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Psychiatry and Parapsychology: The Consummation of an Uncertain Romance

Montague Ullman


In: PARAPSYCHOLOGY: Its Relation to Physics, Biology, Psychology, and Psychiatry. Edited by Gertrude R. Schmeidler. The Scarecrow Press, Inc., Metuchen, N.J. 1976

This presentation will attempt to assess where we have been, where we are, and where we are likely to go with regard to the interrelationship between psychiatry and What was formerly called psychical research, now known in the West as parapsychology.


The Remote Past

Two recent review articles (Ullman, 1974a, 1974b) trace the history of the kinds of engagements and disengagements that occurred between the group of scholars that came together in the last two decades of the past century and the early years of this one and the medical men of the day who specialized in nervous disorders. The founders (in 1882) of the (British) Society for Psychical Research exhibited a lively interest in the exciting discoveries reported by those investigators (Braid, Bernheim, Liébeault) who were trying to establish the validity and significance of hypnosis and the remarkable phenomena associated with it. Hypnosis was only one source of rapidly accumulating evidence that there are important unseen dimensions to human personality. Hysteria, multiple personality, and even paranoia were scrutinized and studied not only for the light they shed on the unconscious or subconscious, but also as to whether or not supranormal faculties played a role in the etiology and symptomatology of the various syndromes. T. Weir Mitchell, Morton Prince and Pierre Janet lent their time and prestige to clinical investigations of this kind whereas theoreticians like William James and F. W. H. Myers engaged in integrative efforts designed to map out human personality on a scale ample enough to accommodate the new yield of information concerning the range of man's psychical as well as psychological abilities. Myers (1903) led the way with the publication of his massive two-volume study, which not only summarized data from a wide variety of sources but also outlined the case for survival based on the evidence for the existence of human faculties that could operate apart from and independent of the body. While Myers' survival thesis itself is arguable, the book was for psychical research what Freud's Interpretation of Dreams was for the future of psychoanalysis. It brought together facts from diverse sources that had to be looked at in their interconnectedness and to be housed in some kind of unified theoretical structure. What both Myers and Freud did was to study altered and deviant states of consciousness in an effort to shed light on consciousness itself and its counterpart, the realm of the unconsciousness.

Therein the comparison ends; Myers died before he could complete his book, while Freud's monumental volume on dreams marked the beginning of his effort to bring the new science of psychoanalysis into being. Just as Myers took note of Freud's work, Freud took note of the existence of psi phenomena and of the societies organized to deal seriously with them (Jones, 1957, v3). Freud, however, faced the task of establishing the respectability of psychoanalysis itself. His own intellectual honesty and curiosity led him to flirt with the field by way of seriously entertaining the possibility that telepathy existed and that telepathically perceived content might undergo transformation in the unconscious. He came up against sharp opposition from his colleagues, notably Jones, and this undoubtedly tempered the extent of his own engagement with the subject.

Freud and the generation of analysts that followed sought to establish a scientific basis for both understanding and treating mental illness. Part of the price that was paid for sanitizing the subject matter of psychiatry was to dissect it away from any occult connections. This was nowhere more evident than in the responses of Freudian analysts to any of their colleagues who showed an inclination to take the subject of telepathy seriously. Their efforts were met with pejorative psychoanalytic jargon to the effect that such thinking was regressive in character and evidence of an unresolved striving for omnipotence (Ullman, 1974a, 1974b).

The early thrust of psychiatric leadership in the field of psychical research was thus aborted and what came into being in its stead was a movement analogous in its own way to what we have said about psychoanalysis. The approach to research in this area established by J. B. Rhine sought to transform what had been known as psychical research into the new science of parapsychology. Since science with a capital S requires quantification, laboratory controls, and repeatability, this was the order of the day. Psychical research in the course of becoming parapsychology was subjected to a process of objectification that, at least initially, obscured the subjective soil out of which it arose. This splitting of subject and object was unfortunately predicated on a dualistic framework that carried with it religious and idealistic overtones. From the point of view of history, what might have been twins - or at least siblings - were born and reared in separation from each other. Commenting on this, Weir Mitchell (1939) wrote:

With the general adoption of analytical methods in the treatment of psychoneurotic illness the interrelations of psychical research and psychotherapeutics became less obvious, and at the present time we cannot say that the researches of one department of knowledge have much bearing on those of the other. But there will always remain some common ground - the realm of the unexplained - in which discoveries may be made in one field of investigation or the other. That there is a realm of the unexplained in the history of mental healing cannot be denied (p183).

All that follows bears witness to the slow but gradually increasing momentum of the effort to bring the person and his capacity for experiencing and existing in various states of consciousness back into the picture as we move further into the strange and puzzling world of the paranormal.

The Intermediate Past

A monograph of Wilhelm Stekel appeared in 1921 on the telepathic dream, a year before Freud's initial paper (1922) appeared. Stekel's emphasis on the role of strong emotions and the facilitating influence of sleep - along with Freud's emphasis on the possible interpretation and transformation of telepathic content in the dream - laid the groundwork, despite the desultory and controversial reports that characterized the psychoanalytic literature of the twenties and thirties, for the upsurge of interest in the forties. Ehrenwald (1942, 1948) and Eisenbud (1946, 1947) were the leading writers at the time, with supporting contributions from Meerloo (1964), Pedersen-Krag (1947), Servadio (1956), Ullman (1959), and others. A comparison of clinical material containing presumptively telepathic dreams led to a number of practical as well as theoretical formulations concerning the conditions for their occurrence, their dynamic significance, and the light they shed on underlying character structure. Much of what emerged validated the earlier speculations of Stekel, Freud, and the handful of others who were impressed with telepathic material coming up in the course of analysis. These contributions have been reviewed elsewhere (Ullman, 1974a, 1974b) and will be briefly summarized here and illustrated by clinical material from the author's experience. Eisenbud emphasized the way in which telepathy served unconscious needs and in general its connection with repressed material. He made explicit use of the telepathy hypothesis in his therapeutic work and argued that it both extended and validated psychoanalytic theory. There was general consensus among writers on the subject of the role of transferential and countertransferential factors as facilitating mechanisms for telepathic transfer, with the most frequently cited dynamism being the transitory withdrawal of interest or attention from the patient on the part of the analyst. Situations often arose, according to Eisenbud, in which more than one patient at a time was involved in a telepathic interchange. Fodor (1942) and Coleman (1958) also described telepathic effects spreading beyond the dyadic relationship of therapist and patient. Eisenbud pointed to an abundance of telepathic material from a wide range of patients, whereas Ullman and Ehrenwald found patients with obsessive and schizoid structures more likely to report dreams that appeared to be telepathic.

Ehrenwald carefully and methodically evolved a theoretical structure to help contain and articulate the variety of psi effects that occurred in the clinical setting and to relate these effects to the larger issues of psychopathology in general and schizophrenia in particular. His own views appear at the end of this Part IV.

Schwarz's views on psi likewise appear later in Part IV.

