It’s not uncommon for scientists not admitting to a belief in the paranormal. There were, however, several famous believers in the paranormal. There is a long history of scientific inquiry that coincides with a fear of ridicule. There are exceptions and here are a few of the people who openly participated in experiments and openly discussed their findings.
William James, a psychologist and philosopher, worked on many paranormal and mesmerist cases. He was one of the first and was well respected in his field and his work is studied to this day. He remained a skeptic in regards to psychic powers and some paranormal realties and he devoted a considerable amount of time and resources into researching the paranormal. Thomas Edison and Freeman Dyson also researched the paranormal and they were followed up by others who came to controversial, as well as, extremely varied conclusions.
This well known psychiatrist and psychotherapist spent twenty years studying synchronicity which is the belief that events that are not casually related can be meaningfully related. Many individuals believe this to be the foundation of the modern theories that consciousness is a creative force in the universe. Carl Jung was influenced by an interaction he had with one of his patients. Here is how he explained his experience:
“A young woman I was treating had, at a critical moment, a dream in which she was given a golden scarab. While she was telling me this dream, I sat with my back to the closed window. Suddenly I heard a noise behind me, like a gentle tapping. I turned round and saw a flying insect knocking against the window-pane from the outside. I opened the window and caught the creature in the air as it flew in. It was the nearest analogy to a golden scarab one finds in our latitudes, a scarabaeid beetle, the common rose-chafer (Cetonia aurata), which, contrary to its usual habits had evidently felt the urge to get into a dark room at this particular moment. I must admit that nothing like it ever happened to me before or since.” (Synchronicity: An Acasual Principle (1952) The Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Paragraph 843, Princeton University Press Edition)
Much of Jung’s life work was spent exploring literature, astrology, Western and Eastern philosophy, sociology. His interests in the occult led many to see him as a mystic. Jung treated the Nobel-winning quantum theorist Wolfgang Pauli who suffered a nervous breakdown in 1932. He stressed to Jung that his dreams were full of synchronistic significance. Pauli became the namesake of the “Pauli effect” which referred to the belief that humans could interfere with electronics through macro-psychokinetic phenomena. Pauli’s presence, on several occasions, was responsible for breaking experimental equipment to the point of his being banned from the lab of his friend, physicist Otto Stern. Pauli stated that he believed in “the existence of relatively constant psychic contents that survive personal ego. All we can observe is their effect on other living people, whose spiritual level and whose personal unconscious crucially influence the way these contents actually manifest themselves.”
- Alan Turning-A pioneer computer theorist who believed in telepathy, or mind reading.
- William James-A psychologist who was the first president of the American Society for Psychical Research. He investigated paranormal phenomena, including ghosts.
- Freeman Dyson-Physicist who believes in extrasensory perception and has stated that “paranormal phenomena are real but lie outside the limits of science.”
- Brian Josephson-Another physicist who believes in extrasensory perception. He won a Nobel Prize in 1973 at the age of 33 and is a strong supporter of research on psychic phenomena.
Paranormal Activity Lab At The University of Virginia
Yes, it exists. The Division of Perceptual Studies (DOPS) is located in the University of Virginia’s School of Medicine. It was founded in 1967 by Dr. Ian Stevenson and the mission is “the scientific empirical investigation of phenomena that suggest that currently accepted scientific assumption and theories about the nature of mind or consciousness, and its relation to matter, may be incomplete.” The division is comprised of a small group of hard working scientists, all highly respected and credentialed, whose focus is on:
- Near death experiences
- Out of body experiences
- Claimed memories of past lives
A Video From DOPS
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