Rule of Law and English Legal System (PART I: Abstract; Introduction; Rule of Law like Universal Principle)

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Rule of Law and English Legal System has been published like book in PDF with Index, Bibliography, etc … . I strongly recommend reading it: both, in PDF; and, in its whole unity. You will be able to find it in the Blog’s Page: Law & Criminology (Diritto & Criminologia).


Although few changes and additions have been done, this writing reports studies made in 2005/2006.

Even though the writer believes that:

1)       a corpus of legal values should be written inside each Constitution;

2)       and Judges, Lawyers and People, have the duty to defend those values against the tendency of Power to go beyond them; …

… the study affirms that the principium of Rule of Law (and/or Supremacy of Law) does not include a corpus of legal principles (and/or values) inside itself, as somebody affirmed.

The principium of Supremacy of Law means “only”: the SUPREMACY of LAW ABOVE the POWER.

It was a Revolution, when Power believed to be above the Law. It happened, exempli gratia, in France during the Ancient Regime. Sovereigns, Nobles and whoever had some kind of Power, believed to be above the Law. They were used to act above Law. Viola P. (1994) gave an example of this. He reported an anecdote happened between the Duke of Orleans and the King of France. When the Duke of Orleans said to the King: “Majesty, but it is illegal!”, the king answered: “No, It is legal because I will”.

The principium of Supremacy of the Law had the aim to end these kinds of Legal Systems. It states that everyone is under the Law. Sovereigns, Nobles, Bureaucrats, Banks and Financial Powers, are all under the Law. In other words, they have to comply with the Law. If they do not, they are an Arbitrary Power. The latter is a Power that: either, it is not given by a Law; or, it is used without following the right procedures, which bind the exercise of that power. As Power tends to go beyond its limitations, there is Arbitrary Power also inside our modern Legal Systems. The principium of Supremacy of Law, hence, is still frequently violated. It is proved by some recent events happened inside the European Union and Institutions. For example, when the President of Euro-group decided to exclude Greece, Varoufakis told him to be illegal (as the Duke of Orleans told to the King of France during the Ancient Regime). So, Varoufakis asked for a legal advice. The lawyers and bureaucrats of the European Union answered him that the President of Euro-group could act as he/she wants. This is as the Euro-group does not exist for the Law!! Hence, they argued: the Euro-group is above the Law!!!!! In other words, the European Union answered like the King of France during the Ancient Regime. But, if the Euro-group does not exist, the Euro-group is not above the Law. Actually, all the Powers, Decisions and Acts, of the Euro-group are illegal, unlawful, illegitimate. This is told by the principium of Supremacy of Law. On the contrary, the European Union is a New Ancient Regime. Nothing more! Nothing less!

So, how is it possible that the principium of Supremacy of Law is still violated, nowadays?

This is as the principium of Supremacy of Law was reduced by Power to be a simulacre a là Bauderillard (1981).  Power makes people forget its true meaning. It was done with a very easy game. A new set of meanings were put inside Supremacy of Law. All of them were pleasant, agreeable and fashionable, principles. But, they were also void principles as much as they were pleasant. At the end, people have forgotten the real meaning of Supremacy of Law. Power started again to act above the Law a là Ancient Regime!!

Warning: the style is sometimes ironical, satirical, metaphorical. Nevertheless, contents and facts are real, rigorous, scientific and academic.


Rule of Law’s True Meaning

The principle of Rule of Law is also called Supremacy of the Law. Rule of Law is a principle of Formal Validity. It states that Law is above the Power. In other words, it is the basic principle of any modern Legal System, after the French Ancient Regime!

The Supremacy of Law affirms that Kings (Presidents; Governments; Constitutional Bodies; Judges; Courts; Authorities; Committees; Groups; Bureaucrats; Financial Powers; Banks; etc…) are under the Law. Their actions and decisions are legitimate only, and only if: both, the Law gives them that kind of power; and, they use that power following the right procedures.

Otherwise, Power is unlawful, illicit and illegitimate.

Their commands should not be in force.

In this latter case, people are NOT bind by Power’s decisions. People have the RIGHT to resist and to fight against those illegalities, illegitimacies and unlawfulness. 

Unfortunately, Power does NOT like to be bound. As a result, the principium of Supremacy of Law was reduced to be a simulacre a là Bauderillard (1981).

First of all, Supremacy of Law was called with a “less evocative” name: Rule of Law.

Then, Rule of Law was defined with new pleasant and agreeable principles. At the question: “what is the Rule of Law?”, lawyers started to give any possible answer. So, the clear, basic and simple, principium of Supremacy of Law became a void and nebulous concept.

At the end, People and lawyers started to forget its real meaning.

Meanwhile, Power started again to act above the Law.

For instance, the writer will give some examples that happened at the University of Cambridge. They are very useful to understand what it is happening nowadays. What people learn in the Universities, people do in the World!! Although the writer decided to speak about it with a satirical and ironical style, the facts are true.

Rule of Law like Simulacre

As we told supra[1], the principle of Rule of Law is the principium of Supremacy of Law above the Power. This is its very Nature. This is its DEEP REALITY.

However, images, in the flow of the time, tend to lose their meanings. Step by step, they become void concepts that: either, mask their deep realities; or, lose any relation with them.

According to Bauderillard J. (1981), they become Simulacres. Once they are Simulacres, they are void concepts that can be filled with any arbitrary meaning, which Power[2] wants. In this way, Justice is reduced to be nothing more than “the interest of the most Powerful onea là Trasimacus.

They are a “mobile army of metaphors” ready to prostituting itself to any pro tempore Power. As History and Social Sciences teach, the Winners and the Establishment (Lyotard, 1983) decide what it is true and false. This is as Power and Knowledge are the “two faces of the same coin” (Foucault). Changes into Power’s relations become changes into Paradigm’s beliefs. Changes into Paradigm’s beliefs become changes into Power’s relations.

Thus, we should keep in mind this basic truth, when we study any Social Sciences’ constructs. Actually, it does not matter if they are about: Law; Psychology; Economy; Finance; etc… .

Law and Sensemaking

As the principium of Supremacy of Law was reduced to be a simulacre, Power can use it like a Horse of Troy to put in and put out from the Legal System whatever it wants.

This makes Law be applied in a very discriminative way. Law will have different meanings for different people.  For the majority of people, Law will be an instrument of “slavery” in Power’s hands. For a small elitist group, Law will be always a Declaration of Rights in defense of their own liberties and interests.

English Legal History, behind what propaganda says, it is not an exception. Whereas at Bentham’s time, the common law was used to defend the privilege of aristocracy above common people; nowadays, Law is used to defends the interests of financial powers above Peoples and Nations.

Thus, the writings of Bentham should be still considered a current issue.

According to the Bentham, English tradition is committed to “save the appearance” with a lot of rites and false beliefs. Lawyers’ writings, instead of reviling those trickeries, mask them[3].

Whereas English Lawyers / Judges claim to apply simply “neutral” Law (Universal Principles; Acts of the Parliament; etc…), they make always arbitrary (discretional and political) choices. They use their power to defend the privilege of the Establishment against common people.

The American Realism clarified that Judges do NOT apply neutrally the Law. Judges create and change the Law in each case. They do (always) political choices. Also Perelman demonstrated this. He gave some good historical examples of how, the same Law got very different interpretations and applications. The latters followed the pro tempore political ideas. This is possible for different reasons. But, an army of Troy’s Horses makes it far much easier.

The allegories of the Classical Literature are still very useful for understanding the present time. A Horse of Troy does not need to be necessary physical!! It could be everything, even a theoretical concept.

Thanks to them, the Establishment can use Law (as well as: Psychology; Economics; etc…) to lead people: both, to do; and, to believe; … what they want. Weick’s studies about sensemaking and enactment are very useful for understanding these dynamics. They should not be limited for approaching the working contexts inside the Companies.

All in all

There are two wrong views. The first one, nothing can be known (Post-modernism). The second one, everything is true. Both of them reduce Truth and Justice to be whatever Power wants. They allow Power to control people with sensemaking. But, sensemaking has nothing to do with Truth and/or Justice. Sensemaking is just Power’s manifestation.

This is what it is happening inside the Social Sciences (Legal System; Psychological constructs; Finance; etc…).

As Nietzsche wrote: “This world is the will to power — and nothing besides! And you yourselves are also this will to power — and nothing besides!” (Nietzsche, Will to Power).


Rule of Law “is an ambiguous expression” that can have different meanings for different writers (Hood Phillips O. and Jackson P., 1987).

Hence, a clarification of the concept (advised by analytical jurisprudence and philosophy) is indispensable, at the present tense.

In absence, we could just enhance entropy. Everyone will speak about different things, using same words.

At the present time, there is no agreement among lawyers about the nature of Rule of Law. Lawyers, Judges and Academics, defined Rule of Law differently. Moreover, Rule of Law presents different conceptualizations: both, among the legal Traditions and Systems; and, inside the each legal Tradition and System (such as: English Common Law; Canadian Legal System[4]; etc…).

For instance, according to American constitutionalism: “the rule of law promises predictability in social life by placing constitutional limits on the kinds of power that governments may legitimately exercise, as well as on the extent of those governmental powers” (Shapiro I., 1994). Otherwise, this cannot be true for Countries such as: Australia. Australian Constitution simply regulates the exercise of the sovereignty. It does not state any legal principle and/or value able to lead and to bind the Power. Hence, Rule of Law is a mere principle of formal validity (like Hart’s rules of recognition) for those Nations with an “amoral constitution”. Everything is valid, if the Power acted under the Law.

American conceptualization of Rule of Law has its foundation in a written constitution. This is ontologically constituted by two corpora (parts). The first corpus gathers the regulations about the exercise of sovereignty (exempli gratia, the relation among the Constitutional Bodies). The second corpus gathers a set of political and legal principles that bind the actions of Sovereignty. This latter was the hard core of the Social Contract. So, if the Sovereignty acts against those values, each Judge can refuse to apply those Acts and/or commands.

Law rules Nations only, and only if, each person (it does not matter his/her social strata) can “win” the Sovereignty each time the Sovereignty acts above the Law. But, this must happen in a substantial way. It is not enough that it exists only theoretically speaking.

Rule of Law has also another aim: to prevent any kind of despotism, also that one of the pro tempore Majority above the Minorities. But, this could happen only, and only if, Nations are ruled by constitutional principles (Schwartz B. 1955).

Allan (1993) considered this point inside English Discourse. He recognized that “… the problem lies (in) the difficulty of articulating a coherent doctrine which resists a purely formal conception of legality – according to which even brutal decrees of a dictator, if formally “valid”, meet the requirements of the rule of law – without instead propounding a complete political and social philosophy”. Allan (1993) confirmed that Rule of Law, inside English constitutionalism, looked like a secondary rule of Hart, as: “rule of law is able to distinguish between commands of a legitimate government from those of anyone else”.

Allan (1993) stated that it is “very doubtful whether it is possible to formulate a theory of rule of law of universal validity”.

On the contrary, the present writer affirms that it is possible. It is enough to exit from the Babel Tower. It is enough to go back to the original and real meaning of Rule of Law: Supremacy of Law above the Power.

Nevertheless, Allan (1993) affirmed that Rule of Law is a living part of the English Constitution. It is able: both, to bear some legal moral values and principles; and, to bind the sovereignty of the parliament. But, Allan is hugely wrong. According to English Constitutionalism, Westminster Parliament has no limit (Barendt,1998). In other words, “there is no legal limit to what the “Queen – in – Parliament” can enact in a statute” (Wilson, 1979).

This is historically well proved.

Rule of Law like Universal Principle of any Legal System

The present writer disagrees with Allan. He believes that it is possible to formulate a theory of Rule of Law of Universal Validity. It is enough to remember its original and deep meaning. Rule of Law is the principium of Supremacy of Law. This principium states the SUPREMACY of LAW ABOVE the POWER.

It was a Revolution when Power believed to be above Law. It happened, exempli gratia, in France during the Ancient Regime. Sovereigns, Nobles and whoever had some kind of Power, believed to be above Law. They were used to act above Law. Viola P. (1994) gave an example of this. He reported an anecdote happened between the Duke of Orleans and the King of France. When the Duke of Orleans said to the King: “Majesty, but it is illegal!”, the king answered: “No, It is legal because I will”.

The principium of Supremacy of the Law had the aim to end these kinds of Legal Systems. It states that everyone is under the Law. Sovereigns, Nobles, Judges, Courts, Bureaucrats, Officers, Banks and Financial Powers, are all under the Law. In other word, they have to comply with the Law. If they do not, they are an Arbitrary Power. The latter is a Power that: either, it is not given by a Law; or, it is used without following the right procedures, which bind the exercise of that power. As Power tends to go beyond its limitations, there is Arbitrary Power also inside our modern Legal Systems. The principium of Supremacy of Law, hence, is still frequently violated. It is proved by some recent events happened inside the European Union and Institutions. For example, when the President of Euro-group decided to exclude Greece, Varoufakis told him to be illegal (as the Duke of Orleans told to the King of France during the Ancient Regime). So, Varoufakis asked for a legal advice. The lawyers and bureaucrats of the European Union answered him that the President of Euro-group could act as he/she wants. This is as the Euro-group does not exist for the Law!! Hence, they argued the Euro-group is above the Law!!!!! In other words, the European Union answered like the King of France during the Ancient Regime. But, if the Euro-group does not exist, it does not mean that it is above the Law!! Actually, it means that all the Powers, Decisions and Acts, of the Euro-group are illegal, unlawful, illegitimate. This is told by the principium of Supremacy of Law. On the contrary, the European Union is a New Ancient Regime. Nothing more! Nothing less!

So, how is it possible that the principium of Supremacy of Law is still violated, nowadays?

This is as the principium of Supremacy of Law was reduced by Power to be a simulacre a là Bauderillard (1981).  Power makes people forget its true meaning. It was done with a very easy game. A new set of meanings were put inside Supremacy of Law. All of them were pleasant, agreeable and fashionable, principles. But, they were also void principles as much as they were pleasant. At the end, we have arrived to the present time. Lawyers are lost inside nebulous concepts. Power has started again to act a là Ancient Regime.

English constitutionalism is used like example for understanding how it has happened.

[1] Supra means above in Latin.

[2] Power is used a là Foucault.

[3] Exempli gratia, Bentham wrote this about Blackstone’s books (one of his “masters”).

[4] Exempli gratia, Rule of Law has received three different approaches in Canadian Constitutionalism: rule of law like impartial administration of rule; rule of law like procedural fairness; rule of law like substantive justice (Conklin W. E. 1989).

Rule of Law and English Legal System (PART II: Dicey; Adler)


According to: Dicey (1902); Heuston (1964); the Report of the Committee on Ministers’ Powers (1932); … the Principium of the Supremacy of Law born in the Middle Ages. Then, it was challenged and questioned only during the Stuart time. Some evidences, which are usually used, are:

  1. according to M. Allen et al. (1994), the Bracton principle: “quod Rex non debet esse sub homine sed sub Deo et Lege” quoted by the King in the Prohibitions del Roy (1607);
  2. the Petition of Right (1628);
  3. the abolition of the: Court of the Star Chamber; and Privy Council’s jurisdiction in England (1641);
  4. the Glorious Revolution (1688);
  5. the Dicey’s Doctrine on Rule of Law (1885);
  6. and, the Report of the Committee on Ministers’ Powers (1932).

The work of Dicey has strongly been influential. Indeed, Dicey represents the final highest peak of the conceptualization of Rule of Law.

On the contrary, the Report of the Committee on Ministers’ Powers (1932) is an “Official Recognition”. The Report states: “The supremacy or rule of law of the Land is a recognised principle of the English Constitution”. According to the Report, it has always been a living part of English Law since the Middle Age.

Although Rule of Law have been recognized a characteristic of English Politics and Legal System since the Norman Conquest (Dicey, 1902)[1], Role of Law has always been a nebulous concept, at the end.

On one hand, everybody agrees that Rule of Law has been a fundamental principle of English Legal System. On the other hand, nobody knows what Rule of Law means!! Actually, it should be a very useful principle!!

Hence, our first Quest is to answer at the question: “What does Rule of Law mean?”

For answering at the question, the Dicey’s work should be examined.


Dicey (1902) affirmed Role of Law to include three different principia:

  1. The Absolute Supremacy of the Regular Law as opposed to Arbitrary Power;
  2. The Equality of every man in front of the Law. This principle includes two aspects: a) everyone has to obey to the Law; b) everyone is subordinated at ordinary tribunals’ jurisdiction;
  3. The belief that: “the law of the constitution … are not the source but the consequence of the rights of individuals, as defined and enforced by courts”.

Whereas these three principia seem “reasonable” at a first consideration, they hide plenty of trickeries and practical problems. The latters make them be: void concepts. At the end, they drop to be political slogan, propaganda and marketing! Nothing more! Nothing less! Indeed, they have been used in very different manners as History proved.

First Principle

According to Dicey, the first principle affirms: “… no man is punishable or can be lawfully made to suffer in body or goods except for a distinct breach of law established in the ordinary legal manner before the ordinary Courts of land. In this sense the rule of law is contrasted with every system of government based on the exercise by persons in authority of wide, arbitrary, or discretionary powers of constraint”.

This principle seems to be affirmed by Courts in different times. For instance, in Black – Clawson LTD v. Papierwerke waldhof aschaffenburg AC (1975), Diplock stated: “The acceptance of rule of law as a constitutional principle requires that a citizen, before committing himself to any course of action, should be able to know in advance what are the legal consequences that will flow from it”[2].

Although this principle appears to be plain in the English constitutionalism, it is not as plain as it can appear. Indeed, it is not possible to define clear boundaries between an arbitrary use of power and “what” it is not!

Although Dicey (1902) stated this principle to be able to limit the arbitrary power, Heuston (1964) gave contrary evidences. Heuston (1964) wrote that it is “difficult to distinguish between regular law and arbitrary power”. For instance, Law can give arbitrary power to someone. In this case, the two dimensions overlap!! Heuston (1964) presented two historical leading cases. The first one happened in 1627. The Court of King’s Bench, in Darnel’s Case, granted the King of a common law legal power to imprison anyone on suspicion without cause shown!! The second one happened in 1941. The House of Lords, in Liversidge v. Anderson, recognized the legitimacy of statutory legal power (similar to the previous) granted by the Parliament to the Home Secretary!!

As a result, Heuston (1964) affirmed that the supremacy of law simply requires that everyone (in any position) “must be prepared to justify his acts by reference to some statutory or common law power which authorises him to act precisely in the way in which he claims he can act”. Therefore, Rule of Law does NOT limit any arbitrary power[3].  It means only that power should be given by Law. Nevertheless, even this is not so plain[4]!! As I told supra (above), a nebulous concept allows to be applied in very different manners from case to case. At the end, a “different” Legal System exists for everyone! But, this is nothing, really nothing, if You compare: Law; with Psychology. Whereas the former is still bound by facts, the latter is just pure fantasy of the Psychologists!! Nowadays, the huge abuses are done, indeed, with Psychology.

On the contrary, Dicey affirmed that supremacy of law “excludes the existence even of wide discretionary authority on the part of the government”. But, English Legal History proved this to be untrue!!

According to Jennings (1943), Dicey’s ideas derived from the doctrine of laissez – faire. In other words, Dicey described his political choices rather than empirical facts about English Constitution. Jennings (1943) observed that Dicey neglected completely: both, the existing wide Discretional Powers of the Public Authorities and Government; and, the Unlimited Power of the Parliament.

“Parliament … can pass what legislation it pleases. It is not limited by any written constitution. Its powers are not only wide, but unlimited.” (Jennings I., 1943).

 Sovereignty of the Parliament Versus Rule of Law

The principium of Sovereignty of the Parliament prevails onto Rule of Law as there are not any substantial principles and/or values able to limit the former. All the attempts, which were made[5], failed.

According to Heuston (1964), the principium of Sovereignty of the Parliament was developed “almost entirely by the work of Oxford men” such as: Hobbes; Blackstone; Dicey. This principium states that: “what the parliament doth, no power on earth can undo” (Dicey, 1902).

Although Wilson (1979) recognized that Rule of Law does not limit the Sovereignty of the Parliament, he attempted to justify some limitations to Executive’s powers. But, Wilson (1979) failed in his attempt. Exempli gratia, the arguments are; contradictory; nebulous; rhetorical games. For instance, Wilson (1979) argued that the “arbitrary power … (of) the Executive is in the hands of the Parliament … If it clearly grants the Executive wide arbitrary power then the Executive has wide arbitrary power. … the principle of rule of law …justifies the principles developed by the courts that powers should only be used for the purpose for which they have been granted”[6].

What does all this mean?

It means simply: Executive should comply with the principle of formal validity; and, Courts can verify if it happened. Nothing more! Nothing less!

This is as English Law lacks a corpus of legal values and moral principles able to bind the arbitrary use of Power.

English Legal System, indeed, is quite different from Italian Legal System. In the latter, the Parliament and the Government have not arbitrary Powers. Their Powers are limited by a corpus of moral values written in the Constitution. The Constitutional Court can annul, invalidate and cancel, all those legal norms that do not comply with those constitutional principles.

In U.S.A., on the contrary, each Judge can deny application to norms (Acts and Statutes) that are in contrast with Constitution[7].

Only in these latters Nations, Rule of Law can limit the arbitrary use of Power. Indeed, Power cannot go beyond some moral limitations written in the constitution. This is as: first, Rule of Law affirms the Supremacy of Law above the Power; second, a constitutional corpus of legal values and principles binds Power.

This is not possible inside English Legal System. Although Role of Law affirms the Supremacy of Law above Power, at the end, there is not any constitutional corpus of legal values and principles able to limit Power!!

Power can be limited only, and only if:

  1. a corpus of moral values is written inside the Constitution (in other words, in the Social Contract);
  2. Courts and Jurists (lawyers) are brave and able enough to defend those values against Power’s tendency to go beyond them;
  3. There is a real division of Powers. Powers should be able to balance and limit each other.

English Legal System lacks all of them, as it is shown infra (below).

Second Principle

According to Dicey (1902), Rule of Law affirms the equality of every man in front of the Law. “Every man, whatever be his rank or condition, is subject to the ordinary law of the realm and amenable to the jurisdiction of the ordinary tribunals”. In other words, Dicey affirmed: a) the existence of identical rules for everyone; b) the absence of special privileges. Actually, this principle is quite controversial. Alder (1989) affirmed to be a “ridiculous proposition” as Dicey’s statement has always been untrue in every time. The existence of different conditions and special privileges among people has always been part of the Very Nature of Every Government.

Moreover, if we consider the difference between formal equality and substantial equality, Dicey’s idea will be far … far …far more untrue.  The formal equality is a pleasant and agreeable declaration. But, it is void and useless as much as it is agreeable!  The substantial equality is just a Utopia. It has never ever existed in the World[8]. Exempli gratia, the article 3 of Italian Constitution affirms the formal and substantial equality among Italian Citizens. The Republic had the duty to remove any obstacle to this. Well, it is clearly evident that substantial equality does NOT exist even in Italy. So … … .

Nonetheless, Alder (1989) believes even the formal equality difficult to be realized at full circle.

Third Principle

According to Dicey (1902), the third principle is the absence of general principles. It means “… the constitution is pervaded by the rule of law on the ground that the general principles of the constitution (as for example the right to personal liberty, or the right of public meeting) are with us the result of judicial decisions determinating the rights of private persons in particular cases brought before the Courts; whereas under many foreign constitutions the security (such as it is) given to the rights of individuals results, or appears to result, from the general principles of constitution”.

According to Dicey (1902), a corpus of fundamental moral principles does not exist inside English Legal System. They are only “the consequence of the rights of individuals, as defined and enforced by the courts”.

In other words: on one side, he created a vicious circle; on the other side, he did not say anything of useful.

On one hand, indeed, everything is enforced by the Courts is Law. As a result, Courts have to enforce those individual rights defined and enforced by them(selves)!!!! (Vicious circle).

