Anthropology of Extra-ordinary Experience, Part II


II.1 pp. 99-134 Charles D. Laughlin, Jr. : "Psychic Energy and Transpersonal Experience".

pp. 107-108, 127 noe:tic heat {certainly not "psychic heat" : /psukh-/ & /psukhr-/ signify ‘cold, chill’ in the Hellenic vocabulary -- perhaps they indicate, in Hellenic terms, a sudden chill experienced at the advent of a ghost}

p. 107

"psychic energy (Skt. : prana [pran.a]; Tib. : sugs) may be experienced ... as psychic heat, or dumo (Tib. : gtum-mo ...)."

p. 108

"a small but intense flame in the navel center and then ... a ... radiant bubble in the energy center located at the crown of the head. ... The flame starts out as a thin thread of iridescence and then ... becomes longer and longer until it reaches the crown center. The flame melts [the bubble] in the crown center which becomes a bliss-nectar that flows down the permeate the entire body."

p. 133, n. 9

"For a detailed discussion ..., see Laughlin, McManus and d’Aquili 1990:200-202."

p. 127

"dancing of the !Kung Bushman adept ... brings about the rising and ascension of enhanced psychic energy (n/um) ... during which the !Kia mindstate arises."

Laughlin, C. D.; McManus, J.; Webber, M. : "Neurognosis, individuation and Tibetan arising yoga practice". JOURNAL OF TRANSPERSONAL ANTHROPOLOGY 8:91-106.

p. 127 mystic experiences of Catholic saints

"St. Margaret Mary Alacoque’s (Tickell 1869) sustained "rapture" ... (see also Stierli 1957 on St. Catherine of Siena; Herambourg 1960 on St. John Eudes; Anonymous 1871 on St. Gertrude; and Jeremy 1962 on St. Mechthild and St. Gertrude)."

Tickell, G. : The Life of Blessed Margaret Mary. London : Burns, Oates & Co, 1869.

Stierli, J. : Heart of the Savior. Freiburg : Herder & Herder, 1957.

Herambourg, P. : Saint John Eudes. Dublin : M. H. Gill & Son, 1960.

The Life and Revelation of Saint Gertrude. London : Burn, Bates & Co, 1871.

Jeremy, N. : Scholars and Mystics. Chicago : Henry Regny Co, 1962.


II.2 pp. 135-165 Rab Wilkie : "Spirited Imagination".

pp. 138-139, 161 Hellenic directional deities







Aurora [Eos]



(p. 138) South

Apollo [Apollon]

(p. 139) Light



Aphrodite [Aphrodite]




Selene [Selene]




"the One"

"Heart of All"


II.3 pp. 166-194 David E. Young : "Visitors in the Night".

pp. 168-169 the author’s visions of spirits

p. 168

"On two separate occasions, I was awakened ... in the bedroom. ... The figures in my vision ... appeared in my bedroom where I viewed them briefly from my bed before turning on the light. The first visitor was an Indian dressed in light brown buckskin pants, tunic, and moccasins. He wore a brown cloth band around his forehead, with the loose end hanging down on one side of his head, and a matching brown cloth band around his waist, with one end hanging down the side. [p. 188 : "the Native dress of the Southwest (such as ... Hopi)"] He was standing in the doorway ... . ...

p. 169

The second visitor, who appeared several weeks later, was a tall Caucasian man with close-cropped hair, dressed in a long brown robe tied with a narrow sash. he strode briskly into the bedroom through the same doorway in which the Indian had stood, holding a small, lidded square box in front of himself. Hanging onto his robe was a boy of eight or nine, also dressed in a brown robe and hurrying to keep up. Both figures, unlike the Indian, were somewhat transparent in appearance. The man strode ... and came up to the head of the bed on the far side, holding out the box as if to present it to me." [p. 173 : "The second visitor appears to have been Jizo, the Buddhist patron saint and travelers and the guardian of children. He usually carries something in his hands and is accompanied by children. It is a common vision among Buddhist monks."] [p. 189 : "When Buddhism came to Japan, ... Jizo replaced Dosojin, ... somtimes carved ... within the hull of a boat, ... which represents ... female principles (Czaja 1974:169)."]

