Altering Consciousness: Multidisciplinary Perspectives, by Etzel Cardeña and Michael Winkelman, (eds.)
From the publisher’s website: This authoritative, multidisciplinary overview of altered states of consciousness (ASC) shows how their study is necessary to gain a fundamental understanding of human culture, history, and biology. From prehistoric caves to current raves and virtual reality technology, humanity has always sought to alter its consciousness. Altered states of consciousness can be achieved through dreaming, drumming, dancing, meditation, hypnosis, fasting, sex, and a number of other human activities. These strategies affect consciousness by mimicking the natural responses of our nervous system.
Altered consciousness is one of humanity's most mystical and life-altering aspects. These remarkable changes in mental state have understandably been a topic of general interest and scientific inquiry across time. Beyond simply satisfying our curiosity, however, studies focused upon altered consciousness can also bring valuable insights into our experience, biology, and culture.
This unprecedented two-volume set will intrigue anyone interested in psychology, biology and neurology, science, history, arts and the humanities, and literature on consciousness, from general readers to scholars and researchers. An impressive collection of international contributors address altered states of consciousness from the perspectives of history, evolution, psychology, culture, literature, human biology, contemporary science, and society, seeking to illuminate the causes, effects, and meanings of altered consciousness. The first volume provides an introduction and centers on the importance of altered states in history, culture, and the humanities, while the second volume presents biological and psychological perspectives on altered consciousness and examines their potential for healing and pathology.
Altering Consciousness. Praeger, May 2011. pISBN-13 978-0-31338-308-3; eISBN-13 978-0-31338-309-0
From the publisher’s website: On August 31st 1977, normal life ended for Mrs Harper and her four children in their modest council house in a hitherto quiet corner of the north London suburb of Enfield.
Compared to what was to come, the initial phenomena were relatively minor – knockings on the walls, and pieces of furniture moving in ways that did not seem normal. The neighbours came in and searched the house, finding all in order, though they too heard the knocking. The police were called, and were able to witness a chair sliding along the floor. The disturbances went on, getting more intense and more frightening. They were eventually witnessed by at least thirty people.
They included examples of everything a poltergeist can do – overturning chairs and tables, flinging things about, whipping off bedclothes, levitating one of the girls in full view of passers-by, making her speak with the voice of an old man and defying the laws of physics by passing matter through solid matter.
Much of this bewildering and often terrifying activity was captured on tape and film by Maurice Grosse of the Society for Psychical Research and his colleague Guy Lyon Playfair, who were on the case within days of its outbreak stayed on it until it finally came to an end, with a twist as unexpected and surprising as in any detective story.
No other case of its kind has been so well witnessed from start to finish or so thoroughly documented. Incidents are described as they happened, without embellishment, from some six hundred pages of transcripts of live tape recordings. The Enfield poltergeist is already regarded as a classic in the annals of psychical research. It has been the subject of worldwide press coverage and several radio and television documentaries.
GUY LYON PLAYFAIR was born in India and educated in England, obtaining a degree in modern languages from Cambridge University. He then spent many years in Brazil as a freelance journalist for The Economist, Time, and the Associated Press, also working for four years in the press section of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The first of his twelve books, The Flying Cow, in which he described his experiences investigating the psychic side of Brazil, was translated into six languages and became an international best seller. His most recent book is Telepathy – the Twin Connection. He now lives in London and is a council member of the Society for Psychical Research.
This House is Haunted. White Crow Books, February 2011. ISBN 978-1-907661-78-5
From the publisher’s website: It is the most comprehensive handbook on subtle energy: 720 pages, 1,500 references, 450 figures, it establishes the science and the physics which backs up and explains many mysteries, including long distance healing, the nature of the aura, and how shamanism creates instantaneous changes. It explains what "subtle energy," also called "chi," prana, "orgone" and torsion, really is. It explains what energy healers are really doing when they send their energy to a faraway client. It connects the mystical part with the scientific part of healing. Devices are now being built and patented, and equations being developed which integrate this ancient and elusive force with modern science.
Dr. Claude Swanson was educated as a physicist at MIT and Princeton University. During those years he worked at the MIT Science Teaching Center, Brookhaven National Laboratory and a Virginia cyclotron in the summer. At Princeton he received the National Science Foundation Fellowship and Putnam Fellowship. His Ph.D. thesis at Princeton was done in the "Gravity Group," which focuses on experimental cosmology and astronomy.
For the last fifteen years, interspersed with his conventional professional career in applied physics, Dr. Swanson has pursued investigations into "unconventional physics." His principal interest has been unified field theory, the so-called "Theory of Everything" which could explain the universe at the deepest possible level. This has led him to investigate many aspects of the paranormal, which appear to be completely real phenomena which violate our present science. Paranormal phenomena, which have now been proven in the laboratory in many cases, offer a window into the deeper universe, the mysteries of consciousness, and unlock new forces and principles which conventional science has only begun to glimpse.
