A Search for Meaning in Victorian Religion: The Spiritual Journey and Esoteric Teachings of Charles Carleton Massey, by Jeffrey D. Lavoie
From the publisher’s website: Christian mystic, astrologer, and spiritualist, Charles Carleton Massey (1838–1905) underwent an eclectic spiritual journey that resulted in a series of articles, letters, and booklets that have largely been neglected by modern society. Massey was a child of privilege formally trained as a barrister of law at the Westminster School and the son of the English Minister of Finance for India. He devoted his life to solving the metaphysical mysteries of existence leading him into the world of religious philosophy that placed him in the middle of a crossroads between Victorian science, religion, and philosophy. Beginning his journey as a Spiritualist, Massey continued on a course that brought him into the Theosophical Society, eventually becoming the founding president of its British branch, going through the ranks of the Society of Psychical Research and ultimately into his final role as a Christian mystic.
This indispensable work combines Massey’s collected writings with never before published letters organized topically in order to define Massey’s unique world-view for a new generation of readers. This book covers a range of topics from the “nature of God” to the “microcosm and macrocosm” to “Satanism” and “reincarnation” all the while allowing the reader a rare glimpse into Victorian England and the social and religious issues of this time period. The recollections recorded in this book though written over a hundred years ago, are dealt with in such a simple yet profound way that remain relevant to modern spiritual seekers of all types.
A Search for Meaning in Victorian Religion. Lehigh University Press, November 2014. ISBN-13: 978-1611461848
From the author’s website: Near-death experiences, or NDEs, are controversial. Thousands of people have had them, but many in the scientific community have argued that they are impossible. Dr. Eben Alexander was one of those people. A highly trained neurosurgeon who had operated on thousands of brains in the course of his career, Alexander knew that what people of faith call the “soul” is really a product of brain chemistry. NDEs, he would have been the first to explain, might feel real to the people having them, but in truth they are simply fantasies produced by brains under extreme stress. Then came the day when Dr. Alexander’s own brain was attacked by an extremely rare illness. The part of the brain that controls thought and emotion – and in essence makes us human – shut down completely. For seven days Alexander lay in a hospital bed in a deep coma. Then, as his doctors weighed the possibility of stopping treatment, Alexander’s eyes popped open. He had come back.
Alexander’s recovery is by all accounts a medical miracle. But the real miracle of his story lies elsewhere. While his body lay in coma, Alexander journeyed beyond this world and encountered an angelic being who guided him into the deepest realms of super-physical existence. There he met, and spoke with, the Divine source of the universe itself. This story sounds like the wild and wonderful imaginings of a skilled fantasy writer. But it is not fantasy. Before Alexander underwent his journey, he could not reconcile his knowledge of neuroscience with any belief in heaven, God, or the soul. That difficulty with belief created an empty space that no professional triumph could erase. Today he is a doctor who believes that true health can be achieved only when we realize that God and the soul are real and that death is not the end of personal existence but only a transition. This story would be remarkable no matter who it happened to. That it happened to Dr. Alexander makes it revolutionary. No scientist or person of faith will be able to ignore it. Reading it will change your life.
Proof of Heaven. Piatkus, October 2012. ISBN-13: 978-0749958794
From the publisher’s website: ‘Psi’ is the term used by researchers for a variety of demonstrable but elusive psychic phenomena. This collection of essays provides a detailed survey of the evidence for psi at the level of scientific examination.
Key features of apparent psi phenomena are reviewed, including precognition and remote perception (knowledge of future or distant events that cannot be inferred from present information), presentiment (physiological responses to stimuli that have not yet occurred), the effects of human emotions on globally dispersed machines, the possible impact of local sidereal time on psi performance, and the familiar feeling of knowing who is calling on the phone.
Special attention is given to those phenomena that make it difficult for scientists to get a clear understanding of psi. The body of psi research, while complex and frustrating, is shown to contain sufficiently compelling positive evidence to convince the rational open-minded observer that psi is real, and that one or more physical processes probably underlie observed psi phenomena.
Evidence for Psi. McFarland, November 2014. ISBN-13: 978-0786478286
The Immortal Mind: Science and the Continuity of Consciousness Beyond the Brain, by Ervin Laszlo with Anthony Peake
From the publisher’s website: Scientific evidence for the continual presence of consciousness with or without connection to a living organism
• Examines findings on the survival of consciousness beyond life, including near-death experiences, after-death communication, and reincarnation
• Explains how this correlates precisely with cutting-edge physics theories on superstrings, information fields, and energy matrices
• Reveals how consciousness manifests in living beings to continue its evolution
Evidence now points to consciousness existing beyond the brain, such as when the brain is temporarily incapacitated, as well as to the survival of consciousness after death. Conventional science prefers to dismiss these findings because they cannot be accommodated by a materialist view of reality. Spirituality and religion embrace the continuity of consciousness and ascribe it to a nonmaterial spirit or soul that is immortal. As such, spirituality/religion and science continually find conflict in their views. But what if there truly is no conflict?
