This wonderful book is the only comprehensive survey of the most amazing and baffling phenomena known to mankind.
Here are detailed articles and case-histories dealing with Apparitions of the living and the dead, Apports (solid objects miraculously brought into closed rooms), Clairvoyance, Divination, Fire Immunity, Levitation (individuals or objects floating in the air in defiance of gravity), Materializations (phantoms built up from some unknown substance in sensitive persons), Prediction of future events, Telekinesis (movement of objects without apparent contact), Telepathy (thought transference) - and a host of other marvels. Here are hundreds of articles and biographies dealing with such phenomena and the people involved, the famous mediums and wonder-workers who did these things and the reporters and scientists who investigated them.
And the really extraordinary thing is that these are not old, far-off tales of occult wonders from ancient times, but sober reports from our own civilization, dating roughly from early nineteenth century to recent times. Many of the witnesses and investigators cited are reputable and highly esteemed scientists.
This vast survey covers the entire field of Psychical Phenomena and Spiritualism, including Mediumship, Extrasensory Perception and what is now termed Parapsychology. Every kind of psychical phenomenon of the period is listed, all the important and many lesser-known items, with precise information and detailed biographical and bibliographical material.
Apart from its value as an indispensable reference work, it provides, in effect, a whole library on the subjects concerned. In this single volume are more than eight hundred separate entries, classifying and cross-referencing all the phenomena, personalities and organizations in the field, a crisp systematic summary of thousands of other books and journals, weighed with clarity, impartiality and good judgement.
As an Encyclopaedia it is conveniently arranged on an alphabetical plan, but it is possible to absorb the essential contents without having to start at A.S.P.R. and plough through more than four hundred pages to Zugun! By selecting certain articles in sequence you can master the basic framework of the subject and then branch off into reading hundreds of fascinating details.
Start by reading the long article on Spiritualism, then the shorter piece on Psychical Research. You will now have a master key to the whole volume and the two parallel approaches which characterize the subject. The first gives the history of the Spiritualist movement in various countries, the beliefs, personalities and main phenomena. The second article clarifies the scientific approach. It is now possible to turn to individual entries dealing with phenomena like Raps and Table Turning from which the Spiritualist movement started. The fine entry Medium explains the basis of mediumship, and the entry under Fraud will give valuable information on the problems of distinguishing genuine from false phenomena. Then there are individual biographies of great mediums like the Fox Sisters, D. D. Home, Eusapia Palladino, Carlos Mirabelli, Margery Crandon, etc., as well as leading Spiritualists and organizations concerned in the growth of the movement.
On the side of Psychical Research, the entries on the Society for Psychical Research, in Britain, and the American Society for Psychical Research, with the detailed Indices to their published Proceedings, will give a useful lead to the history and achievements of -the scientific side of the subject, the attitudes, terminology and leading personalities. A glance at the main Index will show a number of other organizations connected with Psychical Research.
Historically, modern Spiritualism and Psychical Research grew out of the Mesmerism and Animal Magnetism that had swept throughout Europe from the end of the eighteenth century onwards; in America it was signalled by the amazing utterances of the seer Andrew Jackson Davis (1826-1910), and by the mysterious insistent rappings in the Fox family at Hydesville, New York State, in 1848. These developments are clearly summarized in this Encyclopaedia.
Yet Spiritualism and psychic phenomena are almost as old as the human race. Trance-speaking, possession, clairvoyance, premonitions, prophecy, levitation, communication, with the dead-even table-turning, are all Connected with older religions, and many of these phenomena still survive among primitive races. There have been careful historical and anthropological studies of these aspects of Spiritualism by writers like Andrew Lang and Caesar de Vesme, who are both cited in this Encyclopaedia. It is outside the scope of this book to deal with the important evidence in detail, but it is valuable to bear it in mind in assessing the different approaches of religion and science. There can be no reasonable doubt that miraculous events happened and still sometimes happen. If anything, the real problem is why they should become rare or deceptive in modern life. Part of the answer may lie in the changes in man's consciousness over the centuries.
Primitive man lived in a world where dreams, gods, spirits, ghosts, demons and miracles were inextricably involved in everyday waking life. But the miraculous evaporated as the vital religious consciousness of ancient times gave way to increased preoccupation with the practical material world. The wonder and awe at the mystery of life were displaced by concentration on improved technology - better tools, housing, social organization, and so on. After many bitter struggles to overcome the outworn formalism into which religion had degenerated, science produced its own miracles, and eventually scientific method took over the authority of religion. From time to time, however, religious revivals have shaken modern man from a materialistic daydream and shown a glimpse of that broader vision of meaning and purpose in the universe which had been known in ancient times. Usually the impact of such revivals has been too chaotic to allow a grand synthesis between religion and modern science.
Spiritualism broke upon the nineteenth century world like a great, incoherent wave of the supernatural, at once sublime, trivial,' inspiring, degrading, true and false. Throughout the 1850's table-turning became a fashionable preoccupation of rich and poor, and the communications a strange mixture of the uncanny and the banal. Later, more evidential communications were received through automatic writing, voice mediumship, and other manifestations. It is reported that in 1862 Miss Nettie Colburn, a powerful young trance medium (listed in the Encyclopaedia under her married name of Mrs. Maynard) visited the White House and gave an astonishing trance address to President Abraham Lincoln on the eve of his AntiSlavery Proclamation.
In the intense excitement of Spiritualist fervor, scientists felt that they should assert their own authority. To many of them Spiritualism appeared a dangerous reversion to superstition. Some determined to expose Spiritualism with the new disciplines and techniques of science, others, less prejudiced, were sympathetic to the new movement but thought it needed the restraining hand of science to validate its phenomena and exclude shameless frauds and the inevitable lunatic fringe.
In 1853 Dr. Robert Hare, Professor of Chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania, "felt called upon," as he wrote, "as an act of duty to his fellow creatures, to bring whatever influence he possessed to the attempt to stem the tide of popular madness which, in defiance of reason and science) was fast setting in favor of the gross delusion called Spiritualism." He devised apparatus and conducted careful tests with mediums. Unfortunately, as a fair-minded investigator, he eventually announced that he was now convinced of the facts of Spiritualism! He was immediately condemned by the professors of Harvard for "insane adherence to a gigantic humbug" and howled down by the American Scientific Association, which refused to listen to his lecture.