Ullman emphasized the frequency with which telepathic content appeared in dreams. of patients whose affective ties to others were weak and tenuous and in whom the telepathic maneuver seemed to be a way of knowing about a significant figure without having to assume responsibility for knowing. It was as if an anonymous listening device had been perfected as a kind of psychic barometer to monitor the degree of trust and safety these patients could allow themselves to feel in the situation in which they found themselves. Intercurrent anxieties experienced by the analyst removing him momentarily from affective contact with the patient often triggered telepathic events. This is well illustrated in the clinical material offered below. In addition, Ullman felt that both, need and interest on the part of the analyst favored the occurrence of telepathy in a way perhaps somewhat analogous to the formal experiments that reveal how experimenter bias pro and con can influence ESP results. Ullman also felt that once a psychotic reaction set in, this level of psi contact appeared to recede but the fact of its having existed as a real event in the life of the patient may have been in part responsible for the degree to which his overt symptomatology and his preoccupations center about thought-transference, reading the minds of others, having his own mind read or influenced by others, etc. Formal experiments with psychotics (e.g., West, 1952, Zorab, 1957) appear to support the thesis that psychotics have no special ESP ability, although Humphrey (1954) obtained highly significant results with a small group of schizophrenics.

Aside from the elucidation of the dynamics of psi in the clinical setting, an effort was made to define the criteria for assessing a dream as presumptively telepathic with regard to the life of the therapist. In essence these were: (a) that the crucial elements in the dream having a bearing on the life of the analyst be unusual, at least in regard to the frequency with which they were apt to turn up in dreams; (b) that a close temporal relationship exist between the dream and the corresponding events in the life of the therapist; (c) that the patient could have had no normal access to the significant information he incorporated into his dream, nor could he have inferred any of it from his, day-to-day contact with the therapist; and (d) that the telepathic elements depicted in the patient's dream be dynamically meaningful in the context of the therapeutic exchanges going on at the time.

Despite these guidelines, the judgment as to whether a dream of a patient is presumptively telepathic or not remains a subjective one and as such subject to debate and differences of opinion, as has in fact been the case (Elks, 1947). It is perhaps for this reason that the weight of clinical evidence alone, even combined with the appeal of such authority as Freud (in terms of interest) and Jung (1963) (in terms of commitment), never exerted much influence in changing to any recognizable extent the general lack of interest in and level of suspicion about psi events in the clinical setting. Despite these realities, the fact is that when one is at the receiving end of a dream which fulfills all of these criteria there is often the additional gut-level criterion of experiencing something uncanny.

The following series of dreams of a patient undergoing analysis illustrate some of the points under discussion. The dreams which are to be considered occurred in the course of a week in the analysis of a severely compulsive and withdrawn individual. She was a 29-year-old college teacher, the mother of one child, who entered into analysis in October 1947 because of increasing estrangement from her husband and general unsureness about what her feelings were. Although possessed of high ideals of motherhood, household responsibilities weighed heavily on her. Most of her drive lay in the direction of an intense interest in the history of music, the subject which she taught, as well as in a lively interest in history in general. She looked back on her marriage of eight years as having occurred in a spirit of romantic rebellion. She was overwhelmed at first by the brightness and precocity of her husband. The impact of his aggressive, impulsive, and often erratic personality set the stage for a gradual but pronounced withdrawal on her part with increased reliance on interests outside the marriage. She disparaged the feminine role and often felt extremely competitive toward her husband. She felt blocked in terms of using her specialized knowledge in any creative way and was often intolerant and jealous of the creative efforts of others, including her husband. Attitudes of rigid self-denial, almost to the point of asceticism, operated compulsively, interrupted sporadically by transient periods of excessive self-indulgence in the form of short-lived but highly charged extramarital affairs. In relation to her friends and colleagues she characteristically assumed the role of confidante and father confessor, a role in which she was acutely aware of the neurotic difficulties of others but totally at a loss in evaluating her own problems.

The family grouping included an older brother. The lines were quite sharply drawn, the mother maintaining a more affectionate relationship with the son while the patient remained the father's favorite. This favoritism, expressed as it was through overprotective and over-indulgent attitudes, gave rise to mixed and often confused feelings in the patient, The patient was bluntly derogatory in relation to her mother, whom she regarded as hypocritical and stupidly conventional. Following a stormy adolescence the shy, inhibited behavior she exhibited as a child gave way to a compulsive rebelliousness and the rejection of most of her former values. In college she had disdain for what she considered the more juvenile campus activities. She preferred to associate with older, more sophisticated girls. She was popular and always had an intimate circle of friends. In recalling this period of her life there were no clear feelings of happiness or unhappiness. The dominant feeling, then as in later years, seemed to be an intense, although somewhat curiously detached interest in and preoccupation with the many new intellectual horizons opening up to her. In short, she found life "interesting" but was more deeply touched by ideas than by people. Her interest soon centered in music and, more specifically, the history of musical forms. She achieved some recognition for her knowledge in the field and soon after her marriage obtained a teaching position on a college faculty.

The patient came to analysis with a defensive structure that was relatively intact. She experienced little overt anxiety and, aside from some underlying vague but persistent feelings of dread and foreboding, she felt at a loss as to where and how to tackle her problems. Early resistances took the form of subtle efforts to embroil the therapist in discussions of the theoretical aspects of the task at hand and attempts to maintain a thoroughly objective and detached view of her own problems. There was a fascination with the symbolism and form of her own neurosis along with a profound lack of awareness of herself and the implications of her illness. Hidden by compulsive self-effacement and retreat into anonymity, she had an unrelenting need to play a unique and ambitious role in life. In dreams depicting the analytic situation she was usually in the role of a passive onlooker with the analyst portrayed either as an all-powerful threatening figure or as weak and ineffectual. The underlying picture was that of extreme cynicism and despair, a blocking out of ail assertive impulses, and profound withdrawal, precariously balanced by the exploitation to the fullest of rich intellectual resources through which some feeling of mastery was maintained. As might be surmised, this push to intellectual mastery, so outstanding a characteristic of her everyday activity, constituted the first real problem to be dealt with in the analysis. This came out most glaringly in relation to her handling of her own dreams, where almost a ruminative delight occurred over, their form and structure and the symbolism involved, all of which served as substitutes for any genuine spontaneous reactions to the dream elements. Handled in this autistic fashion, the dream lost its potential to make the unknown more known. The more colorful and imaginative the dream, the less real meaning it held for the patient. At the time of the occurrence of the dreams to be described below there had not yet been full clarification of these attitudes. It was felt that before genuine interpretive efforts could be successful, full awareness of these attitudes would have to be established. This is a significant point, inasmuch as the function of these attitudes, well concealed behind a great interest in the dreams and a profusion of them, was actually in a sense to detonate the dream in terms of its analytic possibilities while at the same time providing a relatively safe medium for the patient.

There was one loophole in her character armor which did make for beginning analytic inroads. She had anxiety lest someone discover the fact that she was under analysis. This was practically the only anxiety she experienced. The undue precautions she would be forced to take soon helped make the patient aware of the irrational quality involved in the reaction. This led to an opening up of basic attitudes toward the analysis and a beginning awareness that she regarded it as a special confessional where her great need to remain uninvolved and anonymous - the passive onlooker on her dreams - could go unchallenged. In corroboration of this there were disproportionate fear reactions over any slight psychosomatic disturbances that occurred from time to time, the fear being connected more with the possibility of their occurrence than their actual significance. Although movement had been slow; the setting at the time of the occurrence of the telepathic dreams, approximately six months after the inception of the treatment, was one in which a definite positive response had been elicited to the analysis, and with this, a great real interest in herself and a spark of real faith in the procedure.

