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Psi Wars: TED, Wikipedia and the Battle for the Internet, by Craig Weiler

Publication Details: Craig Weiler. ISBN-13: 978-1494389000
Publish Date: December, 2013

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

Review by Tom Ruffles

Return to Life: Extraordinary Cases of Children Who Remember Past Lives, by Jim Tucker

Publication Details: St. Martin's Press. ISBN-13: 978-1250005847
Publish Date: December, 2013
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.

The End of Death: How Near-Death Experiences Prove the Afterlife, by Admir Serrano

Publication Details: 6th Books. ISBN-13: 978-1782792338
Publish Date: December, 2013
From the publisher’s website: Using personal experiences and examinations of first-hand accounts, coupled with scientific evidence and academic experiments, the author explores the phenomena of Near Death Experience (NDE). Compelling and eye-opening, the book is an essential read for anyone interested in the afterlife, or those simply wanting to question why they are here. For more information, visit www.admirserrano.com

Anomalistic Psychology: Exploring Paranormal Belief and Experience, by Christopher C. French and Anna Stone

Publication Details: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN-13: 978-1403995711
Publish Date: November, 2013
From the publisher’s website: The science behind claims of alien encounters and visions of ghosts can be even more fascinating than the sensationalist headlines. What leads some people to believe in the paranormal? Why might someone think they have been abducted by aliens? And is there any room for superstition in the modern world of science? Anomalistic Psychology * Provides a lively and thought-provoking introduction to the psychology underlying paranormal belief and experience * Covers the latest psychological theories and experiments, and examines the science at the heart of the subject * Uses a unique approach to apply different psychological perspectives – including clinical, developmental and cognitive approaches – to shed new light on the key debates Whether you are a psychology student or simply curious about the paranormal, Anomalistic Psychology is the essential introduction to this contested and controversial field. Belief in the paranormal has been reported in every known society since the dawn of time – find out why.

Conversations with Ghosts, by Alex Tanous with Callum E. Cooper

Publication Details: White Crow Books. ISBN 978-1-908733-55-9
Publish Date: November, 2013
From the publisher’s website: Dr Alex Tanous was a prolific scholar and acclaimed psychic of the latter part of the twentieth century. Having created quite a career for himself internationally, and commanding a great deal of respect amongst scholars and the general public, he spent nearly twenty years as an active researcher, and research participant, for the American Society for Psychical Research. He reached an untimely end in 1990, but established the Alex Tanous Foundation for Scientific Research shortly before his death to preserve his memory and share his research and teachings. Conversations with Ghosts was an idea for a fourth book for Dr Tanous, and it was intended to be written by Dr Karlis Osis and himself, outlining their various investigations of ghostly phenomena while working with the American Society for Psychical Research. The existing short manuscript - of no more than a couple of chapters - was archived by the Alex Tanous Foundation for Scientific Research, and left incomplete. Now, thanks to the Foundation’s support, the book has finally been completed using additional notes and writings of Dr Tanous, and interviews that were conducted with him on his thoughts and theories into ghosts and conscious survival beyond death. Additionally, this book provides not only a first-hand insight into the Tanous/Osis investigations, but also draws on people’s personal experiences with Dr Tanous during his various explorations of ghosts and hauntings. This is a rare insight into the work and mind of a psychic psychical researcher. For further details, visit the White Crow Books website: http://whitecrowbooks.com/books/page/conversations_with_ghosts/

Education in Parapsychology: Student and Instructor Perspectives, by Harvey J. Irwin

Publication Details: Australian Institute of Parapsychological Research. ISBN: 978-0-9870772-1-9
Publish Date: November, 2013
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. The website of the Australian Institute of Parapsychological Research: www.aiprinc.org

The Infinite Mindfield: The Quest to Find the Gateway to Higher Consciousness, by Anthony Peake

