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Spirit Release - Spirit Possession

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Application of an ethnographic methodology for the study of spirit possession
by Terry Palmer

In my own doctoral thesis I argued the case for a revised epistemology for Spirit Release Therapy (SRP) according to the conceptual framework of F.W.H. Myers, the 19th century co-founder of the Society for Psychical Research (SPR).

In my thesis I support the adoption of the radical empiricism of William James (1912) and a participant / observer method in anthropological research according to the model proposed by social science theorist Paul Diesing (1971). Whilst my thesis was limited to examining Myers’ conceptual framework, I was unable to examine in any great detail the participant / observer method other than make brief references to some anthropologists, such as Alberto Villoldo (2005) who have applied it in their field work on shamanism and soul loss.

A central theme of my thesis is the proposition that personal experience of spirit possession is an essential factor in a revised epistemology that enables scientific enquiry to accommodate possession phenomena. This may seem to be a radical approach in the extreme and one that would understandably be rejected by all but the most adventurous (or mad) researcher. However, this proposition is not as outlandish as it may at first appear, and in this article I apply (in retrospect) the ethnographic methodology proposed by anthropologist Fiona Bowie (2010) of the Afterlife Research Centre at Bristol University to two cases that I have encountered in my own clinical practice.

The first case is one of possession where a client who was undergoing hypnosis for personal development became an instrument of communication for a discarnate entity.

The second case is where I became possessed by a discarnate entity as part of my own experiential learning in how to direct earthbound souls to the Light. There are very real difficulties in transcribing personal experience into a scientific framework, and this second case is representative of this difficulty. It was so difficult in fact that the only way I could report it was in the third person. Such was the intensity of the emotions experienced that even to this day I find it extremely difficult to convey the experience to others. This is the emotive power of what Bowie would call the ethnographic method.

Unpublished thesis can be viewed online at http://pages.bangor.ac.uk/~rsp823/.

The full article is in .pdf format. (This article first appeared in the Paranthropology Journal Vol.2 No 3 p.22-26) Please click here to download.


About the Author
Terry Palmer Terry Palmer is an independent therapist with a batchelor's degree in psychology from Christchurch University at Canterbury, a master's degree in the study of mysticial experience from the University of Kent, a doctorate in spiritual philosophy from Bedworth University and a professional qualification in therapeutic hypnosis from the Proudfoot School of Hypnosis and Psychotherapy. He is engaged in research for my doctorate (PhD) in the psychology of religion at the University of Wales, Bangor

Background Reading
The following books are recommended as further information to the above article.

Spirit Releasement

Spirit Release

The Unquiet Dead

Ghosts and Earthbound Spirits

The following links to other website may be of interest:

Terry Palmer - http://www.transpersonalpsychologist.net/

Background Articles
The following articles are the process of development and will be added to and updated on a regular basis.

The Soul Journey

Soul/Body Link

Health Issues

Death & Transition

Copper Beech Tree
Stone head
Sunset - Egypt
The articles here explore the recent developments in understanding the journey of the soul through various incarnations as well as information about its sojourn in between lives in the spirit realms.
The Soul's Journey
In order to experience the Soul needs to be energetically linked into the body. The articles here look at various models that explains how this might occur, providing a further insight into the Soul/mind/body link.
The Soul/Body Link
Soul Fragments and Retrieval
Imbalances between the Soul and the mind/body can lead to a large range of health issues including mental and psychological problems. Mental imbalances include 'Dissociative Disorders' and 'Trance States'.
Causes for Attachments
Electromagnetic Pollution
One of the most challenging experiences that we will all have to face is the death of the physical body. The Near Death Experience or NDE tells us what should happen and provides insights into why spirits get trapped.
Death and Transition
Near Death Exp.(NDE)

Trapped Souls

Psychic Issues

Spirit Attachments

Spirit Release

Graveyard - Scotland
There appear to be many reasons why Souls fail to make a full transition and become trapped or 'earthbound' and still able to influence the physical planes. We explore here some of the issues involved.
Earthbound Souls
Sensitive people can be aware of a whole range of 'subtle' energies that can cause them considerable distress. The articles here explore these various states and the way that negative energies can be deliberately created.
Geopathic Stress
Individuals suffering invasions or spirit attachments claim a wide variety of different types of attaching entities, in addition to normal human Souls. We look here at some of the claims that have been made.
Spirit Attachments
Shadow Entities
We explore the processes that can be adopted to help release trapped or 'earthbound' spirits. The articles here also considers the differences between spirits that attach to people and those that are stuck in places.
Spirit Release
 - Background

 - Places Part1
 - Places Part2
 - People Background
 - People
 - Demonic Release Pt1
 - Demonic Release Pt2


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