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|Blinded by Science - Page 2|
Forewords by eminent figures like psychologist Carol Gilligan and physicist Freeman Dyson alert the reader that Mayer isn't just an ordinary person taken in by paranormal phenomenon. She investigates the world of "extraordinary knowing," fully aware (as is Dyson) that she's exploring a subject that inspires much fraud and many outrageous claims.
Soon after Mayer regained the harp, she began to ask questions of respected scientists, doctors, and academics: "Tell me, have you ever had experiences like mine?" And a surprising number confessed that they had. But they'd learned to remain quiet about these peculiar events--they didn't want to be taken as kooks. At the same time, nobody Mayer spoke with had an adequate theory to explain them.
For instance, Mayer met Patrick Casement, a distinguished British psychoanalyst, who told her of a story about an experience back in the early 1950s, when he was a teenager and was staying with his father's mother for the Easter holidays. She told him she had "only real regret in her life": during the war, when people moved constantly, she'd lost touch with her dearest friend, and, since then, had been unable to track her down.
That week, Casement was walking the four miles from his grandmother's house to church for Easter services. Twenty minutes into the walk, he discovered his right arm had thumbed down a passing car, as if by reflex, even though he'd had no intention of hitchhiking. When the car stopped, he felt he had to accept the lift.