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Supernormal: Science, Yoga, and the Evidence for Extraordinary Psychic Abilities Paperback – July 16, 2013
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From Publishers Weekly
Does being a skilled yogi give one superpowers—and if so, how can we prove it? In this latest, Radin (The Conscious Universe) holds the ancient practices and theories of yoga up to the discerning lens of modern science. He maps yoga's migration from East to West, its evolution from past to present, and he examines the practice's ur-text: a 2,000-year-old manuscript known as the Yoga Sutras. Where, then, does science fit in? While Radin, a senior scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, is frequently critical of the discipline, he nevertheless argues that an array of tests may be able to lend credence to siddhis (psychic phenomena like telepathy and precognition) and some of yoga's other more mysterious claims. But this is not a read for the unread: Radin's discussion assumes a considerable knowledge base, and it's unclear whom he's writing for: devout yogis or skeptical scientists? Or both? (Radin's goal may be to collapse these distinctions: in his conclusion, he argues for a worldview that melds the ancient with the modern, the scientific with the yogic.) Though unfocused and opaque at times, this is nevertheless an admirable attempt to bridge the gap between the scientific and the spiritual realm by focusing on a common desire for self- and societal improvement. Illus. (July)
“In Supernormal, consciousness researcher Dr. Dean Radin shows compellingly that specific ancient claims about extraordinary psychic abilities are real, and how they have been confirmed by an outpouring of ingenious experiments whose statistical power is simply galactic. Supernormal is the crown jewel in Dr. Radin’s landmark trilogy, which also includes The Conscious Universe and Entangled Minds. Supernormal is a reader’s delight. Beautifully written, it is spiced with that rarest ingredient in science writing: humor. If this book does not take your breath away, it should, because it reveals how we can awaken to innate human potentials that are glorious, on which our future may depend. Thank you, Dr. Radin, for showing the way.” -- Larry Dossey, MD, author of One Mind
"In the last 50 years, major discoveries in modern science increasingly support the wisdom and vision of the ancient philosophers and sages. Dean Radin’s work is a major step in the same context, showing us how the statements made by the ancient sages like Patanjali are supported by the current research conducted with strictest scientific protocols. Radin’s work seems to bear even greater promise of what is yet to come." --Swami Veda Bharati, D. Lit.
“Great advances in science are made by following the evidence, wherever it may lead. Adhering to this principle, internationally-known researcher and author Dean Radin convincingly demonstrates that psi phenomena invalidate the assumptions associated with the obsolete materialist worldview. Recognizing the fundamental aspect of mind and consciousness, Dr. Radin also explains why it is now time to significantly revise and expand our concepts about who we are and the ultimate nature of reality.” --Mario Beauregard, author of The Spiritual Brain and Brain Wars
"As with Dr. Radin’s previous work, this book is thoroughly researched, clearly written, and immensely engaging. Once again he has pushed the boundaries of religion, science, psychology, and philosophy. Invaluable reading!" --Michael Bloch, University of San Francisco
"Dean Radin is a modern-day Galileo of psychical research. He is an impeccable scholar and premier experimental scientist, and this is a terrific book. Come, look through his telescope; with great clarity, he goes right to the core of the most profound issues in the contemporary science of mind. By including a detailed review of a variety of experimental findings, this book presents in one easily accessible place a wealth of information, creating a valuable reference and teaching/learning resource for students and scholars alike. And by connecting all this with contemplative investigations of the nature of mind carried out over the course of millennia, this book makes an invaluable contribution to expanding the modern dialogue between science and the contemplative traditions." --David E. Presti, University of California, Berkeley
“In Supernormal, Dean Radin skillfully weaves threads of Eastern praxis (yoga) and the results of Western psi experiments into a seamless and fascinating tapestry, one that portrays not merely who we are but what we might aspire to become.” --Daniel Sheehan
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Top Customer Reviews
Radin then gives us a tour de force survey of Patanjali's views on yoga and the manner in which contemplative practices have been known for several millennia to produce psi abilities in those who are disciplined enough to undergo them. I found this to be one of the most interesting aspects of the book - a top notch scientist actually bridging the realms of spiritual and scientific endeavor into a single whole. This competent bridging of science and spirituality is something I've been waiting all my life to see and my feeling while reading was one of hope: that this book might be among the first of an emerging new genre.
As the book progresses, we get to hear about Radin's newer psi experiments and the very exciting findings he has been getting in the last several years. There is much to digest here in regard to what these findings mean about being human and about our potential to develop and understand ourselves in exciting and meaningful new ways. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in non-dogmatic spirituality. Anyone who appreciates both the method of science and the aim of religion stands to gain a great deal from Radin's "Supernormal."
One thing this book has done for me is to fill in some of the holes and gaps in my picture of what it is and how it works (the "it" being "life"), from an organized, logical and expanded perspective. If I had this book at the beginning, I am certain that I would be at least ten years younger now than I am. But, of course, this kind of book didn't exist forty years ago, and barely exists today, no thanks to the community in which the author matured. The "Scientific Community" itself is the main roadblock to not only this kind of book, but also to unlocking the mysteries of the universe which will allow us to thrive, excel and actualize our full potential, and may be the answer to our survival as individuals and as a species. So this subject is not some obtuse esoteric woo-woo BS the critics try to make it out to be, it is something everyone on the planet should have high on their list of priorities, "the possibilities in being human."
As I read through the book, there were parts I skimmed over. I am not interested in details of an experiment designed to provide evidence of precognition or telepathy. I have had direct experience of both, and a variety of others. I was bored last time I saw that information in some of Radin's work, or someone else's work. But as I stand back and look at this work as a whole, it looks to me as though a mild-mannered reporter of the Daily Truth has slipped into a phone-booth (are they still around?) and transformed into someone who kicked butt, named names, and, as always, done his homework thoroughly. He has provided irrefutable evidence for his thesis and at the same time said to his critics (who have the attitude, "my mind is made up, don't confuse me with the facts"), "calling it `woo-woo' and then disregarding it totally is no longer acceptable. Here are the facts, take your best shot. Fundamentalism in science is about as constructive and useful as it is in the middle-east or in the US Congress." (Maybe that last sentence is just my interpretation, and if I were to expand my interpretation, I would say to critics named in this book, "consider your butt kicked, and if you don't like it, respond to the kicking as described herein").
So, I give this book five stars, because I can't give it ten. I call it "spherical perfection" because if you stand back and look at it from any direction it is perfect. I only hope that if Superdean ever decides to look for a sidekick, I get the chance to audition.
DR. Radin uses the subject and history of Yoga, and some of the more fantastic claims by its ancient adherents as a backdrop to present many of the legitimate new research projects and current evidence which supports the factuality and existence of consciousness as a distinct force of nature and integral component of the universe. He also describes some of the most current repeatable scientific testing and results which strongly support the legitimacy of genuine paranormal presence in many humans. This book is written for the layman and is highly understandable to any reader with a high school diploma or the equivalent. Radin's style is light and breezy with a good portion of wit and cheeky humor mixed in. He also explains the hypocrisy and core controversies behind the atheistic, scientific-materialist's worldview. If you have any interest in learning more about consciousness, the human brain and its ultimate potential this book is an absolute must-read and belongs in your library.