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Sunday: March 21, 2010: Review of "Suddenly Psychic: A Skeptic's Journey"

           I bought the book Suddenly Psychic: A Skeptic’s Journey by Maureen Caudill, with high hopes. Here was a woman with a background in science (senior scientist and project manager, doing research and development in artificial intelligence and neural networks) who could bring her scientific training into the analysis of her psychic experiences. I was curious to see how she would bridge the gap between scientific understandings and psychic experiences. I was curious how her skeptical nature would reason through her inner experiences and find ways to measure and qualify observations.

            It’s taken me months to get through the book. I continually put down this book and turned to other books.  I picked Suddenly Psychic back up again and again, determined to get through it.

             What can I say? I found myself impatient, sometimes bored and irritated with Maureen’s book. I clearly appreciate the work involved in writing any book, and as far as the actual writing is concerned, the book was not that bad.  I’m sure it has a loyal following. I’m sure there are people who insist Maureen “tells a good story of psychic discovery while presenting current theories in physics in a manner easily understood by non-scientific people.”

            I just don’t know anyone to whom I’d recommend the book.  Maybe Suddenly Psychic works best for people with a minimal amount of spiritual or multidimensional experience, who don’t ask a lot of questions.

             It’s hard to write about inner experiences. I give much credit to Maureen, who came from a background of science and from a scientific community that adamantly dismissed other realities as delusions and hoaxes. She did a 180, and was willing to write about her “journey” into becoming suddenly psychic. (This is actually one of my first issues with the book but I’ll get into that later.) I give credit for the courage to write a book you know will shut the doors of your scientific coworkers, even if, as in Maureen’s case, you decide to leave a scientific or academic world for a radically different life style.

            Maybe I’m just jaded by my own life experiences and I forget how eager some people are to have anyone faintly resembling an expert present any form of scientific data to support psychic realities. If you are the type to watch TV’s show Ghost Hunters and wish you had all the cool tech stuff to track ghosts, then you will probably find the book Suddenly Psychic a excellent read. If you tend to agree with my earlier posts, then you’ll understand my disappointment in the book.               

                For starters, by page four you realize this book is really about Maureen’s experience with the Monroe Institute (or TMI). Listen up people---you, too, can have psychic experiences if you want to spend five days at TMI, immersed in the latest "Hemi-Sync technology for integrating your brain functions."  It should be noted there are multiple classes offered and they all seem to run $2,000 apiece. Obviously, Maureen was convinced multiple courses were worth her time and money.  She even started teaching classes. Maybe this is why the book seemed to be more a promotional book for the TMI program than a self-inquiry into deep inner truths.

              My complaint is not directly with the program or the money. It is certainly better than tripping out on chemical ingestions to get “high.” I get no gut-level feeling that the TMI experience is a hoax or an hallucination. People undergoing the program claim to experience altered states of consciousness; they learn to repeat some of these states when on their own; experiences in the program make them rethink their previous mindset.

              But this book was such a torture for me to read.  Every time I picked up the book I grew impatient with TMI jargon. There was a glossary and breakdown of the program levels at the back, but I grew impatient with page after page of the following:

              “. . . From then on in the program and for several weeks thereafter, I completely bypassed F-12 and F-15, choosing to go to higher levels straight from C-1. I was leaping from C-1 to F-27 and above with no stops in between lest I get hijacked again . . .” 

             By the time Maureen reaches the F-253 level and has an “I am God” moment, I am shaking my head. Who thinks up these levels? How does a client decide what level they are on---by comparing it to some program guide?  By checking the computer to see what program is playing? I can’t help wondering if these levels were graded to convince people they are making progress and getting their money’s worth. Was Monroe the person who made up this list, who placed things in progressive order so clients would know they were on F-12 instead of F-15 or F-253? Exactly what are Monroe’s credentials for determining levels of awareness? Maureen never seems to question the creation or the creator of the program.

                Some of Maureen’s psychic experiences were impressive (more on that later). She did seem to be able to get acclimated to higher levels of awareness so she did not always require the “program” to be running to have psychic insights. This is a good thing.  I wish her well.

               Still, I have so many issues with this book that I cannot leave it alone. I’ll have to explain my disappointment and reservations in future postings, because there are serious issues about a spiritual journey, about opening to other dimensions, and these are not obvious to a beginner. Maureen Caudill is a beginner, despite her scientific credentials and her F-253 experience.

           I hope my readers are more skeptical than Maureen seems to be.

 

See related articles by clicking [here] for discussion on skepticism

Click [here] for discussion of mystic states

Posted on Sunday, March 21, 2010 at 06:39AM by Registered CommenterThe Skeptical Mystic | Comments1 Comment

Reader Comments (1)

Maureen's book is so unique, and so as her skills which is putting her scientific training and analysis on psychic experiences together. I never heard about this combination before.

I think it's hard for you to recommend this wonderful book because there aren't lots of people having the same interest as hers. But, maybe if you're talking about her experiences, I guess lots of people may want to know about it. You could try that one.

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