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Knowing the Unknowable: Putting Psi to Work, by Damien Broderick

Publication Details: Ramble House, ISBN-13: 978-1605438610
Publish Date: August, 2015
From the publisher’s website: Are Psi, extrasensory perception, psychokinesis, remote viewing, presentiment—these are terms used by parapsychologists for mysterious, anomalous human abilities that still have no accepted scientific explanation. Lacking a solid theory of psi that accords with the vast body of accumulated knowledge gathered over centuries, psi research remains a kind of fringe science—not a pseudoscience, but one that remains incomplete.
 
Decades of increasingly sophisticated research prove that psi phenomena are real. But can they be tamed? Precognition is knowledge of what seems the unknowable future. Yet it’s frustratingly intermittent—so can it ever be used like smart phones, computers, antibiotics, automotive engineering? Might thousands of remote viewers coordinate to warn us of impending disasters?
 
Or a favorite question: Can psi be used to win lotteries? And if not, why not?
 
Damien Broderick, PhD, has explored these questions in three previous books. Now he shows how an almost forgotten method for using psi might be the ideal tool in the age of computer apps and massively multiplayer online games. Searching through nearly a century of research, Broderick teases out a method for building a technology of psi. For putting psi to work.
 
A review by Dr Matthew Colborn appears in the July 2016 issue of the Journal of the Society for Psychical Research.

No Better Place: Arthur Conan Doyle, Windlesham and Communication with the Other Side (1907-1930), by Alistair Duncan

Publication Details: MX Publishing, ISBN: 9781780927978
Publish Date: August, 2015

From the publisher’s website: Following his second marriage in 1907 Arthur Conan Doyle was looking to the future. The years ahead would see the birth of three children, fresh literary success and the discovery of his new faith. Those same years would also see the First World War, the final adventures of Sherlock Holmes and ridicule from the religious and scientific communities for his beliefs

Review by Tom Ruffles

Ghosts, Spirits, and Psychics: The Paranormal from Alchemy to Zombies, edited by Matt Cardin

Publication Details: ABC-CLIO, ISBN 978-1-61069-683-8
Publish Date: July, 2015

From the publisher’s website: This fascinating work provides a complete overview of paranormal phenomena, including the beliefs, attitudes, and notable figures who have attempted to explain, defend, or debunk the mysteries behind the unknown.

Recent interest in the paranormal as pop culture fodder belies its historical status as an important subject of cultural, philosophical, and scientific significance. This book traces the trajectory of paranormal studies from its early role as a serious academic and scientific topic studied by mainstream scientists and eminent scholars to its current popularity in books, film, and TV.

This compelling reference work details the experiences, encounters, and ideas that make up this controversial field of study. The contributed entries examine the broad phenomena of the paranormal, addressing the history of scientific investigations along with its contemporary media depictions to illustrate the evolution of cultural attitudes about the paranormal. A selection of primary documents provides real-life accounts and contributions from noted experts that explore the full scope of themes from spiritualism to poltergeists to astrology. Accompanying images, timelines, quotations, and sidebars make the content come to life and encourage alternative explanations of these events.

Features:

Contains more than 120 factual entries as well as extensive excerpts from several primary documents in the area of the paranormal;

Features contributions from noted experts in its field from across viewpoints —i ncluding believers and sceptics;

Profiles a number of important individuals who have contributed to the history and study of the field;

Includes such topics as near-death experiences, paranormal dreams, the supernatural, magic, and the occult.

Contents page

 

Parapsychology: A Handbook for the 21st Century, edited by Etzel Cardeña, John Palmer and David Marcusson-Clavertz

Publication Details: Parapsychology. McFarland, ISBN: 978-0-7864-7916-0
Publish Date: July, 2015

From the publisher’s website:  Many people have experienced such unusual phenomena as dreams that later seem to correspond with unforeseeable events, thinking of a long-lost friend just before he or she unexpectedly calls, or the ability to “feel” the presence of deceased loved ones. What many do not realize is that these types of experiences have been researched for more than a century by eminent scientists, including Nobel laureates. Most of these researchers have concluded that some of these phenomena do occur, although we are far from explaining them to everyone’s satisfaction.

