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Body Mind Spirit: Exploring the Parapsychology of Spirituality Paperback – November 1, 1997

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 255 pages
  • Publisher: Hampton Roads Pub Co (November 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1571740732
  • ISBN-13: 978-1571740731
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #244,136 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

With Body Mind Spirit the leading figures in parapsychology finally break the self-imposed silence that has sequestered the field behind a wall of methodology and laboratory data. Researchers, including William Roll, Michael Grosso, and Rhea White, reveal how their work and that of their peers is a prelude to a transformation in the relationship between science and spirituality. While Body Mind Spirit doesn't spend time arguing for the validity of paranormal phenomena, it is no less important than any experimental test data in its efforts to crack Western dogma that has relegated science to the material world and designated the church as sole proprietor of the spiritual realm. The paradigm presented by these authors opens the door to scientific exploration of a milieu that transcends the boundaries set by mainstream science.

More About the Author

Charles T. Tart, Ph.D., is internationally known for his psychological work on the nature of consciousness, particularly altered states of consciousness - as one of the founders of the field of transpersonal psychology - and for his research in parapsychology. His two classic books, "Altered States of Consciousness" (1969) and "Transpersonal Psychologies" (1975), were widely used texts that were instrumental in allowing these areas to become part of modern psychology.

Dr. Tart was born a few years before the Second World War and grew up in Trenton, a mid-sized East Coast city. An episode of rheumatic fever when he was 9 kept him from school and in bed for months, but a visiting teacher gave him a love of learning that he is eternally grateful for. While still a teenager he fell in love with science, especially electronics, He was active in ham radio (call letters K2CFP), and learned enough electronics to work his way through college as a radio engineer (First Class Radiotelephone License). He was raised as a Lutheran, and his personal struggles with the conflict between religion and science he experienced as a teenager created his lifelong career focus of trying to build bridges between genuine science and genuine spirituality.

Charley, as his friends call him, went to college to study electrical engineering at MIT, but while there discovered that he could become a psychologist and thus, he hoped, pursue his deep interests in the nature of the mind and parapsychology. He received his Ph.D. in psychology, with research on influencing night time dreams by posthypnotic suggestions, from the University of North Carolina in 1963, and then received two years of postdoctoral training in hypnosis research at Stanford.

He was a Professor of Psychology at the Davis campus of the University of California for 28 years, where he conducted his research and was a popular teacher, and is now a Core Faculty Member at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in Palo Alto, California, a unique Ph.D. granting institution that believes you should educate a person's body, spirit and emotions as well as their intellectual mind. (Note ITP has now become Sofia University as of 2012) In the 1970s Dr. Tart consulted on the original remote viewing research program at Stanford Research Institute, where some of his parapsychological work was instrumental in influencing government policy makers against the funding of the proposed multi-billion dollar MX missile system.

In addition to "Altered States of Consciousness" (1969) and "Transpersonal Psychologies" (1975), Dr. Tart's other books are "On Being Stoned: A Psychological Study of Marijuana Intoxication" (1971), "States of Consciousness" (1975), "Symposium on Consciousness" (1975, with co-authors), "Learning to Use Extrasensory Perception" (1976), "Psi: Scientific Studies of the Psychic Realm" (1977), "Mind at Large: Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers Symposia on the Nature of Extrasensory Perception" (1979, with H. Puthoff & R. Targ), "Waking Up: Overcoming the Obstacles to Human Potential" (1986), "Open Mind, Discriminating Mind: Reflections on Human Possibilities" (1989), "Living the Mindful Life" (1994) and "Body Mind Spirit: Exploring the Parapsychology of Spirituality" (1997), which looks at the implications of hard scientific data on psychic abilities as a foundation for believing we have a real spiritual nature. His 2001 book, "Mind Science: Meditation Training for Practical People" (2001) presents mindfulness training in a way that makes sense for science professionals, and his most recent book, "The End of Materialism: How Evidence of the Paranormal is Bringing Science and Spirit Together," integrates his work in parapsychology and transpersonal psychology to show that it is reasonable to be both scientific and spiritual in outlook, contrary to the widely believed idea that science shows that there is nothing to spirituality.

He has had more than 250 articles published in professional journals and books, including lead articles in such prestigious scientific journals as Science and Nature.