On the other hand, Courts have to enforce any act of the Parliament. In this latter case, the rights of individuals are only “what” the pro tempore Majority of the Parliament chooses they are!! Indeed, “no Parliament can bind its successors or be bound by its predecessors” (A. Beale, 1994).

The Westminster Parliament has no limit (Barendt,1998). “There is no legal limit to what the “Queen – in – Parliament” can enact in a statute” (Wilson, 1979).

All in all

Behind Dicey’s pleasant words, Rule of Law is nothing more than a principle of Formal Validity. English Legal History is clear. Dicey has attempted simply to use Rule of Law like a Horse of Troy to put inside the Legal System his political ideas.

The reason could be noble, but he chose the wrong way.  He made Rule of Law: a nebulous concept; a set of pleasant words that mask the reality. In this way, Role of Law started to be applied in different manners. It makes the Legal System to be applied differently from person to person!!



John Alder (1989) criticized the Dicey’s doctrine of the Rule of Law. He wrote: “His rule of law could not therefore be regarded as a statement about what British law is necessary like. It could be either a political statement as to what the law should be like, or a statement about what the law happened to be like at the time”.

According to Adler (1989), Rule of Law is a political idea. “The majority of modern lawyers would regard the rule of law as essentially a political or moral idea, although none the less important for that, since it affects the way the law is developed and applied”.

So…, we should give a look at the political ideas of two influential English lawyers: Raz and Allan!

[1] The other English Legal System’s characteristic was: the principle of Supremacy of the “Central Government”.

Until the Glorious Revolution, the Central Government was represented by the Crown.

From the Glorious Revolution to now, the Central Government was represented the Parliament (Loveland I., 1996). This latter is composed by three organs: the Crown; the House of Lords; the House of Commons.

[2] Exempli gratia, you may see Black – Clawson LTD v. Papierwerke waldhof aschaffenburg AC (1975) in: Keir D. L. and Lawson F. H. (1979), Cases in Constitutional Law, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

[3] Exempli gratia, Entick versus Carrington (1765).

Entick sued two king’s messengers (armed with warrant of the Secretary of State for arresting him) for: having trespassed into his house and goods; and, illegitimacy of the warrant. The Secretary of the State was not able to justify the warrant’s legitimacy within any specific law. He argued that those warrants had always been issued and none complained for them!!!!!

Camden C. J. declared: “This power, so claimed by the Secretary of the State, is not supported by one single citation from any law book extant… If it is law, it will be found in our books. If it is not to be found there, it is not law” (Entick versus Carrington, 1765).

The act of the Secretary of State was “unlawful” as: it did not comply with the principle of Formal Validity.

[4] Exempli gratia, in Malone versus Metropolitan Police Commissioner (1979), Robert Megarry V-C states: “… England, it may be said, is not a country where everything is forbidden except what is expressly permitted: it is a country where everything is permitted except what it is expressly forbidden”. In this case, the tapping of telephone was lawful as “simply … there is nothing to make it unlawful”. In other words, the discretion of power was affirmed above Role of Law. This happened as: no corpora of moral values exist inside English Constitution. Thus, an arbitrary use of Power is not prevented.

The decision was appealed to the European Court of Human Right. The Court affirmed that: UK violated the article 8 of the ECHR (Malone versus United Kingdom, 1984).

[5] Exempli gratia: Dicey (1902); Raz (1977); Allan (1993).

[6] Some of these principles quoted by Wilson (1979) are: “The power should be used for the purpose for which they were given”; “The power should be exercised by the person or body by whom they were intended to be exercised”; “The authority must be free to make a genuine exercise of any discretion which has been given to it”; “The authority in exercising its power should observe any procedures which have been expressly laid down in the statute or which the courts will imply into it”.

[7] The difference is: Italian Constitutional Court eliminates the unconstitutional norm from the Legal System; American Judges (USA) can ONLY deny application to norms (Acts and Statutes) that are unconstitutional for a singular case. But, they continue to exist inside the Legal System.

[8] Nietzsche copes with the difference between substantial and formal equality (Epis L., 2015, Nietzsche on Rule of Law and Democracy).

Rule of Law and English Legal System (PART III: Raz; Allan; Law’s Mystification)

RAZ AND ALLAN (University of Oxford versus University of Cambridge)

Raz (1979) and Allan (1993) are two of the most influential Lawyers in England, at the present time. Hence, we should examine their political idea.

As Dicey did, they gave to Role of Law some different meanings. They attempted to “re-define” Rule of Law as a set of Moral and Legal Principles. But, their attempts have leaded to create a contradictory and nebulous concept, as I told supra (above).

It is not a case that: everyday legal practice has refuted what they affirmed.

Their different views are expression of the Historical Rivalry between the two Universities.


Raz (1979) attempted to challenge the “skeptic” view.

According to Raz, “rule of law is a political ideal which a legal system may lack or may possess to a greater or lesser degree”. From this idea, some “substantial” principles can be derived by Intuition[1].

But, Raz’s theory is in contradiction with English Legal History and Legal Practice.

“All law should be prospective”. Are You sure? Do You remember “Gold Standard”? Have you heard about the University of Cambridge?

One of the principles, which Raz got by Intuition, was: “All law should be prospective …”. Whereas this principle appears to be true inside most of the Legal Traditions (exempli gratia, Italian one), it is false inside English Legal System!!

English Parliament, for example, violates this “principle” in 1931 with “gold standard”. The Government ordered to the Bank of England to not exchange Notes into Gold. Then, the Parliament: both, created an Act, which made “the paper currency inconvertible”; and, ratified all the illegal actions done by the Government and the Bank of England before the Act (Jennings I. 1959). In English Tradition, Banks and Financial Matters have always been above Law!!

Also at the University of Cambridge, this principle is not followed at all. An example is given in the Appendix[2].

“Law must be capable of guiding the behaviour of its subjects” & its Logic Inferences! 

Raz tried to infer some logical consequences from his basic Intuition: “law must be capable of guiding the behaviour of its subjects”. But, these deductions are: according to the Formal Logic, invalid; according to the Logic of Value, a rhetorical game, a sophism. Nothing more! Nothing less!

First, Raz confused the Principium of Supremacy of Law with a judgment about Law’s Nature and Aim.

Second, Raz put together some ideas that he gathered from different historical experiences. Then, he told them to be a logic consequence of his basic “Intuition”!!

Next, Raz pretended to have used Formal Logic for inferring them. But, he could not. Law is a normative language. Formal Logic can be used only within descriptive language. The Logic of Value, on the contrary, can be used with normative language. But, the latter is just Rhetoric, Sophists’ Art, for supporting some argumenta instead of some others. It does not allow inferring anything of true or valid!!

In other words, Raz forgot the Law of Hume. Yet, Hume was Scottish. So, it is normal that Oxford men do not like him!

Law of Hume; Formal Logic and Logic of Values

The Law of Hume is an important criterium of demarcation between empirical facts and not empirical facts. The Law of Hume defines the boundaries between the Realm of Formal Logic and the Realm of Logic of Values. Only in the former: both, the statements can be evaluated in terms of true and false; and, the reasonings in terms of valid and invalid. In the letter, none of them are possible.

This is as everything is just: a political choice; a game of rhetoric; a sophism; a decision made to defend some interests against others. The Logic of Value, or New Rhetoric a là Perelman, does NOT permit any control on: both, validity; and, truth; … about what it is said.

So, Raz cannot apply the formal logic within the normative language[3]!!

As a result, he put inside to Rule of Law his Political ideas.

All in all

Raz made several mistakes. They were so huge that: if students had made them, they would not have passed their exams!!

Soooo …,

… why has Raz’s theory been so influential?

It was only because he was a Lecture of the University of Oxford. Indeed, everybody, who supported his theory, was used to say: “ipse dixit”!; “ipse dixit”!; “ipse dixit”!.

INTERLUDE: OBITER DICTUM (Social Psychology; Rousseau; Hobbes)

Social Psychology is something of exhilarant. Social Psychology is one of the few disciplines that are worth to be studied in Psychology. Social Psychology shows how the Worst of Human Behaviours is not the outcome of individual dispositions and/or traits, but the results of psychosocial mechanisms such as: conformism; social pressure (Asch S. E., 1951, 1955 a, 1995 b, 1956); compliance to Authority (Milgram S., 1963, 1965, 1974; Hofling C. K. et al. 1966; Brief et al. 1991; Brief et al. 1995); groupthink (Esser J. K., 1998; Esser J. K. and Lindoerfer J. S., 1989; Moorhead G. et al. 1991); effect of mere exposition (Zajonc R., 1968); social norms (Sherif M., 1935, 1936, 1937); social identity (Zimbardo, P. G. 1972, Prison’s Experiment);  etc…; etc… .

Truly, each individual is a genius (a real GENIUS), and “endless” GOOD a là Rousseau (Emile), until he/she is NOT corrupted by society. Society “transmutes” its members in “stupid beasts” (a là Hobbes)!! If the group’s stupidity is increased, the person’s foolishness and brutality are also increased!! So …, both Rousseau and Hobbes are right. Human beings born “endless good” in their natural state as Rousseau stated. Then, society makes them become “stupid beasts” as Hobbes (and even Rousseau) argued. But, Hobbes was wrong when he suggested his Leviathan. A central power (which: decreases individual rights and liberties; and, enhances social control) creates and enhances only brutality. It will increase social conflict and violence as it produces a permanent captivity. The Global Panopticon makes this be even stronger. Indeed, Hobbes’ ideas[4] were developed in England under a Central Power. Hobbes had never known human beings in their Natural State, but he knew English people educate at the University of Oxford!! The brutal and violent human beings, who he knew, were the result of that kind of society and education. Hobbes wanted to ingratiate himself with the existing Central Power, when he wrote the Leviathan.

The groupthink, the conformism, the social pressure, the compliance to Authority, the social identity, leads people to act irrationally. Under those factors, people lose their natural and original ability to act like intelligent and moral beings.

Indeed, the Psychosocial Mechanisms tend to prevail onto Individual’s REASON and MORALITY[5]. Rarely are individuals an exception! The Academic World, indeed, is moved by those mechanisms. The same psychologists, who pretend to know them, are determined more than others by them[6]! Psychologists do not help individual freedom and determination, but social homologation. This is a fact. We should not be surprised that a recent experiment has found people to be more inclined to compliance to Authority than they were at Milgram’s time. But, this is very dangerous. As History taught and proved, all the Worst Things, which happened in the Human History, happened when the compliance to Authority prevailed onto individual reasoning and determination.

At the end, the psychosocial mechanisms have to be considered for studying any Social and Psychological Science and Construct, as they work: both, intra the experts’ group; and, infra the experts’ group. Psychosocial mechanisms are the deus ex machina.

An Example of Psychosocial Mechanisms in Legal Setting         

During a Civil hearing, a Judge invented a regulation that did not exist. He was not crazy. He wanted: both, to state his power; and, to taste the ability of lawyers to defend legality. He took the Code of Civil Procedure and he pretended to read a regulation. But, he invented one completely.

At the hearing, twenty lawyers (more or less) were present for different reasons. None of them recognized the mistake. Only one person (who was NOT a Lawyer, yet[7]) was able to recognize that the Judge was inventing the regulation! He took the Code and started to read the real one, meanwhile all the rest of the lawyers continued to believe at the inexistent regulation that the Judge invented[8]!! It was extremely amazing to see them!! After the mistake was clarified, some of the expert Lawyers continued to believe in the inexistence regulation!! Outside the Court’s room, they argued that maybe it was not on the Code, but in some other Act!?!?!?

Back to Raz

To sum up, the success of Raz’s theory cannot be explained by legal reasons. But, it can be elucidated by those psychosocial mechanisms, I told supra (above).

People believed in Raz’s theory as he was a Lecturer of the University of Oxford. It was enough for them. It was not a matter that his theory was nonsense inside the English Legal Tradition!!


English Legal System, indeed, is not based: either, on ontological principles (a là Natural Law); or, General Will (a là Paine). It is based on historical rights (a là Burke). The latters have been created by, and reflected the, pro tempore relations of Power among people and social strata / classes.

The General Will a là Paine, indeed, requests a Social Contract. In other words, the Social Contract is the Written Constitution of a Nation. Whereas most of the Modern Legal Systems are based on a Written Constitution, English Legal System is NOT.

English Legal System is, in somehow, still based on Historical Rights a là Burke. This means people’s rights: both, do not come from any eternal ontological principle; and, do not come from any social contract. But, people’s rights come from the pro tempore relations of power that are negotiated, continuously, inside the social conflict and dynamics.

For these reasons, the Westminster Parliament: both, has no limit; and, cannot be bound by its previous decisions.

It can enact what it pleases, as whatever it pleases to the Parliament represents and reflects the pro tempore rights and relations of power that have been determined by the eternal social conflict.

An example of a Legal System a là Burke.

An example of a Legal System a là Burke is given by the International Law.

After the Second World War, the International Tribunal of Nuremberg (1945) and Tokyo (1946) were created. They were an act of creation made by the Winners. These Tribunals did not comply: either, with the ongoing International Law; or, with existing eternal international principles. It was a mere act of creation, which was able to transmute the International Law: from, a Law for States a la’ Grotius; to, a Legal System that includes individuals like possible titular of rights and duties a la’ Kelsen. It was simply as: the pro tempore “most powerful” a là Trasimacus wanted it. Nothing more! Nothing less!

Before the International Tribunal of Nuremberg (1945) and Tokyo (1956), this has never happened.

For instance, after the First World War, this kind of proposal was considered impossible. France and England proposed the creation of a Tribunal for processing the German Imperator “… for supreme offence against international morality and sanctity of treaties” (Greppi E., 2001). But, according to the International Law, it was unmanageable as International Law refers only to States’ responsibilities. International law could not be applied to individuals (Orlando V., 1940).

Although the English Prime Minister Lloyd and his French colleague Clemenceau argued the existence of two legal precedencies (the cases of Luis XVI, in France; and Charles I, in England), the wisest and sagest Italian Prime Minister Orlando (an outstanding jurist) observed that both of them were a legal precedence only inside the National Law, but not inside the International Law.

They simply stated that a sovereign can be judged according to the National Law.  But, they do not say that International Law can be applied directly onto individuals, even if they are organs of the State (such as: imperator).


Whereas Raz started from Intuition, Allan (1993) began from the “general living idea” (which English lawyers have about Rule of Law). According to Allan, English Lawyers understand Rule of Law as “… an amalgam of standards, expectations, and aspirations”. Rule of Law “encompasses traditional ideas about individual liberty and natural justice, and, more generally, idea about the requirements of justice and fairness in relations between government and governed”.

Allan’s method was better than Raz’s method. As I explained supra (above), English Legal Tradition is not based onto ontological principles, but historical rights. Hence, Allan (who has been a finer lawyer than Raz) wanted to start from the pro tempore idea, which Lawyers had at that time, about Rule of Law.

Unfortunately, Rule of Law lost its deep meaning. What he found was a simulacre, as I explained supra (above).

Rule of Law like: Substantial and Procedural Fairness; Natural Justice; Equality; Separation of Powers … Where and When!?!? Have you ever been at the University of Cambridge?!?!?

According to Allan, Rule of Law expresses the: concept of Justice (substantial and procedural fairness); notion of Equality; Universal Suffrage; Separation of Power.

Actually, Allan failed to formulate a descriptive theory of the Rule of Law. Allan presented: either, his own Legal and Political idea about Rule of Law; or, the pro tempore more fashionable Legal and Political idea, which English Lawyers had about Rule of Law at that time.

But, Rule of Law is not what Allan said! The facts give opposite evidences.

For instance, Rule of Law does not include at all, the separation of Power.

Separation of Power and English Legal System   

Rule of Law has nothing to do with Separation of Powers.

Separation of Power is a different “subject matter” (Conklin W. E., 1989). Moreover, it is NOT a principle of English constitutionalism.

Although one of the first philosophers, who formulated the doctrine of the Separation of Power, was John Locke in the 1690; the English Constitution has never ever recognized any real division of Powers, as it was done, exempli gratia, in France and/or in U.S.A. (Fenwick, 1993).

According to Fenwick (1993), the division of Powers inside the English Constitution does not exist. There is nothing of Montesquieu’s ideas.

The “judges can create law”.

“The ministers, who are member of executive, sit as members of the House of Commons which is a legislative body”.

“Lord Chancellor is a minister as well as head of the judiciary, and it is also a member of the House of Lords in its legislative capacity”.

“The executive can effectively determinate the legislative output of Parliament, theoretically a separate body”.

On the same advice, Schwartz B. (1955) stated “in Britain the doctrine of the separation of powers today means little more than an independent judiciary”.

English constitutionalism is based on the fusion of Powers rather than their separation (Barendt E., 1998). According to Bagehot W., “the efficient secret of English … constitution may be described as the close union, the nearly complete fusion, of the executive and legislative powers”.

This is confirmed by the Report of the Committee on the Ministers’ Power (1932): “In the English constitution there is not such thing as the absolute separation of legislative, executive, and juridical power; in practice it is inevitable that they should overlap”.

This is an evidence of how everything, REAL EVERYTHING, can be put inside a simulacrum!

Universal Suffrage

Universal Suffrage is not part of Rule of Law at all. It is a political choice, a legal principle and/or value, which is completely autonomous, independent, from Rule of Law. Otherwise, the same English Legal History has confuted Universal Suffrage to be an aspect of Rule of Law!!


I have already spoken about it, when I wrote about the second principle of Dicey.

Procedural and Substantial Fairness … Does Allan remember when a Graduate Student of the Faculty of Law invoked Rule of Law at the University of Cambridge? What has it happened to …Fairness?  

Rule of Law does not include any procedural and substantial fairness as it is proved by English Legal History and Practice. On the contrary, it requests only the formal respect of the Law.

Indeed, when Rule of Law is not applied like Supremacy of the Law above Power, Rule of Law expresses the principle of Formal Validity. Nothing more! Nothing less!

But, it is more fashionable to tell people that English Legal Tradition overflow of Fairness (procedural and substantial fairness)! However, this is just political propaganda. They are empty words, behind which there is a simple principle of Formal Validity. That is all, Folks!!

Unfortunately, even this principle of Formal Validity is not respected most of the time. So, Rule of Law, at the end, loses all its meanings. Under the sermons about fairness, there is nothing.

An example of this happened at the University of Cambridge, Faculty of Law. It happened where, the best Lawyers were. It is reported in the appendix.

It shows how Rule of Law is not applied: either, like formal validity; or, procedural and substantial fairness. But, it is applied as: both, Power can do whatever it pleases; and, Authority can and must use its powers to hide its own responsibilities.

Fairness is an “inexistent” reality. It exists as long as people are forced to be silent. It exists as long as all the abuses, unlawfulness and illegalities, are hidden.


To sum up, Rule of Law is the less evocative name of the principium of Supremacy of the Law above the Power.

It means two basic things.

First, it affirms that any Power to be legitimate have to be: both, given by Law; and, used complying with the procedures and porpoises that Law stated.

Second, for anyone in any position, it affirms a principle of formal validity. This principle requests people to obey and to apply Law.

In other words, Rule of Law is the basic command of a Legal System.

The principium of the Sovereignty of the Parliament, on the contrary, states that Parliament is the only subject that it is above Law. This is why Parliament: both, can create and change the Law; and, cannot be bound by previous Law.

These principles are not a tautology as Raz (1977) affirmed. They are the two basic constituents of any modern Legal System. Without them, the modern Legal Systems cannot exist. Without them, only Ancient Regime and despotism exists.

I have to make a clarification.

This principle makes a distinction between two situations. In the first one, a person has some kind of power onto other persons. In the second one, there is not the former condition. In the first case, it is allowed to do only what the Law allows to do. In the second case, it is allow doing everything, except what the Law denies.

Replying to the critics about this idea of Rule of Law

Rule of Law, as I postulated, has been accused to be unable to distinguish between a despotic government and a democratic one (Turpin C., 1995; Raz 1977). These critics are unjustified and unfounded for the reasons I have explained supra (above).

Actually, Rule of Law can distinguish between a despotic government and a democratic one, only, and only if, it means Supremacy of the Law above Power. Truly, the distinction between despotic governments and democratic governments cannot be done by a concept of Rule of Law, which is reduced to be a nebulous and vague concept as some authors have done.

As I explained, it makes Rule of Law become a simulacre of its real meaning. It has two consequences: first, the attention is moved from Supremacy of Law above Power to something else; second, Rule of Law becomes a vague concept, an instrument of Legal Mystification a là Bentham. In the latter case, Rule of Law can be applied in different manners from case to case. At the end, a Despotic Government will be possible behind the appearance of a Democratic one!!

There is only one way to distingue between despotic governments and democratic governments. The democratic governments need three elements:

  1. Rule of Law applied like Supremacy of Law above Power;
  2. a corpus of fundamental principles and values written inside a Constitution (Social Contract);
  3. Judges, Lawyers and people, who are brave enough to defend those values against the tendency of Power to go beyond them.

Without these three conditions, there is only a despotic government. It could be more evident (overt) or more veiled (covert), but it remains a despotic government.

Although English constitution is “one of the first” (Boutmy E., 1891), it has not evolved into lex scripta. English Lawyers, instead of attempting to create a corpus of legal values, have tried to put some of them inside Rule of Law. But, it was the wrong choice. It leads to create vague concepts as I have told.

On one hand, according to Jeffrey Jowell (2000), some authors attempted to transform Rule of Law in a principle of institutional morality, as it was the only instrument they had to: both, limit “the abuse of power”; and, force power to be fairly exercised.

On the other hand, English lawyers love ambiguous concepts, despite lex scripta[9]. This is as: “Whoever hath an absolute authority to interpret any written or spoken laws, it is he who is truly the lawgiver, to all intents and purposes, and not the person who first spoke or wrote them” (Bishop Hoadly, 1717). Ambiguous concepts give Lawyers far more power to be free to interpret Law as they like. This allows Law to be applied in very different ways from case to case, as it was argued by Bentham. It is an instrument of Legal Mystification.


Bentham described five instruments for mystifying Law. But, mystification is not only a legal issue. It is a common Social and Psychological Sciences affair[10].

Bentham’s five mystification instruments

The first instrument employs descriptive instead of normative statements. This allows full arbitrary power. Those statements become: for someone, compulsory commands; for someone else, not obligatory directives.

The second instrument uses wide and void concepts. They can be interpreted, from time to time, from person to person, as one likes.

The third instrument applies legal simulation. They make fiction become more important than facts.

The fourth instrument engages pseudo-descriptive statements. They are in their appearance descriptive, but they tend to lead people: conducts; and, beliefs.

The fifth instrument involves pseudo-technique language. It makes the discourse be incomprehensible for profane people.

Rule of Law and Legal Mystification

Rule of Law had its own clear meaning. It expressed the principium of the Supremacy of the Law above the Power.  Then, it was made a nebulous and void concept.

In this way, its original meaning has been weakened. So, it has become an instrument of mystification since it began to be a nebulous concept.

Exempli gratia.

From one hand, people believe to live in a Legal System based on: procedural and substantial fairness; equality; and plenty of other noble principles.

On the other hand, they do not simply “exist”! They are NOT for everyone! They are applied in very different manners from case to case.


[1] Intuition seems to be a characteristic of the University of Oxford’s actual Jurisprudence. Also Finnis, indeed, based all his work about Natural Law and Natural Rights on Intuition!

[2] See Appendix, Does “Rule of Law” mean that “All law should be prospective” a là Raz? NO, NO, NO, and still NO! Rarely have I seen a desperate case as You are! … But … wait a moment. Who is Raz? Here at Cambridge, we have never ever heard about Him. Here at Cambridge, we do not say that name!

[3] There is only one case where it is possible. The structure of the sentence is a syllogism. The main assumption is given by the Legal Norms.  The second assumption is given by the Facts. The conclusion is given by the logic consequence between these two assumptionsYet, this syllogism tells only: the formal structure of the sentence is logic. It does NOT tell anything (at all) about the content of the two assumptions. Both of them can be false and untrue. Thus, a logic conclusion can be made by false/invalid assumptions.

