Section Two - Information About Each Paper
This section provides additional information about each paper listed above in Section One. Papers are described in the same order in which they are listed in Section One. Scroll down to find relevant descriptions.
Toward an Integral Methodology for Transpersonal Studies
An article originally appearing as Working Paper Number 1994-1 of the William James Center for Consciousness Studies, Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, Palo Alto, CA. Used with permission.
This paper indicates the limitations of older, more conventional approaches to research (grounded in an exclusively positivistic paradigm) and suggests ways in which research and disciplined inquiry can be extended and expanded to more appropriately honor and address exceptional human experiences and transpersonal topics and experiences. An integral research approach is proposed-one that acknowledges pluralistic ways of knowing, being, and doing. The integral research approach is informed by the radical empiricism of William James and by recent developments in natural science, psychology, human sciences, philosophy, philosophy of science, parapsychology, spirituality, and transpersonal studies. This early paper was the seed of what later became the author's chapter on integral inquiry in the book, Transpersonal Research Methods for the Social Sciences: Honoring Human Experience, by William Braud and Rosemarie Anderson (Sage, 1998).
Copyright © 1994 by William Braud. All rights reserved.
Disciplined Inquiry for Transpersonal Studies: Old and New Approaches to Research
Rosemarie Anderson, William Braud, and Ron Valle
A version of the following article originally was presented at the 76th Annual Convention of the Western Psychological Association, April 11-14, 1996, San Jose, CA. It also appears as Working Paper Number 1996-1 of the William James Center for Consciousness Studies, Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, Palo Alto, CA.
This paper includes three interrelated sections. The first section on "integral inquiry" was prepared by William Braud. The second section on "intuitive inquiry" was prepared by Rosemarie Anderson. The third section on "phenomenological inquiry" was prepared by Ron Valle. The paper describes the essential nature of each of these three new approaches to research and disciplined inquiry-methods that are especially congenial to the study of exceptional human experiences and transpersonal experiences. These sections were the seeds of what later became chapters devoted to these methods in the book, Transpersonal Research Methods for the Social Sciences: Honoring Human Experience, by William Braud and Rosemarie Anderson (Sage, 1998).
Copyright © 1996 by Rosemarie Anderson, Ph.D., William Braud, Ph.D., and Ron Valle, Ph.D. All rights reserved.
Thoughts on Research and Clinical Practice
The following article originally appeared in The Mind's Eye: An Online Transpersonal Psychology Journal, Issue Number 2, 1997. Used with permission.
In the conventional research paradigm, the stance of the investigator is that of a separate, distanced "objective" observer who strives to be as uninvolved as possible with the research participants and with what is being studied, in an effort to eliminate or avoid contamination by his or her own biases or expectations. There is an attempt to remove the investigator from judgmental and decisional responsibilities through the use of automatic, impersonal decision tools provided by research designs themselves and by statistical outcomes. Such conventions of subject matter, method, and investigator stance tend to distance research from clinical practice, which involves more meaningful and more complex issues and processes, a greater reliance upon experiential, subjective factors, and a greater involvement of the practitioner. These same conventions tend also to separate research from what is happening in the investigator's own personal and psychospiritual experiences, growth, and development. In the transpersonal paradigm, research is complemented by what is missing in the conventional paradigm. Methods of disciplined inquiry are expanded to include qualitative methods that can more appropriately and faithfully address rich, meaningful, and complex human experiences. Full description and understanding are valued as much as prediction and control. Emphasis may be placed upon understanding how processes and issues interact complexly and dynamically in the everyday life circumstances and life journeys of individuals. In this transpersonal paradigm-with its more qualitative and idiographic emphases-research, clinical practice, and the investigator's own psychospiritual growth and development become much more similar, much more hospitable toward each another, and may occur simultaneously, with minimal conflict.
Copyright © 1997 by the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology. All rights reserved.
Can Research Be Transpersonal?
An article originally published in the Transpersonal Psychology Review, Volume 2, Number 3, December, 1998, pp. 9-17. Used with permission.
Individually, conventional and narrow forms of research cannot adequately address transpersonal topics or experiences. Blending several methods together-each for a specific purpose-increases the match between research and the transpersonal. However, the most faithful matches occur only when research methods and approaches can be expanded, extended, enriched, and enlivened, in terms of the very transpersonal qualities that they are used to explore. This paper presents several areas in which research can be expanded, so that it might become more inclusive and better able to honor and appreciate the richness, breadth, depth, and subtlety of the exceptional experiences that are of interest to transpersonal psychology.
Copyright © 1998 by The British Psychological Society
"Projects of Transcendence" at ITP
The following short article originally appeared in E[xceptional] H[human] E[xperience] News, 1998, Volume 5, Number 1, pp. 8-9. Used with permission.
This brief article describes the whole-person, experiential educational approach of the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, a graduate school that offers doctoral and master's degrees and certificates in programs emphasizing transpersonal studies, psychology, and spirituality.
Copyright © 1998 by the Exceptional Human Experience Network, Inc. All rights reserved.
In Support of Single-Case Clinical Studies
A Letter to the Editor originally published in the journal, Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, Volume 4, Number 3, May, 1998, p. 88. Used with permission.
This short paper on the value of single cases in several areas of research originally appeared as a Letter to the Editor of the journal, Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine. The paper highlights John Stuart Mill's (1806-1873) methods ("canons") of inductive inference and indicates how variations of these methods appear in several current research approaches.
Copyright © 1998 by InnoVision Communications.
On Qualitative Methods and Researcher Qualities and Preparation
A short article describing the advantages, and appropriateness, of qualitative research methods-such as case studies-for investigating meaningful, dynamic topics of transpersonal relevance.
Copyright © 2001 by William Braud. All rights reserved.
The Ley and the Labyrinth: Universalistic and Particularistic Approaches to Knowing
An article originally appearing as Working Paper Number 1997-1 of the William James Center for Consciousness Studies, Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, Palo Alto, CA. A version of this paper later was published in the Transpersonal Psychology Review, October 2002, Volume 6 Number 2, pp. 47-62. Used with permission
The ley (straight line path) and the labyrinth (twisting, circling path) are used as metaphors in describing two complementary ways of knowing. The ley represents a universalistic, nomothetic approach to knowing, research, and inquiry; it emphasizes abstractions and general principles, and it is the privileged approach of conventional science. The labyrinth represents a particularistic, idiographic approach to knowing, research and inquiry; it emphasizes unique, individual cases, and it is an approach that is especially congenial to qualitative research, human science, and transpersonal studies. The labyrinthine, idiographic approach honors individual human experiences while, at the same time, providing a potential pathway to universal apprehensions and understandings. The strengths and limitations of the two approaches are illustrated by examples drawn from literature, science, philosophy, psychology, and transpersonal studies.
Copyright © 2002 The British Psychological Society.
An Introduction to Organic Inquiry: Honoring the Transpersonal and Spiritual in Research Praxis
This paper originally was published in The Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, 2004, Volume 36, Number 1, pp. 18-25. Used with permission.
