These are "Reports from the Newsstand," my comments on the publications in our catalogue at We offer sample copies of our publications, not subscriptions. Each sample copy costs $2.59, well below newsstand cover prices (if the publication is available on your newsstand at all). A $2.00 shipping charge is added to each order. Publishers use to get their publications into the hands of potential subscribers.


Ed Rust, proprietor of, has worked in publishing in a variety of capacities for decades. He started as U.S. circulation director of the Financial Times "way back when they flew the papers into Kennedy Airport from London a day late." He most recently was managing editor of publications at the General Society, Sons of the Revolution.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

SHIFT: At the Frontiers of Consciousness

We've received a new supply of the quarterly Shift: At the Frontiers of Consciousness, published by The Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) in Petaluma, CA. What's it about? That is not a simple question. The magazine states that IONS "explores the frontiers of consciousness to advance individual, social, and global transformation," adding, "our focus includes emerging paradigms, extended human capacities, and integral health and healing." If you like to pigeonhole, I guess that puts IONS and Shift in the New Age box, striving to find new solutions to old and seemingly insoluble problems. Shift issue #7, just received, is largely devoted to dealing with the biggest challenges in human civilization―poverty, ethnic conflict, religious tensions, diminishing resources―using what editor-in-chief Matthew Gilbert calls "social healing," which "goes beyond individual healing to the source of wounding in the collective." A major essay that follows, titled "Social Healing for a Fractured World," argues that traditional approaches have neglected the spiritual dimension of human life. For instance, "traditional diplomacy has generally focused on negotiated settlements that ignore festering resentments and thus do little to heal the underlying social wounds." The authors urge a holistic approach, one that heals individuals (suffering from trauma, shame and violence) and transforms social institutions at the same time. An essay on gender reconciliation claims that gender injustice and disharmony is rife in our own society, "including some of the most conscious organizations and spiritual communities." Further articles deal with race relations, peacemaking efforts between Israelis and Palestinians, and attempts to restore traditional healing customs within fractured American Indian communities. I was particularly intrigued by a report on social parapsychology, the study of collective psychic experiences, perhaps a key to understanding the rise and fall of social organizations, corporations, even civilizations. The author analyzes data from several years of an Internet study of precognition, in which hundreds of thousands of test subjects were asked to describe elements of a picture before it flashed on their computer screens. On the morning of September 9, 2001, a test subject wrote the following three "pre-descriptions" in a row:

airliner (seen from left-rear) against stormy cloud backdrop, flashes of streaky clouds, ovoids, two persons.
firstly a dragonfly? then a log [or] branch suggestive of Everglades, then a fast dynamic scene of falling between two tall buildings, past checkered patterns of windows.
first tall structure like an industrial chimney, then flashes of rounded crenulated form—peacock-like headdress of American Indian woman? then surface like volcanic ash plume or cauliflower.

But the author, IONS senior researcher Dr. Dean Radin, forms a very different conclusion than you might expect after he analyzes the mass of test responses just prior to the September 11 attacks: he finds test subjects in that short period used the fewest "terrorism" descriptions in the entire three years of answers in the database. His hypothesis: people deep in their unconscious knew trouble was brewing, and repressed those thoughts. Shift, published quarterly, is available on a few select newsstands and is sent to IONS members (basic membership is $55.00 a year); you can get a sample copy from us for $2.59.


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