Linda Hoy is the author of some 15 fiction books for children and young adults. Here however she is tackling a very serious subject – or series of subjects covering early religious beliefs and practices, the afterlife and NDEs, the nature of time, and interpretation of these issues through quantum physics, all written in an easy-going and witty style. The author’s experience in writing for children is probably an advantage here. She takes the title of the book from the writings of the Anglo-Irish aeronautical engineer John William Dunne, who wrote about parapsychology during the inter-war years in such titles as The Serial Universe and The New Immortality. His writings are referred to elsewhere in the book. Each chapter is headed by some appropriate quotation from the Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking-glass stories written by mathematician Charles Dodgson. Indeed, the whole book reads more like a novel than a piece of non-fiction.

After the introductory chapters giving accounts of the significant coincidences or synchronous events in her life, the author writes a fine résumé of NDEs (Chapter 4) and those who have written about them. There follows a good summary (Chapter 5) of what ‘dark matter’ is all about and some of the highly non-intuitive ideas of quantum mechanics. And just for the record, the guy who suggested dark matter was Fritz Zwicky (though he may have been slightly Wacky as he is called here).

There are many quotes in the Creativity chapter (No.6) that links the creative process with inspiration from the numinous domain. For Chapter 7 on Living Backwards I would recommend reading Nanci Danison’s book first to get some idea of the spiritual foundation, or sections on precognition in books such as that by Charles T. Tart. I was delighted to read such a down-to-earth interpretation of the eastern concept of karma, and examples of prescience. This focus on the nature of time continues with Time and the Dark Arts (Chapter 8) and Finding the Key (Chapter 9). This awareness of incidents from the past and those still to happen in the Earth future and Hoy’s many occurrences of synchronicity are what Dunne called ‘the Effect’ – the mystical interconnectedness or ‘beyondness’ of things.

We’re in Chapter 10 now and there is a misprint on p.137 in giving the data from Peoc’h’ s experiment described there. The experiment has a statistical significance of χ2 > 11; p < 0.001, not the meaningless figures given. Otherwise, this chapter is an intelligible account of the relevance and everyday significance of quantum entanglement. I find the mental multiverse created by the potential of the mind (hinted at on p.171) a more convincing picture than the apparently physical multiple universes Hoy talks about later in the chapter (No. 12). The mental multiverse picture is supported by the writings of David Bohm that Hoy quotes in Chapter 14. The book ends with a very positive and enlightening account of facing mortal death, secure in the knowledge that there is a continuing life for the discarnate soul.

This is a book written in a very accessible style about the significance of the New Physics to the everyday lives of ordinary people – I wish I could have written one just as easy to read.

Howard Jones

Howard Jones is the author of Evolution of Consciousness

www.spiritofoneness.co.uk/

2012

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© Linda Hoy, 2018