Send Them Peace

Send Them Peace

"So you're doing Mental Telepathy here, is that it ? Do you believe in Mental Telepathy ?"

First very briefly, people who take pleasure in correcting missnomers and medical language abuse, don't like the term: "Mental" Telepathy, even though you've heard it referred to that way, probably since you first heard about it at all.


"Mental telepathy. Telepathy, one of the three ostensible types of extrasensory perception (along with clairvoyance and precognition), is the purported ability to read other's minds by means of psychic powers (Hyman, 1995). Hence, all telepathy is necessarily mental. The term "mental telepathy," which appears to be in common currency in the academic literature (e.g., Lüthi, 2013; Sagi-Schwartz et al., 2014), implies erroneously that there are "non-mental" forms of telepathy." (Scott O. Lillenfeld, et al.)


Having tacked down that suggestion about word usage, I move on to ask:


Do you think "Spiritual Telepathy" is a possibility?

Now what would that mean or be? Perhaps using inner feeling, intuition, serendipity, and intention, to engage in dialogue with, or transmit "right perception" (lessons in Compassion and Peaceful coexistence) to another human being. Wow! A risky supposition at almost each comma in the phrase! And if even plausible, could transmitting "wrong perception" be equally possible?



First part of the response to the Title's question -


"Do You Believe In Mental Telepathy?" : in pursuit of an answer, I share with readers an observation, or several observations:


  • Open heart surgery was first done on beating hearts. Often, at first, in newborns with congenital abnormalities which, unless corrected, always meant death. It was not very successful. It was hard to do. Failures here frequently still meant death. It worked for some very limited procedures, like ligating an auricular appendage, or a patent ductus arteriosus (do not worry at all, about what that could possibly mean, unless you know right off the bat).
  • And then one day, extracorporeal circulation came along, this thanks to Howard Pierpont, MD's research, and that of others as well, into hypothermic preservation, (the heart-lung machine, or known to initiates as  "the pump"), and suddenly the heart ... was stopped in its beating; so it could be worked on. And at that time a pump, linked to a disc oxygenator that people got up at about 3 in the morning to assemble and sterilize before the operation at about 8 AM,... did for the rest of the body, for a little while, what the heart had done since birth: pump blood everywhere without being asked twice to do so. But now accompanied by a cooling of the circulation, which at a certain temperature, stopped the heart's beating. A stopped heart could be examined, operated, repaired :  replacing valves, correcting congenital defects, bypassing coronary arteries plugged with plaque, to name the principle procedures. All of this done through the patient's (even a baby's) split sternum, and the chest wide open. We were very empathetic about their chest pain complaints postoperatively, mostly by reassuring words, greatly assisted by some morphine at first, then Tylenol No.3,... while offering that, this too would pass.
  • Much more recently, some interventions have quietly developed which allow cardiovascular (heart and blood vessel) interventions to be done much less invasively: Imagine that. Imagine dilating a coronary artery blockage with a tiny ballon from inside the artery, and placing a stent (a small "stay open tunnel") placed inside that now dilated artery, ... to keep it open, and blood flowing through. And if the patient complained of some slight discomfort afterwards, perhaps this was due to where the person doing the procedure had absentmindedly leaned a bit too much on the patient's hip and thigh during the procedure. Usually not a very big deal, and a patient ready to go home much more rapidly when compared with before.
  • Why mention this? As an example of the evolution, in just 1 doctor's career-time, of a methodology, evolving in the field of cardiovascular interventions, to make a patient better: To relieve suffering, and heal the sick where possible.


Have all disciplines of Medicine, evolved like this: in similar "jumps" and at the same pace?

You guessed right if you thought: "No." So in the discipline that The Challenge would seem closest to scientifically, the answer is a resounding: "No." And less a situation of repeated failures, than to have simply not tried very often to explore this discipline scientifically.


So let's look, related to the mission, at psychology, its sister, psychiatry,  psychical research, and "things of the mind." Here we are moving back towards telepathy and similar subjects introduced above. If psychology interests itself in things "mental," and psychiatry in approaching "mental" abnormalities, and psychical reasearch with things "of the mind," but incomprehensible to the first two, yet supposedly real,... is there a similar evolution and advancement evident over time in this domain, compared with advancement rates in open heart surgery?


The answer for this author, is again a resounding "No." How come?


What follows derives from a review of articles obtained in searching PubMed, the "new" version of Medline, to learn what it informs, using a simple search term of "telepathy."


