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Archives: Book Reviews

Many Lives, Many Masters by Brian L. Weiss, M.D.

Reviewed by Edward N. Reynolds, Ph.D.
In JRT Issue 7, Spring 1989

 

The late philosopher and mythologist Joseph Campbell (1904-87) drew public attention to the concept of the “hero’s journey” through his scholarly writings and his widely praised public television interviews with journalist Bill Moyers (published as The Power of Myth, Doubleday, 1988).

As described by Campbell, the hero’s journey is the drama of any individual male or female, who leaves the security of familiar people and surroundings for trials and adventures in some unknown realm. With the insights gained from these experiences, the “hero” returns to his normal life as someone transformed, deepened, and enriched. He is now able to add a new level of understanding to … Read the rest

Mass Dreams of the Future by Dr. Chet B. Snow

Reviewed by Hazel Denning, Ph.D
In JRT Issue 7, Spring 1989

In Mass Dreams of the Future, Dr. Chet Snow has accomplished the nearly-impossible feat of making the incredible sound credible. If you are concerned about the global problems facing mankind today: ecological conditions, political unrest, a society riddled with crime while physical and mental illness cripple millions, you will find this book challenging, fascinating reading, as well as philosophically satisfying. The “gloom and doom” criers over the past few centuries, including some New Age psychics with their perennial predictions of disaster are all compared and given due recognition. Nonetheless, this 350-page book, published by McGraw-Hill, goes beyond popular doomsayers to present positive alternative views of what the Age … Read the rest

Life Between Life: Scientific Explorations into the Void Separating One Incarnation from the Next by Joel L. Whitton and Joe Fisher

Reviewed by Valerie A. Winn, R.N., M.F.C.C.
In JRT Issue 5, Spring 1988

This book is not more fascinating than its two authors and the history of their relationship. Joel Whitton immersed himself in medical training at the University of Toronto while at the same time experimenting with hypnosis. Eventually he ventured into the investigation of past lives, approaching with the objective caution of a trained scientist. Meanwhile, his professional expertise led to his appointment as Chief Psychiatrist in the Toronto School System. It was to protect this position and the research funding for investigating an array of his career interests, among them the study of brain waves in children with learning disabilities, that led him to refuse … Read the rest

Healing States by Alberto Villoldo and Stanley Krippner

Reviewed by Julianne Blake, Ph.D.
In JRT Issue 4, Fall 1987

Spectacular Brazilian spirit mediums and Amer-Indian shamans—are they the bizarre fringe of psychic phenomena or the leading edge of spiritual healing? Villoldo and Krippner guide the reader through an exploration of some of the least understood and most intriguing forms of healing in the world today. As participant-observers of shamanic journeys and spirit-incorporation by mediums, through interviews, photographs, and accounts of their personal experiences, they bring us as close as possible to a direct experience of what has for many people been inconceivable. They implement this experiential data with their scientific expertise in documenting and validating and explaining the phenomena. In conclusion, they offer thought-provoking theoretical formulation, … Read the rest

Other Lives, Other Selves by Roger J. Woolger, PhD

Reviewed by Clyde H. Reid, Th.D.
In JRT Issue 4, Fall 1987

This is an important and powerful book. Even as Shirley MacLaine’s explorations into reincarnation are appealing to many people because of who she is, so this seminal book by Roger Woolger deserves attention because of what he is—a brilliant, original thinker, classically trained, psychologically grounded, and widely respected.

Dr. Woolger has shared his extensive experience with the power of past-life therapy through fascinating case studies, by setting PLT in the context of modern psychology and religious traditions, and by using his own analytic powers to organize creative ways of looking at the data and its patterns.

Roger becomes the first Jungian analyst to come out of the … Read the rest

Diary After Death by Franklin Loehr, D.D.

Reviewed by Barbara Peterson Lamb, M. A., M.F.C.C.
In JRT Issue 3, Spring 1987

 

This is the fascinating story of a man called Henry and his first four months after death, related in a conversational manner in his after-death diary. The narrative begins with Henry’s suddenly dying from a heart attack, then being met and guided to Post Mortemia in the astral realm by his departed wife. Here, as he adjusts to his new life, he continues to lean about the true nature of “reality” and gradually reevaluates his previous life on earth. This increase in understanding is the first step he must take in order to enter the next, more spiritual realm.

Henry discovers that there is … Read the rest

Dialogues With Scientists and Sages: The Search for Unity by Renee Weber

Reviewed by Edward N. Reynolds, Ph.D.
In JRT Issue 3, Spring 1987

 

Renee Weber says in her book, Dialogues With Scientists And Sages: The Search For Unity, “They have tried to talk me out of it repeatedly and over many years and from both sides of the spectrum — scientists and mystics — but it will not take root.” What will not take root for Weber is the accepted belief that there is a dichotomy between science and spirituality, between the life of objective investigation and the life of mysticism. Inspired in her youth by the work of the late Fritz Kunz and his journal Main Currents In Modern Thought, published between 1940 and 1975, Weber dedicates … Read the rest

Mind and Matter: A Healing Approach to Chronic Illness by Lewis Mehl, M.D., Ph.D.

Reviewed by Winafred E. Lucas, Ph.D.
In JRT Issue 3, Spring 1987

 

This is a book by an established physician and psychologist that defines and grounds the concepts of holistic medicine. It delineates in a quiet and simple way approaches to healing that have the impact of an earthquake with extensive tremors. The first of these is the conviction, implied throughout the book, that healing occurs in the context of a relationship and not through techniques, which only provide the healer with a vehicle for relationship. Therapy is involved with moving into wholeness on the part of both the patient and the physician.

Mehl’s second principle of medicine is that disease is always a creative attempt to solve … Read the rest

The Unquiet Dead by Edith Fiore, Ph.D.

Reviewed by George Schwimmer, Ph.D.
In JRT Issue 3, Spring 1987

 

Edith Fiore, Ph.D., a traditionally trained clinical psychotherapist and hypnotherapist, has a tendency to venture into uncharted psycho-spiritual waters and then make the enterprise seem like the most proper and conservative thing to do. As if that were not enough, she then turns around and publishes accounts of her forays into the unknown. She first broke literary ground in past-life therapy with her book You Have Been Here Before and now returns in print with The Unquiet Dead, an unusual record of her experiences in dealing with what are apparently the spirits of deceased individuals who cause psychological and sometimes physical problems when they attach themselves to … Read the rest

Beyond the Brain: Birth, Death and Transcendence in Psychotherapy by Stanislav Grof

Reviewed by  Winafred Lucas
In JRT Issue 2, Fall 1986

 

From the vantage point of a past-life therapist, Grof’s impactful book needs to be evaluated on three parameters. The first of these addresses his breathtaking perception and integration of the multi-dimensional aspects of our changing paradigm. For those of us who have suffered lack of credibility because we felt forced to fit our thinking and therapeutic modalities into the Newtonian-Cartesian paradigm which could not contain them, it is a relief to understand that it is no longer necessary to apologize because we have moved into a different way of conceptualizing the universe. Grof, drawing heavily on new trends in physics and biology, demonstrates in what way we are leaving … Read the rest