Home/Main Menu     Site Map

EEs/EHEs in General
Record Type: Review   ID: 66

Alternate Realities: The Paranormal, the Mystic and the Transcendent in Human Experience

George, Leonard

 This useful work is listed here under Exceptional Human Experiences because it does not fit a narrower subject category—it covers the same territory as do EHEs. George is a psychologist with openness to and a thorough knowledge of parapsychology, mysticism, and even some esoteric subjects. This book defines terms drawn from the above fields listed alphabetically. His discussion of each entry is based on the scientific literature, not only of parapsychology and religious experience and anomalies research but of relevant areas of psychiatry and psychology. His discussions include evidence, theories, and counter-explanations. Also very useful is his classification of the terms included. He begins with the general topics, which I list here as they indicate the areas covered in the book: Abnormal psychology, Altered states of consciousness, Anomalistic psychology, Anomaly, Anomalous belief, Cryptozoology, Paranormal, Parapsychology, Preternatural, Psychical research, Scientism, Skepticism, Supernatural, Supernormal, Transpersonal psychology, Zeteticism. He then lists 33 correlates, such as absorption, encounter prone personality, geophysical influences, hypnotizability, and religiosity. Also covered are 12 organic disorders with which unusual experiences can be associated, such as epilepsy and Tourette’s syndrome. 28 entries concern "historical eruptions" of supranormal phenomena such as the Fatima apparitions, St. Vitus Dance, and the visions of St. Paul, Constantine, and Hildegard of Bingen. He also provides a classification of the Varieties of Unusual (Supranormal) Experience, which is similar to (but also different from) our classification of exceptional human experiences. He has 8 major categories, whereas ours has 5. George’s groups are Body and Self, Mystical and Related Experiences, Automatized Experiences, Memory Phenomena, Sleep-Related Experiences, Sensory and Perceptual Anomalies, Psi, Encounters with Otherworldly Beings, and Unusual Natural Phenomena. Very useful is his fourth classification, Deliberate Inducement of Unusual Experiences, under which he includes general efforts, such as dancing, meditation, and vision quest; drugs; Approaches Associated with Specific Traditions, including Buddhism, Indo-Tibetan (33 entries), Zen Buddhism (17 entries), Christianity (21 entries); Hinduism (35 entries); Islam (7 entries), and Western esoteric traditions (4 entries). This book is highly recommended for all libraries regardless of size, and for scholars interested in the "supranormal" as well as the general reader. A work such as this has long been needed and should set the standard for all such books to follow. -
Publisher Information:New York: Facts on File, 1995. 360p. Bibl: 330-349; Index: 350-360; 2 tables
Previous Record Previous
in this

List All Titles in This Category (10)

Book Reviews Menu
in this

Click a section below to move around the EHEN website.
Home/Menu       About EHEs      EHE Autobiographies      EHE Book Reviews      EHE FAQ      EHE Network      Email Talk      Experiences Library      Info/Contact      Join Us!      Living EHEs      Parapsychology      Rhea White      Web Links      Web Talk      What's New     

All website graphics, materials and content copyright © 1997-2003
by EHE Network. All rights reserved. For permissions
please contact EHEN's Executive Director, Rhea A. White.

Web Media Management by Palyne Gaenir of ScienceHorizon.

Exceptional Human Experience Network
Exceptional Human Experience Network