The Editors of this Journal asked me to write a brief introduction to Jennifer Clements' paper on Organic Inquiry. I provide my introductory comments in the form of an imaginary "Letter to a Student," in which I describe the history, nature, strengths, and limitations of this approach.
Copyright © 2004 by The Transpersonal Institute
Transpersonal Research From a Global Perspective
Rosemarie Anderson and William Braud
Unpublished manuscript, Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, February 23, 2007. Used with permission.
In this brief paper, we propose that transpersonal research be expanded to more fully emphasize wisdom and benefits to our global community. We present a vision for research that (a) honors the world's wisdom psychologies, (b) invites all these psychologies to help us "reinvent" ourselves as a global community, (c) affirms our interdependence on one another and the natural world, (d) furthers the well-being of the natural world, and (e) encourages all people to become perfectly themselves in their own time and place. To support this vision, we propose four research emphases that can contribute to an appreciation and understanding of these end goals and also serve as means toward their accomplishment. We recommend research projects that might help reduce factors contributing to unhealthy, unsustainable world conditions--factors such as arrogance, hubris, greed, selfishness, intolerance, fear, overly materialistic values, unequal distribution of wealth, goods, and necessities, and proclivities toward violence, cruelty, war-mongering, and dishonesty.
Copyright © 2007 by Rosemarie Anderson and William Braud. All rights reserved.
Dragons, Spheres, and Flashlights: Appropriate Research Approaches for Studying Workplace Spirituality
This paper originally was published in the Journal of Management, Spirituality and Religion, 2009, Volume 6, Number 1, pp. 59-75. Used with permission.
Transpersonal psychology studies experiences in which one's sense of identity; stage of development; state of consciousness; and ways of knowing, being, and doing can be expanded beyond those typically considered in conventional psychology.It addresses issues of spirituality, ego-transcendence, wisdom, psychospiritual growth and development, personal and societal transformation, and wholeness. Its new forms of transpersonal inquiry similarly expand research praxis by extending the types of topics and questions that may be explored; the ways data can be collected, treated, and reported; the disciplines, time-frames, and experiences that can inform the research project; and the ways the investigator's own personal and spiritual nature and processes can enhance research. This article addresses ways in which transpersonal inquiry can supplement more established quantitative and qualitative research approaches in exploring workplace spirituality by including spiritually related practices of the researcher in the research enterprise and by its greater emphasis on values and transformation.
Copyright © 2009 by Taylor and Francis. All rights reserved.
Toward a More Satisfying and Effective Form of Research
This article originally appeared in Contemporary Psychotherapy, Volume 2, Number 1, April 9, 2010. The published version is accessible at http://contemporarypsychotherapy.org/vol-2-no-1/towards-a-more-satisfying-and-effective-form-of-research/. Used with permission.
My aim, in this article, is to help dispel some misconceptions about the nature and limitations of research and to present expanded and transpersonally relevant approaches to research that can better serve therapists and clients alike, while maintaining the projects' integrity as forms of disciplined inquiry.
Copyright © 2010 by Contemporary Psychotherapy. All rights reserved.
Integrating Yoga epistemology and
ontology into an expanded integral approach to research
This originally was
prepared as an invited paper for a Seminar on Yoga as a Knowledge System,
organized by the Indian Psychology Institute, Pondicherry, India, January
14-17, 2007. It later became the following book chapter: Braud, W. (2011).
Integrating Yoga epistemology and ontology into an expanded integral approach
to research. In M. Cornelissen, G. Misra, & S. Varma (Eds.), Foundations
of Indian psychology, Vol. 1. New
Delhi: Pearson. An early version of this chapter is included here at the
request, and with the permission, of the book's Editors.
This invited book chapter addresses ways in which Yogic (and
related) principles and practices can be introduced more fully into
psychological research, in order to allow that research—and psychology itself—to
be more inclusive, integrated, and relevant to human psychospiritual concerns.
Much of the chapter takes the form of an illustrative case study of how this
approach already is being implemented in the curriculum of one graduate
psychology program—that of the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in Palo
Copyright © 2011
by William Braud. All rights reserved.
An article originally published in
the Journal of Communication, Volume 25, Number 1, Winter, 1975, pp. 142-152.
Used with permission.
Findings from several areas suggest
that certain physiological and psychological conditions ("psi-conducive
states") may facilitate psychic functioning, whereas other conditions may
inhibit psychic functioning. This article describes seven such psi-favorable
conditions and presents them as components or "symptoms" of a psi-conducive
"syndrome." Both of these terms (symptoms, syndrome) are used in a strictly
objective, neutral sense (rather than the usual pathological sense) as simply a
set of components that are related by having common effects. The seven
components or symptoms are (a) relaxation, (b) reduced physiological arousal,
(c) reduced external sensory inputs and processing, (d) increased attention to
and awareness of internal processes (especially images and feelings), (e)
decreased "action mode/left hemispheric" functioning and increased "receptive
mode/right hemispheric" functioning, (f) an altered view of the nature of the
world, and (g) the momentary importance of psychic functioning. This early
paper is known to have been used by Army STARGATE founders to help identify
possible remote viewers for this 24-year government-sponsored psychic research and
application program. Copyright © 1975 by The Annenberg School of Communication.
All rights reserved.
This is an electronic version of an article originally published in the November-December, 1982, Volume 13, Number 6, issue of Parapsychology Review, pp. 16-18. Used with permission.
Nearly all psi experiments assess the psi process in terms of its ability to duplicate the functioning of the conventional senses—i.e., its ability to mimic what our vision, audition, and other senses can discern of the immediate physical world. Why should psi be so redundant with our sensory processes? Perhaps psi might be able to provide "information" about aspects of persons, places, and things that are not immediately evident to our regular senses. Psi might inform us of aspects such as interrelationships, interconnections, past and future histories, possibilities, meanings, purposes, common origins or ends, qualities of other realms and ways of being. This brief article was my attempt to encourage psi researchers to think more deeply about possible alternative functions of psi—ways in which it might inform us of a range of nonevident qualities rarely or never considered in psi research.
Copyright © 1982 by Parapsychology Foundation, Inc. All rights reserved.
Toward the Quantitative Assessment of "Meaningful Coincidences"
This is an electronic version of a paper that appeared originally in the July-August, 1983, Volume 14, Number 4, issue of Parapsychology Review, pp. 5-10. Used with permission.
This paper provides a brief review of philosophical and psychological treatments of meaningful coincidence or synchronicity and presents the methods and findings of two experiments designed to quantitatively assess such experiences.
Copyright © 1983 by Parapsychology Foundation, Inc. All rights reserved.
A Methodology for the Objective Study of Transpersonal Imagery
William Braud and Marilyn Schlitz
This paper first appeared in theJournal of Scientific Exploration, Volume 3, Number 1 , pp. 43-63, under the title "A methodology for the objective study of transpersonal imagery," published by the Society for Scientific Exploration, www.scientificexploration.org. Used with permission.
