George Hansen – The Trickster, the Paranormal, and Liminality

George Hansen is an almost mythical figure amongst those who have a deep interest in the issues discussed on this show. His groundbreaking book The Trickster and the Paranormal is required reading for anyone who wishes to tackle these subjects in a meaningful way. What Hansen proposes is what we call “paranormal” is so fraught with forces and traditions that mean to derail and deceive us at every turn, that we cannot wade into this quagmire without realizing all aspects of the issues that await us. This is not because it is necessarily evil, but because the tradition of the Trickster archetype is present in all cultures (whether some want to admit it or not) and appears to provide a balance to the more structured aspects of culture and even our own psyches by introducing randomness and novelty.

In a wide-ranging talk, we discussed the trickster archetype, how it addresses inequality in cultures, and how excluded elements (such as the LGBT community) are often imbued with this influence. George tells us about his years of research in parapsychology and the history of such groups over the last century. He also talked about his friendship with author John Keel and his New York Fortean Society. He discussed the world of stage magic and how many magicians are not doctrinaire skeptics, and actually endorse some forms of psychic phenomena as currently unexplained. We also touched on how UFO study ignores the trickster at its peril.

There is so much more to unpack in this free-ranging and educational conversation from one of the true originals in the field.


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11 Responses to George Hansen – The Trickster, the Paranormal, and Liminality

  1. Just started listening to this and have to leave it – will finish it later. Looks good. About spiritualism, which was being discussed: Spiritualism began in my neck of the woods. I often pass a monument to the Fox Sisters in downtown Rochester. The rise of the Fox Sisters and spiritualism has links to the rise of Susan B. Anthony and the Women’s Rights Movement, which also began in my neck of the woods. Many locals tried to disprove the Fox sisters’ ability to communicate with the dead through knocks the dead would make on walls. MANY tried, but they couldn’t definitively do it, though on occasion they had the Fox sisters stripped down to their underwear on stage — to make sure the girls weren’t making the knocking sounds with their joints.

    • Greg says:

      You will definitely enjoy the next episode with Shannon Taggart discussing the history of spiritualism.

  2. There’s a very good local author and historian who has a major interest in this sort of stuff. A lot of his books are great, but one of the ones listeners of your show would want to take a look at is “Folklore and legends of Rochester: the mystery of Hoodoo Corner & other tales”. Contains a chapter on the Fox sisters.

  3. Kandinsky says:

    What a great surprise! I had no idea Hansen was still active so finding this new upload has put a big smile on my face. On the downside, I’m trying to shuck off my interest in these topics and Mr Hansen’s thoughts will do the opposite.

    All the best

  4. Excellent interview with much good food for thought. The discussion of the very negative possibilities of participating in investigations, observations and direct engagement of these phenomena was a bit chilling. I fully agree with George and I recalled Scott Rogo as murder was being discussed. Looking forward to the future interviews with George Hansen and I would love to participate if you think it would be appropriate or fun to do. BTW LOVED the Jim Moseley part of the conversation. He was the best kind of Trickster. 🙂

  5. Jeff Ritzmann says:

    Great interview Greg – it’s a shame that most folks in the paranormal fields either don’t ‘get it’ or don’t want to get it – but George brings a completely new way of viewing the entire paranormal field(s) and those within it, so much so that we could easily sidestep many pitfalls.

    In one night George completely changed my entire ontological view of the paranormal and the events that so influenced my life. If one follow’s Hansen’s lead there’s a world of discovery to be had. There are pathways in this that you have never imagined until you finally accept certain attributes, and then certain things become so clear.

  6. John Randall says:

    Another excellent interview with Mr.Hansen Greg! There seems to be a theme in recent interviews ( to me anyway) with George Hansen, Dean Radin and Diana Pasulka in regards to levitating , and teleporting saints as you discussed the Ven. Mary of Agreda I’m sure others have speculated this , but could some of the bilocating ( or as Diana suggested Astral traveling and or possibly the residual affects there of..) individuals have anything to do with sighting such as “Fatima”, “Our lady of Guadalupe”, and the like where these feats are preformed and in turn those who have witnessed these have misinterpreted them as “ Marion Apparitions” ( miraculous as they are on their own)? Just got ” The Trickster and the Paranormal” for my kindle and looking forward to refresh my memory on his work. Thanks again.

  7. I was promoting George P. Hansen’s Trickster and the Paranormal book back in 2006 – and I forgot about the binary opposites focus. So if George read this – please check out Alain Conne, a Fields Medal math professor, who lectures on Quantum Music of the Spheres – as a unified field theory based on music theory. My own focus has been music as a kind of psychophysiological unifying paradigm due to a secret of music theory that got covered up at the origin of Western civilization. So it is nice that Alain Connes corroborated my research – as even Nobel physicist Brian Josephson could not understand what I was talking about (although he did ask me what I thought of his music compositions and thanked me for sending him quantum physicist professor Lawrence Domash on mantra meditation and the AC Josephson Effect research). Anyway the basic concept is “noncommutative phase” and it means that in music theory G=3=F at the same time. People learn basic music theory and think they are smart but they are learning a lie! haha. I figured this out intuitively from my intensive music training and then I took music theory while in high school. Anyway so Alain Connes calls music theory a “universal scaling system” and sums up the secret as (2, 3, infinity). That’s it! But here’s the deal – if C is 1 then the octave C is 2 while G is 3 as 3/2 Perfect Fifth and F is 3 also as 2/3 Perfect Fifth (subharmonic). The subharmonic got covered up in the West – and that is in fact the secret origin of Western mathematics!

    So George when you mentioned statistics – and how it’s easy to not do them right – you are familiar, I’m sure, with George Spenser-Brown’s argument about how paranormal phenomenon can not be explained due to the wrong statistics. Maybe I learned that from your book! I thought it was from Koestler. But anyway – so there is the quantum physicist Eddie Oshins – he was hired to work at Stanford Linear Accelerator Center to study the psychological meaning of quantum physics. Oshins also taught Wing Chun – the martial arts lineage of Bruce Lee – and so Oshins realized the secret of Daoist alchemy neigong energy training was actually the same as “spin 1/2” quanta or “half quanta” time-frequency energy. This is actually the same mathematical secret that Alain Connes is talking about as well. So I had figured this out as well – in regards to paranormal psychophysiological training. For example the right hand resonates with the left foot and the right hand with the upper body – for males – and the left hand with the right foot. And so when you do standing trance dance – then you push to sympathetic extreme and cause a parasympathetic rebound – as I’m sure you are aware. But with this secret of complementary opposites – it is actually macroquantum resonance so that the charge originates from a virtual information field.

    Anyway I have the details on my blog – so the Trickster God of the original human culture – the San Bushmen – was the Praying Mantis and in Praying Mantis kungfu – the secret is that the male reproductive organ gets sucked back inside the body (just as with a Praying Mantis). So unlike MMA Joe Rogan where the big muscle man gets a 15 minute break if kicked in the balls – the real spiritual qigong martial arts Praying Mantis masters suck their whole reproductive organ back inside the body. I have a vid link of this on my youtube playlist – a BBC dude actually feels the master – he says you don’t mind? The BBC dude goes – no – and then he is in shock, “There is nothing there!!” haha.

  8. Vincent Creevy says:

    Thank you Greg for this great interview! George has been a friend of mine for nearly 30 years and I am happy to see that more and more people are getting a chance to hear the many interesting things that has to say on the vast spectrum of the paranormal.

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