By Fort, Charles; Fort, Charles Hoy; Méheust, Bertrand; Myers, Frederic William Henry; Myers, Frederic William Henry; Vallee, Jacques; Vallée, Jacques; Méheust, Bertrand; Kripal, Jeffrey John; Vallee, Jacques; Myers, Frederic William Henry; Fort, Charles

Most students push aside learn into the magical as pseudoscience, a frivolous pursuit for the paranoid or gullible. Even historians of faith, whose paintings evidently attends to occasions past the area of empirical technology, have proven scant curiosity within the topic. however the historical past of psychical phenomena, Jeffrey J. Kripal contends, is an untapped resource of perception into the sacred and via tracing that heritage throughout the final centuries of Western proposal we will be able to see its strength centrality to the serious learn 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 citadel; astronomer, laptop scientist, and ufologist Jacques Vallee; and thinker and sociologist Bertrand Méheust. via incisive analyses of those thinkers, Kripal ushers the reader right into a beguiling global someplace among truth, fiction, and fraud. The cultural heritage of telepathy, teleportation, and UFOs; a ghostly love tale; the occult dimensions of technology fiction; chilly warfare psychic espionage; galactic colonialism; and the intimate dating among attention and tradition all come jointly in Authors of the Impossible, a blinding and profound examine how the mystical bridges the sacred and the scientific.

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In the introduction to this text, Couliano asks the following crucial question: If we are now living in an Einsteinian space-time continuum determined by three extended dimensions and a fourth of time, the intimate participation of consciousness in the material world, and the metaphysical identity of energy and matter, themselves likely continuously created by utterly bizarre quantum processes that more or less destroy any stable notions of linear causality, time, locality, and independent existence, why are we still writing history as if we only inhabited a simple three-dimensional cosmos, lived in a neat linear time, Off the Page 21 and existed as so many disconnected billiard balls in a world of Newtonian causality, collisions, and reactions?

S/he would see a disparate set of phenomena: first four rounding lines, recognized as being circles, without connection between them, corresponding to the four prongs of the fork; then a line whose size varies incessantly, corresponding to the base and handle of the fork; eventually the line 22 Introduction will disappear from sight. Obviously, the fork would appear to the Flatlander as a sequence of disparate phenomena in time. ”46 In other words, we cannot properly interpret religious systems and their appearance in time because we assume that the three (or four) dimensions we routinely experience exhaust the possible, when in fact we live in a universe of multiple dimensions to whose astonishing complexity and “strangeness” the history of religions, and particularly the history of gnosticism and mysticism, gives abundant witness.

So look out. Two more warnings before we begin. First, do not misread me here. I do not “believe” all the tales I will tell you in the pages that follow, however convinced I may sound in this or that passage. Indeed, as a professional scholar of religion, I consider it my job not to believe, and I take that professional commitment very seriously. Which is not to say, at all, that I discount these stories as unimportant, as simply fabricated or completely false. I do not. What I am trying to do is recreate for the reader what the field researcher calls “unbounded paranormal conditions,” that is, a place in space and time, in this case a text recreated and realized in your mind, where—to speak very precisely now—really, really weird shit happens.

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