Abundant methodologies already exist for the study of preverbal imagery, in which one's imagery acts upon one's own cellular, biochemical, and physiological activity. This paper reports a new methodology for the objective study of transpersonal imagery, in which one person's imagery may influence the physical reactions of another person. The method involves the instructed generation of specific imagery by one person and the concurrent measurement of psychophysiological changes in another person who is isolated in a distant room to eliminate all conventional sensorimotor communication. Thirteen experiments were conducted using this methodology.Asignificant relationship was found between the calming or activating imagery of one person and the electrodermal activity of another person who was isolated at a distance (overall z=4.08, p=.000023, mean effect size=0.29). Potential artifacts that might account for the results are considered and discounted. The findings demonstrate reliable and relatively robust anomalous interactions between living systems at a distance. The effects may be interpreted as instances of an anomalous "causal" influence by one person directly upon the physiological activity of another person. An alternative interpretation is one of an anomalous informational process, combined with unconscious physiological self-regulation on the part of the influenced person. Additional research is being conducted in an attempt to increase our understanding of the processes involved, as well as to learn the various physical, physiological and psychological factors that may increase or decrease the likelihood of occurrence of the effect.
Copyright © 1989 by Society for Scientific Exploration. All rights reserved.
Remote Mental Influence of Electrodermal Activity
This paper was originally presented as an invited contribution to a panel on Anomalous Phenomena in Psychophysiology" at the 22nd Annual Meeting of the Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, Dallas, Texas, March 15-20, 1991. A version of the paper later was published in the Journal of Indian Psychology: A Journal of Classical Ideas and Current Research, Volume 10, Numbers 1 & 2, January & July, 1992, pp. 1-10. Used with permission.
This paper reviews empirical research on a psychophysiological anomaly: the influence of physiological activities through mental suggestion, at a distance. The review emphasizes direct (distant) mental suggestion research carried out by early Russian physiologists (Bekhterev, Vasiliev, Platonov, Ivanov-Smolensky), telepathy's role in Hans Berger's development of the electroencephalograph, and early French experiments in distant mental influence of hypnotized participants (Joire, Gibert, Janet, Richet). The review is brought up to date through its coverage of recent empirical studies of direct (remote, distant) mental influences of electrodermal activity and other biological activities.
Copyright © 1991 by William Braud. All rights reserved.
On the Use of Living Target Systems in Distant Mental Influence Research
A version of this paper was originally presented at the 37th Annual International Conference of the Parapsychology Foundation, Chapel Hill, NC, 1988. Later, the paper was published as a book chapter: Braud, W.G. (1993). On the use of living target systems in distant mental influence research. In L. Coly & J. D. S. McMahon (Eds.), Psi Research Methodology: A Re-examination (pp. 149-181). New York: Parapsychology Foundation. Used with permission.
The paper traces the use of living systems as "targets" for direct intentional influences. Historical, theoretical, and empirical reviews are presented, along with suggestions of the implications and potential applications of such work.
Copyright © 1988 by William Braud. All rights reserved.
Reactions to an
Unseen Gaze (Remote Attention): A Review, With New Data on Autonomic Staring
Donna Shafer, and Sperry Andrews
originally was published in the Journal of Parapsychology, December, 1993,
Volume 57, Number 4, pp. 373-390.
Have you ever
had the feeling that someone was staring at you from behind and, upon turning
around, found you were correct? Some of these experiences may be merely
coincidental or attributable to subtle cues. However, laboratory studies have
demonstrated that some instances of accurate detection of remote staring cannot
be attributed to such conventional factors. Rather, they suggest that at least
some experiences of remote staring detection may contain valid psychic or
parapsychological components. We review earlier studies in which persons could
guess successfully when they were being stared at by persons beyond the range
of possible sensory cures (that is, the trials were carried out via one-way
mirrors or closed-circuit television and according to an unknown, random
schedule). We then report original, well-controlled research in which
unconscious, autonomic reactions (electrodermal activities) were used to
provide physiological, rather than conscious and verbal, indications of
accurate remote staring detection. A closed-circuit video system was used in a
randomized, blinded experimental design in order to eliminate the possibility
of sensory cuing. Accurate and significant effects were obtained, with
moderately large effect sizes [t(15)=2.66; p=.018, two-tailed; effect size=0.59].
The unconscious, physiological (autonomic nervous system) measure used in the
present work appears to yield stronger effects than did previous, more
conscious, cognitive guessing measures. Additionally, qualitatively different
reaction patterns occurred for untrained starees versus starees who had
experienced extensive training in becoming more sensitive to others and dealing
with their own psychological resistance to being "connected" with other people
[t(15)=2.15; p=.048, two-tailed; effect size=0.50].
Copyright © 1993
by the Parapsychology Press. All rights reserved.
of Autonomic Detection of Remote Staring: Replication, New Control Procedures,
and Personality Correlates
Donna Shafer, and Sperry Andrews
originally was published in the Journal of Parapsychology, December, 1993,
Volume 57, Number 4, pp. 391-409.
In a previous
paper, we reviewed early experimental attempts to assess subjects' accuracy in
consciously detecting when they are being watched or stared at by someone
situated beyond the range of their conventional senses. We also reported new
results of our own experiments in which a more "unconscious" autonomic nervous
system reaction (spontaneous electrodermal activity) was used to assess
accuracy of detection of staring (remote attention). In our experiments, one subject
(the starer) directed full attention to another distant subject's (staree's)
image on the monitor of a closed-circuit television system used to eliminate
the possibility of subtle sensory cues. The staree's spontaneous electrodermal
activity, meanwhile, was monitored objectively by a computer system during
randomly interspersed staring and nonstaring periods; the staree was blind
regarding the number, timing, and sequencing of the two types of periods. We
found evidence for significant blind autonomic discrimination between the
staring and nonstaring episodes. In the present paper, we report evidence for
autonomic discrimination of staring versus nonstaring periods in two
replications—one involving the same starer who had participated in the earlier
studies [t(15)=2.08; p=.05, two-tailed; effect size r=0.47], and the second
involving three new starers [t(29)=1.92; p=.06, two-tailed; effect size=0.34].
Chance results were found, as expected, in a new, improved control condition (a
"sham control") in which the data were treated as they were in a true staring
study, but staring did not, in fact, occur. We also found that the magnitude of
the remote autonomic staring detection effect was significantly related to the
staree's degree of introversion (Myers-Briggs Type Inventory) and to their
degree of social avoidance and distress (social anxiety).
1993 by the Parapsychology Press. All rights reserved.
Reaching for Consciousness: Expansions and Complements
A version of this paper was originally presented as an invited address to the 35th Annual Parapsychological Association Convention, Las Vegas, NV, August 9-13, 1992. The paper was later published in the Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, Volume 88, Number 3, July, 1994, pp. 185-206. Used with permission.
