Taken from: Mind Beyond Brain – Buddhism, Science, and the Paranormal (2018, David E Presti, ed.)

The spectacular progress of the physical sciences since the seventeenth century was made possible by exclusion of the mental from their purview. To say that there is more to reality than physics can account for is not a piece of mysticism. It is an acknowledgement that we are nowhere near a theory of everything and science will have to expand to accommodate facts of a kind different from those that physics is designed to explain. It should not disturb us that this may have radical consequences. Materialism remains a widespread view, but science does not progress by tailoring the data to fit a prevailing theory. — Thomas Nagel


When I went to graduate school, I chose to study Existential – Phenomenological Therapeutic Psychology. For me, approaching psychology from the Continental European philosophical point of view was more rewarding than taking on the customary scientific (positivistic) track followed by students/psychologists in the UK and US. Back then, reading Sartre, Levinas, V Frankl, M Ponty, Gide, and other European/Existential thinkers acquainted me with la condition humaine (the human condition) that psychologists need to know about for their sakes and the sakes of their clients.

Mind Beyond Brain, published by Columbia University Press, recognizes the eternal nature of the soul, mind, consciousness as being separate from the physical body. In this light near death experiences, reincarnation, and other topics can be studied with scientific rigor. Convincing our positivistic sisters and brothers to expand the scope of their studies to include things historically relegated to the backwaters of human society remains a challenge.

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