First Dream. On Monday morning, April 26, 1948, the patient presented the following dream which had occurred on awakening the previous morning:

I was at a music class. It was a practical music class, not one dealing with the history of music. The room was clear. It was large and dark. It seemed like an elementary school classroom with high ceilings. The only light came from above. You were the music teacher who came in to give the class (of girls) music criticism - as music teachers do. There was a sense of real help, not a sense of being lectured at. There were a few words here and there in re content of the work which was unclear, but the general feeling was one of being helpful, soothing and honest and gentle. And then I awakened.

Associations. The patient discussed two men, both of whom stood in authority relations to her. The previous session had been devoted to a discussion of certain secret sources of satisfaction. Diaries were the first indirect and hidden outlet. Clandestine sexual affairs and an intense idealization of her own child also served this purpose. She spoke of a rabbi she had seen recently - a man who was very learned and had a great zest for life. Beneath the admiration she professed was a subtle disparagement. Significantly, although she expected him to be very formidable he proved to be rather kindly. His limitations had to be clearly defined by her so that he could be properly categorized. She also spoke of a music teacher whom she likened to her husband and described as an aggressive and impulsive individual. He, too, produced an overwhelming first impression on her only to lead later to disillusionment. One feature common to both men was their exhibitionism and need to impress others.

It was the first time that she had dreamt of the analyst in a kindly light. The contrast between this and the derogatory thoughts that flooded her mind was quite striking. She undoubtedly felt threatened, but at the same time some relief at the encroachment in the previous session of affect-laden material. In the dream there was a simple and genuine expression of gratitude to and appreciation of the teacher. The conscious derogatory associations seemed to crowd in, in an effort to block off the recognition of these positive attitudes.

Second Dream. During this session the patient presented a second dream which occurred on awakening the same day. She said that she had had a very bad night and had suffered from insomnia, a state of affairs most unusual for her. She said she could not remember ever before being this unrelaxed at night:

Mr. E. , who was some kind of instructor, came to the house to demonstrate a new camera gadget. His gestures were very clear. There were people in our living room. It was a meeting or a social group. He went to the hall closet and took out a large wooden box. He lifted up the cover and took out a camera (our own) very slowly and deliberately. I was very conscious of him opening the closet door and of hoping that the closet would be neat so that I would not be embarrassed before my friends. I was conscious of the people's admiration of the box and the way the closet was kept. I said this was a box my husband had sent back from Germany. Then Mr. E. made his point by demonstration. He looked through what seemed to be a stereopticon lens (a very special kind of lens) into the street below. There was a factory or warehouse there and people were leaving to eat. They were white-collar workers rather than factory workers. The picture was black and white and unusual because it was three-dimensional. The lens could make you see things miles away that could not be seen with the naked eye. He focused on a hatless man who was followed by many people. Mr. E. also compared this with the picture of an inert figure, either a dead body or that of a drunk lying on the ground and the people passing him by callously. Mr. E. demonstrated this great device. You could really see people's emotional reactions with it. The man was moved by what he saw. There was a slight twitching of his facial muscles and the people around him were reacting to him.

Association. Mr. E. was identified with the analyst. The patient said the gadget seemed to reflect more than meets the eye. She had been working with slides on the night before the occurrence of the dream, preparing to give her course in the history of music. The idea of "seeing more than meets the eye" she related to the analysis. She then spoke about the anxiety she had had in bed, but could not pin it to anything - there had been reluctance to come to the session which the patient explained on the basis of her son's illness. The dream itself was not clear in relation to her associations and no interpretation was given.

Before considering the telepathic possibilities I want to review my activities on the Sunday immediately preceding the day on which the two dreams were presented. I had been invited to present a paper on telepathy and analysis before a group of psychiatrists on May 6, 1948. The members of this group had a common interest in the subject and several previous papers had been read. Approximately two weeks after the May 6th meeting I was scheduled to present a case at a clinical seminar at the New York Medical College. I had decided to utilize material from the same patient for the two occasions, omitting the telepathic features in the later presentation. The patient, of course, had no inkling of either meeting.

I began the preparation for the paper on telepathy on Sunday, April 25, 1948, the Sunday alluded to above. In reviewing the case I noted that I had earmarked eight dreams scattered over the six-month interval since the inception of the patient's analysis as having telepathic possibilities. It was around these dreams that I hoped to base the presentation. It was a curious twist that it was just this patient who was so secretive in her approach to analysis whose dreams were to be brought out into the open. Personal facts had to be disguised sufficiently to prevent recognition without detracting from their cogency.

Several thoughts occupied my mind as I read over the material. Here was a field I had long been familiar with and interested in, but I had never before gotten down to the task of serious or recordable research efforts. It was also to be my first analytic presentation outside the sheltered academic atmosphere. Although there was common ground in terms of interest in the implications of parapsychology for psychiatry, my own analytic approach, strongly influenced by the "culturalists," differed markedly from those of my more orthodox colleagues. Two excellent and convincing papers had already been given before this group dealing with telepathic occurrences inpatients under treatment. All of these ruminations contributed to a let-down feeling as I looked over the eight dreams I had on hand. Viewed at some distance from the time of their actual occurrence, they carried less emotional impact than they had at first. I had neglected to record in detail my own activities and introspections which might have had important corroborative value. The difficulties in convincingly eliminating chance and other possibilities seemed more formidable than ever.

On this first occasion of my actual evaluation of the dreams as a group, I noted that four of the eight dreams had occurred over weekends and were presented by the patient at her Monday session. She also had sessions on Wednesday and Friday. The telepathic feature of seven of the eight dreams seemed to be initiated by unusual occurrences in my own life. It may be that the weekend, providing greater opportunity for out of the routine events, made for the greater Monday frequency. At any rate, somewhat disappointed in the material I had collected, I had the hope, perhaps born out of some measure of desperation, that the Monday frequency would recur and that fresh material would be forthcoming for the presentation two weeks hence. The following day a series of dreams was initiated, two of which have already been given, which more than filled the bill, so much so that I discarded all eight of the dreams I had originally planned to discuss and limited my presentation solely to the dreams the patient brought to analysis during the first two sessions following the Sunday in question.

There was one other train of events occurring on that Sunday that I wish to establish. Before I began the preparation of the case I recalled an obligation to collect some data that I had, dealing with the early days of the New York Society for Medical History. I had these data in a closet, that was made up of two separate divisions, one locked and the other unlocked. Not having the key with me I opened the unlocked section and looked for the papers, but without success. My eye did catch sight, however, of a large wooden box with many small built-in compartments. I had had this box made while stationed in France during World War II for the storage of microfilm and subsequently mailed it back home to my wife. I had not been at this closet for many months and the sight of the box brought back many memories.

Bearing in mind the account given of my own activities that Sunday, certain correlations with regard to the two dreams the patient presented the next day can now be brought to light. Although a prolific dreamer, she had presented no previous dreams involving lecturing, classrooms, or demonstrations - this despite her own experience as a teacher. Standing alone, the first dream is of no telepathic significance. Taken in conjunction with the second dream, however, we have a situation in which the following specific points of correlation can be drawn:

(1) The setting of the first dream in a classroom and the second in a living-room. My concern with two presentations - one to be held in a classroom and the other in a more informal and social atmosphere of a colleague's waiting room.

