There’s a certain calling — an instinct — that most in the paranormal community experience.
From J.B. Rhine to Maurice Gross to Eileen Garrett, they’ve all experienced a calling, according to Edmonton-based paranormal researcher Morgan Knudsen. And she hopes to capture their experiences in her second book The Gift of Instinct: Paranormal Lessons for an Extraordinary World.
“No matter who you talk to in the parapsychology field, every single person describes the same thing, myself included, there’s this call,” she said, during a May phone conversation. “You want to put everything on hold so that you can pursue this.”
All the eminent parapsychologists and mediums featured in her book experienced that pull. Botany professor J.B. Rhine quit his job at Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research to pursue psychology at Harvard. He subsequently moved to Duke University to start parapsychology as a branch of abnormal psychology.
“He’s one of the greatest giants in parapsychology even today. We all know the Rhine Institute,” Knudsen said. “The Gift of Instinct is really about exploring that calling; what it is and what it is for each person.”
The calling, from what was described to Knudsen during her research, was people discovering that there was something more than just “a meat suit walking around.”
“It’s a study of consciousness and understanding who we are,” she added.
Knudsen started work on The Gift of Instinct in December, diving deeper into the backgrounds of a prominent parapsychologist, and wrapped up her work in February. She worked again with publisher Beyond the Fray, who published the second edition of Teaching the Living: From Heartbreak to Happiness in a Haunted Home.
Each chapter will focus on a root truth that Knudsen has learned in life, and connect those lessons to the experiences of other parapsychology researchers.
“So many of these individuals have got these stories that you’d swear were right out of a film,” she said, adding Eileen Garrett was a wayward child that was sent to boarding school, sent to France, fled the Nazis and started the Parapsychology Foundation in New York.
Members of her family make an appearance in the book, including her pet snake, Galen. He’s the cover model, he’s a silent nod to how snakes are a symbol of instinct, healing and connection.
“Throughout history, they have been that source of connection, and (Galen) serves as such a brilliant of that love and connection that the universe seems to embody,” she said. “He was such a good little guy for the photoshoot.”
The Gift of Instinct, with forward by Chad Lewis, will be available for purchase through Amazon and Beyond the Fray Publishing in May 2022.