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In ancient Greece the oracles of the gods foretold future events, while in the Old Testament, prophets of the Lord counseled Biblical kings. In the 21st century, science has replaced magic and religion as an explanation for these unusual abilities, talents the public continues to regard with a mixture of awe, fear and skepticism.
The word derives from the classical Greek word psyche, meaning the soul, the spirit, or the mind. The word psychic evokes a variety of cinematic icons, from wizened, Old World fortune-tellers to high-tech Jedi Knights. Sometimes the psychic individual is even an inhuman, extraterrestrial being.
The world of moviepsi is overlaid with supernatural imagery and is frequently presented in terms of ghosts, demons and other denizens of the netherworld. The term psi rhymes with I is derived from a letter of the Greek alphabet that is used by parapsychologists to describe anomalous phenomena such as precognition, clairvoyance, telepathy and psychokinesis.
Additionally, the most advanced psi research suggests some degree of psychic ability resides within everyone. Parapsychologists have focused on researching four principal psychic abilities: Movie psychics routinely wield great powers of mind-over-matter in blockbusters and cult favorites such as The Medusa Touch, Carrie, Scanners, Star Wars and X-Men, where they are able to hurl large objects around with their PK abilities without breaking much of a sweat.
A technique as simple as an off-screen voice-over can simulate mental telepathy. Unusual lighting, set design, fades, dissolves and other optical tricks can conjure clairvoyant visions. The advent of ultra-sophisticated computer graphics and other exotic cinematic techniques have made it possible to picture any conceivable visionary state, no matter how unusual or bizarre.
There is, to be sure, a negative aspect to the study of psi. Russian and Eastern European psi research programs, geared toward intelligence gathering and mind control were reportedly serious and well-funded by their Communist sponsors.
The implications for American national security were ominous, especially if the Reds were to make breakthrough discoveries in parapsychology.
In order to counter this perceived threat, beginning in the early s the U. Psi and the Occult From the time of prehistoric shamans to the 21st century, psychic functioning has had a whiff of the supernatural about it despite the best efforts of the science-minded to bring psi out of the darkness of the occult.
Needless to say, these psi-powered assassins have little if any basis in reality. While the mechanics of psychic functioning are still not clearly understood, researchers have taken pains to separate psi from the supernatural world of ghosts and spirits.
In dramatic treatments of the theme such as Resurrection and The Gift, psychics living in conservative rural communities are persecuted by zealous religious individuals who believe their powers derive from demonic sources.
Psychics and Crime Psychics have frequently been associated with criminal behavior in movies, either as criminals or as paranormal sleuths. The standard plot formula Preface 5 involves a psychic usually female who inadvertently begins receiving visions of a murder or series of murders being committed in the vicinity.
Alien Psi Some of the most gifted cinematic psychics are non-human or partly human extraterrestrials. Oddly, telepathic aliens have also been reported in real-world cases of alien abduction.
These psi abilities enable them to exert their will over the non-psychic general population of humankind and to visit all manner of mischief on hapless homo sapiens. Like superior intelligence, psi powers are a hallmark of the E.
The only defense lies in using earthling psychics to counter them.
In the alien invasion blockbuster Independence Day, for instance, the President of the United States played by Bill Pullman has a psychic exchange with one of the aliens and uncovers their motivations. Not all extraterrestrials use their powers for evil, however. The most well-known example is, of course, in the Star Wars series, in which psychic individuals are recognized, recruited and trained by the organization of the Jedi Knights to function as a corps of paranormal paramilitary troops who enforce the dictums of a galactic empire.
For the most part, they have tended to exploit the negative aspects of the phenomenon and portray psychics as threatening monstrosities, marginal schizoid individuals, and even aliens, characterizations that grossly distort the nature of psi and minimize its positive aspects.
This uneasiness about psi is especially true of psychics themselves, who must live with the disturbing implications of their extraordinary experiences.Recent Publications () Early Greek Epic ––– () Homeric Effects in Vergil's Narrative. Translated by I. Marchesi and M. Fox, with a New Foreword by P.
Hardie, and a New Afterword by the Author, Princeton. pour télécharger et voir les films en streaming gratuitement sur notre site enregistrer vous gratuitement.
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A time line from before writing began to the present, linked to Andrew Roberts' book Social Science History and to other resources.