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The Shape of the Soul: What Mystical Experience Tells Us about Ourselves and Reality, by Paul Marshall

Publication Details: Rowman & Littlefield, ISBN: 9781538124772.
Publish Date: April, 2019
Cover of The Shape of the Soul

From the publisher's website: When Paul Marshall began to pay attention to his dreams, he could not have anticipated the transformative experience that would follow. A tremendous expansion of consciousness exposed the insignificance of his everyday self but also revealed unsuspected depths of mind and hinted at a deeper self that holds the universe within. In The Shape of the Soul, Marshall—now a mysticism scholar—draws on personal experiences, along with a wealth of religious, philosophical, and scientific ideas, to explore this deeper self, sometimes experienced in mystical and near-death states as spherical in form. Drawing inspiration from the philosophers Plotinus and Leibniz, Marshall takes mind to be more fundamental than matter and views the basic units of nature as perceptual beings. We ourselves are such beings, striving for fulfilment in a long evolutionary journey of soul-making. Bringing together mysticism, philosophy, biology, and even some physics, The Shape of the Soul offers a deeply integrated vision of the self and the universe. Addressing the mind–body problem, the origin of the world, evolution, reincarnation, suffering, and the nature of God, Marshall delivers what will surely prove an intellectual classic.

The Spectacle of Illusion, by Matthew L. Tompkins

Publication Details: Thames & Hudson, ISBN: 9780500022429
Publish Date: April, 2019
Cover of Spectacle of Illusion

From the publisher's website: In The Spectacle of Illusion, professional magician-turned experimental psychologist Dr. Matthew L. Tompkins investigates the arts of deception as practiced and popularized by mesmerists, magicians and psychics since the early 18th century. Organized thematically within a broadly chronological trajectory, this compelling book explores how illusions perpetuated by magicians and fraudulent mystics can not only deceive our senses but also teach us about the inner workings of our minds. Indeed, modern scientists are increasingly turning to magic tricks to develop new techniques to examine human perception, memory and belief.

Further information on the publisher's website: Thames & Hudson.

Review by Nemo C. Mörck

The Star Gate Archives. Volume 3: Psychokinesis, 1972–1995, compiled and edited by Edwin C. May and Sonali Bhatt Marwaha

Publication Details: McFarland, ISBN: 9781476667546.
Publish Date: April, 2019
Cover of The Star Gate Archives. Volume 3

From the publisher's website: Star Gate is the largest funded program in the history of psi research receiving about $19.933 million in funding from 1972 to 1995. Researchers from SRI International, and later at Science Applications International Corporation, in association with various U.S. intelligence agencies participated in this program.

Unseen Forces: The Integration of Science, Reality and You, by Robert Davis

Publication Details: Visionary Living, ISBN: 9781942157465.
Publish Date: April, 2019
Cover of Unseen Forces

From the publisher's website: Are people seeing a different world, or are they seeing this world differently? Does existing evidence provide clues to perceived encounters with an unseen realm and its inhabitants that seem to permanently transform the personal and philosophical viewpoints of millions who experience them? But don’t waste your time waiting for science to find answers to explain many of life’s most perplexing experiences. This book, written by an unbiased futuristic thinker, may very well provide the answers and wake you up to the significance of them all.

Dr. Davis bridges the gap between science and spirituality through an objective, evidence-based analysis of experimental research and theories. He successfully accomplishes this objective by integrating scientific studies and theories with personal accounts of spiritual awakening and the peak experience. Such accounts, combined with concepts of the mind-brain connection, consciousness, psychology, neuroscience, quantum physics, extrasensory perception, and near-death and out-of-body experiences, among others, will help you develop a more informed perspective of the many controversial issues of our time – the meaning of life, reality, and YOU. The answers may be found in this book, and most importantly, within YOU.

Coleção Mirabelli vol. 3

Publish Date: March, 2019
Cover of Coleção Mirabelli vol. 3

From the publisher's website: O paulista Carmine Mirabelli, certamente ocupa um lugar de destaque na lista dos maiores médiuns de efeitos físicos da História Moderna (ou, segundo seus detratores, na lista dos maiores mistificadores). Também figura como um dos médiuns mais perseguidos pela imprensa, no Brasil. A coleção Mirabelli vol. 3, encerrando a restauração histórica da vida e obra desse médium ímpar, reedita as seguintes obras:

- O Médium Mirabelli – O Resultado de um Inquérito, de Rodolpho Mikulasch.
- O Espiritismo Científico e as extraordinárias mediunidades do Sr. Mirabelli, do Dr. Carlos de Castro.
- O Médium Mirabelli Mistifica?, de Miguel Karl.
- Martírio e Glória do Professor Mirabelli, de J. F. Schimidt e Olavo Leite.

