Good evening ladies and gentlemen! Today I’m going to be reviewing something that’s been on my reading list for quite some time now and has become an instant favorite of mine – Daimonic Reality: A Field Guide to the Otherworld, by Patrick Harpur.
I knew I was going to like this book – what I didn’t know is how very much I would love it.
First and foremost, Daimonic Reality treats the vast scope of the unexplained with a respect and solemnity which is sadly lacking from our current worldview and tackles some of the reasons why such a core part of the human experience has consistently been marginalized to ‘the fringe’. Not only is this book paradigm-shifting for its view on the paranormal, but like every great book on unexplained anomalies, the ramifications of these ideas for ‘normal’ reality are truly astounding.
One of the trickiest aspects of paranormal phenomena has got to be the highly symbolic nature of many occurrences, almost like they are events staged exclusively for the witness. Daimonic Reality is a full discussion on these very aspects, which have been ignored or downplayed by conventional dogma, and also provides much-needed ties to related fields such as mythology and Jungian psychology. When a problem becomes specialized, its answers become specialized, and sadly that is often the case with the paranormal. Dogma builds upon dogma, until we begin to explain the unexplained with the unexplained. In Daimonic Reality, it’s not so much a focus on finding concrete answers to the many questions posed by the unexplained but recognizing the patterns between the many manifestations and other aspects of life – folklore, tradition, the human mind.
While this book is truly elegant in how it deals with theories and concepts, it is equally so in the experiences and anecdotes it relates. The balance between theory and accounts is perfect, and the accounts detailed encapsulate a vast array of paranormal phenomena spanning a great amount of time and numerous belief systems.
Also, while this book is of immense worth to the field because of the catalogue of occurrences and the amazing ideas it presents, it’s also an incredibly moving read.
Even within the paranormal field, it's easy to make a sharp distinction between 'normal' and 'paranormal'. Not only does Daimonic Reality obliterate this line, but shows the interconnectedness, not simply between apparently different paranormal fields, but between the phenomena and ourselves.