8th Larry Dossey will be presenting a talk at the Rhine Research Center on ONE MIND: How Our Mind Is Part of a Greater Consciousness and Why It Matters. For those who can’t make it to Durham, the Rhine talks are web-cast as well. (Rhine Research Center
  • Hilton Glasgow Grosvener Hotel will host the Scottish Society for Psychical Research National Conference on Saturday, November 9th. (Scottish Society for Psychical Research)  
  • The well known University of Chicago scholar, Ioan Couliano, stated in the final chapter of his classic work Eros & Magic in the Renaissance, that only time would tell if the environment was right for the survival of a very special sort of fly which had no wings, a symbol of the potential Gnostic revival that originally fell victim to secularism and religious dogma during the Enlightenment. In light of this, and the recent developments challenging the myopic focus of the skeptical sub-culture, the title of an upcoming talk by Dr. Jeffrey Kripal, author of Authors of the Impossible, is quite interesting. On Thursday Nov 14, 2013 he will be hosted by Lund University in Sweden for a talk on The Perfect Insect of the Imaginal: Frederic Myers and the Evolution of the Human Imagination. (Lund University
  • Saturday, November 16th the Rhine Research Center will be hosting an Evening of Possibilities, Interactive Demonstrations, and a Fundraising Auction. (Rhine Research Center
  • On November 23rd the Dutch Society for Psychical Research will be hosting Peter A. Bancel, Institut Métapsychique International, Paris, France, for a webinar to discuss his research into the results of the Global Consciousness Project, and presents a model for the ESP hypothesis and develop a model of field consciousness. (Dutch Society for Psychical Research)
  • U.K. based author and researcher, M.J. Wayland posted a link to an upcoming conference which demonstrates some of the unique ways that scholars are using historical accounts of anomalous experiences to explore the byways of progress more deeply. On the 29th and 30th of January, 2014  Florence Conference (European University Institute) will be hosting the Ghostly Europe (16th-17th centuries) conference, which will focus on knowledge production and cultural anxieties as seen through the framework of apparitional accounts and folk beliefs surrounding encounters with spirits. (Maison Française d'Oxford) 
  • Karolina Zychowicz,  a student at the University of Northampton, is conducted a study on Altered States of Consciousness and Precognition: Comparing Meditation and Ayahuasca and looking for volunteers to take part in an online series of questionnaires and experimental tasks. No experience with meditation of ayahuasca is necessary to participate. (University of North Hampton)
  • Parapsychological Association president Dr. James Carpenter’s recent talk on his First Sight theory of Psi at the University of West Georgia, presented for the Bill Roll Lecture series, is featured in Perspective magazine. (University of West Georgia
  • Further details on Dr. Carpenter’s ‘first sight’ theory of psi can be found in an article on the Weiler Psi Blog. (Weiler Psi Blog)
  • Dr. Carpenter also has a new blog post up which details his encounter with racial and academic prejudice during his early years working with pioneering parapsychologist J.B. Rhine, at Duke University. (First Sight)  
  • The 16th issue of Edge Science, the journal of the Society for Scientific Exploration is now available. (Society for Scientific Exploration
  • Greg Taylor, creator of the Daily Grail website and Darklore anthologies, has a new book out. Stop Worrying! There Probably is an Afterlife takes an in depth look at research into the possibility of life after death, and is one of the most concise introductions to the topic available. (Daily Grail
  • New York Times best selling author, Michael Prescott has a brief post up on the book, stating “I've read a lot of books on the evidence for life after death, but of them all, (this is) the one I would most recommend as a general, nontechnical introduction.” (Michael Prescott)
  • Further persuasion to enjoy the book can be found in a news item from November 1st, on the official Tool website which gives the book “4 thumbs up…two on the earthly plane, and two more in the hereafter!” 
