LeShan, Lawrence (L.) (1920– )
Psychologist and parapsychologist. He was born September
8, 1920, in New York City and was educated at the College of
William and Mary (B.A., 1942), the University of Nebraska
(M.S., 1943), and the University of Chicago (Ph.D., 1954). His
education was interrupted on two occasions by periods of service
in the U.S. Army (1943–46, 1950–52). Following his graduation
he became the chief of the department of psychology at
the Institute of Applied Biography in New York (1954–64) and
simultaneously a research associate at the Ayer Foundation,
Inc., New York (1954–70). He also taught in the Union Theological
Seminary’s program in psychiatry and religion.
Originally a skeptic in his attitude to paranormal phenomena,
he devoted some 500 hours to testing the famous psychic
Eileen Garrett and was particularly impressed by her powers
in the field of psychometry. He also made a special study of
psychic healing and since 1970 has held training seminars in
New York for psychologists and students. He is a member of
the American Psychical Research Society and the author of
a number of books and articles.
In his book The Medium, the Mystic, and the Physicist (1974),
he proposed a theory of different types of reality sensory reality
(that of everyday experience), clairvoyant reality (in which
the time structure is modified and the identities of ‘‘you’’ and
‘‘I’’ become a part of a total ‘‘One’’ in the cosmos), and a transpsychic
reality (in which there is total identification with the
Berger, Arthur S., and Joyce Berger. The Encyclopedia of
Parapsychology and Psychical Research. New York Paragon
House, 1991.
LeShan, Lawrence. Alternative Realities. New York M. Evans,
———. Einstein’s Space and Van Gogh’s Sky Physical Reality
and Beyond. New York Macmillan, 1982.
———. From Newton to EAP Parapsychology and the Challenge
of Modern Science. Wellingborough, England Turnstone Press,
———. How to Meditate A Guide to Self-Discovery. New York
Bantam Books, 1975.
———. The Medium, the Mystic, and the Physicist. 1974. Reprinted
as Clairvoyant Reality Toward a General Theory of the
Paranormal. Wellingborough, England Turnstone Press, 1980.
———. The Psychology of War Comprehending Its Mystique and
Its Madness. Chicago Noble Press, 1992.