Explorers of the Infinite: The Secret Spiritual Lives of Extreme Athletes-and What They Reveal About Near-D eath Experiences, Psychic Communication, and Touching the Beyond

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Penguin, May 29, 2008 - Sports & Recreation - 304 pages
Real-life psychic, near-death, and paranormal experiences are combined with cutting-edge science and vivid adventure stories in this energetic look at why extreme athletes and mountaineers take the risks that allow them to push the limits of consciousness, and what they encounter there.

In the life-or-death world of extreme adventure sports, there is one thing that athletes often keep quiet about: the “forbidden” territory of paranormal experiences. Ranging from fleeting moments of transcendence to full-blown encounters with ghosts and everything in between—visions, near-death experiences, psychic communication—many extreme athletes have experienced these moments of connection with the beyond, but have been reluctant to talk about them.

In Explorers of the Infinite, award-winning outdoors journalist and lifelong adventure sports devotee Maria Coffey probes the mystical and paranormal experiences of mountaineers, snowboarders, surfers, and more. She reviews cutting-edge science, and consults the history of philosophy and spirituality to answer the question: Could the state of intense “aliveness” that is the allure of extreme sports for so many actually be a route to a connection with the beyond?

Coffey investigates the scientific explanations for mystical phenomena, ranging from simple explanations to theories from consciousness studies and quantum physics, and leaves us wondering where science ends and spirituality begins.

An energetic, you-are-there look at the spiritual lives of extreme athletes, Explorers of the Infinite asks why extreme athletes take the risks that allow them to push the limits of consciousness, what they encounter there, and what we can learn from them.

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The first and last time I jumped out of an airplane, I was 17 years old. It was my mom who nearly died of fright. She had to sign a waiver that listed in gruesome detail all the ways her underage ... Read full review


Chapter 1 Spiritual Addiction
Chapter 3 Focus
Chapter 4 Suffering
Chapter 5 Only Connect
Chapter 6 Remembering the Future
Chapter 8 Spirit Friends
Chapter 9 Wandering Spirits

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About the author (2008)

Maria Coffey is originally from England, and now lives on a small island in British Columbia. She and her husband Dag Goering spend part of each year in Ireland, where Dag practises as a large animal veterinarian. They also work as professional sea-kayaking and trekking guides, leading trips in Vietnam, the Solomon Islands, Ireland and Canada. Coffey is the author of a number of internationally published books, including "A Boat in Our Baggage", "Three Moons in Vietnam", "Sailing Back in Time" and two books for children, "A Cat in a Kayak and A Seal in the Family". Her work has also appeared in numerous newspapers and magazines, including the "New York Times", "Globe and Mail", "The Guardian", "Outdoors Illustrated", "Action Asia" and "Sea Kayaker" Magazine. For more information about Maria, please visit her website at www.hiddenplaces.net

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