Parapsychology: Thoughts and Reflections
Now here’s a good idea: what if a highly respected
individual – with a PhD in Psychology – approached a select group of
equally well respected individuals in the field of parapsychology? And
what if the goal behind that same approach was to get the group on-board
for an ambitious project? Namely, to submit papers for a book that
would reveal current thoughts, ideas, theories and data of a
cutting-edge nature in the parapsychology field? Well, the good news is
that it has just happened!
Anomalist Books have just published a new book edited by Rosemarie Pilkington, PhD, and titled Men and Women of Parapsychology, Personal Reflections, Volume 2 .
This is a superb release, running at a packed 422 pages, and which is
essential reading for those fascinated by the mysteries of the mind,
out-of-body-experimentation, poltergeist activity and much more.
Back in 1987, the first book in this series – titled Men and Women of Parapsychology: Personal Reflections – was published to great acclaim (and republished in 2010 as Esprit Volume 1 ).
And, now, 26 years later, we have the sequel. The book is an intriguing
one. Not only does it gets to the collective heart of the phenomena
under the microscope, but it gives us first-class insight into the
worlds of those that have dedicated their lives to unraveling the
paranormal puzzles at issue.
Pilkington approached her cast of characters and requested that their
papers be focused around five, specific questions: (a) how did they
become interested in matters of a paranormal nature? (b) what has been
their most significant contribution to the field? (c) how have their
views changed, and what aspects of their research might they have
handled differently? (d) what kinds of personal exposure to paranormal
phenomena had they experienced? and (e) what types of advice would they
give to the next generation of paranormal investigators?
It is with these questions firmly fixed in their minds that the team
of contributors set about preparing their own, unique papers on a wide
range of mysteries and conundrums of the paranormal kind. And a fine and
illuminating job was successfully completed by one and all!
What I particularly enjoyed about Men and Women of Parapsychology, Personal Reflections, Volume 2 is
that it covers a wide range of paranormal phenomena. That’s to say,
we’re not just swamped by report after report of a very similar nature
that could quickly make for repetitive and tedious reading. Rather, by
covering a wide range of issues, the contributors demonstrate the sheer,
astonishing range of high-strangeness that dominates their – and our –
So, with that all said, what do we learn from reading Pilkington’s
latest title? And what are the highlights? For me, the most entertaining
and intriguing paper was that of the long-time paranormal investigator
and author, Guy Lyon Playfair . In his submission, titled Adventures on the Night-Side,
Playfair takes us back to his childhood, his exposure to the world of
the Society for Psychical Research, his extensive travels across the
globe, and his studies of poltergeist activity.
Playfair also demonstrates the importance of undertaking firsthand,
personal research. For Playfair that has included investigating such
people and issues as Uri Geller, telepathy between twins, and the work
of Andrija Puharich. Playfair’s paper is a highly entertaining and
captivating one. It offers a fine, solid overview of his work, as well
as revealing the key moments of his life’s work and the notable
characters he has encountered over the years.
William Braud’s paper, On Exceptions and the Attraction of the Unexplained Residua, reveals
much about the man’s opinions and thoughts on such matters as PK, the
1920s-era work of Leonid Vasilev, and his work with Apollo 14 astronaut
Edgar Mitchell on issues of an ESP nature. In other words, it’s a rich
and varied account of Braud’s experiences, encounters, and conclusions.
Sally Rhine Feather’s contribution – Continuing the Legacy
– is vital reading. She is the daughter of Joseph Banks Rhine and
Louisa Rhine, two prominent and famous figures within parapsychology and
without who, certainly, the field would not be what it is today. Rhine
Feather gives us the kind of insight into the world of her father and
mother that no-one else could provide. That, alone, makes her report a
uniquely fascinating one. Rhine Feather makes it clear, too, that it was
while exposed to the world of J.B. Rhine that she experienced many a
strange thing that put her on the road she is now on.
takes us on a captivating journey from magical Glastonbury, England to
Bihar, India, where she taught parapsychology and deeply studied
meditation techniques. She states of her life in the field of
parapsychology: “What fascinates me is the mind and consciousness, and I
see clairvoyance (psi) as that part of consciousness, which is more
allied to the eternal, rather than our everyday here-and-now mind.”
Rex Stanford both informs and entertains us with his 24-page paper: Personal Reflections. Like so many other papers in the book’s pages, Rex Stanford’s is
one that covers a wide body of issues, including the work (and
influence on Stanford) of the aforementioned J.B. Rhine, extra-sensory
perception, and psychokinetic-based phenomena.
And that’s just the tip of the paranormal iceberg. Collectively, Men and Women of Parapsychology, Personal Reflections, Volume 2
includes more than 20 papers from a wide and varied body of individuals
who, in their own unique ways, have helped to develop our understanding
of the many and varied issues that fall under the banner of
parapsychology. But, unlike so many books which cover similar topics,
what I particularly enjoyed about this one was the human element.
The authors share with us not just their thoughts, data and theories
relative to parapsychology, but also their inner-most memories and
life-experiences that helped sculpt them into the people they are today.
It’s seldom that you see both angles so successfully fused into one,
but Men and Women of Parapsychology, Personal Reflections, Volume 2 skillfully achieves exactly that.
In doing so, the book is as much about the people within the field of
parapsychological research as it is about the phenomena they study. For
that reason alone, Rosemarie Pilkington’s new release makes for
TAGS: Anomalist Books , Men and Women of Parapsychology , parapsycholog
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