- telepathic hallucination
- The term telepathic hallucination is indebted to the term telepathy, which in turn stems from the Greek words tèle (far, distant), and pathe (occurrence or feeling). The term telepathy was introduced in or shortly before 1882 by the British classical scholar, writer, and poet Frederic Myers (1843-1901) to denote what he called "a transmission of thought independently of the recognized channels of sense". In parapsychology the term telepathic hallucination is used to denote a type of hallucination, often visual or auditory in nature, which is supposedly conveyed by an external source. When telepathic hallucinations are believed to occur simultaneously with an actual event in the external world, they are referred to as * coincidental hallucinations. When their content is believed to be identical to an actual event in the external world, they are called *veridical hallucinations. In spite of the use of the adjective telepathic, there have been objections to the fact that the term telepathic hallucination still has a certain connotation of subjectivity or morbidity related to the term hallucination. In an attempt to do away with that connotation, it has been proposed to replace the term telepathic hallucination by * monition. In their * Census ofHallucinations, the Society for Psychical Research (SPR) recognized hallucinations as being telepathic in nature when the * hallucinator provided testimony of a formal relation between it and an actual event in the external world (usually another person being severely ill or dying). In addition, testimony was required which documented the occurrence of the hallucination within a time frame of 12 hours before or after the event in question. Where possible, the SPR collected additional testimonies corroborating the test person's reports. However, as pointed out by critics such as Edmund Parish (1861-1916) and Donald James West (b. 1924), mere testimonies are insufficient proof of the alleged temporal and formal relations between hallucinations and actual events. Nevertheless, it would seem that attempts are still being made to differentiate between pathological and telepathic hallucinations. For example, in 1997 the British researchers Mike Jackson and Bill Fulford advocated the development of criteria which would enable physicians to make a distinction between hallucinations with a pathological origin, and hallucinations with a spiritual origin. Another example comes from the U.S. government, which from the 1970s through 1995 spent millions ofdollars on the Stargate Program, designed to evaluate the usefulness of * remote viewing for purposes of military intelligence.ReferencesJackson, M., Fulford, K.W.M. (1997). Spiritual experience and psychopathology. Philosophy, Psychiatry, & Psychology, 4, 41-65.Myers, F.W.H. (1903). Human personality and its survival of bodily death. Volume I. London: Longmans, Green, and Co.Parish, E. (1897). Zur Kritik des telepathischen Beweismaterials. Leipzig Verlag von Ambrosius Abel.Targ, R., Puthoff, H.E. (1974). Information transfer under conditions ofsensory shielding. Nature, 252, 602-607.
Dictionary of Hallucinations. J.D. Blom. 2010.