Now, my husband has always said I have a spooky ability to know what he’s thinking or about to say so it gives me great pleasure to welcome Terje G. Simonsen to Linda’s Book Bag today as I think he may be able to enlighten why!
Staying in with Terje G. Simonsen
Welcome to Linda’s Book Bag Terje. Thank you for agreeing to stay in with me.
Thanks a lot for inviting me, Linda—it is truly a pleasure!
Tell me, which of your books have you brought along to share this evening and why have you chosen it?
I have chosen to bring with me my latest book, Our Secret Powers—A Short History of (Nearly) Everything Paranormal. Many people are fascinated with the paranormal—just look at the enormous interest for books as Harry Potter and Lord of The Rings, and also for series as The Magicians etc. But in spite of people’s interest, they often do not know all that much about the paranormal—what is real and what is purely fantasy. So I thought I wanted to give some perspectives on this!
(Sounds like I’m going to be in for a very interesting evening Terje.)
What can we expect from an evening in with Our Secret Powers?
Well, you could expect to find out you probably are a bit more paranormally gifted than you hitherto have thought! For example, have you ever experienced that some day you start thinking of a friend that you haven’t heard from in a very long time—say, weeks, or even months or years. And just some hours later, you get a call or a message from just this person? Many would ascribe such an occurrence to mere coincidence—which it, of course, could be. But there have, in fact, been conducted studies both at the University of Amsterdam, Netherlands, and the University of Freiburg, Germany, that suggest this can be down to telepathy rather than coincidence!
(Gosh! That’s interesting. Could you tell me a little more about how they went about their research?)
Sure—let’t enter the world of parapsychology! Researchers have a volunteer make an agreement with four of his/her good friends (emotional connection in important). These four people are in separate houses with telephones, but NB no individual answering tones! A researcher contacts one of the four friends and tells him/her to call the volunteer. The volunteer will now—before answering the call—make a guess as to who is calling. A research assistant who is with the volunteer writes down the guess. Then the volunteer picks up the phone to check who is actually calling. As there are four friends who may call we should expect the volunteer to guess correctly one out of four times, meaning 25 percent of the cases. But what turns out is the volunteer on average will guess correctly much more often, typically in about 40 percent of the cases!
Oo! That’s fascinating! So presumably there needs to be some kind of telepathy for the volunteer to be able to predict so accurately? Does that mean we all have the potential to communicate telepathically then, if these were just ‘ordinary’ people?
Correct! That’s what I said earlier: You are more paranormally gifted than you thought!
(Hmm. I might have to try that out!)
What else have you brought along and why?
Should I perhaps tell you one of the stories that made me start diving into this fascinating field?
(Yes, please do!)
Well, I had an upcoming date, and out of curiosity I got the idea to call an old man, a Norwegian psychic, who I knew had impressed a journalist in Norway’s perhaps most serious newspaper The Evening Post. So I called him, and in addition to commenting on the date itself, he said: “…and then I can tell you that this woman is 1.64 m tall!” I went to the date, and during the evening I couldn’t keep myself from asking: “By the way: how tall are you?” She answered: ” 1.64 m”. I was floored. It could of course have been a lucky guess, but when I called him back to say I was impressed, he floored me again by—right off the bat and without the possibility to consult Google maps—describing the coloring of my house-front, which is by no means obvious, as there are two different colors. So this experience, together with a lot of others, sparked of the process that resulted in Our Secret Powers!
Thanks so much for staying in with me Terje, to tell me about Our Secret Powers—A Short History of (Nearly) Everything Paranormal. I’ve always thought our minds can do more than we suspect and it has been a fascinating evening.
Our Secret Powers—A Short History of (Nearly) Everything Paranormal
Is the paranormal normal?
Many readers will be surprised when learning that reputable scientists, among them several Nobel laureates, have claimed that telepathy is a reality. Their curiosity will increase when reading that Cleopatra’s lost palace and Richard III’s burial place were recovered by means of clairvoyance. And some will think it to be science fiction when finding out about Stargate–the espionage program where the American military and CIA engaged in the development of psychic spies!
Simonsen, a Norwegian historian of ideas, introduces an array of entertaining paranormal tales from history, archaeology, anthropology and psychology, and presents scientific research that has provided fascinating results. He argues that the stories we hear about telepathy, clairvoyance and precognition ought not to be dismissed as superstition
In step with spiritual and occult traditions, the author suggests that consciousness is not limited to our own head. Rather he thinks that all humans (and perhaps all living beings) are linked together in a “Mental Internet.’ Via this network we may exchange ‘telepathic emails’ with friends and family and make clairvoyant ‘downloads’ of information. Thus perhaps what we usually call ‘supernatural’ is completely natural but little understood communications via this Mental Internet?
Our Secret Powers gives us an engaging, entertaining and informative analysis of a controversial subject and would make an excellent travel companion.
Our Secret Powers—A Short History of (Nearly) Everything Paranormal is available for purchase here.
There is also a YouTube clip introducing the book you may wish to see here.
About Terje G. Simonsen
Terje G. Simonsen is a Norwegian author and Historian of Ideas, PhD, specializing in the esoteric and occult. Since childhood Terje has been fascinated by paranormal phenomena such as telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition and healing.
He taught introductory courses on central Western philosophical and literary works at the Institute of History of Ideas, University of Oslo. Today Terje works as a freelance writer.
He is also an avid salsa dancer, amateur pianist and chess player.