No apêndice, apresentamos a Campanha Anti Mirabelli, a maior perseguição movida pela imprensa contra um médium brasileiro. A fase final da vida de Mirabelli é reconstituída através das publicações de Revistas e Jornais pelo país. Philippe Piet van Putten, pesquisador científico espiritualista, em entrevista exclusiva, relata suas pesquisas sobre o médium e abre seu acervo particular de fotos e documentos. E para encerrar, o neto de Mirabelli, Luiz Mirabelli Jr, relata diversas histórias inéditas sobre seu avô, incluindo depoimento importante sobre a famosa foto da levitação, sessão na qual seu pai esteve presente, e apresenta fotos de seu álbum particular de família e atas de fenômenos físicos que aconteceram dentro da prisão, quando o médium cumpria pena nos seus derradeiros anos. A História, agora está recontada!

The publisher's website: Casa do Caminho Santana.


Connected: The Emergence of Global Consciousness, by Roger D. Nelson

Publication Details: ICRL Press, ISBN: 978-1936033355.
Publish Date: March, 2019
Cover of Connected: The Emergence of Global Consciousness

Is There an Earth Mind?

This is the story of the Global Consciousness Project, a unique 20-year scientific collaboration of researchers recording the effects of mass consciousness in response to major global events.  Its findings are consistent with the wisdom traditions of many cultures and speak of humanity’s unity and deep connections through love, compassion, and the creative impulse.

Review by Robert A. Charman.

Dirty Science: How Unscientific Methods Are Blocking Our Cultural Advancement, by Bob Gebelein

Publication Details: BookBaby, ISBN: 9780961461140.
Publish Date: March, 2019
Cover of Dirty Science

From the publisher's website: This is not Donald Trump's anti-science. Science itself is fine, and has rightfully earned the highest status in our culture. But the high status of science has created a problem: Scientists are believed and taken seriously, whatever they say, whether it was determined by the scientific method or not. In particular, they are trying to tell us that there is no reality beyond the physical. This has not been proved scientifically, so it is defended and forced upon the academic community with unscientific methods such as authoritarian pronouncements, ridicule, and power politics, and accepted universally as absolute truth at American colleges and universities. Academic people who express an interest in precognition, telepathy, clairvoyance, remote viewing, psychokinesis, energy medicine, spirit entities, the power of prayer, reincarnation, or intelligent design are treated as if they were mentally incompetent, shunned by their colleagues, and denied publication, funding, and employment. Even psychologists have been steered away from the study of the mind by the insistence on physical evidence. Our accredited institutions are being blocked from whole dimensions of knowledge, the mental and the spiritual. At the same time, there is a growing body of evidence supporting all the subjects in the list above. Gallup polls over the years have shown that more than 90% of Americans believe in God or a spiritual reality. Recent surveys have found that up to 91% of people in advanced Western countries have had psychic experiences. And yet a majority of elite scientists do not believe in these things. They claim that the general public has the bias. They say that we are uninformed, unintelligent, superstitious, and/or delusional. This is simply gross class prejudice. Dirty Science exposes the unscientific, illegitimate, and irrational arguments that are used in the name of "science" by people with high scientific credentials, corrupting our cultural knowledge. This is not "science bashing," but is an accurate and responsible book, written with compassion for the people who are caught up in the system. It is not seeking the approval of establishment scientists as "authority" figures, but is appealing to the intelligent reading public (which includes all academic people) to recognize the unscientific methods and cause the people who use those methods to lose credibility. As a start, every undergraduate student of critical thinking needs to read this book.

Review by Robert McLuhan.

Psi in Psychotherapy: Conventional and Nonconventional Healing of Mental Illness, Alex Tanous, Elaine Schwinge and Andrew F. Bambrick

Publication Details: White Crow Books, ISBN: 9781786770875.
Publish Date: March, 2019
Cover of Psi in Psychotherapy

From the publisher's website: Dr Alex Tanous (1926-1990) was a renewed international lecturer on the topics of well-being, creativity and parapsychology.  A self-professed psychic, he spent 20 years of his life while working as a university lecturer being tested for his claims of ‘light project’ and going ‘out-of-the-body’ at will. He was also well-known for placing his predictions of future events on record. This book – written in the 1980s by Tanous and colleagues – “gives an overview of an innovative approach in the combined fields of conventional and [non]-conventional psychotherapeutic healing”. This is one of several books released by the Alex Tanous Foundation in recent years for historical preservation. Fascinating accounts are relayed by Tanous et al., with additional writings from respected and renowned scientists and professionals to provide modern reflection on this historical piece.