It needed courage to investigate Spiritualism without prejudice and for many years it was dangerous for individual scientists to risk a reputation. In 1870 the great British physicist William Crookes announced his intention of making an impartial investigation of Spiritualism. After several years' skilful observations and tests he boldly acknowledged his belief in the reality of psychic phenomena. He was bitterly criticized by other scientists and eventually found it expedient to discontinue these researches, although he never retracted any of his findings and remained a believer in the phenomena of Spiritualism for the rest of his life. It was not until the founding of the British Society for Psychical Research in 1882, and the American Society three years later, that such investigations were treated with the respect that they deserved. The enlightened interest of sincere and intelligent scientists marked a turning point in the history of both Spiritualism and Psychical Research.
From the end of the nineteenth century to the opening of the twentieth was the golden age of great mediums and great psychical researchers - mediums like Daniel Dunglas Home, Florence Cook, Eusapia Palladino, Mrs. Piper, the Rev. Stainton Moses; investigators like Crookes, Myers, Hyslop, William James, Sidgwick, Lombroso, Richet. There were many others, whose names are all in this Encyclopaedia.
For a time the cooperation between Spiritualists and psychical researchers was reasonably cordial. Eminent scientists endorsed much of the mental phenomena of Telepathy and Clairvoyance, and gave qualified approval to some of the physical phenomena of Telekinesis, Materializations and Levitation. But soon irreconcilable differences arose. The climate of opinion of the twentieth century, with its emphasis on technology and materialistic philosophy, was opposed to the religious outlook of Spiritualism. With a first World War on its hands civilization had other, more immediate problems. The great successes of science in practical affairs made it seem unlikely that there could really be a firm basis to the manifestations of disembodied spirits. Many of the signs and wonders of mediums evaporated under cold rigid laboratory tests, and it became difficult to attract funds for psychical research. The modern world was more interested in life this side of the grave and saw no dividends in experiments and speculations concerned with an after-life.
After the first excitement of its impact Spiritualism had ceased to be a nine days wonder, and now settled down into its own kind of orthodoxy, with the inevitable problems of establishment, schisms and federation that face all religions. Spiritualists became a minority in a modern world preoccupied with the hard facts of life as we know it. A new generation was growing up, unaware of the origins and continuation of Spiritualism; for other people it remained yet another cranky cult. The subject was good for an occasional "controversial" article in the tabloid press (it still is!) but it had long ceased to be front-page news. At the same time, the general public was not unsympathetic to a little mystery and magic as life became increasingly materialistic. Astrology, fortune-telling, palmistry and other occult. arts never ceased to be popular, and everybody liked a good ghost story. Popular journalism became important propaganda for Spiritualists, both in the national Press and in Spiritualist newspapers and journals.
On the other hand, psychical researchers frowned on sensationalism and became increasingly skeptical. Conscientious investigators were dismayed by the frequency of vulgar fraud. Inevitably, psychical researchers and Spiritualists tended to drift into opposite camps. One may see these two rival currents as a renewal of the conflict between science and religion.
Psychical researchers set their own test conditions and atmosphere, and whether their investigations were successful or not their reports were read with respect. Spiritualists objected that mediums were "on trial" in an unsuitable atmosphere. Skeptical and suspicious attitudes powerfully influence the elusive phenomena of sensitive individuals, and it had long been noticed that unconscious fraud might be brought about through expectation on the part of the investigators. And an adverse or even inconclusive report by a psychical researcher might damage the reputation of a medium, whose position was unjustly precarious anyway so far as the law was conconcerned.
In Britain, Spiritualists were often persecuted under cruel, old-fashioned legislation. Psychical research might be quite respectable, but until as recently as 1951 a medium could be prosecuted under sections of the Witchcraft Act 1735 and the Vagrancy Act 1824. In a 1921 case a judge stated: "I cannot reverse the decision on the claim that the intention to deceive was not necessarily to be proved. The act of fortune-telling is an offence in itself." Perhaps the most despicable type of prosecution was that in which agents provocateur were employed by the police to obtain evidence. Disguised policewomen, posing as bereaved parents, would approach a medium, begging for some consolatory message. A small sum of money would be proferred as a "love-offering" and if this was accepted the medium could be prosecuted- often for as little as the equivalent of a 25-cent "donation" to the Spiritualist church funds. An unsympathetic magistrate, arrogantly convinced that all Spiritualists were frauds, would impose a fine or a sentence of up to three months imprisonment. The disgrace, loss of reputation and employment, could ruin a medium for life.
In New York, comparable outdated legislation was amended in 1929, to exempt ministers and mediums of Spiritualist Associations acting in good faith without personal fees.
Many Spiritualist seances were in darkness or subdued light, and another hazard for mediums was the amateur investigator who would flash on lights and grab at manifestations, determined to expose what he considered fraud. Whether the phenomena were genuine or not, such crude tactics might cause serious shock or other injury to the medium. It was often not generally recognized that Spiritualist organizations themselves took care to test mediums and were alert to detect fraud.
During the 1930's, Spiritualism and psychical research were uneasy partners. There were many intelligent and sincere Spiritualists, but it must be admitted that there were also lower levels of the movement that were undiscriminating, accepting dubious phenomena and rather banal "messages." Of course, not all mediums were Spiritualists, and many were non-professional. The most reliable field for mediumship was perhaps the "home circle," composed of family and friends.
Much excellent and painstaking work had been achieved by psychical researchers, but some were very skeptical, too materialistic in approach, and oversensitive to criticism. In the twentieth century, intellect and experimental method were supplanting the faith and emotional warmth of religion. There was a tendency to assume that nothing was real unless you could measure and test it.
In 1934, the Hon. Alfred Lyttleton, President of the Society for Psychical Research, stated that "after fifty years of steady work the Society, as a Society, would not affirm that the survival of bodily death has been demonstrated conclusively, or that communication with spirits has been established" (in any case, the Society's constitution did not insist on corporate opinions). "But," she added: "I think it may be said that many of those conversant with the work have been convinced by the cumulative effect of the evidence that life does continue after bodily death, and that some communication between the living and the dead has been discovered."
The present Encyclopaedia, which also appeared in 1934, boldly attempted its own summary of the whole history, detail and validity of Spiritualism and Psychical Science. It was a heroic task, yet it emerges as the most comprehensive and fairminded account of the subject ever made.
You might expect to find that a careful and complex Encyclopaedia of this kind, involving years of research, study and assessment, would be the result of a team of investigators and writers-yet the fact is that this tremendous compilation is the work of one man-a Hungarian barrister who in exile became a journalist, a psychical researcher, and a psychoanalyst. A man of truly international outlook he became an American citizen, travelled to England and became a naturalized Briton, finally returning to America where he resumed American citizenship and spent his last years.