Based on a new scientific paradigm in sync with experience-based spirituality, Ervin Laszlo and Anthony Peake explore how consciousness is continually present in the cosmos and can exist without connection to a living organism. They examine the rapidly growing body of scientific evidence supporting the continuity of consciousness, including near-death experiences, after-death communication, reincarnation, and neurosensory information received in altered states. They explain how the persistence of consciousness beyond the demise of the body means that, in essence, we are not mortal--we continue to exist even when our physical existence has come to an end. This correlates precisely with cutting-edge physics, which posits that things in our plane of time and space are not intrinsically real but are manifestations of a hidden dimension where they exist in the form of superstrings, information fields, and energy matrices.
With proof that consciousness is basic to the cosmos and immortal in its deeper, nonmanifest realm, Laszlo and Peake reveal the purpose of consciousness is to manifest in living beings in order to continuously evolve.
The Immortal Mind. Inner Traditions, November 2014. ISBN-13: 978-1620553039
From the publisher: The idea that we live more than one life on Earth has been taught since philosophy and theology were invented. But not everyone accepts it. There are secular critics who find the idea unscientific, religious critics who feel it violates their unassailable doctrines, and just plain critics who attack it on pragmatic grounds. Not only does the author of this book demonstrate the faults in such criticisms, he presents conclusive evidence that reincarnation is a reality, at least for some of us, some of the time.
Defending Bridey's Honor. CreateSpace, June 2013. ISBN-13: 978-1490312101
ESP Wars East and West: An Account of the Military Use of Psychic Espionage As Narrated by the Key Russian and American Players, by Edwin C. May, Victor Rubel, and Loyd Auerbach
From the authors’ blurb: Was there really a government-sanctioned psychic programme in the US? What were their goals? Were they successful? Were there fights in Congress about the programme? Did our Military support it fully? Was the US programme set up in response to a Soviet programme? Did the Soviet Union actually create psychic (psychotronic) weapons and generators? What was the involvement of the KGB? Have psychics had any influence over politics and decisions in the US? In the Soviet Union? In Russia? Has Russia continued with psychic espionage even as the US shut down its programme? Has there been a psychic arms race…a series of ESP Wars?
Read the real stories of the American and Soviet/Russian ESP programmes and how ESP was used in intelligence gathering and other applications. Learn the greater story of why these major powers saw fit to put stock in something so many academics dismiss out of turn and what practical value was found for Military and Intelligence operations. Delve into the politics that led to, supported, and eventually shut down the psychic espionage programmes – and why the US programme, at least, has not been resurrected in light of the events of the first decade of the 21st century.
With commentary and insights from the former US programme director (Edwin C. May), the Army’s remote viewing agent 001 (Joe McMoneagle) and several Russian military/former KGB officers and experts, ESP WARS gives you an insiders’ view of what really went on, how it happened, and why. This book will be of interest to anyone interested in ESP (especially Remote Viewing), as well as how ESP has been successfully applied in missions of last resort for the Defence Department, CIA and other agencies. The book will especially be of interest to those looking for material on the politics and funding of classified projects, as well as the people participating in them, supporting them, and those with an axe to grind.
The Russian (and Soviet) sources present readers with a narrative of the place of psychic abilities in their society and politics, how the KGB was (and was not) involved, how psychics were brought into political decisions and even how psychics ended up in tanks on the front lines in the war in Chechnya. Those interested in international politics will find much to chew on here as well, especially insight into what went on during a number of difficult political situations at the end of the reign of the Soviet Union. Also of great interest is the perspective (and experiences) of our high-ranking Russian sources with regards to the KGB. For a story that transcends merely dealing with the “psychic” in “psychic spying,” for a narrative of politics and classified projects, ESP WARS will hold your attention from start to finish. As a bit of a tease at the end is an appendix with declassified material from the US Star Gate Programme.
ESP Wars. CreateSpace, August 2014. ISBN-13: 978-1500743000
Contagion: In the Shadow of the South Shields Poltergeist, by Darren W. Ritson and Michael J. Hallowell
From the publisher’s website: Almost ten years on after the famous South Shields Poltergeist case of 2006, and its disturbing book of 2008, Darren W. Ritson and Michael J. Hallowell bring you Contagion, a fascinating and ground-breaking new study of the world of poltergeist activity. After researching a number of different and bewildering poltergeist cases, post-South Shields, the authors have come to some startling conclusions and raise some serious thought-provoking hypotheses regarding the aspect of poltergeistry known as 'contagion'.
