3 out of 4 stars
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Do you believe in shamans, witches, and faith healers? Have you had a tarot card reader tell your fortune? Have you tried summoning spirits during a camp night using a makeshift Ouija board? Do you have the third eye, the ability to see spirits? Are you a fan of Ghost where Molly (Demi Moore) kisses her dead lover (Sam by Patrick Swayze) through a psychic (Oda Mae by Whoopi Goldberg)? If you answered "yes" to any of those questions, then I invite you to read this book.
Dr. Christopher Joseph is a physician. However, his medical training does not preclude him from believing in the power of spirits working through people (whom I will call "shamans" for simplicity) with the gift of communicating with these spirits. He proposes that these spirits are alien life forms that have been with us since ancient times. He mentions that NASA spends billions seeking life elsewhere, but the world may reap benefits sooner by studying these spirits and their chosen shamans.
In The World Hidden, Dr. Joseph presents 24 accounts from shamans and those who have been helped by these shamans and their spirit benefactors. These accounts are not the stuff of fairy tales (like Snow White’s witch stepmother), fantasy books (such as the wizard and ghost comrades of Harry Potter), or even the deities of mythology. Folks, these stories are for real, and several of the accounts are attested by at least two independent witnesses.
I need no convincing to believe the stories in the book. My country also has its shamans who perform extraordinary feats of healing, protection, and clairvoyance. The 24 storytellers give the accounts in first-person narratives that all make fascinating reading. I have no reason to think any of the stories are embellished, though many defy earthly explanation. The reader will be amazed at how an egg, a clear glass of water, a coconut, or a red ribbon can be used to perform the shamans’ life-changing rituals. The resource people all come from Cuba or the United States; Dr. Joseph’s wife, Grettel, hails from Cuba, and they live in New Mexico. I only wish that other continents could have been represented, too. I also think the accounts should be dated to give the reader a time frame with which to associate the stories.
The book opens with a glossary to familiarize the reader with the terms used in the book, mostly from the Santeria religion practiced in Cuba. Armed with this knowledge, the reader is not lost in the subsequent pages.
Dr. Joseph included many of the learnings he gained from reading available records about shamans. This additional input bolstered his points, and I found myself agreeing with his conclusions. The book’s organization, however, may need some fine-tuning. Presently, many of the discussions are repeated in the various sections. Streamlining will cut unnecessary pages from this 400-page book.
Another area that seems to have been neglected by the author is the editing; various errors riddle the pages. Though these are mostly minor and do not hamper the reader’s appreciation of the contents, weeding them out will make this volume even more stunning. People who are deeply religious and hard-core scientists may frown on the material, though.
I give the book 3 out of 4 stars. I look forward to the day when science, medicine, and technology will know more about shamans and the spirits behind them, the aliens among us.
The World Hidden
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