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The Borders of Normal cover

Book Details:
  • 252 pages
  • Black & White
  • 6.0 x 9.0 inches
Available Formats:
  • Hardcover
  • Paperback
  • eBook (epub, mobi, pdf)
  • 978-1-5255-0455-6 Hardcover
  • 978-1-5255-0456-3 Paperback
  • 978-1-5255-0457-0 eBook

Paranormal, Parapsychology, Skepticism versus belief, Near Death Experience NDE, Out of Body Experience OBE, Empiricism versus Rationalism, Psychedelics

The Borders of Normal
A Clinical Psychiatrist De-Stigmatizes Paranormal Phenomena by Manuel Matas, M.D.




Most of us have heard stories of these unusual phenomena, as told by millions of people throughout history and across cultures. Or perhaps we have experienced them ourselves, and we are still grappling with their validity in a world of empirical science and psychiatry that deems anything unseen or spiritual as impossible, weird, or even disturbed. The stigma surrounding the paranormal prevents us from exploring the possibility that there are, perhaps, events that occur outside the realm of human comprehension, inoculating us against the lessons and spiritual significance these events might hold. As an experienced psychiatrist, Dr. Manuel Matas is very familiar with the science of the human brain—as well as the possibilities that exist beyond the known borders of consciousness. He has never been a classic rationalist, as he himself has experienced phenomena that defy logic and the explanations of Western medicine. In The Borders of Normal, Dr. Matas reveals just how accepted (and studied) many of these phenomena are, providing a compelling overview of influential thinkers who have, over the years, recognized events and experiences that fall outside the realm of current scientific thought. As a proponent of a nuanced, respectful approach that lies between belief and scepticism, Dr. Matas helps us to view paranormal experiences as normal and indeed endemic to the human species, for it is in this space of the unknown that we may learn more about ourselves, each other, and the bodies and worlds that we inhabit.

Manuel Matas, M.D. photo

Dr. Manuel Matas is a clinical psychiatrist who has forty years of experience working in mental health. He obtained his Medical Degree from the University of Manitoba and his Diploma in Psychiatry from McGill University. He has worked in a variety of settings, including the Scarborough Board of Education, the University of Toronto and the University of Manitoba teaching hospitals, and more recently, in private practice. He has served on the Board and the Scientific Council of the Canadian Psychiatric Association, as well as the Boards of Physicians for Social Responsibility, Psychiatrists Against Psychiatric Abuse, the Manitoba Satir Institute, and the Learning Institute for Growth, Healing, and Transformation.

His accomplishments include many published articles in peer-reviewed journals and presentations at national psychiatric conferences. As he discusses in The Borders of Normal, Matas has had a number of experiences that could be deemed “anomalous” or “paranormal” in popular vernacular; these include near-death and out-of-body-experiences, as well as encounters with message-bearing apparitions. It is his hope that by sharing his knowledge of and experiences in both psychiatry and the world of the unknown, he will help to de-stigmatize paranormal and psychic phenomena, thereby allowing readers to recast their spiritual encounters as cogent and deeply meaningful.


Manuel Matas, M.D.

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