Talking with the Spirits: Ethnographies from Between the Worlds, by by Jack Hunter and David Luke (eds.)
From the publisher’s website: Talking With the Spirits is a cross-cultural survey of contemporary spirit mediumship. The diverse contributions to this volume cover a wide-range of ethnographic contexts, from Spiritualist séances in the United Kingdom to self-mortification rituals in Singapore and Taiwan, from psychedelic spirit incorporation in the Amazonian rainforest, to psychic readings in online social spaces, and more. By taking a broad perspective the book highlights both the variety of culturally specific manifestations of spirit communication, and key cross-cultural features suggestive of underlying core processes and experiences. Rather than attempting to reduce or dismiss such experiences, the authors featured in this collection take the experiences of their informants seriously and explore their effects at personal, social and cultural levels.
Chapter and author listing:
Believing Impossible Things: Scepticism and Ethnographic Enquiry • Fiona Bowie
An Agnostic Social Scientific Perspective on Spirit Medium Experience in Great Britain • Hannah Gilbert
Spirits in the City: Examples from Montreal • Deirdre Meintel
Mediumship and Folk Models of Mind and Matter • Jack Hunter
Cyber Psychics: Psychic Readings in Online Social Spaces • Tamlyn Ryan
Spirit Possession in East Africa • Barbara Stöckigt
Developing the Dead in Cuba: An Ethnographic Account of the Emergence of Spirits and Selves in Havana • Diana Espirito Santo
Mediumship in Brazil: The Holy War against Spirits and African Gods • Bettina Schmidt
Psychedelic Possession: The Growing Incorporation of Incorporation into Ayahuasca Use • David Luke
Anomalous Mental and Physical Phenomena of Brazilian Mediums: A Review of the Scientific Literature • Everton Maraldi, Wellington Zangari, Fatima Regina Machado, Stanley Krippner
Spirit Mediums in Hong Kong and the United States • Charles Emmons
Vessels for the Gods: Tang-ki Spirit Mediumship in Singapore and Taiwan • Fabian Graham
Talking with the Spirits. Daily Grail Publishing, March 2014. ISBN-13: 978-0987422446
Why Materialism Is Baloney: How true skeptics know there is no death and fathom answers to life, the universe, and everything, by Bernardo Kastrup
From the publisher’s website: A hard-nosed, logical, and skeptical non-materialist metaphysics according to which the body is in mind, not mind in the body.
The present framing of the cultural debate in terms of materialism versus religion has allowed materialism to go unchallenged as the only rationally-viable metaphysics. This book seeks to change this. It uncovers the absurd implications of materialism and then, uniquely, presents a hard-nosed non-materialist metaphysics substantiated by skepticism, hard empirical evidence, and clear logical argumentation. It lays out a coherent framework upon which one can interpret and make sense of every natural phenomenon and physical law, as well as the modalities of human consciousness, without materialist assumptions. According to this framework, the brain is merely the image of a self-localization process of mind, analogously to how a whirlpool is the image of a self-localization process of water. The brain doesn’t generate mind in the same way that a whirlpool doesn’t generate water. It is the brain that is in mind, not mind in the brain. Physical death is merely a de-clenching of awareness. The book closes with a series of educated speculations regarding the afterlife, psychic phenomena, and other related subjects.
Why Materialism Is Baloney. Iff Books, April 2014. ISBN-13: 978-1782793625
Ghosts of Edinburgh, by Rob Kirkup
Paranormal Merseyside, by S. D. Tucker
Supernatural Wales, by Alvin Nicholas
Paranormal Devon, by Daniel Codd
From the publisher’s website:
Ghosts of Edinburgh: From the murderous cannibalism of Sawney Bean to the bodysnatching exploits of Burke and Hare, Edinburgh has seen its fair share of ghoulish happenings over the years. But does it truly deserve its reputation as one of Britain’s most haunted cities? Along with his fearless team of ‘spook seekers’, Rob Kirkup donned his ghost-hunting gear and took to the streets of Scotland’s capital to find out whether today’s visitors have anything to fear.