This paper addresses possible ways in which the field of parapsychology might be expanded and made more relevant and useful to human life and human potentials. Possible expansions are suggested in the following areas: types of experimental designs, different indicators of psi, different target events, other procedural accompaniments, our subject matter, our sources of inspiration, ourselves as investigators, our conceptualization of psi, our audiences, and our attitudes toward psi.
Copyright © 1994 by the American Society for Psychical Research. All rights reserved.
Honoring Our Natural Experiences
A version of this paper was originally presented as a contribution to a symposium on "Exceptional Experiences of Psi Investigators: Their Meanings and Implications," 36th Annual Parapsychological Association Convention, Toronto, Canada, August 15-19, 1993. The paper was later published in the Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, Volume 88, Number 3, October, 1994, pp. 293-308. Used with permission.
In the service of a Newtonian physical science paradigm, contemporary parapsychology privileges a quantitative, experimental approach that seeks to explain, predict, and control psi. The investigator's goal is to remain separate, detached, objective, and uninvolved with the process or persons studied. However, there are growing trends in the human sciences toward recognizing this paradigm's limitations and proposing an alternative that is more hospitable to: (a) inseparability of the knower and the known; (b) recognized and maximized involvement of the investigator; (c) subjective, experiential factors; (d) description, understanding, and meaning; (e) emergence and downward causation; (f) naturalistic and qualitative approaches; and (g) idiographic as well as nomothetic aims. I suggest that recognizing, owning, honoring, and sharing by psi investigators of their own psychic and other exceptional experiences (a) is very much in line with the growing new paradigm, (b) may be beneficial to physical and psychological health, (d) may actually enhance the reality of psi, and (d) may ultimately be more convincing than laboratory data to other scientists. I describe some of my own spontaneous psi experiences (including spontaneous macropsychokinesis, precognitive dreams, crisis ESP, psi-mediated instrumental response, synchronicities), indicate lessons learned from them, their influences upon me, and their implications for our field.
Copyright © 1994 by the American Society for Psychical Research. All rights reserved.
Can Our Intentions Interact Directly With the Physical World?
A version of this paper was originally presented as an Invited Address at the Fifth Edinburgh International Science Festival, Edinburgh, Scotland, April 10-24, 1993. The paper was later published in the European Journal of Parapsychology, Volume 10, 1994, pp. 78-90. Used with permission.
The paper reviews evidence from controlled laboratory studies that suggests that mental intentions may interact directly with the physical world. Such direct mental intentions have been demonstrated with mechanical random systems such as thrown dice and, more recently, with electronic random event generators that use radioactive decay or thermal noise as a source of randomness. Direct mental interaction with living systems (DMILS) has also been demonstrated. A wide variety of living target systems have been investigated, including bacteria, animals, and human nervous system and cognitive activity. While there is good evidence for direct mental interaction with animate and inanimate systems, much remains to be learned about how these effects interact with other physical, physiological, and psychological factors. At a theoretical level, such direct mental interactions do not appear to be directly mediated by conventional physical forces, but satisfactory theoretical models have yet to be fully developed. Finally, the implications and potential applications of direct mental interaction are discussed.
Copyright © 1993 by William Braud. All rights reserved.
Attention Focusing Facilitated Through Remote Mental Interaction
William Braud, Donna Shafer, Katherine McNeill, and Valerie Guerra
An article originally published in the Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, Volume 89, Number 2, April, 1995, pp. 103-115. Used with permission.
Sixty volunteer participants, during individual 16-minute sessions, focused attention upon a centering object (a candle in a candle holder) while indicating each time the mind wandered from this focus (i.e., each time the mind was distracted) by pressing a hand-held button. A computer monitored and assessed these distraction-indicating button-presses. During eight 1-minute Help periods, another person in a distant room attempted to mentally "help" the participant by focusing on an identical centering object and intending for the participant to attend well and not be distracted. During eight 1-minute Control periods, the helper did not attempt to influence the participant but, rather, thought about irrelevant matters. The random schedule of the two types of periods was unknown to the participant. Participants evidenced significantly greater focused attention (fewer distractions) during Help than during Control periods (t = 2.00, 59 df, p = .049, two-tailed, effect size = .25). The magnitude of the remote mental helping effect was significantly correlated (r = .26 and r = .32) with two measures of the participant's "need to be helped" (measures of concentration difficulties and difficulties in attending). The effect size for the "needy" participants was .56, whereas the effect size for the non-needy participants was -.03. This study is part of a program that is beginning to assess direct mental influences of one person upon a variety of nonphysiological activities (cognitive, emotional, social, psychic) being carried out simultaneously by another, distantly isolated, person.
Copyright © 1995 by the American Society for Psychical Research. All rights reserved.
Distant Intentionality and Healing: Assessing the Evidence
Marilyn Schlitz and William Braud
An article originally published in the journal, Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, Volume 3, Number 6, November, 1997, pp. 62-73. Used with permission.
Since the 1950s, researchers have attempted to understand reports of distant or psychic healing, developing experimental protocols that test the distant healing hypothesis by measuring biological changes in a target system while ruling out suggestion or self-regulation as counterexplanations. This article provides a brief overview of these healing analog experiments. It also provides a summary and meta-analysis of 30 formal experiments in which self-reported healers, psychics, and other self-selected volunteers attempted to influence autonomic nervous system activity in a distant person. Results across the experiments showed a significant and characteristic variation during distant intentionality periods, compared with randomly interspersed control periods. Possible alternative explanations for the reported effects are considered. Finally, the implications of distant intentionality are discussed for an understanding of the possible mechanisms of distant healing, the nature of the mind-body relationship, and the role of consciousness in the physical world.
Copyright © 1997 by InnoVision Communications. All rights reserved.
Transcending the Limits of Time
An article originally published in The Inner Edge: A Resource for Enlightened Business Practice, Volume 2, Number 6, December, 1999, pp. 16-18. Used with permission.
This brief, popular article addresses the serious possibility that our intentions may work "backward in time" to influence the initial probabilities (seed moments) of events that, according to conventional apprehensions of time, "already have happened." This topic is addressed much more deeply and technically in another article, "Wellness implications of retroactive intentional influence: Exploring an outrageous hypothesis," available on this web site.
Copyright © 1999 by InnoVision Communications. All rights reserved.
Wellness Implications of Retroactive Intentional Influence: Exploring an Outrageous Hypothesis
An article originally published in the journal, Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, Volume 6, Number 1, January, 2000, pp. 37-48. Used with permission.
Virtually all medical and psychological treatments and interventions-conventional as well as complementary and alternative-are assumed to act in present time on present, already well-established conditions. An alternative healing pathway is proposed in which healing intentions-in the form of direct mental interactions with biological systems-may act in a "backward," time-displaced manner to influence probabilities of initial occurrence of earlier "seed moments" in the development of illness or health. Because seed moments are more labile, freely variable, and flexible, as well as unusually sensitive to small influences, time-displaced healing pathways may be especially efficacious. This unusual hypothesis is supported by a review of a substantial database of well-controlled laboratory experiments. Theoretical rationales and potential health applications and implications are presented.
