In a nutshell, in this book, Stan Gooch attempts to prove that all psychic phenomena, not to mention UFOs, are all a product of our unconscious mind. However, there is much more to this book than would fit in a nutshell. Mr. Gooch does not deny these things exist and even takes us through examples of every psychic ability and phenomena, including poltergeists, daemons, incubi, succubi, mediums, remote viewing, ghosts and even mind reading.

We’ve come a long way since these topics were kept secret or that the people who exhibited them were thought to be mentally challenged. The author states, “…as this book shows, a growing number of doctors, scientists, and psychiatrists around the world are quietly reporting on aspects of the phenomena under discussion. Increasingly, too, their reports are appearing in the orthodox medical and scientific press.”

It’s difficult to believe that some things, like UFOs, when so many people and groups of people have witnessed them, not to mention that we have photographs in some instances, that they are a product of our own unconscious mind. However, on other topics, he does make a very plausible case for his conclusion.

Mr. Gooch believes he has conclusive proof that nothing we’ve ever seen or heard in our entire lives is ever forgotten by our unconscious mind. He believes that when we exhibit a phenomenon, it is drawn from those experiences that our unconscious mind remembers, even if our conscious mind does not. He draws this theory even to the point that a fetus in the womb is recording what the pregnant woman is seeing, hearing and doing. This means to him, that even small children who appear to have psychic experiences are drawing on their unconscious recording in the womb.

Even when I definitely didn’t agree with him, I found myself nodding my head during the reading.  He has the ability to draw the reader along with him enough so that he convinces one to at least believe in the possibilities of his conclusion being a correct one. Whether we agree or not with Mr. Gooch’s conclusion, just the examples he explores are extremely interesting reading.

Rather than concentrating on events that have happened in the ancient past, the author brings us examples from our present day. He gives us the results of studies throughout the book. For instance, when writing on the topic of discarnate spirits, he tells us of a study done on “the hallucinations of the bereaved”. 

In the study, 299 surviving spouses, 66 men, 227 women, were asked whether they had “felt the presence of, seen, heard, been spoken to or been touched” by their dead spouse. Almost half, 46.7 percent, said they had.  Another interesting finding was that younger people, those under age 40, were less likely to hallucinate, as the study terms it, than older people, twenty-one percent of the former as opposed to fifty percent of the latter.

Mr. Gooch does state that in the case of discarnate or spirit beings, we should never close the door on the possibility that they may exist independent of ourselves. He devotes a whole chapter to each topic, including presenting several instances where that particular phenomena occurred. He includes many footnotes, a good index and a bibliography at the end of the book.

I found the book a fascinating read, learned a lot, and intend to keep it as a reference book.


~review by Jae Napolitano

Author: Stan Gooch

Inner Traditions, 2007

pp. 261, $16.95