Friday, January 13, 2012
A Quest For Non-Human Sentient Intelligence: Magic, Mysticism & Molecule
In a strange, perhaps slightly counterintuitive sense, Micah Hanks is like the Carl Sagan of paranormal investigation. With this book, Magic, Mysticism and the Molecule, Hanks emerges as a keen observer and explainer of science on the edge, the occult, esoteric thought – everything that mainstream researchers consider to be “the fringe” of scientific investigation and philosophy.
Sagan was an accomplished astronomer in his own right, but by far his biggest contribution to science was in bringing the wonders of the universe to the masses in a way that was erudite, yet entertaining and awe inspiring. Likewise, Hanks has been in the trenches, so to speak, personally conducting paranormal investigations, but with this book, he shows the potential to be the “go to guy” to bring a broader understanding of paranormal phenomenon to the greater public.
In Magic, Mysticism and the Molecule, Hanks takes us from ancient times, through the Middle Ages and right on up to the present day, showing how paranormal experiences and phenomenon have been consistent and confounding across the centuries. It’s all in here -- ghosts, demons, hauntings, angels, aliens, UFOs, mystical experience, meditation, psychedelic drug induced shamanism, studies of weird brain effects by drugs and EM (electromagnetism) – and we are shown clear and intriguing connections between all of it.
Certainly, Hanks flirts with writing a book that is highly derivative because he relies heavily on the works of some of the biggest names of the cutting edge – Terrence McKenna, Rick Strassman, John Keel and many others. Too many books on paranormal topics these days are basically rehashing all the ideas which have already long been out there. But in this case, it's more like the author has chosen to stand on the shoulders of giants to that he can see further. Also, to be fair, this book is not entirely derivative because Hanks does include information from personal interviews he conducted, and he also relates some of his own real life experiences if when they help illuminate his topics.
I also like the way the book is conceived as referenced by its title. It welds together -- “magic,” (rituals and archaic practices) “mysticism” (transcendent religious thought and practice) and “molecules” (hard science of transcendent brain perceptions and function) -- in a way that delivers a fresh, overall perspective, enabling us to see a grander “whole” or process at work behind it all.
Also, on every page there is a vital “Just what the hell is really happening here!” kind of feeling. There’s a dogged almost urgent drive at getting to the bottom of the most confounding mysteries that keep popping up in all cultures across all times -- no matter what the hardened, accepted official dogma of the day is telling us about what is supposed to be true and not true.
So this book scores a high recommendation from me … and I’ll be expecting great things from Mr. Hanks in the future.
See also: THE GRALIEN REPORT
Ken Korczak is the author of: THE MAN IN THE NOTHING CHAMBER