Greening the Paranormal

The latest issue of the Journal of Scientific Exploration includes my review of Jack Hunter’s recent book Greening the Paranormal, an anthology of essays about how the natural world and the “paranormal” world turn out to be one and the same. Packed with fascinating firsthand experiences as well as more scholarly reflections on the role of the paranormal in nurturing healthy human relationships with the rest of nature, this book is challenging and thought-provoking, and well worth the read.

Here are the first few paragraphs of my review, to get you started:


Far from a dispassionate survey of the intersection between ecology and parapsychology, Jack Hunter’s recent anthology Greening the Paranormal is a collection of the deeply personal insights and discipline-defying questions that have arisen from the contributors’ lived contact with some of the strangest aspects of the natural world.

From the very first page of Paul Devereux’s Foreword, we are confronted with the inexplicably extraordinary: Devereux’s sighting of a “green man” at the fork of a road in the Irish countryside.

Suddenly, standing on the grass, there was a figure, between two and three feet tall. It was anthropomorphic and fully three-dimensional. . . . It had sprung into appearance out of nowhere, and it caught my wife’s and my own transfixed attentions simultaneously.
The figure was comprised of a jumble of very dark green tones, as if composed of a tight, dense tangle of foliage. . . . It presented a distinctly forbidding appearance. As we
crawled past in our car, the figure started to turn its head in our direction, but then vanished. (pp. xi–xii)


If that doesn’t pique your interest, I don’t know what will!

One response to “Greening the Paranormal”

  1. Great review.

    This sentence caught my attention:

    “if modern, industrialized society so rarely experiences the paranormal, it is because we also so rarely experience nature—that is, a world unmanipulated by human design”

    This is particularly interesting as it could be taken in two very different ways;

    (1) we rarely experience the physical world of nature (trees, forest, ocean, outside of human physical creations

    (2) we rarely experience nature – that is, whether a computer, a tree, a football, or a flower – as it is, but only through a thick layer of mental/emotional/energetic projections, beliefs, assumptions, implicit memories, etc.

    It seems that it’s not “nature” as we conceive it (all that “physical stuff” “out there”) but rather, the recognition that the way our off-kilter, self-grasping, “little me-focused” human psyche functions, it doesn’t matter whether it’s a computer, a tree, a football or a flower. We can approach the tree through layers of conceptualization, or we can approach this very computer as an an appearance in an inseparable, holographic/fractal web of Divine appearances, all enfolded in the Divine Mind, an infinite radiant, luminous Consciousness simultaneously pervading and transcending all appearances, which are none other than that very same Divine Mind.

    The greatest sages through history have always said that in that state of radical openness and acceptance, all that we consider “para”normal becomes normal – ‘the new norm” so to speak.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: