Jeffrey J. He is the J. Most scholars dismiss research into the paranormal as pseudoscience, a frivolous pursuit for the paranoid or gullible. Even historians of religion, whose work naturally attends to events beyond the realm of empirical science, have shown scant interest in the subject. But the history of psychical phenomena, Jeffrey J. Kripal contends, is an untapped source of insight into the sacred and by tracing that history through the last two centuries of Western thought we can see its potential centrality to the critical study of religion.

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Jeffrey Kripal is a professor of philosophy and religious thought at the prestigious Rice University. His office is adorned with various books on the subjects of his studies UFOs, religion, mythology , large busts of iconic comic characters like Iron Man and Magneto; a library that lands right in the middle of theism and pop culture.

Jeffrey Kripal holds the J. They are literally impossible. The debunking and dismissal are just the functions of metaphysical commitments of people. Things that are impossible in one world view are totally possible in another. It was very rewarding actually. Do you believe that there was some truth in Greek, Egyptian and other lore that described humans with extraordinary abilities and why that notion is hard for many to swallow these days?

And I think that particular question could not be answered with the scientific method, but I think there is indirect evidence of both near death experiences and children who remember previous lives, which are two different forms of the afterlife. One is a heavenly journey and the other is a reincarnation story. It comes down to people and persons. They are everywhere. And there is a very thin cultural shaming that holds it down, and tricks us into thinking they are rare or crazy.

For me, it is for people to start talking about the experiences no matter what they are; artists , musicians and people who create culture — then other people will jump in and other people will join in and they are no longer abnormal or shamed.

We have people telling a story with people with abilities, and it is miraculous or an act of God. If those paranormal abilities belong to another community, a competing or warring community then they are magic or witch craft. The problem with religion is that there is always an inside and an outside.

When I proposed it, I imagined it as a science fiction novel that is also a work of scholarship. It may be irrelevant when you get to the paranormal. The trilogy engages the history of science very deeply; the three volume are about physics, evolutionary biology and cosmology, and how those three areas of science completely transform the religious imagination in the modern world.

These are all religious mythos, but they are shifting dramatically as our understanding of the natural world changes. We are the threat. That is how you learn things. You learn things by just releasing it. It is destructive and dangerous and not helpful.


Jeffrey J. Kripal

This body of work will now function as the foundation for my work in and from the future, which will be expressed primarily through a trilogy involving the history of science and paranormal currents in American culture. There are three basic components to this trilogy project: 1 cosmology and quantum physics, 2 evolutionary biology and ethnobotany, and 3 technology and cosmology. I do not claim any conclusion or single story, of course, about what we might see in all of this, about what this all means. I rather seek to show how modern mystical experience as gnostic unity with the cosmos, space, time, matter, mind, and species and mythical science as totalizing narrative are two deeply related expressions of the same human, and fundamentally religious, impulse: to live in a meaningful world that is whole, alive, and really, really big. The trilogy will move through these three scientific complexes and explore the various ways that such sciences are radically altering our understanding of human nature and the cosmos and, alternatively, how they themselves are often secretly informed by the anomalous or paranormal experiences of the scientists themselves. Such a collection is in process now. It is focused on original, often one-of-a-kind historical material—private papers, letters, pamphlets, rare books, and so on.


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Jeffrey Kripal



Jeffrey J. Kripal, Ph.D.


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