For just over a century, the strange phenomena which we call "psychical" or "parapsychological" have been studied by theologians, scientists and even conjurers, but it took a legal mind to write the best and most complete account of the whole subject. There is no biographical entry for Dr. Nandor Fodor himself in his Encyclopaedia, so it is only proper that this new edition of his major work should contain the leading facts of his life.
NANDOR FODOR was born in Berengszasz, Hungary, May 13, 1895. He recalls that while at high school the chief of his class predicted: "Fodor, he will get somewhere!"
He studied law and took his LL.D. at the Royal Hungarian University of Science in 1917, acting as a Law assistant from 1917-21; he also received a Ph.D. He married Amaria Iren in 1922, and they had a daughter.
From 1921 -28, the second chapter of his profession became journalism. Around 1921 he paid his first visit to America as a staff reporter on the New York Hungarian-language daily Amerikai Magyar Nepszava (American Hungarian People's Voice). The chance discovery of a book by the brilliant psychical researcher and writer Hereward Carrington fired the imagination of Fodor and gave a new direction to his interests. The book was Carrington's Modern Psychic Phenomena, published 1919, and Fodor recalls that he found it in a bookshop on Fourth Avenue, New York, in 1921; thereafter he also found his main vocation- psychical research. In a warm tribute to Carrington in Tomorrow (Winter 1959) Fodor wrote: "This work was a revelation to me. From then on I spent my lunch money on books, feasting on psychic knowledge in preference to the nourishing food of the Hungarian restaurants near my work."
He approached Carrington for an interview for his newspaper; instead Carrington courteously invited him to a reception for the great Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes and the most sincere and tireless worker for the cause of Spiritualism. At the reception Fodor was able to interview Conan Doyle.
Carrington had a profound influence on Fodor. They became firm friends, and although they did not meet again for ten years they corresponded and later collaborated. It is clear that from this time onwards Fodor took Carrington as a model for his own subsequent activities as writer and investigator of psychical subjects, although not yet free to concentrate his energies full time on these matters.
In 1926, while still a reporter in New York, Fodor also interviewed Sandor Ferenczi, leading psychoanalyst and associate of Freud. Although psychoanalysis was nominally unsympathetic to the occult, Ferenczi and even Freud himself were secretly sympathetic to certain psychical phenomena. Strangely enough, psychoanalysis was to be the second decisive influence in Fodor's life and he was destined to link its findings with psychical research.
In the following year, Fodor had what he calls his "first encounter with the dead" at a seance with William Cartheuser, voice medium, in New York City. Fodor received a very moving and evidential direct voice communication from his dead father. Many years later, Fodor became disillusioned with the mediumship of Cartheuser, but never forgot the overwhelming emotional impact of that first seance. He wrote a detailed account of it, published in his book The Haunted Mind (Helix Press, 1959).
In 1929, after an interview with the millionaire newspaper magnate Lord Rothermere, Fodor was fortunate enough to get a privileged position on his personal staff. Rothermere owned a chain of national British newspapers-the Daily Mail, Daily Mirror, Evening News, and Sunday Dispatch, and was deeply concerned in the restoration of Hungary. Fodor's new job took him to England. Here, as a secretary to Lord Rothermere, he was concerned with Hungarian affairs, such as the revision of the Hungarian Peace Treaty after World War 1, but he found himself with plenty of spare time and a comfortable office in Fleet Street, London.
It was in this period that he compiled the present Encyclopaedia. It was a phenomenal undertaking for one man, and it took him several years. When it appeared, in 1934, Fodor himself explained how he came to undertake this task. He wrote:
I was struck by the fact, when I began my studies in psychical research eleven years ago, that the enquirer is faced by an endless repetition as he goes on.
I wanted a guide, and started to make an index of my own. From this, as time went on, the idea of an alphabetical encyclopaedia was born.
We have few comprehensive books on psychic science, and they are all coloured by too much or too little faith. Podmore's Modern Spiritualism [This classic work was reissued by University Books Inc. under the new title Mediums of the 19th Century in 1963, with an important Introduction by Dr. E. J. Dingwall. Podmore's opinions are certainly unjustly skeptical, but the book is valuable for its historical survey rather than its dogmatic opinions.] is a splendid work, but its narrow views, in the light of greater present knowledge, are irritating and occasionally infuriating.
Conan Doyle's History of Spiritualism is too sketchy and inexact, Campbell Holm's Facts of Psychic Science only deals with phenomena, and, for the purpose I have in mind, in a not sufficiently comprehensive and discriminative manner. Carrington's Story of Psychic Science is more of a text than a reference book.
What we need is a standard work, which, in a dispassionate, detached and impersonal manner, presents all the facts of history, research, phenomena and mediumship, in which, at a minute's notice, we can lay our hands on every important fact....
This is a good description of the Encyclopaedia. There can be no doubt that after thirty years this book still stands as the key reference work on the subject for the period covered. When it appeared, it established Fodor's reputation overnight as an authority on psychical matters.
He was invited to lecture on Spiritualism and Psychical Research, and in February 1934 became Assistant Editor, under David Gow, of Light, the oldest British Spiritualist journal. It is still in existence, now published by the College of Psychic Science in London, and the Autumn 1964 issue carried a fine tribute to Fodor from Miss Mercy Phillimore, who was associated with his early work in Britain. In those days, although Fodor was a brilliant journalist and could read and write English with ease, he had difficulty in speaking the language. Miss Phillimore recalls:
He never failed to speak, and was first up when the chairman declared the discussion open. This was the occasion for a friendly titter from the audience, for his words gushed forth-indeed, splashed forth-in torrents at terrific speed, and in the whirl of sounds were many amusing mistakes. He was quite willing to learn about his errors of speech, and joined in the fun.
Through the help of the London Spiritualist Alliance, Fodor was able to take part in research experiments with mediums. His happy enthusiasm at being able to witness the phenomena which he had previously only studied in books is amusing:
The commotion caused by his excitement would not be believed by anyone who had not been present; his jumping and shouting filled the room with deafening noise. It was of course a great thrill for him to witness that of which he had read so much, and the first impact brought acceptance that the phenomena were genuinely supernormal.
Later on he became somewhat more cautious and skeptical.