[4] Exempli gratia : Homo Homini Lupus est; Bellum omnium contra omnes ; etc… .

[5] The present writer studied plenty of these phenomena mainly among: Psychologists; Legal and Academic Contexts; Neighbour’s relations; Group’s dynamics.

[6] Actually, psychologists are the worst of all. They are so obsessed to appear normal, that they tend always to:

  • comply with Authority’s Requests (it does not matter how much they are illegitimate, illegal and/or amoral);
  • Homologate them(selves) to the groupthink;
  • Etc… .

They consider mentally ill, whoever acts outside the Normal Distribution. Thus, they enslave themselves inside the Normal Distribution they created. Then, they attempt to enslave all the rest of people inside their Normal Distribution!! At the end, they are both prisoners and gaoler of a New Tyranny: the theocracy of the idol Homologation. Like Procuste, they cut out everything they believe to be outside the standards they give!

[7] And, then who chose to not become like them!

[8] This shows how much strong social mechanisms and Authority obedience are.

People tend to follow uncriticallyAuthority; and Majority!!!!!

But, … remember the lemmings! Remember the lemmings! Remember the lemmings before following the Majority!!!!!

[9] Latin for: written Law.

[10] In particular, it is very common in Psychology. The present writer has studied plenty of cases of Mystification, which were done by Psychologists. Moreover, whereas Law is bound by facts, Psychology is not. Most of the things, psychologists say, are only their own fantasy! Psychology is only a game of interpretation. So, it is very easy for them to abuse of their power and position. See: Epis L. (2011/2015), De Nova SuperstitioneAlcune Questioni sullo Status Epistemologico della Psicologia, Psicopatologia e Psicanalisi. Published in: See page “Psychology & Epistemology – Psicologia & Epistemologia”.

Morality and Crime


Nowadays, Wikstrom’s Action Theory of Crime Causation is a good criminological construct for the understanding of criminal behaviours. Wikstrom P. O. et al. (2012) gave good empirical evidences to the theory.

This paper offers a flashback of what the present writer wrote in 2005/2006 about: the “blooming” Situational Action Theory of Crime Causation presented by Wikstrom (2004; 2006a; 2006b; 2006c); and the relationship between Crime and Morality. The Paper repots the writing done in 2005/2006.

Writer’s ideas and beliefs could be changed meanwhile.

“Moral sense shape human behaviour and the judgements people make of the behaviour of others”

James Q. Wilson, The Moral Sense


This paper investigates the role of morality in crime’s explanation.

First of all, morality is considered by different criminological theories an important factor in the crime explanation. Then, the “blooming” Situational Action Theory of Crime Causation presented by Wikstrom (2004; 2006a; 2006b; 2006c) seems to be a promising theory. Indeed, despite of other theories, Wikstrom defines a clear mechanism (Bunge, 1999) able to explain how moral norms and moral judgements take part in criminal behaviours’ development or avoidance.

Although the present writer considers Situational Action Theory of Crime Causation a good description on how morality may explain criminal behaviours, he suggests that morality and moral norms could be defined more empirically.

The present writer advices to define morality (customs; moral norms) like social norms. This definition allows: on one side, to overcome most of the critics that could be done by post-modernistic approaches; and, on the other side, to clarify those social and psychosocial mechanisms which make people “comply or not comply” with those norms. Further, the dialogic recursive relationship (between social and individual dimensions) can be improved using the research findings of the social psychology.

Thus, the present writer, at the end, agrees with Dewey (1992): “For practical proposes morals mean customs”.

Theories of Crime and Morality

According to Hirschi (1971), most of the existing criminological theories have considered morality in their theoretical assumptions.

In answering to the Hobbesian’s question: “why do men obey the rules of society?”, Strain, Control, and Cultural Deviance Theories have connected human behaviors with moral norms.

Whereas the Control Theory assumes human beings to be amoral animals, the Strait Theory postulates human beings to be moral animals.

Strait Theory

According to the Strait Theory, people desire to reach some “moral” goals. For doing this, they wish to use the “moral” means indicated by society. The crime is a consequence of “adversative” and “unfortunate” circumstances that do not allow people satisfy their legitimate desires (social goals), using the legal (moral) means (Burke, 2005).

Control Theory

The Control Theory assumes human beings to be amoral. Hence, people are naturally inclined to commit criminal behaviours unless they are educated and forced to avoid criminal conducts by a strong social control (Burke, 2005). The Social Control Theory disagrees entirely with Peters’ view (1958). Indeed, whereas Peters argues man to be “a rule-following animal”[1], the former postulates human beings not to be rule-following animals as their behaviours are determined mainly by selfish desires.

Cultural Deviance Theory

The Cultural Deviance Theory challenged the Control Theory’s assumptions. According to Cultural Deviance Theory, human beings are unable of perform “pure deviant behaviours” as they can merely follow some social rules (Peters, 1958). Behaviours could be: both, deviant inside some cultural or social contexts and /or groups; and, conventional inside other cultural or social contexts and/or groups. In other words, any behaviour (deviant or conventional) is always expression of some social norms. This is proved by the research findings of social psychology[2]. Any behaviour is always: conventional inside a social group; and deviant inside another. What is considered conventional or deviant is just a matter of Power. It is part of the “fighting for Significance and Power” among the different social groups and people, which determinates the dominant and subordinate groups[3]. Nevertheless, Hirschi (1971) rejects both the above mentioned theories. He stressed, inside the Control Theory’s theoretical background, his Bond Theory.

The Bond Theory

According to Hirschi (1971), the Control Theories “embrace two highly complex concepts, the bond of the individual to society”.

Hirschi (1971) argues that: although the control theories have attempted to explain “the elements of the bond to conventional society”, they failed to give a fulfilled explanation of how “each of these elements is related to delinquent behaviour”. Hirschi (1971) attempts to resolve this lack of explanation. According to Hirschi (1971), the social bond theory considers four elements “related to delinquent behaviour”: attachment; commitment; involvement; belief.

The Bond Theory, like the Control Theory, assumes human beings born amoral. Hence, they have “to learn” to conform to social norms.

The weaknesses of Hirschi’s theory (1971) are the following. His theory implodes. This happens when the criminal behaviours are made by people who have developed: strong social bonds; and a good internalization of moral norms. Indeed, also these people can commit criminal behaviours (Taft, 1956). This is because Hirschi (like Control Theory) makes a huge mistake in the assumptions. People are not born amoral, but THEY are BORN FREE and GOOD!!!! By Nature, people tend to people and empathic behaviours. There is trickery behind ideas that affirm “the people’s need” to be “conformed” to social norms! These statements and beliefs hide a “dark side”! They could be polite fashionable manners to support “blind obedience” to any arbitrary Power. Social norms are always created by Power. Social norms are manifestations of Power. Social norms follow and defend the interests of Power.

Thus, also good people with good social bonds can act criminal behaviours, exempli gratia, against a Power that could be more “criminal” than those people are.

At the end, Hirschi’s theory (1971) is not a good construct. The assumptions are wrong; the evidences do not support the theory but present plenty of contrary facts; important social mechanisms (involved in criminal explanation) are not considered.

Reintegrative Shaming Theory

Another theory that deals with morality is the Reintegrative Shaming Theory of Braithwaite (1989).

Braithwaite (1989) agues the relation between criminal law and morality: “… criminal law is a powerfully dominant majoritarian morality compared with the minority subculture …”.

Her theory is an attempt to gather together most of the existing criminological theories (Labelling Theory; Sub-cultural Theory; Control Theory; Opportunity Theory; Learning Theory) around a simple key concept: shaming.

According to Braithwaite (1989), shaming can be used in two different ways: like stigmatisation; and like reintegrative shaming. The former increases the future criminal activities of the offenders, pushing them inside deviant sub-cultural groups; the later decreases the future criminal activities of the offenders, attempting to reintegrate them inside the society (dominant group).

Whereas the theory of reintegrative shaming assumes a relation between criminal law and moral norms, it lacks to explain those mechanisms that make an individual “break moral rules defined as crime in law” (Wikstrom, 2006a) the first time.

The whole theory focuses on the social reaction that follows at the “initial deviance”, and how the two different social reactions (stigmatisation and reintegrative shaming) affect the future criminal behaviour of the offender. Hence, although the Reintegrative Shaming Theory presents the merit to attempt to harmonize most of the existing criminological theories, it falls inside a theoretical chaos.

Braithwaite (1989) is unable to resolve the existing conflict among the opposite theoretical assumptions. Exempli gratia, the relationship between morality and crime that has been postulated by the different criminological theories, which she attempted to integrate. Braithwaite (1989) is also unable to explain the first manifestation of the criminal behavior as I wrote supra.

Situational Action Theory of Crime Causation

At the present tense, there is only a theory that: can be worth to be considered; and, is able to explain “why” and “how” people “break moral rules defined as crime in law” (Wikstrom, 2006a), even if these people are “good” and have “internalized” moral norms.

According to Wikstrom (2006a), “crimes are acts of moral rule breaking. To explain crime is to explain why individuals break moral rules defined as crime in law”. This does not mean that Crime and Morality overlap completely as: “not all moral rules are criminal laws” Wikstrom (2006c); and “a theory of crime causation … does not imply any acceptance of existing laws as necessarily legitimate or morally justified based on higher order moral principles” (Wikstrom 2006a).

The importance of the link between moral rules and criminal law according to the Situational Action Theory of Crime Causation seems to be double.

First of all, both moral norms and criminal law share common structures, languages and functions: “Moral rules prescribe what is right and wrong to do (or not to do) in a particular circumstance. Criminal law is essentially a set of moral rules” (Wikstrom, 2006a).

The present writer underlines that this happens because: on one hand, both of them are normative language; on the other hand, both of them are part of the bigger set of Social Norm. Moral and Legal Norms are two different type of Social Norms.

Second of all, the mechanisms (Bunge, 1999), which operate when people break both moral norms and criminal law, seem to be the same.

This latter point is well described by Wikstom. “To explain why individuals obey the law, or why they commit acts of crime, is to explain why they follow or break moral rules defined in law. To explain why individuals commit crime is, in principle, the same as explaining why they break any moral rule (i.e., the basic casual mechanisms are the same)” (Wikstrom 2006c).

For these reasons, the Situational Action Theory of Crime Causation defines crime “as an act of breaking a moral rule defined in criminal law” (Wikstrom, 2006a).

According to Wikstrom (2006a), the “moral rule guidance plays an essential rule in what moves an individual to act (or not act) in a particular way”. This happens inside the interaction between the “individual moral engagement with the moral context of a particular setting” (Wikstrom, 2006a).

This interaction is described by the Situational Action Theory of Crime Causation with a five steps’ mechanism: individual morality (moral values and emotions); moral perception; either moral judgment or moral habit; moral choice; moral action.

The individual morality represents: the different moral values that individuals can have; the “different moral threshold … for breaking particular moral rules” (Wikstrom, 2006a); and the set of moral categories used by people for interpreting contexts.

The moral perceptions are interpretations of the moral settings through the “filter” of people’s particular moral values. The “ identification of the action alternatives and their moral qualities in response to particular motivations in a particular setting” (Wikstrom, 2006a) is determined by the moral perception.

In the moral judgments and moral habits stage, people evaluate both the moral qualities of the perceived contexts and the potential appropriate alternative actions. Moral judgments happen when people deliberate “over the moral qualities of the perceived action alternatives” (Wikstrom, 2006a). This happens in particular in unfamiliar settings. Moral habits (on the other side) do not involve any deliberation. They are “automatic” responses that have grown out from repeated experiences[4].

In the moral choice stage, people decide how to perform their actions.

Finally, moral actions are the overt outcome of the covert mechanisms described supra.

The importance of these mechanisms is to provide a good explanation of the nature and causes of crime. This is useful for elaborating an effective crime prevention program (Wikstrom, 2006b).

Re-defining Morality

Although the Situational Action Theory of Crime Causation is: both, the best account on Crime and Morality at the present time; and a good example of “the multiform status of … criminology” like “a mixture of data on science, law … and morality” (Wolfgang and Ferracuti, 1982); it could be improved.

The present writer believes the social psychology able to increase the understanding of: both, the criminological phenomena; and, the relationship between criminal law and moral norms.

This could happen in two ways. First of all, it is possible to apply the existing research findings on the moral development (exempli gratia, Piaget, 1932; Kohlberg, 1964; etc…) to the criminological theories. Second, it is possible to improve the definition of moral norm like social norm. Consequently, it is possible to apply the research findings of the latter to the former.

The present writer strongly advises this second method. In other word, I believe to be very important and useful to improve the definition of moral norm like social norm.

This is needed as, when people speak about morality (and moral norms), they usually refer to a set of eternal, immutable, universal law that are based on a either divine or natural ground, which is innately rooted inside the conscience of human beings (Stephen, 1991). People are “good” if they recognize, and comply with, these “self-evident” moral values. People are “bad” if they are not able to identify those “self-evident” values.

Recently, a “self-evidence” based view of Moral Norms was re-presented inside the Natural Law’s Theory of Finnis (1980). This theory re-presents some Aquinas’ ideas (without having the theoretical background that was used by Aquinas!). Moreover, as Ancient Greeks already observed, what is self-evident for someone is not self-evident for someone else, and vice versa.  How can moral codes be self-evident, when “moral codes accepted at different times and places have been … different” (Stephen, 1882)?

Moreover, post-modernistic literature has largely demonstrated the impossibility to justify empirically or logically moral values.

The present writer argues that morality like self-evidence norm is based on the fundamental attribution error. The latter is the “innate tendency for the observers to underestimate situational influences and overestimate dispositional influences upon others’ behaviour” (Myers, 1999). In other words, the fundamental attribution error represents the tendency to under-estimate sociological factors that determined the individual’s behaviors.  Moreover, people tend to assume them and their society / social groups to be “absolute good” (!!), so if someone does not act as they want, he/she should be: “evil”; “ill”; “crasy”; “ugly”; “smelly”; “immoral”; “criminal”; “felonious”;  … unable to understand their absolute right and just “self-evidence” dogmas!!!!!!  They cannot think something wrong could be inside them and their social group!!

Exempli gratia, the fundamental attribution error biases in part the theory of Kohlberg (1964, 1976). According to Kohlberg’s theory, criminals break Law as they “suffer from what is, in essence, an arrested level of moral development” (Haney, 1983). Kohlberg (1964, 1976) argues: both, pro a universal and eternal definition of moral law[5]; and, pro an overestimation of individual dispositional factors. One of these Kohlberg’s Beliefs is that: criminal behaviors are the outcome of the individual inability to progress at higher moral stages[6]!! But, behind the appearance of a pleasant discourse, at the end, these “higher moral stages” mean only to obey to the pro tempore Power’s Will!! Who obeys to the Power is always: “good”; “clever”; “nice”; “good-looking”; “moral”; “sane”; “equilibrate”; “fragrant of roses”; and so on … .  That’s all Folks!!

The present writer argues that Kohlberg does not keep in account a realistic developmental prospective. He neglects important developmental aspects such as non-normative factors (Baltes, 1987), which can affect deeply the human development

The only empirical approach for studying moral norms is to recognize them simply for what they are: social/group norms (customs). The very fact that they are different among people (even if when they are members of the same group) is due the different life experiences. This is not a negative factor. It is a necessary part of the human evolution. What is negative and dis-adaptive is: homologation; standardization; normalization; etc… .

This definition is supported by Dewey (1922) and Stephen (1991).

The former states: “morals means customs” as “everywhere customs supply the standards for personal activities. ” … “Customs (not only)… constitute moral standards”, but “customs (also) make law”. The later argues that law can only be “simply a particular case of custom” as no social organization can last long on coercion since “a bond which rested solely upon fear would give, not an organic compound, but a temporary association, ready to collapse at every instant”.

The present writer agrees with them.

Most people respect criminal law without having any idea of the articles of criminal codes. They do not offend even if they do not know the different interpretations given by Courts.

All in all, moral norms like social norms (customs) seem to be a realistic approach able to enhance the understanding of: both, the relationship between morality and crime; and, our comprehension of the Nature of Crime.

How Social Psychology may help the Situational Action Theory of Crime Causation

I think the Situational Action Theory of Crime Causation could be integrated with some research findings developed inside the Social Psychology, Cognitive Psychology and Social Cognition.

For instance, the research findings on conformity, compliance, acceptance, norm formation (Sherif 1935, 1937), group pressure (Asch, 1955) and authority obedience (Milgram, 1965, 1974) could be integrate in its framework.

People, indeed, could behave in opposite manners respect their: moral values and beliefs; moral perceptions; moral judgments; moral habits. This could happen simply for: group pressure; de-individualization (Freedman, Sears and Carlsmith 1978); compliance to Authority; or, conforming to social roles. Exempli gratia, does somebody still remember the Sanford Prison Experiment (Zimbardo, 1972)?


I believe the Situational Action Theory of Criminal Causation a good construct to enhance the understanding of the relationship between Morality and Crime.

Nevertheless, I argue that this framework may be improved with the research findings of the social psychology.

Indeed, at the present tense, the Situational Action Theory of Criminal Causation seems unable to explain clearly the hypothesis in which: people, who recognize their actions like “wrong”, decide to perform them.

Constructs like social pressure, obedience to authority, norm formation,   etc…, should be integrated to resolve these possible contradictions.

[1] This quotation of Peters (1958) has been also used by Wright (1971).

[2] Exempli gratia, one of the assumptions of the Social Psychology is the Pervasive Nature of the Social Influence (e.g., Smith E. and Mackie D. 2004). Who does not consider this element, does NOT understand a lot in Psychology!!

[3] That’s all. Evidences are given every day. Actions (done by members of differ groups) are evaluated in very dissimilar manners. On one hand, some behaviours (done by some people) are considered “evil”. Media are “forced” to describe them worst and bigger they are. On the other hand, the same (or worst) behaviours (done by others) are considered “good”!! Media: either, cannot speak about them; or, can speak very briefly avoiding any “unpleasant” word!! If this is not a matter of Social Power!?!?

[4] Classical and Operant Conditioning.

[5] Exempli gratia, expressed in his universal valid stages.

[6] Kohlberg copies this “nice idea” from Spiritism!! Indeed, far before Kohlberg, Spiritism suggested that Spirits’ wicked behaviours were consequences: either, their lower Moral Evolution; or, their inability to evolve to higher Moral Stages.

Something about Lie-Detectors


Whereas some of the English speaking Countries use Lie-Detectors, other Nations (such as the Wisest and Sagest Italy) do not! This article, very briefly, shows why Lie-Detectors should not be trusted. Exempli gratia, they could be perilous and dangerous instruments during police enquires and/or any other investigation of Truth.

In other word, Lie Detectors could not be more trustable then Medieval “Trial of Ordeal” and/or Judicium Dei!! Why? Read the article and get the answer by Yourself!

 “And after all, what is a lie? Tis but

The truth in masquerade; and I defy

Historians, heroes, lawyers, priests to put

A fact without some leaven of a lie.

The very shadow of true truth would shut

Up annals, revelations, poesy,

And prophecy …

Praised be all liars and all lies!”

Lord Byron, Don Juan

Introduction: lies and human ability to recognise them.

It is believed that abilities to recognize lies have been developed from the earliest human history. They were supposed necessary skills for human survivor (Swanson C. R., Chamelin N. C. and Territo L., 1996). Nevertheless, the homo sapiens sapiens does not seem to have succeed in this “adaptation”! Their abilities to identify lies are not higher then chance (Ekman and O’ Sullivan, 1991). Indeed, even though most people believe to be able to recognize deceiving, very few of them (independently by their professions and experiences) are able to perform better then chance (Bartol C. R. and Bartol A. M., 2004; Kraut and Poe, 1980; De Paulo and Pfeifer, 1986). In some empirical cases, data showed performances lower then chance (Porter S., Woodworth M. and Birt A. R., 2000).

Only the U. S. secret agents of Central Intelligence Agency (C.I.A.) have performed better then chance. They had a score of 64% in deceptions’ identification (Ekman P. and O’Sullivan M., 1991). In other words, they are wrong one third of the cases!! Good job (!), considering the consequences of their actions!

The ability of human beings to read the verbal and not verbal communication of the others was the first kind of lie detector. It was believed (from the Ancient Time) that: when a person lies, he/she is nervous for his/her sense of guilty. Hence, liars manifest physiological arousal and behaviours such as: looking down; avoid gazing at the eyes of accusers; moving their “big toe in circle”; getting dry their mouths (Swanson C. R., Chamelin N. C. and Territo L., 1996; Segrave K., 2004). According to Segrave (2004), Vedas have described some of these clues since Antiquity. More recent studies (from: psychology; ethology; physiology) seem to have confirmed the tendency of the human beings to express their deceiving with some verbal and not verbal signs.

Ekman, O’Sullivan, Friesen and Scherer (1991) suggest that the combination of the verbal and facial clues allowed performances of 86% in lie detector. But, this study has not been confirmed by others literature!

The failing to detect lies (using the verbal and not verbal clues) is originated, according to Vrij A. (2000), from observers’ will, as they “do not want to detect lies”. I do not believe this is the reason. I consider reason: the unreliable nature of these signs. They could be, simply, neutral expressions of emotional states that can: be originated by different sources; indicate opposite feelings. Thus, any associations between these signs and lies …: could be arbitrary; and follow observers’ expectances. Furthermore, human beings react differently each other’s. So, it is not possible to individuate behavioural patterns able to indicate lying. Evidences are given by the study of: Akehurst et. al. (1996);  Kapardis (2005). According to the latter, people are more accurate in recognition their own lying patters of behaviours rather than others.  This implies the existence of different patters of behaviour from person to person.

There are a lot of evidences about the unreliable nature of these indicators. For instance: the eye blinking, considered a deception – indicator (Kapardis, 2005; Bartol C. R. and Bartol A. M., 2004), has not been confirmed by other studies (Mehrabian, 1971). Then, the avoidance of looking at the other peolple’s eyes does not mean necessary: lying. It can also indicate politeness (e.g. staring is considered aggressive behaviour). Next, it could indicate simply: shyness; etc… .

Further, some authors (Swanson C. R., Chamelin N. C. and Territo L., 1996) consider “opening wider the eyes” like a clue of deceiving. But, this sign can, on the other hand, simply indicate: a state of surprise; and/or the wish to “see clearer” (Eibel-Eibelfeldt, 1993).

More, the higher pitch of voice, considered a good indicator for lying (Kapardis, 2005), correlates also with intimate relation (Eibl-Eibelsfeldt, 1993).

Although Vrij (2000) thinks that “some behaviour are more likely to occur when people are lying”, I believe they caused by different factors (of opposite nature) that do not allow any trustable use.

One of these opposite factors can be: both the fear of the deceiver and the fear of the innocent to be involved in an unpleasant situation (Swanson C. R. Chamelin N. C. and Territo L., 1996). This is as the emotional and physiological arousal is “the same” for every feeling.

Thus, I agree with Kapardis (2005) that human beings are not good lie detectors.

Consequently, we are going to focus on the “technological” lie detectors: voice lair detectors (psychological stress evaluator); and polygraph.


Technology employed in the recognition of deceiver: voice lair detectors; polygraph.

Psychological Stress Evaluator (PSE)

According with Kapardis (2005) and Bartol C. R. and Bartol A. M. (2004), Psychological Stress Evaluator (PSE) is based on some assumptions. One of these is that: physiological stress produces changes in the voice of liars. Hence, the Psychological Stress Evaluator attempts to identify low frequency changes in the voice to recognize the presence of a higher stress. The “micro-tremor in the vocal muscles” is used like indicator. Although the PSE could be employed in a wide range of application (Kapardis, 2005; Segrave K., 2004), different studies report it does not perform better then chance (Kapardis, 2005; Bartol C. R. and Bartol A. M., 2004).

