Dr David Vernon from Canterbury Christ Church University, in collaboration with Dr Glenn Hitchman and Prof Chris Roe from Northampton University, are conducting research into aspects of morphogentic learning using Chinese characters.
For this blog post, Public Parapsychology invited guest writer/blogger Lori Scoby to give us a lay person’s impression of this new book aimed at the public.
The Premonition Code pairs a seasoned scientist, Dr. Julia Mossbridge, with a practicing layperson, Theresa Cheung, to tackle the subject of precognition. This combination creates a conversational tone and scientific explanations that are (mostly) understandable to the average layperson with only a smattering of academic knowledge. The heart of the book is a simple methodology to practice and develop precognition skills using controlled precognition training.
The first section of the book primarily concerns itself with the science around precognition, predominantly in relation to the scientific understanding of time. I was able to follow the information with a single reading, but I would want to revisit this information and ponder some of the more abstract and unfamiliar concepts to feel I really understood them. Still, I was able to get what I needed to know to move forward, and that is the stated goal of the authors. There is also an appendix of recommended reading material for further study and copious endnotes.
The second section of the book lays out their method to become what they call a Postive Precog. The authors spend a good deal of time focusing on what it means to be a Postive Precog in order to avoid negative experiences as much as possible. If anything, they belabored the point that delving into precognition can be destabilizing for a person and that precautions should be taken. Clearly, they have seen their share of people who have had negative experiences, which should give pause to anyone looking to undertake their training.
I did try out a few controlled precog practice sessions on their website. Their method was well explained in the book and integrated easily with the online technology (although the website could be a little more intuitive to navigate on a mobile device). The authors are very clear that, while the method is simple, achieving accuracy takes work and time. I’d say that is true based on my own experience. I was able to already learn from my practice sessions by utilizing the suggestions in the book.
The last section is a FAQ with Dr. Mossbridge to further understanding, followed by the authors’ vision for their online community. It provides a nice, tidy ending to sandwich the actual training method.
Overall, The Premonition Code is a useful book for someone interested in precognition, either for general knowledge or to develop their own skills. It takes a balanced, measured approach that is especially suited for a skeptically-minded student or someone who is so gung ho that they might overlook the precautions one should take when undertaking this activity.
Over the weekend I was tasked with researching material for a literature review on the perceptual-personality variables associated with poltergeist/RSPK focal agents – a task for which which I restricted myself to material that had undergone some form of peer review, and where either psychometric measures were employed or where the researchers had consulted with a clinician. I learned a lot from this exercise, most of which I will save the for article itself, but my greatest surprise was how much I had to rely on resources from the Proceedings of Papers presented at the annual conventions of the Parapsychological Association, or its more polished cousin – Research in Parapsychology in order to complete my task.
As the Executive Director of the Parapsychological Association spearheading an archive project in honor its 60th year, I have amassed nearly a complete collection of these resources over the last year thanks to donations from our members, and since roughly April of this year, I have been campaigning on Crowdrise for the funding needed to get them digitized and released to the public in the form of some sort of searchable database. At this point, we’ve only met about 1/3 of our funding goal. Another 5K or so will make this dream a reality.
So for now, this amazing resource sits in an office that only I have access to, and you betcha that I made good use of it for my lit review! In the end, roughly 1/3 of the resources that I examined came from papers in this archive – works that were peer-reviewed by members of the PA, but were never submitted for further publication. That may seem like a high proportion, but I was looking for a very particular thing.
How many other important research questions might to fit this profile? How many future students of consciousness research will be discouraged by their lack of access to the specialized libraries that currently hold this sort of collection when they try to ask similar questions?
A donation of $10 will digitize 100 pages of this archive, $25 will get you something fun in the mail, $60 and you’ll get a thumb drive of archival material, $100 will make you a sponsor of the project. Help us get this research in front of everyone who needs it – whether they know it or not – once and for all.