Explorers of the Infinite: The Secret Spiritual Lives of Extreme Athletes--and what They Reveal about Near-death Experiences, Psychic Communication, and Touching the Beyond

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Penguin, 2008 - Body, Mind & Spirit - 288 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


Part One
Spiritual Addiction
Part Two
Only Connect
Part Three
Remembering the Future
Strange Intuitions
Spirit Friends
Wandering Spirits
Part Four
Spiritual Tools
Beyond Extremes

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About the author (2008)

Maria Coffey is an outdoors journalist whose first book, Where the Mountain Casts Its Shadow, was serialized in Outside magazine and awarded the prestigious Jon Whyte Award for Mountain Literature. A native of England, she and her husband run an adventure sea- kayaking business.

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