(2) Both dreams involving a figure readily identifiable as the analyst - in the one case as an instructor and in the second case as a demonstrator.

(3) The temporal relationship of the two dreams to my preparation the day before.

(4) In the second dream a closet was of importance to the patient. A closet had been for a brief time the focus of my own attention.

(5) The dream involved the removal of a large wooden box from the closet. Seeing the wooden box in my own closet gave rise to a transient reverie.

(6) The box was one the patient's husband had sent back from Germany during the war. My box was one I had sent back from France during the war.

(7) In the dream the box was associated with a camera contained within. The box I had was used for storage of microfilm.

(8) In the dream the demonstrator made his point by means of a very special kind of lens - a stereopticon lens (an image not too far removed from the contemplated demonstration of the unique character of telepathic communication).

(9) In the dream, stress was placed on the unusual quality of the picture - it was three-dimensional - one could see things miles away - you could really see people's emotional reactions (again an image very suggestive of and a symbolic portrayal of the penetrating qualities of telepathic perception).

These points of correlation suggested the reasonable possibility of telepathic factors operating in relation to the dreams. What made for even greater conviction was the light this hypothesis shed on certain aspects of the analytic situation at the time. The unexplained anxiety and insomnia may have stemmed from a telepathic sensing of the contemplated presentation, which would constitute an uncontrollable threat to her persistent and compulsive need for secrecy and concealment. One may speculate as to yet another source for the anxiety. One of the most rigid and deep-seated of her characterologic difficulties was the compulsion to yield uncritically to the needs of others with no effective efforts at self-assertion. In the particular situation at hand, unwittingly and unknowingly on both our parts, she was confronted with the very compelling need of mine, telepathically sensed, for more and better material and a reliance on her to come through with it. The dreams may then have been her effort to fill the bill and the anxiety with regard to them caused by a fear that she might fail. I might mention in this connection that in the following session two days later she reported a dream which was much more spectacular from a telepathic standpoint and at that time there were no traces of anxiety or distress.

In the first dream the portrayal of the analyst in a warm, friendly light, with implications of gratitude and good feeling, seemed rather significant inasmuch as it was the first time such feelings had come through in a dream. The explanation previously indicated did not seem enough to account for it. If telepathy did occur, some further speculations are in order. The needs of the actual analytic relationship constituted such an overwhelming threat to this patient's techniques of withdrawal that from the very beginning there was frustration, withdrawal, and smoldering resentment. At the one point where the analyst's needs were extracurricular, so to speak, and evolving out of strivings of his own that had no direct bearing on the welfare of the patient, it is here that a startling change occurred: she complies magnificently and for the first time the analyst is seen as a nonthreatening and friendly figure. In fact, the entire situation is exploited to the hilt and all the dramatic and exhibitionistic possibilities of the presentation situation are enjoyed to the fullest. Here successful compliance with my needs could be accomplished in absolute safety for the patient; the sordidness uncovered by the gadget described in the dream is for display before a group and not likely to be handled in the more personal and therefore more threatening analytic situation.

Third Dream. In introducing this dream, which occurred on Wednesday morning, April 28, 1948, the patient stated:

This morning I had a dream full of action. I was watching it like a movie. I was sitting on a park bench. Next to me is a tall, well-groomed dame, not pretty, kind of British, attractive and competent. In her forties. She asked me whether I saw her sister come flying past. She [the sister] was seven feet tall. Then there was a sense of a long, skinny, bony - somewhat comical - body plunging through the air as I turned around. I stood on the opposite side of the street observing a hotel front. It had huge plate-glass windows. Very large and well-cleaned. I am trying to think of the family name of this woman. It was Brain or Braintree. There was a man, Basil Rathbone, who looked like her brother. He opened the window, but as he did it the upper part of the window fell, so that whether you raised it or lowered it you were imprisoned. At another window there was another sister with curly crisp hair, going through the same horrifying efforts at trying to get out. There was a pane of glass between that person and the outside. These people were trying to jump and were frustrated. Possibly they were in danger of fire. Out of the entrance of the hotel I saw this blonde dame, well-groomed. As I looked over to a lower story window there was a child who was an exact replica of this woman. This was the gimmick. They could be released because this woman showed that she was well equipped to care for the child. A policeman came and opened the window letting the child out, and the child effected the escape of the others. It was like a movie plot which somehow involved the whole family. Then the scene changed to a roadhouse. Basil Rathbone was the proprietor. He had imprisoned in his house an old man that he claimed was the bad guy. I knew he was a good guy. Then a young guy walks out and says 'My name is Rubins.' This has a liberating effect, as if I had been vindicated. The name seemed an anachronism, since the other names were more or less Victorian.

Associations. The patient spoke about a young musician friend of hers with white hair, and said the Rubins character reminded her of him:

The dame reminds me of a Virginia Woolf character. She could be a sister of Basil Rathbone. He was the long, lean British character - the traditional villain. When I was younger I would seek out these movies. Virginia Woolf was my great love in literature. I feel this has nothing to do with me.

Further associations brought out her antipathy toward women who are well-groomed, women who accept a conventional feminine role. They are placed in the same category as her mother, as women who allow themselves to become decorative objects. She would rather die than be like that. She feels that her husband victimizes weak women.

In relation to her friends who are neurotic she often plays the role of the happy, normal girl.

The dream touched on her attitudes toward her child, attitudes which had previously been explored to a limited extent. It was as if she admired her child from a distance and secretly idealized him. Occasionally this facade broke down under the pressure of sporadic uncontrollable rages against the child and then guilt and anxiety would be released. How this fitted in with the dream was not clear and the accompanying associations were too shallow to permit of further interpretive work. The other features of the dream produced no further associations.

The following events in my own life are set down for consideration in the light of the patient's dream:

On the evening preceding the occurrence of the patient's dream (Tuesday) I had an appointment with Miss M., a friend of mine who occasionally acted as my secretary, to dictate the paper. I planned to give. Some time back she had been a patient of mine for a brief period because of difficulties stemming from an underlying compulsive character structure. She had developed an interest in parapsychology, but had a very critical eye toward all alleged paranormal events and was skeptical and cautious in her approach to them.

Miss M. and I had supper together and then we walked over to my office a few blocks away. In doing so we passed a movie theatre. Being in an escapist mood I half-jokingly, half-seriously, suggested leaving the work and enjoying a good movie. But Miss M. kept steadfastly to the job at hand and added that as a rule she did not enjoy movies anyway. A few moments later we passed by an apartment house and my eye was caught by the unusual front of the structure, The front was made up almost completely of two huge panes of glass and the entire interior of the lobby was visible. It was so striking that I called Miss M. 's attention to it.

At the office I proceeded first with the dictation of another case - that of a very disturbed young woman in the early months of pregnancy whose illness centered about potentially destructive trends toward herself and the unborn child. Later on in the evening Miss M. asked a question pertaining to a situation such as this, namely, if the patient went through with the pregnancy and had the child would nature come to her rescue in the sense of actual motherhood's causing her attitudes toward the child to change in a more favorable direction.

I then proceeded with the dictation of the paper, again wondering how material of this order would strike someone whose interests ran along the more disciplined lines of laboratory investigation.