This book is the first in almost 40 years to provide a comprehensive scientific overview of research in the field of parapsychology, explaining what we know and don’t know about so-called psi phenomena, such as “telepathy,” “precognition” or “psychokinesis.” Contributors evaluate the evidence for these phenomena, accounting for factors such as selective memory, wish fulfillment and incorrect methods or analyses, in some cases offering psychological, physical and biological theories.

If the Spirit Moves You: Life and Love After Death, by Justine Picardie

Publication Details: Picador. ISBN: 9781447289289
Publish Date: June, 2015

From the publisher’s website: 

When I think about her now, which is most of the time, it's like rewinding a silent film in my head: I see the crucial scenes in our lives together. But what I can't hear is her voice in my head, and that silence is driving me crazy.

After her sister Ruth's death from breast cancer in September 1997, Justine Picardie was desperate to speak to her again, to hear her voice, to find something – anything – that might fill the space she had left behind. Over the course of the next year, Justine's search for Ruth lead her into the underworld of spiritualism, through a series of encounters with mediums and psychics who believe that we can communicate with those we have lost.

If the Spirit Moves You is Justine's remarkable story about her search for the afterlife in an age of reason, scepticism and science. Powerfully moving, both heart-breaking and funny, it is an extraordinary book about the exhausting journey of grief and the enduring power of love.

The Hyperspace of Consciousness, by Massimo Teodorani

Publication Details: Elementà, ISBN-13: 978-9176370308
Publish Date: June, 2015

From the publisher’s website: A breakthrough in scientific, metaphysical and philosophical knowledge, this book – in light of the hypothesis that matter and consciousness are strictly connected into a single unity – presents an entirely new theory about the way in which information is non-locally propagated through an intelligent Universe and the way in which matter is created by consciousness.

Quantum entanglement, synchronicity, multidimensionality, extra¬terrestrial intelligence, and the true nature of what we call “spirituality” are revisited within a completely revolutionary framework mainly based on new physics, whose goal is to make people think about the world, themselves, the Universe and the true meaning of life, and to trigger scientists of the new millennium towards a more complete understanding of the reality in which we are all immersed.

Massimo Teodorani, Ph.D., is a well-known northern Italian physical scientist and science writer and lecturer, who has carried out professional research in several fields of stellar astrophysics, and with a particular interest for the scientific search for extraterrestrial intelligence and the rigorous study of atmospheric anomalies occurring in Nature.

A Tale of Two Psychics, by Edward Thornley

Publication Details: Melrose Books, ISBN: 9781909757677
Publish Date: May, 2015

From the publisher's website: When two perfectly normal women, both of high intelligence and sharing an attitude of total scepticism towards religion and the idea of an Other World, are suddenly beset, at different times and in different places, by what can only be described as occult phenomena, the impact on their lives and personalities – to say nothing of the lives of those closest to them – can be dramatic. The sequence of events here described (with meticulous accuracy it should be said) is remarkable not merely for their nature but also for the fact that, despite the passage of time, it was possible to corroborate background detail in the case of two of the events. The author’s analysis is also of great interest in that it endeavours to point the way towards a scientific explanation of phenomena which, remarkable though they may be, are not, he believes, unique.

Entry on the publisher's website:

http://www.melrosebooks.co.uk/buy-online/tale-two-psychics

Brief Peeks Beyond: Critical Essays on Metaphysics, Neuroscience, Free Will, Skepticism and Culture, by Bernardo Kastrup

Publication Details: Brief Peeks Beyond. Iff Books, ISBN-13: 978-1785350184
Publish Date: May, 2015

From the publisher’s website: This book is a multi-faceted exploration and critique of the human condition as it is presently manifested. It addresses science and philosophy, explores the underlying nature of reality, the state of our society and culture, the influence of the mainstream media, the nature of free will and a number of other topics. Each of these examinations contributes an angle to an emerging idea gestalt that challenges present mainstream views and behaviors and offers a sane alternative. The book is organized as a series of short and self-contained essays, most of which can be read in under one hour.