Life Force. Poseidia Press, 2009. ISBN-13: 978-0974526140
Investigating the Supernatural: From Spiritism and Occultism to Psychical Research and Metapsychics in France, 1853–1931, by Lachapelle Sofie
From the publisher’s website: Séances were wildly popular in France between 1850 and 1930, when members of the general public and scholars alike turned to the wondrous as a means of understanding and explaining the world. Sofie Lachapelle explores how five distinct groups attempted to use and legitimize séances: spiritists, who tried to create a new "science" concerned with the spiritual realm and the afterlife; occultists, who hoped to connect ancient revelations with contemporary science; physicians, psychiatrists, and psychologists, who developed a pathology of supernatural experiences; psychical researchers, who drew on the unexplained experiences of the public to create a new field of research; and metapsychists, who attempted to develop a new science of yet-to-be understood natural forces.
Lachapelle examines the practices, aims, and level of success of these five disciplines, paying special attention to how they interacted with each other and with the world of mainstream science. Their practitioners regarded mystical phenomena worthy of serious study; most devotees—with notable exceptions of physicians, psychiatrists, and psychologists—also meant to challenge conventional science in general and French science in particular. Through these stories, Lachapelle illuminates the lively relationship between science and the supernatural in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century France and relates why this relationship ultimately led to the marginalization of psychical research and metapsychics.
An enlightening and entertaining narrative that includes colourful people like "Allan Kardec"—a pseudonymous former mathematics teacher from Lyon who wrote successful works on the science of the séance and what happened after death—Investigating the Supernatural reveals the rich and vibrant diversity of unorthodox beliefs and practices that existed at the borders of the French scientific culture in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Sofie Lachapelle is an associate professor of history at the University of Guelph.
Investigating the Supernatural. The Johns Hopkins University Press, April 2011. ISBN-13: 978-1421400136
From the publisher’s website: THE LONELY SENSE is the unique story of ROBERT CRACKNELL who underwent a harrowing childhood, came to terms with his growing psychic powers, and ended up assisting the police and people around the world with his uncanny ability to see back into the past…and forward into the future.
“Robert Cracknell must be the least typical psychic in the world,” writes COLIN WILSON in his foreword to this electrifying autobiography. “To encounter Cracknell is a refreshing, or possibly a traumatic, experience…He is totally down-to-earth, blunt, aggressive and impatient; he is also intelligent, honest, and obsessively, almost self-destructively, devoted to his own vision of the truth. The fact is that, as a psychic, Cracknell is a total Outsider… the alienated man who has to learn to turn his powers of development inward… Cracknell represents something completely new in this strange field of the paranormal... He has a natural vitality and frankness that makes his book absorbing reading. His is a voice that needs and deserves to be heard.”
This book is an expanded and updated version of Clues to the Unknown originally published by Hamlyn in 1981.
The Lonely Sense. Anomalist Books, March 2011. ISBN: 1933665513
Glimpses of Eternity: An Investigation into Shared Death Experiences, by Raymond Moody, with Paul Perry
From the publisher’s website: Glimpses of Eternity, a new book by acclaimed doctor and bestselling author Raymond Moody confirms life after death and shows that our relationships with those we love live forever. Dr. Raymond Moody revolutionized the way we think about heaven with his first book, Life After Life—which became one of the bestselling books of all time. Now Dr. Moody uncovers another common thread to what happens when we die. Glimpses of Eternity tells us that family and friends are often swept into the first moments of their loved one's journey from this life to the next. Dr. Moody calls these "shared death experiences." Glimpses of Eternity is the first book to talk about this beautiful aspect of our spiritual connections with one another.
Glimpses of Eternity. Guideposts, October 2010. ISBN-13: 978-0824948139
From the publisher’s website: Join Ross Andrews on a paranormal journey around not only the city of Oxford, but also the towns and villages of Oxfordshire. A ghost hunter for over twenty years, he was chairman of the Parasoc society, the paranormal research society as well as running his own paranormal nights at St Briavel’s castle - the Most Haunted building in the world! So with this pedigree in the paranormal it’s no surprise he was drawn to investigate the historic spooks of Oxfordshire. The book has a variety of aspects to it, there are ghost walks that you can do for free around the centre of the city, as well as telling you which spooks to spot throughout the colleges. There is also a large section on the surrounding areas of Oxford for you to go to, so that you can investigate for yourselves. He will offer rational explanations wherever possible, and if not then let you decide for yourself. There are also handy hints should you wish to follow in his footsteps and become a ghost hunter. Ideal for anyone curious about the unexplained, or even for the tourist who wants to see something different on a visit to Oxfordshire. Ross has tried to concentrate on stories and places that you can have access to, pubs, streets, fields, castles, museums. and many more. So join him on a journey into the unknown and explore the paranormal throughout Oxford, and Oxfordshire.