Copyright © 2000 by InnoVision Communications. All rights reserved.
Replies to Mr. Kennedy, Dr. Kanthamani, and Dr. Anick
These replies were originally published in the journal, Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, Volume 6, Number 3, May, 2000, pp. 23, 119. Used with permission.
These are brief replies to two sets of comments that were published in response to the full article, "Wellness implications of retroactive intentional influence: Exploring an outrageous hypothesis." The full article is available on this web site.
Copyright © 2000 by InnoVision Communications. All rights reserved.
Toward More Subtle Awareness: Meanings, Implications, and Possible New Directions for Psi Research
Unpublished manuscript, Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, 2000. Used with permission.
At the turn of the century, the author presents some personal views on the functions, meanings, and implications of psi events and experiences—as we now know them—and suggests some possibly fruitful directions for future psi research.
Copyright © 2000 by William Braud. All rights reserved.
An invited chapter for the book, New Frontiers of Human Science: A Festschrift for K. Ramakrishna Rao, edited by V. Gowri Rammohan (Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2002), pp. 95-118. Used with permission.
This chapter describes the various psychophysiological conditions that have been found to be favorable to the occurrence and accuracy of psychic phenomena such as telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition, and psychokinesis. The favorable conditions include muscular relaxation; emotional, autonomic quietude; cognitive quietude; sensory/perceptual restriction; hypnosis; dreams; and drug-induced states. Several conceptual models are proposed, which address reduced distractions; internally-deployed attention; decreased constraints (destructuring) and increased free variability (enhanced lability and availability); increased expectancy, suggestion, and confidence. Possible physical and physiological psi facilitators are mentioned, as are syndromes of psi-facilitating states of mind associated with faith, hope, and love.
Copyright © 2002 by V. Gowri Rammohan
Introduction to Distant Mental Influence
This is an electronic version of the Introduction chapter of the book, the Distant Mental Influence: Its Contributions to Science, Healing, and Human Interactions, by William Braud (Charlottesville, VA: Hampton Roads, 2003), pp. xvii-xlvii. Used with permission.
This Introduction chapter traces the author's personal and professional experiences as he researched various topics in psi research, with emphasis on research projects involving distant mental influence of living systems.
Copyright © 2003 by William Braud. All rights reserved.
Reaches of Psi Research: Future Choices and Possibilities
From Parapsychology in the Twenty-First
Century: Essays on the Future of Psychical Research © 2005 Edited by Michael
A. Thalbourne and Lance Storm by permission of McFarland & Company,
Inc., Box 611, Jefferson NC 28640. www.mcfarlandpub.com.
Dr. Braud opens the doors to a range of possible future
research, including astrology, synchronicity, magic, out-of-body experiences,
near-death experiences, altered states of consciousness, mystical experience,
etc. Researchers are advised to increase their awareness of "fads" in
parapsychology, such as meta-analysis and Ganzfeld, and carefully assess their
conclusions and assumptions. For example, Dr. Braud asks if the Ganzfeld
procedure really facilitates psi; if receptive psi is an information transfer
process; and whether parapsychologists' research designs consider everyday life
situations. Dr. Braud's solution to these and other questions give
parapsychologists some future choices and possibilities. (Editors' Abstract)
Copyright © 2005
Michael A. Thalbourne and Lance Storm. All rights reserved.
Conversations About Survival: Novel Theoretical, Methodological,
and Empirical Approaches to Afterlife Research
From The Survival of Human Consciousness:
Essays on the Possibility of Life After Death © 2006 Edited by Lance
Storm and Michael A. Thalbourne by permission of McFarland &
Company, Inc., Box 611, Jefferson NC 28640. www.mcfarlandpub.com.
chapter, a fictional, storied, conversational format is used to address various
alternative and novel approaches to survival/afterlife issues. Among the
treated topics are ideas on the possible nature and modes of survival
(including possibilities that only some survive, that survival may be
"contentless," "witnessing," or even "unconscious"); the role of thoughts,
beliefs, and expectations in influencing the nature and experience of survival;
and suggested expansions of research methods and empirical approaches for
exploring survival (including a novel experimental design that addresses both
investigator and participant expectancies, new uses of hypnotic regression and
evocation, experience-simulation contrasts, and life-impacts of "acting as if"
with appropriate follow-ups). The discussion also addresses extensions and
limitations of"super-psi" arguments
(including typically-ignored time-displaced aspects), personification and
dramatization (mythopoetic) aspects; selective suggestions relevant to several
varieties of afterlife evidence (e.g., apparitions, hauntings, mediumship,
OBEs, NDEs), and alternative conceptualizations of the nature of "reincarnation."
Copyright © 2006
Lance Storm and Michael A. Thalbourne. All rights reserved.
Patanjali Yoga and Siddhis: Their Relevance to Parapsychological Theory and Research
An invited chapter for the book, Handbook of Indian Psychology, edited by K. R. Rao, A. C. Paranjpe, & A. K. Dalal (New Delhi, India: Cambridge University Press (India) /Foundation Books, 2008), pp. 217-243. Used with permission.
This invited chapter treats the Patanjali Yoga Sutras and their relevance to contemporary theory and research in parapsychology. A constant feature of this chapter is its description of ways in which Indian psychophysical practices and principles, as illustrated in the Patanjali Yoga Sutras, both inform and are supported by psi research and theory. Like the Yoga Sutras themselves, the chapter has four major sections. These sections will address the context, principles, and practices of the Yoga Sutras; the nature, methods, and findings of current parapsychological research; the interrelationships of the Yoga Sutras, the siddhis, and psi research; and additional and alternative considerations of Yoga principles and practices.
Copyright © 2008 by William Braud. All rights reserved.
Psi and Distance: Is a Conclusion of Distance Independence Premature?
Paper prepared especially for this Inclusive Psychology website, February 14, 2010.
This brief article describes eight considerations that suggest that the usual conclusion that psi is independent of distance is not yet justified, given presently existing empirical evidence.
Copyright © 2010 by William Braud. All rights reserved.
Patanjali Yoga Sutras and Parapsychological Research: Exploring Matches and Mismatches
This is an electronic version of the following book chapter: Braud, W. (2010). Patanjali Yoga Sutras and parapsychological research: Exploring matches and mismatches. In K. R. Rao (Ed.), Yoga and parapsychology: Empirical research and theoretical studies (pp. 241-260).Delhi, India: Motilal Barnarsidass. Used with permission.
This chapter addresses interrelationships between concepts and practices described in the Patanjali Yoga Sutras and certain conceptualizations, research methods, and empirical findings within the discipline of parapsychological research. My aim is to describe ways in which Indian psychophysical practices and principles, as illustrated in the Patanjali Yoga Sutras, both inform and are supported by psi research and theory, and to indicate instances in which aspects of yogic practice and parapsychological research match or mismatch each other. In this chapter, psi is used as a theoretically neutral term for psychic functioning.
Copyright © 2010 by K. Ramakrishna Rao. All rights reserved.