Might one meet a foul-mouthed poltergeist beneath the South Bridge, or have a close encounter at Edinburgh Dungeon? Should one avoid Greyfriars Kirk at night, or keep their eyes peeled at Bedlam Theatre? From the disembodied voices of Cammo Estate to suspicious sounds at Mary King’s Close, the team really did see it all, and now’s your chance to join them on their quest. Using state-of-the-art paranormal detection equipment, and drawing on his extensive field experience, the author shows us why it’s worth keeping your wits about you in one of the world’s most terrifying cities.
Paranormal Merseyside: Join Steven Tucker on this unique exploration of the myths and legends, and the tales of the fantastic, that are supposed to have happened along the Mersey’s shores. Some are just stories; but others apparently have some kind of truth behind them, from pig-killing poltergeists, to tales of Spring-Heeled Jack, to the ‘great leprechaun invasion’ of 1964. Some are funny, and others are terrifying; claims that both Adolf Hitler and Jack the Ripper were one-time Liverpudlians are nothing more than attention-seeking urban legends. True or not, the tales speak of a population who are interested and engaged in the city and landscape around them. Unless you love a place, why both mythologising it?
This book will not only deal with hauntings, UFO sightings and legends from the city of Liverpool itself, though; the surrounding towns and settlements, places like Widnes, Runcorn, St Helens, the Wirral, Frodsham, Rainhill, Southport, Formby, Newton-Le-Willows and Warrington are also included.
Supernatural Wales: Wales is a land of ghosts and dark legends, strange animals and unexplained phenomena. From the Abergele Ghost Ship to the Witch Lakes of the Brecon Beacons, Alvin Nicholas takes the reader on a comprehensive A–Z tour. Supernatural Wales is the definitive guide to Welsh ghosts, hauntings, monsters and mysteries. Here you will find haunted castles and manor houses, mountain spectres and ghost ships. Learn how to track mystery panthers, try your hand at ghost hunting and explore a land of lake monsters, sea serpents, vampires and werewolves. With well over 100 entries, Supernatural Wales covers everything from spooky secret passages to phantom armies and mystery light phenomena.
Thoroughly researched, this book includes new information and first-hand research that will lead you to the heart of mysterious Wales. The book includes never before-published OS grid references so you can walk where ghosts walk and stand, if you dare, where disembodied voices are heard and where grim goblins, spectral horsemen and dogs of darkness appear. Sure to delight both armchair enthusiasts and serious researchers alike, Supernatural Wales is packed with fascinating stories and intriguing information that will compel readers to refer to this book again and again.
Paranormal Devon: Devon claims so many classic tales of the supernatural and paranormal: the beckoning White Lady of Berry Pomeroy Castle, the terrifying Whisht Hounds of Dartmoor, the notorious Hairy Hands that wrestle with driver’s steering wheels near Postbridge, and the melancholy story of Jay’s Grave near Widecombe-in-the-Moor to name but a few.
But Devon is also a county where mysteries continue to surprise us. Author Daniel Codd has unearthed hundreds of strange tales, old and new, to capture the imagination and to sometimes even chill the blood. Could it really be that a lone Roman soldier’s ghost was spotted forty years ago on the fringes of Okehampton? Did a Hatherleigh man really see the Devil before murdering his wife in 1752? What was the shimmering white figure that stared at drivers from Hardwick Wood, Plympton? Have buildings and even people spontaneously combusted in Devon? Was a ghost actually photographed near Okehampton’s castle? And what to make of the physical encounters with pixies that recent history has presented us with? Not to mention the baffling reports of UFOs, wild men, prowling panthers, mermaids, sea creatures and even werewolves that have turned up in the county…
Covering an area from the county’s northern coastline to its southern beaches, Paranormal Devon has been researched and compiled from archive sources, is fully up-to-date and includes many mysterious first-hand accounts and contributions from county folk. Most of all, these thought-provoking reports remind us that Devon, even in the twenty-first century, is still an extremely paranormal county.
Ghosts of Edinburgh, Sept 2013, ISBN-13: 978-1848682672; Paranormal Merseyside, Jan 2013, ISBN-13: 978-1848687295; Supernatural Wales, March 2013, ISBN-13: 978-1445611518; Paranormal Devon, April 2013, ISBN-13: 978-1848681668
From the publisher’s website: Ever since the dawn of recorded history, humans have reported encounters with an exceptional light which appeared to them to be different, more intense, and brighter than sunlight. Often, these experiences had a strong and lasting effect on those concerned, changing their lives completely. But what exactly did they experience? In which shape did the light appear? Did it come along with a message, and what could it possibly communicate to them? And why did it change in their lives? All these and many more questions require answers. This book faces those questions and offers the thoughts and feelings of more than 800 individuals reporting these experiences over a time span of 130 years.
