Parapsychology: Research on Exceptional Experiences

By Jane Henry | Go to book overview

Chapter 9

Animal psi

Rupert Sheldrake

For many years animal trainers, pet owners and naturalists have reported various kinds of perceptiveness in animals that suggest the existence of animal psi. Surprisingly little research has been done on these phenomena. Biologists have been inhibited by the taboo against 'the paranormal', and psychical researchers and parapsychologists have with few exceptions confined their attention to human beings (exceptions include Duval and Montredon 1968 and Schmidt 1970). At one time there was more interest in animal psi among parapsychologists but a prominent case of possible fraud concerning the work of Levy seems to have left the field under a bit of a cloud (Beloff 1993, pp. 145-6). The main line of research in this area currently is work with pets and pet owners.


Three kinds of unexplained perceptiveness

There are three major categories of unexplained perceptiveness by animals that suggest the existence of psi, namely telepathy, the sense of direction, and premonitions.


Telepathy

Recent random household surveys in England and the United States have shown that many pet owners believe their animals are sometimes telepathic with them. An average of 48 per cent of dog owners and 33 per cent of cat owners said that their pets responded to their thoughts or silent commands (Sheldrake et al. 1998). Many horse trainers and riders believe that their horse can pick up their intentions telepathically. Some companion animals seem to know when a particular person is on the telephone. Some react when their owner is in distress in a distant place, or dying.

Many pet owners have also observed that their animals seem to anticipate the arrival of a member of the household, sometimes ten minutes or more in advance. The pets typically show their anticipation by going to wait at a door or window. In the random household surveys, 51 per cent of

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Parapsychology: Research on Exceptional Experiences
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • List of Illustrations viii
  • About the Authors ix
  • Acknowledgements xii
  • Introduction 1
  • Parapsychology 5
  • Chapter 1 - Parapsychology 7
  • Chapter 2 - Methodology 28
  • Chapter 3 - Meta-Analyses 42
  • Chapter 4 - Psychological Factors 64
  • Chapter 5 - Scepticism 80
  • Paranormal Cognition 91
  • Chapter 6 - Second Sight 93
  • Chapter 7 - Extrasensory Perception 99
  • Chapter 8 - Precognition and Premonitions 108
  • Chapter 9 - Animal Psi 114
  • Paranormal Action 123
  • Chapter 10 - Psychokinesis 125
  • Chapter 11 - Healing 137
  • Chapter 12 - Shamanism 149
  • Anomalous Experience 165
  • Chapter 13 - Coincidence 167
  • Chapter 14 - Apparitions and Encounters 175
  • Chapter 15 - Out-Of-Body Experiences 188
  • Chapter 16 - Near-Death Experiences 196
  • Chapter 17 - Imagery 204
  • After-Life Associations 213
  • Chapter 18 - Survival 215
  • Chapter 19 - Reincarnation 224
  • Chapter 20 - Religion 233
  • Appendices 243
  • Appendix 1 245
  • Appendix 2 248
  • Index 254
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