Since this is not a Congressional Committee hearing, I'll try to be brief as possible, though such a promise risks to leave the reader "informed," but unfortunately also leaving the reader before he/ she has acquired a deep sense of this history, which reveals mostly, a striking lack of evolution. To where has the science of explaining phenomenon not immediately apparent to our senses, evolved? : Where it was, is where it is.


I was struck by journal articles and book reviews from the 19th century, expressing the same conclusions, with the same terminology and sentiment, as many published this year. And in both centuries the same conclusions, to whit: 


  • psychical phenomenon remain unexplainable by "modern" (labelled "modern" in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries), psychological or psychiatric science. I.e., "Yes, certain things seem to be going on (like telepathy), but we don't know why or how. Therefore, we remain extremely suspicious and doubting of any actual effect presence, and even more of any cause and effect relationship."
  • close inspection of claims to psychical phenomenon or abilities, usually leads to discovery of hoax or charlatanism of the "county fair" variety. That remains as true today as in the past.  Such discoveries are never missed by the opposing camp (i.e., conventional medical disciplines), to serve as yet another proof, that "all this stuff, this psi stuff, is a hoax," or a form of psychopathology, or equivalent conclusion, and leading to an end of dialogue and dismissal.
  • our current impressions about "extra-sensory" phenomenon, are still horribly crippled today, by a decision taken centuries ago, to separate psychology and psychiatry from psychic science. This decision, beginning after 1860, has yet to be fully recovered from in almost 2016. This separation can be tacked down to specific times and individuals, engaged in vehement debate and argument. The conclusion was, rather than including psychic phenomenon in the laboratory of mind research, to exclude it forever, so that psychology/ psychiatry could succeed in assuring its dominance and importance as a discipline of equal merit with Internal Medicine or Cardiology to name two "respected" disciplines, for comparison.  Even when psychiatry and psychology were still floundering medical disciplines, searching desperately for clues to cognitive processes, and concepts like the unconscious and understanding it, the incorporation into their disciplines of psychic science, was (and still is), hotly contested and opposed. Perhaps a reaction against moving into the unkown, rather than further into what was barely, known. Result of all this segregation? : No progress. This has spilled over today into, not only a general lack of interest, but a continued and seemingly inescapable tradition of sloppy science, when "psychic science" is approached in any way. A fascinating demonstration of the exclusionary power of scientific bigotry, carved deeply into the formative stones of this discipline, now centuries ago.
  • Phenomenon deemed unexplainable scientifically, are usually paired to a call for further research to pursue these "exciting leads." Such pursuit rarely happens. If it does, rather than moving forwards from what was learned before, it tends to start again at proving or disproving a purported "medium," or explaining card-guessing demonstrations. 
  • Notice in what follows that terms such as "telepathy," and what that term is taken to mean, have remained the same since, in the examples grouped here, 1898 to the present. Notice also the association of "telepathy" with spiritualism. This assocation will appear, disappear, and re-appear 100 years later.

A few examples of this remarkable non-evolution, with limited summarization: (articles are offered as PDF here for your own download and reading if desired, followed by an excerpt, impression or summary) ...


  • 1898 Jan 1 - Review of "Studies in Psychical Research" - "... "MOST books on spiritualism are a weariness to the flesh, and the mixture of unctuous self-righteousness and unreasoning credulity which characterises the majority is particularly nauseous to many minds. We are glad to recognise in Mr.

    PODMORE'S latest volume a striking exception." "... even with the help of a large body of experimental proof the doctrine of telepathy.........still hangs in the balance."

  • 1912 - A Study of Psychical Research - "It seems desirable to combat the methods and conclusions of the advocates of telepathy and spiritualism, both in the cause of scientific truth per se and on account of the intellectual, moral, and material harm wlich may and does result from these particular beliefs. It is not necessary, nor will space allow us, to dilate uipon the second of these reasons, especially to medical readers. But the first, perhaps, requires some explication. Much loose tllinking about the evidence for these phenomena seems to prevail among some persons who have much knowledge of certain branches of science, and confidently appeal to scientific method in support of their plea for the further extension of " psychical research."
  • 1945 - Telepathy and the Group Mind - "Largely as a result of very careful experiments by such workers as Dr. Rhine and Dr. Soal, telepathy, clairvoyance, and precognition have been shown to be fit subjects for scientific research. In the words of Dr. Thouless, "the evidence for the reality of the phenomenon is now so overwhelming that scepticism can only be justified by ignorance of the experimental results." It is not so much that the sceptical feel called on to

    boggle at the results as that they find them impossible to fit into any reasonable theory. ... Most of the worth-while experiments have been of the cardguessing type, in which high proportions of successes have been obtained despite extreme precautions to prevent any normal communication between experimenter and subject. Possible explanations by a " sixth sense " or by " wireless waves " can apparently be excluded. It makes no difference to success

