Book Discussions & Reviews


Book Discussions & Reviews

Members: 17
Latest Activity: Dec 6, 2016

Welcome to ASCS Book Discussions & Reviews

Welcome and thank you for your interest in books related to the mission of the Academy for Spiritual and Consciousness Studies. Please join this discussion group, in order to be notified of new postings. Here, you will be kept abreast of new books being published (scroll to the Comments section below), books being reviewed in ASCS publications, and other news of interest.

We encourage you to let your fellow ASCS members know about the books you are reading, reviewing, or writing. If you have questions or advice about book publishing, please post them here.

See the Pages section (to the right) for our Book Review Guidelines, if you are interested in reviewing titles for the Searchlight or the Journal for Spiritual and Consciousness Studies.

Discussion Forum

Advice from members about new book

Started by Tom Butler. Last reply by Tom Butler Mar 1, 2016. 4 Replies

I am coming close to finishing a book and it is time to decide if I am going to publish it with AA-EVP Publishing ( or try to find a publisher. I would like your…Continue


Started by Jane Fazzari. Last reply by Robert Landro Dec 2, 2015. 4 Replies

I am interested in new evidence of After Death Communication.  Continue

What is "New Age"?

Started by Donna Cox Baker. Last reply by Sharon Allen Aug 8, 2015. 23 Replies

In the other discussion we started today, Rick reminded me of something I've been meaning to bring up in this forum: the use of the term "New Age."My family calls me New Age because I believe in reincarnation and claim to have communicated with dead…Continue

Books Reviewed for August

Started by Donna Cox Baker. Last reply by Elene Gusch Jul 19, 2015. 5 Replies

The August issue of The Searchlight will have reviews on the following books:One Mind: How Our Individual Mind IsPart of a Greater Consciousness and Why ItMatters, by Larry Dossey, M.D., Hay House,Inc., Australia, 2013.Adventures in Psychical…Continue

Our thoughts on self-publishing

Started by Donna Cox Baker. Last reply by Donna Cox Baker Jul 19, 2015. 19 Replies

I work for a publisher, but often question whether I want to self-publish my first book, for reasons this article makes clear:…Continue

Are Our Books Measuring Up to Expectations?

Started by Donna Cox Baker. Last reply by Tom Butler Jul 11, 2015. 5 Replies

There is much talk in the scholarly press world of the demise of quality in books. Successful books on the market seem to be written rapidly, sold on the popularity of the author, barely edited, marketed for a quick return on investment, then thrown…Continue

Comment Wall


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Comment by Tom Butler on June 4, 2015 at 11:55am

I have begun reading Paracoustics: Sound & the Paranormalby Steven T. Parsons and Callum E. Cooper. So far, it is one of the better books I have seen for people seeking to investigatye hauntings.

An important point is that the authors provide a solid technical foundation for the reader to better evaluate ostensibly paranormal experiences. It is hard to find pertinent technical information about such things as how sound moves about in a room and how people unconsciously react to it.

The authors also address many of the less understood influences in paranormal experiences such as infrasound. As I read, while they have addressed many possible sources of false positives, so far, they are maintaining an objective view by addressing known possible explanations without saying that any one assumption explains everything.

Even less than half-way through this book, I feel comfortable recommending it for people seeking to have a solid foundation of understanding before attempting a ghost hunt or the use of Electronic Voice Phenomena.

Comment by Lee Lawrence on June 4, 2015 at 11:38am
Aspects of Consciousness: Proceedings of the 40th Annual ASCS Conference
Product Details

Jun 2, 2015

 Link to this book on AMAZON

This book contains the proceedings of the June 2015 40th annual conference of The Academy for Spiritual and Consciousness Studies. The Academy's mission is to discern, develop and disseminate knowledge leading to an increase in the understanding of all aspects of human consciousness: its existence, survival, and environmental interaction. The mission is also to gain insights into the purpose of life in order to enhance the development of the human spirit. This year’s conference is titled “Aspects of Consciousness.” It includes three sub-themes based on the special interests of Academy members:

  • Spiritual Mysticism and the Spiritual Transformative Experience
  • After-Death Experience and the Survival of Consciousness
  • Mind/Body Medicine: An Integrative Approach
Comment by Donna Cox Baker on June 4, 2015 at 11:04am

Thanks, Tom. I'll pass your recommendation on to the Publications Committee and see if we can get this reviewed for an upcoming ASCS publication.

Comment by Tom Butler on June 4, 2015 at 10:00am

I see that Paranormal: A New Testament Scholar Looks at the Afterlife by Valerie A. Abrahamsen ( has come out. It is an interesting read. I tend to be a technical metaphysician and cannot make it through many of the paranormalist books because that are more inspirational than objective. This one strikes a good balance.

Comment by Donna Cox Baker on June 3, 2015 at 7:45pm

On June 22, New Page Books will release Candace L. Talmadge and Jana L. Simon's new book, The Afterlife Healing Circle: How Anyone Can Connect with the Other Side.The publisher has sent me a review copy, if one of you has an interest in reviewing it for an ASCS publication. 


The séance is probably the most misunderstood and abused of all spiritual practices, and carries with it some very real dangers. The good news is that the authors of The Afterlife Healing Circle have corrected the disinformation while showing us how to avoid the dangers.

The afterlife healing circle is a way we can safely communicate with those on the other side, whether they are loved ones who have passed or future offspring who have not yet been born.

This unique book will bring hope to the anxious and the inconsolable by showing readers:

How to recognize when they or others need the afterlife healing circle.
How to develop the intuitive senses that will enable them to connect with the other side.
How, where, and when to conduct the afterlife healing circle safely.
How the rules of physics prove that consciousness both survives and precedes the physical body.