Next, I wish to establish the following facts relative to Miss M. The words tall, well-groomed, British, competent, and attractive all fit very closely. Allowing for the use of exaggeration in the dream - she was 5 feet 8 1/2 inches tall and was in her late twenties at the time, rather than 7 feet tall and in her forties - the description is a fairly good one. I asked someone who knew Miss M. casually to submit a /brief description of her to me in writing, without imparting my real motive for making the request. The following description was given:

Miss M. is a slender person about 5' 8" tall, narrow boned, with sharp clean lines, vivid coloring with her red hair and bright lipstick, and a definite sense of style and distinctive form in dress and manner. Her dark eyes are sharply bright, with a tense, penetrating look at times as if she had strong feelings about almost every stimulus confronting her, and her lips are often pursed as she speaks, in a way suggesting both control, caution, and reflectiveness about what she says. But the rhythms of her speech are not even, as this might suggest, but strongly punctuated or cadenced, with a marked rise and fall of inflection and a colorful quality enriched by her low, sometimes throaty, generally resonant voice, and upper-class enunciation. There are often quite sharp accents, even little explosions of speech, interspersed with stretches that sound like music.

Other important facts in relation to Miss M. include the following:

Miss M. 's sister did make a fatal suicidal leap from her apartment window. This occurred very soon after the termination of what was supposed to have been a successful three-year analysis.

Miss M. has often remarked how much I resemble her brother.

Her sister was an ardent Virginia Woolf fan.

A man named H. , Miss M. 's fiancé, died at approximately the same time as her sister, of a brain tumor. He was under analysis at the time and the tumor and its manifestations had been overlooked and then interpreted as purely psychogenic in origin.

Miss M. , when subsequently informed of the dream at the time of its incorporation into my paper, wrote me as follows:

This is terribly far-fetched, but the name 'Brain' makes me think of H., who died at the same time as my sister did, of a brain tumor. He is, so to speak, my second reason for distrusting analysis - for reasons you already know about (an allusion to the unfortunate sequel to her sister's analysis).

Thus, in the case of two people very close to Miss M. , tragic outcomes occurred which were more than incidentally related to analysis. In a postscript to the above note Miss M. adds:

P. S. Tuesday night I dreamed my cat jumped out of a window in the fortieth story of a strange building. It was awful and I told Dorothy [a friend] about the dream Wednesday A. M. She reminded me about this.

The striking feature about the patient's third dream is that the majority of the dream elements seemed to have more of a direct bearing on events relating to Miss M. and myself than to herself: She was completely at a loss as to how to deal with the dramatic events in the dream dealing with the suicide, imprisonment, etc. Some of the tallying points in this telepathic steal have already been alluded to. Not resting content with a mere description of a person she has never met, the patient goes on to probe two most intimate and painful areas and with unerring accuracy describes the tragic fate of Miss M.'s sister and then struggles with associations around the word "brain" in connection with this woman and someone else close to her. Having successfully established herself as a telepathic subject by virtue of the first two dreams, she then goes on to compete more openly and somewhat maliciously with a person whom I held in high esteem. Her flagrant telepathic explosions make a mockery of the caution and reserve that Miss M. displayed toward parapsychological matters. All three characters in this drama are depicted as trapped - the patient, Miss M., and myself. Identifying with the figure of the child, she indicates at one and the same time her own potential for escaping from the shackles of illness and makes use of it as an expression of her own superiority over Miss M., who not only has no child of her own but who asks naive questions about the mother-child relationship. The analyst is dealt with in no more kindly fashion. I am depicted as a villain whose liberating influence exists only by grace of my own analysis. The name of the person I had locked up in my house sounded suspiciously like the name of my analyst at the time - Dr. Robbins. The patient's allusion to the name Rubins as being anachronistic may stem from her awareness that an event presented as synchronous should have been separated in time, namely, my own analysis and hers. (The likelihood here is that she came by the knowledge of Dr. Robbins' name through normal channels. )

There were also similarities in the dreams of the patient and Miss M. occurring that Tuesday evening: in both cases bodies were hurtling through the air out of apartment house windows. In Miss M.'s case, her own dream was so vivid and disturbing that she went out of her way to relate it to a friend. There is one other bit of evidence in support of a telepathic rapport between Miss M. , the patient, and myself that centered about an incident occurring several months before. One evening my wife became quite ill in a rather sudden and abrupt fashion. The following morning both the patient and Miss M. had dreams depicting the illness and the setting in which it occurred.

At the end of the recital of the dream the patient unwittingly showed her hand. She stated quite bluntly: "All this has nothing to do with me." Although it has been my experience that patients often discredit dreams or feel blocked as far as associations go, this kind of definitive disavowal in someone who has worked effectively with dreams is not usual.

That this material may be significant from a parapsychological standpoint obviously rests on factors other than the determination of mathematical probability. That it is, is subjectively inferred from and supported by the following:

(1) The uniqueness of the dream elements involved - as in this case the idea of a third dimension, the stereopticon lens, the body flying through the air.

(2) The time interval in relation to the events in the therapist's life - in each of the dreams discussed, the reality events occurred during the day or evening preceding the dream.

(3) The number of points of correlation between the dream elements and the reality events.

There is one other factor which may prove valuable in the comparison of telepathic dreams with nontelepathic dreams and that centers about the differences in the patient's response. In this case the patient did more work with nontelepathic dreams; they were more meaningful to her. Telepathic dreams often stumped her and evoked characteristic remarks concerning their strangeness to her.

Fourth Dream (December 1, 1948). On another occasion, later that year, an within a week of the time I made another presentation to a psychiatric group, the patient presented another dream involving someone standing in relation to me giving an unusual demonstration.

This morning I underwent some kind of phenomenal feeling. I was sort of disturbed because I couldn't grasp it. It was a dream about my family. It was a flashback to a schoolroom situation. Barry [patient's brother; a physician] was writing meaningless script on the board like A and B, scattered like doodling: 'This ain't possible. Yes, this is significant. Here I've been taking for granted that everything is OK because the samples on the board are in my father's: handwriting, but my father is dead. This is very significant. I must remember it. It was scraping rock bottom. I was standing on bricks. A pictorial translation of the figure of speech .... .

Associations. The patient spoke about a family situation:

It was quite an ordinary family situation. All were there although not seen. My brother and myself. The only thing I saw was Barry with a pointer like I use to demonstrate slides. He was teaching. Scribbles or doodles. The blackboard was similar to a negative [white instead of black]. The writing was black on white. It was analogous to Alan's [her child scribbling. There were letters in combination. All I can remember was A, B. It was scattered. There was no pattern. Everything was going smoothly until I had a double-take. Of course there is something wrong. My father is dead. Then it occurred that this is important. I must remember this for the doctor.

Of significance in relation to possible psi functioning are the following: the setting itself in which the patient has the phenomenal feeling of dealing with something which she could not grasp; the correlation between the schoolroom in the dream and the presentation in the lecture-room at the college where my talk was given; the significance of the protagonist's being her brother, who is a physician; and the description of the script as meaningless and being like doodling, an image that ties in with the idea of telepathy as something apart from conscious effort, yet having to do with communication despite the strange and unfamiliar form in which it appears. The family is all there, although not seen. This may have reference to the fact that a case history touching on members of her family was presented. The pointer was used by her brother, suggesting a demonstration of some sort. The fact that the blackboard was opposite in color to what would be expected and the writing was black on white conveys the feeling of dealing with something in an inside-out, or reverse, fashion. The telepathic maneuver makes things on the "inside" apparent on the "outside" in a manner that stands in contrast to ordinary communication.

