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The Encyclopedia of Parapsychology and Psychical Research
By Arthur S. Berger, J.D. and Joyce Berger, M.A.


ANPSI-paranormal abilities in animals and birds. Countless accounts have been received of the strange behavior of animals and birds that seems to have no sensory basis and so to lie in their ESP abilities. For example, a pet dog whines continuously at the time its master is killed or is in serious trouble many miles away, a cat abandoned by its owner travels 50 miles to the owner’s new home in a strange town, a phenomenon called “psi-training”. When some birds make their annual migrations from Northern regions to the Southern Hemisphere, young birds on their first trip navigate directly towards the right areas and are there waiting to greet the flock and the older birds who have made the journey before, a phenomenon called “homing”.

In addition to these and similar accounts, field investigations have been made of reports of spontaneous cases in which animals seem able to respond to questions by pawing or pointing their noses at letters or numbers or by barking. One hypothesis is that, if it is not the high intelligence of the animals that is responsible for their success, it must be their telepathic powers.

Biofeedback-a method that uses instruments to monitor unconscious bodily functions, such as the heartbeat rate and that may allow individuals to control such functions consciously by learning from data received from the instruments.

Book of the Dead, Tibetan-also known as the Bardo Thodol, meaning “Liberation by Hearing on the After-Death Plane”. A book of instructions for the dying and dead that describes right thinking for the dying, what occurs at the moment of death, the stage immediately following death, and that preceding reincarnation. The message of the book is that dying is an art as important as the art of living. In the belief of the east, the final thoughts of death, the last moment of life, shapes the character of the incarnation to come. The book is a manual for the technique of dying calmly and in right understanding that permits death not only to be an ecstatic experience, but also an initiation into good reincarnations until nirvana is attained. In effect, a person will be what that person thinks. A guru or lama attends the dying placid as they enter the next or Bardo stage. The book is read also to the corpse by the lama or guru.

Of interest to psychical research is that, according to the book’s teachings, several paranormal phenomena are recognized. Survival after psychical death and reincarnation are plainly accepted in the teaching that there is at the moment of death a separation from the physical body of the “knower” or principle of consciousness. This principle of consciousness enters the Bardo stage between death and rebirth and afterwards enters a womb to be reborn in a flesh and blood body. According to a further teaching, the counterparts to the astral body is recognized, since about three and a half days after death the knower will rise up in a “radiant body resembling the former body” and will spring forth. It “is not a body of gross mater, so that thou hast the power to go right through any rock-masses, hills, borders, earth, houses#SYMBOL \f "Symbol"188Even the king of mountains, Mt. Meru itself, can be passed through by three, straight forwards and backwards in impededly.”

Clairaudience-the paranormal hearing of sounds or of voices, generally internal ones, through which information is sometimes obtained.

Daemon (or Daimon)-to be distinguished from “demon”. An inward monitory voice, guardian spirit, or guide that inspires or counsels. Although hearing voices is often regarded as a symptom of madness, in some cases there is no other indication of insanity except for the voices. Sometimes, too, the normal level of thought and consciousness can attain. Examples are the voices heard by Socrates that he believed to be a divine power and by Joan of Arc that she thought came from god or saints.

Discarnate-an incorporeal entity or spirit. Although the term is usually applied to the personality of a deceased individual believed to have survived physical death and to continue without a physical body, there are discarnate entities that claim never to have been incarnate.

Occultism-a term to describe ideas, techniques, or rituals based on secret teachings or ancient writings related to divination, witchcraft, astrology, alchemy, and various forms of magic. “Occult” means “hidden” and occultism is the search for the hidden in the realm of the mysterious forces and spiritual entities that are supposed to fill the universe. Although occultism started in the United States with the witchcraft trials of the 17th century, it has existed for centuries almost everywhere in the form of beliefs ranging from the notion that gods or devils cause storms or disease to the idea of stabbing the shadow of a man in order to kill him.

Paranormal-a term applied to phenomena that presently understood laws of cause and effect and cannot explain. Synonymous with parapsychical, physic, or paraspychological phenomena. Such phenomena are not supernatural. They are as much a part of nature as any other phenomena.

Shaman-also called medicine man or witch doctor. One who enters into trance, converses with spirits, and possesses the power to cure the sick. Modern anthropologists and scientists in the west consider the belief in shamans without any foundation. For the psychical researchers, however, many of the beliefs, rites, and paranormal abilities and occurrences familiar to and studied by psychical researchers and obtain results similar to those obtained by mediums, psychics, and unorthodox healers. That shamans may have paranormal gifts seems suggested by research into the question, “a fairly large number of ethnographic documents has already put the authenticity of such phenomena [such as extrasensory perception] beyond doubt.” (Eliade, 1966)

Supernatural-once used to describe psi faculties, and phenomena, the word “supernatural”, which suggests that such facilities are outside of nature, has been discarded in favor of “paranormal”. There is no ground for the belief that psi factories or phenomena are any less a normal part of nature than any other phenomena.