1934 was an important year for psyschical research in England. On June 6, the University of London Council for Psychical Investigation was founded, to take over the work of the National Laboratory of Psychical Research which had been founded by Harry Price in 1925. Price presented the Council with his library, laboratory and equipment. He had carried out interesting investigations, but on the whole Spiritualists objected to laboratory tests by skeptical investigators and scientists. In a vigorous newspaper article, veteran Spiritualist Hannen Swaffer commented: ". . . high-sounding degrees do not impress anybody except newspapers, and they have used it all before, as their files will show, about other institutes, all of which ended in the same way as I prophesy this one will-in nothing. Spiritualism would rather have one medium than the enquiries of a thousand scientists."
Early in 1934 another organization came into being-the International Institute for Psychical Research, with a Council of both Spiritualists and non-Spiritualists, dedicated to a sympathetic and unprejudiced investigation of psychical phenomena. Professor D. F. Fraser-Harris was announced as Research Officer, but resigned through a misunderstanding with the Council. In his place, Dr. Nandor Fodor was appointed, and thus began his years of practical investigation into psychical phenomena. It was not until 1938 that Fodor too was involved in an unhappy misunderstanding with his Council.
Meanwhile he undertook a number of careful investigations into mediumistic transfiguration, production of apports, direct voice, levitation, hauntings, poltergeist and materializations. He also edited a series of valuable Bulletins issued by the Institute. It must have been a great satisfaction to Fodor that the first of these, dealing with poltergeist phenomena, was a collaboration with his friend Dr. Hereward Carrington, who was Research Officer of the American Psychical Institute of New York. Later on, their modest 44-page booklet became the basis for a more substantial book Haunted People (New York 1951), British edition titled The Story of the Poltergeist Down the Centuries (London 1953).
Between April and May 1934, Fodor also wrote a series of popular articles on mediums, Spiritualism and Psychical Research, for the newspaper Bristol Evening World; these were reprinted in book form as These Mysterious People (London, 1934). This is perhaps the clearest, most reliable and readable popular work of its kind ever published, covering the important personalities and phenomena and forming one of the best general introductions to the subject.
During his time in England, Fodor met Dr. Elizabeth Severn, a well-known practicing psychoanalyst who had been a pupil of Sandor Ferenczi. This contact renewed his interest in psychoanalysis. At that time there was still considerable prejudice against the subject in England, since it dealt with the explosive question of sexual motivations. Fodor, however, believed that psychoanalysis could throw important light on psychical phenomena.
Although he seems to have had a natural flair for the subject, his psychoanalytical theories and investigations were too far ahead of their time to be generally acceptable, and some of his best observations were not vindicated until many years later. In the Introduction to The Story of the Poltergeist Down the Centuries (London, 1953), Dr. Carrington reviewed the developing tendency for psychical investigators to consider the emotional states and unconscious drives in mediumistic subjects, with particular reference to poltergeist phenomena. After referring to an early paper by Dr. James Hyslop, he commented: ". . . Aside from a few clinical observations of Eusapia Palladino, this remained practically the only study of the sort until Dr. Nandor Fodor's psychoanalytical analyses of various poltergeist cases." In 1944, Dr. John Layard, in a paper on "Psi Phenomena and Poltergeists" (Proceedings S.P.R., July 1934) PP. 237-47) concluded ". . . all true poltergeist phenomena ... are purposeful and probably occasioned by conditions of Unresolved tension in the psyche of those involuntarily producing them."
But this was a revolutionary concept in the 1930's when Fodor conducted his own investigations, and it needed great courage to maintain such views. He was bitterly criticized by Spiritualists for introducing a tabooed subject into psychical research.
Two of Fodor's important investigations were to have far-reaching results. These were the Ash Manor Ghost and the Thornton Heath Poltergeist, fully reported in Fodor's The Haunted Mind (Helix Press, 1959).
It was in 1936 that he investigated the strange dramatic story of the Ash Manor Ghost, in which it seemed that hauntings took place because of abnormal sexual relationships in the family concerned. Suppressed sexual energies appeared to provide an atmosphere in which a phantom could continue to manifest. Amazingly enough, the basic diagnosis of the case was through the spirit-guide of a brilliant medium whom Fodor brought into the case. This medium was Mrs. Eileen J. Garrett, who was later to head the Parapsychology Foundation in America.
The Thornton Heath Poltergeist, which he started to investigate February 1938, was a sensational affair of a woman who produced remarkable poltergeist phenomena and appeared to be the victim of vampirism. Whatever the objective nature of the phenomena, Fodor soon found that their occurrence was intimately related to the personal problems of the woman concerned. This presented a peculiar difficulty. As Fodor wrote in The Haunted Mind: "The psychical researcher is forced to view his subjects as material for investigation, but not necessarily as human beings. The psychoanalyst can go further. His aim is to analyze, to find the fault, and then, if possible, to heal and bring about a new adjustment to life." As an experimenter and observer it would have been unethical to change to an analyst-patient relationship without full understanding and agreement.
Before Fodor could resolve this delicate situation, the opposition to his psychoanalytical views exploded into a crisis affecting his own position as Research Officer of the International Institute for Psychical Research. Word of his sexual theories and findings leaked out, and this, bracketed with his vigorous exposure of mediumistic frauds, aroused intense antagonism. In an obscure work Consciousness Creative (Boston, 1937) he had contributed an essay which stated: "For reasons of public propriety, mediumship is very seldom discussed from its most important angle: that of sex." This was violently criticized in the popular Spiritualist press in Britain. Horace Leaf, a famous medium and Spiritualist author, came to the defense of Fodor, stating:
Owing to the peculiar nature of the subject, Dr. Nandor Fodor wisely restricted its publication to quarters which guaranteed that it would be read only by those interested in the more technical and scientific aspects of mediumship... Dr. Fodor's article is written in a style suitable to the subject and carefully restrained in tone. A subject so delicate and so liable to misunderstanding demands scientific language, otherwise it would approach vulgarity. Dr. Fodor is to be congratulated on the excellent manner in which he has handled it.
In spite of this sensible and temperate attitude, a reviewer attacked Fodor in unrestrained terms:
Although he may not even suspect it, Dr. Nandor Fodor, Research Officer to the International Institute for Psychical Research, has confessed his amazing ignorance of the nature of psychic phenomena in a curious essay in a very curious book....
