THE MEDIUM, THE MYSTIC, AND THE PHYSICIST: Toward a General Theory of the Paranormal by Lawrence LeShan

THE MEDIUM, THE MYSTIC, AND THE PHYSICIST: Toward a General Theory of the Paranormal

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The theory is general in this avid, premature little book by an experimental psychologist who does not seem to have recovered yet from the shock of his own conversion. His expressed concerns are to allay anxieties surrounding the topic (a professional reflex, but one wonders where he gets the authority) and to urge an expanded view of ""clairvoyant reality"" as necessary to human fulfillment and, yes, survival. After putting forth not-enough-evidence-to-convince-anybody, he proceeds to buttress the psi dimension with by-now-standard appeals to traditional mysticism and modern physics, with which he is only superficially acquainted. (In lieu of argument, we get great menhir-like stands of quotations -- very Zen, very uncertainty-principled, and conveniently approximate). The latter part of the book has some interesting and provocative material on faith healing and psychosomatics, LeShan's own line, with sensitive Eileen Garrett; but otherwise there is nothing that you can't get better elsewhere (n.b., Koestler, The Roots of Coincidence, 1972). However, it is the Esalen mentality at its most frustrating -- the gross logic, the messy scholarship, the heartfelt plunge to simplistic conclusions that is all the worse if you sympathize. LeShan should perhaps leave Esalen for a while and do a stint with the Freemasons.

Pub Date: Feb. 26th, 1974
Publisher: Viking