It is my impression that the telepathic maneuver comes into play in situations the demands of which allow for no other type of contact, or make another type of contact relatively less appropriate. This patient, suffering from an obsessive-compulsive character structure and torn asunder under the mass of contradictions that one only finds in the obsessive personality - contradictions which did not leave her free to express love or hate or any intermediary expressions of either - was forced into this "extra dimensional" way of operating from time to time in the analysis. To her it was appropriate. The questions as to whether functioning at a telepathic level is ever genuinely appropriate is an important one. Perhaps the telepathic sensing of injury or death to loved ones at a distance is an example of telepathy as an appropriate function. Under those circumstances it may serve as the only way of becoming aware of an important reality. Regarded in this way, the regressive or atavistic view of telepathy is held up to question. That it can appear inappropriate, much as any neurotic mechanism is really inappropriate, there can be no doubt - as illustrated in the example given - but that this is the whole story is by no means certain. Further speculations along these lines will have to be held for the future.

Although the clinical situation, because of the inherent limitations of control and observation, cannot come up with hard evidence for the reality of the telepathic dream, it does present a unique and very special kind of opportunity to get at the nature and quality of the human interaction going on at the time such events are presumed to occur. The clinical situation differs from that of the characteristic objective crisis associated with telepathy, i. e., one coming about external to and apart from the subject. The transactions do not take place at the high pitch of arousal that accompanies such crises. Nevertheless, the fact remains that the therapeutic situation is a stress situation in which the therapist becomes both the stressor - i. e., the one challenging an existing characterologic status quo - and the source of relief, a supportive trustworthy significant figure. In a way that is somewhat analogous to the major crises that characterize anecdotal accounts, therapy results in a succession of mini-crises of an intrapersonal nature in relation to which the person of the therapist plays a major role. Dynamically, the telepathic maneuver appears to be deployed in the interest of transferential needs - i. e., idiosyncratically generated feelings toward the therapist that are inappropriate in the present context and hence have to be disowned - or they surface at times when the patient feels the impact of countertransference - i. e., the same kind of idiosyncratic and inappropriate feeling developing in the analyst toward the patient. It is conceivable that if further thought and observation were given to the operation of psi in the consulting room, more could be learned of its spontaneous occurrence under other circumstances. Although explorations of this kind are possible since a much larger number of analysts have experiences of this kind than one would be led to assume from the number of instances reported in the literature, the fact of the matter is that in practice this poses a problem with regard to the degree of self-disclosure required of the therapist if the patient's telepathic thrusts into his private life are to be fully and honestly explored. Material that goes beyond-the level of discretion and comfort simply won't get reported. This is particularly true in the therapeutic situation where the telepathic maneuver, at least in the beginning, tends to operate in the interest of maintaining distance, or tends to display hostile, suspicious, or competitive aspects.

It is doubtful as to whether material of this kind, despite the most rigorous kind of handling, can ever constitute a proof of the existence of telepathy. The very complexity of the situation involved, the intricacies of the relationships among the many factors brought into play, and the difficulties of dealing with dream elements on a mathematical basis all bode ill for anyone venturing into this territory armed with p values and chi squares. If the statistical evaluations applied in incomparably simpler experimental situations fail to convince, it seems unlikely that they would be of much service here. Whatever conviction is generated stems from the fuller interpretation the telepathic hypothesis often leads to.

The Recent Past

The greater general interest in the past few years in parapsychology and the greater level of scientific interest it has aroused have not in any discernible measure been reflected in any greater degree of professional activity in this area on the part of most psychiatrists and psychoanalysts. Eisenbud has remained actively engaged with the subject both clinically and theoretically. His recent volume (1970) sums up his clinical experiences with psi in the psychoanalytic setting and his papers have been devoted to an analysis of the nature of scientific resistance to the recognition of psi events (1966-67, 1972). This has led him to interpret the stance of scientists as generated defensively from the basic incompatibility of psi with the scientific outlook. Eisenbud (1972) postulates a kind of selective inattention to psi events by the body of science as "the progressive need on man's part to disavow the immense potentialities for good and evil of his inner nature, and his need to get further away that early conception of causality which places him at the center of things" (p41). What Eisenbud appears to be saying is that it is the very ubiquitousness and power of psi that appears to be frightening scientists off, holding up as it does the spector of a return to the primitive's regressive preoccupation with the omnipotence of thought. Whether or not Eisenbud's thesis is valid concerning the prevalence of psi and the significant role it plays in the affairs of men as well as in a more pervasive way helping to maintain an ecological balance among all living organisms, I think it is fair to say that the scientific method as we know it has evolved in the course of man's attempt to master nature as he has come to understand nature outside and apart from himself. We are only now beginning to forge the tools with which to look at man in his relationship to nature, which in turn means looking into man himself. We are apt to discover psi as part of that nature and perhaps, as Eisenbud and others have suggested, as part of a larger scheme of things.

Experimental Studies

Another significant development in recent years has been the effort to induce dream telepathy experimentally in the laboratory, making use of the rapid eye movement (REM) monitoring technique to determine the onset and termination of recurring dream sequences in the course of a night's sleep. A full account of how this work came into being and of the formal and informal experiments carried out in the Division of Parapsychology and Psychophysics (formerly the Dream Laboratory) of the Department of Psychiatry of the Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn is given in a recently published volume (Ullman and Krippner, with Vaughan, 1973).

Methodology. The formal studies were conducted either with single subjects over a period of several nights or with a series of subjects each sleeping in the laboratory for one night. The subjects were volunteers, some of whom were selected on the basis of earlier successful performances on screening nights. The subject's sleep was monitored electroencephalographically and he was awakened at the estimated end of each REM period to report his dream. An agent or sender spent the night in a separate room attempting telepathically to influence the subject's dreams by concentrating on the selected target picture at intervals throughout the night and particularly when signaled that a REM period for the subject had begun. The target, generally an art print, was randomly selected by the agent from a pool of targets in opaque, sealed containers after the subject was in bed. Only the agent was aware of the target chosen for the particular night and he remained in his room throughout the night acoustically isolated from both subject and experimenter. The dream protocols were transcribed from the taped reports. Copies of them, along with copies of the targets used for any given experimental series, were given to three independent judges who assessed correspondences on a blind basis. The results were analyzed using either the Latin-square analysis of variance technique or the application of the binomial expansion theorem.

Results. From the summer of 1964 through the fall of 1971, 12 formal experimental studies in dreams and telepathy were completed. Nine of these 12 studies yielded results that were statistically significant, supporting the telepathy hypothesis: (a) a twelve-night screening study for the selection of future subjects (Ullman, Krippner, and Feldstein, 1966), (b) a seven-night study with one subject (Ullman et al. , 1966), (c) an eight-night replication study with the same subject (Ullman and Krippner, 1969), (d) an eight-night study with a different subject (Krippner and Ullman, 1970), (e) a 16-session study utilizing hypnosis and dreams (Krippner, 1968), (f) a 16-night study with four subjects involving differing target conditions (Krippner, Honorton, and Ullman, 1972a), (g) a study involving hypnotically-induced dreams (Honorton, 1972), (h) an eight-night study of precognitive dreams with a single subject (Krippner, Ullman, and Honorton, 1971), and (i) a 16-night precognitive dream study with the same subject (Krippner, Honorton, and Ullman, 1972b). Three studies yielded nonsignificant results: (j) another 12-night screening study (Ullman, 1969), (k) an eight-night study with a single subject (Ullman, 1969), and (l) a 16-night study with a single subject (Krippner, 1969).

