The American Society for Psychical Research
Exceptional Human Experience Conference

Presentations from the Exceptional Human Experience Conference are available on video and audio tapes (except where noted).

The Call of the Wild in Transformative Experiences

The power of transformative experiences resides in their ability to carry us beyond the artificial constraints of our socially defined reality toward a broader vision of existence. We become transformed because it is necessary to expand our sense of self in order to include that broader vision. We feel compelled to seek that transformation because we cannot feel whole or entirely alive while consciously denying any aspect of our human existence. Transformative experiences are, therefore, not extraordinary, but fundamental to human nature. In striking contrast to pathological phenomena that signify a dangerous withdrawal from reality, they do not represent an aberration or the intrusive disruption of the psyche by outside forces. They may, rather, represent a more positive reaching out from within, facilitating the process of self-actualization. They may also guide us toward a transformation of society and a cultural vision that embraces our underlying interconnectedness and our greater personal potential.

Keith Harary, Ph.D. holds a doctorate in psychology with emphases in both clinical counseling and experimental psychology. He has nearly twenty-five years of experience in advanced psychological laboratory and field research, and is internationally known for his pioneering contributions to studies of extended perception, altered states of consciousness and other intense subjective states. He has authored and co-authored more than eighty popular and professional articles and co-authored seven critically acclaimed popular books relating to ground-breaking psychological research. He is a frequent contributor to Omni and other national magazines. Dr. Harary is currently Research Director of the Institute for Advanced Psychology in San Francisco, California.
(Available on audiotape only)

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Healing: An Exceptional Human Experience

An individual's capacity for self-healing represents an exceptional human capacity that has received increasing attention in recent years. The use of biofeedback, meditation, relaxation and imagery have all been associated with remarkable instances of self-recovery both in case studies and informal experiments. All of these techniques were pioneered by tribal shamans whose works are now being investigated and appreciated by contemporary health care specialists.

Stanley Krippner, Ph.D. is Professor of Psychology at the Saybrook Institute in San Francisco and an ASPR Trustee. He is known internationally for his important contributions to parapsychology and healing research. He is the author and co-author of numerous articles and books, including Dream Telepathy (Macmillan), Healing States (Simon & Schuster), The Realms of Healing (Celestial Arts), and Spiritual Dimensions of Healing (Irvington). (Available on audiotape only)

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Adaptive Response to Unconscious Knowledge

Many individuals have had good things happen to them or were spared disaster because they "just happened to be at the right place at the right time," figuratively or literally. Though it seems this "just happened," there are psychological prerequisites for responding adaptively to the unconscious extrasensory (or, sometimes, unconscious sensory) knowledge presumed to underlie such experiences. These psychological prerequisites are discussed in light of parapsychological and psychological laboratory research, spontaneous cases, and precepts from religion and folklore.

Rex G. Stanford, Ph.D. is Professor of Psychology, St. John's University, Jamaica, New York, where he teaches courses on cognition, social psychology, sensation-perception, and the relationships of altered states and psi events. He is a past president of the Parapsychological Association and is widely known for his work on adaptive, unconscious extrasensory influence.

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Dreams: Ordinary/Exceptional Human Experiences

Dreams are ordinary only in the sense that everyone has them. What makes them extraordinary and qualifies them as Exceptional Human Experiences are the gifts they bring to our lives if we learn how to receive them. Dr. Montague Ullman refers to the intrinsic and spontaneous surge of creative energy that shapes imagery capable of speaking to us so profoundly and honestly, and the transformative impact dreams can have upon our lives if we learn to listen to what they say. We also seem closer to psi experiences when we dream.

Montague Ullman, M.D. is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry Emeritus, Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He founded the Dream Laboratory at Maimonides Medical Center and is a past president of the American Society for Psychical Research, the Parapsychological Association, and the Society of Medical Psychoanalysts. Dr. Ullman is the author of numerous papers on theoretical and clinical studies of dreams and dreaming. He is the author and co-author of several books, including Dream Telepathy (Macmillan, 1989), Working With Dreams (J.P. Tarcher, Inc., 1979), co-editor of The Variety of Dream Experience (Continuum Press, 1988), and co-editor of The Handbook of States of Consciousness (Van Nostrand Reinhold).

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Exceptional Human Experiences: The Generic Connection

Exceptional Human Experience (EHE) is an umbrella term for what are generally considered to be mystical and psychic experiences, but other phenomena are also included. Rhea White has isolated over sixty such experiences, including ESP, deja vu, inspiration, mediumship, deathbed experiences, glossolalia, lucid dreams, kundalini, luminosity, and nostalgia - to name only a few. She believes it is useful to approach these experiences as a general category rather than as unique phenomena unto themselves. She describes many types of EHEs, and the eight qualities that characterize most of them. She discusses why she considers it fruitful to think of psi phenomena as forms of exceptional human experience and why it is worth investigating these generically rather than as separate experiences.

Rhea A. White began her career as a parapsychologist at the Duke University Parapsychology Laboratory under the direction of J.B. Rhine. In 1965 she obtained a Master's degree in library science. She is editor of the ASPR's Journal, founder/director of the Exceptional Human Experience Network, founder/editor of the journal Exceptional Human Experience, and the producer of the PsiLine Database System. She is a past president of the Parapsychological Association (1984) and was its founding secretary (1958). Her latest book is In the Zone: Transcendent Experience in Sports (Penguin/Arkana 1995).

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