Bernardo Kastrup has a Ph.D. in computer engineering with specializations in artificial intelligence and reconfigurable computing. He has worked as a scientist in some of the world's foremost research laboratories, including the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) and the Philips Research Laboratories (where the "Casimir Effect" of Quantum Field Theory was discovered). Bernardo has authored many scientific papers and five philosophy books: Rationalist Spirituality, Dreamed up Reality, Meaning in Absurdity, Why Materialism Is Baloney, and Brief Peeks Beyond. He has also been an entrepreneur and founder of a successful high-tech start-up. Next to a managerial position in the high-tech industry, Bernardo maintains a philosophy blog, an audio/video podcast, and continues to develop his ideas about the nature of reality. He has lived and worked in four different countries across continents, currently residing in the Netherlands.

Further information about the book, including the contents list, can be found here.

 

7 Reasons to Believe in the Afterlife: A Doctor Reviews the Case for Consciousness after Death, by Jean Jacques Charbonier

Publication Details: Inner Traditions, ISBN-13: 978-1620553800
Publish Date: April, 2015

From the publisher’s website: An uplifting study of the scientific evidence for the afterlife from an experienced anesthesiologist/intensive care physician

• Details meticulously recorded and hospital-verified cases of near-death experiences

• Cites scientific research on NDEs to refute the standard objections of doubters and materialists point by point

• Explores out-of-body experiences, sessions with mediums, electronic communication with the deceased, and other signs from the afterlife

Over the course of his 25-year career as an anesthesiologist and intensive care physician, Jean Jacques Charbonier, M.D., gathered hundreds of accounts of patients who returned from clinical death. Across all of these accounts--from patients with vastly different backgrounds--Dr. Charbonier found striking similarities as well as indisputable proof that these experiences were more than hallucinations. He surveyed other physicians, nurses, and professional caregivers and discovered that their patients described the same experiences as well as exhibited the same positive life transformations afterward. Igniting a scientific quest to learn more, he collected more accounts of near-death experiences as well as out-of-body experiences, attended dozens of sessions with mediums, experimented successfully with electronic communication with the deceased (EVP), interviewed hundreds of people who have cared for the dying, and gathered countless inexplicable stories of “signs” from the afterlife. With each experience he studied, he found himself more firmly believing in the survival of consciousness beyond death.

Dr. Charbonier distills his findings into 7 reasons to believe in the afterlife, beginning with the more than 60 million people worldwide who have reported a transcendent afterlife experience. He refutes the standard objections of doubters and materialists point by point, citing scientific research on NDEs and the work of pioneers in the field of consciousness studies such as Raymond Moody and Pim van Lommel.

Drawing on meticulously recorded and hospital-verified cases, Dr. Charbonier explains that we should not fear death for ourselves or our loved ones. By releasing our fear of death, we can properly prepare for “the final journey.” As those who have returned from death reveal, death is simply a transition and its lessons enable us to live more fully, peacefully, and happily in the now.

 

Cosmic DNA at the Origin: A Hyperdimension before the Big Bang. The Infinite Spiral Staircase Theory, by Chris H. Hardy

Publication Details: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, ISBN-13: 978-1511530071
Publish Date: April, 2015

From the publisher’s website: In Cosmic DNA at the Origin, systems scientist Chris H. Hardy, Ph.D., lays the foundations for a universe in which consciousness is the driving force of creation that we experience in our lives, and yet a hyperdimension of collective intelligence...all the way to the origin. This is a thought-provoking theory of the origin of the universe, called The Infinite Spiral Staircase Theory.

In a witty and well-informed style, Hardy takes us on a grand tour of the 5th dimension, black holes, the Zero Point and vacuum, and the hottest cosmologies, to show that adding this ISS hyperdimension of consciousness (interlaced with hyperspace and hypertime) not only is very consistent with most physics discoveries, but also explains why we are endowed with consciousness. Moving beyond the materialistic or random frameworks, Hardy weaves a new cosmological paradigm in which consciousness and matter evolve in synchrony, and a part of our being is hyperdimensional.

From the point of origin, an immense time before the first quantum, before particles and matter, space and time are born, this hyperdimension unfolds as a golden spiral driven by the phi ratio-an Infinite Spiral Staircase. It bears on its innumerable spires a boundless field of information issued from parent universes, that contains the imprint of all beings and worlds of many past experiments; and yet, this 'Cosmic DNA' is a field of potentials that is neither deterministic nor limiting for our own universe. Rather, it is a collective consciousness that will grow and choose its innumerable paths; it is the true dimension of our Selfs and individual consciousnesses. Readers aspiring at moving beyond the materialistic paradigm and willing to understand how the universe is a coherent whole, endowed with consciousness, will find this book extremely challenging.

