Top positive review
A broad coverage of ESP history, and its philosophy.
Reviewed in the United States on January 14, 2018
Review of the kindle edition.
The book starts with approaching ESP from the narrow perspective of standardized scientific experiments (e.g. guess what is in the box in the next room and describe it, in a controlled environment) and talks about his experiences with this sort of approach, why ESP experiments have not shown spectacular results, and the history of parapsychology.
The reader is then invited to broaden his/her perspective of what ESP really is, where is originates from, and how ESP is tied to many elements of the human psyche that are intrinsic but latent. Swann contends that ESP doesn't need to be 'developed' at all, rather we just need to get out of its way for it to reveal itself. In my view, this is a very subtle but critical component of successful practitioners who seem to have intuitively figured it out. Swann lays this out very logically and rationally so that everyone may be able to do it. In the end, the techniques for 'getting out of the way' all have to do with quieting what Swann calls the 'front lobe consciousness', (also called as the monkey mind, or the superficial conscious mind by others), so that pre-formed information can arise from the currently unconscious parts of ourselves, or even 'the universal human mind'. In this way, he says, ESP works by directly accessing information without the need for our rational mind to go through the laborious process of data collection-analysis-deduction in our minds.
There are a lot of other books out there approaching the same topic from very different views. Swann approaches it from the viewpoint of his remote viewing past, so for me it was a valuable insight into how the government and alphabet intelligence agencies might view human consciousnesses.
As with all books from Swann, there is a lot of discussion and contextualization around the topic before we even get to the main points. This is so that the reader can fully understand all aspects of the topic in question. Some might even call this approach overkill, but that is the style of the author. Personally, I appreciate it AFTER I've finished the book, but while reading sometimes you'd just wish he'd get to the point ;) This is a short book though, so it wasn't much of a problem.
Other Cons: There were about ten odd images in the book - the kindle edition does a very poor job of rendering images. Its not a deal breaker for me, as the explanation is there in the text.