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Eisenbud, J. (1969). Chronologically Extraordinary Psi Correspondences in the Psychoanalytic Settin. Psychoanal. Rev., 56A(1):9-27.

(1969). Psychoanalytic Review, 56A(1):9-27

Chronologically Extraordinary Psi Correspondences in the Psychoanalytic Settin

Jule Eisenbud, M.D.

So-called psi phenomena are comparatively rarely observed, both in their spontaneous manifestations and under experimental conditions. Even in the latter case we are without means of producing these phenomena on order, or even of appreciably increasing the frequency of their occurrence. All we do, like fishermen, is lay out nets so that if something does come along we can catch it for study. In most experiments today we use statistical nets; but we depend upon purely spontaneous occurrences for our haul, which is usually scanty. And we know next to nothing about how to bait our lines.

Our trouble here lies to some extent in the fact that we have tended to approach psi occurrences largely as outer-world “phenomena” instead of as manifestations of behavior which might profitably be studied with the same accent on needs and goals and underlying purposiveness as we bring to our study of other aspects of behavior. Our traditional (but now happily changing) approach to psi occurrences has been somewhat like the older parasitologists' approach to tropical diseases in man. In their view the important thing to study was the parasite, and not the host, who was regarded merely as the vehicle in which the invader lived out its cyclical phases of development. We also have tended perhaps too much to regard man merely as the host, the almost unwilling and for the most part passive vehicle for a “something-or-other” whose source was implicitly assumed to be either “out of this world” entirely or in an occult region of this world so far removed from the more prosaic areas covered by science as to warrant terms like “supernatural.”

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