  • The Bull City Brewery in Durham, North Carolina has created a beer called Rhine ESP (Ephemerally Spiced Pumpkin) in honor of the Rhine Research Center. (Bull City Brewery
  • Not all areas attendant to parapsychology have struck a stinging chord with TED’s scientific advisory panel. Here’s a link to a talk by research Tim Post on the science behind lucid dreaming at a TEDx event held at the University of Twente in the Netherlands. While no longer a subject of controversy, lucid dreaming was considered ‘fringe’ even into the 1990’s by many mainstream pundits of scientific orthodoxy. (Snoozon)
  • Even more surprising is this talk from a TEDx event in Brazil, TEDx AvCataratas,  which features Waldo Vieira, whose work developing the concept of Conscienciologia played a role in the development of the International Academy of Consciousness’ program for exploring Out of Body Experiences and an expanded concept of what is meant by the ‘mind.’ Vieira was at one time a close associate of Chico Xavier, a leading light in the development of Spiritism in Latin America, and it comes as a bit of a shock to see him featured at a recent TEDx event after the contentious exchange that occurred when Rupert Sheldrake and Graham Hancock’s talks were disavowed by the TED organization. (YouTube
  • Perhaps these are some further signs of what Craig Weiler, of the Weiler Psi Blog, is seeing as the “growing rejection of psi skepticism,” in the mainstream culture. (Weiler Psi Blog
  • Dr. Nancy Zingrone has created a video tour of the Online Library of Exploratory Science, an online library of works on scientific parapsychology. (YouTube
  • Carlos S. Alvarado, PhD, Visiting Scholar, Rhine Research Center, also has a post up detailing additional online resources for those looking to investigate resources focusing on scientific parapsychology. (Parapsychology: News, History, Research
  • The Bad Thinking blog gives us a round of bad thinking, and an example of why a lot of people are getting a bit tired of the skeptical sub-culture, in a post on how “paranormal proponents” misunderstand statistics. While ignoring people like Jessica Utts, a leading expert on statistics, and a supporter of psi research, we’re asked to assume that the level of statistical awareness that the blogger behind Bad Thinking encounters on message boards is par for the course in professional parapsychological research. Flawed rhetoric? Perhaps. (Bad Thinking
  • Chris French, of Goldsmiths University of London, provides a more rational skeptical approach in a recent podcast on the theme of Navigating the Anomalies: A Journey through the psychology of the unexplained. (Goldsmiths University of London
  • Another example of positive skepticism can be found in a recent article from Jesse Bering   written for Scientific American on the work of Ian Stevenson, whose book Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation is one of the few examples of scientific research into the question of re-birth. Controversial even within the field of parapsychology, it’s incredible to see a mainstream, skeptical science writer supporting a deeper look at Stevenson’s work based on the data. (Scientfiic American)  
  • Guy Lyon Playfair has a new piece up on the White Crow Books website which discussing anomalous experiences and Olympic twins. (White Crow Books
  • Historian Dr. Andreas Sommer, University of Cambridge, is looking for help naming his new book on “links between psychical research and professionalised psychology, which emerged simultaneously in the late nineteenth century.” (Forbidden Histories)
  • It has been 3 years since the publication of Robert McLuhan’s book, Randi’s Prize, and, in a recent post, he reflects on some of the responses garnered by his in depth look at the weaknesses prevalent in the skeptical sub-culture. (Paranormalia)
  • A recent article in the Frontiers in Neuroscience journal, with the daunting title of Fractionating the unitary notion of dissociation: disembodied but not embodied dissociative experiences are associated with exocentric perspective-taking, delves into the mysteries of Out of Body Experience. (Frontiers of Neuroscience
  • WCHS News meteorologist, Doug Harlow, has been writing a three part series focusing on ‘the medium and the magician,’ and exploring the early 20th century encounter between the medium, Elizabeth Blake,, and David Abbot, a magician, who investigated her claimed abilities. (WCHSTV
Note: Special thanks to Tom Ruffles, of the Society for Psychical Research, John Kruth, of the Rhine Research Center, and Jack Hunter, Editor at Paranthropology Journal, for a number of links included in this edition of Reality Sandwich’s Psi-in-the-News.

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    Section Editor of Limitless Mind, David is a researcher, writer and multimedia specialst focusing on the interstices of art, culture, and consciousness

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