The changes in the voice, indeed, are not characteristic features of lying. They follow a wide range of emotions (Lykken D. T., 1988; Eibl-Eibesfeldt I., 1993). For instance, they can be produced by: the uncomfortable feeling caused by a “particular question”; and/or by the person who makes the question; and/or by the situation itself.

In these cases, one can result “liar” even telling the truth.


A better instrument, with less application then PSE, is the polygraph.

The polygraph attempts to recognize those physiological changes linked with offenders’ fear to be identified like liar (Howitt D., 2002).

Many items are measured (poly = many; graph = measures). They are: respiration; heart rates; blood pressure; electro-derma response.

According to Bartol C. R. and Bartol A. M. (2004), Kapardis A. (2005), Raskin D. C. (1989) and Vrij A. (2000), there are different techniques: the relevant – irrelevant technique (R-I); the control question test (CQT); the guilty knowledge test or Information Test (GKT)[1].

Relevant – irrelevant technique (R-I)

The R-I method assumes that: the fear to be identified like liar produces more physiological responses to relevant questions then the irrelevant ones (Bartol C. R. and Bartol A. M., 2004).  This assumption does not always work. A strong emotional response (to the relevant questions) can be given by: both liars; and truthful people (Bartol C. R. and Bartol A. M., 2004; Gale A., 1988). Is can fallow “the simple fact that innocent” people are “anxious about the outcome”. So, they produce positive responses to the relevant questions (Kapardis A., 2000). Moreover, the literature indicates that R-I has not met an acceptable internal and external validity (Ruskin D. C., 1989).

Control question test (CQT)

The CQT method applies three types of questions: neutral questions; relevant questions; control questions (Bartol C. R. and Bartol A. M., 2004; Ruskin D. C., 1989; Vrij, 2000). The control questions are the key feature of this test. The physiological reactions, exhibited during the control questions[2], are confronted with subjects’ reactions exhibited during relevant questions (Ruskin D. C., 1989; Vrij A., 2000).

This method has several problems. The difficulty to construct control questions “that will elicit stronger physiological responses in the innocent than relevant question about the crime” (Bartol C. R. and Bartol A. M., 2004; Ruskin D. C., 1989; Vrij, 2000). The increase of emotional arousal in innocent subjects that can be caused by different reasons, not related to the sense of guilty (Vrij A., 2000).  The weakness of its theoretical foundation and logical rationale (Ben-Shakher G., 2002). The inadequate standardization (Ben-Shakher G., 2002). The lack of physiological responses’ objective quantification (Ben-Shakher G., 2002). The problem of contamination from not – physiological responses (Ben-Shakher G., 2002). The examinees’ belief about the infallibility of the test (Vrij A., 2000). In absence of this latter, the physiological reactions can be inappropriate to the outcome of a reliable test.

Guilty knowledge test or Information Test (GKT)

The GKT is considered one of the best methods for detecting lying (Bartol C. R. and Bartol A. M., 2004; Ben-Shakher G. and Elaad E., 2002), even though little work has been done for its implementation (Ben-Shakher G. and Elaad E., 2002). According to Ruskin D. C. (1989), Vrij A. (2000), Kapardis A. (2005), the questions[3] are constructed using unknown material about the scene of crime. This material can be known only by: examiners; people present at the criminal scene. The test has the form of a multiple-choice test. It is aim is not to discover deception, but presence of “guilty knowledge”. The guilty knowledge is detected observing strong physiological reactions with alternatives related to the crime scene.

One of the best discriminator, between the presence of guilty knowledge and its absence, appears to be the electro dermal responses (Kapardis A. 2005; Raskin D. C., 1989).

According to Ben-Shakher G. and Elaad E. (2002), this method can resolve different problems that rose with the formers’.

First of all, it applies standard procedure. Thus, all the examinees go through some experiences. Second of all, the risk of results’ bias with not-physiological information is decreased. Next, its “accuracy can be estimated from laboratory studies”. Finally, the risk of false positive is reduced.

Although these positive elements support the GKT, this method has also several limitations: the availability of enough items (unknown about the crime) to use in the questions (Bartol C. R. and Bartol A. M., 2004); the fact that details used by examiners was not perceived by guilty subjects (Vrij A., 2000). The examinees could also forget details (Vrij A., 2000). Then, there are few trained polygraphers, as this method is not included in most of the training programs (Bartol C. R. and Bartol A. M., 2004). Further, the limit number of real crimes in which can be used (Kapardis A., 2005; Vrij A., 2000). Moreover, the main limit of this method is its feature of recognising only guilty knowledge. Hence, offenders can always say they were present to criminal scenes like witness but they were not the offender (Vrij A., 2000). Also, innocent eyes-witness (who denied their presence to avoid to be involved) could be considered offenders (Vrij A., 2000).

As a consequence, I firmly disagree with Kapardis (2005) and Ben-Shakher G. and Elaad E. (2002) when they affirm the CKT able to protect “innocent suspects from being falsely classified as guilty”!?!?!?

Bias factors operating with every method

Independently by methods, a wide range of factors can also bias polygraph results. They are: the experience of examiners (Kapardis A., 2005); the talent of examinees in lying (Kapardis A. 2005); the use of countermeasures by examinees (Vrij A., 2000; Gudjonsson G. H., 1988; Ben-Shakher G. and Elaad E., 2002; Honts C. R. and Amato S. L., 2002)[4]; the confirmation bias, e.g. when examiners know examinees to be suspects (Howitt D., 2002).

In addition, the theoretical foundations and assumptions, on which the polygraph tests are based, have received strong radical critics (Ney T., 1988; Lykken D. T., 1988). Ney T. (1988), after having identified polygraph testing’s four assumptions[5], concludes these are false. The reasons are: people may control their physiological reactions; “specific emotional stimuli cannot predict emotion” as we cannot know how the individual cognition evaluates an “emotional stimulus”; “relationship between the different parameters of emotion is … weak”; “individual may vary between themselves across a number of parameters of emotion”.

Lykken D. T. (1988) argues that the human beings are not “equipped with a distinctive physiological responses that” they emit when they lie. A thesis confirmed by Bull R. M. (1988), who states that does not exist such thing as special physiological responses produced by people when they lie.

Another problem (few considered by the literature) is the inability of the polygraph to distinguish between lies and false memory. In this case, people can result truthful even if they tell something that is not true. The lies-detector “measures” what people “feel” to be true, not what is objective true.

The large amounts of mistakes made by polygraph tests (false positive; false negative) confirm the reasons (supra illustrated) of the critics’ good foundation. According to Carroll D. (1988), false positives are more than false negatives.

The reliability of the laboratory studies emphasized by some writers (such as: Ben-Shakher G. and Elaad E., 2002) was criticized by Howitt (2002). The latter argues laboratory studies not a good instrument to verify the accuracy of polygraph. The examinees are set in different emotional contexts respect those of real criminal investigations. Failing the set – up laboratory polygraph test does not imply anything. Failing a polygraph examination during a police investigation can have serious consequences even if one is innocent.

People, without a strong alibi, prefer confessing false crime rather then to defend their innocence. If they confess a false crime, they have more soft criminal consequences then defending their innocence. Moreover, a good legal defence needs economic resources than not everyone can have.

I disagree with psychologists that believe false confessions (made after a positive polygraph) to be consequences of doubts about memories (Vrij A., 2000). They could be, more likely, a rational choice caused by a Legal System that gives too importance to Psychology! It is better for an innocent (without a good alibi) confessing false crimes rather than challenging polygraph results in the Court. The latter choice will lead to stronger criminal consequences!!

Brainwaves analysis of guilty knowledge & functional magnetic imaging (fMRI)

A possible solution, at these lacks of accuracy, can be seen in the brainwaves analysis of guilty knowledge. According to Kapardis (2005), this method is characterised by detecting P3 or P300 brainwaves. They are supposed to be event-related waves evocated by uncommon stimuli with special significance for people. These waves are assumed to detect guilty knowledge with a better accuracy then CKT.

Using functional magnetic imaging (fMRI), it is possible to individuate areas of the brain that are used when people pay attention and try to control errors (anterior cingulated gyrus and prefrontal cortex).

This system is believed to guarantee a higher accuracy, and at least to exclude countermeasures bias (Kapardis A., 2005).

Personally, I think that these beliefs (like always happened) follow newer methods’ enthusiasm! First of all, it is too early to express any kind of appreciation on these methodologies. They are not been used a lot. Only after some real applications in legal settings, we could “appreciate” both the weaknesses and strengths of these methods. Second of all, the neurosciences are a perilous field! Indeed, the images and brain area activations could be determined always by different processes and functions (e.g. Benso F., 2013). In other word, it is always the REALITY (the material facts) to give meaning to the images of neurosciences, not vice versa!! Third, the data in neurosciences are mediated by computer’ software. They cannot be trusted so much. They are not always able to reflect REALITY.

Anyways, at the end, remember: “everything has its abuse as well as it is use” (Bernard Show).


Although the mankind have been attempting to find a system able to discriminate between true and lie since Antiquity (Segrave K., 2005), human beings have not succeeded in this research. The results are contradictory. The degree of errors is still elevated. The literature is divided into two “parties”. One is for a sceptic idea about lie detectors (Nye T., 1988; Carrol D., 1988; Lykken D. T. 1988; etc…); the other one supports them, despite of their weakness (Barland G. H., 1988; OTA, 1993; etc…).

Whereas polygraphs had a wide use in USA, some European States do not allow lie detectors: both in criminal setting during the investigation and in front of Courts. Polygraphs are not also allowed in labour personnel selection. These decisions have been made: due the high degree of inaccuracy; and, due ethics issues.

All in all, “a lie detector does work as long as the subject believes it works. A good examiner scares the crap out of you. It’s theatre” (Leonard Saxe)[6].

But, Truth and Justice should not be the outcome of theatrical representations!!

[1] Other methods exist, even if they are less used, such as: relevant – relevant procedure (Bartol C. R. and Bartol A. M., 2004); the directed lie control test (Ruskin D. C., 1989). The former was an attempt to resolve some weakness of the R-I method; the second one has been the attempt to resolve some problems of the CQT.

[2] Such as: denying a behaviour that likely every people do.

[3] Used in this method.

[4] Even if some authors does not believe in the effectiveness of the countermeasures used to bias the polygraph (tongue biting; foot tensing; counting sheep or backwards); others studies show that people trained in using countermeasures can be able to beat the polygraph test (Vrij A. 2000). Honts C. R. and Amato S. L. (2002) reports, for instance, how the different countermeasures work with the different methods (R-I, CQT and GKT).

[5] The four assumptions are: the human beings cannot control their physiological reactions and behaviours; “specific emotions can be predicted by specific stimuli”; “there are specific relationships between parameters of behaviour”; there are no differences in the response of people (Ney T. 1988).

[6] This quotation has been reported by Segrave K. (2005).

Methodological Mistakes’ Example in Psychological and Criminological Research. Example number 1: The role played by the “attention shifting in children pro-social behavior” (Wilson B. J., 2003) and how re-doing the research with a better Methodology!


This article shows an example of “how” a lot of psychological and criminological research has been done with poor methodology. Behind an apparent “scientific” appearance, some of these studies hid plenty of vitia (methodological mistakes), which prejudice results. In this way, the research findings are biased in the direction wanted by the observers.

This article shows the methodological vitia done by Wilson B. J. (2003) in a research on the “attention shifting” in “pro social” and “antisocial” children.

After having explained the mistakes, the article illustrates how the study should (eventually) re-done with a better methodological awareness.

Rationale – Background (Wilson’s mistakes).  

This Paper shows an example of “how” a lot of psychological and criminological research has been done with poor methodology. Like sample, the study on the attention shifting made by Wilson B. J. (2003) is used. The Paper, after illustrating the methodological mistakes, explains how the study should be “re-done” with a better methodological awareness.

According to Miller, Galanter and Pribram (1960) the cognitive processes are a central aspect to understand the human behaviour. The social information-process research could be applied successfully to the understanding of the aggressive and antisocial behaviour in the human beings (Losel F. 2005).

From the basic information processing model TOTE (Test – Operate – Test – Exit), proposed by Miller G. A., Galanter E. and Pribram K. H. (1960) more accurate models have been developed. Dodge, for instance, applied a social information-processing model for understanding children’s aggressive responses (Losel F. 2005; Lewis M. and Miller S. M. 1990; Dodge K. A. and Coie J. D. 1987; Crick, N. R. and Dodge K. A. 1996; Dodge et al., 2003).

According to Lewis M. and Miller S. M. (1990), Dodge indicated five stages that are involved in producing appropriate or inappropriate response.

These stages are: encoding; interpretation; response research; response decision; enactment. Inappropriate aggressive responses can be produced by some deficits in one or more of these stages. For instance, subjects: can misunderstand situations; or have learned a range of few possible responses to those situations.

Although a relation between cognitive processes and behavioral responses seem to be proved, the research, on “how” individual elements (of the Information Processing Model) affect behavioral responses, presents several limitations.

Some of these studies, for instance, are examples of inaccurate research.

The study of Wilson B. J. (2003) on the rule played by the “attention shifting in children’s pro-social behavior” has presented different methodological mistakes.

First of all, experimental groups were only two: 27 aggressive/rejected participants; and 27 non-aggressive/popular participants. A control group was absent.

Second of all, the subdivision in two groups (aggressive/rejected and non-aggressive/popular) has been an arbitrary distribution. A better study should have considered four different groups: aggressive/rejected; aggressive/popular; non-aggressive/rejected; non-aggressive/popular. Dodge K. A. et al. (2003) have demonstrated that: peer rejection predicts growth in aggression. Thus, from the study of Wilson B. J. (2003), we do not know with “what” attention shifting correlates. We do not know the nature of subjects’ aggressive behaviors. Is this related with “endogenous” aggression (e.g. traits)? Is this related with exogenous aggression (e.g. like natural answer to others’ aggressive behaviors)? Is this related with social rejection? … Etc… . We do not know.

Moreover, we will never know social rejections’ factors that determined aggressive answers. It is true that correlation does not mean causation (Hagan F. E., 2005), but the study of Wilson B. J. (2003) is not able to show the nature of this correlation. The “apparent correlation”, which was found, is the outcome of a chain of methodological mistakes and prejudices. The aggressive behaviors of the aggressive/rejected group, instead of being linked with endogenous factors, could be a mere consequence of social factors (outside the subjects). Those factors could be, exempli gratia, the rejections made by others.  It is possible that who rejected was more aggressive of the rejected one. For instance, the former could have acted with pro-active aggression. The latter could have answered simply with a natural reactive aggression.  Usually, receivers of aggression are the social weaker people. Thus, at the end, the subdivision made by Wilson B. J. (2003) is: arbitrary; biased by social factors such as the relations of “power” existing among the members of the group. Furthermore, traits attributed to subjects could be consequence of social mechanisms such as: just a world; fundamental error of attribution; scapegoat. The “guilty one” should be: the social weaker person. It is easier! It is a “social tradition”!! Thus, the correlation (found by the researcher) was consequence of many bias’ mechanisms operating in the Social and Psychological Sciences Research. An illustration of them, it is given by Epis L. (2011/2015).

The study of Wilson B. J. (2003) itself gives evidences of what the present writer wrote above. One of these is the strong selection bias. No equivalent groups have been chosen for comparison (Hagan F. E., 2005; Bachman R. and Schutt R. K., 2003). Groups have been selected in biased ways, which have affected the result of the Null Hypothesis Test. The aggressive/rejected group had a majority of male; whereas the non-aggressive/popular group had a majority of female. As “girls, regardless of status, have less difficulty then boys (in) shifting attention from one affective state to an others” (Wilson B. J., 2003), the higher presence of girls in the non-aggressive/popular group has enhanced surely the performance of this group. In the same way, the higher presence of boys in the aggressive/rejected group has decreased certainly the performance of this group. This is proved and attested by the same research findings of Wilson B. J. (2003)!!!!! Thus, it is simply a matter of logic! But, RARERY is LOGIC used by Psychologists and in Psychological Research (Epis L., 2011/2015). In other words, the different number of male and female inside the two groups have, according to the same research findings, biased and prejudiced the performances of same groups, creating a statistical significance that would not be existed without these mistakes. But please, do not worry if you cannot understand these logic implications. Even a lecturer of the University of Cambridge (e.g. Painter Kate) was unable to understand those aspects[1]!!

Moreover, as I introduced supra, the study of Wilson B. J. (2003) do not make any distinction between pro-active and reactive aggression. Hence, at least, we do not know if the attention shifting correlate differently with these two types of aggressive behaviors.

The distinction between proactive and reactive aggression is fundamental. According to Vitaro F. and Brendgen M. (2005) the reactive aggression “has its roots in the frustration-anger theory”; whereas the pro-active aggression “is more in line with the social learning model of aggression”. These two types of aggression seem to be present differently in the children. According to Camodeca M. and Goossens F. A. (2005), the reactive aggresion is common both in bullies and victims; whereas the proactive aggression was “only characteristic of bullies”. The proactive aggression, however, is not only a characteristic of the bullies (Camodeca M. and Goossens F. A., 2005), since Dodge and Coie (1987) have found that proactive aggressive boys “were also viewed as leaders”. Moreover, Crick and Dodge (1996) suggested that proactive and reactive children processes social information differently[2].

Hence, also, these research findings prove the presence of biases and prejudiced discussed supra.

For all these reasons, the relation between aggression and attention shifting cannot be proved by the exanimated study.

Here below, I explain how the research could be done with more methodological awareness.

A New Research on the Attention Shifting: the Research Questions

The investigation should verify whether attention shifting operates differently between proactive and reactive aggressive children. Furthermore, more categories should be considered: bullies; leaders; popular and unpopular children[3]; and so on.

Exempli gratia, we will attempt to understand if there is a difference in attention shifting among: proactive bullies; proactive leaders; reactive popular children; reactive unpopular children.

Methodological Approach and Research Hypothesis


Methodological Approach

This investigation is a correlation study. Hence, inferential statistic will be used. The level of statistical significance will be the customarily a = 0.05 (p<0.05)[4] (Hagan F. E. 2005). The test of significance will be non-directional (two-tailed), as at the present tense, there is not enough literature (produced with good methodology) that can suggest a direction instead of another one among the considered groups.

Attention shifting will be measured with ten thematic groups of six pictures. The protagonists of each thematic groups present different combination between aggressive/hostile and non-aggressive/friendly “body language” and “expressions”. Attention shifting (between negative and positive emotions) will be measured. The importance given by subjects to opposite cues and their abilities to recognise them will be considered. The pictures will present: both/either aggressive/hostile contexts; and/or non-aggressive/friendly contexts. The pictures should be done in way that: the general population of the children (between six and seven years) recognises half of them like aggressive/hostile and half of them like non-aggressive/friendly. Validity and reliability of the thematic pictures must be checked with a precedent study[5]. A higher number of identification like aggressive/hostile behaviour will indicate more attention to the aggressive/hostile cues. A higher identification of non-aggressive/friendly behaviours will indicate more attention to the non-aggressive/friendly cues. The thematic group of six pictures will be displayed for a short time (10 seconds) on a monitor. Children will have to classify each context like: either aggressive/hostile; or non-aggressive/friendly. The short time given for observing allows researchers understanding where attention shifting focuses more.

Research Hypothesis

The research hypothesises are:

  1. there is statistical significant differences in the classification made by reactive and proactive aggressive children?;
  2. there is statistical significant differences in the classification made by reactive unpopular children and the reactive popular children?;
  3. there is statistical significant differences in the classification made by proactive bullies and the proactive leaders?

The null hypothesises, briefly, are: there is not statistical significant differences BETWEEN and AMONG groups.

Research Design and Method


Four groups (each one) composed by 40 participants (20 male; 20 female) will be used.

The children will be selected in primary schools. The age will range from six to seven. A wider age difference will be avoided as it could introduce confounding variables. The difference age can itself be a factor able to affect the reactions (Vitaro F. and Brendgen M., 2005).

The reactive and proactive children will be selected using the “teacher-rating instrument” developed by Dodge and Coie (1987). According to Poulin F. and Boivin M. (2000), this scale seems has good validity.

The subdivision of proactive aggressive children in two groups: bullies and leaders (in absence of a validated scale) will be done considering the opinion of the teachers and the opinion of their classmates. Nevertheless, this can be a bias factor. Also the subdivision of the reactive children in two groups: popular and unpopular (in absence of a validated scale) will be done considering the opinion of the teachers and the opinion of their classmates.

All these groups should have (for the reasons illustrated supra) an equal presence of male and female. Otherwise, male and female should be compared only with other male and female. This is due the fact that girls and boys perform differently in attention shift (Wilson B. J., 2003). Hence, the prevalence of male or female in a group will bias the group performance.


The four groups will have to classify 60 pictures. They are gathered in 10 thematic groups with 6 items each. Each thematic group is constituted by: the same protagonists; the same contexts; with different body language and expressions. The body language cues will be gradually changed from aggressive/hostile to non-aggressive/friendly. Exempli gratia, one should have 100% of aggressive/hostile body expressions; one should have a mix of aggressive (65%) and friendly (35%) expressions; two should have a mix of friendly (50%) and aggressive (50%) expressions; one should have a majority of friendly cues (65%) and a minority of aggressive (35%); one should have only friendly expressions.

The children will sit in front of a personal computer (PC).

Each thematic group will be displayed on monitors for 10 seconds. The children will have additional 10 seconds to give their choices (without the pictures). The thematic groups will be presented in different order (made at random).

The child will have to classify the situation represented by the six pictures like: either aggressive/hostile; or not-aggressive/ friendly.

A short break is done between each thematic group. During this break, the test-administrator asks to children if all is right and they are ready to proceed. It should last 30-40 seconds approximately.

The computer program will record the choices automatically.


The data will be analysed using the program SPSS.

An analysis of variance (ANOVA), correlation and regression, will be performed. The null hypothesises will be accepted or rejected according to these data. The level of statistical significance will be the customarily a = 0.05 (p<0.05).

The assumptions of: normality; homogeneity of variance; and continuity and equal intervals of measures; … are also tested. It is suggested by Kerlinger F. N. (1973).


A study, made according to these criteria, could be a good attempt to understand if:

  1. exist a possible correlation between the attention shifting and aggressive behaviour;
  2. this correlation is different between proactive aggressive children and reactive aggressive children;
  3. this correlation is different between aggressive children with opposite social rules.

Ethics Issues

According to the code of practice (1993) of British Psychological Society, the informed consent of the parents (or those peoples who act in loco parentis) will be asked. The permission should be given after having received full information. It should be free and informed. Researchers will organise meetings with parents to explain the research study.  The study will avoid harming participants. Children (who will feel uncomfortable) will be withdrawn. Assistance will be provided if needed. Researchers will be committed to stay away from harming the participants as it happened in some experiments and studies such as, for instance, Cambridge-Summerville (1930). In that case, the boys of the treatment group have been harmed by their participation (Kimmel A. 1988; Ruane J. M. 2005).

The anonymity of the participants will be guaranteed using a number instead of their names.

Limits of the studies

It was believed that the main limitation about all these studies was about the overlap between attention and perception. This was believed as attention and perception are two different cognitive processes (Sternberg R. J. 2000).

Nevertheless, it is not. Indeed, according to Benso F. (2013) there is not perception without attention. This thesis is corroborated by plenty of recent research findings in cognitive neurosciences.

Thus, even if this question was not considered enough by Wilson B. J. (2003), nowadays it seems not to be an important issue.

After this study, further studies should be done to verify the relation between the different types of aggression and the attention[6].

Common limits for every study done with the actual customary methodological quantitative research are those described by Meehl. Exempli gratia, Meehl (1990a) argues that the: “Null hypothesis testing of correlational predictions … is subject to the influence of ten obfuscating factors whose effects are usually (1) sizeable, (2) opposed, (3) variable; (4) unknown”[7].