Light Changes explores ‘Seeing and Inner Sight’, myths, folklore, religion, philosophy, science, and in particular, psychical research, and offers clues into understanding how these important and meaningful encounters with light may affect us all.
Annekatrin Puhle Ph D is a philosopher, health consultant, and psychical researcher in the area of exceptional human experiences. After receiving her doctorat from the Free University, Berlin, she worked at The Institute for Frontier Areas of Psychology and Mental Health in Freiburg, Germany. Currently she is a guest lecturer at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, guest researcher at King’s College, London, and the author of several books and papers on apparitional experiences and healing.
A sample chapter can be read here:
Light Changes. White Crow Books, January 2014. ISBN 978-1-908733-18-4
From the publisher’s website: Hallucination was always the ghost story’s elephant in the room. Even before the vogue for psychical research and spiritualism began to influence writers at the end of the nineteenth century, tales of horror and the supernatural, of ghosts and demons, had been haunted by the possibility of some grand deception by the senses. But what is certainly true is that, during the nineteenth century, hallucination took on a new force and significance not just in ghost stories and horror fiction, but in other forms of writing. Authors began to encourage their readers to assess whether the ghostly had its origins in some supernatural phenomenon from beyond the grave, or from some deception within our own minds. This wide-ranging book explores the many factors which contributed to this rise in the interest in hallucination and visionary experience, during the nineteenth century and beyond. Through a series of close and often unusual readings of numerous writers including Robert Louis Stevenson, Henry James, and Arthur Machen, this original study explores what happened when hallucination appeared in fiction, and – even more importantly – why it happened at all.
Bewilderments of Vision. Sussex Academic Press, hardback November 2012, ISBN: 978-1-84519-294-5; paperback, September 2014, ISBN: 978-1-84519-677-6
From the publisher’s website: As science flourished in the years leading up to World War I, religion floundered. Thus, the warring countries were little prepared to deal with the grief and despair that arose from millions of deaths. Apparently, the spirit world took notice, and, while greatly limited in its ability to communicate with us, the spirits managed to get through to more open-minded mourners, providing comfort and solace. Messages, many of them very evidential, came from fallen warriors, through various mediums, telling their loved ones that they were still “alive” and still with them. This book is an anthology of their communication from the afterlife.
(The July 2014 issue of the SPR’s magazine Paranormal Review carries an interview with Michael Tymn by editor Leo Ruickbie, with an extract from the book.)
Dead Men Talking. White Crow Books, July 2014. ISBN 978-1-910121-13-9
The Wisdom of Near-Death Experiences: How Understanding NDEs Can Help Us to Live More Fully, by Penny Sartori
From the publisher’s website: This book investigates the wide range of near-death experiences (NDEs) of patients that Penny Sartori has encountered during her nursing career, as well as the hundreds of cases of people who have reached out to her over the years. Many people take near-death experiences at surface value and are misinformed about the full extent of this highly complex phenomenon. Dr Sartori argues that, by pathologising the NDE, we are missing out on vital insights that can empower us to live fulfilled and meaningful lives.
Dr Sartori does not offer superficial physiological or psychological explanations for why these experiences take place. Rather, the crucial point of this book is that near-death experiences undoubtedly occur and have very real, often dramatic, and life changing aftereffects. Further to that, the wisdom gained during the NDE can be life enhancing and have hugely positive effects on those who don’t have an NDE – all we have to do is take notice of and hear what these people have to say.
A greater understanding of near-death experiences can not only enhance the way in which we care for dying patients, but also revolutionise our current worldview. This book encourages readers to take notice of and incorporate the wisdom and powerful messages of near-death experiences into their own lives.