Contagion is one of many facets of the poltergeist phenomenon and, if it so desires, can touch all those that choose to investigate it – no one is safe. During the years subsequent to the South Shields case, both authors were subjected to poltergeist 'contagion' which, after studying these events and further cases, led them to conclude that they may not have been as free of the South Shields entity as they had previously – and somewhat naively – thought. This book was originally completed and ready for publication in 2009, but due to unforeseen circumstances and situations out of the authors' hands, they decided to wait until now to release these new accounts, along with hitherto unpublished material and photographs pertaining to the 2006 case. With a foreword by the late Colin Wilson (1931-2013) this book promises to be one of the most controversial paranormal publications of recent years and create some serious debate about the nature of the poltergeist phenomenon.
Darren W. Ritson has written almost twenty books on ghosts and hauntings and has been a member of the Society for Psychical Research (SPR) since 2006. Darren has travelled the country lecturing on the poltergeist phenomenon and has been invited to conduct talks with some of the leading academic research associations into psychic study such as the SPR, the Ghost Club of Great Britain and the Scottish Society for Psychical Research. Darren has also lectured at Northumbria University after receiving invites from Dr Nick Neave (Head of Psychology/Parapsychology).
Michael J. Hallowell is the author of over a dozen books on the subject of paranormal phenomena. He is a freelance journalist and broadcaster and lectures widely on subjects such as the supernatural and comparative religion. In 2011, long after completing the manuscript for Contagion with his co-author Darren W. Ritson, he began to study the history of the Jinn phenomenon and as a result converted to Islam. He is now a practising Muslim and is currently working on a number of books, including an in-depth study of the crucifixion from an Islamic viewpoint.
Contagion. Limbury Press, July 2014. ISBN: 978-0956522894
From the Spiritualists’ National Union website: This illustrated booklet traces the history of this remarkable phase of physical phenomena, firstly introduced in America around the mid-1870s by Professor W. Denton. Spirit Wax Moulds are one of the most definitive pieces of evidences of physical séance room phenomena and the Britten Memorial Museum is fortunate to hold some of these rare moulds. In the early 1920s Dr. Gustave Geley re-introduced the production of wax moulds with the remarkable Polish medium Franek Kluski. The booklet concludes with a summary of discussions in the Journal of the Society for Psychical Research by modern day psychical researchers.
The booklet is available from the SNU online shop: http://www.shop.snu.org.uk/new.html
Spirit Wax Moulds. The Arthur Findlay College, March 2012. 23pp. £3.99.
From the publisher’s website: This book contains 12 accounts of personal experiences from the world beyond. They come from deceased human beings who transmitted their individual story through the deep trance medium Beatrice Brunner during the years 1961 to 1969. In a vivid manner they describe their initial experiences and encounters in the next world. These reports are impressive testimonies of the continuation of life after death.
Hereafter. ABZ Verlag, 2013. ISBN: 978-3-85516-011-2
From the publisher’s website: Franek Kluski produced what might justifiably be described as the widest and most striking range of phenomena in the history of physical mediumship. A Pole whose professions included banking and journalism, his involvement with psychical research lasted for a brief period between 1918 and 1925. During that time he took part in meticulously documented séances devised and attended by eminent researchers. Much of the information about him has until now been available only in Polish, and today references to him in English tend to be restricted to the famous ‘Kluski hands’, the paraffin wax moulds casts of which were intended to become the ultimate Permanent Paranormal Object. Theories as to how such moulds might have been produced continue to cause controversy, yet this was just one aspect of the phenomena surrounding this remarkable man. Based on original Polish sources, by painting a detailed portrait of the man in the context of his times this book aims to rectify the omission of Kluski from the gallery of important mediums.
Zofia Weaver is a past editor of the Journal and Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research. One of her main areas of interest in psychical research is the investigation of famous Polish psychics. Together with Mary Rose Barrington and the late Professor Ian Stevenson she has written a comprehensive study of the Polish clairvoyant Stefan Ossowiecki, published in 2005.
Other Realities? White Crow Books, March 2015. ISBN 978-1-910121-39-9
Induced After Death Communication: A Miraculous Therapy For Grief and Loss, by Allan L. Botkin and Craig Hogan
From the publisher’s website: Induced After Death Communication (IADC) is a therapy for grief and trauma that has helped thousands of people come to terms with their loss by allowing them the experience of private communication with their departed loved ones. This is the definitive book on the subject.
Botkin, a clinical psychologist, created the therapy while counseling Vietnam veterans in his work at a Chicago area VA hospital. Botkin recounts his initial—accidental—discovery of IADC during therapy sessions with Sam, a Vietnam vet haunted by the memory of a Vietnamese girl he couldn't save. During the session, quite unexpectedly, Sam saw a vision of the girl's spirit, who told him everything was okay; she was at peace now. This single moment surpassed months—years—of therapy, and allowed Sam to reconnect with his family.