Meehl (1990a) suggests a possible way to reduce at least the problem of inadequate statistical power: applying at “your sample size at a power of .9 or better”. This can reduce the source of type I error (a) (risk to reject a true null hypothesis), but, on the other side, this increases the type II of error (b) of not rejecting a false null hypothesis

Different problem is the crud factor. According to Meehl (1990a; 1990b) the crud factor is that: “in social science, everything is somewhat correlated with everything (“crud factor”), so whether Ho is refuted depends solely on statistical power” (Meehl P. 1990b). The crud factor does not deal with “some source of statistical error” (Meehl P. 1990a), but when we speak about the crud factor “we are taking about real differences, real correlations, real trends and patterns for which there is, of course, some true but complicated multivariate casual theory”. Meehl (1990a) proceeds: “I am not suggesting that these correlations are fundamentally unexplainable. They would be completely explained if we had the knowledge of Omniscient Jones, which we don’t. The point is that we are in the weak situation of corroborating our particular substantive theory by showing that X and Y are “related in a non-chance manner,” up a range of admissible values that would be counted as corroborative”.

This problem cannot be resolved by statistics, but only inside an epistemological reflection (Meehl P. 1997). From this reflection, Meehl (1997) suggests “a corroboration index C*”. On the crud factor see also Epis L. (2011/2015).

The actual research, according to Meehl (1990a; 1990b; 1997), presents a weak use of significance testing. “What make this use weak, again, has nothing to do with the ratio a:b, but involves the epistemic relation between the inference H*: d > 0 and the alleged consequent confirmation of T” (Meehl P. 1997).

The risk is: when the Ho is refuted “gives powerful support to a weak theory” (Meehl P. 1997).

In other words, whereas we can decrease the problem of inadequate statistical power; at the present time it is not possible resolve completely the problem of the crud factor, unless we do not increase an epistemic and logic reflection as, also, Epis L. (2011/2015) strongly suggested.

For these reasons, further research should be done to verify possible positive outcomes.


[1] An evidence of how very few people (nowadays) are able to understand the logical and epistemological mistakes inside the Psychological Research and Paradigm. It shows, also, how Academia, instead of keeping a critical thinking, tends to “wear” and to “defend” the easier common “group’s thinking”. The facts happened in 2006.

[2] Pro-active aggressive children “evaluated verbally and physically aggressive acts in significantly more positive ways than did non-pro-active aggressive children”; and that pro-active aggressive “children are less likely to endorse relationship-enhancing goals during social interaction”.

[3] The rejection and social isolation is a form of aggression, where the aggression from a physical domain is applied indirectly in a social domain (Vaillancourt T. 2005).

[4] The level of significance a=0.05 is considered the more appropriate by the majority of the literature:  Lipsey M.W. (1990); Neuman W.L. and Wielgand B. (2000); Ronald J.H., Douglas G. H. and Regoli R.H. (1983). The latter suggests: an a=0.05 for samples which range from 30 to 100; and an a=0.01 for both samples that are higher then 100 and unavoidable small samples (lower then 30).

[5] The validity of the cues used in the pictures will be based on the studies of Eibl-Eibelfeldt (1993). The reliability of these pictures will be done with two validation studies: a test retest; and a split half. The customary research reliability coefficient of correlation (alpha) of 0.80 (Hagan F. E. 2005) will be substitute with an alpha of 0.90 (suggested by Meehl 1990a).

[6] Nevertheless, it is possible to develop additional studies for considering: the theory of attention “bottleneck” of Broadbent (1958); the theory of “the different allocation of the limited attentive resources” proposed by Kahneman (1973). In the same way, extra studies could be done to analyze the relation between perception and aggression. Exempli gratia, the different theories of perception (the theory of the constructive perception of Bruner and Gregory and Rock; the theory of direct perception supported by Gibson (Sternberg R. J. 2000); etc…) could be tested. This is as in “sciences” is better always verifying … and re-verifying  … everything. Nothing should be given for definitive!

[7] The ten obfuscating factors are: loose derivation chain; problematic auxiliary theories; problematic ceteris paribus clause; experimenter error; inadequate statistical power; crud factor; pilot studies; selective editorial bias; detached validation claim for psychometric instruments.

De Anima – Parte III – Nel Regno di Psyche

Allorché la sua mente è così concentrata … la dirige alla conoscenza del ricordo delle sue vite passate. … … Così egli ricorda le sue molteplici vite … nei loro modi e dettagli”.

Dvedhavitakkasutta (Il Discorso dei Due Generi di Pensiero)[1].


Ipnosi Regressiva e Meditazione BuddistaWikipedia -220px-Amore_e_psiche_(1)

Mentre l’Occidente ha considerato la possibilità di ricordare le vite passate solo di recente, l’Oriente lo ha fatto per millenni colla meditazione.

Exempli gratia, la Pratica del Ricordo usata dai monaci buddisti è descritta in alcuni testi quali il: Samannaphalasutta (il discorso sul frutto della vita ascetica); Dvedhavitakkasutta (il discorso dei due generi di pensiero); Visuddhimagga (il cammino verso la liberazione).

Inoltre, il ricordo delle vite passate del Buddha è riportato: nel Jataka; e nel Jatakamala.

La tecnica usata dai monaci buddisti applica la meditazione al ricordo.

Conformemente al Visuddhimagga, per raggiungere tale scopo, il monaco dopo essere passato attraverso i quattro stati d’assorbimento meditativo dirige l’attenzione alle vite precedenti. La capacità rievocativa dipende dall’abilità raggiunta. Questa inizialmente richiede la necessità di seguire la successione degli aggregati; in seguito conduce allo sviluppo dell’abilità di poter rievocare qualsiasi vissuto in centinaia di milioni di eoni.

Un novizio, per apprendere la pratica del ricordo, una volta emerso dal quarto assorbimento meditativo dirige a ritroso la sua attenzione cercando di ricordare tutto ciò che ha compiuto dall’ultima azione. 

All’insorgere d’una difficoltà, il monaco ripercorre i quattro stati d’assorbimento meditativo, riemergendo dai quali, l’evento problematico gli apparirà in tutta la sua chiarezza (Visuddhimagga).

La pratica richiede il suo tempo poiché il novizio retrocede, giorno dopo giorno, col ricordo fino al momento della sua nascita. Solo a quel punto, passa alle vite precedenti.  Un’attività difficile per i principianti che non devono scoraggiarsi. Tentativo dopo tentativo, riusciranno a ricordare dettagliatamente le esistenze passate vissute. Possedere una forte risoluzione è necessario. Ciò ha portato i buddisti a considerare l’adhitthana (termine pali per indicare la ferma determinazione)[2] una delle dieci perfezioni (parami e/o paramita). Ogni momento d’adhitthana è considerato come un “piccolo risveglio”, capace col tempo, di condurre al risultato ricercato.

La capacità di ricordare le vite passate è chiamata pubbenivasanussatinana (ricordo dei precedenti stati di esistenza). La capacità di ricordare gli eventi passati fino alla nascita è chiamata: conoscenza del passato[3].

Anche l’ipnosi regressiva è una metodologia che guida un soggetto[4] al ricordo delle vite passate. Essa è un’applicazione della tecnica ipnotica. Raggiunto lo stato ipnotico, il soggetto dirige l’attrizione al ricordo delle vite passate. Essa permette risultati in tempi più rapidi rispetto a quelli richiesti dalla meditazione buddista. Di contro, la qualità sembra essere minore.

La tecnica ipnotica è una disciplina nata in Occidente con Franz Anton Mesmer. Egli la scoprì accidentalmente imbattendosi in uno dei suoi espedienti base: l’esperienza destabilizzante e/o lo stato di confusione che spinge il soggetto in uno stato di suggestionabilità. L’essere umano posto in una situazione strana (difficile da capire; mai vissuta prima; etc…) sperimenta una sensazione d’incertezza che gli provoca uno stato di malessere. Il bisogno di dare significato all’insolito, rende il soggetto particolarmente sensibile ad ogni suggestione offerta dall’ambiente. E’ proprio la necessità d’uscire dallo stato d’incertezza, e/o di confusione, a cagionare la suggestionabilità.

Da allora, l’ipnosi si evolse in cinque tappe (Del Castello e Casili, 2007). Ognuna dominata da una figura leader. La prima tappa, come detto, fu quella dell’ipnosi classica di Masmer. La seconda quella dell’abate Faria che distinse tra soggetti ipnotizzabili e no[5]. La terza tappa ebbe due protagonisti: James Braid e Phineas Parkhurst Quimby[6]. La quarta tappa ebbe protagonista la scuola di Nancy ed il medico francese Ambrosie Lièbeault. La quinta tappa, la scuola della Salpetriere ed il neurologo Jean-Martin Charcot. Quest’ultimo distinse tra due tipi d’induzione ipnotica: quello “forte e brusco”; e quello “debole e prolungato”. Col primo si provocano stati di catalessia attraverso stimolazioni violente ed improvvise (e.g. l’apparizione d’una luce in una camera scura). Col secondo, i soggetti sono condotti in uno stato ipnotico con l’uso di alcune tecniche classiche quali: il progressivo affaticamento della vista; le pressioni delicate sul corpo; l’uso di comandi verbali; etc… .

In contrapposizione all’ipnosi classica, Milton Erickson propose l’ipnosi naturalistica.

I sostenitori di quest’ultima affermano di condurre i soggetti alla trance ipnotica usando le “risorse ipnotiche” di questi[7]. Le tecniche usate non procedono in modo autoritativo, ma, di volta in volta, sono ricucite e riadattate su misura sui soggetti. Ciò la rende flessibile. L’importante è seguire alcune linee guida quali: guidare l’attenzione; costruire “responsività” ai “segnali minimi”; usare la confusione; guidare le associazioni; promuovere la dissociazione; istaurare la regressione; favorire cambiamenti nello schema percettivo; accedere alle motivazioni; definire la situazione come ipnosi; ratificare le risposte “come ipnosi”; e lavorare subito con l’ipnosi (Del Castello e Casilli, 2011).    

Molto studiata è: la costruzione delle frasi e del discorso; la creazione del consenso; la polarizzazione dell’esperienza[8].

La differenza tra l’ipnosi e l’ipnosi regressiva sta nell’oggetto verso cui è diretta l’attenzione. Il soggetto, entrato nello stato ipnotico, è guidato progressivamente al ricordo d’eventi passati. Partendo dall’infanzia, il ricordo è portato verso le vite precedenti.

Un esempio di “istruzioni” per ricordare l’infanzia è il seguente:

“Ora la tua mente, libera dai limiti temporali, può ricordare gli eventi dell’infanzia. Lascia emergere un ricordo felice”.


Restando in questo stato di profondo rilassamento, puoi ricordare tutto. Lascia che la mente scelga un ricordo di quando eri bambino”. 

Un esempio d’“istruzioni” per ricordare vite passate è il seguente:

“Ora immagina una porta chiusa … una porta che ha un particolare potere … quello d’aprirsi sui ricordi d’una tua precedente vita. Aprendola sarai pervaso da una chiara luce … una luce amorevole … che infonde pace e tranquillità … mentre lentamente … da essa emergerà … prederà forma … il ricordo d’una tua precedente esistenza”.


“La tua memoria non ha limiti, può sporsi liberamente nello spazio-tempo… essendo capace di rievocare qualsiasi ricordo inerente alle tue precedenti esistenze. Per facilitare ciò, immagina che dinanzi a te appai una cabina d’un ascensore, entravi. Essa è una macchina del tempo, capace di portare la tua mente indietro nel Tempo. Rendi la cabina confortevole … e quando sei pronto … alza lievemente la mano destra … … . Bene ora sei pronto a proseguire il viaggio. Per partire premermi un tasto da tè scelto e/o immagina di dare tale comando alla cabina. Durante il viaggio, la cabina sarà pervasa d’una piacevole luce. Arrivato a destinazione, la luce si affievolirà … ed all’apertura della porta vedrai il ricordo evocato”.

Il resto è solo: esperienza individuale; ed interpretazioni sulle esperienze avute.

I ricordi possono essere assunti come ipotesi di ricerca. Potranno essere verificati (o confutati) attraverso la ricerca di controfattuali storici a là Stevenson.

In questo scritto non analizzo themae cari alla letteratura New Age quali: le anime gemelle; i colori dell’anima; le tipologie dei gruppi di anime; le guide spirituali; etc… .

For me, I know nothing; nothing I deny,

Admit-reject-contemn: and what know you,

Except perhaps that you were born to die?

And both may after all turn out untrue.

An Age may come, Font of Eternity,

When nothing shall be either old or new.

Death, so called, is a thing which makes me weep,

And yet a third of life is passed sleep”.

Lord Byron, Don Juan, canto XIV

Sogni Lucidi e Yoga del Sonno

In Occidente s’affermò un certo interesse per sogni lucidi durante la seconda metà del 1900. Di contro, la tradizione tibetana li studiò da secoli.

La tradizione Bon[9] sostiene che le tecniche legate allo yoga del sogno e del sonno sono state tramandate all’interno del suo lignaggio per più di 17.000 anni. Un lignaggio iniziato da Buddha Shenrab Miwoche.

In questo paragrafo parleremo: dello yoga tibetano del Sogno; dello yoga tibetano del Sonno; e delle ricerche sui sogni lucidi avvenute in Occidente.

Gli autori di riferimento, pubblicati in occidente, sulle tecniche yoga sono: Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche (1998; 1997); Lama Lodo (1996); Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche (1993); Gyatrul Rinpoche (1993).

Conformemente ai loro insegnamenti, l’attività onirica è: un’estensione del samsara; determina dal karma. Durante lo stato intermedio dei sogni, la mente d’un individuo non ancora realizzato è guidata dal prana karmico. Questo, unendosi e stimolando le tracce karmiche depositate nella “coscienza deposito”, crea immagini oniriche. I sogni esprimono così le tracce karmiche accumulate dal soggetto nel suo pellegrinaggio nei sei regni d’esistenza (Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, 1998).

Conformemente alla tradizione bon, esistono tre tipi di sogni: i sogni samsarici; i sogni della chiarezza; i sogni della Chiara Luce.

Parallelamente, esistono tre tipi di sonno: il sonno dell’ignoranza; il sonno samsarico; ed il sonno della Chiara Luce.

I sogni samsarici sono i “sogni comuni” originati da tracce karmiche individuali. Hanno significati prevalentemente soggettivi, non in senso psicoanalitico ma karmico. In altre parole, questi sogni riguardano la vita (e/o le precedenti esistenze) dell’individuo. In essi eventi della vita presente e d’esistenze passate si mescolerebbero in un caotico e disordinato affiorare d’immagini a causa: della stimolazione del prana karmico; e dell’assenza del filtro della coscienza vigile. I ricordi che emergono in superfice, si mescolano fra di essi, come bolle d’aria nell’acqua. In questo tipo di sogni non avvengono incontri reali con altre entità, richiedendo questi il mantenimento della coscienza ivi assente.

I sogni della Chiarezza compaiono col progredire della pratica. Richiedono la capacità di: equilibrare il prana e la mente; entrare in uno stato di presenza mentale non-duale. Essi sono causati dalle tracce karmiche collettive. In altre parole, essi hanno significato oggettivo. Questo poiché la mente in essi può entrare in contatto con altri esseri reali. Con questi, il soggetto può comunicare e/o ricevere insegnamenti. Ad esempio si possono incontrare maestri spirituali, antenati, amici, con i quali dialogare.

I sogni della Chiara Luce richiedono maestria nella pratica dello yoga. Il soggetto acquisisce l’abilità di rimane saldo nella presenza mentale non duale[10]. In altre parole, la sua mente rimane stabile nella Chiara Luce[11]. In essi possono esserci, come non esserci, immagini oniriche. Ciò che li contraddistingue è l’abilità a mantenere la consapevolezza della natura illusoria di tutto ciò che accade, evitando di identificarsi con essa.

I primi due tipi di sogno possono essere: lucidi e/o non lucidi.

Il terzo tipo può essere solo lucido. Una lucidità costante che rimane nello stato di sogno e di sonno. Infatti, anche il sonno di Chiara Luce è l’abilità dello yogin di dimorare stabilmente nella Radiosità[12]. Raggiunte queste due abilità, lo yogin crea attraverso lo yoga del sogno[13] il corpo divino ed attraverso lo yoga del sonno[14] la mente divina.

Le tecniche insegnate in Tibet presentano un grado di “complessità” maggiore rispetto alle tecniche insegnate in Occidente[15]. Ai novizi è chiesta una costante disciplina nella pratica dello yoga.

Una pratica ‘suddivisa’ in: tecniche di base; tecniche preparatorie alla notte; tecniche principali; e tecniche d’integrazione attraverso le quali, l’abilità di mantenersi nella Chiara Luce è estesa a tutti gli altri stati intermedi.

Un esempio delle tecniche base è il seguente: riconoscere la natura onirica della vita[16]. Una pratica che ha l’obiettivo di trasferire tale abilità nel sogno.

Un’altra tecnica è la “pratica del ricordo”. Quest’abilità, esercitata due volte al giorno, richiede di ricordare gli eventi della giornata come fossero sogni, prima di addormentarsi, e al risveglio, ricordare i sogni allo stesso modo.

Esempi di tecniche preparatorie alla notte sono: la purificazione della mente[17]; la “protezione” durante il sonno[18]; lo sviluppo d’una connessione con un Maestro che aiuti il soggetto nell’avanzamento nella pratica[19].

La pratica principale consiste nell’integrare le immagini mentali colle dinamiche energetiche proprie della struttura psico-fisica del soggetto (descritta in summa nella prima parte). Per comprenderla, è necessario illustrare la fisiologia energetica dei tre canali energetici principali[20]. Questi canali possono essere identificati con Ida, Pingala e Susumna, sebbene nella riflessione tradizionale inerente lo yoga del sonno sono stati rielaborati[21].  Il canale centrale è raffigurato dal colore blu; il canale destro dell’uomo, dal colore bianco; il canale sinistro dell’uomo, dal colore rosso. La posizione dei canali laterali (destro e sinistro) nella donna è invertita.

Nel canale bianco circola il prana karmico[22]; nel canale rosso il prana della saggezza[23]. Nel canale centrale è realizzata la non-dualità.

Molti aspetti della pratica dello yoga tengono conto della fisiologia energetica.

Per istanza, essa determina il lato su cui dormire. Gli uomini dormono coricati sul lato destro; le donne sul sinistro. Questo favorirebbe l’apertura del canale rosso in cui scorre il prana della saggezza, grazie ad una lieve pressione esercitata, di contro, sul canale bianco. Questa pressione provocherebbe una parziale chiusura del canale bianco, ostacolando in tal guisa lo scorrimento del prana karmico.

L’obiettivo delle tecniche principali è: portare la coscienza nel canale centrale; e sviluppare la presenza della Chiara Luce.

L’integrazione è lo scopo finale dello yoga.

Attraverso questa tecnica è estesa la ‘presenza mentale nella Chiara Luce’ in tutti gli altri stati intermedi. In questo modo si accresce la capacità: di mantenersi distaccati dagli eventi; d’acquisire maggiore obiettività; di radicarsi più saldamente nella permanenza della Chiara Luce; ed di superare i Klesa.

In questo modo, lo stato intermedio di morte non è diverso dall’addormentarsi. Rimanendo consapevoli, è vinto il ciclo delle rinascite.

Per comprendere ciò, è da fare un’ultima precisazione.

Innanzi tutto è da chiarire come l’esistente per la tradizione buddista emerga dall’Unione di Vacuità e Chiara Luce attraverso l’azione della ruota della co-produzione condizionata. Quindi, per comprendere il pensiero buddista è sempre da tenere presente i concetti di Vacuità e di Chiara Luce.

Vacuità è definita come: la natura ultima della Realtà; l’essenza di tutti gli esseri ed entità (includendovi tutti: i fenomeni esterni; ed interni). Nonostante fu Buddha il primo a parlarne, il concetto fu sviluppato particolarmente nel II secolo d. C. dal fondatore della scuola Madhyamaka (Nagarjuna).

La Chiara Luce, di contro, è un concetto ampio che (in questo contesto) può essere identificato colla natura ultima della mente. Essa è il livello “più sottile della mente”. Nonostante sia onnipervasiva, la mente grossolana non la riesce ad avvertire. Solo durante lo stato intermedio di morte, avvenendo la dissolvenza della mente grossolana, la persona riesce a percepirla.

Lo yoga del sogno e del sonno cercano di allenare progressivamente i soggetti a prendere contatto colla Chiara Luce mentre dormono. In questo modo, imparano ad integrarla con tutti gli altri stati intermedi. E’ la capacità di restare nella Chiara Luce a liberare il soggetto dal ciclo delle rinascite.

Come lo yoga del sogno, anche lo yoga del sonno è costituito da un insieme di tecniche di visualizzazione. Il suo obiettivo è restare consapevoli durante il passaggio dallo stato di veglia a quello di sonno. Per riuscire, la consapevolezza è orientata al riconoscimento del progressivo estinguersi delle percezioni sensoriali. Questo processo è suddiviso in cinque fasi. Ognuna di esse è rappresentata da un tiglè[24] di colore diverso.

La prima fase comincia col coricarsi. La consapevolezza è focalizzata sul tigle’ di luce gialla. La seconda fase inizia col chiudere gli occhi. L’attenzione verso il Mondo esterno diminuisce. La coscienza è portata sul tiglè verde. La terza fase s’instaura col diminuire dell’esperienza sensoriale. La coscienza è trasferita sul tiglè rosso. La quarta fase inizia quando l’esperienza sensoriale è quasi estinta. La coscienza è spostata sul tiglè blu. Infine, entrati nel sonno, inizia la quinta fase. La coscienza è visualizzata sul tiglè bianco.

La visualizzazione è un “sostegno” usato dalla coscienza per mantenersi nella Chiara Luce.

L’apprendimento dello yoga del sonno può essere facilitato, e.g. visualizzando un Maestro.

Altre tecniche di visualizzazione quali il dissolvimento graduale possono essere usate.

Il dissolvimento graduale è una tecnica colla quale è visualizzata la progressiva espansione della luce bianca. Essa parte da un tiglè grande quanto un pollice che lentamente s’irradia diffondendosi all’intero corpo. In seguito, procedendo progressivamente, s’espande all’intero universo. Mentre si diffonde, la luce dissolve tutto ciò che tocca: la stanza; il pianeta; il sistema solare; l’universo. Tutti i tre mondi[25] si dissolvono in essa. Alla fine rimane solo la mente che dissolve i suoi pensieri integrandosi nella Chiara Luce.

In Occidente, la ricerca sul sogno lucido non mira a liberare l’individuo dal ciclo delle rinascite. Gli Occidentali hanno posto la loro attenzione sugli aspetti più piacevoli e ludici dell’esperienza. Molti sono interessati a fare esperienze piacevoli quali quella di volare.

In Occidente quest’argomento fu toccato di rado in passato. Il sufi Ibn El-Arabi, nel XII secolo, affermò che una persona può ricevere grandi benefici nell’allenarsi a controllare i propri pensieri mentre dorme (Shah, 1971). San Tommaso d’Aquino parlò della lucidità affermando che avviene più spesso negli uomini savi e dotati d’immaginazione sul finire dei sogni.

La prima trattazione vera e propria fu fatta dal Marchese Hervey de Saint Denis che nel 1867 pubblicò un diario nel quale racconta: le sue esperienze; come ricordare e controllare i sogni. Una pubblicazione che però non ebbe successo nel grande pubblico.

In seguito, Nietzsche ne fa alcuni accenni nei suoi scritti.

La prima trattazione scientifica fu condotta dallo psichiatra Van Eadem (1913) che coniò anche l’espressione sogno lucido. Lo psichiatra definì il sogno lucido come uno stato di consapevolezza durante il quale è possibile dirigere ed esercitare la propria attenzione e volontà, proseguendo indisturbatamente un sonno profondo e ristoratore. Van Eadem partecipò ai lavori della Society for Psychical Research. Egli riferì d’aver fatto 340 sogni lucidi in quattordici anni.

