Science, Mind & Paranormal Experience

Eric A Lord


The twentieth century has brought astonishing advances in scientific knowledge. A consequence has been a growing conviction among many that science now has almost all the answers to 'the question of life, the universe and everything'. This is totally at variance with any belief in the reality of 'paranormal' phenomena. The easy option is to debunk — to assert that anything that doesn't fit into the scheme discovered by science is necessarily some kind of delusion. Yet, when one delves into the evidence for the reality of paranormal events — evidence for telepathy, for reincarnation, for precognition, for out-of-the-body experiences, for the visionary experiences of saints and mystics - the list is extensive — it turns out to be not at all trivial. It is showing us that something utterly vital is missing from the current scientific view of reality. Understanding what paranormal experience really is and how it 'fits in' to the scientific picture of reality is of central importance to any reasonable answer to the question 'Who are we, and just what is this 'reality' we find ourselves in?' Perhaps the 'scientific' view of the nature of reality presents only a facet of reality — a reality that is richer and stranger than we suppose. Perhaps — to paraphrase a remark of J B S Haldane — it’s stranger than we can suppose!