Joined: Jan. 2006
Denyse has published a review of her own book on Amazon - and it gets five stars!
| 9 of 18 people found the following review helpful: |
Magnificent book, September 13, 2007
By Denyse O'Leary - See all my reviews
[Note from co-author Denyse O'Leary - I did not write this review. I am posting it for a person whose initials are R.W., who has asked me to do so.]
It is a magnificent book. And it is written with the kind of confidence and intellectual assuredness that can only come from contact with reality. I think you and Mario Beauregard have won the argument with the materialists--and they are going to hate you for this.
Paradigmatically, then, I am convinced that the nonmaterialist standpoint adopted by Mario Beauregard is the correct one for interpreting spiritual experience--not to say the ontology of the mind.
I have a very personal response to this book, because it addresses an issue which has always been at the centre of my life since I was in my early twenties: the possibility of religion as having an objective existence.
For myself, I view `spiritual experiences' with some skepticism--not because they aren't `true': it is obvious something profound is happening to the person who has the kind of experience that Mario Beauregard himself describes at the end of the book. But the question is: if there is a personal God, to what extent is this Creator of the universe intricately and specifically involved in the causality of such an experience? And what source of intelligence and energy (other than God) could explain mystical experience?
Certainly any experience that can be induced by drugs (such as LSD) cannot mimic the authenticity of the true religious experience, and therefore I dismiss the validity of religious experiences that do not, on the face of it, provide strong evidence of a personally intervening intelligence that addresses the unique individuality of that person.
For instance, I think a very different thing is going on in the case of a Catholic saint versus the Dalai Lama; spiritual experiences (their veridicality) can only be decided on the basis of the evidence that the Creator himself has personally and intentionally acted on the consciousness of the individual. Therefore the spirituality of the Dalai Lama is not the spirituality of St Ignatius of Loyola.
I can only say that there is a vast difference between someone who has had the experience of "the ground of all being" and "the Absolute", and someone who is a saint. God has a reason for giving someone an experience of transcendence, and it has everything to do with that person's relationship to God--and thus, their ultimate destiny in relationship to their Creator.
But no doubt I am already making myself irrelevant to the argument because of my prejudice. This might just be the hottest book out there--I mean in terms of how successfully it challenges materialist neuroscience and the kind of impact it will make on any fair-minded reader.
Some of the commenters don't appreciate her self-posting of favorable reviews.