Looking for the Other Sideby Sherry Suib Cohen
If you're going to write a book about worlds with no answers, phenomenon that scientists can't explain and skeptics can't fathom--you'd better do it with the right equipment--the eye of a journalist, the voice of a novelist, an open mind and compassionate heart. In Looking for the Other Side, writer Sherry Suib Cohen is perfectly outfitted with these tools in her exploration of the world of the occult.
It all begins when Cohen, a journalist, takes an assignment to try and contact the spirit of her deceased mom. In her searching, she meets astrologers, past-life channelers, numerologists, psychics, and a host of other practitioners eager to put her in touch with her past, her future, and her heretofore unexplored spiritual self.
"Cohen will hook readers with her determination, wit, generosity and astonishing willingness to try anything. In the end, her personal odyssey becomes ours, and even the most devoted skeptics will find themselves rethinking what might and what might not be possible."
--Betsy Carter, Editor-in-Chief, New Woman magazine
"When I saw the words know thyself carved above the Oracle's gate at Delphi, I shivered--and didn't understand why. Now, I understand. Knowing myself would mean suspending judgment, would mean tapping into banks of information I never before thought relevant to my pragmatic lifestyle. Well, I've tapped. This book is the result," writes Sherry Suib Cohen.
And in a spirited narrative, Cohen tells us about her experiences wherein she confronts death, blame, forgiveness, faith, truth, and family, in addition to Mom. When readers finish this personal odyssey and guidebook into the unknown, they may decide, just as Cohen did, that there's something to these otherwordly spheres after all.
Cohen, on assignment for New Woman (this book grew out of her article for the magazine), attempted to discover the spirit of her recently deceased mother, whose loss left her searching for meaning in her own life. Highly skeptical of the New Age movement (which is why her mystical-minded editor gave her the assignment), she approaches her subject with healthy doses of wit and suspicion. This balance of open-mindedness and skepticism serve the author well as she attempts to navigate the myriad worlds of numerology, astrology, fortune-telling, channeling, and parapsychology. She gives some sketchy historical background about each of these practices (there are important differences, for example, between mediums and psychics), and then recounts her own experiences with practitioners of these various arts. Some, like fortune-tellers, are dismissed fairly easily, while others give her pause. She claims that several mediums recited intimate facts about her mother's life (the names of her parents, the name of her sister and that she lived in Florida, the kind of hat her brother wore); a police psychic described Cohen's new puppy perfectly just from holding the small keyring Cohen grabs to take him for a walkwithout even knowing that this was the keys' only purpose. But other experiences leave her dubious, like her efforts to recover past lives. Though persuaded that there might be something to it, she claims she was fabricating a past-life scenario out of her own imagination, assisted by the strong suggestions of her regression counselor. In the end, after encountering both charlatans and genuine practitioners, Cohen is still skepticalbut her wariness has melted to the degree that the phone numbers of numerous practitioners are listed in the appendix.
Somewhat self-absorbed (in keeping with much of the New Age movement) but a fun introduction to a wacky world.
- Publication date:
- Sold by:
- Random House
- NOOK Book
- File size:
- 2 MB
Meet the Author
Sherry Suib Cohen is a journalist, teacher, and international lecturer whose work appears regularly in many national periodicals. She is contributing editor of New Woman magazine and the author of Secrets of a Very Good Marriage (Crown) as well as books on psychology, women, and style. She lives in New York City.
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