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Extraordinary Knowing: Science, Skepticism, and the Inexplicable Powers of the Human Mind Paperback – February 26, 2008
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Prompted by a personal experience she interpreted as evidence for extrasensory perception, the late author embarked on an exploration into research on the subject. Mayer, who was a psychoanalyst by profession, in this work recounts her journey, which involved collecting ESP anecdotes, interesting her professional peers in the subject, and sifting through formal research into psychic phenomena. The latter process extends back over a century, to investigations supported by philosopher William James, as chronicled in Deborah Blum's Ghost Hunters (2006). Mayer summarizes the work of James' Society for Psychical Research, delves into one researcher's projects in the 1930s, describes the CIA's interest in "remote viewing" in the 1960s, and paraphrases research papers of more recent vintage. She never crossed the scientific Rubicon to announce QED on ESP but was bravely enamored of the possibility of its existence. How else to explain the recovery of her daughter's stolen harp, whose location Mayer said was pinpointed by a psychic dowser? Mayer's catalog of personal experience and seemingly rigorous research into "anomalous cognitive events" should inveigle those similarly intrigued. Gilbert Taylor
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Experiencing anew the wonder of someone discovering for the first time that the world is not as it seems is a real treasure. [Mayer's] challenge to traditional scientists to take these realms seriously is equally refreshing."—Shift, the Magazine of the Institute of Noetic Sciences
"Logic meets ESP in a risky, profound, convincing new book. Extraordinary Knowing offers a revolutionary new way of understanding the world"—O, The Oprah Magazine
"A remarkable journey of discovery, bringing together personal experiences and scientific experiments, and uncovering and dissolving taboos. Mayer has a unique ability to combine scholarship and sophistication with freshness and curiosity."—Rupert Sheldrake, Ph.D., author of The Presence of the Past and The Sense of Being Stared At
"This important, paradigm-shifting book beautifully weaves stories of extraordinary knowing with a challenge to science as we know it: to help us honor and understand the true nature of these experiences."—Andrew Newberg, M.D., author of Why God Won't Go Away
"An enthralling account, amazing and convincing. Mayer's work holds the promise of enabling a new level of dialogue between realms of science and spirit."—Huston Smith, Ph.D., author of The World's Religions
"Extraordinary Knowing breaks the seal on the stronghold of the cool, logical intellect. Inside, we find exciting and irrefutable evidence that what we call 'reality' is far more magical and exciting than we've ever dreamed. What a fabulous book!"—Christiane Northrup, M.D., author of Mother-Daughter Wisdom, The Wisdom of Menopause, and Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom
"A fascinating exploration of the mind and of what it might be to be human. Mayer opens up intriguing new vistas for thinking about our deeper connectedness."—Adam Phillips, author of Going Sane and Side Effects
"A book to rejoice in. Mayer opens thrilling new possibilities for science and its applications."—Larry Dossey, M.D., author of Healing Words
"A fascinating look at the power of non-local awareness to transcend the limits of the linear mind. Dr. Mayer writes with a sense of awe and fierce intelligence."—Judith Orloff, MD., author, Positive Energy
"Marvelous…the most exciting and important work I've seen in a long time. Mayer has courage as well as brilliance."—Louis Sander, M.D., Professor Emeritus, Boston University School of Medicine
From the Hardcover edition.
Top customer reviews
I own and have read a number of books on PSI, Telepathy, and so on, which describe events and happenings regarding these things. What separates this book from many others, is that it discusses some theories of how PSI works, some variables that might affect it, and a model which allows the reader to make sense of it all. While it is not a complete model, it is the very best one I have seen.
This information noted above, gave me clear insight as to how i might develop PSI within myself. The variables are explained in a way that made sense. For example, Elizabeth discusses the fact that PSI seems to happen mostly when the mind is very quiet, and not when you are trying to make it happen. The thinking is that PSI is a low level, noisy signal so the mind has to be very quiet to pick it up. Very quiet means that one must shut down external stimuli in order to hear the PSI signal. People mostly do this by meditating or praying or something similar. PSi seems to be picked up in the unconscious part of our brain.
So I would say that being able to pick up PSI or Telepathic signals is not making it happen, but allowing it to happen while external stimuli are at a very low level.
There have been many books published over the last 60 years or so on this topic. This one is among the most useful, in my opinion.
I never believed in ESP or other psychic phenomena - what she calls "extraordinary knowing" - until I experienced such myself, on a few occasions, spaced several years apart. Wanting to know how it is possible, I read this book (and some others). She doesn't learn how it is possible, but she speaks with scientists (mostly physicists) who provide theories. Definitely a fascinating read.