SEARCH FOR THE SOUL by Milbourne Christopher


Email this review


Delicious fresh air on a subject particularly murky and musty-the existence of the human soul--by New York magician Christopher, chairman of the Occult Investigation Committee of the Society of American Magicians. Without the overkill and j'accuse that sometimes characterize debunkers, Christopher presents historical facts and hypotheses in a smooth no-nonsense style, gently building a case or raising a significant question, and always letting the reader draw his own conclusions. He has a keen sense of humor too, particularly evident in his accounts of sessions involving Eminent Persons with Eminent Mediums. He quotes British scientist William Crookes, for example, who, holding a phantom in his arms. . . ""did--well, what any gentleman would do under the circumstances."" (Clearly the phantom was flesh and female.) Christopher's soul re-search primarily concerns the past century's more scientific inquiries into the soul's existence, commencing about the time of the formation of the British Society for Psychical Research. He continues to such contemporary and well-regarded investigators as psychiatrist Ian Stevenson, collector of reincarnation stories around the world. The early chapters contain hilarious tales of Rube Goldberg-like apparatus invented to photograph, weigh, or otherwise measure the soul (sometimes using dying mice as more convenient test animals!). Stories of Bridey Murphy, Ingo Swarm, and others of the out-of-body, life-after-life, or reincarnated ilk--including Elizabeth Kubler-Ross--conclude the volume. It will come as a surprise to no one that Christopher finds no proof of the soul's existence--but, as true believers will tell you, negative evidence is indeed no evidence.

Pub Date: Oct. 26th, 1979
Publisher: T. Y. Crowell