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F.W.H.Myers, Epistemology and Spirit Release Therapy

By:Dr Terence Palmer
Date: Thu,01 Mar 2012
Submitter:Terry Palmer
Views:11988

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Dr Terence Palmer PhD

Abstract

In this thesis I argue the case for a revised epistemology that will enable medical practice to understand more fully the relevance and validity of Spirit Release Therapy (SRT), as a clinical approach to releasing alleged discarnate spirits from the living, in its application for the treatment of a wide range of psychological and physiological disorders.

SRT is a modern clinical alternative to religious exorcism for the release of spirit entities from patients that has been emerging in psychiatry and clinical psychology since the early part of the twentieth century, especially in North and South America and in Western Europe. In contrast to positivist scientific assumptions that spirits are created in the minds of the superstitious or the mentally ill, SRT finds earthbound spirits of the deceased that are found to be attached in some way to the living. It treats these spirits with equal compassion to those presenting patients who are unwilling hosts to them. This compassionate approach of SRT contrasts with that of the Roman Catholic tradition which casts out spirits deemed to be ‘evil’ using its Rite of Exorcism. The general reaction from modern medicine to the proposition that spirits exist, is to reject it because there is no scientific framework that can accommodate it. Although there is no consensus within the Christian tradition that affirms the existence of autonomous spirits (with many believing in the reality of spirits and evil as symbolic and not metaphysical truths), the Catholic tradition relies on faith and non-rational beliefs in its justification for the eradication of what it consequently regards as inherently diabolical entities.
There is therefore a dichotomy between modern medicine and religious belief, but I shall argue that the gulf between these opposing positions can be bridged through an epistemological approach that is both grounded in subjective experience and validated by scientific enquiry. In this thesis I examine the relevance of this epistemological approach to the reality of spirit possession (and the practical procedures adopted in SRT for the possible dispossession of spirits) through an analysis of the conceptual framework and scientific methods of Frederic Myers (1843-1901), the 19th century researcher and co-founder of the Society for Psychical Research.
In Part I of this thesis I place spirit possession in a Western social and cultural context where I discuss the contemporary attitudes to spirit possession, which are themselves expressed and reinforced by an epistemology that is grounded in the empiricism of the
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social sciences, anthropology, psychiatry and the scientific study of beliefs. Part II explains Myers’ 19th century methods and theories that challenge positivistic empiricism and Part III seeks to update these methods and theories within a 21st century context where they are applied to various enigmatic case studies that challenge modern psychiatry and clinical psychology. I have adopted this structure in order first to highlight some of the deficiencies of current scientific methods in making sense of spirit possession and second to raise important questions that remain unanswered by mainstream psychology, thereby further illuminating the limitations of the epistemological grounding of this discipline.
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Comments

Dr Terence Palmer said:

Dear Chrissie,

here is a link to my thesis.

http://www.transpersonalpsychologist.net/upload/FINAL.pdf

In answer to your question you may like to read Chapter 10. I have not yet had the opportunity to conduct my own research, but Chapter 10 references those who have. The true test of whether an intervention works is how the patient feels, and it is this that the medical profession needs to take into account rather than argue about how spiritual energy can or may not be measured. Best regards.
Fri,09 Mar 2012,12:55:44 GMT

Chrissie Batten said:

I don't need proof of the energy measurability of the before and after process of entity attachments, as I've already experienced the affects of it for myself. And so am aware of the difference in the way that my energy feels once the attachment is cleared.

However, I would be really interested in any research you've done, which can demonstrate the energy changes that occur during this process. And that might be acceptable to present to GP's, in order to help them understand the physical benefits of spiritual healing.

Kind regards,

Chrissie Batten
Fri,09 Mar 2012,11:20:50 GMT

Terence Palmer said:

To suggest that the removal of spirits is not 'tangibly measurable' is a false assumption. It is measurable and therefore provable. Want to test it? Be my guest.

Best regards

Dr Terence Palmer
Sun,04 Mar 2012,19:56:28 GMT

Chrissie Batten said:

Good luck with your intentions, as this topic creates a brick wall within allopathic treatment methods that is hard to break down, because this subject is not 'tangibly measureable' and thus cannot be proven effective. But anyone who has experienced a negative entity attachment will understand that finding appropriate help can create a terrifying dilemma, that no medicine will fix.
Sat,03 Mar 2012,09:21:47 GMT
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