It's never too late to say goodbye--or too soon to say hello.

Comment by Donna Cox Baker on June 3, 2015 at 7:30am

From today's headlines: Psy-Tek Publishes Major New Wave of Free Self-Improvement and Spirituality E-Books

Click here to see article.

Comment by Donna Cox Baker on May 29, 2015 at 6:57am

Michael Baigent, coauthor of Holy Blood, Holy Grail, will be releasing a new edition of his book Astrology in Ancient Mesopotamia: The Science of Omens and the Knowledge of the Heavens (Bear & Company) July 26.


A detailed study of the earliest forms of astrology in Mesopotamia and their far-reaching hermetic influences from the Renaissance to the present day

• Reveals the roots of modern astrology in the Babylonian science of omens, which was concerned not with individuals but with the state and king

• Explores Mesopotamian mythology as it relates to the planets and to astrology

• Traces the hermetic transmission of this knowledge over the centuries from Mesopotamia to Egypt to Renaissance Italy

Among the many significant discoveries excavated from Assyrian king Ashurbanipal’s royal library in Nineveh were tablets documenting the development of Mesopotamian astrology, now recognized as the earliest astrological science.

Comment by Donna Cox Baker on May 24, 2015 at 12:59pm

This new title from Basic Books looks like it's right up the alley of some of many of our members. Let me know if you want to review Einstein's Dice and Schrödinger's Cat by Paul Halpern.


When the fuzzy indeterminacy of quantum mechanics overthrew the orderly world of Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein and Erwin Schrödinger were at the forefront of the revolution. Neither man was ever satisfied with the standard interpretation of quantum mechanics, however, and both rebelled against what they considered the most preposterous aspect of quantum mechanics: its randomness. Einstein famously quipped that God does not play dice with the universe, and Schrödinger constructed his famous fable of a cat that was neither alive nor dead not to explain quantum mechanics but to highlight the apparent absurdity of a theory gone wrong. But these two giants did more than just criticize: they fought back, seeking a Theory of Everything that would make the universe seem sensible again.

In Einstein’s Dice and Schrödinger’s Cat, physicist Paul Halpern tells the little-known story of how Einstein and Schrödinger searched, first as collaborators and then as competitors, for a theory that transcended quantum weirdness. This story of their quest—which ultimately failed—provides readers with new insights into the history of physics and the lives and work of two scientists whose obsessions drove its progress.

Today, much of modern physics remains focused on the search for a Theory of Everything. As Halpern explains, the recent discovery of the Higgs Boson makes the Standard Model—the closest thing we have to a unified theory— nearly complete. And while Einstein and Schrödinger failed in their attempt to explain everything in the cosmos through pure geometry, the development of string theory has, in its own quantum way, brought this idea back into vogue. As in so many things, even when they were wrong, Einstein and Schrödinger couldn’t help but get a great deal right.

Comment by Donna Cox Baker on May 24, 2015 at 10:07am

Our fellow ASCS member Michael Cocks, an Anglican minister from New Zealand, has published Into the Wider Dream: Synchronicity in the Witness Box with White Crow Books (April 2015).

 Amazon: "It is probably true to say that all world religions believe that life-changing meaningful coincidences, or synchronicities, are signs that 'the Will of God' is being worked out in our lives. There is deep meaning here, and the long synchronistic episodes described in this book help us explore some of it. The author's conversations with the spirit of the Martyr Stephen were surrounded with multiple synchronicities with several themes from the Book of Revelation, 'dead and not-dead,' 'philosopher's stone,' 'the five wounds of Jesus' and many more. The stream of synchronicities continued for many years giving him and others personal experience of the truth of what Stephen was teaching at the time. To try and make sense of these experiences, this book explores the thinking of a number of leading physicists, psychologists, and those writing directly on synchronicity. It compels us to ask, "Are we and these events being dreamed up by a Mind that encloses all of us? Does this Mind dream ourselves up, as well as these strange coincidences?" "That theory makes some sort of sense, and that is why I named this book, Into the Wider Dream" Michael tells us. Some people might argue that it can also help to enrich our understanding of what it means to be 'In Christ.'"

Comment by Donna Cox Baker on May 21, 2015 at 11:13am

Just over a month ago, Thames & Hudson publishers released Memento Mori: The Dead Among Us, by Paul Koudounaris, (PhD, art history), should any of you have an interest in reviewing it.


Amazon describes it:

The astonishing story of how the dead live on in memorials and traditions across the globe, from Ethiopia and Nepal to Cambodia and Rwanda, told through arresting images and captivating narration

Death is universal, but the human response to death varies widely. In Western society, death is usually medicalized and taboo, and kept apart from the world of the living, while in much of the rest of the world, and for much of human history, death has commonly been far more integrated into peoples’ daily existence, and human remains are as much a reminder of life, memento vitae, as of death, memento mori.

Through photos taken at more than 250 sites in thirty countries over a decade, Paul Koudounaris has captured death around the world. From Bolivia’s “festival of the little pug-nosed ones,” where skulls are festooned with flowers and given cigarettes to smoke and beanie hats to protect them from the weather to Indonesian families who dress mummies and include them in their household routines; from naturally preserved Buddhist monks and memorials to genocide in Rwanda and Cambodia to the dramatic climax of Europe’s great ossuaries, Memento Mori defies taboo to demonstrate how the dead continue to be present in the lives of people everywhere. 500+ color illustrations.”


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