The Wisdom of Near-Death Experiences. Watkins Publishing, February 2014. ISBN-13: 978-1780285658
From the publisher’s website: This book explores conceptions of the soul and the afterlife that are consistent with the findings of modern science. It approaches these subjects from many different angles: religious, philosophical, scientific, poetic, humorous, quasi-scientific, and even pseudoscientific (just to be fair). Many possible afterlives are examined, including physical resurrection (whether supernatural, biological or cybernetic in form), reincarnation, participation in a dream-like world or collective mind, and the persistence of recycling centres of pure consciousness. Philosophical, scientific and religious doctrines regarding the relationship between conscious minds and physical matter are reviewed.
Centres of consciousness likely exist at many different hierarchical levels, from elementary particles, single neurons and organisms all the way up to supra-individual entities such as ant colonies or deities. Empirical evidence bearing on the nature of the soul and the afterlife is also reviewed, including that amassed by parapsychologists suggesting that some personality elements may survive death (as in the case of children who report memories of previous lives). The findings of modern neuroscience suggest that you cannot take it all (or even much of it) with you but you can at least take you with you.
Reimagining the Soul. McFarland, January 2014. ISBN-13: 978-0786477074
From the publisher’s website: Sathya Sai Baba, one of India’s most famous Swamis, was one of the most enigmatic and remarkable religious figures in recent times. Millions followed him and accepted his claim of being a modern day Avatar – a God Man.
Modern Miracles is the result of four decades of investigation into the apparently miraculous phenomena associated with Sai Baba. It expands upon earlier editions which were published in the 1980s under the titles Miracles are My Visiting Cards and Modern Miracles. There followed translations in 11 languages that resulted in 17 editions.
The earlier editions were based on observations and investigations up to the early 1980s. Now, after 30 years and almost two years after the death of Sai Baba, it is time to sum up what has been learnt about this religious and spiritual figure who has had great influence on millions of people, and for whom no match can be found in modern times.
The author, Prof. Erlendur Haraldsson, on whose painstaking investigations this book is based, has been a professor of psychology at the University of Iceland and is the author of numerous scientific publications. Unlike many academics he has never hesitated to study interesting phenomena first-hand, and his investigation into the psychic phenomena attributed to Sai Baba is no exception. Haraldsson made many first-hand observations of materializations and had nine face-to-face interviews with Sai Baba during 19 trips to India.
Modern Miracles. White Crow Books, August 2013. ISBN 978-1-908733-26-9
From the author’s website: In journalistic fashion, Craig Weiler relates what began as a seemingly harmless attempt to make sure that TED talk videos maintained a high standard and how this exploded into a wild scientific controversy. When the nonprofit company took down one of their YouTube videos by scientist Rupert Sheldrake, who had given a speech on the philosophy of science, they ignited a fierce discussion that eventually grew to include hundreds of people spanning the globe. For a while, ordinary folks, distinguished scientists, Internet trolls and even a Nobel Prize winning physicist all got together to hash out the greatest scientific controversy . . . ever.
Further information on the author and the book can be found here:
Psi Wars. Published by Craig Weiler, December 2013. ISBN-13: 978-1494389000
From the author’s website: An innocent family find themselves completely helpless against the sudden onset of paranormal activity in their quiet rural home. A knife embedded in a kitchen cupboard, crockery smashed by invisible hands, and blood-chilling growls emit from thin air. Caroline and her husband Neil search for answers as they try to protect their family from the unseen entity that seems determined to rip them apart.
The biggest question looms over them like a dark cloud…who is going to help us? There are emergency services for many things, but not of this nature. It might be easier to believe temporary insanity, if not for the vast amount of witnesses. Police, fire services, mediums, priests and investigators all become embroiled in the mystery.
The family struggle to cope and Caroline grows concerned for her husband’s failing health as he withdraws from the world. However, the entity has only just begun.
Paranormal Intruder is the true story of one family’s brave fight against an invisible entity. Described as one of the best-documented cases of paranormal activity, this page turning book will stay with you long after you have finished reading it.’
Paranormal Intruder. Caroline Mitchell, December 2013. ISBN-13: 978-1494354886
From the publisher’s website: Dr. Tucker, in a follow-up to his book Life Before Life, explores American cases of young children who report memories of previous lives
A first-person account of Jim Tucker's experiences with a number of extraordinary children with memories of past lives, Return to Life focuses mostly on American cases, presenting each family’s story and describing his investigation. His goal is to determine what happened—what the child has said, how the parents have reacted, whether the child’s statements match the life of a particular deceased person, and whether the child could have learned such information through normal means. Tucker has found cases that provide persuasive evidence that some children do, in fact, possess memories of previous lives.
