Radin (Entangled Minds: Extrasensory Experiences in a Quantum Reality, 2006, etc.) combs the scientific, peer-reviewed literature—and much yogic lore and historical anecdote—to find evidence and validity for the claims of mysticism, miracles and the supernatural.
Has our sophisticated scientific society developed blinders when it comes to reports of the supernormal? This is the question the author asks in this mostly levelheaded investigation into precognition, telepathy, psychokinesis and clairvoyance. The author’s aim is not to dismiss mechanistic materialism, but to recognize that its strengths have to be weighted against the prejudices and taboos of its adherents. Radin writes with an easy hand and a sense of humor, but readers may sense that part of the problem of the general population's being accepting of the supernatural may not be religion or materialism, realism or determinism or reductionism, but simply its language: “exalted states of intuitive awareness,” “ontological reality of the mystical realities,” etc. The author references historical yogic texts for instances of illuminated, unmediated reality, and then he describes the scientific research into transcendent experiences that has been published in respected journals, which shows that evidence of precognition, telepathy, psychokinesis and clairvoyance have statistical merit. Radin is careful to ask what is coincidence, what is a hallucination, a psychiatric problem or a sham, and for range and alternative visions, he delves not just into the yogic tradition of supernatural mental powers, but also into Catholic, Judaic and Tibetan Buddhist traditions. By the end, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that “some of the supernatural abilities found in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras are real.” The Dalai Lama, ever the politician wrapped in his spirituality, as quoted by Radin, maybe put it best: “it would be wrong to deny that some Tantric practices do genuinely give rise to mysterious phenomena.”
Certainly not for everyone, but a smart reminder that we haven’t got the whole scene covered—look at quantum mechanics—and that openness is more fruitful than seclusion in dogma.