Chris H. Hardy, Ph.D., is a ground-breaking theorist on consciousness and the new paradigm in physics. A cognitive systems scientist and former researcher at Princeton's Psychophysical Research laboratories, she has investigated nonlocal consciousness through systems theory, chaos theory, and her own Semantic Fields Theory. Author of many research papers and published books, including DNA of the GodsThe Sacred Network, she presents at international scientific conferences worldwide.

 

Death, Dying, and Mysticism: The Ecstasy of the End, edited by Thomas Cattoi and Christopher Moreman

Publication Details: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN-13: 978-1137472076
Publish Date: April, 2015

From the publisher’s website: This volume offers a sample of reflections from scholars and practitioners on the theme of death and dying from scholars and practitioners, ranging from the Christian tradition to Hinduism, Lacanian psychoanalysis, while also touching on the themes of the afterlife and near-death experiences.

Contributors: Lucy Bregman, Temple University, USA Callum E. Cooper, University of Northampton, UK Chris A. Roe, University of Northampton, UK June-Ann Greeley, Sacred Heart University, USA Candy Gunther Brown, Indiana University, USA Cynthia Hogan, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA Martin Hoondert, Tilburg School of Humanities, The Netherlands Stuart Jesson, York St. John's University, USA Jin Sook Kim, Graduate Theological Union, USA June McDaniel, College of Charleston, USA Jordan Paper, York University in Toronto, Canada Lloyd W. Pflueger, Truman State University, USA Darleen Pryds, Franciscan School of Theology, USA Robert Michael Ruehl, Syracuse University, USA Juanita Ruys, University of Sydney, Australia Lee Irwin, College of Charleston, USA Graham Mitchell, University of Northampton, UK.

Mrs Guppy Takes A Flight: A Scandal of Victorian Spiritualism, by Molly Whittington-Egan

Publication Details: Neil Wilson Publishing, ISBN-13: 978-1906000875
Publish Date: April, 2015

From the publisher’s website: Many moons ago, in the high Victorian era, Mrs. Guppy, the famous medium, was enjoying a sparkling success. Over the rooftops of Bloomsbury she sailed, was infused through lathe and plaster, and clambered on to tables in the darkness, magicking down showers of apports. Night after night, once the lights were extinguished, and the damped fires had died in the grates, the séance could begin in plush and mahogany drawing-rooms. The O of her mouth in speaking trances was a portal to the spirit world. Her lidded eyes were flickering sensors. The floating paper trumpets were channels to catch the direct voices of the departed. Curtained cabinets were entrances to the unknown land. There, in the thrilling, breathing gloom, decked out in merging black gown, portly, not ethereal, Mrs Guppy, silently, deftly, tripped her own fantastic dance in little, pointy, soft, boots. Definitely invisible, for none ever spotted her, and very nearly noiseless – once, she set a chandelier a-tinkling – she glided behind the bowed heads of her awestruck sitters, and dispensed upon the table a cornucopia of gifts and symbols, apports, from the spirits; animal, vegetable and mineral. Wings swooped and birds burbled; doves were released. Lights darted and twinkled. Auditory effects, tactile feelings, stroking, prickling, oriental smells, made temporary schizophrenics of solid citizens.

She was a sensation. Sadly, though, she was a fake medium, or a cheat, as they called it then, deliberately and in full consciousness employing techniques and devices in order to deceive others that she was in contact with the dead. She was lucky, or exceptionally talented: no lurking sceptic ever managed to expose her, to put up the light prematurely, snatch off a veil, or disclose a mask or waxen body part, as was happening to her rivals.

In her palmy days, at the beginnings of the British craze for spiritualism she was a maker of miracles, and her name is still remembered. Her private life, obscured to those who believed in her, was curious, and based on fundamental lies. This is her story, finally brilliantly exposed and researched by criminologist Molly Whittington-Egan. It is the story of a brilliant lifelong conwoman and prestidigitateur.

Review by Tom Ruffles