By Vexen Crabtree 2006
"Creatures from Inner Space" by Stan Gooch was published in 1984 by Rider & Company, London, UK.
Stan Gooch analyzes many traditional elements of the paranormal including sleep nightmares such as the incubus and succubus demons, demons and entities, poltergeists, paranormal fire including spontaneous combustion, automatic and trance writing, backwards writing, past lives, hypnosis, stigmata, mediums and discarnate spirits of all kinds. In addition to this list of "unknowns" is added a chapter on multiple personalities, mental disorder, left handedness, the biology of consciousness and the subconscious and throughout the book the general trend is to uncover the psychological causes of these phenomenon.
All of these phenomenon are tracked by Stan Gooch to their psychological causes: Human beings are "haunted from within". Evidence of poltergeists, ghosts and all things that go bump in the night is analyzed and the single thread that combines and explains them all is human psychology.
But Stan does not take this type of reductionism too far. His conclusions are not that all these phenomenon are delusions, but that the phenomenon are real. They are very literally created by human psychology; not as an internal symptom of dysfunction but as an external one.
He ties together mediumship (talking to 'dead' spirits), possessions, automatic writing and explorations of past lives and views them all as the same type of psychosis; in all cases mistakes, English and subjective facts uncover the underlying fact that all such things arise from the subconscious and not from external supernatural sources.
His psychology is sound and careful and his analysis of these phenomenon shows some genuine research. He shows that stigmata victims often receive wounds on themselves where they think the wounds should be, not indeed where religious martyrs were actually wounded. So, for example, Christian mystics suffer stigmata on the palms of their hands even though Jesus would have been nailed through his wrists, just like everyone else. The same psychosomatic wounds can appear as a result of hypnosis, etc, and Stan Gooch ties together all these various paranormal events into a solid psychological theory.
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