Altre pubblicazioni furono quelle di: Brown (1936); e Moers-Messmer (1938).

Sognatori lucidi autodidatti, invece, furono: Rudolf Steiner (1947); Hugh Calloway (1962), conosciuto come Oliver Fox; George Gurdjieff.

In campo antropologico, Kilton Stewart (1951) scrisse sulle tecniche di controllo dei sogni usate dai Senoi della Malesia.

Altri autori furono: Rapport (1948); Cecila Green (1968); Charles Tart (1963; 1969; 1979b); Sri Aurobindo (1970); Ann Faraday (1972; 1976); Watkins M. (1976).

Lo studioso Occidentale di riferimento che ha permesso al grande pubblico di conoscere il Sogno Lucito è stato La Berge (1979; 1980; 1981; 1985)[26].

Benché studiò all’Università di Stanford, La Berge, inizialmente, mostrò poca conoscenza del backgraunds culturale dell’oggetto dei suoi studi. Questo lo portò a fare affermazioni “imbarazzanti” ed a non considerare molte delle tecniche e conoscenze acquisite su di esso. LaBerge sostenne, ad esempio, che i sogni lucidi furono trattati molto spesso come un misterioso talento piuttosto che come abilità apprendibile (La Berge 1981). Un’affermazione che mostra come l’Accademico di Stanford ignorasse: lo yoga del sogno e del sonno; e molti scritti antecedenti al suo lavoro, e.g. quelli del Marchese Hervey de Saint Denis (1867).

Egli, durante le ricerche iniziali, considerò gli studi della Garfield che presentava un metodo basato sull’auto-suggestione. Vedendo i risultati modesti ottenuti dalla collega, LaBerge si chiese se fosse possibile incrementare l’abilità di fare sogni lucidi sviluppando metodi più efficaci. Così, sperimentando su se stesso una varietà di tecniche d’autosuggestione, arrivò a sviluppare una propria metodologia. In tre anni di studi fece 389 sogni lucidi, ottenendo col suo metodo un picco di 26 sogni lucidi in un mese.

L’autore ritenne che il problema principale fosse la vaghezza ed inefficienza delle tecniche precedenti. Per questo sviluppò un metodo capace, a suo dire, di produrre a comando i sogni lucidi.

La Berge (1981) individuò due fattori principali utili a produrre i sogni lucidi: la motivazione; e l’intenzione del soggetto, prima d’addormentarsi, di ricordarsi d’essere lucido durante il sogno successivo.

La tecnica sviluppata fu chiamata: MILD (Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams). Una tecnica suddivisa in cinque fasi.

La prima fase è il naturale risveglio del soggetto di primo mattino.

La seconda fase è lo stato di veglia durante il quale il soggetto: memorizza i sogni fatti; e si dedica per 10 / 15 minuti alla lettura e/o altra attività che richieda full wakefulness.

La terza fase è costituita dal ritorno a dormire. In questa fase, il soggetto, nel coricarsi, ripeterà a se stesso una frase suggestiva quale: “Durante il prossimo sogno, diverrò cosciente di stare sognando”.

La quarta fase è caratterizzata dal tentativo del soggetto di creare un’associazione tra il R.E.M. (rapid eye movements) e l’acquisto di coscienza. Nel fare ciò, il soggetto potrà impiegare la visualizzazione. Usando questa tecnica, creerà un’associazione tra la fase R.E.M. e l’emergere della consapevolezza nello stato onirico. Exempli gratia, il soggetto potrà immaginare che l’attività onirica sia connessa ai movimenti oculari rapiti e che, l’occorrere di quest’ultimi, ingeneri l’insorgere dello stato di consapevolezza nel soggetto sognate all’interno del proprio stato onirico.

La quinta fase è costituita dalla ripetizione della terza e quarta fase fino a quando l’intenzione si fissa chiaramente nella mente.

La Berge (1981) riporta d’avere avuto una media di 21,5 sogni lucidi al mese utilizzando questa metodologia.

L’interesse mostrato dall’Università di Stanford (Sleep Research Center della School of Medicine[27]) rese l’argomento di ‘pubblico’ dominio.

Gli scritti di La Berge (1979; 1980; 1981) stimolarono, da allora, nuove ricerche sull’argomento.

Alcuni lavori susseguiti ad essi sono i seguenti.

Gackenbach, J.I. (1988) studiò la presenza di differenze nelle personalità degli individui e nella frequenza dei sogni lucidi.

Larry G. Peters (1989) contrappose lo stato di coscienza dei sogni lucidi allo Shamanistic State of Consciousness (SSC) e all’Ordinary State of Consciousness (OSC).

Paul Tholey (1989) pubblicò un’overview sulle ricerche avvenute in Germania. Egli riporta che lo studio dei sogni lucidi iniziò nel 1959 alla Johann Wolfgang Goethe Università. Descrive pure la “Reflection Technique” da lui sviluppata. Una tecnica che richiede al soggetto di domandarsi più volte al giorno: “Sono sveglio o sto sognando?” al fine di creare un’attitudine critica verso i propri stati di coscienza. Nell’usare questa semplice tecnica, l’autore ottenne il suo primo sogno lucido dopo quattro settimane.

Spadafora A. & Hunt H. T. (1990) compararono e correlarono: sogni lucidi; sogni archetipi-mitologici; ed incubi.

Richard Smoley (1992) affrontò l’argomento facendo “brevi accenni”, assai generici e vaghi, alle diverse tradizioni.

Walsh R. N & Vaughan F. (1992) esplorarono le implicazioni transpersonali legate ai sogni lucidi. Essi ipotizzano come i sognatori lucidi potessero decidere d’usare, ad un certo punto, il sogno lucido come tecnica transpersonale per avere esperienze transpersonali.

Donald J. DeGracia (1999) applica the Global Workspace System di Baars (1988) nel comparare i processi consci ed inconsci  operanti nello stato di veglia, di sogno non lucido, e di sogno lucido.

Un boom editoriale, e di siti internet, sull’argomento esplose nel primo decennio del 2000.

[1] Opera buddista in lingua Pali.

[2] Adhisthana (sanscrito).

[3] E/o conoscenza propria della concentrazione di base.

[4] Ipnotizzabile.

[5] Egli usò tecniche quali: l’ordine di dormire; l’uso di pressioni delicate sul corpo.

[6] Il primo coniò il termine “ipnosi” ed introdusse la pratica di concentrare l’attenzione su un oggetto. L’attenzione focalizzata provoca uno stato di affaticamento oculare che diventa l’“esperienza destabilizzante” per indurre l’ipnosi. Il secondo fu il “primo” a capire che l’ipnosi cura attraverso la suggestione.

[7] In realtà tutte le tecniche ipnotiche conducono alla trance ipnotica usando le “risorse ipnotiche” proprie dei soggetti, non potendo essere diversamente. Nonostante ciò la letteratura così “tradizionalmente” la descrive.

[8] Per un’idea sulla tecnica ipnotica di Erickson vedere: Milton H. Erickson & Ernest L. Rossi (1982); Milton H. Erikson (1982), Opere, a cura di Ernest L. Rossi; Richard Bandler & John Grinder (1984).

[9] La tradizione indigena tibetana.

[10] Viene meno la distinzione tra: il soggetto (chi sogna); e l’oggetto (il sogno).

[11] Preciso che è la Consapevolezza che si mantiene nella Chiara Luce.

[12] Un altro modo per chiamare la: Chiara Luce.

[13] La meditazione.

[14] La presenza mentale nella ‘coscienza non-duale’.

[15] Exempli gratia: La Berge, 1980;  La Berge S. P., Nagel L. E., Dement W. C., and Zarcone V. P. Jr. , 1981; Gackenbach J. & LaBerge S. P., 1988; La Berge S. P. & Rheingold H., 1990

[16] D’altronde la comprensione della natura illusoria della Realtà è fondamento della pratica.

[17] Exempli gratia: la tecnica dei nove respiri di purificazione.

[18] Exempli gratia: trasformare lo spazio circostante (usando delle immagini mentali) in un luogo sacro. La tradizione Bon immagina questo luogo protetto dalle Dakini e/o dai Buddha e/o dalle Boddhisattva.

[19] Exempli gratia: visualizzando (attraverso un’immagine mentale) un Maestro. Questo è scelto dal soggetto. Gli appartenenti alla tradizione Bon scelgono il loro Maestro tra: le Dakini; i Yidam; i Buddha. Molti ricorrono a Buddha Shenla Odker: una manifestazione di Buddha Shenrab Miwoche.

[20] I canali energetici in tibetano sono chiamati tsa.

[21] Ci sono diverse modifiche rispetto allo yoga tradizionale. Exempli gratia, le misure di riferimento dei canali.

[22] In tibetano: rlung.

[23] In tibetano: je rlung.

[24] Tiglè ha diversi significati. Nello yoga del sonno simboleggia i diversi stati della coscienza.  Tiglè, deriva dall’espressione tibetana thig le. In sanscrito è tradotto con bindu (punto; goccia).

[25] I tre mondi sono: del desiderio; della forma; e dell’assenza di forma.

[26] Oltre ad essere stato co-autore, ed editore, di molte pubblicazioni tra le quali ricordo: La Berge S. P., Nagel L. E., Dement W. C., and Zarcone V. P. Jr. (1981); Gackenbach J. & LaBerge S. P. (1988; Eds); La Berge S. P. & Rheingold H. (1990).

[27] Dove La Berge fece un PhD in Psico-Fisiologia.

Università di Cambridge & Massoneria

Negli ultimi anni c’è stata una “esplosione” di pubblicazioni e di trasmissioni televisive che hanno divulgato molte informazioni concernenti alcuni gruppi, società e/o confraternite (più o meno segrete)[1]. Le più popolari sono state Mistero (Mediaset) e Voyager (RAI) ma non sono mancate altre trasmissioni: e.g. diversi documentari trasmessi dal Canale Focus.

Attraverso d’esse, l’opinione pubblica ha gradualmente conosciuto themae inerenti: la Massoneria; gli Skulls and Bones di Yale; gli Illuminati della Baviera; i rapporti tra il Nazionalsocialismo, Società Segrete ed Occultismo; “il tutto ed il di più” sull’Ordine dei Templari; etc… . E’ stato dimostrato storicamente come questi gruppi abbiano influenzato numerosi eventi storici, agendo (per usare le categorie di Goffman), non nella ribalta ma, nel retroscena della Storia.

Nonostante queste trasmissioni e pubblicazioni abbiano ormai trattato tutti i themae possibili ed immaginari (con diversi gradi di accuratezza) mi è capitato di rilevare, in alcuni casi, una maggiore attenzione su alcuni aspetti piuttosto che altri.

Uno di questi concerne alcune divulgazioni fatte sull’Occhio Onniveggente, la cui raffigurazione avrebbe indicato un’influenza massonica. Quindi, nessun segreto sconvolgente: rassicurateVi. Una “precisazione”, un’informazione storica, su un aspetto dell’Universitas Cantabriginiensis[2].

Com’è stato reso pubblico, l’Occhio Onniveggente è uno dei simboli più noti della Massoneria. Per la forte influenza che quest’ultima ha avuto negli Stati Uniti d’America, esso è stato stampato (dal 1933) sul retro della banconota da un dollaro. Una decisione presa dal Presidente Franklin Roosevelt, Grand’ Maestro Massone del 33° grado. In seguito, fu usato anche nel logo dell’Agenzia Governativa Statunitense D.A.R.P.A.[3]. Quest’ultima, dopo che la questione fu più volte sollevata, decise di sostituirlo.

Questa informazione (ripetuta dai Media) fu presentata come prova di come l’occhio onniveggente testimoni l’esistenza d’un’influenza massonica. Gli scettici, di contro, l’hanno sempre liquidata come mera congettura. Nessuno, in questo dibattito, sembrò accorgersi d’un elemento che avrebbe risolto definitivamente la diatriba in thema, grazie alle dichiarazioni ufficiali seguite. L’Occhio Onniveggente, infatti, è apparso “clandestinamente” anche sullo Stemma e sulla Bandiera dell’Università di Cambridge dalla prima metà del XX secolo[4]. Proprio in mezzo allo stemma dell’Università, infatti, è stato apposto l’Occhio Onniveggente. Un simbolo, oggigiorno, riportato in ogni raffigurazione (ufficiale e commerciale).

E’ pacifico che l’Occhio Onniveggente: a) non ha significato araldico; b) non è parte dello Stemma dell’Università di Cambridge. Prova è data dagli stessi Statutes and Ordinances dell’Università. Exempli gratia, negli Statutes (verificati regolarmente fino al 2010) è ufficialmente scritto che: “ the arms now borne by the University of Cambridge, gules a cross ermine and four gold leopards with a book gules upon the cross, were granted by Robert Cooke, Clarencieux King of Arms, on 9 June 1573”. Queste armi sono rimaste identiche a tutt’oggi. Nonostante ciò, durante lo scorso secolo, apparve (come detto supra) l’Occhio Onniveggente proprio al centro del suo stemma per rimanervi.

Questo simbolo, apparso “illecitamente e clandestinamente” indica: la sua “appartenenza” alla Massoneria; e/o, la forte influenza che quest’ultima ha su di essa. Questa tesi, potrebbe essere vista dai “soliti scettici”, come un’altra “speculazione” allo stesso modo di quelle fatte sulla banconota da un dollaro americano. Ciò, però, in questo caso NON può avvenire. Infatti, negli ultimi anni, è stata la stessa Massoneria Inglese a riconoscere (ufficialmente e più volte) di svolgere un’intensa attività di “reclutamento” presso le Università di Cambridge e di Oxford. Un’azione “palpabile” nell’Oxbridge[5], ove studenti e docenti sono “fortemente incoraggiati” ad unirsi alla Massoneria. Per favorire tale “reclutamento”, la Massoneria Inglese abbassò il limite d’età per i candidati dai 21 anni ai 18 anni. Un limite abbassato anche di recente per istituire l’“Universities Scheme”. Uno schema usato per estendere l’attività di “reclutamento” dall’Oxbridge ad altre sette Università del Regno Unito (Bath; Birmingham; Bristol; Durham; Exeter; Manchester; e Sheffield).

I legami tra la Massoneria e l’Oxbridge sono di lunga data. Conformemente alle dichiarazioni rilascitate al Telegraph da uno spokesman dell’Università di Oxford: “While it is not a body officially affiliated with the University, there has been a lodge at Oxford since 1819[6].

L’interesse della Massoneria nella formazione e nell’educazione delle nuove generazioni è da sempre stato forte. Prova è data dalle due scuole inglesi: la Royal Masonic School for Girls a Rickmansworth (Hertfordshire); e la Royal Masonic School for Boys vicino a Bushey[7]. All’Università di Cambridge esiste una loggia aperta ai solo Membri dell’Università. Inoltre, alcuni Colleges hanno istituito proprie logge aperte solo ai loro membri ed alumni. Exempli gratia: Trinity College[8].

Il forte legame tra la Massoneria e l’Università di Cambridge è più che provato e documentato. Le informazioni sono, oggigiorno, rese pubbliche: dagli stessi soggetti interessati; dalla Massoneria Inglese; e da alcuni giornali britannici. L’Occhio Onniveggente inserito “clandestinamente” nello Stemma, ufficializza e pubblicizza, la forza di questo legame a chiunque sappia leggere tali simboli.

Un legame talmente scontato che: molti all’Università di Cambridge ritengono “erroneamente” i nuovi membri arrivati a tal fine! Per verificare se questi siano già appartenenti alla Massoneria (e/o ad altri gruppi), gli sono fatte “sperimentare” alcune strette di “mano segrete”. Nel caso i soggetti siano già degli affigliati, sapendo come rispondere, riveleranno la loro appartenenza. Di contro, dopo aver pensato tali “insolite strette di mano” parte delle “abitudini aborigene” locali, ne scopriranno il significato! Il toccamento “base”, sperimentato maggiormente dai più, è quello di sentirsi premere con l’unghia del pollice la prima falange dell’indice ricevendo tre invisibili colpi uguali. La risposta da dare, non dovete chiederla a Me. Io: non sono un Massone; non ho richiesto di diveltarlo; ed ho declinato ogni loro “cortese invito”.

Concludo il Post dicendo che con esso non è stata mia intenzione fare alcuna attività di proselitismo a favore della Massoneria (neppure indirettamente). Dai samples osservati a Cambridge, sono emersi forti dubbi sui “valori morali” che ufficialmente dice di promuovere[9]! Molti comportamenti vanno in tutt’altra direzione!! Semplicemente, con questo Post, ho voluto riportare una notizia (pure di rilevanza storica) inerente allo Stemma dell’Università di Cambridge. Un qualcosa che era già sotto “l’Occhio” di tutti, sebbene nessun “commentatore noto” lo abbia rilevato.

Inoltre, ritengo questa un’informazione utile per ogni studente prima di “optare” in quale Università andare. In questo modo: chi è massone (e/o vuole diventarlo) può scegliere quelle Università più vicine a questa ideologia[10]; chi di contro non è un massone (e non vuole diventarlo) può liberamente scegliere altre Università nelle quali sono assenti queste “attività di reclutamento”. In questo modo, nessuno è costretto a perde tempo!

Per studiare, un Università vale l’altra. I ranks sono solo forme attraverso le quali si manifestano alcuni aspetti delle Lotte di Potere e di Significato attraverso le quali alcuni gruppi tendono a dominarne altri, exempli gratia, reclutando e ponendo in posti chiave propri membri.

That’s all Folks!

[1] Senza voler dare una bibliografia sul thema, a scopo meramente esemplificativo, per chi volesse leggere per la prima volta alcuni libri sull’argomento consiglio, per la chiarezza espositiva e l’accuratezza, le pubblicazioni di:

Marco Pizzuti (2009), Rivelazioni non Autorizzate – Il Sentiero Occulto del Potere, Vicenza (Il Punto di Incontro);

Marco Pizzuti (2012), Rivoluzione non Autorizzata – Come Cambierà il Mondo, Vicenza (Il Punto di Incontro).

L’autore gestisce anche un sito internet d’informazione:

Chi, dopo aver letto le opere supra indicate, e.g. voglia leggere altri libri sull’argomento e sia interessato al Club Bilderberg, indico i lavori d’un ex collaboratore del KGB: Daniel Estulin (2012), L’impero Invisibile, Roma (Castelvecchi Editore – un marchio di Lit Edizioni).

Preciso che ciò non significa che chi scrive condivide necessariamente ogni tesi esposta dagli autori indicati.

[2] Nome latino dell’Università di Cambridge.  E’ da esso che deriva l’abbreviazione “Cantab.”  (usata dai suoi membri ed alumni ) per indicare che il titolo accademico gli fu conferito dall’Università di Cambridge. Quindi se vedete una scritta del tipo: B.A. (Cantab.); LLM (Cantab); MPhil (Cantab.); MLitt. (Cantab.); PhD (Cantab.) … significa che il relativo titolo accademico è stato conferito al soggetto dall’Università di Cambridge.

[3] Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency.

[4] L’Università di Cambridge è una delle Università che da sempre si trova tra i primi posti nel rank Modiale. Ad esempio, nel 2005 e 2006, conformemente all’Academic Ranking of World Universities era al secondo posto dopo l’Università di Harvard. Di contro, l’Università di Oxford era al solo al 10 posto. Nel 2010 e nel 2011, conformemente al QS World University Rankings, era al primo posto.

[5] Nome che riunisce l’Università di Cambridge e di Oxford.

[6] Telegraph, 27 Maggio 2007.

[7] Quest’ultima fu chiusa nel 1977.

[8] Un fatto palesemente noto: essendo stato reso pubblico dallo stesso Trinity College in internet.

[9] Con ciò NON si vuole fare di tutta l’erba un fascio, ma neppure riportare cose non osservate nei samples!

[10] Come chi è Cattolico può scegliere un’Università Cattolica; chi è Arabo un’Università Mussulmana; chi è ateo un Università “atea”; etc… .

3 Giugno 2015. L’Università di Genova testimonia la sua Grandezza. Il Dipartimento di Scienze della Formazione accoglie la PETIZIONE presentata dagli Studenti!

In risposta alla PETIZIONE, i Presidenti dei Corsi di Laurea hanno preso, prontamente, “in pugno” la situazione.

La Prof.ssa Zanobini, Presidente del Corso di Laurea in Scienze e Tecniche Psicologiche, nominata Presidente della Commissione di Laurea del 3 Giugno, ha subito chiarito d’agire come Garante: del rispetto dei Regolamenti; e della Naturale successione delle fasi dell’esaminazione finale. D’altronde, non poteva essere diversamente. La grande sensibilità posseduta dalla Prof.ssa Zanobini per i diritti e le esigenze degli Studenti era (già) proverbiale. Non a caso, Ella è tra le Docenti più amate (seguite e stimate) del Dipartimento. I suoi corsi sono sempre stati tra i più affollati, grazie: alla sua eccezionale chiarezza espositiva; alla sua travolgente abilità nel coinvolgere i partecipanti. Non solo, leggendaria è anche la sua Umanità. Un’Umanità che (da tempo) l’ha resa uno dei Baluardi posti a difesa dei Diritti dei più Deboli nel Nostro Ateneo. Insomma, una docente che ci rende tutti orgogliosi d’essere sui Discenti.

Grazie, Prof.ssa Zanobini.

Un grazie va anche agli altri Presidenti dei Corsi di Laurea che, in concerto colla Collega, hanno subito mostrato la capacità d’intervenire celermente, e “ferrea intenzione”, nell’impedire il ripetersi di tali phenomena. Phenomena ritenuti essere eventi accidentali, non voluti, accaduti a loro completa insaputa. Un’accidentalità dimostrata dalla pronta risposta.

Un particolare Riconoscimento va al Direttore del Dipartimento (Prof. Amoretti) che, … stupito del fortuito “sbandamento” nel quale “scivolarono” alcuni …, ha deciso d’ergersi a Vigile Presidio. Un’azione di cui, … Noi tutti eravamo certi. Egli è tra gli Accademici maggiormente impegnati nel rendere l’Università di Genova un Centro d’Eccellenza Mondiale. Un Accademico che, come assunto l’incarico di Direttore, ha fatto tutto per incrementare il prestigio del Dipartimento. Un Professore che tutti Noi vorremmo assumere a Modello.

Grazie, Direttore.

Per finire, si ringraziano i Rappresentati degli Studenti che hanno mostrato grande capacità nel portare avanti le istanze dei loro rappresentati.

Un particolare GRAZIE va dato al Sen. Simone Frega, membro del Senato Accademico, che da autentico Giurista ha subito compreso, più d’ogni altro, l’importanza del caso. Le sue competenze, il suo interessamento, l’appoggio “politico” dato, sono stati fondamentali alla difesa dei diritti degli studenti!

Un grazie anche ai Rappresentati degli Studenti del Dipartimento. A quest’ultimi, da “fratello maggiore”, dico: “ragazzi! FateVi sentire più spesso! Parlate a Voce Alta! Dovete sapere che, a causa dell’“inquinamento acustico”, se parlate “troppo a bassa voce” alcuni dei Seniors potrebbero non sentirVi. RicordateVi che: i Diritti sono Diritti. Essi vanno difesi. Non sono mica concessioni da elemosinare come mendicanti!”. In ogni caso… bravi ragazzi! Quando NON Vi “fate di Psicanalisi”, “qualcosa” concludete!

Un’esortazione condivisa anche dai Presidenti e dal Direttore pieni di soddisfazione nel vedere che in Dipartimento (… contrariamente a quanto sostenuto da alcuni giornali …) gli studenti sono “vivi”, capaci di mostrare grande partecipazione e pieni di fermento politicoIn essi era visibile: la commozione di chi, anni addietro, “combatté” con eguale entusiasmo “lotte” simili; ed un “caldo invito” a partecipare più spesso.

Finisco sottolineando come “questa vicenda” non evidenzi “l’errore” ma, di contro, la GRANDEZZA e la SUPERIORITA’ dell’Università di Genova, rendendoci ORGOGLIOSI di farne parte.

