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“A Superb Release”

June 11, 2013

A few men, but so far no women, and not all of them parapsychologists, have reviewed Men and Women of Parapsychology, Personal Reflections, Esprit Vol. 2, edited by Rosemarie Pilkington. It’s “a superb release,” says fortean Nick Redfern, in his review of the book on Mysterious Universe, “that makes for fascinating reading…The [21] authors share with us not just their thoughts, data and theories relative to parapsychology, but also their inner-most memories and life-experiences that helped sculpt them into the people they are today. It’s seldom that you see both angles so successfully fused into one, but [this book] skillfully achieves exactly that.” And Tom Ruffles of the Society of Physical Research praises the “excellent idea of Pilkington’s to gather reminiscences” of some of the field’s “older workers, while there was still time,” to produce a book that “tracks those who make a significant contribution to the subject, and who well deserve to have their achievements noted.” And Carlos Alvarado, who in his review of the book, writes: “Dr. Pilkington has contributed much to the field by bringing these autobiographical materials together. Similar to the first volume [Esprit, Men and Women of Parapsychology Personal Reflections, Volume 1 ], she continues here to remind us of the personal face of parapsychology. The field, like any other human activity, is not only research, methodology, theory, and publications, but a dynamic gestalt of wishes, aspirations, human courage and perseverance, not to mention difficulties and disappointments. Pilkington’s presentation, and her authors’, help the reader to unveil the different levels on and themes to which all these people contributed to parapsychology.”

It’s a science that keeps a low profile. But its results have the potential to change the face of science itself. The science is parapsychology and its findings have been put to use in fields from archeology to medicine. Who are the men and women of parapsychology? Who are the brilliant, talented individuals who have spent most of their lives exploring the mysteries of consciousness? Why did they choose to enter such a controversial field of science? Why did they persist in their investigation and risk being ostracized by many mainstream scientists? What advice do they have for young people entering the field? The answers to these questions and more can be found in this new book entitled Men and Women of Parapsychology, Personal Reflections, Esprit Vol. 2, edited by Rosemarie Pilkington. The book contains mini-autobiographies of 21 pioneering researchers from the United States and Europe, including Larry Dossey, Stanley Krippner, Stephen Schwartz, Charles Tart, Rex Stanford, Russell Targ, Roger Nelson, and John Palmer. This work is the second in a series edited by Rosemarie Pilkington, the first being Esprit, Men and Women of Parapsychology, Personal Reflections, Vol. 1, which features the stories of 12 other notable researchers.

The Fall 2011 issue of the Journal of Scientific Exploration has brought us a wonderful review of Esprit: Men and Women of Parapsychology, Personal Reflections: Volume 1, edited by Rosemarie Pilkington. In it, Sally Rhine Feather, Executive Director of the Rhine Research Center, writes: “Esprit is a rich biographical resource for historians of the field, but it really is much more. It is the human story behind the scientific reports. It provides an insightful glimpse into what motivated a diverse group of gifted men and women to devote a large part of their lives to the exploration of an elusive and controversial dimension of human consciousness, and with little concern for monetary or societal reward…Esprit offers valuable guidance to the novice, some new “discoveries” of unfinished work and speculations for the more experienced parapsychologist, and possible fodder for the skeptic who just wonders about the makeup of a parapsychologist. But regardless of one’s belief about psi, this collection of essays provides priceless vignettes of a band of dedicated and selfless pioneers.”

esprit-smThe book that Prof. Robert A. McConnell, the first president of the Parapsychological Association, said was “among the top tier of the enduring classics of science of the Twentieth Century” has been reprinted as ESPRIT: Men and Women of Parapsychology, Personal Reflections, Vol. 1. Edited by Rosemarie Pilkington, Ph.D., the book is a collection of autobiographical essays by a group of esteemed 20th century psi researchers, giving us a glimpse of why these gifted, astute individuals devoted much, if not most, of their life’s work to this fascinating but monetarily unrewarding field. In the process, Jule Eisenbud, Eileen Coly, Gertrude Schmeidler, Karlis Osis, and eight others advise a younger generation on what pitfalls to expect and what they felt were the most important areas of investigation. Rosemarie is presently working on Volumes 2 and 3 of this new series for us.