Tonight, we discuss paranormal activity and how it's studied from a scientific perspective.
parapsychological phenomenon, also called PSI phenomenon, any of several types of events that cannot be accounted for by natural law or knowledge apparently acquired by other than usual sensory abilities. The discipline concerned with investigating such phenomena is called parapsychology.
Parapsychological phenomena of two types have been described. They may be cognitive, as in the case of clairvoyance, telepathy, or precognition. Here one person is believed to have acquired knowledge of facts, of other people’s thoughts, or of future events without the use of the ordinary sensory channels—hence the term extrasensory perception (ESP), often used to designate these phenomena. Alternatively, parapsychological phenomena may be physical in character: the fall of dice or the dealing of cards is thought to be influenced by a person’s “willing” them to fall in a certain way; or objects are moved, often in a violent fashion, by poltergeists (seepoltergeist). The term psychokinesis is often used in this connection. The general term psi has become established to denote all kinds of parapsychological phenomena.
Scientific interest in the subject is of relatively recent origin, but belief in the reality of such phenomena has been widespread since the earliest recorded times. Before the rise of modern science the causation of all complex physical phenomena was very poorly understood, and hence appeals to nonmaterial agencies (ghosts, sorcerers, demons, mythological beings) took the place of a causal, scientific explanation. Even so, there were widespread debates about the reality of phenomena that obviously transcended the bounds of everyday happenings, such as veridical prophecies, as by the oracle of Delphi, or the revival of the dead.
clairvoyance, (French: “clear seeing”) knowledge of information not necessarily known to any other person, not obtained by ordinary channels of perceiving or reasoning—thus a form of extrasensory perception (ESP). Spiritualists also use the term to mean seeing or hearing (clairaudience) the spirits of the dead that are said to surround the living. Research in parapsychology—such as testing a subject’s ability to predict the order of cards in a shuffled deck—has yet to provide conclusive support for the existence of clairvoyance
occultism, various theories and practices involving a belief in and knowledge or use of supernaturalforces or beings. Such beliefs and practices—principally magical or divinatory—have occurred in all human societies throughout recorded history, with considerable variations both in their nature and in the attitude of societies toward them. In the West the term occultism has acquired intellectually and morally pejorative overtones that do not obtain in other societies where the practices and beliefs concerned do not run counter to the prevailing worldview.
Occult practices centre on the presumed ability of the practitioner to manipulate natural laws for personal benefit or on behalf of another; such practices tend to be regarded as evil only when they also involve the breaking of moral laws. Some anthropologists have argued that it is not possible to make a clear-cut distinction between magic—a principal component of occultism—and religion, and this may well be true of the religious systems of some nonliterate societies. The argument does not hold, however, for any of the major religions, which regard both natural and moral law as immutable.
The Western tradition of occultism, as popularly conceived, is of an ancient “secret philosophy” underlying all occult practices. This secret philosophy derives ultimately from Hellenistic magic and alchemy on the one hand and from Jewish mysticism on the other. The principal Hellenistic source is the Corpus Hermeticum, the texts associated with Hermes Trismegistos, which are concerned with astrology and other occult sciences and with spiritual regeneration.
The Jewish element is supplied by the Kabbala(the doctrine of a secret mystical interpretation of the Torah), which had been familiar to scholars in Europe since the Middle Ages and which was linked with the Hermetic texts during the Renaissance. The resulting Hermetic-Kabbalistic tradition, known as Hermetism, incorporated both theory and magical practice, with the latter presented as natural, and thus good, magic, in contrast to the evil magic of sorcery or witchcraft.
Alchemy was also absorbed into the body of Hermetism, and this link was strengthened in the early 17th century with the appearance of Rosicrucianism, an alleged secret brotherhood that utilized alchemical symbolism and taught secret wisdom to its followers, creating a spiritual alchemy that survived the rise of empirical scienceand enabled Hermetism to pass unscathed into the period of the Enlightenment.
During the 18th century the tradition was taken up by esoterically inclined Freemasons who could not find an occult philosophy within Freemasonry. These enthusiasts persisted, both as individual students of Hermetism and, in continental Europe, as groups of occult practitioners, into the 19th century, when the growth of religious skepticism led to an increased rejection of orthodox religion by the educated and a consequent search for salvation by other means—including occultism
IMPORTANT: Due to some issues our team had to deal with on the backend we unfortunately had to pull hundreds of episodes at the end of last year. However, now that those issues are being resolved we're releasing NEW and putting our older episodes out again for your enjoyment. To make sure you get every single new episode and the older episodes as we release them in you're chosen listening app please MAKE SURE that you're SUBSCRIBED or FOLLOWING our podcast.
Note: Mysterious Radio does not guarantee that you're podcasting listening app will show all available episodes. To check for accuracy please refer to Apple Podcasts if you have an iPhone as they will ALWAYS be correct. If you have an android device we recommend that you use Amazon, Spotify or PocketCasts. If you find that you're not seeing all available episodes please reach out to the app support team to refresh the Mysterious Radio episode feed.
See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Try one of our most popular episodes and follow us on your favorite podcast app!