Unsurprising surprises

This is a collection of first-class and obviously true stories of spiritual awakenings. Lots of people have them, but the people who have contributed to this volume are scientists, doctors, academics and those otherwise not to be trifled with intellectually. In short these amazing insights into the universe, produced spontaneously if rarely in our lives, are real and mean something. If there is a purpose to our lives this is where it is to be found.

~ Dr. Lance St John Butler

Time to understand the underlying reality

This is absolutely brilliant, fascinating and really important – and as one might expect from such highly educated people beautifully written. These are clear, concise descriptions and explanations of spiritual awakenings by 57 scientists and academics that show us how much more there is to life than just the material things we see around us. We all need this as part of our understanding, and they write in effect in the tradition of Wordsworthian experiences, those of the nature mystics and the great religious mystics (of many traditions), also of R.M. Bucke’s Cosmic Consciousness and the awakenings studied by Steve Taylor.

~ Benjamin Hargreaves

Wonderful Book!

This is a wonderful book. I have read many accounts of people from all walks of life, different parts of the world, and throughout history who have experienced spiritual awakenings, NDEs, psychic events, etc., but this book is a bit different because of the people who provide the written accounts.

What makes it a somewhat different set of accounts is that the people providing the accounts of what are referred to in the book as Spiritually Transformative Experiences (STEs) are scientists and academics. The types of experiences are wide-ranging and so are the seeming triggers of the STEs. The submitters also cover a wide range of disciplines and the experiences leading to transformation include NDEs, psychedelics, spiritual practices, psychic phenomenon, spontaneous events, etc., but all of the STEs transformed the individual, and changed or enlivened the direction of their lives going forward, regardless of how old the person was when the STE occurred.

I was familiar with many of the submitters and their stories and work, but there were also a number of people with whom I was not familiar. The essays are brief, yet revealing, and each essay provides references to books, papers, websites, etc., to check out if one wants to know more about a particular individual and the individual’s life and work. Overall, I found the book an enjoyable and fascinating read.

~ Bill

Amazing spiritual experiences shared by successful, highly educated and articulate people

This is perhaps the only book of its kind. It is a collection of experiences that are usually considered to be beyond the “normal” states of everyday consciousness shared by scientists and academics who are all successful, intelligent, highly educated and articulate. Most have PhD degrees and more. Many of the contributors had been very reluctant to share their experiences because of the pushback from their peers and potential negative impact on their careers until after retiring from their scientific or academic jobs.

In fact, some have decided to remain anonymous. I very much enjoyed reading this book. Often times I would pause and recall experiences I had over the years that seemed coincidental or amazingly synchronous with other life events that actually fit well with what other people were also experiencing. I highly recommend reading this book. Whether or not you are inclined to believe in spiritual experiences, altered states of consciousness or religion, it is guaranteed to have to thinking more deeply about life and reality, which in itself would be a healthy, worthwhile experience.

~ North Idaho guy

This must read books for all people interested in spiritual experiences

As anticipated in the title, these are personal experiences of scientists or academics, that is, persons often facing the still mainstream hypothesis that such a type of experience, as well as all other non-ordinal mental experiences, are but experiences caused by alterations of the typical brain neurophysiology. If this hypothesis is true, there is nothing of spiritual, transcendental, or self-conscious transformation in these experiences.

On the contrary, all 57 contributors to this book declare that their experience was ontological real, so real that even if lasting a few minutes, it transformed their interpretation of who they are really, the reality, and the meaning of their life.

~ Patrizio Tressoldi

An enjoyable and deeply thought-provoking book!

This is a remarkable book in which its highly regarded contributors make a strong case that our experience of consciousness is more than simply a product of brain activity. In fact, some of them describe how they experienced an astonishing depth of awareness when they were “dead” in the sense that their hearts and brains were flat-lined during a Near Death Experience (NDE). I found myself frequently underlining things they experienced during those moments, or drawing stars next to sections of text that were astonishing or deeply re-assuring. Many of them were materialists before these experiences and would normally scoff at people’s accounts of NDE’s, but these profound experiences transformed their understanding of life and their sense of their own soul’s radiance and joy.

In a way, I feel that I myself am benefiting from these accounts because the stories these scientists and highly intellectual academics describe are touching a deep part of my being, as if I myself am sharing in their experience.

No matter what spiritual or scientific background you come from, I highly recommend this book.

~ Plato’s Cat

Interesting Insights into new Scientific Thinking

This is a set of autobiographical essays about scientists & scholars who have had personal experiences that lead them to consider what is often refereed to as ‘anomalous’ (psychological or scientific) experiences. These reports are clear and quite extensive. Anyone interested in modern science, especially non-materialistic sciences, will both enjoy and benefit from reading this.

~ Charlie Fox

Excellent, Anyone Curious About Spiritual Experiences Should Read

This is an excellent collection of spiritual experiences of various scientists and academics, the stories are very powerful and touching, and show how transformative these experiences are, and also how many people in the academic subculture are not able to speak openly about their experiences, due to fear of ridicule by an intolerant materialist subculture.

If someone tends not to take spiritual experiences seriously because they so often come from “unreliable” sources (regular people), then this text of academics and scientists describing their experiences is a perfect antidote.

~ Jonathan Riley

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