“This highly readable book by an eminent psychologist gives an overview of much hard empirical evidence for psychic phenomena, focusing on what the author calls the `big five’ of telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition, psychokinesis and psychic healing.
The author approaches the subject as a skeptic, not as one who is already converted and is making a case for personal beliefs. This air of scientific detachment coupled with intense personal involvement (because these phenomena and the consequences of their existence are important to us all) pervades the whole book. There are many personal anecdotes provided from the life of the author and his colleagues; but there are also details and further references of much laboratory work that has been done in these subject areas, some of it published in books available on this website, but some of it in journals, not all of which will be readily accessible to those of us not working in this field.
There are also some details of psychic phenomena from fields that the author himself says he is not entirely convinced of – postcognition, OBEs, NDEs, mediumship and reincarnation. But again the author’s treatment is objective, lamenting the fact that so little research is being done in these areas. As a scientist myself, I cannot see, unless a reader is wedded to scientism, which the author deplores, how anyone could reject such a body of evidence provided by reputable investigators as being fantasy or fraud.
My one slight disappointment was the lack of any quantum physics interpretation of spiritual phenomena to bring spiritualism and science together at a fundamental level; but the author says that this is not his specialism and he directs readers to other authors whose specialism it is, like Dean Radin (Entangled Minds).
From this and many other earlier books on the subject, the scientific case for the existence of psychic phenomena must surely be regarded as proven. As the author says, it remains now to encourage popular acceptance of a widespread rationally based spirituality to replace the stultifying dogma of scriptural religion”.
Dr Howard A. Jones is the author of The Thoughtful Guide to God (2006) and The Tao of Holism (2008), both published by O Books (John Hunt Publishing) of Winchester, UK