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  Mind-Dust and White Crows: The Psychical Research of William James
William James with Gregory Shushan

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“If you wish to upset the law that all crows are black, you mustn’t seek to show that no crows are; it is enough if you prove one single crow to be white.”

William James (1842–1910) was a leading figure in Western psychology, philosophy, and psychical research. While there is an inextricable relationship between the various strands of James’s work, his psychical research has been unfairly neglected in favor of classics such as The Principles of Psychology and The Varieties of Religious Experience. Read in light of one another, however, James’s “mainstream” writings can be seen as efforts to make philosophical, metaphysical, and psychological sense of his psychical research.

Mind Dust and White Crows bridges the illusory divide, placing James’s widely accepted works on mystical experience, theories of the soul, immortality, and metaphysics alongside his key writings on mediumship, telepathy, possession and other areas of psychical research. The result is a more integrated picture of James’s spiritually-minded writings, transcending the disciplinary stigmas so often imposed on them. Interestingly, some of James’s ideas seem to align with current interpretations of the soul and extended consciousness as derived from quantum physics.

This volume includes many rare articles, including material that has not been previously published in book form. Andreas Sommer’s introduction – written especially for this volume – highlights the importance of James’s work to the history and development of psychical research.

About the author

About the editor:

Gregory Shushan, PhD, is the leading authority on near-death experiences and the afterlife across cultures and throughout history.  He is the author of Near-Death Experience in Indigenous Religions, and Conceptions of the Afterlife in Early Civilizations. Currently Visiting Fellow at University of Winchester, and Research Fellow at the Parapsychology Foundation, Dr. Shushan was previously Honorary Research Fellow at the Religious Experience Research Centre at University of Wales, Perrott-Warrick Researcher at University of Oxford’s Ian Ramsey Centre for Science and Religion, and Scholar-in Residence at the Centro Incontri Umani (The Cross Cultural Centre), Ascona, Switzerland. He has lectured at universities in the UK, Ireland, and Switzerland and has given numerous talks on his research in nine countries.

“The Parapsychology Association Book Committee has elected Gregory’s book, Near-Death Experience in Indigenous Religions, for the PA Book Award. This Award recognizes books in the field of parapsychology that make significant contributions to science and to the cultural conversation about the implications of parapsychology.”

Publisher: White Crow Books
Published January 23, 2024
354 pages
Size: 6 x 9 inches / 229 x 152 mm
ISBN 9781786772046
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