By Jeffrey J. Kripal
Publish yr note: First released may well fifteenth 2010
Most students brush off study into the magical as pseudoscience, a frivolous pursuit for the paranoid or gullible. Even historians of faith, whose paintings clearly attends to occasions past the area of empirical technological know-how, have proven scant curiosity within the topic. however the heritage of psychical phenomena, Jeffrey J. Kripal contends, is an untapped resource of perception into the sacred and by means of tracing that heritage during the final centuries of Western notion we will 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 learn:
• psychical researcher Frederic Myers;
• author and slapstick comedian Charles Fort;
• astronomer, laptop scientist, and ufologist Jacques Vallee; and
• thinker and sociologist Bertrand Méheust.
Through incisive analyses of those thinkers, Kripal ushers the reader right into a beguiling international 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 struggle psychic espionage; galactic colonialism; and the intimate courting among recognition and tradition all come jointly in Authors of the very unlikely, a stunning and profound examine how the magical bridges the sacred and the clinical
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Extra info for Authors of the Impossible: The Paranormal and the Sacred
Page 32 Chapter Four - Was God An Astronaut? The Bible is full of secrets and contradictions. Genesis, for example, begins with the creation of the earth, which is reported with absolute geological accuracy. But how did the chronicler know that minerals preceded plants and plants preceded animals? 'And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness': we read in Genesis 1:26. Why does God speak in the plural? Why does he say 'us' not 'me', why 'our' and not 'my'?
Theosophists, theologists and philosophers have reflected about their teaching, about their master and his teaching; they are convinced that they have found the 'truth'. Naturally every religion has its history, its promises made by God, its covenants with God, its prophets and wise teachers who have said ... Proofs of the 'truth' always start from the centre of one's own religion and work outwards. The result is a biased way of thinking which we are brought up to accept from childhood. Nevertheless generations lived and still do live in the conviction that they possess the 'truth'.
However we should not oversimplify and dismiss the old Sanscrit texts as mere myths. The large number of passages from old texts already quoted turns the suspicion that men encountered flying 'gods' in antiquity almost into a certainty. We are not going to get any further with the old approach which scholars unfortunately still cling to: 'That doesn't exist... those are mistakes in translation ... ' We must use a new working hypothesis, to wit one developed from the technological knowledge of our age, to throw light on to the thicket behind which our past lies concealed.