Peter Mulacz has studied biology, psychology, and philosophy. He specialized in parapsychology, experiences in ethnoparapsychology in Islamic countries and is interested in conceptual issues (mind-body-problem, afterlife-problem, subtle energies), the philosophy of science, and the history of parapsychology. He is Associate Lecturer at the Sigmund Freud Private University, Vienna, President of the Austrian Society for Parapsychology, and currently Vice President of the Parapsychological Association.
Birds, butterflies, and many other animals can fly, humans cannot, and if one says otherwise people would be quick in calling their sanity and reason into doubt. Yet there are reports that some humans have been observed floating in the air – admittedly not “flying” like birds – a phenomenon called levitation. Common sense would call that impossible as it contradicts the laws of nature, but deeper consideration makes clear that common sense is an inappropriate advisor in such cases, as common sense is derived from common experiences, while levitation, and a few other phenomena touched upon in this presentation, are far from being common – indeed they are very rare. Analogically, invoking natural laws needs to be done cautiously; one must not forget that natural laws are not set in stone like the ten commandments (as depicted in artistry). However, they are ultimately empirically derived, thus new empirical data lead to their modification as it happens in the progress of science. Thus, the obvious bizarreness of some phenomena must not result in a bias to repudiate them unexamined.
Two main aspects need to be addressed: the veridicality and accuracy of the report and the explicability of the phenomenon. Thirdly, the replicability is an issue, too. Scrutiny needs to be applied to rule out all “normal” (as opposed to paranormal), conventional explanations; only phenomena that passed such investigation (“genuine phenomena”) warrant further consideration.
Micro-PK is probably easier to accommodate within the framework of natural science. Think of the discussion of quantum physics and psi, and of philosophical approaches such as dual-aspect monism. Moreover, experimental research in micro-PK is much easier. The big obstacle within macro-PK, e.g. physical mediumship, is the fact that these phenomena are somehow linked to specifically gifted individuals and occur only in their presence (similar to how poltergeist phenomena are primarily linked to a specific focus person). The rareness of such gifted persons makes replication more difficult. However, when discussing replication, one needs to distinguish between intrapersonal replicability (a certain medium showing a certain phenomenon time and again, which is the case more often than not, most mediums have certain “specialties”) and interpersonal replicability (a certain phenomenon shown by various mediums; our recently deceased colleague Erlendur Haraldsson pursued this line of research).
Given the relative rareness of well-documented phenomena and of suitable mediums across time, as well as the difficulties of finding new gifted subjects, it is no wonder that macro-PK gets more and more marginalized in contemporary parapsychology, ostensibly becoming merely a matter for the history of science. This approach is inappropriate as macro-PK is not confined to the “Great Mediums” of the past, but analogue phenomena – albeit of a smaller scale – happen still in our present age (e.g. Distant Mental Influence on Living Systems aka Bio-PK, Paranormal Metal Bending aka Geller-Effect, etc.).
This presentation will demonstrate a few phenomena of magnitude, it will touch upon famous persons (sensitives, mediums, and researchers alike) such as Joseph of Copertino, Daniel Dunglas Hume, Princess Metternich, William Crookes, Henry Slade and Carl Zöllner, Eusapia Palladino, the Schneider brothers, Albert, Baron Schrenck-Notzing, J.B. Rhine, and on phenomena such as telekinesis vs. psychokinesis, apports, materialization, Distant Mental Influence on Living Systems, and Paranormal Metal Bending.
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Published on April 14, 2022