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76), Meditation on First Philosophy: 45 ?ABSTRACTI establish how a biochemist and psychiatrist, Ian Stevenson, MD, Chair of Psychiatry and Director of the Department of Perceptual Studies at the University of Virginia, rhetorically maintained his broader, Cartesian (Descartes, 1993) definition of the psychophore through arguing for research on apparitions, and phantom limbs, as essential to verify his definition of the psychophore.
His logic is very simple, research is required to prove or disprove the psychophore, thus a proper definition must anticipate the functions, mechanisms, and products of the psychophore as an extended consciousness surviving even without the body (Descartes, 1993 & Stevenson, 1997).
Cartesian dualism stipulates that the source of the Mind is separate from the physical body, thus a classical Mind and body split (Descartes, 1993). Stevenson's psychophore functions as a federation of fields, consisting of deceased personalities, among the present individual (Stevenson, 1997), thus indivisible.
Arguably the function of the psychophore is similar to the Soul, bridging research goals between scientific fields and theological pursuits of study (John Paul, 2002).
I am not writing that the psychophore is the same as the Soul, nor am I writing that the psychophore is different from the Soul, just that they seem to serve the same function.
After an individual's death, or death of a limb (amputation), the body's federation of diachronic (across time) morphogenetic and synchronic (across space) morphostatic fields, together called the psychophore, remains intact and visible, as apparitions, and somatically experienced as phantom limb memory (Stevenson, 1997, pp.
Think of an amputation, the dead limb leaves the Soul, yet the Soul remains with the living body (Descartes, 1993, p.
Besides a useful field of study for scientists, this is also an area of interest for theologians (John Paul, 2002). Phallocentric able-bodied narcissism is based on the primacy of men as physically fit, and biological male bodily fluids as distributing sources of knowledge. This is often a practice based ideology to justify violence against children, adolescents, handicapped and women, as a biological insemination of knowledge held by men (Stein, 2002).
Stevenson actually attributed consciousness to a ghost like apparition that we are born with and that dwells in our physical body since before birth. Contrastingly, the phallocentric able-bodied rationale suggests that persons become dependent on, and would not otherwise know how to behave, nor know what to do, without a male or able-bodied person instructing them (Stein, 2002). Phallocentric or able-bodied narcissism relegates women and amputees as an inferior incarnation. Stevenson states that theapparition of the psychophore can move or move through a person, like a piece of "furniture" (Stevenson, 1997, p. Persons who misread this statement will not understand that our ghost moves us, and instead use this "furniture" reference to mean that persons, women, the handicapped, and children, must be moved or adjusted often through physical abuse, or as without a Soul or consciousness. Triangulated research methodologies are designed to provide a check-and-balance against inherent biases, and against data driven results. The first step to avoid a biased outcome is to test for no outcome, what is called the 'null hypothesis'.
An example is, to prove that reincarnation is a possible answer for inherited personality traits, we first try to prove the 'null hypothesis; 'that reincarnation is not a possible answer for inherited personality traits. An interdisciplinary approach is arbitrated by one primary faculty, while utilizing expertise and methodologies from other faculties, or areas of study. For example, I am performing a communication study on the issue of reincarnation by studying Stevenson's literature describing the psychophore and his rhetorical style in defending his description (Stevenson, 1997). Reincarnation is traditionally an area of study for psychologists, psychiatrists, and theologians (Wolffram, 2009), yet I am using communication strategies of rhetoric, content analysis, and photography to bridge the concerns of all these differing faculties plus the mass media.
Reincarnation studies can be profitable if properly marketed through documentaries presented as news items in the mass media. A multidisciplinary approach is not interested in generating consensus among very different fields of research.
Negating bodily fluids or functions being the source of consciousness means that the sperm or egg do not contain the Soul at fertilization.
How can consciousness transfer without the transfer of bodily fluids?Stevenson argues for a unified consciousness existing separately yet functioning with the biological human body. This memory transfer from the deceased does not end at the beginning of a new human life (Greyson, 2011, & Stevenson, 1997).
The psychophore, personality and memory, remains indivisible in regards to a new female or male incarnation: "a body such as I [Stevenson] conceive the psychophore to be" (Stevenson, 1997, p. 2089), that after death or amputation, the psychophore's "body" is still intact and whole as a federation of diachronic morphogenetic and synchronic morphostatic fields of the psychophore, which are visible as apparitions, and somatically experienced as phantom limb memory (Stevenson, 1997, pp. Thus in my research I essentially operationalize Stevenson's definition of the psychophore with the definition of Soul, and mind as consciousness, interchangeably. This does not balance with Hindu concepts of the Soul, in that Stevenson's psychophore has a visible form, a body, whereas the Soul in Hinduism does not.
Stevenson does seem to borrow some reincarnation concepts from Hinduism, though he then changes these concepts to fit his description of the psychophore, as he sees it, with a definite body and form, like a ghost, an apparition.
