Eccentric Musings (jakaEM)

"I have undergone sharp discipline which has taught me wisdom; and then, I have read more than you would fancy." Emily Brontë


still figuring this place out - Jen W

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Currently reading

Friend of My Youth
Alice Munro
Progress: 115/288 pages
Survival: A Thematic Guide to Canadian Literature
Margaret Atwood
The Third Man Factor: The Secret to Survival in Extreme Environments - John Geiger There is no publisher's description up for this book, and it's out just today. I heard an interview this a.m. on cbc with the author. It sounds fascinating. Check out these comments from the author's website:

"John Geiger's book, his fifth ... offers an original theory for the evolutionary importance of 'Shackleton's angel.' Geiger is well positioned to tackle the historical and scientific background of these close encounters of the wild kind...Packed with edge-of-your-seat stories of survival and offer[ing:] compelling looks into the transformative psychology of extreme experiences." - Canadian Geographic

"With an irresistible blend of harrowing anecdotes and hard science, John Geiger unravels the mystery of how the mind copes under extreme duress and in the process sheds fresh light on what it is to be human. A compelling, moving read." - Carl Honoré (Author of In Pursuit of Slow and Under Pressure)

Currency trader Ron DiFrancesco in the World Trade Center, climber James Sevigny in the Canadian Rockies, and diver Stephanie Schwabe in the Mermaid's Lair of Grand Bahama, all shared an experience that an unseen being -- known as the Third Man -- helped them to survive against apparently insurmountable odds. So did Sir Ernest Shackleton and Charles Lindbergh. The Third Man Factor is an extraordinary account of how people at the very edge of death, often adventurers or explorers, experience a sense of an incorporeal being beside them who encourages them to make one final effort to survive. Although some extreme adventurers know about the experience - John Geiger's The Third Man Factor is the first book devoted to this virtually unexplored phenomenon.

If only a handful of people had ever experienced the Third Man, it might be dismissed as an unusual delusion shared by a few overstressed minds. But the amazing thing is this: over the years, the experience has occurred again and again, to 9/11 survivors, mountaineers, divers, polar explorers, prisoners of war, solo sailors, aviators and astronauts. All have escaped traumatic events only to tell strikingly similar stories of having experienced the close presence of a helper or guardian. The mysterious force has been explained as everything from hallucination to divine intervention. Recent neurological research suggests something else. The Third Man Factor combines history, scientific analysis and great adventure stories to explain this secret to survival, a Third Man who — in the words of legendary Italian climber Reinhold Messner — "leads you out of the impossible."