Further Books of Note: What is Psychic Sensibility? by Alejandro Parra, and Supernatural America: A Cultural History by Laurence R. Samuel

Stanley Krippner


Alejandro Parra is an Argentine researcher and writer in the field of parapsychology. He has written a series of popular books on this topic over the years, each of which is a model of clarity and accuracy. This book, written in Spanish, What is Psychic Sensibility?, is no exception. Parra begins by introducing his readers to the concept of psychic phenomena, providing a brief history and some vignettes from his file of case histories. Early in the book, he answers the question posed by the title. For Parra, “psychic sensibility” is the ability to interpret certain events in a way that allows the extension of one’s senses to incorporate information in a form that cannot be explained by mainstream science.


Laurence R. Samuel, a Fellow of the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of Natural History, has written a sprightly book, Supernatural America: A Cultural History. The word supernatural is generally connected with deities or spirits, and Samuels could have avoided this connotation by using “occult” or “paranormal.” Samuel’s position is that “there is not a shred of definitive evidence” that any such phenomenon has ever occurred, yet belief in the supernatural is as high as it has ever been over the last century.


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