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19 Dec 2018

All Around You

Richard Reichbart. The Paranormal Surrounds Us. McFarland (30 Dec. 2018)
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The paranormal derives from us on a daily basis. Shakespeare, Tolstoy, Joyce, E.M. Forster, Ingmar Bergman, and Chesterton understood this and made the paranormal essential to their depiction of humanity. However mainstream studies of western literature, culture and psychology deny the importance of psychic phenomena in our lives. Freud himself recognised telepathy as a daily occurrence to be explored in clinical work and established principles for doing so but most of his followers have failed to walk in his footsteps. Nor do psychoanalysts acknowledge the parapsychological history of psychoanalysis including the findings of the Mesmerists, Jung and Ferenczi or more contemporary psychoanalysts such as Eisenbud.

Anthropologists are unaware that shamans developed sleight-of-hand techniques to facilitate psi (that is psychic) phenomena nor do they appreciate the manner in which tribal cultures integrated psychics into their societies. And Western legal theory avoids psi as a causal agent, never addressing its artificial construction of reality.

Literary academicians attribute the psychic discoveries of great masters to "poetic license" rather than to accurate, understanding of our parapsychological capacities. The author - a practicing senior training psychoanalyst, a parapsychologist, and a lawyer familiar with Navajo culture - enjoins us to recognise psi phenomena such as telepathy, precognition and apparitions in our lives and to integrate our understanding of them into psychoanalytic theory and clinical work, literary studies, and anthropology. He investigates psi as it expresses itself in dreams, unconscious dynamics, psychic photography, and precognition and provides instances from his clinical practice.