Year: 2008

Personal Development for Smart People by Steve Pavlina review

The book I’m reviewing today, Personal Development for Smart People, by Steve Pavlina was one of my most anticipated books lately, since Steve announced it. And I was fortunate to be sent a review copy. I’ve already written about Steve Pavlina here and there on this site, mostly as related to his and his wife’s experiences with developing psychic abilities, mostly mediumship. I’ve also interviewed Steve’s wife, Erin Pavlina in June 2007. She is a psychic medium. But this book is not about psychic abilities at all. Steve is one of the most known personal development bloggers today. I’ve known his site for several years now and have found him to be one of the most original and prolific bloggers on the subject. He had many unique ideas and views on many topics and his writing style is very much to my taste. Steve has published several hundred articles on his site on various topics and it was interesting to see what he could innovate in his book. Steve promised that the book won’t be a rehash of site’s content and I’m glad to say that he delivered. The book is just about 150 pages but it is so packed with original ideas and concepts that other writers would have smeared it at least on a handful of books. Luckily for the readers, Steve’s ability to present his ideas...

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Interview with parapsychologist JJ Lumsden author of The Hidden Whisper

JJ Lumsden is a UK based experimental parapsychologist who has just released his debut book “The Hidden Whisper” (See my review of The Hidden Whisper). Centring on a fictional poltergeist case in Southern Arizona, the book seeks to explain various aspects of parapsychology and where paranormal research currently stands. Lumsden gained his PhD at the Koestler Parapsychology Unit (University of Edinburgh), before moving into independent research. Could you please start by telling about how and why you became a parapsychologist? As a youngster, I was curious as to how things ‘worked’ in the world, and naturally intrigued by paranormal phenomena. This intrigue grew stronger as I got older; if telepathy and precognition, for example, were real – there were serious implications for our world view and how the universe operated. I didn’t enter the field because of any personal paranormal experiences, or because I wanted to prove or disprove anything. I just wanted to look into things for myself. What do the studies of parapsychology in the Koestler Parapsychology Unit include? Things have changed now, but when I attended (2000-2003), there was a buoyant set of research programmes in place. These were conducted by full-time staff, postgraduates working on their PhD studies, and undergraduates doing final year projects. We had a full Ganzfeld suite in the unit, so (as you can imagine) there was a fair amount of research...

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The Hidden Whisper by JJ Lumsden book review

J.J. Lumsden, a UK-based parapsychologist, who did his postgraduate studies at the Edinburgh’s known Koestler Parapsychology Unit has recently published his book about parapsychology, The Hidden Whisper. The Hidden Whisper is a great introductory book to the different aspects of parapsychology, its concepts, research accomplishments and criticism. The book tells a fictional story of a UK parapsychologist, Dr. Luke Jackson, who while heading to a professional convention in the US, stays for a week at his grandmother’s house in the deserts of southern Arizona. During this week he is asked to investigate an intriguing poltergeist case in the house of one of the local most known families. The story-line of the investigation is by itself an interesting and thrilling story, written like a good detective book. Its style actually reminded me of Agatha Christie’s books about Hercule Poirot. The different concepts of parapsychology are intervened in the book by the means of dialog between Luke and other characters. Since the latter are not scientists, the explanations are all on a very basic language, so that any one could understand. These parts are rich with endnotes references. In fact, the endnotes themselves are perhaps the more important part of the book. There are about 70 page of endnotes, all going deeper into the subjects of parapsychology described in the story. So, to get more insight into the research, its results...

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Skeptiko Psychic Medium Research Seeks Participants

Below is a new press release from Skeptiko / OpenSourceScience. Looks like the research with the Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe is taking form: Del Mar, CA, September 22, 2008—Do you want to connect with a loved one who has passed away? Skeptiko.com and OpenSourceScience.net are sponsoring a research experiment aimed at determining if psychic mediums can really deliver messages from beyond. And, they’re currently looking for participants. According to OpenSourceScience.net founder, Alex Tsakiris: There isn’t enough quality research into medium communication. There’s tremendous public interest in the topic, but as far as tightly controlled double-blind experiments, there isn’t much. We’re hoping to find participants interested it connecting with a relative or friend who have passed away. Those interested in participating are encouraged to send an email to: info@skeptiko.com. About Skeptiko Skeptiko is the first scientifically oriented Podcast exploring new research in controversial areas of science such as telepathy, psi, parapsychology, near-death-experience, reincarnation, and after-life encounters. Each episode features open, honest debate on new scientific discoveries. The show includes interviews with top research scientists and their critics. About OpenSourceScience OpenSourceScience.net is the first scientifically oriented website to bring the power of open source methods to the controversial areas of science such as telepathy, psi, medium communication, parapsychology, near-death experiences, and after-life encounters. Contact: Joni Johnston Skeptiko Del Mar, CA 858 225-7554 pr@skeptiko.com...

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Interview with John Chang’s Neigong student

I have written earlier about this Mo-Pai neigung master in A new video of John Chang – The Magus of Java. John Chang was first shot on the Ring of Fire documentary and later was featured in the book The Magus of Java: Teachings of an Authentic Taoist Immortal by Kosta Danaos. Kosta wrote in his book that his was not the only western student and later I posted another video, which is claimed to be of another of his western students, in 2000, performing telekinesis for the 3rd level. The video is of a poor quality, though. You can see it at Nei-kung telekinesis by John Chang’s student video In his great blog about martial arts, Martial development, which also highlights the story of neigong and master Chang in many of his articles, Chris interviewed one of Chang’s western students. The interviewee is Jim McMillan, who’s been a long time disciple of John Chang, according to him. Chris asked Jim the following 5 questions: How did you first become acquainted with the esoteric practice of neigong? It is often said that a traditional master will test an aspirant’s character and resolve, before deciding whether to accept them as a disciple. Did you face any such trials, or were you accepted immediately? What preconceived notions about qigong/neigong masters or methods, if any, has your personal experience since proven incorrect?...

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