A ghost hunter for over twenty years Ross takes us on an adventure through the heart of the Forest of Dean, this book concentrates on haunted tourist attractions so that you too can go into them and investigate for yourself. So join us and prepared to be scared as we venture through haunted castles, pubs, mines, and woodland in the Forest Full of Frights. This book has a variety of aspects to it. Firstly, it takes you on a trip around the centre of the forest to several museums, castles and pubs. The second part of the book is a about what is possibly the UK’s most haunted building, St. Briavel’s castle, it tells you how to stay in some of the most haunted rooms, and even how to join in with a ghost hunt. The third part of the book is a further guide on how to be a ghost hunter yourself, giving you examples and experiments to do. An ideal book for anyone curious about the unexplained, or even a paranormal tourist travelling through the Forest of Dean, this is a truly frightening glimpse into the unknown . Turn the pages if you dare, and join Ross on the adventure of your life….or afterlife!
Paranormal Oxford and Paranormal Forest of Dean. Amberley Publishing, October/March 2010. ISBN 9781445600024/ ISBN 9781848685918
From the publisher’s website: When Robert G. Jahn and Brenda J. Dunne first embarked on their exotic scholarly journey more than three decades ago, their aspirations were little higher than to attempt replication of some previously asserted anomalous results that might conceivably impact future engineering practice, either negatively or positively, and to pursue those ramifications to some appropriate extent.
But as they followed that tortuous research path deeper into its metaphysical forest, it became clear that far more fundamental epistemological issues were at stake, and far stranger phenomenological creatures were on the prowl, than they had originally envisaged, and that a substantially broader range of intellectual and cultural perspectives would be required to pursue that trek productively.
This text is their attempt to record some of the tactics developed, experiences encountered, and understanding acquired on this mist-shrouded exploration, in the hope that their preservation in this format will encourage and enable deeper future scholarly penetrations into the ultimate Source of Reality.
Consciousness and the Source of Reality. ICRL Press, February 2011. ISBN-13: 9781936033034
From the publisher’s website: Here is an account of mentality and human experience, written for a multi-disciplinary readership. The focus is on how mind, consciousness and selves inter-relate, extending into exploration of ideas about the nature of awareness and a search for relevant evidence.
‘Consciousness studies’ has reached something of a crossroads nowadays. Computational approaches to mind and ‘quantum consciousness’ theories, have not lived up to early hopes. Neuroscience has made huge strides in the last few years, but is still nowhere near able to account for the existence of consciousness itself - as opposed to being able to explain how some of its content gets there. Philosophically, there is lack of consensus over both the nature of consciousness and what questions we should be asking about it.
Chris Nunn's book surveys the current situation and argues that, as far as ‘mind’ is concerned, we need to take the overall dynamics into consideration, which include genetic, environmental and social factors along with neurology. He emphasizes the close links that exist between memory, experience and personhood. What emerges most strongly from this account is that answers to questions about the nature of consciousness are likely to depend on achieving a better understanding of the physics of time.
Chris Nunn is a psychiatrist who researched mind/body relationships and bipolar disorder. He has been involved in the ‘consciousness studies’ movement since 1992.
Who Was Mrs Willett? Imprint Academic, January 2011. ISBN 9781845402198
Randi's Prize: What Sceptics Say About the Paranormal, Why They Are Wrong, and Why It Matters, by McLuhan, Robert
From the publisher’s website: James 'The Amazing' Randi is a stage magician who says he has a million dollars for anyone who can convince him they have psychic powers. No one has even come close to winning, proof, say sceptical scientists, that there is no such thing as 'the paranormal'. But are they right? In this illuminating and often provocative analysis, Robert McLuhan examines the influence of Randi and other debunking sceptics in shaping scientific opinion about such things as telepathy, psychics, ghosts and near-death experiences. He points out that scientific researchers who investigate these things at first hand overwhelmingly consider them to be genuinely anomalous. But this has shocking implications, for science, for society and for even perhaps for ourselves as individuals. Hence the sceptics' insistence that they should rather be attributed to fraud, imagination and wishful thinking. However, this extraordinary and little understood aspect of consciousness has much to tell us about the human situation, McLuhan suggests. And at a time when militants are polarising the debate about religion, its mystical, spiritual element offers an optimistic and enlightened way forward. Randi's Prize is aimed at anyone interested in spirituality or those curious to know the truth about paranormal claims. It's an intelligent and readable analysis of scientific research into the paranormal which, uniquely, also closely examines the arguments of well-known sceptics.
Robert McLuhan gained a First in English Literature at Oxford, then worked as a foreign correspondent for the Guardian in Spain and Portugal. He now works as a freelance journalist. He has been a member of the Society for Psychical Research since 1993, blogging and lecturing on paranormal topics.
