Lives of the Psychics

The Shared Worlds of Science and Mysticism

Fred M. Frohock

Lives of the Psychics
Read an excerpt and an interview with the author.

Fred M. Frohock

298 pages | 1 line drawing | 6 x 9 | © 2000
Cloth $27.50 ISBN: 9780226265865 Published July 2000
The daughter of a man about to leave on a trip wakes up crying during the night. She has just had a nightmare that his plane will crash. The father flies without incident to Spain, but the next day, the plane he has taken to Spain crashes and burns outside Malaga on its return trip to New York. Was the dream a premonition? Many people experience similar phenomena, ranging from extra-sensory perceptions all the way to near-death experiences on operating tables. Are these events evidence of the paranormal, or are they mere coincidences or hallucinations? How should we regard such claims of supernatural experiences?

Lives of the Psychics, a journey through the terrain of psychic phenomena, tries to answer these questions through interviews with practicing psychics, a survey of the heroic attempts of researchers to test psychic abilities in controlled experiments, and an exploration of out-of-body, near-death, and mystical experiences. Fred M. Frohock brings together a wide variety of psychic claims and examines them with a rich set of materials—interviews, critical anecdotes, history, multiple theories of the paranormal—that allows him to use whatever tools are necessary to illuminate beliefs in the supernatural. He relates real-life events to scientific studies, so the reader is a party not only to fantastic experiences and first-hand stories of the paranormal but also to the rationales for these experiences proposed by scientists. There is no more rewarding guide to the limits and powers of science in explaining psychic phenomena.

To a field filled with uncertainty and suspicion, Frohock brings a discerning eye, a critical sensibility, and a fundamental sense of curiosity about the role of mysticism in science. Even skeptics will be intrigued.
1. Domains of Consciousness
2. Psychics
3. Experimental Controls
4. Intuitive Science
5. Boundary Crossings
6. Spiritual Landscapes
7. Mystical Experiences: Self and Reality
8. On Knowing and Not Knowing
9. Natural Intelligibilities
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