Publication Details: Watkins Publishing. ISBN-13: 978-1780285719
Publish Date: November, 2013
From the publisher’s website: For thousands of years, voyagers of inner space—spiritual seekers, shamans and mystics—have returned from their inner travels reporting another level of reality that is more real than the one we inhabit in waking life. Others have claimed that under the influence of mysterious substances, known as entheogens, the everyday human mind can be given glimpses of this multidimensional realm of existence. Using information from the cutting edge of modern science, Peake presents a startling new hypothesis that these “inner worlds” are as real, or possibly even more real, than the “reality” we experience in waking life. As his starting point, Peake examines the widespread historical belief that the mid-brain’s pine-cone shaped pineal gland activates the “third eye” described by mystics and seers. Through careful analysis of ancient religious texts and artifacts, he gives evidence that the spiritual properties of the pineal gland have been embedded in myths and cultures across the globe. Peake then shows that it is through this small organ that we experience lucid dreaming, out-of-body experiences, hypnagogic imagery, near-death experiences, astral travel and the kundalini experience. The book ends with the mind-blowing proposition that all living beings are one unitary consciousness experiencing itself subjectively. This book is genuinely revolutionary and will cause both interest and controversy in equal measure. Its science is watertight as is its logic. Be ready to be stunned – you will never have read anything like this before.

One Mind: How Our Individual Mind Is Part of a Greater Consciousness and Why It Matters, by Larry Dossey

Publication Details: Hay House. ISBN-13: 978-1401943158
Publish Date: October, 2013
From the publisher’s website: In One Mind, New York Times bestselling author Larry Dossey, MD, proposes an inspiring view of consciousness that may reshape our destiny. Dossey's premise is that all individual minds are part of an infinite, collective dimension of consciousness he calls the One Mind. This state - which we can all access - explains phenomena as diverse as epiphanies, creative breakthroughs, premonitions of danger or disaster, near-death experiences, communication with other species and with the dead, reincarnation, the movement of herds, flocks and schools and remote healing. Dossey presents his theory in easily digestible, bite-sized examples. Through engaging stories, fascinating research and brilliant insights from great thinkers throughout history, readers will explore the outer reaches of human consciousness, discover a new way to interpret the great mysteries of our experience, and learn how to develop the empathy necessary to inspire more love, peace and collective awareness. The result is a rich new understanding of what it means to be human and a renewed hope that we can successfully confront the challenges we face at this crossroads in human history. Even before publication One Mind has drawn praise from the finest minds of our time. It has been heralded as 'landmark', 'a brilliant synthesis', a 'magnum opus', a 'feast' of ideas, 'compelling', 'gripping' and 'a major shift in our understanding of consciousness'.

Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife, by Eben Alexander

Publication Details: Piatkus, ISBN-13: 978-0749958794
Publish Date: October, 2013

From the author’s website: Near-death experiences, or NDEs, are controversial. Thousands of people have had them, but many in the scientific community have argued that they are impossible. Dr. Eben Alexander was one of those people.  A highly trained neurosurgeon who had operated on thousands of brains in the course of his career, Alexander knew that what people of faith call the “soul” is really a product of brain chemistry. NDEs, he would have been the first to explain, might feel real to the people having them, but in truth they are simply fantasies produced by brains under extreme stress.  Then came the day when Dr. Alexander’s own brain was attacked by an extremely rare illness. The part of the brain that controls thought and emotion – and in essence makes us human – shut down completely. For seven days Alexander lay in a hospital bed in a deep coma.  Then, as his doctors weighed the possibility of stopping treatment, Alexander’s eyes popped open. He had come back.

Alexander’s recovery is by all accounts a medical miracle. But the real miracle of his story lies elsewhere. While his body lay in coma, Alexander journeyed beyond this world and encountered an angelic being who guided him into the deepest realms of super-physical existence. There he met, and spoke with, the Divine source of the universe itself.  This story sounds like the wild and wonderful imaginings of a skilled fantasy writer. But it is not fantasy. Before Alexander underwent his journey, he could not reconcile his knowledge of neuroscience with any belief in heaven, God, or the soul. That difficulty with belief created an empty space that no professional triumph could erase. Today he is a doctor who believes that true health can be achieved only when we realize that God and the soul are real and that death is not the end of personal existence but only a transition.  This story would be remarkable no matter who it happened to. That it happened to Dr. Alexander makes it revolutionary. No scientist or person of faith will be able to ignore it. Reading it will change your life.