    whether experimenter and subject are separated by the wall of a room or by a range of mountains. He points out that minds which hold a great deal of their sensa and images in common may be especially favourably constituted for telepathic communication. One could suggest, for instance, testing this by having husbands and wives, or, better, uniovular twins, as experimenter and subject. Groups of people who lead very similar lives, such as primitive tribes, would be

    expected to be more liable to telepathy than civilized groups; and in the case of some animals, such as shoals of fish or armies of ants, it would not be surprising if the evidence for a group mind were still stronger. This is an extremely interesting and, though often highly speculative, a thought-provoking book.

  • 1954 Medical Book review on telepathy (price 5$!) - (The most striking thing I noticed was the price of this book! Today, any "worthwhile" medical text will certainly have a minimum of one, and up to two zeroes added to this price in 1954!) - "It is difficult to evaluate this book which deals with matters foreign to scientific thinking. Most scientists are tempted to reject all evidence of paranormal phenomena, in spite of the many controlled experiments that have been reported. However, the publication of this book by the Yale University Press, with a sympathetic introduction by G. Evelyn Hutchinson, Sterling Professor of Zoology at Yale University, indicates that the study of telepathy has begun to acquire academic status. ... It may be that concern with the mystical is a necessary adjunct to the study of telepathy. This may be because the two subjects are related, or because it is necessary to explore all areas to determine which are susceptible to scientific investigation, or because perhaps the association of the two simply reveals, the kind of person who is presently willing to study telepathy. It is certainly true that the subject is not now attractive to men of outstanding scientific competence and imagination.

          One day it may be. When it is convincingly confirmed that extrasensory processes can perceive events in the present, past, or future, then the most able
    men will be needed to carry on further studies. Enough suggestive data have already been collected to make the subject worthy of serious investigation by
    some of our best scientists.
    In this book the report of paranormal phenomena is fair and seemingly amply confirmed. For people already interested in telepathy and clairvoyance, the
    book will serve as a reference to contemporary ideas and literature on the subject. It may serve a more important purpose. It may encourage cross-fertilization of ideas between students of the paranormal and other disciplines such as psychology or psychiatry. For this reason it is appropriate for this book to be found in a medical library.

  • 2012 - Policing epistemic deviance - Notzing and Moll (History) - One must first place this in its correct spot on the timeline. It should actually fall first in the current selection. While written in 2012, this historical analysis and review concerns the end of the 19th century. It begins to show the tendency for "established" (it was anything but that) psycholocgy and psychology in 1888, to wantonly destroy anyone and his/ her science, tied to the psychical domain. The article makes for an excellent factual review of this particular relationship of Notzing and Moll which demonstrates this destruction by representatives of one domain by those of another, with the aim of securing dominance, rather than working towards, as suggested later by William James, "father" of modern psychiatry, incorporating one in the other, even with its apparently incomprehensible components brought along for later research. Here is this article's conclusion: "Stirred by the above observations, the aim of the present historical case study has been to show the historical and current relevance of certain forms of scientific dogmatism as a problem that deserves focused academic attention. For to tolerate its (very real) effects is not only to risk the destruction of careers of potential scientific innovators, it also threatens 

    to undermine basic ideals and requirements for science to maintain and fulfil its role as an intrinsically progressive rather than ideologically regressive project: self-criticism, epistemic pluralism, and intellectual freedom." This warning should still be heeded in our own time, but isn't. In their professional relationship, one quickly finds a conclusion echoed today, that anyone seriously interested by extra-sensory phenomenon (increasingly referred to today as "psi," must have a serious psychologic problem. Today's literature abounds with various explanations for where that problem arises, in which fears, etc. All this to call attention to the observation that the name calling continues unabated, while the scientific investigation and presentation of useful results, advances little from the 19th century, or at a snail's pace. Explaining "unexplained" yet apparently real phenomenon like telepathy, after its careful confirmation as not arising in charlatanism, still yields today, a whole host of divisive arguments and attacks: but few useful or applicable explanations.