Essa testimonia la Grandezza e la Superiorità degli Italiani nel saper correggere prontamente i propri errori accidentali.  D’altronde l’ITALIA è sempre stata: il Paese della Cultura; la Culla della Civiltà e del Diritto; la Madre dell’Università. Finiamola: d’auto-parlaci male; di commiserarci; d’elogiare popoli di “barbari costumi” (imitandoli). Noi siamo meglio. Noi siamo “il Meglio”. Exempli gratia, all’Università di Cambridge (arrivata al 1° posto nel rank mondiale) per nascondere un’irregolarità (non di rado accade che) se ne facciano altre dieci peggiori (!) e così via crescendo (!!). L’obiettivo, infatti, non è quello di rimediare all’errore. L’obiettivo è solo quello di nascondere, impedire che dell’errore si sappia! Questo poiché ivi, tutto dipende dalla Vuota Apparenza. Una Fama, in buona parte, dovuta alla, e basata sulla, costruzione mediatica. Il frutto d’un’accurata campagna propagandistica!

A NOI Italiani, di contro, NON c’importa NULLA della Vuota Apparenza. NOI siamo un “Popolo di Sostanza e di Contenuto”. I “comparativi” non esistono per Noi; Nostro è solo il “superlativo”.

NON temiamo le “critiche”, poiché NON abbiamo bisogno: d’auto-elogiarci continuamente; d’auto-incensarci ripetutamente; di salvare le apparenze; di controllare giornalmente il rank per (s)venderCi sul Mercato!

In NOI abbonda, per Natura, la Grandezza, la Genialità, la Creatività, l’Umanità, la Virtù … in così tanta sovrabbondanza che: le diamo per scontate, arrivando (per abitudine) a non vederLe neppure. SottovalutandoCi, omettiamo di farCi alcuna pubblicità. D’altronde, cosa serve la réclame a chi come NOI non è merce che si svende al Mercato!

Ecco cosa Vi dico. E’ giunta l’ora di finirla di: farci “colonizzare” da “barbare culture”; abbindolare dalle loro campagne pubblicitarie patinate; reprime, rinnegare, abiurare le Nostre Nobili Origini, la Nostra Gloriosa Civiltà e Tradizione!

Ecco cosa afferma, … ecco cosa emana, … ecco cosa testimonia, … ogni Nostro Agire al Mondo Intero: “Mundi, Nos Optimi”. E quando qualcuno Vi chiederà chi siete, rispondetegli con ORGOGLIO: “Superbi ATENEI GENUENSIS, liberi”.

Che cosa?! Qualcuno si chiede che ruolo abbia avuto Io in tutto ciò?

Assolutamente nessuno. Timido ed Imbranato come sono! Timorato di Dio e dell’Uomo! Che cosa avrei potuto fare?!

Semplicemente: vidi cose accadere da se; ammirai Gesta d’Uomini Gloriosi mentre (spontaneamente) stavano forgiando la Storia; … e all’epullion volli dare parola degna!

Alla prossima!

De Anima – Parte II – B (Psicologia e Para-Psicologia)


Wikipedia -220px-Amore_e_psiche_(1)L’Anima nella Psicologia e Parapsicologia

Negletta dall’Illuminismo, l’anima (psyche) torna ad essere studiata (a partire dalla seconda metà del XIX secolo) con approccio psicologico e scientifico a causa d’alcuni fatti che hanno portato alla nascita della parapsicologia.

Una Summa delle conoscenze acquisite da tale disciplina fu riportata in due Enciclopedie pubblicate in Francia negli anni ’70.

Nel 1973, sotto la direzione di Denis Huisman, nacque l’Enciclopedia: Autor del la Psychologie[1]. Negli stessi anni, sotto la direzione di Jean-Louis Victor, fu pubblicata l’Enciclopedia: L’Univers de la Parapsychologie et de l’Esotérisme[2].

Spiritismo e Metapsichica: dal XIX secolo alla prima metà del XX.

Conformemente all’Enciclopedia della Psicologia[3], lo Spiritismo[4] nacque nel 1847 a Hydesville, una cittadina dello Stato di New York. Qui, le sorelle Fox ebbero la loro prima esperienza mediatica dopo essersi trasferite in un’abitazione ove un uomo fu assassinato e sotterrato. Una volta trovato un sistema per comunicare con lo spirito, questi gli raccontò la sua storia rivelandogli: come fu ucciso; dove fu sotterrato; ed il nome dell’assassino. In seguito, condusse altre entità dalle sorelle che continuarono la loro attività medianica anche dopo essersi trasferite.

Da quel momento, lo spiritismo iniziò a diffondersi in diversi Paesi (USA; UK; Francia; Germania). Le tecniche mediatiche furono perfezionate. Fu rilevata una certa varietà nei valori etici degli spiriti. Alcuni si mostrarono buoni e benevoli; altri maligni[5]. Quest’ultimi furono quelli a carpire maggiormente l’attenzione popolare, diventando oggetto di cronache quali quelle sulle case infestate. Un esempio è dato dal celebre racconto sul presbiterio di Cideville nel 1851.

Da subito fu rilevato come prima del 1847 le manifestazioni spiritiche si presentassero come fenomeni rari, mentre, successivamente, iniziarono a dilagare come un’epidemia (Marchese di Mirville). Un’epidemia che produsse reazioni opposte in America ed in Europa.

In Europa prevalse un atteggiamento ostile. L’uso delle diagnosi psichiatriche fu la risposta ufficiale per liquidare questi fenomeni. Per esempio ricordiamo Cesare Lombroso che, informato del caso di Eusapia Palladino, lo liquidò con diagnosi psichiatrica[6].  Un caso interessante che dimostra pure, senza margine d’errore, come queste diagnosi fossero sbagliate.

Caso volle che, per l’insistenza del Prof. Chiaia, Lombroso partecipò a due sedute medianiche tenute dalla Palladino. Queste si rilevarono esperienze forti per lo psichiatra che, confuso, dichiarò il suo dispiacere per l’aver combattuto caparbiamente la possibilità dei fatti spiritici. Lombroso volle sottolineare il termine usato, fatti, per ribadire che in ogni caso non condivideva la teoria.

L’attività medianica d’Eusepia Palladino fu studiata e documentata in: Italia; Francia; Germania; Polonia; ed Inghilterra. In Inghilterra, si recò a Cambridge ove, alle sue sedute medianiche, parteciparono i più illustri scienziati del tempo e molti membri della Society for Psychical Research.

Uno dei primi autori europei a scrivere sullo spiritismo fu Kardec[7]. Egli pubblicò il Libro degli Spiriti; un libro che, Kardec, affermò essergli stato dettato dagli spiriti stessi[8]. Al successo iniziale, seguì una forte repressione. Esemplare fu quanto avvenne a Barcellona, ove bollati come opere diaboliche, i libri furono bruciati al rogo.

La posizione della Chiesa, come traspare dal fatto citato, fu dura: mise all’indice i libri di Kardec; e vietò ogni pratica spiritistica.

Nonostante ciò, la Chiesa assunse presto comportamenti ambigui ed ambivalenti sul thema (Wikipedia, voce “Spiritismo” del 30/4/2014; Connelly G., 2000; Kubris P. & Macy M. 1995; Ostrander S. & Schroeder L., 1977; Bander P., 1973).

Da una parte, condannava pubblicamente ed ufficialmente ogni fenomeno mediatico; dall’altra parte, privatamente, ne fu attratta. Eminenti ecclesiasti divennero profondi conoscitori e cultori dei fenomeni mediatici (Padre François Brune; Padre Pellegrino Ernetti; Padre Agostino Gemelli; Padre Ulderico Pasquale Magni; Mons. Prof. C. Pfleger; Padre Andreas Resch).

Pio XII e Paolo VI riconobbero l’autenticità di alcuni fenomeni e l’interesse della Chiesa per essi. Essi li videro come un’occasione per rafforzare la fede nell’Aldilà. Paolo VI, durante la nomina di Friedrich Jürgenson a Cavaliere dell’Ordine di S. Gregorio, affermò l’esistenza d’un atteggiamento favorevole verso la metafonia in Vaticano.

Un atteggiamento aperto, confermato recentemente da Padre Gino Concetti che, il 28 Novembre 1996, in un intervista a La Stampa, dichiarò: “Secondo il catechismo moderno, Dio consente ai nostri cari defunti, che vivono in una dimensione ultra-terrena, di inviare messaggi per guidarci in certi momenti difficili della nostra vita. La Chiesa ha deciso di non proibire più il dialogo con i morti, a condizione che questi contatti siano motivati da seri propositi religiosi e scientifici”.

Anche la Chiesa d’Inghilterra s’occupò dei fenomeni mediatici ammettendo, dopo accurate indagini, l’autenticità dei fenomeni.

In America, di contro, vi fu da subito un grande entusiasmo. Lo spiritismo fu acclamato dai giornali come rivoluzione religiosa e sociale. Nel 1852, alcuni medium americani chiesero al Senato d’istituire d’una commissione di scienziati per accertare l’autenticità dei phenomena mediatici.

La risposta andò oltre le loro attese. Il presidente del Senato, il Giudice Edmonds, dichiarò d’esse un medium; il Rev. Mahan (primo Presidente dell’Università di Cleveland) appoggiò l’ipotesi del fluido magnetico; Dr Hare (professore dell’Università della Pennsylvania) nel 1856 pubblico una serie di esperimenti che dimostravano come l’azione delle forze dello spirito potesse causare l’aumento di peso degli oggetti[9].

Un’ondata d’entusiasmo che arrivò a contagiare, di ribalzo, l’élite Europea.  Nel 1873, a Londra, fu fondata l’Associazione Spiritistica Nazionale Britannica. Nel 1884, il Rev. Moses fondò l’Alleanza Spiritualista di Londra.

Il naturalista Rassel Wallace, dopo aver tentato di convincere la Royal Society a studiare questi phenomena, convinse la Società Dialettica di Londra.

In Germania, l’arrivo dei medium americani ebbe un eco positivo. Nel 1853, Dr Kerner pubblicò uno studio sui “tavoli sonnambuli”; nel 1872, il medico Aksakov fondo la rivista Studi Psichici; nel 1877, il fisico Zollner condusse una serie di esperimenti col medium Slade; nel 1885, Edoardo von Hartmann pubblicò un libro nel quale fu ipotizzato come causa del sonnambulismo, lo spiritismo.

Negli stessi anni, il filosofo Karl du Prel divenne promotore dello “spiritismo scientifico”.

Nel 1923 fu fondata la Federazione Spiritistica Internazionale che ebbe, tra i suoi presidenti, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Dato che lo spiritismo assunse “valenza religiosa”, gli scienziati, per evitare “controversie religiose”, vollero distaccarsi da esso fondando: la metapsichica; ed alcuni Istituti di Ricerca.

Il 20 Febbraio 1882 fu fondata a Londra, da eminenti studiosi ed accademici, la Society for Psychical Research[10]. In seguito, tra il 1884/1885, fu fondata la sua filiale Americana che, nel 1906, divenne indipendente col nome: American Society for Psychical Research.

Sempre in USA operarono: la Boston Society for Psychical Research tra il 1925 e 1941; ed il Princeton Engineering Anomalies research (PEAR) program (Università di Princeton) dagli anni ‘70 al 2007.

La Society for Psychical Research fu modello di riferimento per la fondazione delle altre Società Nazionali: la Studievereniging voor Psychical Research (Dutch Society for Psychical Research) fondata nel 1917; l’Istituto Metapsichico Internazionale fondato a Parigi nel 1918; l’Austrian Society for Psychical Research (rinominata Austrian Society for Parapsychology) fondata nel 1927; la Sällskapet för Parapsykologisk Forskning (Swedish Society for Parapsychological Research) fondata nel 1948; l’Australian Society for Psychical Research fondata nel 1979; l’Institute of Paranormal Psychology (IPP) fondato in Argentina nel 1994.

E’ degno di nota pure: l’Istituto di Friburgo in Germania; e la Parapsychology Foundation. Quest’ultima è una fondazione che “provides a worldwide forum supporting the scientific investigation of psychic phenomena”. Conformemente al website ufficiale, svolge molteplici attività. “The Foundation gives grants, publishes pamphlets, monographs, conference proceedings and the International Journal of Parapsychology, hosts the Perspectives Lecture Series, conducts the Outreach Program, maintains the Eileen J. Garrett Library with its collection of more than 12,000 volumes and 100 periodicals on parapsychology and related topics, and is proud of its quality paperback imprint, Helix Press”.

Anche l’Italia ebbe le sue società. Nel 1937 fu fondata la Società Italiana di Metapsichica, rinominata Società Italiana di Parapsicologia. Conformemente al webside ufficiale, fu fondata per iniziativa di: Ferdinando Cazzamalli[11]; Giovanni Schepis[12]; Emilio Servadio[13]; Luigi Sanguineti[14].

Il 23 Maggio 1941, la Società Italiana di Metapsichica ottenne il riconoscimento ufficiale da parte dello Stato Italiano, un riconoscimento confermato nel 1949. I suoi membri annoverano: brillanti scienziati e politici.

In seguito, la Società si trasferì da Roma a Milano assumendo il nome di Associazione Italiana Scientifica di Metapsichica (A.I.S.M.). Lo scopo dichiarato è “promuovere lo studio scientifico-sperimentale della fenomenologia parapsicologica, con i metodi e col rigore che assicurano il progresso” delle “altre branche della scienza”. L’A.I.S.M., ancora oggi, è un Istituto riconosciuto a livello internazionale con frequenti contatti con: la Society for Psychical Research; l’ American Society for Psychical Research; l’Institut Metapsychique International; la Parapsychological Association; il Centro Studi Parapsicologici di Bologna; etc… . Altre istituzioni italiane sono: il Centro Italiano di Parapsicologia di Napoli; ed il CICAP. Chi scrive, però, non d’à molto credito a quest’ultimo per la forte ideologia scettica che lo caratterizza. Una posizione così radicale che, spesso e volentieri, finisce per ridicolizzare non la metapsichica e/o i phenomena mistici studiati, ma la stessa Scienza.

L’obiettivo centrale di tutte queste società è studiare, con metodo scientifico, gli eventi e/o abilità: psichiche o paranormali. Molti studi furono in: telepatia; chiaroveggenza; scrittura automatica; ipnotismo; suggestione; manifestazioni spiritiche. A essi partecipavano sia esperti medium (capaci di produrre tali phenomena) sia esperti scienziati (capaci di studiarli empiricamente). Alcuni studi considerarono la materia psichica attraverso la quale gli esseri spirituali potevano manifestarsi, interagire e materializzarsi. Un fluido e/o emanazione che ricevette diversi nomi: sostanza (Maxwell; Bisson); ectoplasma (Richet); teleplasma (Schrenck-Notzing).

Reincarnazione ed Ipnosi Regressiva

Negli anni successivi alla seconda guerra mondiale, avvenne una diminuzione d’interesse verso lo spiritismo. Di contro, iniziarono ‘studi pionieristici’ sulla: reincarnazione; near dead experience; stati di coscienza; etc… .

Queste ricerche, come punto di partenza, ebbero le dottrine Orientali.


La reincarnazione è una dottrina centrale nell’induismo e nel buddismo. In Occidente, se ne appropriarono alcuni circoli esoterici. Nel trattarla, personalmente, preferisco rivolgermi alle tradizioni orientali, non alle rielaborazioni esoteriche occidentali.

Per comprendere la reincarnazione, sono da chiarire alcuni argomenti propedeutici. Così qui infra presenterò una sorta di: Psicologia dell’Anima 1001.

Molte tradizioni concordano nel ritenere gli esseri senzienti e/o viventi composti di tre “elementi”: corpo; spirito; anima[15].

Una suddivisione condivisa, non solo dalla cultura cristiana ma anche, dall’alchimia occidentale ed orientale. Nell’alchimia occidentale, questi tre elementi[16] sono definiti i tre principi primi poiché null’altro può essere travato all’origine del magistero (Basilio Valentinio)[17].

Nell’Alchimia Orientale si parla di: jing (essenza fisica); qi (soffio vitale); e shen (spirito).

Sono gli elementi alla base della metamorfosi alchemica descritta dalla tradizione taoista. Metamorfosi che avviene in tre passaggi e/o stadi chiamati: liang jing hua qi, condensare l’essenza e trasformarla in soffio; liang qi hua shen, condensare il soffio e trasformarlo in spirito; liang shen hua xu, condensare lo spirito e trasformarlo in vuoto (Carlo Moraghi, 2004; Huangdi Neijing Suwen, a cura di,1994; Esposito M., 1994; Larre C., a cura di, 1993; Sue Koei Li, 1993; Pregadio E., 1993; Martucci C. e Rotolo G., 1991; Kohn L., 1989; Jou Tsung Hwa, 1986; Robinet I. 1984, 1993; Porket M., 1983; Schipper K. M., 1983; Were J., 1981; Welch H. & Seidei A., 1979; Despeux C. & Zhao Bichen, 1977; Maspero H., 1971; Lu K’uan Yu, 1964,1970; Needham J., 1956, 1982; Matignon J. J., 1936). In seguito, c’è un quarto stadio: liang xu he dao, condensare il vuoto e riunirsi al, assorbire il, sentiero (Tao).

Nell’esoterismo occidentale, conformemente all’Enciclopedia l’Universo della Parapsicologia e dell’Esoterismo, i tre elementi presero il nome di: corpo; perispirito; anima. Il perispirito è considerato l’elemento intermedio, il ponte tra gli elementi opposti: corpo fisico ed anima. In altre parole, l’intermediario dell’unione dell’anima col corpo[18].  Molti esoteristi sostengono che il perispirito: assicura la conservazione dell’individualità; fissa i progressi compiuti; e sintetizza l’avanzamento evolutivo. Durante l’incarnazione, esso diviene substrato organico della nuova genesi. Un’energia che, non racchiusa nel corpo, fluisce attorno ad esso costituendone: l’aura. Il grado d’espansione di quest’ultima segnerebbe il grado evolutivo e/o d’elevazione raggiunto dall’essere sensiente/vivente.

Alcuni autori, ipotizzano che il perispirito possa separarsi momentaneamente dal corpo, originando i fenomeni O.B.E. (out-of-body experience), durante i quali rimarrebbe connesso col corpo per “vincolo fluidico”. I fenomeno O.B.E. sono stati di disincarnazione relativa durante i quali i soggetti possono: agire a distanza; manifestarsi come doppio del proprio corpo. Una fenomenologia che presenta analogie con alcuni fenomeni descritti dai mistici cattolici.

Nella mistica cattolica, infatti, esistono numerosi casi documentati di: traslazione corporale istantanea (chiamata agilità); e bilocazione. Due fenomeni che differiscono tra loro in quanto: nell’agilità (contrariamente alla bilocazione) non c’è la contemporanea presenza del soggetto in due luoghi diversi ma solo una transazione da un posto ad un altro[19]. La Chiesa spiega questi fenomeni come: preternaturali o sovrannaturali. Sono preternaturali, qualora originati per mezzo d’un’azione diabolica. Sono sovrannaturali, qualora realizzati per Volontà Divina e ministero angelico. Nella bilocazione si parla pure dell’ipotesi extranaturale[20] e naturale. Quest’ultima considererebbe la bilocazione come fenomeno assimilabile agli O.B.E., ipotizzando che uno dei due corpi sia vero mentre l’altro ne sia una rappresentazione. Pur riconoscendo la possibilità che l’evento possa essere generato dalle forze naturali, ed in quanto tale studiabile dalla metapsichica, i casi di bilocazione studiati (diversi da quelli ufficialmente riconosciuti ad alcuni Santi) alla fine sono sempre stati spiegati: o come azione preternaturale; o come fenomeno telepatico o d’illusione ottica (Antonio Royo Marin, 1963). Questo, poiché, è sempre possibile utilizzare in alternativa all’ipotesi naturale, l’ipotesi preternaturale o soprannaturale per spiegare: una proiezione del fantasma del proprio corpo in altro luogo.

Secondo il buddismo e l’induismo, tutti gli esseri senzienti sono soggetti alla reincarnazione. Durante l’esistenza ciclica[21], gli esseri viventi passano ‘dalla nascita alla morte alla rinascita’ attraverso i sei reami d’esistenza. Secondo questa dottrina: la prigionia all’interno del samsara è causata dalla presenza di stati mentali dissonanti[22]; il regno dell’incarnazione è determinato dal karma[23].

Conformemente al buddismo tibetano, ogni regno d’esistenza è dominato da un particolare stato mentale. I deva (dei) possiedono uno stato mentale dominato dall’orgoglio; gli asura (antidei) dalla gelosia; gli uomini, prigionieri dell’illusione, da tutti e cinque gli stati mentali dissonanti; gli animali dall’ignoranza; i preta (spiriti famelici) dall’attaccamento/avidità; i diavoli (abitanti dei regno infernali) dall’odio, ira, e paura.

Per uscire dal samsara, il buddismo suggerisce d’eliminare gli stati mentali dissonanti. La loro eliminazione conduce alla comprensione della Realtà Ultima (dharmatà) e della Vacuità (sunyata) della Natura e dell’Esistenza[24]. Il nirvana (che letteralmente significa spegnimento) è la cessazione dell’esistenza ciclica, ovvero la condizione opposta del samsara.

Il primo studio scientifico sulla reincarnazione fu fatto da Stevenson, un celebre docente di Psichiatria. Egli studiò: la reincarnazione; la telepatia; le near dead experiences; etc… . Nonostante lo scetticismo[25], le prove raccolte furono evidenze atte a corroborare la tesi della reincarnazione. I suoi lavori furono importanti contributi scientifici alla comprensione dell’altra-dimensione. Una dimensione, prima di lui, approcciata solo collo spiritismo. Con Stevenson, la reincarnazione fu indagata attraverso ‘nuove metodologie’: la raccolta di ricordi spontanei; ed il recupero di ricordi attraverso l’ipnosi regressiva.

Un altro docente universitario di grande abilità fu: Charles Tart. Tart, exempli gratia, fu professore di Psicologia presso l’Università della California. Nonostante avesse un’ideologia “vicina” alle posizioni “esoteriche” di Gurdjieff, i suoi lavori, sugli stati di coscienza, furono condotti in modo “strettamente” accademico con la massima dignità scientifica[26].

Ipnosi Regressiva

L’ostacolo maggiore per lo studio della reincarnazione è dato dalla scarsità dei ricordi spontanei. I soggetti che ricordano sono pochissimi. Inoltre, i ricordi spontanei accadono solo in tenera età. Questo richiese lo sviluppo di tecniche capaci di superare quest’ostacolo, quali: Hypnotic Regression.

L’Ipnosi Regressiva è una tecnica diffusasi in America dalla seconda metà del 1900. Di contro, si è diffusa in Europa, e soprattutto in Italia, solo di recente.

Infatti, fu a partire da gli anni ‘90, che in Italia scoppiò un forte interesse sul thema ed un boom editoriale sull’argomento. Furono tradotti alcuni libricini divulgativi scritti da Brian Weiss (1992; 1996; 2000a; 2000b; 2008; 2010; 2012a; 2012b; 2012c) uno psichiatra che si occupò dell’argomento. In Italia, Weiss fu invitato in alcune trasmissioni televisive quali: Voyager[27].

A parte questi libretti divulgativi, Weiss non scrisse studi accademici sul thema. Il presente autore cercò di contattarlo nel 2011 (durante l’espletamento d’alcune ricerche) chiedendogli informazioni sullo stato delle sue ricerche. In particolare gli fu chiesto se (oltre ai libretti commerciali che aveva pubblicato) avesse elaborato i dati raccolti in “studi accademici”, exempli gratia di tipo quantitativo o qualitativo. Nessuna riposta fu data.

Nel 2003, in Olanda ci fu il First World Congress for Regression Therapy.

