"The universe is made of stories, not of atoms."
—Muriel Rukeyser

Born to Talk Radio with Marsha Wietecha Interviews Eric Burns about his new book When the Dead Talked and the Smartest Minds in the World Listened - Part Two!

Thank you Eric Burns for joining me for Part 2 of our interrupted conversation from last month on the Born To Talk Radio Show Podcast!

Eric Burns

When the Dead Talked…and the Smartest Minds in the World Listened.

Here is a synopsis of Eric Burns book:

In the late 19th century, an estimated 11 million Americans believed in something called Spiritualism. They believed in it so ardently that it came to be thought of as a religion, and it became the seventh most popular religion in the United States. Its fundamental tenet—virtually its only tenet—was that it was possible for the living to communicate with the dead.

America’s philosopher King William James believed in it. Thomas Edison believed. Mark Twain believed. Countless number of scholars and scientists—although always a minority—also believed. Or, at the least, they believed that the belief should be tested, not scoffed at; that it might deserve to be part of university curricula, not the raw material of derisive humor.

The same was true across the Atlantic, where Spiritualism attracted Marie Curie, Queen Victoria, two British Prime Ministers, Pope Pius IX and Russia’s Czar Alexander II, among numerous others. Hundreds of the smartest minds in the world—geniuses all—formed societies in New York and London to investigate the notion of conversation with the deceased.

They conducted scores of experiments under the most rigid, secure and sometimes even punishing of conditions, and some of what they discovered startled them. As When the Dead Talked . . . and the Smartest Minds in the World Listened, attests, it is still startling today.

Eric’s Takeaways.

“It is possible that we use the word “reality” incorrectly.  We use it as a singular.  But it might be a plural: “realities.  This is the conclusion at which some of “the smartest minds in the world” arrived after their meticulous studies of the possibility of an afterlife.”

“The reason I love what I do; i.e., write social history, is that the research it requires enables me to continue to educate myself at the same time that I try to transmit what I have learned to the reader in an artistic manner, one that stimulates, and satisfies, the reader’s own quest for knowledge.”

“Perhaps more than anything else, I hope that what readers take away from When the Dead Talked. . .and the Smartest Minds in the World Listened is a greater open-mindedness than they previously possessed, a greater willingness to consider possibilities that they previously thought of as impossible.”

In Closing.

I feel very fortunate to have exceptional guests, like Eric join me each week.  I must also give a shout out to Devon Blaine, President and CEO of the Blaine Group. Devon has been an important part of my success.  She sends many of her clients my way, this includes Eric. I’m grateful for this connection to Devon and getting to know Eric. He is a prime example of how our relationship works!

Conversations + Connections = Community

Making the world a better place.  One Story at a time. 

What’s Your Story? I want to share it!



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