Randi's Prize, November 2010. ISBN-13: 978-1848764941
From the publisher’s website: This is the story of a normal woman who experienced the impossible: objective contacts with another dimension through loud and clear voices received by electronic means during Instrumental Transcommunication (ITC) experiments.
Dr Cardoso, a senior diplomat, describes the astounding experiences that transformed her life since she started ITC research in 1997. She presents extracts of conversations with her deceased loved ones and other personalities who insisted that they live in another world.
The level of agreement between communications received by the author and concepts, even words, recorded by other experimenters from Jurgenson and Raudive to contemporary operators, constitutes compelling evidence of the reality of the next world that awaits us all. As communicators from Timestream told Dr Cardoso: The dead pass through here, you pass through here!.
Electronic Voices breaks new ground in the literature providing details of audio contacts, recorded under controlled conditions, with beings in an evolved dimension, which they describe as another space, beyond time. This evolved dimension of life corresponds to an evolved state of consciousness in the cosmic evolutionary sequence.
Electronic Voices. O Books, September 2010. ISBN-13: 978-1846943638
From the publisher’s website: Norfolk has many associations with the paranormal, from ancient tales of Shuck the hound that has haunted the county’s lanes for a thousand years to tales of ghosts from the Second World War and of unidentified f lying objects. This book takes a new approach by looking at the paranormal as recorded in the archives of the county.
The stories include those collected by some of the county’s keenest folklorists such as W. H. Cooke, Mark Taylor, and W. G. Clarke, as well as first-hand records of paranormal experience. Many tales are published for the very first time, such as Mottie Green, the Wells ‘witch’, and a new light is thrown on more familiar stories such as the haunting of Syderstone Parsonage and the Snettisham ghost. Not least, the book also explains the key role of Norwich in the development of the vampire story! Read this book and your view of Norfolk will never be the same again!
Paranormal Norfolk. Amberley Publishing, November 2010. ISBN 9781848684713
From the publisher’s website: The root of the word science is knowledge; the root of the word magic is wisdom. Serena blends these two spheres of human experience and shows how the latest scientific research and parapsychological study interact. The quantum view of matter is overturning the traditional world-view and the fantastic discoveries being made bring new insights into the connections between all forms of magic and science. We share the exciting results of her research on the scientific validation of psychic phenomena. Drawing on her ground-breaking work on the pineal gland - something called the third eye - and the phenomenon of second sight, she shows that the greatest implication of psychic phenomena is that each of us is potentially aware of the natural magic of our earth and of everything in the universe.
Where Science and Magic Meet, Green Magic, September 2010, 3rd edition. ISBN-13: 978-0956188618
From the publisher’s website: Haunted Gardens is a brand new book from the renowned supernatural writer, Peter Underwood. The world today is fascinated by life after death, and the affect that the 'other side' has on our lives. Peter Underwood has decided to explore ghostly gardens for the very first time in history, and shows, with examples from all over the world, just how spooky gardens can be! Fully illustrated with Peter's own photographs, and carefully researched, this new book is sure to be an ideal gift for anyone interested in ghosts and the paranormal.
Haunted Gardens. Amberley Publishing, November 2009. ISBN-13: 978-1848682610
ESPRIT: Men and Women of Parapsychology, Personal Reflections, Vol. 1, by Pilkington, Rosemarie (ed.)
From the publisher’s website: ESPRIT: Men and Women of Parapsychology, Personal Reflections: Volume 1, is a collection of autobiographical essays by a group of esteemed 20th century psi researchers, giving us a glimpse of why these gifted, astute individuals devoted much, if not most, of their life's work to this fascinating but monetarily unrewarding field. In the process, Jule Eisenbud, Eileen Coly, Gertrude Schmeidler, Karlis Osis, and eight others advise a younger generation on what pitfalls to expect and what they felt were the most important areas of investigation. This is the first of a planned three-volume series.
Contents: Editor’s Note; Preface; Foreword (by Stanley Krippner); Jule Eisenbud : My Life with the Paranormal; Montague Ullman: The World of Psychic Phenomena as I Came to Know It; Jan Ehrenwald: An Autobiographic Fragment; Eileen Coly: Interview with Eileen Coly; Joseph H. Rush: Parapsychology: Some Personal Observations; Gertrude R. Schmeidler: Questions and Attempts at Answers; Emilio Servadio: Interview with Emilio Servadio; Renée Haynes: Aspects of Psychical Research; Hans Bender: A Positive Critic of Superstition; Karlis Osis: The Paranormal: My Window to Something More; George Zorab: Eight Decades in Parapsychology; Bernard Grad: Experiences and Opinions of an Unconventional Scientist; References; Index.
ESPRIT. Anomalist Books, October 2010. ISBN: 1933665505