  • Professional Heresy - Edmund Gurney (1847-88) - another historical work, placed here because of its 2011 publication date. But it concerns the "father" or at least first recognized researcher into psychical phenomena, Edmund Gurney (1847-1888). "Edmund Gurney was the first ‘fulltime’ psychical researcher in history. While he was primarily concerned with empirical evidence for telepathy, Gurney significantly contributed to the late nineteenth-century literature on hallucinations in the sane, and the psychology of hypnotism and dissociation. ... It is argued that although Gurney’s research into hallucinations and hypnotism had been embraced and assimilated by contemporary psychologists such as William James, Alfred Binet and others, his contributions to psychology have subsequently been marginalised because of the discipline’s paradigmatic rejection of controversial research questions his findings were entangled with." So again, an opportunity for a discipline to advance, was missed by its own closed-mindedness. And this at a time where clarity and understanding were still sorely lacking to guide it, and provide it with a solid foundation. Not very scientific behavior in a setting where "scientific method" was used as an argument to defend its position.
  • Psychical Research and the Origins of American Psychology - A third important historical work published in 2012, but directed again at the 1890's when certain psychologists recognized as leaders in their field, put a long-lasting divide between thier domain, still seeking dominance, and psychical research. As Andreas Sommer presents in the article: " Largely unacknowledged by historians of the human sciences, late-19th-century psychical researchers were actively involved in the making of fledgling academic psychology. Moreover, with few exceptions historians have failed to discuss the wider implications of the fact that the founder of academic psychology in America, William James, considered himself a psychical researcher and sought to integrate the scientific study of mediumship, telepathy and other controversial topics into the nascent discipline. Analysing the celebrated exposure of the medium Eusapia Palladino by German-born Harvard psychologist Hugo Mu¨nsterberg as a representative example, this article discusses strategies employed by psychologists in the United States to expel psychical research from the agenda of scientific psychology. It is argued that the traditional historiography of psychical

    research, dominated by accounts deeply averse to its very subject matter, has been part of an ongoing form of ‘boundary-work’ to bolster the scientific status of psychology."

  • May, 1950 - Psi Phenomena and Psychiatry (JB Rhine at Duke) - "But is there any longer really a question of choice in the matter? Extrasensory perception

    does not appear to follow any physical criteria to which it has been subjected. The advantage of this mental process is that it can be set up against the time-space framework and its relationship to these criteria of the physical world made a matter of actual test and measurement.
    Extrasensory pcrception has succeeded over distances as great as four thousand miles. Comparative experiments at shorter distances have shown quite as good ESP results at one hundred yards, for example, as obtained at one yard distance. Tests made at a distance of two hundred miles and two feet showed no significant difference in results. The work on precognition or ESP of the future, is technical and elaborate. It has not advanced to an extent comparable to the conquest of distance, but the mere establishment of precognition of any kind as a genuine occurrence takes us out of the realm of physical concepts for an explanation of. the phenQmenon concerned. While there is, no doubt, a great deal more to be done, especially in trying greater lengths of time in -further precognition experiments, those who have followed the researches of ESP in time and space have rather unanimously been forced to concede that there seems to be no relationship found -or even suggested withinthe range examined. ... It must be conceded that we do not yet have an explanation for these phenomena. But for what fundamental aspect of mental life do we have an explanation? Perhaps the only point parapsychology need claim to have made is that we are dealing with a subdivision of functions of human personality, some of which defy explanation in terms of those properties and principles that have so effectively explained matter. In an area in which there has been only speculation and blind faith in the past, these findings come as a fresh and compelling

    orientation. They have started our thinking very definitely along lines unhampered by mechanistic dogma. No one can say yet where this evidence of the nonphysical nature of these mental operations will eventually lead, but it should at least liberate the sciences of man from the impasse into which three centuries of over-emphasis on matter have led them." -- an article worth downloading and reading oneself in its entirety, here in May of 1950; from the head of Duke University's Parapsychology Laboratory, finally a hint of a balanced approach to our question. But does it persist into today?




We are today, the living inheritors of these traditions. Their message clearly and forcefully sent was, and is, and simply put: "Don't believe in all this stuff. It's snake oil. It's charlatanism and circus sideshow stuff." Is it possible that we have in fact unconsciously ingested this teaching, and transformed it into a subconscious belief? And in so doing, have we limited our individual travels, and methods of travel, into a world beyond the one, that fits "appropriately" into psychology and psychiatry's "belief-system" today?  


Where do we find today, the "children" of the turbulent relationship of psychology and psychical science?

Were they ever married? Perhaps one day, but not yet.


Let's place that in an article to follow, since this one has certainly attained a more than sufficient length ...  






The red region below is the Parahippocampal Gyrus. Ah!... But you knew that.


Perhaps scanning the horizon for the other half of his brain, poor thing.


Parahippocampal gyrus animation small.gif
"Parahippocampal gyrus animation small" by Polygon data were generated by Database Center for Life Science(DBCLS)[2]. - Polygon data are from BodyParts3D[1]. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.1 jp via Wikimedia Commons.


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