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The Gift: ESP, the Extraordinary Experiences of Ordinary People Mass Market Paperback – May 2, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In the 1930s J.B. Rhine launched a series of experiments focusing on extra sensory perception (ESP) at Duke University's Parapsychology Lab. To both accolades and criticism from the scientific community, he argued that the ability of a statistically significant number of subjects to accurately guess the order of randomly arranged cards established ESP's existence. Rhine's daughter Feather, an experimental and clinical psychologist and director of the Rhine Research Center, with the assistance of Schmicker (Best Evidence), draws on a database of thousands of reported cases to present a variety of intriguing, if not fully convincing, accounts that, she says, can't be explained except as instances of ESP. There are three types of stories: precognitive (the ability to foresee an event), clairvoyant (witnessing an event at a distance as it occurs) and telepathic (reading another's mind). There are harrowing tales of mothers who sense that one of their children is in danger, as well as young children apparently able to sense what a parent is thinking. Feather includes a number of examples of people who claim to have had a premonition of 9/11. Although the author strains for an open-minded approach, she states clearly that she accepts the validity of psychic experiences. This collection of anecdotes will appeal most to those who share her convictions. Agent, Nat Sobel.(May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"A wonderful book, filled with fascinating stories from the world's largest collection of ESP cases."--Rupert Sheldrake, Ph.D., author of The Sense of Being Stared At: and Other Unexplained Powers of the Human Mind

"The authors take us through some amazing anecdotal evidence of ESP in this very readable account."--Fred Alan Wolf, Ph.D., American Book Award-winning author of Taking the Quantum Leap, and Parallel Universes:The Search for Other Worlds

"The Gift is a collection of insights and experiences that we all may experience, but which are not often shared with others."--John Edward, author of the New York Times bestseller, Crossing Over and One Last Time: A Psychic Medium Speaks to Those We Have Loved and Lost

"The Gift speaks directly to the needs of millions of people who are concerned with the personal meaning of their ESP experiences."--Jeffrey Mishlove, Ph.D., President of Intuition Network and author of The PK Man

"The Gift presents an astounding array of spontaneous psychic experiences that stretch the human definition of reality. It should be read by any one interested in understanding the limits of the human mind and consciousness." --Joe McMoneagle, author of The Stargate Chronicles: Memoirs of a Psychic Spy

"In my work with couples, I am very familiar with partners reporting connection and communication that seems outside the bounds of the normal transmission of information. ESP offers an explanation. The Gift is clearly written, with credible examples and solid research. Anyone interested in the subject will be well informed, and anyone skeptical of ESP will be challenged to disprove the phenomena." --Harville Hendrix, Ph.D., author of the New York Times bestseller Getting the Love You Want:A Guide for Couples

"A wonderful book, filled with fascinating stories from the world's largest collection of ESP cases."--Rupert Sheldrake, Ph.D., author of Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home And Other Unexplained Powers of Animals and The Sense of Being Stared At

"A great read - suspense, drama, a sense of wonder, and any number of surprises. You'll find no better introduction to the world of ESP."--Stanley Krippner, Ph.D, co-editor of Varieties of Anomalous Experience: Examining the Scientific Evidence

"The Gift is an extraordinary book that brings together many different kinds of ESP experiences with numerous case histories from ordinary people…. A great resource for those interested in paranormal experiences." -The International Association for Near-Death Studies (IANDS)

"The Gift is truly a gift to all of us, illuminating an extraordinary psychological ability we all share."--C. Norman Shealy, M.D., Founder, American Holistic Medical Association

"The greatest mystery in the universe is human consciousness, and these extraordinary human experiences reveal the reach of the human mind is awesome indeed. Highly recommended."--Larry Dossey, M.D., New York Times bestselling author of Reinventing Medicine.

"A fascinating and readable book, reminding us in this age of rampant materialism and consumerism that our greatest treasure is not things but the human mind."--Charles Tart, Ph.D., author of Altered States of Consciousness

"Readers will be riveted by the amazing, true accounts of ESP found in these pages."--Leslie Rule, author of Ghosts Among Us: True Stories of Spirit Encounters and Coast to Coast Ghosts

"The Gift belongs at the top of the list of books on psychic experiences that are educational as well as stimulating." --Rhea A. White, founder, Exceptional Human Experience Network

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks (May 2, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312997760
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312997762
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.8 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,257,137 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Michael E. Tymn VINE VOICE on April 23, 2005
Format: Hardcover
ESP is often passed off as delusion or coincidence. But decades of research by Drs. J.B. and Louis Rhine at Duke University provided ample evidence that it is a sixth sense, of sorts, more available to some than others.

Author Sally Rhine Feather is the daughter of the Rhines and is director of the Rhine Research Center in Durham, NC. Michael Schmicker, an investigative journalist, is the author of Best Evidence, a book which explores evidence for psychic phenomena and survival of consciousness at death. The two have collaborated on this book in offering dozens of stories from the Rhine Research Center's database. "Our efforts today no longer focus on whether ESP exists; we have strong evidence that it does," Feather states in the preface. "Instead, we are studying how ESP works, by examining how personality, emotional relationship, mental and physical states, education, gender, and other variables may affect ESP experiences."

