Rupert Sheldrake is biologist and prolific writer who has an adventuresome career explored vast and wondrous topics that other scientists would not have touched with a ten-foot pole. The first of his books we read was Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home and Other Unexplained Powers of Animals. With a keen appreciation of the connections between human beings and their pets, Sheldrake showed that animals demonstrate three forms of psychic capacity: direction-finding, telepathy, and precognition. In Human Mind/Animals Mind, the author presented more research on the inexplicable behavior of domesticated animals. In The Sense of Being Stared At, Sheldrake made a good case that telepathy and premonition are not paranormal but normal, a part of humans' biological makeup.
Earlier, Sheldrake teamed up with Matthew Fox, an Episcopal priest, for a book titled The Physics of Angels: Exploring the Realm Where Science and Spirit Meet. They concluded that these celestial beings are linked to the processes of human thought, the unfolding of evolution, and the expansion of deep ecumenism.
Demonstrating the same respect for science and religion in this new book, Sheldrake focuses on seven spiritual practices:
- Connecting with Nature
- Relating to Plants
- Singing and Chanting
- Pilgrimages and Holy Places
He points out that all of these practices are open to people of any religious tradition or no tradition, including humanists, agnostics, and atheists. They build community and are practical, helpful, and healing in everyday life. Many scientific studies have confirmed their benefits for physical and mental health.
Sheldrake is especially interested in practices that help people connect with the more-than-human world (see excerpt) that scientists regularly explore and explicate. Each chapter ends with two suggested ways for you to have a direct experience with these practices.