Do you have any advice for someone interested in this field? Are there any written materials you suggest? Which professional journals and organizations would help me learn more about this field?
I give everyone the same advice. First, get a day job. Something to bring in a steady income. Second, read the research. There's an online library full of it, which lets you read nearly every professional journal published in parapsychology from the 1800s on. Don't rely on someone else to give you the Cliff Notes versions. Sometimes you realize the person trying to sumarize that material misinterpreted it--whether deliberately, in the case of some skeptics or by mistake.
A great first book, even if it's a monster to read, is Handbook of Parapsychology
by Benjamin Wolman, published in 1976 and reprinted in the 1980s by McFarland. It will give you a terrific understanding of the older material. For newer research on ESP, I'd recommend Dean Radin's books The Conscious Universe
and Entangled Minds
. I always feel a bit odd recommending my own books, but for learning the mind-matter interaction or MMI (the newer term for psychokinesis or telekinesis) research post 1976, there really is nothing better than Mind-Matter Interaction: Historical Reports, Research and Firsthand Accounts
(available soon). I wrote it as a parapsychological textbook for MMI, so it's dry, but it covers a lot of the material, if in less detail than Wolman's Handbook of Parapsychology
The most important organization to belong to is the Parapsychological Association. It has some surprisingly stringent requirements for full membership, but any student can belong as a student affiliate and I recommend folks get in at that level. I also belong to the Society for Psychical Research (London) and the Society for Scientific Exploration because their journals have some interesting research. The other big journal in the field is the Journal of Parapsychology, which is put out by the Rhine Institute
. All of these are published (eventually) in the parapsychology online library at www.lexscien.org/lexscien/index.jsp
. It's subscription based, but what an option! And it's text searchable, too.
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