It’s been a long, strange road, especially for those who died but came back for another circuit, or remained alive and pursued mystic abilities for secret national intelligence service sponsors, or carefully tried to influence the past or forecast the future, or struggled with quantum theory because it looked eerily similar to magic in its weirdness even though mathematical experts denied any meaningful resemblance. Since 1977, this tussling with the improbable has been tracked in a series of volumes edited by Dr. Stanley Krippner, a Fellow in five American Psychological Association divisions. They are devoted to essays condensing and confronting claims of paranormal phenomena—to use a term deplored by many who regard such anomalies as normal, less Sixth Sense than First but frustratingly skittish. But the strange long road seems often to be covering the same rutted stretch, and its explorers grow weary. While the second volume appeared a year after the premier, pace slowed in the next seven volumes, and seemed all but exhausted by number 9, published sixteen years after its predecessor. The latest volume paused for eight more years. Granted, Dr. Krippner is now 88 years old, but still diligent and adventurous. So are his fellow editors and contributors, although sadly two of them (Professor William Roll, 1926-2012, and Professor Michael Persinger, 1945-2018) are dead and incommunicado. The most startling recurrent theme in this tenth volume is how much hard and conscientious empirical work in a number of varieties of psi leads to the conclusion that many psychic phenomena just are not as substantial as researchers have claimed for more than a century.
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