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Arthur Hastings

1935 - 2014 Obituary Condolences
Arthur Hastings Obituary
Arthur Claude Hastings

   Dr. Arthur Claude Hastings, professor at Sofia University (formerly the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology) in Palo Alto CA passed away peacefully 13 April 2014 at his home. He was 79 and the cause of death was acute leukemia.

   Dr. Hastings was a faculty member at Sofia from its beginning in 1975 and over the years held most of the top positions in the school. Earlier in his academic career he held faculty appointments at Stanford University, San Jose State University and the University of Nevada.

   He was one of the founders and a leader in the field of transpersonal psychology. He specialized in transpersonal theory, altered states of consciousness, and research methodology. He was book review editor for the Journal of Transpersonal Psychology and a former president of the Association for Transpersonal Psychology.

   At Sophia University he directed the William James Center for Consciousness Studies and was doing research on the psychomanteum technique, an innovative approach to healing bereavement. 

   He was well known as a parapsychologist for his research on psychic phenomena. He consulted at SRI International on remote viewing projects and published articles on this successful research. He investigated poltergeist phenomena using his knowledge of conjuring techniques to identify several cases of deception or misinterpretation. He wrote critiques of Israeli psychic Uri Geller and of deceptive psychic practitioners.

   One of his hobbies was magic and he often entertained at school events with magic illustrating psychological concepts and stories. He was a member of three magic organizations and used his magical knowledge to investigate apparent cases of poltergeists and other parapsychological phenomena. 

   He was on the board of the Northern California Society for Clinical Hypnosis and used hypnosis to assist people in performance skills, personal issues and preparation for medical treatment.

   His book, With the Tongues of Men and Angels, is considered the standard reference on channeling. He edited Health for the Whole Person, one of the first books on holistic medicine. In high school and college he coached teams to national debate championships and later co-authored a standard text in debate, Argumentation and Advocacy.

   He was born in Neosho MO and grew up there. He did his undergraduate work at Tulane University and received a Ph.D. from Northwestern University in public address and small group communication. 

   He is survived by his wife, Sandy, son and daughter-in-law, Michael and Adrianne Hastings, and grandchildren Mason, Ava and Ethan Hastings.

For information on donations to the Arthur Hastings Fellowship Fund contact the Sophia University Donation Office at 650.493.4430.

Published in San Francisco Chronicle from May 4 to May 11, 2014
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