by Barbara Mango and Lynn Miller
Today I'm reviewing Convergence: The Interconnection of Extraordinary Experiences by Barbara Mango and Lynn Miller.
I'm Facebook friends with both of the authors, but I've known Lynn Miller for many years. In fact, Lynn asked me to contribute my personal reflections to the book, which I did. It appears on page 213.
As the subtitle implies, this book is all about the interconnectedness of non-ordinary experiences. In my second book, Lessons out of the Body, I wrote a chapter about how "alien abduction experiences" are very similar to out-of-body experiences (OBEs). In fact, except for a few features, they're almost indistinguishable from one another. Convergence takes this concept a step forward: it clearly demonstrates a common connection between out-of-body experiences, near-death experiences, "Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) related contact", and past-life recall (PLR) experiences (both spontaneous and obtained via past-life regression.)
This is a very "academic" book. In other words, it reads like a guide to not only experiencers, but clinicians, physicians, psychologists, psychiatrists and mental health professionals. As such, it has tons and tons of references to back up the authors' claims. There's no outlandish claims, just evidence from numerous sources. In fact, the book's references section consumes 53 pages, which is bigger than some OBE books I've read! It makes the book a little "dry" but still very fascinating and insightful.
For example, in chapter 2 the authors describe a personality type, the Anamalously Sensitive Person (ASP) who tends to score higher on the HISS (Holistic Inventory of Stimulus Sensitivities) questionnaire. According to David Ritchey:
"Additionally, they demonstrate an inclination to be creative, curious, insightful, incorruptible, iconoclastic, non-conforming, and anti-authoritarian." (pg. 28)
Doesn't that just describe me to a Tee?
What I loved most about this book is that it gives lots of narratives, not only of OBEs and NDEs, but also UAP (alien abductions) and PLR (past-life recall). And it's not just random "patients" but also the authors, who are themselves experiencers.
Although I've known Lynn Miller for many years, she's a very private person and has never shared her many OBEs with me. It was awesome and refreshing to see this side of her.
Convergence is not written for people who wish to have OBEs, alien abductions and such. There are no induction techniques. It's written for the intellectually curious, the science-oriented, therapists, and other professionals who work with people who've had these experiences. For experiencers it offers a consistent message of "You're definitely not crazy and you're not in this alone." Or to quote Miller:
"The more I accept my inter-dimensional nature, the more I feel alienated from humanity. The most valuable thing I've realized is knowing that I am not alone in this--knowing that there are [other] people like me. I go to work and hide who I truly am, but it's all good, knowing that I have my own "tribe" of like-minded people who share and listen. Let your weird light shine bright so the other weirdos know where to find you." (pg. 42)
The authors put all the cards on the table: all the judgment, ridicule, and misdiagnosis we "experiencers" endure, from professionals, as well as our own friends and families. It also brings up some fascinating scientific insights, such as this:
"A recent study conducted by Lopez and Elziere, entitled "Out-of-Body Experience in Vestibular Disorders - A prospective study of 210 patients with dizziness," was published in the journal Cortex. It proposed that individuals suffering from vestibular disorders have a "significantly higher occurrence" of OBEs than the general public." (pg. 74)
As far as the "interconnectedness" of the experiences, each chapter addresses symptoms or features that link these non-ordinary experiences. For example, chapter 6 is all about spontaneous healing, and it demonstrates cases in which spontaneous healing has occurred in all of them: NDEs, OBEs, UAP and PLR. This is fascinating stuff!
It also talks about the life-altering effects of these experiences, changes of personality, and so forth. For example, I found this really interesting statistic about relationships:
[After having these experiences] "Separation becomes common-place. Approximately 75% of NDEers divorce within seven to ten years." (pg. 184)
I guess it's a good thing I married my wife Kathy long after my OBEs started, so she knew what she was getting into!
And I absolutely loved this analogy:
"When you're higher in frequency, you're higher in consciousness, your perception is heightened, and you see things more clearly the higher you go. Just as when you ascend in an airplane, you see a larger picture the higher you climb, and the brighter it becomes as you break through the clouds." (pg. 204-205, quoted from Reverend Edwige Bingue)
The book is professionally written. I only found one mistake in the whole book, which is very rare. Weighing in at 323 pages, with good size and margins, there's plenty of content to satisfy. There are no OBE tips or techniques in the book, but good narratives, not only of OBEs but the other subjects as well. I was never bored. I'm giving it 4 stars out of 5.
13 April 2021
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