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Mindsight:Near-Death and Out-of-Body Experiences in the Blind

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  • Posted March 30, 2009

    more from this reviewer


    Interesting! If you're looking for a scholarly writing on NDE's this is a great book to read! Very authoritative! Lots of good information!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2000

    Science with a Renaissance Vision

    At the dawn of modern science dogmatic skeptics refused to look through Galileo¿s telescope lest they be deceived by the clever optical illusions produced by this new device. It is a thought worth bearing in mind when approaching the subject of Near Death Experiences (NDE). Many scientists won¿t even consider the subject because it doesn¿t comport with the prevailing materialistic assumptions that, though not subject to proof, remain articles of doctrinal faith. Fortunately, two credible scientists, Kenneth Ring and Sharon Cooper, attempt to bring the best aspects of the scientific method to bear on the subject of NDE¿s. Their book begins, incidentally, with a marvelous introduction by Charles Tart in which he draws a distinction between scientism - a narrow and dogmatic form of science, and real science, which involves a willingness to keep an open mind as one investigates matters rigorously. Tart¿s introduction is one of the finest I¿ve ever read in a book of this type, and Ring and Cooper very much exemplify the ideal of real science as Tart explains it. The subject matter of the book is NDE¿s in people who are blind, or have very limited vision. It is an intriguing approach to take on the subject, and I think it s fair to say that their conclusions will as surprising as they are thought provoking. They contend that a form of awareness they call Mindsight, hitherto unrecognized by science, is needed to understand the phenomena of NDE¿s. The idea they have in mind actually very close to an idea found in ancient Eastern philosophy called ¿avadhi.¿ In Jainist thought this refers to a form of clairvoyant thought that is built in to the very fabric of reality. The form of knowledge this can lead to is entirely non-sense dependent called ¿pratyaksa,¿ and this is considered a direct, immediate form of knowledge far superior to sense dependent knowledge. All this might seem, at least to those who are determined skeptics, far from science proper. However, our growing understanding of the quantum realm, and of the role quantum fields may play in human consciousness is highly supportive of this view. More particularly, the process philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead and the new movement of Field-Being philosophy provide a metaphysical framework in which the human being is reconceived of as a field of experiential processes, which both emerge out of and are contained within a transcendent field that preserves all experiential processes. Not all the matters I have just mentioned are covered in this book. But what is covered -- a holographic paradigm perspective, and quantum models of consciousness -- are discussed as concisely, as clearly, and as engagingly as any science book of it type. Both the lay reader and the specialist will find these discussions accessible and thought provoking. I strongly encourage you to take a look at this book. Through it I believe the reader will see that a new vision of science and of Self are coming into view. And like Galileo¿s stars brought near, a Renaissance of the human spirit is at hand.

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