Joan H. Hageman
PSYmore Research Institute, Inc., Tampa, Florida United States
Saybrook Graduate School and Research Center
San Francisco United States
Krippner, Ph.D., is professor of psychology at Saybrook University, and has served as president of the International Association for the Study of Dreams, the Association for Humanistic Psychology, the Parapsychological Association, and two divisions of the American Psychological Association. He is the co-author of Personal Mythology, The Mythic Path, Spiritual Dimensions of Healing, Dream Telepathy, Extraordinary Dreams and How to Work with Them, and Haunted by Combat: Understanding PTSD in War Veterans. He is the editor of Dreamtime and Dreamwork and eight volumes of Advances in Parapsychological Research, and the co-editor of Broken Images, Broken Selves: Dissociative Narratives in Clinical Practice, Varieties of Anomalous Experience: Examining the Scientific Evidence, Mysterious Minds: The Neurobiology of Mediums, Psychics, and Other Remarkable People, Debating Psychic Experience: Human Potential or Human Illusion, Perchance to Dream: The Frontiers of Dream Psychology, and The Psychological Impact of War Trauma on Civilians: An International Perspective. In 2002 he was the recipient of the American Psychological Association’s Award for Distinguished Contributions to the International Advancement of Psychology, and the Society of Psychological Hypnosis’ Award for Distinguished Contributions to Professional Hypnosis. He was the 2003 recipient of the Ashley Montague Peace Award, and has received lifetime achievement awards from the International Association for the Study of Dreams and the Parapsychological Association. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the Association for Psychological Science, the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, and the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality. In 1992, the Society for Humanistic Psychology presented him with the Charlotte and Carl Buhler Award for Inspired and Distinguished Leadership in Education and Research in Humanistic Psychology, and in 1998, the Association for Humanistic Society gave him the Pathfinder Award for Enduring Contributions to the Exploration and Expansion of Human Consciousness.
Ian Wickramasekera II
Saybrook University, San Francisco, California United States
Across Cultural Boundaries: Psychophysiological Responses, Absorption, and Dissociation Comparison Between Brazilian Spiritists and Advanced Meditators
Joan H. Hageman, Stanley Krippner, Ian Wickramasekera II
A psychophysiological study was conducted with two Brazilian claimant mediums and a non-medium living in Recife, Brazil and 7 North American advanced meditators from the esoteric school, Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment, located in Yelm, Washington. Results revealed specific incongruence in the peripheral nervous system (PNS) and central autonomic nervous system (CNS). For Brazilians, there was a general reduction of sympathetic PNS vasoconstriction and increased muscle tension (EMG) during the imagined incorporation of spirits, and an increase in (EMG) and alpha wave percentage (EEG); both were paradoxical. Increase in frontal EMG while imagining spirit incorporation is consistent with a hypothesis of increased muscle tension possibly driven by intrusive cognitions and/or affect; however, the mediums reported feeling calm, not agitated. The non-medium control showed a large increase in EEG alpha wave percentage and decreased EMG in the eyes closed conditions. The mediums’ imagination condition was discrepant from what is typical during an eyes closed imagination condition, and EMG and EEG were positively correlated contrasting research findings from other studies revealing a negative correlation. This supports previous findings that physiological incongruence are frequent outcomes of individuals claiming "mediumistic" abilities; they are described as living episodically in two worlds (i.e., critical, rational, and practical; expansion and deepening of fantasy and emotional reactivity). As such, medium/mediumistic-like practitioners may be "at risk" for psychosomatic illnesses, but these descriptors do not particularly apply to the Brazilian control showing no noticeable incongruence. The advanced Ramtha meditators were not tested with an EEG, but also showed sympathetic activation during the meditation session and reported minimal/none negative affect. Incongruence between CNS and ANS are not unusual among spiritual practitioners, and other studies have noted sympathetic activation during meditation styles that use cognitive faculties and/or accelerated breathing (voluntary hyperventilation) techniques. The findings suggest medium/mediumistic-like practitioners may need to create “buffers” to maintain physical and emotional well being.