Parapsychology: Research on Exceptional Experiences

By Jane Henry | Go to book overview
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Chapter 17


Robin Taylor

Imagery can be defined as the production of perception (such as creating a visual image in one's mind's eye) without input from any of the sense organs. Most people associate imagery with visualisation (visual imagery) but it is important to note that imagery can occur in any sense modality, such as auditory, kinaesthetic or olfactory imagery. Psychic impressions appear as visions, in dreams, as an out-of-body experience, and as dismembered sounds and voices. For instance a psychic experience reported by Myers (1903):

On the 5th of July, 1887, I left my home in Lakewood to go to New York to spend a few days. My wife was not feeling well when I left, and …at night, before I went to bed, I thought I would try to find out if possible her condition. I had undressed, and was sitting on the edge of my bed, when I covered my face with my hands and willed myself at Lakewood at home to see if I could see her. After a little, I seemed to be standing in her room before the bed, and saw her lying looking much better. I felt satisfied she was better… On Saturday I went home. When she saw me she remarked… 'I thought something had happened to you. I saw you standing in front of the bed the night (about 8:30 or before 9) you left, as plain as could be, and I have been worrying myself about you ever since. I sent to the office and to the depot daily to get some message from you.'… She had seen me when I was trying to see her and find out her condition. I thought at the time I was going to see her and make her see me.

The psi experience in this example manifested itself to both the husband and wife in visions of what apparently was the real state of the wife and the intentional state of the husband. We could argue that the psi information transferred between the couple was actually perceived through the brain in some deeper thought pattern (unconsciously perhaps) and translated through visual imagery into the visions that the couple saw of each other. The alternative is to suggest that the husband psychically changed the


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