Stevenson's psychophore has extension of its mental images, a form of consciousness.This essay is very complex, building step by step upon complex terms like diachronic, synchronic, morphogenetic, and morphostatic to explain what a psychophore is. It will take several re-readings of my essay to understand what I have synthesized from Stevenson's two volume book on the cases that establish the existence of the psychophore, as the mechanistic process in reincarnation processes.
Its much easier and cheaper to read and re-read my essay than the 2268 pages of Stevenson's two volume book. In this essay I cite specifically the instances why we scholars need to broaden the traditional operational definition of psychophore by understanding Stevenson's explanation of the psychophore properly, and patiently (Stevenson, 1997).
Stevenson was an astute rhetoritician in dealing with critics, as evidenced in this rhetorical analysis of his discussion of the recursive function of the psychophore.
A recursive function in reincarnation means that memories remain through a field federation, yet the human life is reset to its birthing process.Souls, like the psychophore, are unique, and Stevenson's work is applicable to theological study as well. This is a premise in critical exegesis (analysis of religious scripture) that I think should be scientifically provable, through research of the psychophore, to balance with the Roman Catholic Papal Encyclical "Fides et ratio" (John Paul, 2002), among other theological statements. What we know through intuition, or Faith (John Paul, 2002), should be scientifically verifiable, researched and tested.
Faith and reason are two differently explained views to describing the same phenomena (John Paul. Oddly enough the 1998 Papal letter regarding spiritual matters (John Paul, 2002) and Stevenson's masterpiece on reincarnation and biology (Stevenson, 1997) were both released within the same period. At this time women and handicapped had made great advancements fighting for respect and their compensation rights in both religious institutions and academia. This era was soon followed by the post-Princess Diana 1997 pro-Muslim and pro-Christian fundamentalist repressive femminicidal and phallocentric backlash of the Bush era administration in research funding that favored the premise that knowledge originates from men, to women and handicapped, through a water-boarding style fluid transfer, 'communion'. Male based religious and political ideologies emphasized the male's perspective in theory and research, heavily biasing the interpretation of definitions, research paradigms, and ensuing results (Bem, 1993, & Gilligan, 1993). This is particularly an issue when we women and amputees are doing the work yet not recognized nor rewarded for our achievements. Male bias will even go so far as claim that the presence of a male's odor or bodily fluid is the "template", a vessel for 'his' knowledge and memory to be inseminated (Matlock, 2013, p.
254) in the woman; thus women and handicapped do not deserve the recognition for their work, since the knowledge originated fluidly from a man or an able-bodied person.
Stevenson disagreed with this view, yet he had to write under the pressure of pleasing the able-bodied and phallocentric prejudices of his corporate and institutional funders.Taking Stevenson's words out of context, specifically a ten-page context detailing the functions of the psychophore, to favor a "template" sound-bite (Matlock, 2013, p. Equating the psychophore to a mere sperm, sweat, or some other fluid "template" (Mattock, 2013), is wrong.
Using Stevenson's words outside of their proper context is wrong, indicating either a lazy or malicious reading of Stevenson's work. Identifying Possible Inherent BiasWe can avoid inherent bias in reincarnation research, data gathering, and interpretation of results by studying carefully our definitions in reincarnation studies, such as the term psychophore. A thorough understanding of the term psychophore, as Stevenson intended, requires understanding Stevenson'srhetorical pattern and motive behind his evasive yet transformative rhetoric.
Stevenson needed to get money for research, yet he did not want the federal or private funders' prejudice to be an obstacle. Stevenson had to circumvent skeptics of reincarnation, get their money, and use this money to get published and inform our research designs and methodologies with the accurate information.
Communication study encompasses photography as an objective instrument for measurements of light, particularly documentation of apparitions, and phantom limbs. By taking a communication study approach,, combining rhetorical and literature content analysis, and photography. I begin by identifying the inherent bias, which is the pro-phallocentric result our culture usually desires. A phallocentric, or femminicidal culture, protects males and others that abuse and perform violence against handicapped, children and women. Once the bias, phallocentrism, or able-bodiedness is identified, it is possible to make certain the literature informing research methodology, data collection techniques, and interpretation of data is designed to weed-out inherent bias that has plagued institutions.I begin by reviewing the writing on the psychophore by Ian Stevenson (1997, pp. Most scientists do not wish to read discussions about the Soul, ghosts or spirits, and Stevenson was aware that he could be ridiculed if he did not appease critics with a very scientistic bait and hook description of the psychophore (Stevenson, 1997, p. Thus Stevenson first establishes the necessity for the psychophore by arguing: if there is a transmission of previous life memory, there must be a vehicle that functions for this purpose.