The reviewer went on to speak of "This insult to the great spirit guides Further articles were published, baiting Fodor and questioning his competence, until one day in February 1938 he issued a writ for libel against the newspaper concerned. Other repercussions followed. J. Arthur Findlay, one of the most respected figures in the Spiritualist movement, was a chief shareholder in the company owning the newspaper and also Chairman of the International Institute, of which he was a founder. He felt he could no longer be associated with the Institute under these circumstances, and accordingly resigned from his position there. Meanwhile the Institute itself brought Fodor's investigation of the Thornton Heath case to a close, and in August 1938 the Council of the Institute sent a letter to their members which opened:
After carefully reviewing and considering the policy of the Institute, the Council have decided that the employment of a whole-time director of research is not justified. Accordingly they have terminated with regret the engagement of Dr. Nandor Fodor, who is no longer connected with the Institute in that or any other capacity.
Stung by this peremptory dismissal, Fodor wrote a spirited reply on September 2, also published in the journal The Occult Review (October 1938):
I have been on holiday in France. On my return I learned with considerable surprise that I was no more Director of Research for the International Institute for Psychical Research. The communique which you published last week was emphatic in stating that I was no longer connected with the Institute in 'that or any other capacity. The public warning may make people wonder whether I have been guilty of misdemeanor or was expected to commit such under false pretenses. Let me make it first clear that I have been one of the founders of the International Institute for Psychical Research. I have directed its research for four years with considerable sacrifice. I have built the Institute with my sweat and blood. It belonged to me more than to any member of the Council. Yet the present Council of the Institute felt in no way obliged to inform me that my services would be no more wanted and to give me a fair chance of resignation....
Fodor went on to disclose that the Institute had also impounded the manuscript of his new book. He challenged the Council to inform the membership of the whole truth of the matter, and concluded: "I am entitled to satisfaction. I mean to get it." This was fighting talk!
During this period of an open break with Spiritualists he felt free to speak his mind on some of the lower levels of the movement. His own- unhappiness at being forced into an invidious position was reflected in a new series of hard-hitting articles for The Leader, in which, with talented journalism, he now wrote of "shameless imposture." "I respect the deep religious convictions of sincere spiritualists," he declared, "but I cannot keep silent about some of our miracle-mongers." The series was announced: "BEGINNING THE GREATEST SHOWUP OF SPIRIT 'MIRACLES' EVER PRINTED." "I Expose the Shams of Spiritualism." Later headlines read: "I Unmask the Muslin and Cheese-cloth Ghosts I Debunk These 'Gifts from Heaven'."
Spiritualists were alarmed at this tearing aside of the veils, and Fodor was reproached by his former associates. Answering the charge of now being a "very doubtful friend," he replied (Light, November 10, 1938): "In Spiritualism, unhappily, one ceases to be considered as a friend if he speaks the unpleasant truth."
In what must have been the unhappiest chapter of his life, Fodor suddenly secured unexpected support for his position and recognition of his psychoanalytical insight from the highest authority. Professor Freud himself, then in England, graciously agreed to read Fodor's manuscript, and in the course of a letter dated November 22) 1938, he wrote sympathetically:
Your turning away from interest in whether the observed phenomena were genuine or fraudulent, your turning toward the psychological study of the medium and the uncovering of her previous history, seem to be the important steps which will lead to the elucidation of the phenomena under investigation.
It is very regrettable that the Institute for psychical research would not follow you. I also hold it very probable that your conclusions regarding this particular case are correct....
(full German text and translation in article: by Fodor: "Freud and the Poltergeist,"
Psychoanalysis, journal of Psychoanalytic Psychology, vol. 4, No. 2, Winter 1955-56).
Fodor wrote a happy and generous letter to the Editor of The Occult Review, published in January 1939:
I would be glad if you would allow me to state that my differences with the Council of the International Institute for Psychical Research have now been amicably composed.
The manuscript referred to in my letter of September 8th has now been returned to me, and I am making arrangements for its early publication. It will represent my personal views and will in no way bind the Council of the International Institute.
I understand that recognition is being paid to me for my past services in a statement which members will shortly receive. On my part I wish the Council good luck for their future work, and sincerely hope that their new policy will receive the same hearty support which I have enjoyed in the past four years.
The libel case did not end so happily. Fodor had complained of four articles which he said had libelled him. Judgement was given in March 1939. As a barrister Fodor partially conducted his own case, and was awarded minor damages Of 50 guineas each in respect of two of the articles, the jury finding for the newspaper in regard to the other two. It might seem that the result was evenly divided, but to the newspaper it was a heavy blow which drained away vital funds and made bad publicity for Spiritualism. Fodor had vindicated his reputation but the gap between psychical researchers and Spiritualists had widened.
At this distance of time, all this might seem a series of trivial domestic issues, but in the small world of British Spiritualism and Psychical Research of the period, such issues were critical. I think it is a pity the matter ever came to Court. Perhaps some of the attacks on Fodor were extreme and his legal background would suggest an obvious remedy. But in those days Spiritualism had to be very much on the defensive and could only maintain its position by vigorous journalism- "challenges," "plain speaking without fear or favor," etc.-to strengthen the emotional solidarity of the Spiritualist rank and file. Behind all this lurked indignation at the precarious position of Spiritualists, the persecution of mediums, and the superciliousness of many cultured scientific investigators.
From Fodor's point of view he had felt his honor impugned, and his status as a competent researcher undermined. Since he was not a medical doctor or an accredited psychoanalyst his unique insights into relationships between mediums and psychoanalytical motivations were unjustly discredited. He too had to defend his position. The real fault lay in the narrow outlook of the times.
Very soon after the case Fodor returned to America. Here he practiced successfully as a psychoanalyst in New York, and resumed American citizenship. Here too he renewed contact with his old friend Dr. Hereward Carrington, with whom he had so much in common.
In 1934 Carrington had written to acknowledge a copy of Fodor's Encyclopaedia and to congratulate him on the "tremendous amount of work" that had gone into it. It was not until two years later that Fodor discovered that Carrington himself had been working on a similar project which he had generously yielded.
For Dr. Fodor, psychoanalyst, the atmosphere in America was more sympathetic to new ideas, and psychoanalysis itself firmly established. In this last phase of his life he was also able to combine his former interests of journalism and psychical research, but now the campaigning days were over and his contributions were acceptable in learned journals. He elaborated his stimulating ideas on connections between psychical phenomena and psychoanalysis. His studies in the field of meaningful dream analysis had added interest in that they drew upon his own personal experiences. He also wrote many articles for the fine journal Tomorrow, edited by Mrs. Eileen J. Garrett, whom he had known as a talented medium in England. As I mentioned earlier, when Dr. Carrington died (December 26, 1959, aged 78) Fodor wrote a deeply-felt tribute in the Winter 1959 issue of Tomorrow.
