Preliminary Remark

People have been affected by the occurrence of phenomena called visions, divinations, apparitions, soothsaying or inspiration throughout the entire human existence. Nonetheless, in many cases such phenomena turned out more or less misleading or even harmful, while other phenomena, like the prophecies of the Old Testament, were rewarding and supported the development of human society. 

As in the first millennium of the Christian era, it was often proven that in some cases these phenomena were accompanied by confusing and misleading effects, certain theologians conveyed their cautiousness and even scepsis, and tried to reject them as negative events. However, it was not possible because, for instance, the prophecies of the Old Testament, which had proven to be sound thanks to their veracity and meaningfulness, were generally accepted and useful.

That is why, in the course of time, particularly in the second millennium of the Christian era, the attitude and criteria for evaluating these phenomena have begun to be elaborated. These assessments, however, had to be merely theological. Ultimately, provided that such standpoints could be right, they were most convenient in theological purposes. Of course, such assessments could be based solely on the estimation of the consequences of these phenomena, especially on their fruit and on concord with ecclesiastical doctrine, which, however, could not give an explanation for the origin of the phenomena. Therefore, the heterogeneity of these phenomena was not evident.

Nowadays, there appears to be an opportunity to also approach such phenomena with regard to psychophysics, which would clarify the mechanism of these phenomena from another point of view. It would enable us to analyse, distinguish and comprehend the above-mentioned phenomena in order to make them clearer and to facilitate us in considering their value and usefulness.

This approach has become possible with new research in the field of psychophysics, so it depends on the psychological and psychophysical qualities of an individual participating in these phenomena. Precisely this new knowledge, even though discovered only recently, was already in past times generally denoted and surmised by such personalities as St. Thomas Aquinas.


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