Since that 1995 discovery, Botkin has used IADC to successfully treat countless patients—the book includes dozens of case examples—and has taught the procedure to therapists around the country.
Induced After Death Communication. Hampton Roads, May 2014. ISBN-13: 978-1571747129
The Improbability Principle: Why coincidences, miracles and rare events happen all the time, by David Hand
From the publisher’s website: Why is it that incredibly unlikely phenomena actually happen quite regularly and why should we, in fact, expect such things to happen? Here, in this highly original book – aimed squarely at anyone with an interest in coincidences, probability or gambling – eminent statistician David Hand answers this question by weaving together various strands of probability into a unified explanation, which he calls the improbability principle.
This is a book that will appeal not only to those who love stories about startling coincidences and extraordinarily rare events, but also to those who are interested in how a single bold idea links areas as diverse as gambling, the weather, airline disasters and creative writing as well as the origin of life and even the universe. The Improbability Principle will change your perspective on how the world works – and tell you what the Bible code and Shakespeare have in common, how to win the lottery, why Apple's song shuffling was made less random to seem more random. Oh and why lightning does in fact strike twice...
The Improbability Principle. Corgi, January 2015. ISBN-13: 978-0552170192
The Wonder of You: What the Near-Death Experience Tells You about Yourself, by Lynn Kathleen Russell
From the author: Lynn Kathleen Russell has researched 2500 NDEs and now shares what she has learned through her extensive investigations. Those who have returned from death frequently come back with vastly different ways of seeing the world, others, and themselves. They are more caring, gentle, and have a deeper sense of spirituality.
Russell was the primary researcher for Dr. Jeff Long MD for his book, Evidence of the Afterlife: The Science of Near-Death Experiences, and the owner of the website NDERF (Near Death Experience Research Foundation). Within the many cases she examined and discovered wonderful messages she wanted to share with others. Through her research, Russell found these cases offered deeply hidden messages about the world, life and the paths we all travel. Her book will guide readers toward their own personal discoveries, and is designed for readers who are looking to understand their place in the world.
Prior to researching with NDERF, Lynn Russell was a family counsellor for over twenty-five years in Calgary, Alberta Canada.
The Wonder of You. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, February 2013. ISBN-13: 978-1480094253
From the author’s introduction: ‘I have spent most of my life in the East Lancashire village of Helmshore … Researching the history of the textile industries and local life in general has taken up much of my time for more than half a century … and led to several books. But I still have material stored in a file labelled ‘The Supernatural’, a collection which, I suspect, describes only a fraction of the inexplicable encounters experienced by local people. Doubtless other towns and villages could yield a paranormal harvest to match my own …’
Strange Stories from a Lancashire Village. Helmshore Local History Society, 2014.
From the publisher's website: People everywhere carry with them extraordinary, deeply comforting experiences that arrived at the moment when they most needed relief: when they lost a loved one. These experiences can include clear messages from beyond, profound and vividly beautiful visions, mysterious connections and spiritual awareness, foreknowledge of a loved one’s passing—all of which evade explanation by science and logic. Most people keep these transcendent experiences secret — deathbed experiences, Nearing Death Awareness, and shared death experiences. Individuals and families guard them for fear they will be discounted by hyperrational scrutiny. Yet these very common occurrences have the power to console, comfort, and even transform our understanding of life and death.
Prompted by her family’s surprising, profound experiences around the death of her father and her sister, reporter Patricia Pearson sets out on an open-minded inquiry, a rare journalistic investigation of Nearing Death Awareness. Pearson discovers that roughly half of bereaved people, as well as nurses, hospice workers, soldiers, and others who constantly observe the dying, have had intimations of enduring bonds that can radically help people to process their grief and their fear. Opening Heaven’s Door offers deeply affecting stories of messages from the dying and the dead in a fascinating work of investigative journalism, pointing to new scientific explanations that give these luminous moments the importance felt by those who experience them. Pearson also delves into out-of-body and near-death experiences, examining stories and research to make sense of these related but distinct categories that shed light on Nearing Death Awareness.
Countless people experience these coincidences when a loved one dies, while others experience such visions while they are dying themselves. These phenomena point toward a larger spiritual reality, and the reality of life (or something else) after death, yet are ignored in a cultural framework that dismisses anything that cannot be explained by the physical brain. But by dismissing or discounting these occurrences, we hamper our own healing. Challenging current assumptions about what we know and what we are still unable to explain, Opening Heaven’s Door is a groundbreaking, beautifully written exploration that will forever alter your perceptions of the nature of life and death.
Opening Heaven’s Door. Simon & Schuster UK, May 2014. ISBN-13: 978-1471137136