Subjective Forms of Spontaneous Psi Experiences
Louisa E. Rhine
Parapsychology Laboratory, Duke University
In this study, approximately one thousand cases of spontaneous psychic experiences were analyzed to find out what range of forms the experiences more commonly took. Four main types were found: (1) Intuitive, in which the subject’s experience was a simple, unreasoned impression or hunch. (2) Hallucinatory, in which the experience was projected as if it were a sensation. (3)
Unrealistic dreaming, in which the experience was characterized by fantasy. (4) Realistic dreaming, in which the imagery was almost photographically realistic. Groups (1) and (2) occurred only in the waking state.
The fact that these four types are common in mental life and are not peculiar to psychic experiences is of importance in understanding the process. The classification introduces new questions, such, for example, as what part personality differences may play in determining the form which a spontaneous experience will take.
It appears that the main act of acquiring the knowledge occurs on the unconscious level and the form the impression will take in consciousness represents the mental device or “mechanism” by which knowledge of the stimulus event is carried over the threshold. Some act of selective judgment is inferred to occur below the level of consciousness. ---Ed.