The authors are quick to point out that the many cases in this book, taken from more 14,000 in the database, are not intended as scientific proof of ESP. While anecdotal, the great number of them must lead any open-minded person to consider that the explanation for them goes beyond fraud, delusion, or coincidence. Consider the case of a bank president who, during World War II, became very depressed while on a fishing trip, feeling strongly that his son, Bill, was the cause of it. A few nights later a telegram was received saying Bill had been critically wounded. The distraught father had no indication as to what the wounds were, but he began to visualize a head wound, right behind the ear, as well as some kind of arm wound. As it turned out, the actual injuries were almost exactly as seen by the father.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Robert S. Gebelein on May 10, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
THE GIFT is both entertaining and informative, combining stories of psychic experiences with highlights of the history, research, findings, and political struggles of parapsychology. It is well written, clear, and easy to read. In contrast to the smear tactics that have been employed by opponents of parapsychology, this book is totally responsible and accurate. It is a delight to read.

What makes this an important book is the announcement by Dr. Sally Rhine Feather, head of the Rhine Research Center and daughter of pioneer researchers Louisa and J.B. Rhine, that the reality of "ESP" (precognition, telepathy, and clairvoyance) has essentially been proved, not by the stories in this book, but by the laboratory experiments. She says:

"Parapsychologists no longer conduct scientific tests to prove the reality of ESP. There is ample evidence that it exists. ..." (Page 17)

There have been hundreds of studies, involving thousands of people, conducted according to the strictest rules of established science, replicated by a great many independent laboratories in at least 7 different countries, and documented in scholarly journals throughout the world. Of course, for the 65 million Americans who have personally experienced "ESP" (according to a 2001 Gallup Poll), we need no scientific proof.

THE GIFT should appeal to the widest possible audience. It could also be used as a supplementary college text, wherever academic freedom is allowed.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Halevi Bloom on August 23, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Recently I had an amazing experience. My father passed away at the age of 90, I was 56, and at the time of his passing, I was halfway around the world, in another country, more than 8000 miles away! Due to my work and travels, and the sudden-ness of my father's death, I could not make it back home to be with him. However, we knew he was in failing health for the last year or so, so I was ready for this to happen, well, as much as one can ever be ready for the death of a parent!

What is strange is that about four days before he took his last breath, in a quiet and peacefull sleep of death before he passed to the other side, I suddenly became very very ill, in my hotel room, felt like I was dying, felt like all the energy in my body was being drained away, and I had no idea why, at the time. I could not sleep all night, woke up in a sweat, had zero energy and felt like I was doing to die that very day. I was so scared I visited a doctor and had some blood tests done, because I was sure I was going to die of something weird. But no, I was okay the next day, it was just a 24 hour flu bug or something, the doctor told me after telling my blood tests didn't reveal anything abnormal except a high white blood cell count. But I didn't have a fever, I didn't have the runs, it didn't seem like the flu bug.

Then, four days later, I received the sad phone call: Dad has passed away. I wonder if somehow he was trying to contact me, halfway around the world, via ESP, that somehow his draining energy was making contact with my energy, which also felt so draining, and that this was his way of saying goodbye to me, after all these years of a good father and son bond. I still wonder about this, and am usually a skeptic when it comes to matters like this. I don't believe in God or any gods, and I don't really believe in ESP. And yet, this happened to me, and now I feel I want to find out more about what really happened. I feel that this book was a good place to start.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Cynthia Sue Larson TOP 1000 REVIEWER on May 10, 2005
Format: Hardcover
THE GIFT is an outstanding compendium of decades of essential research into ESP that is destined to be a classic reference book for years to come. Author Dr. Sally Rhine Feather shares the findings of the Duke Parapsychology Laboratory and the Rhine Research Center since the early 1930s in a friendly manner that invites readers to take a look at some of the startling intuitive insights of hundreds of ordinary individuals. THE GIFT devotes an entire chapter to sharing stories of ESP between mothers and their children, another to the ESP of children, another to ESP in romance, another for messages from the dead, and several to ESP related to premonitions of various disasters. THE GIFT is filled with fascinating findings, such as the conclusion that we tend to have ESP experiences most often with people who share close personal emotional ties -- such as parents, children, siblings, spouses and friends. 57% of people who shared stories of such experiences noted that they received intuitive insights such as precognitive flashes of something about to happen in the form of dreams, while 30% noted sudden intuitive impressions while they were awake, and 13% experienced visions so real that they seemed to actually be happening.

I was intrigued to learn that 30% of all psychic messages from loved ones involve death, 40% involve news of accidents... so that a full 70% of ESP messages about others are tuned in to potential negative disruptions in the lives of those we care about. The authors assert, "When any two members of a family are emotionally close, the death of one can generate psychic shock wave capable of immediately reaching the other." Potentially lethal situations also seem capable of reaching loved ones very quickly.
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