During the last period of his life Fodor considerably modified some of his earlier attitudes, and perhaps British Spiritualists were pleased to read his remarkably frank avowal in a Psychic Observer article in 1943:
My attitude to psychical phenomena has undergone a tremendous change since I left England. Then I was a psychical investigator, following the routine techniques. A free hand for the researcher is none for the medium. Now I am a psychologist and my attitude is exactly the opposite: a free hand for the medium, none for the researcher.
He confessed that he had "no more joy in tying up mediums and exalting instrumental findings," and commented , "I see now psychical research has tried to be too scientific for years and has gone bankrupt as a result. Mediums do not function well if they are used as guinea-pigs. They are human beings with the same virtues and vices as the researchers themselves."
It is this essential fair-mindedness, the ability to weigh his judgements carefully and even revise his views, that gives the work of Dr. Nandor Fodor such lasting value. In 1956 he wrote a fiery essay defending the late Harry Price from attacks upon him in a new book, while in 1963 he was equally indignant at the publication of Trevor Hall's controversial book The Spiritualists which attempted to discredit Sir William Crookes and the famous Florence Cook mediumship.
In a letter published in the journal of the Society for Psychical Research (December 1964) Mr. David Cohen, author of a book on Harry Price, wrote: "Before his death, Dr. Nandor Fodor expressed to me in a letter his fear that fresh denigrations of dead researchers would follow after those of Price and Crookes, and now F. W. H. Myers has been included.... Who will be next on the list? Mr. R. S. Lambert's final words in his foreword should be heeded by all investigators: 'We need more tolerance, less cynicism and greater respect for human nature.' "
Dr. Fodor himself was responsible for nine important books and a great many valuable articles. In 1962 his book Mind Over Space (New York) reviewed the strange phenomenon of teleportation. At the time of his death his final work, The Voice Within, a study of Freud's early years, was unpublished. On May 17, 1964, Dr. Fodor himself crossed the frontier of that great unknown which he had studied and investigated for so many years of his life.
The Encyclopaedia of Psychic Science lives on as his greatest achievement. In this book, as in his life, he tried to hold the scales between the extreme attitudes of Spiritualists and psychical researchers. Those who lived through those exciting inter-war years in England will appreciate the immense difficulties of producing an impartial work of this kind.
When the book first appeared, its value was instantly recognized, but Spiritualists complained at the suggestion that cases like the Crandon mediumship and the famous thumbprints were "considerably clouded" by doubts, while psychical researchers objected to "undue leniency" I Obviously it is impossible to reconcile both viewpoints.
My own suggestion is that on this and similar points where psychical researchers insist on suspicions which Spiritualists deny, the reader should consult all the references which Dr. Fodor has conveniently provided, and in addition study subsequent evidence and opinion in sources like the Journal and Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, London.
Spiritualists also regretted that some personalities in the movement had short entries or were omitted. Of course, no work of this kind would claim perfection, and Dr. Fodor himself stated: "Future editions may take care of deficiencies. In the meantime, I trust, it will be judged by its merits, by what it contains and not by what it does not."
There were no new editions during the author's lifetime and nobody has produced a better book of this kind. It has served as an indispensable reference work for thirty years and is now a scarce item. In the present reissue hundreds of typographical and factual slips have been carefully corrected. The publishers would be glad to know of any other essential factual matters which may have escaped notice. I have added a few notes at the end of this Foreword on some of the Spiritualist personalities who did not get detailed entry, and on other relevant matters. Apart from this, I think the Encyclopaedia will stand as a unique reference work and review of the whole field to 1934, and it would be misleading to attempt to rewrite it in its existing form. It expresses the terminology and outlook of the period covered. It is to be hoped that new material and revaluations can be the subject of further books by authors as experienced and dedicated as the late Dr. Nandor Fodor.
It would need another Encyclopaedia even larger than the present one to cover the detailed developments of the last thirty years. Meanwhile it is possible to give a very brief outline of the general trends and some important new directions.
The main issues between Spiritualists and Psychical Researchers remain those of the different approaches of religion and science. Midway between the two camps are many intelligent individuals and organizations not committed either to the simple faith of religion or the rigorous disciplines of scientific method.
The Spiritualist movement is an active one with many thousands of sincere followers, who accept general principles of human survival after physical death, personal responsibility for one's deeds, and evolution of the soul. These are admirable principles in an age that has become increasingly materialistic and cynical. In her obituary on Dr. Fodor (Light, Autumn 1964) Miss Phillimore recalls that on one of his later visits to London during the last American period, he gave a lecture at the London Spiritualist Alliance in which he said, smilingly, that he was in favor of Spiritualism, "not on account of the truth or otherwise of its claims, but because it promoted such a happy outlook on life."
Spiritualist phenomena relies largely upon spirit guides, clairvoyance, clairaudience, trance sermons, and generally subjective evidence of survival. It must be admitted that this is often very strong. The acceptance of trance personalities and spirit guides (Red Indians, children, Eastern mystics, etc.) is a great stumbling-block for many enquirers, but I see no reason why it should not be regarded simply as a convention if it leads to the disclosure of paranormal phenomena.
Perhaps the most important development of recent years is the great revival and development of Spiritual Healing. Here, too, there are various conventions. Many healers, like well-known Harry Edwards, work by laying on of hands. Others claim to be controlled by spirit guides. Some believe that the spirit of a dead doctor influences them, and mime operations while in a trance condition. Some perform real operations with miraculous incidentals. It seems that the actual conventions are less significant than the healing forces liberated through them. Recently the Filipino healer Tony Agpaoa was reported to perform amazing psychic operations which involve real incisions without any instrument. By a movement of the hand an opening appears in the flesh of the patient. A malignant growth is removed with bare hands or with scissors, and a miraculous suture of the wound takes place instantly as the healer rubs his hand across the incision. Skeptics are referred to the explicit and incontrovertible photographs in the British newspaper Psychic News (September 4, 1965) where there is a detailed account of Tony Agpaoa, who is reported to have performed as many as 317 "psychic operations" in one day, some completed in only five minutes. One can only consider such incredible events with humility.
Spiritual Healing has, made a great impact on the whole field of Christian faith; many Churches are now concerned with sympathetic consideration of psychical phenomena.
Against the warmer emotional climate of the miraculous, psychical researchers have often seemed dull skeptics. The golden age of physical mediumship has passed and it has been difficult to find impressive phenomena. Over thirty years the concept of "proof" has hardened. The methods of science are not as sensational as those of religion, and it is easy to overlook the patient, skilled and sympathetic work of many members of the Society for Psychical Research. If some of this is of a high intellectual quality so much the better; static lower levels of both mind and emotions are to be deplored.
