The further we head on into the 21st century the more the lines that once used to separate physics and metaphysics become increasingly blurred.
As they do so, as spiritual adventurers, we have to consider and integrate into our philosophies many of the new ideas and paradigms that are emerging.
One of the father-figures of parapsychology research; and someone who has worked to develop a new way of thinking about life and the human experience as a result of the merging of these two sciences, is J B Rhine. His analytical and statistical approach to his research have been investigated and applied by Carl Llewellyn Weschcke and psychologist Joe H Slate in their book A New Science of the Paranormal.
A New Science of the Paranormal explores a number of common, or popular, areas of psychic and paranormal practice and seeks to evaluate their scientific basis.
Subjects covered include; extra-sensory perception, telepathy, clairvoyance, out-of-body experiences, and mediumistic skills.
Later on the authors cover other more fringe subjects such as water-gazing, crystal pendulums, seeing auras and dowsing with rods.
In subsequent chapters they also consider the importance and relevance of the research into these subjects and their significance in the era of the unfolding of a New Age.
The publication closes with a large and detailed glossary as well as an index.
Our Review of ‘The New Science of the Paranormal’ by Carl Llewellyn Weschcke and Joe H Slate
In many ways I found this to be a strangely odd book for it contains something of a mish-mash of ideas and proposals – most of which do not hold together terribly well.
Knowing whom this book is intended for might have given me a clearer idea on its primary purpose but even that much I was unable to ascertain for myself from reading it.
Was the intention of the writers to try and prove the objective reality of paranormal experiences or was it to promote psychism as a primary component in the New Age movement?
Whilst the book offers some interesting analysis of parapsychological research the control mechanisms used are not sufficiently strong enough to convince a skeptic of the validity of the paranormal. Neither are they particularly insightful from a believers perspective; which leaves those who are convinced of the existence of psychic powers with little material with which to judge their beliefs against emerging scientific theory.
Overall I found this to be a patchwork quilt of a publication whose stitching was rather evidently coming apart in places. The somewhat over-bloated and unnecessarily extensive Glossary will be of interest to those who are completely unknowledgeable about core New Age terminology but it will be a distraction to those whom already have a grounding in the basic philosophy of contemporary spirituality.