Seriously Strange: Thinking Anew about Psychical Experiences

By Sudhir Kakar and Jeffrey J. Kripal (eds.)

From the publisher’s website: This book sheds light on some of the most baffling paranormal experiences. It maps the mind-bending geography of the human psyche and the spectrum of experiences that influence it.  The book features accessibly written essays by the most eminent scholars in a field constantly sullied by frauds and dismissed by sceptics. The paranormal has exerted a strange fascination over humankind for centuries. In Seriously Strange, the second volume in the Boundaries of Consciousness series edited by Sudhir Kakar and Jeffrey D. Kripal, a group of nine intellectuals come together to shed light on some of the most baffling experiences on record of psychical experiences. Through these illuminating essays, they tell us how such extraordinary events can be decoded and interpreted to become the object of rigorous scientific study.

The range is wide: from essays that reveal how Freud and Jung engaged with the notion of the paranormal to a provocative and humorous memoir of a physicist who spent over a decade running a secret psychic spying programme for the US government during the Cold War (Edwin C May ran a secret psychic spying programme, known as Star Gate, for the US government. He recounts the project’s successes, as he sees them. May is perhaps the world’s only person who has enjoyed a 20-year, full-time job with industrial wages plus health and retirement benefits in which his only responsibility was Extra Sensory Perception [ESP] research and its applications). There are also heartfelt accounts by practising psychiatrists who recount the dramatic effects of the anomalous in their healing practice to a learned call for the renewal of professional parapsychology in the light of Patanjali’s Yoga-sutras. By telling their own stories and exploring some of the implications of their work, these men and women throw light on the spectrum of experiences such as love and death, desire and sex, hurt and healing, myth and magic that influence the human psyche.  By telling their own stories and exploring some of the implications of their work, these men and women map the mind-bending geography of the human psyche and the spectrum of experiences, love and death, desire and sex, hurt and healing, myth and magic, that influence it.


Seriously Strange. Viking, July 2012. ISBN 9780670084654

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