By Jeffrey J. Kripal
Publish 12 months note: First released may perhaps fifteenth 2010
Most students brush off study into the mystical as pseudoscience, a frivolous pursuit for the paranoid or gullible. Even historians of faith, whose paintings certainly attends to occasions past the area of empirical technology, have proven scant curiosity within the topic. however the background of psychical phenomena, Jeffrey J. Kripal contends, is an untapped resource of perception into the sacred and through tracing that heritage during the final centuries of Western idea we will be able to see its capability centrality to the serious examine of religion.
Kripal grounds his learn within the paintings of 4 significant figures within the historical past of paranormal study:
• psychical researcher Frederic Myers;
• author and slapstick comedian Charles Fort;
• astronomer, computing device scientist, and ufologist Jacques Vallee; and
• thinker and sociologist Bertrand Méheust.
Through incisive analyses of those thinkers, Kripal ushers the reader right into a beguiling international someplace among truth, fiction, and fraud. The cultural historical past of telepathy, teleportation, and UFOs; a ghostly love tale; the occult dimensions of technology fiction; chilly battle psychic espionage; galactic colonialism; and the intimate dating among cognizance and tradition all come jointly in Authors of the most unlikely, a stunning and profound examine how the mystical bridges the sacred and the clinical
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Extra resources for Authors of the Impossible: The Paranormal and the Sacred
This is hardly an easy claim to advance within our present order of knowledge and the possibilities it dictates for us. Paranormal phenomena, after all, dramatically violate those firm epistemological boundaries that, since Descartes, have increasingly divided up our university departments (and our social reality) into things pertaining to matter and objective reality (the sciences) and things pertaining to human experience and subjective reality (the humanities). well, whatever that is. Paranormal phenomena, however, bring the subjective component back in, and with a vengeance—the return of the repressed in all its fury.
Paranormal phenomena, however, bring the subjective component back in, and with a vengeance—the return of the repressed in all its fury. Whatever they are, it is clear that such events cannot be understood without reference to consciousness and the material world: Wolfgang is in town and the laboratory instruments fizzle and fry; the physical location of Elizabeth’s harp is pegged by a mind over a thousand miles away; my analyst colleague feels a sharp stabbing physical pain in relationship to an emotional story she has not yet heard; and so on.
This is how they escape the various social, political, and intellectual censors of their own social surround—by being serious by not being serious. Essentially, popular culture “flies low,” well under the radar. It is also worth underlining the fact that Partridge’s central notion of reenchantment requires for both its logic and energy an earlier and equally Off the Page 29 profound disenchantment. Occulture is not a matter of naive belief, much less of orthodox faith. ” Like Owen’s occultism, then, Partridge’s occulture is a very modern phenomenon that has already incorporated the secular and the scientific.