Review by Tom Ruffles

Stop Worrying! There Probably is an Afterlife, by Greg Taylor

Publication Details: Daily Grail Publishing. ISBN-13: 978-0987422439
Publish Date: October, 2013

From the publisher’s website: Did Steve Jobs have a vision of the afterlife on his death-bed? Does quantum physics suggest that our mind might survive the physical death of our body? How do some near-death experiencers 'see' outside of their bodies at a time when they are supposed to be dead? In Stop Worrying! There Probably is an Afterlife, author Greg Taylor covers all these questions and more. From Victorian séance rooms through to modern scientific laboratories, Taylor surveys the fascinating history of research into the survival of human consciousness, and returns with a stunning conclusion: that maybe we should stop worrying so much about death, because there probably is an afterlife.

Review by Tom Ruffles

The Poltergeist Prince of London: The Remarkable True Story of the Battersea Poltergeist, by Shirley Hitchings and James Clark

Publication Details: The History Press. ISBN: 9780752498034
Publish Date: October, 2013

From the publisher’s website: It began with a key. One afternoon in 1956, in the home of the Hitchings family in Battersea, south London, a small silver key appeared on Shirley Hitchings’ bed. This seemingly insignificant event heralded the beginning of one of the most terrifying, incredible and mysterious hauntings in British history. The spirit, who quickly became known as ‘Donald’, began to communicate, initially via tapping sounds, but over time – and with the encouragement of psychical researcher Harold Chibbett, whose case-files appear here – by learning to write. Soon, the spirit had begun to make simply incredible claims about his identity, insisting that he was one of the most famous figures in world history – but what was the truth? Here, for the first time, is the full story, told by the woman right at the heart of it all – Shirley herself.

Review by Tom Ruffles

Advances in Parapsychological Research 9, edited by Stanley Krippner, Adam J. Rock, Julie Beischel, Harris L. Friedman, Cheryl L. Fracasso

Publication Details: McFarland. ISBN: 978-0-7864-7126-3
Publish Date: September, 2013
From the publisher’s website: The essays in this volume 9 of a series inform readers of the present status of leading issues in parapsychology, or psi research. The authors are experts in their fields and have written in a reader-friendly way that captures the complexity and importance of their topics. Each essay comprehensively reviews a controversial topic from a critical stance, and updates its status based on the latest theoretical and empirical considerations. For readers who need to keep pace with the evolution of thinking in psi research, this volume is authoritative.

Contents:

Introduction: Science and Psi (Stanley Krippner, Adam J. Rock, Julie Beischel, Harris L. Friedman and Cheryl L. Fracasso)   

Tribute to Jule Eisenbud (Stephen E. Braude)   9

The Global Consciousness Project: Meaningful Patterns in Random Data (Roger D. Nelson)    

An Updated Review of Dream ESP Studies Conducted Since the Maimonides Dream ESP Program (Simon J. Sherwood and Chris A. Roe)    

A Comparative Approach to the Theory of Psychopraxia (Lance Storm)   

How Much Evidence Is Necessary to Define the Reality of a Phenomenon? Frequentist, Bayesian, and Quantum Modeling of Ganzfeld ESP (Patrizio E. Tressoldi)    

Operationalizing Psi-Conducive Altered States: Integrating Insights from Consciousness Studies into Parapsychology (Adam J. Rock, Harris L. Friedman and Graham A. Jamieson)    

Physiological Responses as Unconscious Measures of Psi (Edward Justin Modestino)   

Evidence of Psi in Energy Psychology "Surrogate" Treatments (David Feinstein)    

Expanding Psi Research: Toward Wider, Wiser, and More Humane Inquiry (William G. Braud)