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The End of Materialism: How Evidence of the Paranormal Is Bringing Science and Spirit Together Hardcover – April 2, 2009

4.6 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A faculty member at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, scientist Tate (Altered States of Consciousness, On Being Stoned) spent more than 50 years studying the paranormal. In this challenge to traditional science and spirituality, Tart employs scientific skepticism and an open mind (both essential to interpreting results "as objectively as possible") to question the seeming contradiction between "the formal, rational rules of science, which have worked so well in understanding the physical world" and "behaviors that cannot be reduced to materialistic explanations." To substantiate his thesis, Tart analyzes a number of scientific paranormal experiments: distinguishing the color of face-down cards, testing the hypothesis that feedback training improves telepathic ability, attempts to show a relationship between electromagnetism and clairvoyance, etc. Elsewhere, Tate makes intriguing comparisons between out-of-the-body experiences and near-death experiences, both of which support (but don't prove) the phenomenon of "postmortem survival" (children who "remember" past lives are also examined). While admitting that he has no "final, absolutely certain, and wonderful answers," Tart covers a wide range of phenomena (remote viewing, psychic healing, mediumship) and leaves readers much to ponder.
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From the Publisher

For fifty years, world-renowned transpersonal psychologist Charles Tart conducted scientific experiments at prestigious institutions such as Stanford University and the University of California, Davis, to explore the nature of paranormal phenomena. In The End of Materialism, Tart presents his findings and explains how the scientific and spiritual worlds can be reconciled.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: New Harbinger Publications; 1st edition (April 2, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1572246456
  • ISBN-13: 978-1572246454
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #800,823 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Can science and spirituality live together without fighting? Is it possible to be a rigorous, rational scientist, and at the same time apply the methods of science to explore spiritual ideas without automatically collapsing everything into mechanistic, materialistic, or reductionistic terms? Why is the data of parapsychology viciously and irrationally attacked by those who imagine themselves to be the defenders of rationality? These are some of the interesting questions addressed in this book.

The essential theme is that some aspects of materialism, one of the key assumptions underlying many of the successes of modern science, have hardened into a kind of dogma. Adherents to this "scientistic" dogma are blinded by faith and can no longer see that one of the doctrines of their faith is actually an assumption, and that there is ample, empirical data that powerfully contradicts that assumption. Charles Tart explores this idea in depth, arguing that materialism is no longer a viable scientific assumption. I find the argument clearly stated, backed up with substantial data, and persuasive.

Dean Radin, PhD, author of Entangled Minds: Extrasensory Experiences in a Quantum Reality
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Tart believes that the big five, his referral to telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition, psychokinesis, and psychic healing, are well supported by scientific evidence. Tart reviews this evidence, but wants to go to the next step: to consider other paranormal phenomena, and to look at the issue of what these phenomena mean in a philosophical sense (his best bet).

Tart confronts this issue of belief and knowledge, and how we humans struggle with meaning. He (page 25) writes: "Things that we believe that we don't know we believe, though, are like a set of chains. They just automatically affect our perceptions and thoughts, and trap us."

Tart (page 34) writes: "If you don't consciously see that you have competing, clashing views of something, it won't feel as if you have a conflict. But, at a deeper, psychological level, your psyche is not whole when you do this; the conflict will exact a price from you on less-conscious levels."

This struggle is most apparent in a misplace certainty given to a science turned scientism, with materialistic philosophy at its core. Tart (page 37) writes: "Scientism has uselessly hurt enormous numbers of people, and we must distinguish scientism from science if we want any hope of science and spirituality helping each other."

Tart (page 38) writes: "Until we learn to distinguish essential science from scientism, we remain vulnerable to false invalidation, which seems to have the full power and prestige of science behind it but is really an arbitrary, philosophical opinion. And we lose the ability to constructively apply essential science to increase our understanding of and effectiveness with spirituality.
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Format: Hardcover
Using data from parapsychological research, Charles Tart presents a worldview that counters the reductionism that is so prevalent in contemporary science. Tart's erudition, reasoning, and wit have produced a provocative book that will evoke controversy but may initiate a paradigm appropriate for the 21st century.

Stanley Krippner, PhD
Professor of Psychology
Saybrook Graduate School
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Format: Hardcover
"Amid the flurry in science about genes, neurons, and neurotransmitters, another quiet revolution has been building for several decades. It involves a view of consciousness in which the mind is not confined to specific points in space or time, such as the brain, body, and the present. In THE END OF MATERIALISM, legendary psychologist and psi researcher Charles Tart assembles the pieces of this new picture. He is eminently qualified to do so: he helped invent the new image of consciousness through four decades of meticulous research. Tart's inspiring, majestic image of consciousness will prevail, because of two compelling reasons: it is good science, and it more fully accounts for who we humans are and how we behave."

-- Larry Dossey, MD
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Format: Hardcover
This is a book that I would especially recommend to those who are absolutely sure that ESP does not exist. Several years ago, I happened to read about research that has been done on various paranormal phenomena and was amazed by it. I have read several books on the subject but none that sets out a complete scientific case as clearly as this one. There is apparently evidence that what Tart calls the big five-telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition, psychokinesis and psychic healing--actually have been demonstrated under laboratory conditions. Here, Tart, one of the top researchers in this area, brings a great deal of relevant data together in very interesting, readable form. If you are a skeptic, you might want to read this and judge for yourself, applying the same stardards you would apply to other scientific research. What I particular like about this book is that Tart goes beyond the data to look at philosophical implications. If, for example, human beings are sometimes capable of precognition what does that mean about our essential nature? Tart suggests that a narrow, materialistic view is contradicted by scientific data. He argues for humanity's spiritual nature from a scientific viewpoint and comes across as open minded and willing to follow evidence to logical conclusions. The conclusions he draws give you food for thought.

Are all the experiments he cites hoaxes? Given the standing of some of the researchers, I find that unlikely. I put down this book feeling that I would like to see additional, rigorous, scientific, peer reviewed research done on paranormal phenomena.
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