Over the years the Society has continued to maintain its high reputation with distinguished Presidents such as Professor C. D. Broad, Professor H. H. Price, Dr. Robert H. Thouless, Professor Gardner Murphy, and Professor E. R. Dodds. The Society has carried out investigations over a wide field of old and new phenomena; the reader is referred to the Journal- and Proceedings for reports of important experiments by skilled researchers like W. H. Salter, Whateley Carington, G. N. M. Tyrrell, S. G. Soal, etc., and for critical articles by Dr. E. J. Dingwall, Dr. D. J. West, R. G. Medhurst, Mrs. K. M. Goldney and many other experienced contributors.
Unfortunately, modern extremist views are often identified with psychical research as a whole, especially where supplementary research materials have been used to throw doubts on the classic cases of the past. A recent book The Spiritualists by Trevor Hall suggested that Crookes used the famous investigations of medium Florence Cook as a cover for a love affair with her, and that the manifestations of the spirit form "Katie King" were frauds to which Crookes was a party. It should be said unequivocally that the evidence for these charges is unsatisfactory and the reasoning highly speculative. [Some indication of the problems raised by new and old evidence is shown in the important article "William Crookes and the Physical Phenomena of Mediumship" (R. G. MEDHURST & K. M. GOLDNEY) in Proceedings of S.P.R. Vol 54, Pt. 195 (March 1964).]
A great deal of mystification was also caused by a whispering campaign that after the death of Dr. Gustave Geley in 1924 some very suspicious photographs of the mediumship of "Eva C." (Marthe Beraud) were found among his papers. Apparently these photographs suggested the possibility of fraud, but it is difficult to see the relevance of this to the two hundred published photographs and the careful reports of Baron von Schrenck-Notzing and Dr. Gustave Geley in their books dealing with these investigations. [The facts and speculations involved are covered in the detailed article "Dr. Geley's Reports on the Medium Eva C." (RUDOLF LAMBERT) in Journal of S.P.R. vol. 37, No. 682 (November 1954).]
A major issue between Spiritualists and psychical researchers is still the survival question. Psychical researchers are reluctant to accept the validity of many alleged communications from the dead, preferring more general concepts of the elusive qualities of the human mind; Spiritualists continue the belief in the soul which is basic to most religions. Papers on psychical research have become more specialized in the direction of psychology, and often only comprehensible to those with basic education in physics, mathematics, and other disciplines. But two important points need to be stressed here. The Society for Psychical Research in London has often been attacked for skepticism. It must be emphasized that the opinions of individual researchers and writers do not represent a corporate view of the Society, which includes amongst its membership people of varying outlooks (including those who accept survival) and encourages a wide range of expression of opinion in its publications.
Of course, the whole question of survival is intimately related to the riddle of personality itself. Many apparently discarnate entities are clearly as fictitious as the creations of a novelist. We regard our own personalities as stable reference points, but we too change radically during the course of our lives, and personality may be powerfully enhanced or demolished in various circumstances, such as "star worship" by fans, bullying, "brain-washing," shock, dissociation or other abnormal psychological conditions. Even our own personalities sometimes have an air of fiction, and so far only- the ancient religions of the East have attempted an explanation of the complexities involved. Obviously in all these matters, faith must be tempered by sensible discrimination, and in questions of survival blind belief in spirit guides or other entities can be misleading.
Looking back over the last century of Spiritualism and psychic science, it is curious to reflect that the problem has been essentially one of communication at all levels. In each case, communications were reinforced by actions or other demonstrations of authenticity in the physical field. The Spiritualists thought this "something" was simply from the realm of dead spirits; the psychical researchers thought that if anything it was some unknown area of the human mind trying to reach other areas of consciousness.
Clearly the religious levels of man were trying to communicate with the scientific levels. After thousands of years of preoccupation with practical affairs man had, so to speak, forgotten what he knew before he first turned his attention to scientific method-he had lost or forgotten his religious sense. Both Spiritualists and psychical researchers were part of the same communications problem. Although they had certain terms in common and studied similar phenomena they just could not agree on a common concept. And while Spiritualists were trying to get their own message across to psychical researchers who just could not see it that way, the researchers too were trying desperately to explain themselves to a world of modern science that regarded their studies as nonsense!
In many ways, the problem was a linguistic one, and the newer attempts at communication involved agreement on words and concepts. After the 1930's major developments in outlook and method all over the world could be summed up in a single word: PARAPSYCHOLOGY.
These developments stemmed from the work of Dr. J. B. Rhine, who was deeply concerned with problems of the nature of man and the light which psychical research might throw upon the question. In 1927 Dr. Rhine resigned a teaching post at West Virginia University to go to Duke University, North Carolina, to study psychical research under the guidance of the great psychologist Professor William McDougall. Dr. Rhine became a Professor of Psychology and in 1930 was named Director of the Parapsychology Laboratory at Duke.
"Para" means beside or beyond, and Dr. Rhine preferred the new term to the older "psychical research" which had associations likely to prejudice modern scientists. Rhine's radical departure was to remove research from the seance-room, with the special talents of mediums, into the laboratory, under systematic control conditions, testing the unknown or "extra-sensory" faculties (ESP for short) of ordinary individuals. Rhine and his associates devised tests with simple apparatus to validate telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition and even psychokinesis (influencing the movements of objects by will-power). Rhine's great contribution was to combine good experimental method with statistical evaluation. In this way he built up scientifically acceptable evidence for extrasensory perception which had a strong bearing also on the whole question of the nature and faculties of man and his responsibilities in the world.
The ESP experiments were basically simple card-guessing tests, using the special pack designed by psychologist Dr. Zener. Zener Cards use five simple diagramsCircle, Rectangle, Cross, Wavy Lines, and Star, and there are twenty-five cards to the pack, i.e. five of each symbol. Psychokinetic experiments (PK) began with simple attempts to influence the fall of dice.
In his own books Extra-Sensory Perception (1934), New Frontiers of the Mind (1938) and The Reach of the Mind (1947) Dr. Rhine gives the background of these researches and acknowledges earlier work in the field. Amongst other important researchers one should stress S. G. Soal, K. M. Goldney, Whateley Carington, and G. N. M. Tyrrell. Tyrrell's excellent book Science and Psychical Phenomena, issued in one volume with his other classic work Apparitions in 1961 (University Books Inc.) gives a full description of the work of Rhine and other investigators.
