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Jul 16, 1996 04:53 PM
by Blavatsky Foundation


I have been waiting almost 9 years for the publication of this book!
I quote from the dustjacket of the book and then add
my two cents worth.  See below.  Daniel H. Caldwell

R E I N C A R N A T I O N:  A Critical Examination
by Paul Edwards

Amherst, New York:  Prometheus Books, 1996.
313 pp.  Cloth, $28.95
How to order:
 From your local bookstore or 
call toll free & order on your credit card:  1-800-421-0351 (Prometheus 

"In this book....[Paul Edwards] aims his razor-sharp intellect
at the delusions of yet another myth:  reincarnation.  The book
is extremely comprehensive: all major arguments for reincarnation
are refuted...."

Adolf Grunbaum
Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Philosophy
University of Pittsburgh

"Paul Edwards bring his usual incisiveness, clarity, and wit
to bear on ancient beliefs that underlie much of the fuzzy 
thinking of the New Age movement.  He deftly exposes the 
philosophical and practical deficiencies of the concept of Karma
and provides a trenchant critique of the evidence in favor
of reincarnation."

Barry L. Beyerstein
Brain-Behavior Laboratory
Simon Fraser University

        "This book is the first comprehensive and systematic evaluation of
reincarnation and Karma in any language.  Several chapters are devoted
to the alleged evidence for reincarnation---child prodigies, deja vu 
experiences, hypnotic regressions, and the reincarnation memories 
of a number of children, but also some adults, especially in India
and in other countries where belief in reincarnation is widespread.
One chapter discusses the so-called Law of Karma showing that it 
is no law at all, offering only *post hoc* explanations."
        "There are both empirical and conceptual objections to reincarnation.
The theory is shown to be inconsistent with the population increases
on the earth, the relative recency of life in the universe, and various
features of evolutionary history.  Reincarnationists are also faced with the
problem of giving a coherent account of the identity of a person who is 
said to be the same in two different lives.  Equally seriously, they 
cannot offer a credible description of how the mind could make its
transition from a dead body into the womb of the mother of its next
incarnation.  They have to resort to the fantastic theory of an 'astral
body' or 'spiritual' body.  Furthermore, we have enormous evidence
that the mind or consciousness cannot exist without the brain.
The brain-mind-dependence facts undermine most forms of
survival including reincarnation. "
        "In addition to reincarnation and Karma, the book discusses in
some detail the claims of the leading figures in the new 
immortality movement, which arose in the United States in the
mid-1970s.  The writers targeted in this connection are Elisabeth
Kubler-Ross; Raymond Moody, the author of the best-selling
*Life After Life*, and Dr. Stanislov Grof, who bases his 
belief on the experiences of patients during LSD sessions."

Quoted from the dustjacket of Dr. Edwards' book.

Paul Edwards (1923--    ) is the author of *The Logic of Moral 
Discourse,* *Heidegger and Death* and numerous articles 
in philosophical journals.  He is the editor of *The Encyclopedia
of Philosophy,* *Voltaire,* and *Immortality."  He has
contributed to numerous reference works including *The
Encyclopedia of Unbelief," *The Encyclopedia of Ethics,"
and most recently, *The Oxford Companion to Philosophy."
In 1979, Columbia University awarded him the Nicholas Murray 
Butler Silver Medal for distinguished contributions to philosophy.
He currently teaches at the New School for Social Research
in New York City.

Quoted from the dustjacket of Dr. Edwards' book.


There are 17 chapters in this thought provoking book.  One of my
favorites is entitled:  "The Dependence of Consciousness on the
Brain."  In Chapter 16 on "More about Dr. Ian Stevenson, the 'Galileo
of Reincarnation', "  Dr. Edwards writes the following:

"Ian Wilson [in his book] ends his highly critical chapter of Stevenson 
with the remark that in spite of all objections he has raised, 'Stevenson
may yet prove himself the Galileo of reincarnation.'  I do not
see any danger of that.  What is unfortunately very likely is that
for a long time to come ignorant and superstitious people all 
over the world will continue to refer to Stevenson as the man
who has provided strong scientific evidence, if not indeed
conclusive proof, of reincarnation." (p. 277)

Students of Blavatsky, Theosophy, the New Age, various
esoteric disciplines, parapsychology, religion, philosophy,
etc. should read this book.  Here is a healthy dose of scepticism 
and commonsense.  You may not always agree with what 
Dr. Edwards writes, but his work makes for interesting reading.  
Food for thought!

Daniel H. Caldwell
The Blavatsky Foundation

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