The word paranormal is a term coined around 1920 to describe an event that occurs outside the realm of normal human experience – a phenomenon that is beyond scientific explanation. Unfortunately the word seems to be misleading. I choose to call it the “unknown normal.” The fact that something occurs outside of the normal human experience signifies that while at the moment it seems impossible to us, in fact the possibility has been there all along, we simply have not, as yet, discovered it. The “normal” is constantly evolving as we make new discoveries. What we thought was never possible is now possible. “Miracles are not contrary to nature, they’re only contrary to what we know about nature,” said St. Augustine in the 4th century. To quote Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell in the 20th century, “There are no unnatural or supernatural phenomenon, only very large gaps in our knowledge of what is natural… we should strive to fill those gaps of ignorance.”
In my book I have recounted many stories about the “unknown normal” that have happened to me, and have tried to give some strong scientific data whenever possible no matter how amazing the event. Einstein sums it all up so well when he said, “We understand about only 2% of how our universe functions.”
Below you will find a glossary of terms that will help you better understand the paranormal. There’s also a list of recommended reading.
- ESP: Extrasensory perception. Knowledge of or response to an external event or influence by non-sensory means.
- Telepathy: Extrasensory awareness of another person’s or animal’s mental activities, thoughts, or feelings.
- Precognition: Foreknowledge of or response to something that has not yet happened. This knowledge or response cannot be explained, predicted, or inferred by normal means.
- Clairvoyance: Extrasensory awareness/perception of physical objects or events. In contrast to telepathy.
- Automatic Writing: Writing that is not under the conscious control of the writer.
- Psychic Photography: The paranormal projection of mental images on to photographic plates or film.
- Psychokinesis (PK) (Teleportation): A physical change in an object or in its state or rest or motion which cannot be explained by ordinary physical processes and is therefore assumed to be due to PSI (mind over matter).
- Reincarnation: A form of survival in which the mind or some aspect of it of a deceased individual is reborn in another body.
- Synchronicity: A term coined by Carl Jung to indicate that an acausal principle could account for PSI occurrences, or, as he preferred to call them, “meaningful coincidence”.
- Healing: An ability to affect positive change in a living organism usually through non-sensory means. (The terms psychic healing and spiritual healing are sometimes used.)
- Remote Viewing: Another aspect of ESP, which demonstrates the ability to obtain information, often detailed, about a distant (close or far) and unseen target without the use or help of any sensory clues or cues.
- The Age of Entanglement: When Quantum Physics Was Reborn, by Louisa Gilder
- The Conscious Universe: The Scientific Truth of Psychic Phenomena, by Dean Radin
- Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home: And Other Unexplained Powers of Animals, by Rupert Sheldrake
- Einstein’s Space and Van Gogh’s Sky: Physical Reality and Beyond, by Lawrence LeShan and Henry Margenau
- Extraordinary Knowing: Science, Skepticism, and the Inexplicable Powers of the Human Mind, by Elizabeth Lloyd Mayer
- The Holographic Universe, by Michael Talbot
- Margins of Reality: The Role of Consciousness in the Physical World, by Robert G. Jahn and Brenda J. Dunne.
- The Medium, the Mystic, and the Physicist: Toward a General Theory of the Paranormal, by Lawrence LeShan
- Mind-ReachL Scientists Look at Psychic Abilities, by Russel Targ and Harold E. Puthoff.
- Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain, Revised and Expanded Edition, by Oliver Sacks
- A New Science of the Paranormal: The Promise of Psychical Research, by Lawrence LeShan