The Role of Mind in the Physical World: A Psychologist's View
This paper was originally presented as an Invited Address to the Second International Symposium on Science and Consciousness, Athens, Greece, January 3-7, 1992. It was later published, under the title "The Role of Mind in the Physical World: A Psychologist's View," in the European Journal of Parapsychology, Volume 10, 1994, pp. 66-77. Used with permission.
Progress in understanding the nature of consciousness is reviewed. There is growing evidence that consciousness can have direct effects on physical systems. Consciousness can directly influence remote physical systems such as random number generators, biological systems such as cellular preparations, and psychological systems such as a person's cognitive processes. Procedures and conditions, such as the ganzfeld, that are conducive to direct knowing of distant events have been discovered. Less is known about the conditions under which direct influence operates, but relaxation and quietude, attention training, imagery and visualization, intentionality, and motivation are five mental processes that appear to be particularly useful in bringing about effective direct consciousness influences upon remote physical and biological target systems. Three models of the influence of consciousness are described, and their implications for our understanding of consciousness are discussed. A consciousness that can directly influence physical systems implies a profound and extensive interconnectedness between mind and body, and between humanity and the environment. Such an interconnectedness would require a re-examination of our existing scientific worldview.
Copyright © 1992 by William Braud. All rights reserved.
Can Our Intentions Interact Directly With the
This paper was an Invited Address at the Fifth Edinburgh International Science Festival, Edinburgh,
Scotland, April 10-24, 1993. Later, it was published as an article in the
European Journal of Parapsychology, Volume 10,
1994, pp. 78-90. Used with permission.
The paper reviews evidence from controlled laboratory studies that suggests
that mental intentions may interact directly with the physical
world. Such direct mental intentions have been demonstrated
with mechanical random systems such as thrown dice and, more recently, with
electronic random event generators that use radioactive decay or thermal noise as a
source of randomness. Direct mental interaction with living systems (DMILS) has also been demonstrated. A wide variety of living
target systems have been investigated, including bacteria,
animals, and human nervous system and cognitive activity. While there is good evidence for direct mental
interaction with animate and inanimate systems, much remains to be learned about how these effects interact with other physical,
physiological, and psychological factors. At a theoretical level, such direct mental interactions do not appear to be directly mediated by conventional physical forces, but satisfactory theoretical models have yet to be fully developed. Finally, the implications and potential applications of direct mental interaction are discussed.
1993 by William Braud. All rights reserved.
Brains, Science, and Nonordinary and Transcendent Experiences: Can Conventional Concepts and Theories Adequately Address Mystical and Paranormal Experiences?
This paper appeared originally as an invited chapter in the book, NeuroTheology: Brain, Science, Spirituality, Religious Experience, edited by Rhawn Joseph (San Jose, CA: University Press, California, 2002), pp. 143-158. Used with permission.
This chapter provides a balanced account of both the strengths and limitations of conventional cognitive science and neuroscience, as these attempt to address and explain nonordinary and transcendent experiences. These nonordinary and transcendent experiences include-but are not limited to-mystical, spiritual, and paranormal experiences. Although some findings and theories of experimental psychology, cognitive science, and neuroscience may explain, and are quite relevant to, certain aspects of these nonordinary experiences, these same explanatory concepts are not yet able to deal with other aspects of these experiences-particularly those well-researched cases in which the experiences yield veridical knowledge about sensorily inaccessible events or in which they are associated with objectively measurable, distant influences upon others or upon the physical world. The chapter also introduces information relevant to the issue of whether the human brain might wholly produce consciousness (and, hence, nonordinary and transcendent experiences) or whether it might serve, rather, as a vehicle for the transmission and expression of consciousness and of these exceptional experiences. The chapter ends with a fresh conceptualization of bodymind that transcends, yet continues to include, the previously recognized features of each of its members.
Copyright © 2002 by University Press, California
Nonordinary and Transcendent Experiences: Transpersonal Aspects of Consciousness
An abbreviated version of this paper was presented at the May 5, 2001, Fourth Consilience Conference, "Towards a Consilient Model of Knowing: Consciousness and the Participatory Worldview," of The Graduate Institute, Yale University, New Haven, CT.
In this paper, I discuss the types of experiences that suggest that there are many more ways of knowing, doing, and being than those usually recognized by conventional psychology and conventional science. I describe the general classes of such experiences, which I call "nonordinary and transcendent experiences," building on Rhea White's "exceptional human experiences" classifications (mystical/unitive, psychical, unusual death-related, encounter, healing, peak, exceptional human performances/feats, dissociative, and desolation/nadir experiences), mention the evidential bases for these (drawing largely upon my own research), mention models that have been developed to account for these, and indicate what these experiences imply about our human potentialities, our nature, and our identity. I also treat possible practical applications of these areas that suggest that we are "more" than the local, individual egos familiarly associated with, and apprehended in, our ordinary states of consciousness.
Copyright © 2001 by William Braud. All rights reserved.
The Sense of Being Stared At: Fictional, Physical, Perceptual, or Attentional/Intentional?
An article originally published in the journal, Journal of Consciousness Studies, Volume 12, Number 6, June, 2005, pp. 66-71. Used with permission.
This article provides open peer review commentary on a "target article" on the sense of being stared at by Rupert Sheldrake in this same journal issue. I suggest that the staring detection effect is real, is not an artifact of physical or methodological factors, but is an indicator of remote-acting attentional and intentional processes, rather than a visual or quasi-visual sensory/perceptual effect, as Sheldrake maintains. Sheldrake is commended for his wide-ranging attempts to democratize science through his encouragement of experiments carried out by students and by the public at large.
Copyright © 2005 by Imprint Academic
Empirical Explorations of Prayer, Distant Healing, and Remote Mental Influence
A version of this paper, under the title, "Healing Analog Research and Human Connectedness," was presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion and Religious Research Association, Virginia Beach, VA, November 9-11, 1990. Later, the paper was published as "Empirical Explorations of Prayer, Distant Healing, and Remote Mental Influence" in the Journal of Religion and Psychical Research, Volume 17, Number 2, April, 1994, pp. 62-73. Used with permission.
This paper provides a review of empirical studies of the influences of intercessory prayer, mental healing, and experimental analogs of direct healing. The paper also addresses theoretical explanations for these phenomena and discusses their implications for the concept of human interconnectedness.
Copyright © 1990 by William Braud. All rights reserved.
Parapsychology and Spirituality: Implications and Intimations
An article originally published in ReVision: A Journal of Consciousness and Transformation, Volume 18, Number 1, Summer, 1995, pp. 36-43, and later reprinted in Charles Tart's anthology, Body Mind Spirit: Exploring the Parapsychology of Spirituality, (Charlottesville, VA: Hampton Roads, 1997). Used with permission.
