Dark Intrusions: An Investigation Into the Paranormal Nature of Sleep Paralysis Experiences (英語) ペーパーバック – 2009/11/4
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Since his late teens, Louis Proud has suffered from chronic sleep paralysis and has undergone hundreds of such episodes, many of them terrifying but ultimately transformational and eye-opening. These experiences, he believes, allow access to the "spirit realm" and could well hold the key to a whole host of paranormal phenomena, including poltergeist disturbances, out-of-body-experiences, mediumship, spirit possession, and succubi and incubi encounters. Drawing on the work of Colin Wilson, Joe Fisher, Stan Gooch, Whitley Strieber, Robert Monroe, Dion Fortune, and a number of other paranormal experts, Proud lucidly demonstrates that many sleep paralysis experiences involve genuine contact and communication with incorporeal entities, some of them parasitic and potentially dangerous. In this comprehensive, open-minded exploration of the sleep paralysis phenomenon, filled with fascinating descriptions of his own experiences, as well as those of others, no stone is left unturned as Proud attempts to get to the bottom of the mystery.
These are age-old philosophical questions, and most of the time few people care about them. They are boring. What is reality? and blah blah blah. It is only when the topic relates to occult phenomena and paranormal experiences that these physiological explanations are used to label the objects of perception false, and to totally deny the experiential quality of the event. The problem is, explaining things away doesn't really explain the things themselves most of the time, and we're left feeling ridiculed and forced into silence about gut reactions and intuitions.
Louis Proud's willingness to share his personal experiences with sleep paralysis and his struggle thereafter to understand the phenomenon on his own terms makes for spell-binding reading, but what I found really impressive about his book was not so much his personal sharing as his willingness to then dive headfirst and without apology into careful and serious scholarship on various facets of occult history and tradition.
Most people today are not aware that modern Western culture even HAS an 'occult history' much less one that can be seriously researched, but it does, and sadly, researching this parallel tradition without constant apology can mean the death of a serious academic career. For instance, Julian Jaynes never regained his academic standing after publishing The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, and the situation has not improved much in recent decades, despite inroads made by pioneers in the study of consciousness.
Aristotle and Plato both had valid points of view, but Plato has been locked in the basement of science for about 500 years, and to no good end. It's about time somebody let that guy out. Finally a number of thoughtful researchers are taking anomalous experiences seriously (and taking experience itself seriously) and coming up with a few answers and even more fascinating questions. This, in opposition to science's kneejerk reaction of just throwing what doesn't fit the dominant paradigm into the trash.
This is an awesome book, a quick read, and an absolute 'must have' for anybody who has come face to face with anything that can't be explained. I loved it and hope Mr. Proud writes more, soon.
I have also had numerous episodes of Sleep Paralysis when I was growing up & they were of the horrifying sort where you wake up paralyzed & the shadowy 'presence' tries to smother you out like a candle. These episodes are the most frightening experiences I have ever had. Seeing this book mentioned online-I knew I had to read it-though I have to admit his premise that the cause of S.P. was paranormal wasn't something I wanted to entertain too much. I have spent many years trying to deny & rationally explain away my own S.P. experiences. But any misgivings I might have had about this book were soon smoothed over by Louis Proud's intensely fascinating & intelligently written explorations of S.P. & such diverse phenomenon as poltergeists-U.F.O.s-Whitley Streiber's Visitors & tying these threads together so that new avenues of research are opened & suddenly the 'world' seems to have been exposed as very much similar to H.P. Lovecraft's Weird Tale-"From Beyond" Once I finished I really did look at the 'world' with fresh eyes & it really did bring on the awe of the Boundless Unknown. Though to be honest while reading this I did start to entertain certain paranoid notions that some events in my life were manipulated starting with those S.P. episodes in the childhood-resulting in a devastating rite of passage in my twenties. I am hoping this will remain nothing but a paranoid notion or a plot for a weird tale rather than an alarming truth about our 'reality'.
While Sleep Paralysis can be frightening I have found that certain Spiritual practices have helped me to ward these attacks off. You see initially I hated having S.P. as a child but I do have to say that they did lead me into greater awareness & so does Louis Proud's book. His wide ranging knowledge & well written exciting work is a strong guide in the wild sea of Unexplained Phenomenon. I highly recommend it. It will have you second guessing what you thought you knew about life-the universe & 'reality'.