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November 2013 Book of the Month

Lisby Mayor’s book, Extraordinary Knowing, opens with a spell-binding story about a lost harp, a disappointed child, a skeptical mother and the psychic who made sense of it all. The incredible experience recounted in the first pages of Mayor’s book completely shifted Mayor’s perceptions of the world around her. A well respected scientist, Lisby Mayor found herself in the unique position of feeling utterly confounded by the nature of her experience. For the first time in her life, there seemed to be no rational explanation for the events she witnessed. Lucky for us – her experience upended her perceptions of the world around her and shifted the focus of her research in profound ways.

Perhaps, one of the most frustrating aspects of contemporary life is the slow pace at which science keeps up with experience. It is often at the edge of our awareness that the truest reality resides. The knowing but not knowing that propels us forward each and every day. The difficulty, for most of us, is finding a way to “validate” our own internal knowing. Mayor offers readers hope that the gap between the hard sciences and individual subjective experiences may eventually be bridged. In the meantime, she does an outstanding job explaining why examining subjectivity in academia is so darn challenging.

As Mayer explains subjective phenomenon by nature is connected with a single point of view. In contrast, objective, physical theory immediately abandons individuated points of views as irrelevant. Mayer’s challenge to traditional scientists is to establish some dialog between the realms of science and spirituality. In chapter after chapter, Mayor shares fresh insight into both the history of paranormal research and the legitimacy of combining the objective with the reflective. This paradigm shifting book opens new possibilities for science and everyday living.

Molly Beauregard