In this paper, I suggest alternatives to an "over-masculinized" view of the nature of science. I review extensive laboratory research that indicates that persons are able to acquire direct knowledge of remote events, and directly influence distant physical, biological, and psychological events, through means other than those currently recognized by conventional science. A large number of factors known to facilitate such "psychic" functioning sort themselves into three clusters that closely match the three familiar virtues of faith, hope, and love-virtues emphasized in virtually all spiritual and wisdom traditions. These factors are treated in detail. Parapsychological findings can be useful to those on a spiritual path in that they can provide a certain degree of confidence and trust that at least some of the processes and concepts encountered are "real" in a more traditional sense and are not delusions, projections, or misinterpretations. They also can serve to remind us that we are not alone in having exceptional experiences; such experiences are normal, natural, and remarkably widespread. However, these scientific reassurances, though of value, are only partial. A great deal of what is encountered along the spiritual path is quite beyond the reach of current science. Here, one must be armed with trust, faith, hope, love, discernment, and a tolerance for ambiguity and for contraries, rather than with the feelings of safety, certainty, familiarity, and understanding that science can provide.
Copyright © 1990 by William Braud. All rights reserved.
Thoughts on the Ineffability of the Mystical Experience
An article originally published in The International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, Volume 12, Number 3, 2002, pp. 141-160. Used with permission.
Ineffability has been proposed as an important feature of the mystical experience. Various psychological processes may contribute to this ineffability, including: expansion of awareness from center tofont-family:Arial;">Copyright © 2002 by Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.
Review of David Fontana's Psychology, Religion, and Spirituality
This is a review of David Fontana's book, Psychology, Religion, and Spirituality. The review was published in the Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, Volume 35, Number 2, 2003, pp. 169-172. Used with permission.
Copyright © 2003 by the Transpersonal Institute. All rights reserved.
An Experience of Timelessness
An article originally published in Exceptional Human Experience, Volume 13, Number 1, June, 1995, pp. 64-66. Used with permission.
I describe an experience of altered time perception that occurred a little over a year before the formal report was written, expanding upon notes made immediately after the experience. By using my imagination, I began, deliberately, to induce a state of timelessness. At a certain point, the experience developed a "life of its own," quickly becoming one in which distinctions (including ego) dissolved. In this paper, I describe the procedure and the experience itself, and make supplementary observations on the context, triggers, feeling tone, meaning and interpretation, and aftereffects of the experience.
Copyright © 1997 by the Exceptional Human Experience Network. All rights reserved.
Response to Rhea White's Commentary on "An Experience of Timelessness"
An article originally published in Exceptional Human Experience, Volume 13, Number 1, June, 1995, pp. 67-68. Used with permission.
This is a response to comments and questions from Rhea White about my "experience of timelessness." I describe other instances of altered time perception and related experiences and offer further descriptions and interpretations of my timelessness experience. Although this experience, and a similar one of Boyce Batey (described in the same issue of the Journal), both began as deliberate attempts, ultimately the experiences themselves were gratuitous. Parapsychologists might heed this and devote more consideration to the element of spontaneity. I describe the experience of "wonder-joy tears" and suggest that such tears may be a concomitant of exceptional human experiences (EHEs). Poetry, art, and music seem especially effective-more so, than linear prose-in expressing EHEs.
Copyright © 1997 by the Exceptional Human Experience Network. All rights reserved.
On Varieties of Dissociation: An Essay Review of Krippner and Powers' Broken Images, Broken Selves: Dissociative Narratives in Clinical Practice
An article originally published in the Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, Volume 93, Number 1, January, 1999, pp. 116-140. Used with permission.
Because dissociation and related phenomena are highly relevant to the psychical phenomena and the exceptional human experiences (EHEs) that are of interest to readers of this Journal, the author reviews a new book on dissociation in more detail than is usual, comments on the strengths and limitations of the presented findings and thoughts, and includes suggestions on how dissociation-related concepts, findings, and approaches could be adapted for use in psychical and EHE research and investigations. Emphasis is upon the great variety of forms dissociation may take (within and across individuals, and within and across cultures); the maladaptive and adaptive aspects of dissociation; possible concomitants, facilitators, and impediments of dissociation; and how decreasing identifications (dissociations) from certain modes of knowing, being, and doing, and increasing identifications (associations) with alternative modes may provide entry points for new exceptional and psychic experiences that are not possible within the earlier system of identifications or frame of reference.
Copyright © 2000 by the American Society for Psychical Research, Inc. All rights reserved.
Psychomanteum Research: Experiences and Effects on Bereavement
Arthur Hastings, Michael Hutton, William Braud, Constance Bennett, Ida Berk, Tracy Boynton, Carolyn Dawn, Elizabeth Ferguson, Adina Goldman, Elyse Greene, Michael Hewett, Vera Lind, Kathie McLellan, & Sandra Steinbach-Humphrey.
[ Contact the author at: email@example.com ]
An article originally published in Omega: Journal of Death and Dying, Volume 43, Number 3, 2002, pp. 211-228. Used with permission.
A Psychomanteum Process involving mirror-gazing was conducted in a research setting to explore apparent facilitated contact with deceased friends and relatives, and to collect data on the phenomena, experiences, and effects on bereavement. A pilot study with 5 participants resulted in strong experiences and 4 apparent contacts. The main study took 27 participants through a 3-stage process: remembering a decreased friend or relative, sitting in a darkened room gazing into a mirror while thinking of the person, and finally discussing and reflecting on the experience. Data were collected with pre- and post-questionnaires at least 4 weeks after the session, interviews by the facilitators, and 2 personality measures, the Tellegen Absorption Scale and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Contacts with the sought person were reported by 13 participants. Participants reported that a variety of imagery appeared in the mirror, as well as experiences of dialogue, sounds, light, body sensations, and smell. Several specific messages were reported by participants who believed that they were from the sought persons. Twenty-one self-report items relating to bereavement were analyzed for changes between pre- and follow-up questionnaires. Using a Wilcoxon signed-ranks analysis, statistically significant reductions in bereavement responses were found over the entire group (p = .05 to .0008). These included unresolved feelings, loss, grief, guilt, sadness, and need to communicate. Participants also reported significant impact on their lives following the session.
Copyright © 2002 by Baywood Publishing Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
Exceptional Human Experiences, Disclosure, and a More Inclusive View of Physical, Psychological, and Spiritual Well-Being
Genie Palmer and William Braud
An article originally published in the Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, Volume 34, Number 1, 2002, pp. 29-61. Used with permission.
The nature, accompaniments, and life impacts of 5 types of exceptional human experiences (EHEs: mystical, psychic, unusual death-related, encounter, and exceptional normal) were explored, using correlational and qualitative analyses. An experimental design and standardized assessments were used to explore possible beneficial outcomes of working with and disclosing EHEs, individually or in psychoeducational groups. EHEs occurred frequently, were perceived as meaningful and important, and their disclosure was perceived as beneficial. Correlational results indicated that frequent and/or profound EHEs were positively and significantly related to high levels of meaning and purpose in life, high levels of spirituality, "thin" or permeable boundaries, and a tendency toward transformative life changes. Disclosure was positively and significantly associated with meaning and purpose in life, positive psychological attitudes and well-being, and reduced stress-related symptoms. Qualitative analyses revealed that EHEs and their disclosure were accompanied by themes of well-being, meaning, openness, spirituality, need-satisfaction, and transformative change.