Further information here: White Crow Books.

Review by Graham Kidd.

Talking about Psychical Research: Thoughts on Life, Death and the Nature of Reality, by Mary Rose Barrington

Publication Details: White Crow Books, ISBN: 9781786770653.
Publish Date: March, 2019
Cover of Talking about Psychical Research

From the publisher's website: Mary Rose Barrington, a retired lawyer and former president of the Oxford University Society for Psychical Research has spent many years researching psychic phenomena and observing how it interacts with our daily lives. In Talking about Psychical Research, Mary Rose Barrington asks, “What is the point of psychical research?” She goes on to share her thoughts on subjects including telepathy, clairvoyance, ‘ jotts’, scepticism, psychic force and her ‘small theory of everything’, and in doing so provides us with an enlightening, erudite and entertaining read.

Further information here: White Crow Books

Review by Ted Dixon.

The Flip: Epiphanies of Mind and the Future of Knowledge, by Jeffrey J. Kripal

Publication Details: Bellevue Literary Press, ISBN: 9781942658528.
Publish Date: March, 2019
Cover of The Flip

From the publisher's website: A “flip,” writes Jeffrey J. Kripal, is “a reversal of perspective,” “a new real,” often born of an extreme, life-changing experience. The Flip is Kripal’s ambitious, visionary program for unifying the sciences and the humanities to expand our minds, open our hearts, and negotiate a peaceful resolution to the culture wars. Combining accounts of rationalists’ spiritual awakenings and consciousness explorations by philosophers, neuroscientists, and mystics within a framework of the history of science and religion, Kripal compellingly signals a path to mending our fractured world.

In Times of War: Messages of Wisdom from Soldiers in the Afterlife, by Jonathan Beecher

Publication Details: White Crow Books, ISBN: 978-1786770837.
Publish Date: February, 2019
Cover of 	In Times of War

From the publisher's website: In the first of a series of “White Crow Anthologies,” In Times of War: Messages of Wisdom from Soldiers in the Afterlife documents conversations with soldiers who purport to have been near death or killed as a result of war. The communicators aren’t mystics, sages or saints—just ordinary people who having passed on claim they haven’t died at all and feel more alive than ever in their post-physical state.

From Plato’s time 2,400 years ago to the Seven Years’ War of the 1700s to World War I and II and Vietnam—the messages just keep on coming—all offering words of wisdom from those a little further along the path having crossed the great divide we call death.

Does what we believe now matter after physical death? Does our mental state here influence our post-death state? Do our thoughts and actions during life have consequences in the afterlife? These are big questions that at some point many of us ask ourselves particularly in the latter stages of life.

What is it like to die? Does forgiveness play a part in our spiritual evolution? Do heaven, purgatory and hell exist? The communicators offer opinions on these subjects and more.

This book may not have all the answers, but if the reader is asking any of these questions, it might help in some small way.

The Paranormal and Popular Culture: A Postmodern Religious Landscape, edited by Darryl Caterine and John W. Morehead

Publication Details: Routledge, ISBN: 9781138738577.
Publish Date: February, 2019
Cover of The Paranormal and Popular Culture: A Postmodern Religious Landscape

From the publisher's website: Interest in preternatural and supernatural themes has revitalized the Gothic tale, renewed explorations of psychic powers and given rise to a host of social and religious movements based upon claims of the fantastical. And yet, in spite of this widespread enthusiasm, the academic world has been slow to study this development. This volume rectifies this gap in current scholarship by serving as an interdisciplinary overview of the relationship of the paranormal to the artefacts of mass media (e.g. novels, comic books, and films) as well as the cultural practices they inspire.

After an introduction analyzing the paranormal’s relationship to religion and entertainment, the book presents essays exploring its spiritual significance in a postmodern society; its (post)modern representation in literature and film; and its embodiment in a number of contemporary cultural practices. Contributors from a number of discplines and cultural contexts address issues such as the shamanistic aspects of Batman and lesbianism in vampire mythology.

Covering many aspects of the paranormal and its effect on popular culture, this book is an important statement in the field. As such, it will be of utmost interest to scholars of religious studies as well as media, communication, and cultural studies.

Review by Eva Kingsepp