|3.5 out of 5 stars|
”The debunkers are probably right, but they’re no fun to visit a graveyard with.”
With that one sentence, Mary Roach sums up my whole view of the survival of a soul. She explores reincarnation stories, Victorian spiritualism, and ghost hunting. She attends a workshop to develop her mediumship. In general, she treads the odd pathways that I would if I had the freedom to do so, and she does it with her characteristic humour.
I think one of the key things, that gets several mentions in the book, is the role of loss and grief in starting people on the path looking for spiritual survival of death. When my parents were killed in a car accident twenty years ago, I had dreams of them that were so realistic that I almost believed that I was communicating with them again. The longing was so strong (and still often is so strong) that I truly wish that I could somehow reach out to them one more time.
One of my sisters twisted my arm until we visited a local clairvoyant, who I must say provided a very comforting experience. But I left that session feeling like my emotional self (that wanted to believe desperately) and my intellectual self (that analyzed the session and decided that my sister & I provided most of the information) were definitely in dissonance. It was an interesting experience and I don’t regret it, but I also don’t think I will ever repeat it.
Perhaps not as much fun as other Mary Roach books that I’ve read, but still an enjoyable way to spend some time.