From the publisher’s website: At the very foundation of religious faith and hope is a belief that consciousness will survive death and that we will live on in another dimension of reality. But that foundation easily crumbles when scientific minds are unable to wrap their brains around an afterlife, when they are unable to visualize a non-material world. As the foundation gives way, the philosophy of materialism takes hold and gives rise to moral decadence, egocentricity, hypocrisy, hatred, disorder, flux, strife, chaos, and fear. Such seems to be the state of the world today. There is so much to be found outside the highly guarded boundaries of mainstream science and orthodox religion for those willing to open their minds to it, for those willing to recognize that the dissemination of Truth did not stop with the good books of organized religion and cannot always be found in the laboratory.
Beginning in 1848, a number of sensitive people began developing as mediums, bringing forth communications from the spirit world. One of the skeptics investigating the “popular madness” was Professor Robert Hare of the University of Pennsylvania. Intending to debunk it all, Hare would, after extensive research, become a believer. When he asked an apparently advanced spirit what it was all about, he was told that it was “a deliberate effort, on the part of the inhabitants of the higher spheres, to break through the partition which has interfered with the attainment, by mortals, of a correct idea of their destiny after death.” Unfortunately, both orthodox religion and mainstream science, acting out of ego and fear, have rebuked the efforts of those inhabitants of the higher spheres to enlighten us, thus permitting the foundations of both faith and hope to further crumble.
In The Afterlife Revealed, Michael Tymn sets forth some of the most credible messages from the spirits relative to the nature of their world. Instead of a heaven-hell dichotomy, we are told that there are many levels, or as Jesus is quoted, “many mansions,” and that we cross over to the “other side” based on what might be called a “moral specific gravity.” We discover a Divine plan – one of attainment and attunement, of gradual spiritual growth, of evolution of spirit through progressively higher planes. We see how we are really souls occupying bodies rather than bodies housing souls and how our souls are progressing in finding their way back to Oneness with the Creator through the challenges, the adversities, the trials and tribulations offered us in a particular lifetime.
The Afterlife Revealed. White Crow Books, May 2011. ISBN 978-1-907661-90-7; e-book ISBN 978-1-907661-91-4
From the publisher’s website: The Roman scholar Pliny the Younger was one of the first to write about ghost hunting: 2,000 years later, and the hunt still goes on. For all the thousands of hours spent by investigators in cold, dark houses, ghosts remain elusive and unproven.
This book sets out to be a practical guide to ghost hunting. Examining cases from the distant past and the present day, this book asks if it is possible to find the truth in this age-old quest. A detailed history of the three major paranormal societies is complemented by advice on which one to join, and when. If you have ever wondered how to organise your own ghost hunt, a list of essential equipment and a step-by-step guide to choosing your ideal spooky location is also included.
Ghost Hunting. The History Press, March 2010. ISBN: 9780752454146
From the publisher’s website: Given that consciousness is poorly understood and vaguely defined, Paul Feyerabend's advice to "keep our options open" seems sound, but is frequently ignored in favour of an insistence that a scientific theory of consciousness must be reducible to current monist physics and biology. This book argues that such an insistence is historically unsupportable, theoretically incoherent and unnecessary.
The author instead makes the case for emergent property pluralism. New concepts of emergent mental properties are needed because of the failure of mainstream approaches satisfactorily to address issues like subjective volition, autonomy and creativity. Personal consciousness is active and classifiable as a subset of the wider problem of biological causation.
The book is split into three sections. Part one builds an historical case for pluralism. Part two deconstructs insistent monism and mainstream models before addressing biological causation. Part three explores the consequences of such an alternative approach by examining specific phenomena like free will, the self and evolutionary emergence.
Matthew Colborn received an MSc in cognitive science from Birmingham University and a DPhil. in experimental psychology from the University of Sussex in 2001.
Pluralism and the Mind. Imprint Academic, September 2011. ISBN-13: 978-1845402211
From the publisher’s website: Religion, Science, Philosophy and the Paranormal - all between the same covers? Here, for a change, they complement each other and get along splendidly. Newton Green's fascinating book probes some of the cloudier frontiers of knowledge, in a clear, no-nonsense light. Reader-friendly, but impeccably researched, he examines humanity's place in the universe, covering a wide range of interrelated themes - creation and evolution, the nature of God, the supernatural, notions of self and free will, the workings of the mind.
For centuries, extraordinary events have bedevilled philosophers, physiologists, and psychologists. God, Ghosts and Independent Minds puts established assumptions under the microscope, and surprising truths plus some astonishing new ideas result - it won't change your life, but it will show you possibilities for leading a fuller one, and it will certainly make you think...
God, Ghosts and Independent Minds. Pen Press, September 2011. ISBN-13: 978-1780031378
The Victorian's Guide to Consciousness: Essays Marking the Centenary of William James (1842-1910), by Allan Combs, ed.
From the editor’s foreword: The essays included in this collection present some of the basic ideas about the nature of consciousness as understood by theorists at the turn of the twentieth century. The main intention in most of the essays is to explore the dominant thinking of that time in comparison to contemporary thought on similar problems.
Further details can be found here:
Journal of Consciousness Studies, Vol. 17, Nos. 11-12, November 2010. ISBN-13: 978-1845402570
From the publisher’s website: Mark L. Cowden is the audio-visual technician who recorded what is believed to be the first ever documented case of a live, two-way conversation with the spirit world. In early 2010, at an apparently haunted hotel in Northern Ireland, Mark was part of a small team of people who were filming a television documentary series about ghost stories when something incredible happened. While a medium and a psychic investigator sat on a bed in the next room and attempted to contact the spirit of a ghost in the hotel, Mark was able to record not only the medium's side of the conversation—and her report of the responses she was receiving from the spirit—but the spirit's replies directly as well! With cameras rolling, an independent television crew documented the whole process. Not only is this believed to be the first time anybody has ever managed to record a whole conversation between this world and the next, it was also a first for television. Spirit Voices documents Mark's work in the field of paranormal forensics and details the technology and methods he developed to achieve such ground-breaking results.