It would be a great mistake to suppose that Dr. Rhine was only concerned with laboratory work - card-guessing, dice-throwing, etc. - far removed from the circumstances of everyday life. These experiments were designed to validate ESP under the stern scrutiny of modern science. Dr. Rhine also believed that Parapsychology would touch upon the great issues of religion, and specifically stated that the survival question must be kept open for investigation by scientific method. In this way modern man could replace belief by knowledge.
The word "Parapsychology" also became indissolubly linked with work of one other individual-Mrs. Eileen J. Garrett.
In 1933 Mrs. Garrett also contacted Professor William McDougall during a visit to Duke University, and at his suggestion cooperated with Dr. Rhine in the parapsychology experiments. Strangely enough her own exceptional extrasensory powers did not show to best advantage in the routine card tests at Duke, although from time to time high scores had been obtained from individuals with mediumistic abilities. One of the fascinating results of this paradox was that Mrs. Garrett was stimulated to investigate in further detail the mechanics of her own special sensitivity. In her book Adventures in the Supernormal (Helix Press) Mrs. Garrett tells the story of her attempts to come to terms with her own strange mediumistic powers. This extraordinarily important book is one of the few firsthand subjective accounts we have of the development of mediumship against a maturing intellectual awareness of the objective problems. For many years Mrs. Garrett generously put her unique gifts at the disposal of psychical researchers and parapsychologists in Great Britain, Europe and America, cooperating with an intelligence and understanding that disarmed the usual skepticism and suspicion of so many investigators.
Mrs. Garrett is founder President of the Parapsychology Foundation, New York, established in 1951 as a non-profit organization "to support impartial inquiry into the total nature and working of the human mind, and to make available the results of such inquiry." In 1953 the Foundation organized the First International Conference of Parapsychological Studies, held at the University of Utrecht, Holland. Since then it has encouraged and supported a vast programme of worldwide studies and reports dealing with all aspects of Parapsychology. It has many publications, ranging from high standard semi-Popular journals to specialized Parapsychological Monographs with contributions from leading researchers and scientists. The six large volumes of the International journal of Parapsychology issued from 1959 onwards contain an amazing collection of valuable papers, with multi-lingual summaries. The area covered by the Foundation's interests includes laboratory experiments in extrasensory perception (telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition, PK) as well as reports on spontaneous phenomena like poltergeist, unorthodox healing, etc., covering the whole field of psychical research and theory with broader terms of reference. In fourteen years, the studies assisted or reported upon by the Foundation have bridged the gap between psychical research and the general world of science. These studies range from reappraisal of early psychical cases to modern anthropological, ethnological and scientific researches. Since the early days of psychical research, newer branches of the paranormal have been investigated. For example, Psychedelics. This is the field of hallucinogenic drugs and the experiences which they release; these have some bearing on the transcendental experiences of mystics and perhaps contain clues to the nature of reality itself. Amongst earlier subjects that have now been revived for scholarly and scientific evaluation are Astral Projection, Reincarnation, and Dermo-Optic Perception (first studied intensively by Jules Romains and reported in his book Eyeless Sight, London, 1924).
Although French names played an important role in Dr. Fodor's Encyclopaedia, much research in the thirty years following was considerably set back by the last war. Perhaps the most important developments in France relate to the work of the late Rene Warcollier, President of the Institut Metapsychique since 1951, especially his later investigations into Telepathy. In Germany, psychical research was thoroughly disrupted by the Nazi blight, but in recent years some very interesting work has been done by the Institute for Border Areas, in Freiburg, under Professor Hans Bender. Undoubtedly the most remarkable European development, however, is the rebirth of interest in psychic science in the Soviet Union, especially associated with the name of Vasiliev, and also in Communist Czechoslovakia with the work of Ryzl.
Clearly the American work in Parapsychology connected with the names of Rhine and Garrett looms as the major achievement of the thirty years since this Encyclopaedia. I should add that I am only able to follow American events from abroad, but learn that very recently, particularly since Professor Gardner Murphy became President of the American Society for Psychical Research, a great deal of new research and study has begun, much of this noted so far only in the interim reports. The important names are: Gardner Murphy, Director of Research, Menninger Foundation, Topeka, Kansas, directing work in Creativity & ESP; Dr. Ian Stevenson, Head of the Department of Neurology and Psychiatry at the University of Virginia Medical School, who has done important original research in Reincarnation, and Dr. Karlis Osis, Director of Research for the A.S.P.R. Beyond these remarks, I recommend the interested student to apply to the A.S.P.R. and its library at 880 Fifth Avenue, New York.
It must have been very satisfying for enthusiasts like Dr. Fodor to witness such a rapid and unparalleled development of fields which thirty years earlier needed intensive journalism and pioneer experiment to justify as proper subjects for study. Dr. Fodor wrote for the International journal of Parapsychology and other Foundation publications.
The Foundation is now in constant touch with over fifty parapsychological associations or publications in some seventeen different countries. Through the International journal of Parapsychology, a Newsletter and International Conferences, there is a regular flow of communication and information on all aspects of parapsychology. In this way all reputable researchers are kept in touch with current work and the scientific world as a whole is informed on a responsible level. With the announcement of a 1965 International Conference on Religion and Parapsychology the wheel has turned full circle to the origins of modern interest in the paranormal.
There is a tendency in modern life to over-emphasize research and study, in contrast to earlier attempts to depreciate it. Vast research projects have been built up in Universities and Foundations, and archives are overflowing with data that will need computer analysis to sift and classify. It started with anthropology and folklore and it has now reached parapsychology, but in every other field of knowledge more and more information is accumulating-faster than it can be studied or applied. Students can now spend a whole lifetime at college, and everyone is looking over everybody else's shoulders. I cannot help recalling a song popularized by the great comedian Zero Mostel in 1947, with a chorus about "Who's gonna investigate the man who investigates the man who investigates me?"
If there is a single coherent message from the whole of parapsychological studies it is that they must be part of everyday life, of a new religious awareness as exact as science.
After a certain amount of research and study it is only reasonable to expect that we can drop a superior position as privileged observers of life, and get in the game. Otherwise we shall spend a lifetime rehearsing for a life which we have no time to live.
Parapsychology must now be related to the totality of meaning in the universe and in the individual life experience. If we can learn to combine the fine judgement and discrimination of science with the deep inspired intuition of religion we shall not have lived in vain.
London, England LESLIE SHEPARD
Grateful thanks are due to Mr. Maurice Barbanell and the staff of "Psychic News," London, for their generous help in providing research material during the compilation of this Foreword.
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