TITLE: Mind Beyond Brain: Buddhism, Science, and the Paranormal
AUTHOR: David E. Presti, with Bruce Greyson, Edward F. Kelly, Emily Williams Kelly, and Jim B. Tucker
EXPECTED PUBLICATION DATE:
2 October 2018
FORMAT: ARC ebook
NOTE: I received an Advanced Readers Copy of this book from NetGalley. This review is my honest opinion of the book.
"Among the most profound questions we confront are the nature of what and who we are as conscious beings, and how the human mind relates to the rest of what we consider reality. For millennia, philosophers, scientists, and religious thinkers have attempted answers, perhaps none more meaningful today than those offered by neuroscience and by Buddhism. The encounter between these two worldviews has spurred ongoing conversations about what science and Buddhism can teach each other about mind and reality.
In Mind Beyond Brain, the neuroscientist David E. Presti, with the assistance of other distinguished researchers, explores how evidence for anomalous phenomena—such as near-death experiences, apparent memories of past lives, apparitions, experiences associated with death, and other so-called psi or paranormal phenomena, including telepathy, clairvoyance, and precognition—can influence the Buddhism-science conversation. Presti describes the extensive but frequently unacknowledged history of scientific investigation into these phenomena, demonstrating its relevance to questions about consciousness and reality. The new perspectives opened up, if we are willing to take evidence of such often off-limits topics seriously, offer significant challenges to dominant explanatory paradigms and raise the prospect that we may be poised for truly revolutionary developments in the scientific investigation of mind. Mind Beyond Brain represents the next level in the science and Buddhism dialogue."
The authors' that that this book is motivated by the notion that the contemporary encounter between Buddhism and science provides a forum in which to productively explore a more central role of mind and conscousness in our description of nature. Mind Beyond Brain describes a variety of phenomena that is not readily understood within the current explanatory framework of biophysical science. The book coveres the general state of various paranormal fields at present. Topics such as near-death experiences (NDEs), past-life memories, mediums, crisis apparitions, deathbed experiences, and extrasensory perceptions such as telepathy and psychokinesis are discussed. I found the first and last chapters to be too philosophical for my taste, however, the remaining chapters a nicely written and provide an objective (as much as possible) look at the current status of the subject. The authors try to demonstrate the existence of these paranormal phenomena, make an attempt at understanding how they work and what the implications may be for our general scientific worldview. This isn't a religious book, but spirituality, mind and brain functioning are central issues. Sections of this book come across as an attempt to gain funds for additional research for these topics. I'm all for additional research into paranormal phenomena so can someone please fund these people? Inconsistenceis between observed paranormal phenomena and the known explanatory mechanism should be reasons for excitement and result in new advances in sicentific intestigation of mind and its relation to the world of matter. The book is clearly written, interesting and provides food for thought. However, I do wish the authors had gone into more detail on some of the topics covered in this book.