Spirit Voices. Anomalist Books, June 2011. ISBN: 1933665548
From the publisher’s website: Between two worlds: the diary of Winifred Coombe Tennant 1909 – 1924 reveals the inner thought of the life of a woman who combined high politics, campaigning and love during a troubled historical period.
The diary of Winifred Coombe Tennant (1874-1956) is an extraordinary document. Its daily entries (1909-55) amount to one and a quarter million words. They document the writer’s intense inner life alongside her acute observation of the outside world through a period of unprecedented upheaval.
Winifred struggled all her life with a tension between her metaphysical beliefs and the practicalities of changing the social order. She was the most closely studied spiritual medium of her time, and the lover of Gerald Balfour, cabinet minister and brother of the former Prime Minister. Subsequently she became an intimate of Lloyd George and a frequent visitor to 10 Downing Street, where she witnessed momentous events such as the negotiation of the Anglo-Irish Treaty in 1921. She was a suffragist, stood for parliament, and was the first female British delegate to the League of Nations. As a patron of young painters, she became a central figure in the Welsh art world.
This annotated edition of the diary presents the most intense and eventful years of both her public and private lives. It may be read as literature, for the story of a spiritual journey taken against a background of personal tragedy and public endeavour. For the academic community, it reveals important new information and personal insights into events affecting the fields of women’s studies, political and social history, and psychology.
Between Two Worlds. National Library of Wales, May 2011. ISBN-13: 978-1862250864
Less Incomplete: A Guide to Experiencing the Human Condition beyond the Physical Body, by Gustus, Sandie
From the publisher’s website: This, the first book to summarize the work of Brazilian consciousness researcher, Waldo Vieira MD, for a general nonacademic audience, has the backing of some of the world’s most eminent academic and medical researchers of life after death. Based on two new sciences proposed by Vieira, this book provides a comprehensive understanding of the human condition beyond the physical body, offering readers a profound opportunity to increase their self-awareness, self-confidence, balance and maturity, and fulfil their potential. Readers will learn how to - master their energy and use it as a tool to experience conscious and controlled out-of-body experiences, increase their psychic abilities, protect themselves energetically and heal themselves and others; have more positive helpers (spirit guides) and people around them; facilitate the recollection of past lives; identify their purpose in life; become more mature and more (cosmo)ethical and thus improve their karma; be more consistently good-natured; exercise more control over their lives; lose their fear of death; take the maximum opportunity of what this life offers to develop and evolve. . . . be a little less incomplete.
Less Incomplete. O Books, May 2011. ISBN: 978-1-84694-351-5
From the publisher’s website: Ghosts Caught on Film 3 is an all-new compendium of more extraordinary phenomena caught on film. Featuring a selection of contemporary ghost pictures collected as part of a ground-breaking survey by popular psychologist, Richard Wiseman and leading Fortean, Gordon Rutter. Paranormal expert Gordon Rutter explores this intriguing collection which includes shadowy figures, strange mists and ghostly apparitions. It is a treat for all fans of ghosts and the paranormal and another opportunity to explore the unexplainable.
Gordon Rutter is a founder of the Edinburgh Fortean Society, and head of the Charles Fort Institute. He was a co-organiser of the highly successful Science of Ghosts conference in Edinburgh in 2009.
Ghosts Caught on Film 3. David & Charles, August 2011. ISBN-13: 9780715339039
Shamanism and Psi: Imagery Cultivation as an Alternative to the Ganzfeld Protocol, by Storm, Lance and Rock, Adam J
From the publisher’s website: The new book Shamanism and Psi by Dr. Lance Storm and Dr. Adam Rock describes an alternative approach to producing paranormal effects in the laboratory. Many parapsychologists are convinced that popular picture-identification techniques are the best ways to elicit Extra-Sensory Perception (ESP), but the authors have their doubts.
In their innovative monograph, Storm and Rock summarize the major findings and problems involved in several areas of ESP research (i.e., relaxation, dreams, hypnosis, meditation, and ganzfeld), they take issue with the so-called ‘noise-reduction’ model, and they present their Imagery Cultivation Model which is based on shamanic practices. The book also details the successful results of the very first experimental tests of the authors' new Imagery Cultivation Model.
Shamanism and Psi. Australian Institute of Parapsychological Research, 2011. http://www.aiprinc.org/ ISBN 9780987077202
Beer and Spirits: A Guide to Haunted Pubs in the Black Country and Surrounding Area, by David Taylor and Andrew Homer
From the publisher’s website: Beer and Spirits offers a fascinating insight into the stories behind some of Central England’s most haunted pubs.
With over 50,000 public houses in the United Kingdom, the local pub has become an essential part of British culture. Samuel Pepys described the inn as the heart of England. Pubs have been an integral part of British culture since Roman times. The lives and dramas, intrigues and mysteries of the people who visited them form the rich tapestry of any local pub. As a result there are often many stories and histories that are inherently part of the place, and naturally ghost stories and haunted reputations form a dynamic feature of many local pubs. From spectral monks and phantom coaches, to ghostly highwaymen and supernatural hounds, the authors examine some well known and not so well known aspects of Black Country pub history and folklore.
While the stories and accounts in this book are not meant to offer any proof or conclusive evidence of ghosts, they do offer a fresh look at new and more traditional accounts of haunted pubs in the Black Country and the surrounding area.
Beers and Spirits. Amberley, October 2010. ISBN 9781848682665
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