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Newsletter Number 10 • August 9, 2005

 

By nature I am a contrarian. If something is popular I tend to go the other way. I really can’t explain why I am that way; it must be in my genes. If The New York Times says a book is “important”, my immediate gut reaction is: “Who are they to be telling me what is important.”

Given my attitude, I won’t tell you that The Synchronized Universe: New Science of the Paranormal, by Claude Swanson, Ph.D., is an important book that everyone should read. Instead I will tell you why I enjoyed this book so much and why I hope everyone will read it, as I found it to be one of the best books I have read in many years.

Just because I loved this book and was so excited and enthralled with it does not mean everyone else will feel the same. All my life I have been driven by the desire to know things, to seek answers, and to try to put together the puzzle of what reality is and how to explain many of the great mysteries of life and human experience.

I think that the author, Swanson, is a soul-mate of mine. He seems driven by the same motives and interests. The difference is that I just read about things and he has actually done the work, the research, and compiled them into this most remarkable book.

Swanson is obviously bright (MIT undergraduate degree) and accomplished (Ph.D. and other advanced degrees in physics from Princeton and Cornell). His hero, the Nobel Prize winning physicist, Richard Feynman, is also my personal hero. Here in Swanson’s own words is his approach to life, which is reflected in this book:

“I often wonder how my physics education would have been different if, instead of conducting experiments on radioactivity and superconductivity, for which physics has very good theories, if I had taken the same equipment and gone to a haunted house! Or measured the energy fields around healers as they worked. Then, instead of confirming the science of the textbook, I would have measured things that defy the textbooks. Unfortunately, my curriculum did not include such adventures, and it was ten years later before I got around to those more unconventional pursuits.

But it is an important lesson for all scientists. Our educational curriculum is designed to convince that the theories in the book are true. There are no organized curricula in physics departments which encourage the student to seek out the strange places and events that break the rules.

Science has no clue about what consciousness is, for example. There is no adequate physical theory of it, and yet each one of us has one (it?). It is familiar but inexplicable. In this book we have reviewed other subjects which science cannot explain: the out-of-body experience, remote viewing, ESP, prophecy (knowledge of the future), the effects of group consciousness … and psycho kinesis (PK) to name a few. These have been proven repeatedly in laboratory experiments over decades, with the rules of scientific statistics and controls. By any objective measure, they are real phenomena. [Emphasis added]

So, that pretty much tells you where the author is coming from and what this book is about. All that I will add is that it is remarkably readable and the data and experiments chosen are fascinating and often mind-blowing. I loved this book!! I hope you will give it a try. Whether you are a believer or a skeptic, a seeker or a finder, a scientist or a layman, I am almost certain you will really enjoy the data and the presentation.

Swanson is not only an accomplished scientist; he has obviously done his homework on the spiritual side, citing references from many profound sources.

We found out about this book from one of our customers. Now we hope we can interest a number of other customers in this terrific book. This is what 21st Century Books is all about. This is our mission and our joy. We hope many of you will enjoy this book. Please let us know what you think of it. And please continue to help us discover books that are worth reading.

I am opting for quality this month, not quantity, so I will turn over the podium to Tony.

Len

Now that Len has offered the main course. Let us do a 360 degree turn on the newsletter to the dessert selections.

August being a slow hot (boy is it ever) month, reading enthusiasts tend to turn to lighter easily digestible fare.

We are pleased to offer the following titles as pleasant summer diversions.

BAD CATS: 244 not so pretty kitties and cats gone bad. They’re bad cats, with bad intentions,bad habits and bad attitude. So the next time your sweet little ball of fur misses the litter box, ask yourself—was it an accident?

A WALK IN THE WOODS...A middle aged man takes on the Appalachian trail with an overweight, ex drug addict, diabetic companion whose idea of perfect trail food is a snicker bar. Very well-written and enjoyable even for the indoorsy type.

Barney’s Version. One of Len’s favorites. A very funny enjoyable summer read. We guarantee you will love this brilliant comic masterpiece.

HOLY COW: An Indian Adventure. An irreverent look at the Indian culture, by a journalist who slowly falls in love with the country’s seductive power. Check out the cover to get a flavor of the book!

UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN. A sensuous read for a sensuous summer season.

This is a month to slow the pace and slowly watch the unfolding of the relative beauty we are surrounded by.

I leave you with this quote

“I want to be a race car passenger: just a guy who bugs the driver. Say man, can I turn on the radio? You should slow down. Why do we gotta keep going in circles? Can I put my feet out the window?” Mitch Hedberg

Enjoy this most beautiful month.

Tony

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