Sunday, May 8, 2011

Book time!

I figured I already have quite a few website sources, but I haven't really looked into books, so I found a great book on Google Books entitled, "Anomalous Experiences: Essays from Parapsychological and Psychological Perspectives" by Matthew D. Smith. It is actually a really interesting book. I looked at some of the other chapters and topics that were covered in it and they ranged from telling the future to apparitions, which is where the topic of the Black Phantom Dog appeared (pun intended). I wasn't able to view the entire entry because of the lovely copyright restrictions, but it might be good to find the book to read the rest. The section about black phantom apparitions provided some great insight about the cultural source hypothesis, which is proposed by David Hufford. The hypothesis states that with anyone who experiences supernatural experiences, "the experiences are either fictitious products of tradition or imaginary subjective experiences shaped (or occasionally even caused) by tradition" (127). It's a good bit of insight, tying culture to things that are seen. I feel like the hypothesis makes sense on some level, because our culture definitely shapes our life experiences and things that happen to us, so if someone has traditions that involve phantoms or seeing apparitions, it is not uncommon for them to witness some sort of phantom. Dun dun dun, so we may actually be "imagining" everything.

1 comment:

  1. You should look into David Hufford's work on Old Hag and Sleep Paralysis more carefully. You are misinterpreting one of his central points, about the Cultural Source Hypothesis (CSH). Hufford has argued persistently and convincingly AGAINST the CSH as an adequate explanation of many anomalous experiences. His point (in brief, although it is a deep point) is that in fact it is not all prior expectation based on culture that generates/shapes anomalous experiences. What the example of sleep paralysis shows is that in many cases these experiences are based on actual physiological/psychological phenomena.

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