Copyright © 2002 by the Transpersonal Institute
Rhea White: An Appreciation
Article posted on Parapsychology Foundation's Lyceum Library, archived at http://www.pflyceum.org/179.html
A tribute to Rhea A. White, in recognition of her contributions to areas of psi research, exceptional human experiences, and transpersonal psychology.
Health and well-being benefits of exceptional human experiences
This is an electronic prepublication version of an article later published in Braud, W. (2012). Health and well-being benefits of exceptional human experiences. In C. D. Murray (Ed.), Mental health and anomalous experience. New York: Nova Science Publishers.
Exceptional human experiences (EHEs) are anomalous experiences that, if worked with sufficiently, can foster beneficial and transformative changes in the experiencer. This chapter explores the nature, accompaniments, and aftereffects of such experiences and focuses on the variety of ways in which their experiencing and their disclosure can benefit the experiencer’s mental health and well-being. The EHEs treated here include primarily mystical and unitive, psychical, encounter, unusual death-related, and peak experiences. The possible mental health benefits are described in the contexts of the models and findings of theorists Rhea White (on their transformative potential and their useful role in establishing more life-potentiating self narratives), James Pennebaker and Ian Wickramasekera (on the health benefits of disclosing these types of experiences to others and even more fully to oneself), Tom Driver (on the value of “professing” such experiences), and the “positive psychology” of Barbara Fredrickson (how such experiences may broaden the experiencer’s momentary thought and action patterns and allow the building of more enduring coping resources). The chapter addresses ways in which therapists, counselors, and other helping professionals might best work with persons reporting these experiences. Other chapter sections address possible reasons for the underreporting and underappreciation of EHEs, as well as some possible negative accompaniments and misunderstandings of such experiences.
Human Interconnectedness: Research Indications
An abbreviated version of this paper was published in ReVision: A Journal of Consciousness and Transformation, Volume 14, Number 3, Winter, 1992, pp. 140-148, in a special issue devoted to transpersonal medicine. Used with permission.
I present evidence-chiefly from my own laboratory work-suggestive of profound interconnectedness of aspects of ourselves, of ourselves with others, and of ourselves with all aspects of the biological and physical world. Research findings are presented that indicate connections between body and mind, our connections with other people, the possibility of direct knowing and direct mental influence of remote events, connections between people and animals, connections between people and objects, and connections with cells. I review explanatory models that have been developed to account for such effects, and I mention implications and possible practical applications of these processes.
Copyright © 1992 by William Braud. All rights reserved.
Assumptions, Beliefs, White Crows, and Connections
Initially presented as part of a special one-day conference on Earth and Soul: Ecopsychology and the Healing of Self, Earth, and Society, sponsored by the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology and held in Palo Alto, California on February 26, 1994. Used with permission.
This presentation covers areas that lead us to question typically held assumptions about our separateness, isolation, and access only to sensory and rational information. It builds upon William James' reminder that it takes but a single white crow to demonstrate the nonuniversality of the contention that "all crows are black." The beliefs, assumptions, and axioms of the typical Western worldview are our black crows. This presentation highlights of some of the white crows that point to an important implication consistent with the theme of the conference-the deep and profound interconnectedness of all things.
Copyright © 1994 by William Braud. All rights reserved.
Limits and Limitlessness: A Tale
This short contribution-originally written in 1994-was later published in The Mind's Eye: An Online Transpersonal Psychology Journal, Volume 1, Number 2, 1997. Used with permission.
A spiritual, transpersonal, metaphysical tale. AllandNothing plays the Game of Hide and Find and Hide Again.
Copyright © 1994 by William Braud. All rights reserved.
Experiencing Tears of Wonder-Joy: Seeing With the Heart's Eye
A slightly modified version of this paper was published in The Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, Volume 33, Number 2, 2001, pp. 99-111. Used with permission.
Experiences of "wonder-joy tears" are described-their felt sense, their triggers and circumstances under which they occur, their meanings and interpretations, and the impact they can have on life. Wonder-joy tears are not tears of pain, sadness, or sorrow. Rather, they are accompanied by feelings of wonder, joy, gratitude, awe, yearning, poignancy, intensity, love, and compassion. They are an opening up of the heart to the persons or profound circumstances being witnessed. These tears, with their accompanying chills and special feelings, seem to be the body's way of indicating a profound confrontation with the True, the Good, and the Beautiful-an indication of directly seeing with the eye of the heart, soul, and spirit. These kinds of tears also indicate feelings of profound gratitude for such confrontations. Additionally, they can indicate moments of profound insights. The author discusses the potential guiding and transformational aspects of these experiences.
Copyright © 2001 by Transpersonal Institute. All rights reserved.
Transpersonal Images: Implications for Health
This paper originally appeared as an invited chapter in the book, Healing Images: The Role of Imagination in Health, edited by Anees A. Sheikh (Amityville, NY: Baywood Publishing Company, 2003), pp. 448-470. Used with permission.
In "preverbal imagery," the imagination acts to alter one's own cellular, biochemical, and physiological activity. In "transpersonal imagery," the thoughts, images, feelings, intentions, or attention of one person are able to influence other persons and other animate and inanimate systems, even when one is separated from those persons or systems in space or time. Such influences are direct-unmediated by conventional sensory or motor processes. This chapter describes the power of the imagination in producing a variety of nonlocal effects under carefully controlled laboratory conditions. These effects are similar to those produced in mental or spiritual healing. Complementary direct knowing findings also are described, in which one can become accurately aware of events beyond the reach of the conventional senses. The chapter also treats similar instances of nonlocal knowing and nonlocal intentional influence that have been described in several spiritual and wisdom traditions.
Copyright © 2003 by the Baywood Publishing Company, Inc.
Educating the "More" in Holistic Transpersonal Higher Education: A 30+ Year Perspective on the Approach of the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology
An article originally published in the Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, Volume 38, Number 2, 2006, pp. 131-158. Used with permission.
This article describes a holistic and transpersonal approach to higher education and presents the graduate psychology programs and practices of the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology (ITP) as an illustrative example of this approach, given its 30+ year history. The article describes ITP's transpersonal and whole-person focus, its experiential learning emphases, its foundational principles and their implementations, a unique six-facet project for assessing students' transpersonal qualities and transformative changes, and the use of internal and external evidential indicators of its educational effectiveness. The article also addresses issues of transpersonal assessment and research and presents a variety of views of transformative change and spirituality that are relevant to transpersonal psychology. This discussion is useful to anyone wishing to understand how experiential and transpersonal principles and practices might be applied in higher education in order to more effectively foster and serve the full range of human capabilities and potentials—treated in terms of the "More" described by William James.
Copyright © 2006 by Transpersonal Institute. All rights reserved.