Czaja, Michael : Gods of Myth and Stone. NY : Weatherhill, 1974.

pp. 169-170, 192 apparitions of spirits to other persons

p. 169

quotation from "Jung (... [1920]:303)" : "I am convinced that if a European had to go through the same exercises and ceremonies which the medicine-man performs in order to make the spirits visible, he would have the same experiences."

Jung, Carl G. : "The psychological foundation of belief in spirits". (reprinted in :- The Collected Works of C. G. Jung. London, 1960. Vol. 8, pp. 301-18)

p. 170

"An interesting collection of visions is Apparitions by Green and McCreery (1975), based on ... responses to appeals in the press and over the radio by the Institute Psychophysical Research ... . ... An example of such a report ... is as follows (Green and McCreery 1975:70) :

One night ... I woke up ... and I saw a tall man standing close to my side of the bed. ... He wore a check overcoat, and a trilby hat. The overcoat had a wide belt at the waist. ... Suddenly, I was ... waking my husband".

Green, Celia & McCreery, Charles : Apparitions. London : Hamish Hamilton, 1975.

p. 192, n. 2

remark by author : "A Native student at the University of Alberta told me that both she and her husband have been simultaneously awakened in their bedroom by a "spirit" with whom they both conversed. According to the student, this experience has been repeated several times." {Is this a case of "mutual dreaming" combined with "dream of false awakening"? A spirit appearing in the waking world could not be expected to speak; but one in dreams of course could.}


pp. 173, 187 some experiential characterizations about spirits

p. 173

exorcism by absorption of haunting-spirit into hauntee’s body : "I recall one person who was being bothered by a spirit who refused to leave. I could see the spirit myself ... . But I could also see that it was a product of the individual’s ... . When I explained the nature of the spirit to the individual, ... the spirit was gradually absorbed through the top of the person’s head." {This is the usual closing to the Daoist caerimonial evocation of internal bodily deities called forth out of their permanent abodes at particular sites within the ritualist’s body : at the dismissal of the spirits, they re-enter their proper abodes within the body.}

p. 187

"According to my Native informant, ghost of departed people may be trapped on this plane of existence for some reason, but these are not the kinds of spirits who would normally be called upon by a healer to assist in healing ceremonies. Spirits who appear in visions are often "Grandfathers" such as the primordial forces of nature, exemplified by wind and fire, which have been around a long time and which possess great power. Another class of Grandfathers, less powerful than the first, are the spirits associated with animal and plant species (not to be confused with the souls of individual animals or plants)."

pp. 179-180 personal experience of c^>i

p. 179

"Practiced by Buddhist and Taoist monks ..., qi-gong consists of specific ... exercises ... which require intense concentration. Through daily practice, an individual supposedly can acquire the skill to lower ... pulse and metabolic rates, and oxygen demands (Eisenberg 1987). According to my Chinese informants, a handful of qi-gong masters have learned to accumulate and project qi out of the body for purposes of affecting material objects or for treating patients. Western observers have witnessed qi-gong maters moving objects, such as a pendulum, without touching them, and lighting an unattached fluorescent bulb for several seconds by grasping it with both hands (Eisenberg 1987). While attending a conference in Beijing ..., I witnessed qi-gong masters manipulating the limbs of ... patients without touching them. ...

p. 180

I also had the unusual experience of participating in an experiment in which a qi-gong master stood behind several volunteers, including myself ... . I felt a slight tingling in my arms and fingers as I "involuntarily" moved my arms in circles – sometimes large circles and sometimes small, sometimes fast and sometimes slow."


David E. Young & Jean-Guy Goulet (eds.) : Being Changed : the Anthropology of Extraordinary Experience. Broadview Press, Peterborough (ON), 1994.