In Europa si crearono le prime associazioni e societies. Exempli gratia, ricordo: la Society for Hypnotic Regression; l’Earth Association for Regression Therapy (fondata a Francoforte il 23 Agosto del 2006); l’Associazione Internazionale Ipnosi Regressiva (fondata nel dicembre 2010).

In America, di contro, l’Association for Past Life Research and Therapies (chiamata in seguito: International Association for Regression Research and Therapies, Inc.) fu fondata nel 1980[28].

Anche i medici e gli psicologi italiani fondarono la loro associazione. Il 29 luglio 2005, nacque: l’A.I.I.Re (Associazione Italiana di Ipnosi Regressiva Evocativa). L’associazione, conformemente al webside ufficiale, fu costituita “con l’intento di divulgare questi temi attraverso l’organizzazione di seminari e conferenze” e di sollecitare i “media a prendere coscienza di tale metodica”. Altro obiettivo dichiarato fu estendere agli psicologi la possibilità di praticare l’ipnosi. I medici dell’associazione, infatti, ritennero “impossibile” per gli psicologi usare l’ipnosi poiché l’attuale quadro normativo la riserverebbe a loro (!?!?).

Una tesi argomentata usando l’articolo 728 del Codice Penale!

Trovo doveroso spendere un minuto per confutare questo vaneggiamento che dimostra, per ennesima vota, come medici “non c’acchiappino” nulla in diritto. Bastava guardare l’articolo, … com’è stato applicato dai giuristi…, per rendersi conto dell’infondatezza della loro tesi. Esso non fu mai d’ostacolo: né agli psicologi; né agli show-man per i loro spettacoli. L’importante è che questi non causino danni con colpevolezza alle persone (e.g.: dolo; dolo eventuale). Infatti, le sanzioni penali richiedono sempre la presenza di due elementi: l’elemento oggettivo; e l’elemento soggettivo. Non è sufficiente realizzare il fatto, occorre la consapevolezza del soggetto. Di contro, sarebbe immorale ed illecito, ritenere che quell’articolo esclusa ‘ogni responsabilità penale’ nei confronti dei medici che, usando l’ipnosi, con colpevolezza mettano in “pericolo l’incolumità della persona”. L’artico del codice penale non dice questo. Ai medici, semplicemente, non sarà applicata quella fattispecie penale colla relativa sanzione (… assai blanda …) ma, di contro, saranno applicate tutte quelle fattispecie penali di volta in volta integrate dalle loro condotte.

Uno dei membri fondatori dell’ A.I.I.Re. è Angelo Bona. Un autore che pubblicò molti libricini divulgativi simili a quelli scritti da Weiss. L’opera divulgativa di Bona (2004; 2005; 2006; 2008; 2009; 2010a; 2010b; 2011a; 2011b; 2013) è caratterizzata da uno stile leggero, piacevole e narrativo.

La tecnica ipnotica usata nell’ipnosi regressiva è semplicemente una particolare applicazione del modello tradizionale d’induzione ipnotica che si suddivide nelle fasi di: pre-induzione; induzione; approfondimento; riorientamento e ratifica. La peculiarità dell’ipnosi regressiva sta nell’obiettivo che si vuole raggiungere attraverso l’ipnosi. Quest’ultima è usata per accedere ai ricordi sulle vite passate. Un obiettivo che si raggiunge gradatamente, usando istruzioni che progressivamente guidano il soggetto al ricordo. Partendo dall’infanzia si procede verso vite precedenti.

Una descrizione della tecnica è presente nella Parte III.

Near Dead Experience

La prima discussione[29] sull’argomento avvenne in Francia sul finire del XIX secolo[30]. Il termine, expérience de mort imminente, fu coniato allora da Victor Egger. Nonostante ciò, è solo dal 1975 che l’argomento ebbe diffusione. Questo avvenne grazie alle pubblicazioni dello psichiatra americano Raymond Moody (Life After Life).

Nel 1981, fu fondata l’International Association for Near-Death Studies (IANDS).

Coll’aumento dell’interesse sul thema, divenne più facile raccogliere le esperienze.

Le persone, infatti, iniziarono a temere di meno l’essere definite “pazze” per l’aver vissuto tali esperienze, diventando quindi più disposte a raccontarle.

Comparando i racconti, fu rilevato il ricorrere d’alcuni elementi comuni.

Greyson Bruce[31] affermò che tutte le esperienze di pre-morte condividono tre punti:

  1. l’uscita dal proprio corpo;
  2. l’incontro con delle entità (antenati; parenti; amici; figure religiose; etc…);
  3. la possibilità di trascendere i limiti dello spazio-tempo.

Di contro, le differenze occorrono nello scenario e nell’aspetto assunto dalle entità incontrate. Quest’ultimi elementi rispecchiano le credenze culturali del soggetto.

Kenneth Ring (1980) suddivise l’esperienza in cinque stadi:

  1. l’esperienza di Pace;
  2. la separazione dal Corpo;
  3. l’ingresso nell’Oscurità;
  4. la visione della Luce;
  5. l’ingresso nella Luce.

Una toponomia ricca di analogie colla tradizione tibetana del Bar-do Thos-grol Chen-mo, la principale opera in cui è stata delineata una dettagliata descrizione dello stato post mortem (Coleman Graham, 2007).

Il Bar-do Thos-grol Chen-mo risale agli insegnamenti orali introdotti in Tibet da Padmasambhava nell’VIII secolo. La tradizione riporta che Padmasambhava (predicendo la corruzione degli insegnamenti orali col passare del tempo) nascose nel Tibet un certo numero di gter-chos (insegnanti tesoro).

Il primo di questi fu ri-trovato dal tibetano Sangye Lama nel XI secolo.

Il Bar-do Thos-grol Chen-mo conosciuto in Occidente è una ‘versione ridotta’ del manoscritto trovato nel XIV secolo da Karma Lingpa.

Il libro Tibetano dei Morti descrive: le fasi di dissolvimento delle energie e della coscienza grossolana[32]; ed il percorso che la persona sottile[33] affronta abbandonando il corpo fisico.

Il continuum dell’esistenza nel passare fra le diverse incarnazioni ed i diversi stadi intermedi è dato dalla coscienza. E’ nella coscienza che sono condensate le interconnessioni causali delle esperienze mentali esperite durante i diversi stati di consapevolezza (veglia; addormentamento; sonno profondo e sonno onirico; risveglio) e di esistenza (vita; morte[34]; realtà; rinascita).

Mentre le near dead experience (NDE) trovano una perfetta spiegazione all’interno del quadro culturale buddista, l’accademia occidentale ha difficoltà sull’interpretarle.

In una prospettiva buddista, l’esperienza di pre-morte è l’esperienza fatta da un soggetto durante il suo progredire nello stato intermedio di Morte (in tibetano: ‘chi-kha’i bar-do). Quest’ultimo è la fase che va: dallo stato intermedio del Vivere (in tibetano: rang-bzhin bar-do); allo stato intermedio di Realtà (in tibetano: chos-nyid bar-do). Durante questa fase avviene il progressivo dissolvimento del corpo fisico grossolano. Gli aggregati psico-fisici[35] che costituiscono l’essere senziente durante lo stato intermedio del Vivere iniziano a dividersi. Mentre gli aggregati psico-fisici si dissolvono, la persona sottile lascia il corpo grossolano per avviarsi: verso lo stato intermedio di Realtà; ed in seguito, verso lo stato intermedio di Rinascita (in tibetano: srid-pa’i bar-do).

L’esperienza raccontata dai testimoni sarebbe il vissuto della coscienza durante lo stato intermedio di Morte fino all’ingresso nella Chiara Luce (in tibetano: ‘od-gsal)[36].

Entrati nella Radiosità[37], il corpo sottile passa dallo stato intermedio di Morte allo stato intermedio di Realtà. In questo stato intermedio avvengono gli incontri colle entità[38].

Conformemente a Kenneth Ring (1980), il 60 percento dei soggetti ‘ritorna’ dopo aver sperimentato la prima delle 5 fasi descritte (Peace). Solo un 10% ritorna dopo aver raggiuto il quinto stadio (Entering the Light).

Tali controfattuali corroborano la visione tibetana. Il ritorno in vita può avvenire solo durante lo stato intermedio di Morte: bloccando il ‘dissolvimento’ degli aggregati (skandha) e retrocedendo allo stato intermedio di Vita. Di contro, raggiungere lo stato intermedio di Realtà rende remota la possibilità di ritorno.

I testimoni ritornati da esso, hanno dichiarato d’essere tornati “contro voglia”, solo per l’intervento d’un’entità.

Nessuno, di contro, ha descritto l’esperienza dello stato intermedio di Rinascita. Questo dato era atteso. Chi raggiunge questa fase, infatti, non può più retrocedere alla vita precedente avendo il corpo fisico grossolano raggiunto la putrefazione. In quello stato intermedio si può solo: o, raggiungere la liberazione; o reincarnarsi in uno dei sei regni di esistenza. Esso, potrebbe essere descritto qualora ricordato, dal soggetto reincarnato.

Alcuni scienziati, per negare l’esistenza d’una qualsiasi realtà metafisica, ricorsero alle neuroscienze. Conformemente a Vanhaudenhuyse, Thonnard, e Laurey (2011)[39] le esperienze di pre-morte ed i fenomeni OBE sarebbero causati da deficit di integrazione multisensoriale a livello della congiunzione tra la corteccia temporale e parietale.

Con questi studi si tenta di mettere l’accento sulla natura allucinatoria di tali esperienze, negando ogni autenticità dei fenomeni. Altre posizioni scettiche sono sostenute da: Susan Blackmore[40]; Michael Shermer[41]; Dean Mobbs e Caroline Watt (2011)[42]; Gerry Woerlee[43]. Quest’ultimo dichiarò che “se si continua a credere … ad un anima incorporea si rimane allo stesso livello dei nostri antenati[44]. Gerry Woerlee afferma che le esperienze di pre-morte sono causate da cambiamenti celebrali indotti dalla mancanza di ossigeno e/o dall’anestesia. Questo poiché le aree celebrali che cessano di funzionare prima delle altre sono quelle più sensibili alla diminuzione d’ossigeno. Il tunnel di luce, invece, è un’illusione creata da un maggior afflusso di sangue alla retina[45]. Infine, l’esperienza extra corporea[46] è causata da una attività celebrale del giro angolare. Questo poiché il giro angolare (quando attivato da: una malattia; correte elettrica; un’operazione) può creare “sensazioni” d’esperienze extra-corporee.

Il neuro-scienziato Michael Persinger della Laurentian University[47] sviluppò uno studio sperimentale per avvalorare le ragioni scettiche.

Egli progettò un “casco” chiamato: “casco di dio”. E’ un semplice casco da motociclista al quale sono collegati alcuni elettrodi capaci di generare dei campi elettromagnetici. Questi vanno a stimolare alcune aree celebrali. In particolare, quelle che governano la consapevolezza temporale e spaziale. I soggetti sono distesi su un lettino, in un ambiente controllato (laboratorio). Una volta rilassati, indossano il casco. Le attività celebrali sono monitorate. Alla fine dell’esperimento si chiede al soggetto di riportare l’esperienza vissuta. Le esperienze riportate sono di solito delle “visioni”. Queste includono: luci psicodeliche; immagini mentali simili a quelle dei fumetti; scene di eventi simili a quelle dei sogni.

Tutte le esperienze ottenute con tale metodologia però non presentano nulla di simile alle esperienze descritte da chi ha vissuto la pre-morte. Le visioni sono meno vivide. Inoltre, nessuno degli eventi tipici delle esperienze di pre-morte[48] occorse ai soggetti.

Chi scrive ritiene che: gli studi neuro-scientifici non possano dimostrare alcunché sull’argomento. Soprattutto, non sono atti a dimostrare l’inesistenza dell’anima e/o della veridicità dell’esperienza vissuta. Riprodurre un’esperienza attraverso la stimolazione neuronale non esclude la genuinità delle esperienze avvenute senza tale ”stimolazione”. Exempli gratia, causare un ‘immagine visiva’ colla stimolazione artificiale d’alcuni neuroni non dimostra che tutte le ‘immagini visive’ esperite siano allucinazioni e non il ‘corretto percepire’ della Realtà esistente!

Altri autori assumono posizioni neutre, tra questi, ricordo Bruce Greyson (2003).

Contro le posizioni scettiche, di contro, cito gli studi di Sam Parnia (2001; 2006; 2007; 2007; 2013). Parnia è uno dei maggiori ricercatori sull’argomento. Secondo lui, la scienza può affrontare ed investigare cosa avviene durante la morte del corpo. Le sue ricerche dimostrano che quando il cervello cessa le sue attività colle morte, la coscienza può continuare a rimanere attiva.

Parnia sostiene l’autenticità delle esperienze poiché i soggetti vedono eventi realmente avvenuti nella stanza (e/o in altri luoghi) durante lo stato di morte clinica. Cosa incompatibile con un’allucinazione. L’esistenza d’un controfattuale esclude la natura allucinatoria dell’esperienza, sostenuta irrazionalmente dagli scettici.

Nel 2008, Parnia avviò il progetto “AWARE” (AWAreness during REsuscitation). Un progetto internazionale che coinvolge pazienti con arresti cardiaci.

Gli ospedali partecipanti (25 tra il Nord America e l’Europa) misero nelle stanze di rianimazione alcune figure “bersaglio”. I bersagli sono disposti in modo tale che non possono essere visti dai pazienti. Solo un corpo sottile, capace di fluttuare nella stanza, potrebbe vederli. Questo proverebbe l’autenticità delle esperienze extrasensoriali riportate.

Altri scienziati hanno cercato di fotografare l’anima durante il trapasso. Uno di questi è il russo Konstantin Korotkov. Come dichiarato in un’intervista rilasciata alla trasmissione televisiva Mistero[49], egli studiò i livelli di coscienza e delle relative energie per 40 anni. Lo scienziato ritiene l’anima essere il livello più alto di coscienza. I suoi studi applicano il metodo scientifico e, spesso, sono documenti con immagini prodotte col metodo kirlian.

[1] Edita a Parigi da Editions Fernand Nathan. Opera è stata tradotta in Italiano col titolo, Enciclopedia della Psicologia, 7 volumi, Milano: Trento Procaccianti editore. Un volume è dedicato interamente alla Parapsicologia.

[2] Un’enciclopedia interamente dedicata alla Parapsicologia. In Italia fu pubblicata e tradotta nel 1978 col titolo, L’Universo della Parapsicologia e dell’Esoterismo, Miano: Trento Procaccianti Editore.

[3] Volume la Parapsicologia.

[4] Il termine spiritismo (spiritisme) fu usato la prima volta da Allan Kardec nel libro: Il Libro degli Spiriti (Le Livre des Esprits).

[5] Lo spiritismo non crede nella “dualità” tra: spiriti buoni; e spiriti malvagi. Esso crede nell’evoluzione morale.

[6] Lombroso liquidò il caso di Eusapia Palladio come grave forma d’isteria. Ricordo come al tempo non esisteva il DSM colle centinaia di patologie ivi descritte. Tutto si risolveva attorno a poche parole quali appunto: isteria e/o mania.

[7] Pseudonimo del pedagogista francese Hippolyte Léon Denizard Rivail.

[8] Questo fu il “primo caso” documentato d’un libro attribuito alla dettatura degli spiriti (escludendo i testi religiosi). In seguito, altri autori affermarono lo stesso. Crowly, exempli gratia, dichiarò che il libro della legge gli fu dettato da alcuni spiriti mentre si trovava in Egitto. Egli identificò questi spiriti cogli “dei egiziani”.

Pirandello, amante delle sedute spiritiche, racconta qualcosa di smile affermando che: non è l’autore a creare i personaggi, ma sono i personaggi a rivelarsi agli autori affinché ne raccontino la storia (Sei Personaggi in Cerca d’Autore; I Giganti della Montagna).  Igor Sibaldi, nel 1997, scrive un Saggio intitolato I Maestri Invisibili nel quale sostiene che parte del libro riporta i dialoghi fatti cogli Spiriti Guida.

[9] Questi studi furono precursori delle ricerche di Crookes.

[10] Sidgwick fu il primo presidente della Società. Sidgwick fu professore dell’Università di Cambridge, membro di Trinity College. A lui è dedicata Sidgwick Avenue, ove sorge il nuovo Istituto di Criminologia dell’Università di Cambridge inaugurato nell’anno accademico 2005/2006.

Furono numerosi i membri dell’Università di Cambridge e di Oxford affiliati alla società. Per brevità riporto solo alcuni di questi che rivestirono la carica di presidente: Frederick William Henry Myers (Fellow of Trinity College, Università di Cambridge) fu presidente nel 1900; Eleanor Sidgwick (Principal di Newnham College, Università di Cambridge) fu presidente dal 1908 al 1909; Andrew Lang (fellow of Merton College, Università di Oxford) fu presidente nel 1911; F. C. S. Schiller (fellow di Corpus Christi College, Università di Oxford) fu presidente nel 1914; Gilbert Murray (Regius Professor of Greek dell’Università di Oxford) fu presidente dal 1915 al 1916; Lawrence Pearsall Jacks (Manchester College, Università di Oxford) fu presidente dal 1917 al 1918; John Strutt, 3rd Baron Rayleigh, (Cavendish Professor, Trinity College, University of Cambridge, e premio Nobel per la Fisica nel 1904) fu presidente nel 1919; Sir Lawrence Evelyn Jones (Honorary Fellow, Balliol College, University of Oxford) fu president nel 1928 e 1929; W. A. H. Rushton (Professor all’Università di Cambridge) fu presidente dal 1969 al 1971.

La Scozia ha fondato una propria società: Scottish Society for Psychical Research.

[11] Medico e docente universitario di Neuropsichiatria presso l’Università di Roma.

[12] Docente universitario di Statistica presso l’Università di Roma.

[13] Professore onorario di Psicologia, presidente della Società Psicoanalitica Italiana.

[14] Medico neuropsichiatra.

[15] Exempli gratia: cristiani; buddisti; induisti.

[16]l’anima all’interno, lo spirito impalpabile, l’essenza corporea e visibile” (Basilio Valentino, Pratica cum XII Clavibus …, paragrafo: La grande pietra degli Antichi Sapienti, 10° capoverso).

[17] Nella Pratica cum XII Clavibus … (paragrafo: La grande pietra degli Antichi Sapienti, 11° capoverso), l’autore prosegue dicendo: “Quando … questi tre abitano insieme, con il passare del tempo la loro unione si fa più stretta per l’azione di Vulcano, e divengono una sostanza concreta, e cioè argento vivo, zolfo e sale. Se … questi tre vengono induriti e solidificati mescolandosi, come la natura fa più d’una volta, ne deriva un corpo perfetto, come natura lo vuole, e il suo seme è scelto e ordinato dal Creatore”.

[18] Un’idea che non è nuova. Fu affermata già da Stefano d’Alessandria nel VII secolo d.C. . L’autore parlò di come, fra le due opposte nature, ce ne fosse in mezzo una terza capace d’accordarle partecipando delle qualità d’entrambe.

[19] Casi storici di agilità sono stati documentati in: San Pietro d’Alcantara; San Filippo Neri; Sant’Antonio da Padova; Beato Martino di Porres. Casi storici di bilocazione sono stati documentati per: Papa San Clemente; San Francesco d’Assisi; San Antonio da Padova; San Francesco Saverio; San Alfonso de Liguori; San Giuseppe da Copertino; San Pio di Pietralcina; Beato Martino di Porres; Venerabile Maria d’Agreda.

[20] Ipotesi che alcuni teologi avanzarono per replicare a San Tommaso.

San Tommaso ritenne che neppure l’onnipotenza di Dio possa permettere ad un corpo di trovarsi in due luoghi diversi nello stesso tempo poiché costituirebbe una contrazione delle leggi che governano la Realtà. L’ipotesi extranaturale sostiene che Dio, essendo il Creatore onnipotente, non è vincolato dalle Leggi della Creazione, potendole cambiare a piacimento.

[21] Chiamata: samsara in sanscrito; e khor-ba in tibetano.

[22] Quelli che in sanscrito sono detti klesa.

[23] L’accumulo delle azioni passate.

[24] Posizione del buddismo Mahayana.

[25] Spanos (1996) affermò che le persone che ricordano vite passate fanno delle ‘costruzioni sociali’ nelle quali s’inventano storie “come se” fossero qualcun altro.

[26] Vedere Tart (1963; 1965; 1971; 1972; 1977a; 1077b; 1979; 1994; 2000).

Sulle posizioni di Gurdjieff vedere: Gurdjieff (2009a; 2009b; 2009c); Ouspensky (1976).

[27] Trasmissione trasmessa su RAI 2.

[28] L’associazione chiuse nel 2014.

Oggi negli USA esiste la Society for Spiritual Regression fondata da Michael Newton. Rilevo come accostare i termini spiritual e regression è: non avere idea dell’ABC della materia e del background di riferimento. Tutte le tradizioni pongono l’accento sull’evoluzione spirituale e come tali pratiche del ricordo sono finalizzate a questo.

[29] Documentata in Occidente.

[30] Egger V. (1896), Le moi des mourants, in Revue Philosophique, XLI, pp. 26-38.

[31] Greyson B. (2003), Near-Death Experiences in a Psychiatric Outpatient Clinic Population, in Psychiatric Services, December, Vol. 54, No. 12.

[32] La persona temporanea è costituita: dal corpo fisico; e dall’identità acquisita in quella vita. Questi due corrispondono al corpo fisico grossolano ed alla mente condizionata.

[33] La persona sottile è costituita dalle energie e coscienze sottili considerate del Tantra Yoga Superiore la natura ultima dell’essere vivente (Dalai Lama XIV).

[34] La fase di dissoluzione del corpo fisico grossolano e di liberazione del corpo sottile.

[35] Skandha in sanscrito; khandha in pali.

[36] Altrimenti tradotta come radiosità e/o luminosità interiore.

[37] Un altro modo in cui è chiamata la Chiara Luce.

[38] Gli occidentali incontrano: parenti; amici; e/o figure della propria religione.

I buddisti tibetani incontrano: i Boddhisattva; Yama; ed i loro antenati.

E’ il karma a determinare: la liberazione; o il ritorno nel samsara.

Il regno d’esistenza è determinato dalla reazione (attrazione o repulsione) che l’anima ha verso le Boddhisattva miti e feroci che incontra nello stato intermedio di Realtà. In seguito, la coscienza (sotto forma di corpo mentale) è guidata da Yama a ritornare nel samsara. Al soggetto, comunque, rimane la capacità, qualora riuscisse ad acquisire consapevolezza durante lo stato intermedio di rinascita, di: liberarsi; o determinare una rinascita favorevole.

[39] Towards a Neuro-scientific Explanation of Near-death Experiences? Articolo reperito il 10 Ottobre 2013 sul world wide web.

[40] Psicologa inglese.

[41] Editore dello Skeptic Magazine.

[42] E.g. in un articolo intitolato: “There is nothing paranormal about near-death experiences: how neuroscience can explain seeing bright lights, meeting the dead, or being convinced you are one of them” in  Trends in Cognitive Sciences, XX, pp. 1-3.  

[43] Medico.

[44] Dichiarazione fatta in un’intervista rilasciata ad una serie di documentari televisivi: Best EvidenceNear Dead Experiences. Serie trasmessa in Italia dal canale televisivo: Focus.

[45] Idea che fa sorridere. La luce è vista dal corpo sottile in un punto dell’ambiente circostante. Non è spiegabile: né dalle luci della sala operatoria; né dall’afflusso di sangue nella retina.

[46] L’esperienza del soggetto d’uscire dal proprio corpo e fluttuare nella stanza.

[47] Nel Canada.

[48] Quale il fluttuare nell’ambiente e vedere cosa fanno gli altri, lo scorgere il tunnel di luce, etc… .

[49] L’intervista fu trasmessa nell’edizione di Mistero del 2014 sui canali: Italia Uno; ed in replica su Mediaset Extra.