Between the spring of 1964, when a standard procedure for monitoring the subject's sleep was adopted by the laboratory, and the end of 1969, 74 pilot sessions involving one or more agents and a single subject were completed. These pilot sessions were not part of any formal experimental series but were exploratory in nature, investigating potential subjects as well as possible useful techniques and procedures. Equally rigid precautions against sensory leakage were taken with the pilot sessions as with the experimental sessions. If chance rather than telepathy had been operating, half of the 74 pilot sessions would have been "hits" and half would have been "misses." Instead, the judges awarded scores that produced 52 "hits" and 22 "misses." This distribution is statistically significant (Krippner, 1970).

There is empirical evidence suggesting that, in some instances at least, forms contained in the target material come through more clearly and recognizably than the content itself and that this applies to more complex targets as well as simple targets where the form itself is the predominant feature. There are two experimental techniques that may have a possible bearing upon the perceptual aspect of psi effects as this relates to similarities based on form. Each of these techniques limits information input, but in different ways. Tachistoscopic presentations limit exposure in time. Work with the stabilized retinal image limits information ordinarily collected and maintained through the play of eye movements about an object under fixation.

There have been a number of experiments beginning with awakened interest in the Pötzl phenomenon demonstrating that cues occurring outside of conscious awareness can produce perceptual illusions and fragmentation of the image. Similar effects are noted in connection with Evans' (1967a, 1967b) observations on fragmentation phenomena associated with binocular stabilization. He notes that under conditions of stabilization when a pattern disappears it does so in parts and the parts drop out in a nonrandom fashion. He talks of the hierarchy of the visual system and suggests, as an explanation of the fragmentation phenomena, that when the information supply is limited, as in stabilization experiments, not all levels of the hierarchy are activated. As a consequence, only parts of the pattern are seen to be corresponding to the level of the hierarchy reached. Evans also notes that characteristic stabilization will fragment after repeated tachistoscopic exposures.

The fragmentation of images noted by Warcollier (1938) and Sinclair (1962) in their efforts to effect the transfer of information at a distance resembles in remarkable ways the fragmentary percepts obtained through the two experimental strategies described, particularly with regard to the fragmentation of complex forms into simpler forms and the emergence of simple forms out of more complex imagery. On occasion similar forms emerged when similar targets were used by two different investigators. These findings suggest by implication that the neurophysiological pathways involved in the processing of psi effects may be the same as in normal visual perception.


In trying to map general directions that may be realizable in the foreseeable future, perhaps the first question that arises is, "Is parapsychology a viable science?" The answer, I believe, is a qualified yes. Parapsychologists have set standards for themselves that match in rigor the application of the scientific method in other disciplines. The fact that this has not yet gained them the same measure of respectability and acceptance accorded those working in other areas hinges on the absence of a repeatable experiment. This situation, which has prevailed for such a very long time is, I am afraid, apt to continue for the simple reason that the problems raised are insoluble in the context of parapsychology as a separate discipline. Stated another way, the problems are not soluble in the same context - the field of parapsychology - in which they have surfaced. Their solution will rest not on the continued examination and measurement of these surface outcroppings, but on an examination of the complicated network of hidden underground connections weaving psi effects into the very fabric of natural events. Parapsychologists will have achieved their goal once other scientists take up the challenge. They can then dematerialize as parapsychologists and reappear as members of interdisciplinary teams addressing themselves to the specific remaining mysteries that still exist in all fields of human endeavor, but this time with the knowledge that psi effects may play a significant role in the unraveling of these mysteries. This situation is somewhat analogous to the one in which ethnic minorities find themselves. They have to adopt an independent stand initially to make the world aware of their special problems, but paradoxically the long-range solution to these problems rests not with the maintenance of this separateness, but with its dissolution in the interest of establishing a brotherhood of man.

There are signs on the horizon that this indeed is beginning to come about. Whether we like it or not, the momentum for parapsychological research is outstripping the efforts of the professional parapsychologists and moving more into the hands of interested parties and investigators ranging along a very broad continuum of competence and scientific integrity. Despite the obvious pitfalls and dangers, this is, to my way of thinking, not only a good thing, but a necessary one. It represents the first crude approximations of what, hopefully, ultimately will be a concerted, broad-based interdisciplinary effort, international in scope, to incorporate the reality of psi effects into man's ongoing effort to explore and understand the world in which he finds himself in the course of what appears to him to be his finite existence on earth. It is cause for celebration rather than resignation.

Does this imply that the professional corps of parapsychologists should push some kind of self-destruct button? By no means! Rather, as indicated below, they, being the ones who have the most specialized knowledge about these unique effects, must now join with their fellow scientists in the search for answers: The ground rules for the search, however, have become somewhat more elaborate. The observer has to be included as a participant in the hard as well as the soft sciences; the conditions for experimentation have to include the reality of psi interaction; and because we are now moving into areas where the mental and physical have come together we will need a variety of specialists working together to address themselves in interdisciplinary fashion to the problems in a single discipline.

Coming down to specifics, what might this mean in the case of psychiatry? What are some of the enduring mysteries and are they possibly psi-related? There is much about the major psychoses, particularly schizophrenia, that still eludes us. Ehrenwald (1948), working in the tradition of earlier psychical researchers, felt that psi events played a role in the genesis of at least some forms of schizophrenia (paranoia and catatonia).

Psi events, by their nature, appear to be able to exert a mental influence, on energy systems at a distance as well as to transcend ordinary relations to space and time. I have elsewhere speculated on the possible relevance this might have with regard to psychosis (Ullman, 1952):

"To understand the unique quality of the telepathic dream, we have to be aware not only of what is unique about the dream itself, but also what is unique about the dreamer. Time seems to stand still for the schizophrenic. Perhaps it may be said that his psychosis begins at the point where this fiction becomes his reality. The ability to obviate the changing quality of experience, namely, its temporal aspect, can only be achieved by an overwhelming effort to break all ties with reality. But this obviating process, before it leads the individual to take the fatal leap into the state of absolute timelessness, omnipotence, and psychosis, may leave traces and side effects which indicate its existence and direction. Telepathic functioning may be just such an evidential side effect. If time and space are viewed as static, fixed, and rigid categories, much as containers in which events occur rather than as reflecting properties of matter, then the dynamism of telepathy has to be placed outside of time and space and of necessity outside of our reach.

