The Source of Psychical Phenomena


A massive field of inquiry…

Without doubt the subject for this post is quite possibly as massive as the field itself. Psychical Phenomena in my understanding quite literally stretches across the abyss of inquiry. Whether your interest is ESP or Ghosts, psychical phenomena covers it all. A quick ‘Google’ and you will note that psychical phenomena is that which appears to contradict physical laws and suggest the possibility of causation by mental processes. This also ties in parapsychology, anomalous communications, psychic communication and much more.

These days we are more familiar with terms like ‘paranormal’, ‘investigation’, ‘ghosts’,’spirits’, ‘EMF’, ‘EVP’, ‘infra-sound’; and lots more. Modern day Ghost Hunting with the assistance of many mainstream TV programmes has caused an explosion in the field, making Ghost Hunting a hugely popular hobby for many. Some even takeit further and it becomes a passion that fits within our well established human nature to discover more about the unknown. In fact at the centre of Ghost Hunting and indeed Paranormal Investigation to a degree is the ‘Hard Question’of Psychical Research, the Survival Hypothesis. Which looks at asking if our very consciousness may survive bodily death. That’s to say is our mortality restricted to our physical existence or could it reach far beyond. FWH Myers addressed this in his epic book ‘Human Personality, and Its Survival of Bodily Death’; which is an extensive read to say the least. However if you do take it on , then you will encounter a huge amount of information, which was published after Myers death in 1901. Information which actually gives us some very interesting possibilities in regards to psychical phenomena. Myers even ties in the concepts of genius and apparitions that appear at the time of death or important event.

Myers telepathy…

The point being, that Myers was addressing this very question over one hundred years ago and in my opinion had a fantastic stab at explaining the possible source of psychical phenomena. In fact it was on reading this book that the wider concept of telepathic interaction seemed like an interesting option for explaining the source. Myers actually coined the term ‘telepathy’, but his explanation was a little different from what I had been originally taught over the years. Myers defined telepathy as; “the communication of impressions of any kind from one mind to another, independently of the recognised channels of sense.” He also made it clear that the distance between those two minds could be in the same room, but equally on opposite sides of the planet. With a greater understanding of quantum physics generating theories around aspects such as entanglement; that distance could be seen as existing on opposite sides of the universe too.


What particularly made me think about Myers explanation of telepathy was the use of the term ‘mind’ too. You see for many the brain and the mind are often considered to be one of the same, but additional research began to highlight for me an understanding of two separate concepts.

Descartes dualism…

I believe it was Rene Descartes who’s philosophy on the distinction between the mind and body started the debate, which is still evident today on ‘mind-body dualism.’ This for me highlighted a concept where on one hand you have the physical body, the brain; which follow physical laws of nature. However as this construct gives rise to our consciousness perhaps, then the non-physical element of the mind exists. If then the mind is non-physical and can exist beyond the physical body, then the concept of survival becomes more of a reality. It also means that the mind is not necessarily linked to us humans.

So, my understanding of the source of psychical phenomena is that it could be an internal construct. That is to say, we are the key common denominator to such phenomena. When we see apparitions for example, this is our minds interpretation and presentation of information that has been communicated to it. It is our relative comprehension of sporadic information from multiple sources delivered into our consciousness. Hence why we may see what is not physically there sometimes, which can be associated directly with apparitions.

The how, what, where…

Where Myers refers to ‘impressions’, I prefer to use ‘information’ as information is quite literally all around us and everywhere in the universe. Now although I’ve stated that I believe the source to be an internal construct, I also believe that information can be communicated to our minds from multiple places. This then raises the questions about where this information may be located; 1) our minds; 2) the localised environment; 3) a variation of the ether; or 4) all the previous three.

After all, if we are to suggest the probable source of psychical phenomena, we must equally discuss where the information may be and how it might get from A to B. How it might find its way from one mind to another, the environment to someone’s mind or perhaps from floating around us to our minds.

I’ve often used the similarities of cloud storage and social media to try and explain how this information could be stored, located and travel. Storage wise, I am more and more convinced that the information resides within the memories of many people, both local and non-local to physical phenomena. When we find ourselves in a particular location or situation our mind requests more information unconsciously, this is a little like ‘Googling’ the other minds out there. Hence why the information received is often fragmented when received. We then interpret that fragmented information along with that from our senses using our own memory, which is established from our life experiences. This then creates an individual and specific perception of what we are presented with during our lives. Hence why these psychical experiences are so hard to interpret for others or explain from your own perspective.

A little on the physical stuff…

Now if we were to suggest a probable physical seat for this within our physiology, then it could certainly be suggested that the Pineal Gland within the brain could be this. Serena Roney-Dougal, PhD explains this possibility quite well in her book; ‘Where Science and Magic Meet?’ Roney-Dougal also discusses the aspects of physical phenomena too; psychokinesis (PK), which can help us to comprehend the physical activity that may occur alongside psychical phenomena.

Over to Sarah…

I could continue to write on this subject for ages, but as this is a collaboration with Sarah Chumacero, I will now hand over. Sarah will then comment on what I’ve written and add her own thoughts too in a post on her website ‘Living Life in Full Spectrum‘, but this discussion shouldn’t end there. Please feel free to get involved and comment below.

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