How do trances, visions, prayer, satori, and other mystical experiences “work”? What induces and defines them? Is there a scientific explanation for religious mysteries and transcendent meditation? John Horgan investigates a wide range of fields—chemistry, neuroscience, psychology, anthropology, theology, and more—to narrow the gap between reason and mystical phenomena. As both a seeker and an award-winning journalist, Horgan consulted a wide range of experts, including theologian Huston Smith, spiritual heir to Joseph Campbell; Andrew Newberg, the scientist whose quest for the “God module” was the focus of a Newsweek cover story; Ken Wilber, prominent transpersonal psychologist; Alexander Shulgin, legendary psychedelic drug chemist; and Susan Blackmore, Oxford-educated psychologist, parapsychology debunker, and Zen practitioner. Horgan explores the striking similarities between “mystical technologies” like sensory deprivation, prayer, fasting, trance, dancing, meditation, and drug trips. He participates in experiments that seek the neurological underpinnings of mystical experiences. And, finally, he recounts his own search for enlightenment—adventurous, poignant, and sometimes surprisingly comic. Horgan’s conclusions resonate with the controversial climax of The End of Science, because, as he argues, the most enlightened mystics and the most enlightened scientists end up in the same place—confronting the imponderable depth of the universe.
Angels do not form a separate universe — they are an integral part of our own world sent forth for the sake of our salvation. They are pure spirits who communicate to us God’s grace, His goodness, and His truth.
In these pages, Fr. Horgan unveils the surprising role of the angels in our lives — and what you must do to gain their help. You’ll learn how to imitate the angels in prayer and how they offer you the enlightenment and the encouragement God so desperately wants to give you. By praying with the angels, you will be strengthened for what lies ahead, better able to discern and do the Lord’s will in all your actions. You’ll also learn:
But longtime Scientific American writer John Horgan disagrees. Applying the scientific method to war leads Horgan to a radical conclusion: biologically speaking, we are just as likely to be peaceful as violent. War is not preordained, and furthermore, it should be thought of as a solvable, scientific problem—like curing cancer. But war and cancer differ in at least one crucial way: whereas cancer is a stubborn aspect of nature, war is our creation. It’s our choice whether to unmake it or not.
In this compact, methodical treatise, Horgan examines dozens of examples and counterexamples—discussing chimpanzees and bonobos, warring and peaceful indigenous people, the World War I and Vietnam, Margaret Mead and General Sherman—as he finds his way to war’s complicated origins. Horgan argues for a far-reaching paradigm shift with profound implications for policy students, ethicists, military men and women, teachers, philosophers, or really, any engaged citizen.
Beginning in a country ravaged by civil war, it traces the complexities of wartime censorship and details the history of media technology, from the development of radio to the inauguration of television in the 1950s and 1960s. It covers the birth, development and - sometimes - the death of major Irish media during this period, examining the reasons for failure and success, and government attempts to regulate and respond to change. Finally, it addresses questions of media globalisation, ownership and control, and looks at issues of key significance for the future.
Horgan demonstrates why, in a country whose political divisions and economic development have given it a place on the world stage out of all proportion to its size, the media have been and remain key players in Irish history.
Alongside its world-famous tradition of great fiction, Ireland has a less well known but thrilling tradition of reportage: journalism, dispatches and eyewitness accounts. From Elizabeth Bowen to Colm Toibin, from Flann O'Brien to Maeve Binchy, some of Ireland's greatest writers have produced first-rate journalism. And from R.M. Smyllie and Conor Cruise O'Brien to Eamon Dunphy and Olivia O'Leary, Ireland has also produced a remarkable number of journalists who can really write.
Now, for the first time, the best of Irish reportage - some of it legendary, some of it unjustly forgotten - is gathered into a single volume. Whether it's Kate O'Brien on the reinterment of W.B. Yeats or Emily O'Reilly on the election to Westminster of Gerry Adams, whether it's Hubert Butler on the Fetherd-on-Sea boycott or Joseph O'Connor at the 1994 World Cup, the pieces in Great Irish Reportage illuminate Irish life in a way that no other form of writing can.
'There is so much to admire and digest between the covers ... All of them put you right there, right on the frontline, right in the moment' RTE Guide
'You'll learn much about this great little nation of ours, and what makes it tick, from this incredibly well chosen collection' Hot Press
'There are superb examples of reportage here that combine hard fact and descriptive narrative' Irish Times
'Excellent ... In such time, the need for brave individuals to believe in the power of the words they write is essential. Despite changes in the media landscape in recent years ... it appears as if that hunger from journalists, to question, inspire, and hold those who we democratically elect to accountability, is as strong as ever' Sunday Independent
'Probably unbeatable for showing how Ireland has changed ... The editor has done a remarkable job' Irish Catholic
There are few facets of Irish life which do not owe something to the genius, effectiveness or determination of Lemass. Horgan’s biography explores that contribution quite brilliantly.
Bertie Ahern, The Irish Times
As a boy Seán Lemass fought in the 1916 rising. He was a member of de Valera’s first cabinet, Minister for Industry and Commerce in every Fianna Fáil government between 1932 and 1959, and as Taoiseach from 1959 to 1966 was the pivotal figure in the modernisation of Ireland.
The Lemass that emerges from this fine book is an enigma and a passionate patriot; a protectionist who later became an apostle of free trade; a moderniser in what was often a party of traditionalists.
John Horgan’s excellent biography is the work of a critical admirer who sees his subject as one of the most outstanding Irish political figures of the century. The only biographer to have had complete access to all the government papers for the full period of Lemass’s political career, Horgan provides us with a rounded, sympathetic yet critical examination of the life of one of twentieth-century Ireland’s most distinguished figures.
… a comprehensive and thoughtful work worthy of the subject, [it] lives up to its billing as a major biography of the Fianna Fáil leader.
Stephen Collins, The Sunday Tribune
Seán Lemass was not only one of the most formidable, but, for all his apparently bluff straightforwardness, one of the most elusive personalities in the history of twentieth-century Ireland. John Horgan’s study, skilfully crafted and elegantly expressed, is a major biography of a major figure, greatly enhancing our understanding of the making of modern Ireland.
J.J. Lee, author of The Modernisation of Irish Society, 1848–19