Among others, readers will meet a boy who describes a previous life on a small island. When Tucker takes him to that island, he finds that some details eerily match the boy’s statements and some do not. Another boy points to a photograph from the 1930s and says he used to be one of the men in it. Once the laborious efforts to identify that man are successful, many of the child’s numerous memories are found to match the details of his life. Soon after his second birthday, a third boy begins expressing memories of being a World War II pilot who is eventually identified.
Thought-provoking and captivating, Return to Life urges its readers to think about life and death, and reflect about their own consciousness and spirituality.
Return to Life. St. Martin's Press, December 2013. ISBN-13: 978-1250005847
Demystifying Shamans and their World: A Multidisciplinary Study, by Adam J. Rock and Stanley Krippner
From the publisher’s website: Shamanism can be described as a group of techniques by which its practitioners enter the “spirit world,” purportedly obtaining information that is used to help and to heal members of their social group. Despite a resurgence of interest in shamanism and shamanic states of consciousness, these phenomena are neither well-defined nor sufficiently understood. This multi-disciplinary study draws on the fields of psychology, philosophy and anthropology with the aim of demystifying shamanism. The authors analyse conflicting perspectives regarding shamanism, the epistemology of shamanic states of consciousness, and the nature of the mental imagery encountered during these states. Adam Rock is Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Deakin University, Australia. Stanley Krippner is Professor of Psychology at Saybrook University, San Francisco.
Demystifying Shamans. Imprint Academic, November 2011. ISBN-13: 978-1845402228
From the publisher: Monograph No. 2 in the AIPR Monograph Series in Parapsychology; Dr. Lance Storm and Dr. Adam J. Rock, editors.
This monograph addresses the provision of educational experiences in the field of parapsychology and is designed to meet the needs of both students and instructors. Part 1 of the monograph discusses issues of primary importance to the person who would like to study parapsychology. Topics examined here include motives and misconceptions about parapsychology; and unrealistic expectations and potential benefits of studying parapsychology. Part 2 looks at teaching a course in parapsychology, including the design of a balanced curriculum that maintains critical standards while still accommodating the wide range of students’ interests. The future of the discipline of parapsychology depends on the quality of its educational programs. Accordingly, this monograph, by drawing on many of my own successes and failures in teaching parapsychology, will help to enrich the educational experiences of both parapsychology instructors and parapsychology students.” Harvey J. Irwin, PhD, Adjunct Research Fellow, University of New England, Armidale, NSW, Australia.
AUD$25.00 / 105 pages paperback original. To purchase, scroll down to Item #21 at:
The website of the Australian Institute of Parapsychological Research: www.aiprinc.org
Education in Parapsychology. Australian Institute of Parapsychological Research, November 2013. ISBN: 978-0-9870772-1-9
Breaking Convention: Essays on Psychedelic Consciousness, by Cameron Adams, David Luke, Anna Waldstein, Ben Sessa, David King (eds.)
From the publisher’s website: These essays are a glimpse of Breaking Convention: A Multidisciplinary Conference on Psychedelic Consciousness, which in 2011 brought together over 80 speakers and 600 delegates from 30 countries to Canterbury, UK to discuss these substances and their effects.
Psychedelic consciousness is a personally meaningful experience that can bring us into contact with the unknowable, help repair fragmented minds and increase our wellbeing. However, psychedelic plants and other substances have been globally prohibited for over half a century with little regard for their spiritual, therapeutic and recreational use throughout human history.
The prohibition of psychedelic ‘drugs’ has limited the exploration of consciousness and the healing potential of psychedelics. Yet, in the last two decades, a door has opened allowing legal medical and therapeutic research on psychedelics to resume. This opening has allowed other scholars to become increasingly bold in stating their interest in psychedelic substances.
The authors of this book represent the vanguard of the second golden age of psychedelic research. It is our hope that this volume will motivate a new generation of thinkers to stand up to the taboo that has been placed on psychedelics and bring these plants and chemicals into the light of reasoned discussion.
This edition is unavailable in the USA.
For further information visit: http://strangeattractor.co.uk/books/breaking-convention/
Breaking Convention. Strange Attractor Press, July 2013. ISBN: 978-1-907222-221