"It seems to me, if I may be permitted a further brief excursion into philosophical speculation, that two preliminary steps may be postulated which, if valid, might help in coping with this difficulty. The first has to do with the implications of regarding time and space not as given categories, but rather as abstractions from our experience to express, in the case of the former, the element of change or unlikeness in our experience and, in the case of the latter, the element of sameness or likeness in our experience. Adjustment to experience through time and space as we know them while it represents the most human and most rewarding way of adjustment in terms of mastery over nature, does not shed light on how these aspects of experience are dealt with in the case of those who have forsaken human goals and needs. This may have some relevance to the situation in borderline psychotics who, in coming close to a total surrender of the possibility of fulfilling their human needs, experience at the same time a disruption of their ability to experience the temporal and spatial aspects of reality in a human way. Whatever deeper level is opened up as a result of this disruption is at this point a matter of conjecture. Telepathic functioning provides us with a glimpse, sufficient to confirm its existence, but too evanescent to reveal much information about it" (p12-3).

These thoughts were reemphasized two decades later (Ullman, 1973), when I suggested that

"we may have to reconceptualize our understanding of both of these psychoses (schizophrenia and manic-depressive psychosis) in terms of the spatial and temporal aspects of character organization. There has been some tendency in recent years to merge the two psychoses, but I think that symptomatically, temperamentally, and perhaps constitutionally they remain distinctive. The manic-depressive maintains affective ties to the world, but cannot modulate them. The schizophrenic deploys his affective capacities in the service of maintaining distance between himself and the world. The schizophrenic is future-oriented in terms of his unrelenting vulnerability to unpredictable threats to and assaults upon his isolation. The manic-depressive is past-oriented in the depressive phase, relating in terms of past failures, and present-oriented in the manic phase, relating in terms of a sense of unreal successes.

"Time plays a different role for each in still another way. Magical thinking and omnipotence of thought play a key role for the schizophrenic. Normal processes, extending in time, have to be bypassed to arrive at magical solutions. Real time, in a sense, doesn't exist for the schizophrenic. This is in contrast to the manic-depressive for whom time is either retarded or accelerated, depending on the phasic variation he is experiencing. In the depressive phase, there is a severe limitation in the contextual field and time is retarded. In the manic phase, there is a tremendous expanse in the contextual field and time is accelerated. In the depressive phase the past overshadows the present and the future, and in the manic phase the present overshadows both the past and the future. Is this difference in orientation reflected in differences in ESP performance? Would precognition be more apt to be associated with schizophrenia, telepathy or clairvoyance with the manic psychosis, and retrocognition with the depressive psychosis? Would other but equally consistent relationships obtain where compensatory abilities might play a role - i. e. , the schizophrenic sensing things paranormally in the present in connection with his excessive vigilance concerning the future?

"Space can be thought of as content, as context, and in a certain sense as encompassing the qualities of palpability, endurance, and sameness in contrast to the qualities of impalpability, elusiveness, and change associated with the concept of time. In this sense the schizophrenic is time-oriented - the changing aspects of reality are more important to him than the enduring ones, since it is change and not sameness nor familiarity that evokes vigilance operations. For the manic-depressive it is space, context, and sameness that predominate over time and change, since the manic-depressive, does invest himself in his human context but unfortunately as an expression of the fantasy either that it cannot change or that it is changing too fast for him to keep up with.

"This differential weighting of space and time in the two syndromes might provide potential clues for further research efforts. Might it not be better to seek effects in the psychological realm with schizoid individuals and psychokinetic effects with those closer to the manic-depressive end of the spectrum (and here I would include hysterics)? In the first case we are testing the limits of the schizophrenic's omnipotence of thought, his need to know in the service of vigilance operations, and his preoccupation with the temporal or changing aspects of reality. In the second case we are testing the limits of the individual whose interaction with the world about him is much more invested in space, context, bodily and motoric involvement.

"I have not yet engaged in any systematic study, but I have developed the clinical impression that from a psychopathological point of view good ESP performers as encountered in the clinical situation are on the schizoid side. I haven't had the opportunity to study sufficient [numbers of] PK performers, but I would offer the speculation that they fall within the manic-depressive or hysteric syndromes" (p111-3).

In some ways the task that confronts us now is to review the work of Myers in the context of current technological, theoretical, and conceptual trends. Myers' categories (1903), in somewhat different language, deal with those aspects of human experience that are possibly psi related. His categories include: Genius; Personality disorganization; Sleep; Hypnosis; Sensory automatisms; Phantasms of the dead; Motor automatisms; Trance, possession and ecstasy. If we add to these drug- and nondrug-related explorations of inner space, we encompass a good deal of what current investigators are concerned with. There have been remarkable technological advances in areas likely to have some relevance for psi research but that haven't been exploited in the interest of psi research or where only beginnings have been made. Emotions are certainly important as mediators of psi exchanges. An interesting technique has evolved to translate into a visual form one's repertory of emotional responses (Clynes, 1973). Might those with similar profiles be better at psi exchanges? Biofeedback as perfected and applied by the Greens (Green and Green, 1971), and Brown (1974) holds out the promise of learning more about internal processes by objectifying them through techniques of external display.

Lilly (1972) and Masters and Houston (1966) have been exploring inner space using both drug- and nondrug-related techniques. Lilly has been writing about it from a personal. and experiential point of view; Masters and Houston in terms of strategies designed to liberate creative energies and release untapped potentials. Fischer (1971) describes himself as a cartographer of inner space and has charted the major changes of state along an arousal continuum. Ornstein (1972) calls our attention to the way in which split-brain preparation studies shed light on the dual nature of our information processing systems, the left hemisphere being related to language and the linear mode and the right hemisphere being related to holistic patterning in space and time.

Clinically, under the leadership of people like Maslow (1964), who talks about peak experiences, and Assagioli (1965), the founder of "psychosynthesis," who talks of height psychology as a modern-day contrast to the depth psychology of old, man's extended faculties become the focus of the therapist's interest rather than his pathological heritage.

Some of these concerns have crystallized as the movement known as "transpersonal psychology. " Grof (1973), based on his extensive experience with the psychedelic effects of LSD, has made significant contributions to our understanding of the transpersonal experience.

Last, but not least, the explorations in the new territory are not without those scouts who, armed with the power of abstraction, the mastery of subatomic physics and the capacity to play with imaginary numbers and hypernumbers, are attempting to provide theoretical charts capable of both describing and predicting the properties and limits of subjective space; I refer to the work of Wigner (1962) and Bohm (1973) in physics and Muses (1972) in mathematics.

The early founders of the (British) Society for Psychical Research had a strong antipathy toward what they felt was the materialistic course science had charted for itself. William James (1896) expressed this sentiment:

Through my slight participation in the investigations of the Society for Psychical Research, I have become acquainted with numbers of persons of this sort, for whom the very word Science has become a name of reproach, for reasons that I now both understand and respect. It is the intolerance of Science for such phenomena as we are studying, her peremptory denial either of their existence or of their significance except as proofs of man's absolute folly, that has set Science so apart from the common sympathies of the race. I confess that it is on this, its humanizing mission, that our Society's best claim to the gratitude of our generation seems to me to depend. We have restored continuity to history [p9].

Perhaps it has taken all this time - nearly a century - and the evolving of a counter culture, to turn science around so that we can begin to look through the other end of the microscope. The observer is now being observed and once that begins to occur, psi effects are no more mysterious than the existence of consciousness itself or the nature of the electron.


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Eisenbud, J. "The Dreams o Two Patients in Analysis Interpreted as a Telepathic Rêve à Deux." Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 16 (1947), 39-60.

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