After obtaining the reader's attention, based on the appeal to necessity, Stevenson reels in the reader to more difficult concepts, such as the psychophore not just as a template, but a federation of a diachronic morphogenetic field and a synchronic morphostatic field, that aids in explaining the retention of phantom sensations of limbs in amputees, congenital amputees, sexual arousal in homosexuals, and the transmission of vital information by apparitions, a personality, whose field is inhabited by a living human being, an individual, acting as a host for an apparition (Stevenson, 1997, pp. Of course if Stevenson stated right away that he believed in ghosts or a "a spiritual self or person" (Dreyfus & Thompson, 2007, p. 91), and that he conceived of the psychophore as a multidirectional intrapersonal communication exchange among our past ghosts, that the individual human body occupies, most critics would not read his books nor articles.
Stevenson actually believed that the physical body leaves the soul or ghost, not vice-versa: "at death our bodies leave us, while we continue to exist in our mental space" (Stevenson, 1997, p. This statement sets the stage to describe what the functions, and parts, of the psychophore are providing a realm of multidirectional pathways for information exchange, and suppression, between discarnate personalities, and the individual terrestrial life, that occupies their mental space (Stevenson, 1997, pp. The mind body gap provides for a temporary barrier so that information from our past is suppressed and we have a safety zone.
Otherwise, unexplainably, previous lifetime memories would surface.A repressive mechanism, regulated by the psychophore, must also be at work to suppress memories that could otherwise harm the individual's progress, under certain cultural conditions, and needs to be further researched to be properly explained.
Stevenson establishes the need for an explanation of the continuity and suppression of memory, and later hints at the indestructible and self-organizing nature of the memory's vehicle.
Explaining the continuity and suppression of memory from a previous life helps us understand how the past, and survival of its memory, informs, without overwhelming, our lives, and persists between and through lives (Stevenson, 1997, p.
This model of reincarnation is recursive, meaning that previous memories of personalities remain, yet the human life is reset to its individual birthing process.
Although a useful introductory concept, Matlock's template example does not explain repression of memories, nor does Matlock account how other elements of the psychophore, such as apparitions, phantom limb sensations, and congenital amputeeism are possible. Where Matlock feeds us a sound-byte, Stevenson strategically addresses our questions with a broader definition of psychophore (Stevenson, 1997, pp.
To obtain this effect, Stevenson, subtly, plays on the phallocentric bias of some readers (Bem, 1993, & Burke, 1969). Psychophore is at least serving as an "intermediate vehicle" (Stevenson, 1997, 2083), begins Stevenson, yet it is also described as having 'extension', like a telephone, throughout lives (Stevenson, 1997, p. 2087).Why is Stevenson seemingly making a very conservative statement, when throughout the discussion of the psychophore, he maintains that it persists throughout the lifetime?
I suspect this is a rhetorical strategy to attract the attention of critics who think of the psychophore like a memory capsule, maybe of bodily fluid, a "vehicle for memories" (Stevenson, 1997, p. 254), and do not think of the psychophore as a structure, a scaffolding able to conduct electrical signals, and as persisting throughout a lifetime, having extension into the next (Stevenson, 1997, p. 2094).Stevenson's rhetorical style invites the male chauvinist, perhaps a phallus worshiper, to think that Stevenson agrees with their worldview. Having hooked the reader, Stevenson brings the patient reader to a fuller understanding of the function of the psychophore. Stevenson utilizes the human capacity to interpret a word differently, to bring the person in as part of a broader readership, while educating the audience, by refining his meaning. The psychophore's meaning is thus extended from just a "vehicle for memories", ending at birth, to a broader meaning that endures throughout the lifetime, and the next.
In a sense, Stevenson seems to treat the individual reader as having multiple capacities of interpretation, as he helps each inner person, ghost, of the individual reader come to a higher level of learning, bringing about consensus on a broader operational definition of the psychophore (Dreyfus & Thompson, 2007, p. 91).Those that cannot keep up with Stevenson's bait and hook technique slowly reeling them in to a broader understanding can resort to jumping to an incomplete definition, such as what Matlock offers (2013), or others offer.
Again, if the psychophore carries memory, and memories are survivable separate from the body, then the psychophore is not just a "template", but a vehicle for memory survival separate from the body (Greyson, 2011, & Stevenson, 1997). Otherwise the psychophore would be functioning like a chicken laying eggs, a mere "template" (Matlock, 2013, p. 254), or a woman from whom eggs are harvested, then the chicken or woman, the template, is jettisoned away.Hammerman and Lenard (2000) surpass Matlock's template evaluation of the psychophore (2013), yet do not account for the form that survives outside of the body, where Stevenson provides a description of it in the form of apparitions and phantom sensations (Stevenson, 1997). Hammerman and Lenard (2000) are cautious, as Stevenson (1997), at leaving the possibility open for a broader definition of the psychophore, as enduring throughout and beyond several lifetimes, as consciousness (Greyson, 2011, & Stevenson, 1997). Although Hammerman and Lenard do not address the Lamarckian RNA evolution of behavior, Stevenson does (Stevenson, 1997, p.
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