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Spirit Release Therapy, as a clinical alternative to religious exorcism and traditional shamanistic practice is largely unknown by mainstream medical practice and psychiatry. This is due to several interrelated factors. Primarily, materialistic science does not recognise any concept of a spirit world and doctors are therefore not yet trained in SRT principles and techniques. SRT sits uncomfortably between the disbelief of a materialist secular society and the subjective experience of spirit possession: whether that experience is a symptom of psychosis, symbolic representation, socio-cultural expectation or a veridical manifestation. In contrast to the monism of mechanistic science, every culture and religious belief system throughout human history has its traditional beliefs of spirit possession in some form or another with corresponding rituals for the release or exorcism of spirit entities. It is common knowledge that Christianity has its angels, devils and demons (although the majority of modern so-called Christians probably don’t believe they really exist). Islam has its Jinns and the Hindus have a variety of evil spirits.
The conflict between the epistemologies of modern science and religion lies in the conceptual differences in perception that are arrived at through empirical data and radical empirical experience. In short, it is a difference between what we believe to be true and what we know to be true.
1Federal University of Juiz de Fora, Brazil, Brazil. firstname.lastname@example.org.
2Anapolis University Center and Brazilian Medical Spiritist Association, Brazil.
3Anhanguera University, Brazil.
4University of São Paulo, Brazil.
Significance has been attached to the pineal gland in numerous different cultures and beliefs. One religion that has advanced the role of the pineal gland is Spiritism. The objective of the present study was to compile information on the pineal gland drawing on the books of Francisco Cândido Xavier written through psychography and to carry out a critical analysis of their scientific bases by comparing against evidence in the current scientific literature. A systematic search using the terms “pineal gland” and “epiphysis” was conducted of 12 works allegedly dictated by the spirit “André Luiz”. All information on the pineal having potential correlation with the field of medicine and current studies was included. Specialists in the area were recruited to compile the information and draw parallels with the scientific literature. The themes related to the pineal gland were: mental health, reproductive function, endocrinology, relationship with physical activity, spiritual connection, criticism of the theory that the organ exerts no function, and description of a hormone secreted by the gland (reference alluding to melatonin, isolated 13 years later). The historical background for each theme was outlined, together with the theories present in the Spiritist books and in the relevant scientific literature. The present article provides an analysis of the knowledge the scientific community can acquire from the history of humanity and from science itself. The process of formulating hypotheses and scientific theories can benefit by drawing on the cultural aspects of civilization, taking into account so-called non-traditional reports and theories.
One of the greatest researchers and alternative healers of our times, Dr. Masaru Emoto, has provided the world with a great deal of scientific evidence demonstrating the magic of positive thinking.
Dr. Emoto’s molecule experiments were featured in the 2004 film What The Bleep Do We Know?, which gave him international fame. The result findings of his experiments show that human thoughts and intentions can alter physical reality. For example, one of his impressing findings is that our thoughts and intentions can have an impact on the molecular structure of water.
Now, given that the human organism is mostly comprised of water, this discovery has tremendous implications. Really, can anyone who is familiar with these studies afford to have negative thoughts or intentions?
Federal University of Juiz de Fora, Juiz de Fora, Brazil; São Paulo Medical Spiritist Association, São Paulo, Brazil. Electronic address: email@example.com.
We aim to report the case of a 38-year-old male with suggestive past-life memories during a regression session and to show how these memories were related to unusual medical conditions: (1) isolated obstruction of the right coronary artery in a young patient, (2) omental infarction, and (3) right aortic arch with isolation of the left subclavian artery. These conditions were related to the following suggestive past-life memories: (1) a priest who committed suicide with a crucifix nailed to his chest and (2) a medieval weapon (skull flail) hitting his cervical and left back region. There was an intriguing relation between the patient’s suggestive past-life memories and rare medical conditions. In this article, the authors highlight possible explanations, rarity of findings, and similarities/differences from previous cases and potential pitfalls in this area.
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The belief in the validity of the multiple personality concept is discussed in this article. Two scaffolding constructions are analyzed: dissociation and repression. As generally employed, these constructions grant no agency to the multiple personality patient. The claim is made that the conduct of interest arises in discourse, usually with the therapist as the discourse partner. In reviewing the history of multiple personality and the writings of current advocates, it becomes clear that contemporary users of the multiple personality disorder diagnosis participate in a subculture with its own set of myths, one of which is the autonomous actions of mental faculties. Of special significance is the readiness to transfigure imaginings into rememberings of child abuse, leading ultimately to the manufacture of persons. The implications for both therapy and theory of regarding the patient as agent in place of the belief that the contranormative conduct is under the control of mentalistic faculties are discussed.
In this paper I draw parallels between multiple personality, spirit mediumship, and hypnosis from historical, anthropological, and clinical perspectives. I emphasize Milton H. Erickson’s view of multiple personalities as not necessarily pathological but as potential resources. He employed hypnosis to gain access to personalities and to transform their behavior from involuntary to voluntary actions. I discuss similarities between this view and the use of spirits as a resource with mediums. Natural trance therapies in other cultures offer a new perspective for viewing the normalcy or pathology of “other selves.”
Department of Psychology, Lund University, Lund, Sweden
Science thrives when there is an open, informed discussion of all evidence, and recognition that scientific knowledge is provisional and subject to revision. This attitude is in stark contrast with reaching conclusions based solely on a previous set of beliefs or on the assertions of authority figures. Indeed, the search for knowledge wherever it may lead inspired a group of notable scientists and philosophers to found in 1882 the Society for Psychical Research in London. Its purpose was “to investigate that large body of debatable phenomena… without prejudice or prepossession of any kind, and in the same spirit of exact and unimpassioned inquiry which has enabled Science to solve so many problems.” Some of the areas in consciousness they investigated such as psychological dissociation, hypnosis, and preconscious cognition are now well integrated into mainstream science. That has not been the case with research on phenomena such as purported telepathy or precognition, which some scientists (a clear minority according to the surveys conducted http://en.wikademia.org/Surveys_of_academic_opinion_regarding_parapsychology) dis-miss a priori as pseudoscience or illegitimate. Contrary to the negative impression given by some critics, we would like to stress the following:
An auditory hallucination shares with imaginal hearing the property of being self-generated and with real hearing the experience of the stimulus being an external one. To investigate where in the brain an auditory event is “tagged” as originating from the external world, we used positron emission tomography to identify neural sites activated by both real hearing and hallucinations but not by imaginal hearing. Regional cerebral blood flow was measured during hearing, imagining, and hallucinating in eight healthy, highly hypnotizable male subjects prescreened for their ability to hallucinate under hypnosis (hallucinators). Control subjects were six highly hypnotizable male volunteers who lacked the ability to hallucinate under hypnosis (nonhallucinators). A region in the right anterior cingulate (Brodmann area 32) was activated in the group of hallucinators when they heard an auditory stimulus and when they hallucinated hearing it but not when they merely imagined hearing it. The same experimental conditions did not yield this activation in the group of nonhallucinators. Inappropriate activation of the right anterior cingulate may lead self-generated thoughts to be experienced as external, producing spontaneous auditory hallucinations.