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Record Type: Review   ID: 942

The Psychology of Transcendence

Neher, Andrew

 The author is a Professor of Psychology at Cabrillo College where he has taught a course in transcendence for several years. The curriculum he developed for the course serves as the basis of this book. He defines transcendence as those "experiences that go beyond our usual levels of functioning and, for that reason, often seem inexplicable" (p. xiv). This overview of various altered states of consciousness, several of them associated with parapsychology, performs two important functions. In a sane and scholarly fashion, it describes how to cultivate and benefit from transcendent experiences (which are broken down into experiences commonly called occult, psychic, or mystical). Second, and most important for those interested in parapsychology, it presents some legitimate counterhypotheses for some experiences generally assumed to be "psychic." Yet this is not a book by a debunker, but by one who has a genuine interest in the psychology of unusual experiences that transcend our everyday state of mind. The basic psychological, physiological, and cultural processes involved in transcendental experiences are presented in Chapters 2-4. Chapters 4-6 deal, respectively, with specific examples of mystical, psychic, and occult experience. With cartoon illustrations, a glossary, index, and bountiful references, this is a very helpful and useful book.
Publisher Information:Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1980. 361p. Bibliographical notes; Glossary: 341-350; 11 figures; 38 illustrations; Index: 353-361; 1 table
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