Not just a laboratory researcher, Dr. Tart has been a student of Aikido (in which he holds a black belt), of meditation, of Gurdjieff's Fourth Way work, and of Buddhism. He has been happily married for more than 50 years and has two children and two grandchildren. His primary goal is still to build bridges between the genuinely scientific and genuinely spiritual communities, and to help bring about a refinement and integration of Western and Eastern approaches for knowing the world and for personal and social growth.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By George W. Fisk on August 23, 1998
Format: Paperback
Charles Tart, with a strong academic background (electrial engineering, psychology) has been diving into the depths of the paranormal many years. This book is not for those simply looking for exciting, unexplainable events. It is for those who want to carefully look at all possible explanations in their search for the truth.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 10, 2000
Format: Paperback
I read just about everything in this field, and this is one of the more serious and thought-provoking of the recent works. It brings together a variety of perspectives from serious researchers. None of the chapters (each by a different author) was a waste of my time, and several were excellent. In answer to the previous reviewer, I don't believe the intent of this book is to "convince" anyone of the reality of psychical phenomena -- I believe the intent is to provoke thought as to how these phenomena might be explained and what they may mean. The entire problem with modern psychical research is that it has moved away from studying the phenomena on their own terms and has tried to cater to scientific materialism by imposing laboratory controls, an effort which has proved largely (but not entirely) fruitless. Anyway, this book is not aimed at close-minded skeptics (if it was, it would be published by Prometheus -- right?). It is aimed at those whose minds are open enough to take the evidence at face value and consider what it may mean. Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence (of which there is plenty) -- but they also demand extraordinary investigation and extraordinarily serious thought, efforts which the debunkers seem unwilling to make.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Hidden Wisdom on June 1, 2001
Format: Paperback
Charles T. Tart's "Body Mind Spirit" is a reasonably satisfying exploration of metaphysical matters. Eleven parapsychologists explain their beliefs about psychic phenomena and spiritual hypotheses. There's no hype here: these are serious scientists doing their best to test rare and subtle effects. Experimental parapsychologists claim to have proven that people can sometimes communicate nonphysically (telepathy), perceive distant objects or events (clairvoyance), foretell the future (precognition), and influence quantum events (psychokinesis). One can disagree, of course, but the experiments can be studied in parapsychology texts by Edge, Krippner, Kurtz, and Wolman (listed here in footnotes and a lengthy bibliography). Other parapsychologists try to rule out the above four influences when they study out-of-body and near-death experiences, past-life recall, apparitions, channeling, poltergeists, and dozens of other reported phenomena. As William Braud says, "A great deal of what is encountered along the spiritual path is quite beyond the reach of current science. Here, one must be armed with trust, faith, hope, love, discernment, and a tolerance for ambiguity and for contraries, rather than with the feelings of safety, certainty, familiarity, and understanding that science can provide." One of Tart's conclusions, after decades of such study, is that something spiritual probably does survive death, but that little of a separate, body-shaped personality is likely to survive for long. William G. Roll argues that souls attach not to our bodies so much as to our families, posessions, and all that we value and protect, overlapping with other such souls. I still don't know what to believe, but I had fun reading the book.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Cassandra Barnes on July 2, 2001
Format: Paperback
Author and scientist Charles T. Tart presents his essays and those of ten other researchers in Body Mind Spirit: Exploring the Parapsychology of Spirituality. He describes his book as "a detailed exploration of the spiritual implications that can be drawn from modern scientific research in parapsychology." Tart leads with an essay outlining the current scientific evidence, stating that "using the best kind of scientific methodology, the human mind has occasional abilities to transcend space and time that are totally inexplicable in terms of the material world." This sets the theme for the remainder of the book.
Other authors look at subjects like the relationship between religion and consciousness, the existence of God, intuition and psi, life after death, and channeling.
Psychologist and parapsychologist William Braud writes that "parapsychological findings can be useful to those on a spiritual path as they can provide a certain degree of confidence and trust that at least some of the processes and concepts encountered are 'real' in a more traditional sense and are not delusions, projections, or misinterpretations."
Philosophers and researchers have long debated the split between science and spirituality. Body Mind Spirit provides evidence that, if read objectively, may finally start to heal that split.
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