- Return to Themes
A DHARMA parapsychological experiment, as shown in the Swan Orientation Film. ("Orientation")
Parapsychology is the study of the evidence of mental awareness or influence of external objects without interaction from known physical means. Most objects of study fall within the realm of "mind-to-mind" influence (such as extra-sensory perception, folie a deux and telepathy), "mind-to-environment" influence (such as psychokinesis and remote viewing) and "environment-to-mind" (such as hauntings and near death experiences). Collectively, these abilities are often referred to as "psionics".
The scientific validity of parapsychology research is a matter of frequent dispute and criticism, and is generally referred to as a pseudoscience, refuted by numerous rigorous scientific studies (unlike psychology, which is a recognized field of conventional science).
Parapsychology References on Lost
The psychic ability to project oneself outside of the bounds of one's physical body.
- Images of Walt appeared in places where he was not physically, such as visions that Shannon had in the jungle, dripping wet (when he was then in the captivity of the Others). Bea Klugh later interrogated Michael and asked him "Did Walt ever appear in a place he wasn't supposed to be? You say he was half way around the world -- did you see him?"
Clairaudience or E.S.P.
Extra-sensory perception in which one has the ability to acquire auditory information by means currently unknown to science.
- Locke was able to hear Jacob/someone say "Help me," which was inaudible to Ben, at Jacob's cabin. "The Man Behind the Curtain"
- In a flashback, Walt is looking at a bird book seconds before a bird crashes into the window of his house.
Clairvoyance, Remote Viewing, E.S.P., Telepathy
Extra-sensory perception in which one can visually perceive geographically or temporally distant objects, people or events through psychic energy alone.
- Many of the characters have strange premonitions where they can see the future, especially Walt and Desmond after the discharge (see main article).
- Many of the characters have prophetic or clairvoyant dreams and visions (see main article).
- Richard Malkin originally claimed to be a professional psychic (to Claire), and later claimed to be a fraud (to Eko).
- The Monster is able to reflect images from a character's past.
- In the Lost Experience, at the very beginning when the first phone number is called for 877-HANSORG, one of the messages that plays has Thomas Mittelwerk leaving a message for Hugh McIntyre. On it he says "We should go ahead and rename the Accelerated Remote Viewing Training Facility, we've got to try and put a public face on this."
- In the Lost Experience, the Retrievers of Truth site is all about how Labrador Retrievers have extrasensory abilities. Dr. Vincent Bole claims to be a doctor of "canine parapsychology".
- As with clairaudience, Locke is able to make out the image of Jacob in "The Man Behind the Curtain"
- In Through the Looking Glass, Aaron cries in the scene right after Charlie dies from all the way across the island.
- In "Eggtown", Daniel and Charlotte are conducting a memory experiment with DHARMA playing cards. After being timed by Charlotte, Daniel can only remember two of three cards and, contrary to what Charlotte says, he feels he is making no progress.
A form of 'alternative medicine' in which spiritual means are used to treat disease, in extreme instances, accompanied by the refusal of modern medical treatment.
- Isaac of Uluru claimed to be a faith healer.
- Healing properties is a theme on the Island (see main article).
An experience reported by a person who was clinically dead and revived (usually by medical means).
- After the plane crash, Rose was saved from cardiac arrest by Jack, and had an experience that made her certain that Bernard is still alive.
- Charlotte Malkin tells Eko that she saw his deceased brother Yemi when she was "between places".
- In the flash-sideways, Charlie tells Desmond of a beautiful vision he had while he was choking, before being revived by Jack.
Telekinesis or Psychokinesis
The influence of mind upon matter, as the use of mental 'power' to move or distort an object.
- The Others' book club reads Carrie, by Stephen King, which is about a teenager with psychokinetic abilities.
- In "Special", Walt felt ignored by his mother and stepfather while trying to tell them about an exotic bird he was reading about at the time, and shortly thereafter, a bird of that species flew directly into a nearby window. Walt also has an uncanny ability to affect the roll of his dice in playing backgammon with Hurley, and he perfectly guides the knife to its target when practicing with Locke, simply by envisioning it hitting the target. A polar bear appears after Walt reads Hurley's comic book, which features a polar bear.
- The Monster is able to transform into the shape of someone close to or familiar to a person, such as Eko's brother Yemi.
- In "The Man Behind the Curtain", when Locke used a flashlight in Jacob's cabin, Jacob/someone appeared to manipulate the environment while throwing Ben across the room.
- In "Dr. Linus", the Man in Black seemingly unlocked Ben's shackle using his mind.
- Parapsychology in Wikipedia
- Journal of Parapsychology based at Duke University
- Parapsychology links page