January 10th, 2024
Superstitious Times
Review: "The Borders of Normal Dusts Stigma off the Paranormal"
by Brian Baker

April 7th, 2021
OnlineBookClub.org review of "The Borders of Normal" by Nonso Samuelson
**** 4 out of 4 stars. "A fascinating book."
"For a subject matter as vast and controversial as this, being able to put forward a logical and credible analysis with clarity and brevity is no mean feat. I couldn't help smiling as I read along."

July 25th, 2021
New Review from the Book Excellence Awards
"raises thought-provoking questions"
"does a phenomenal job of removing negative associations from paranormal occurrences"

In "The Borders of Normal", clinical psychiatrist Dr. Manuel Matas challenges readers to step outside their usual realm of belief and begin normalizing the occurrences of paranormal phenomena. This book seeks to abolish the general conception of dismissing occurrences that are deemed strange or impossible as unreal simply because they fail to fit in the dimensions of human comprehension. It distinguishes unexplainable situations from actual psychological disorders and provides explanations for different paranormal experiences. Dr. Matas starts by relating his own experiences to the existence of the paranormal, helping readers connect with him on a more personal level and easing them into complex subject matter related to spirituality and psychology. The immense effort and research poured into this book is evident from the inclusion of multiple studies and references from prominent academics who have experienced logic-defying phenomena themselves including Aldous Huxley and Albert Einstein. Dr. Matas also raises several thought-provoking questions that will have readers in deep contemplation and completely re-assessing their thought and beliefs. For example, “If the mind can exist outside the body, where exactly does the mind reside?” Overall, The Borders of Normal does a phenomenal job of removing negative associations from paranormal occurrences and explaining the unexplainable using concrete facts.

Many thanks to BookViral Reviews for the glowing review of The Borders of Normal, which they called:
"A well-presented and highly thought-provoking read that will challenge the most skeptical amongst us."
"well presented and highly thought-provoking"
"will challenge the most skeptical amongst us"
Read the Full Review Here

Review of "The Borders of Normal" by Gary Ratson, MD
Who else but a psychiatrist with lifelong premonitions and visions has the credibility and the understanding to normalize the so-called paranormal experience? Bringing a scientific objectivity to subjective curiosities, Dr Matas accomplishes his goal to destigmatize and reassure readers—you are hardly alone. Side by side historical accounts of philosopher mystics is the decades of research into the variety of psychic phenomena at prestigious medical institutions for those inclined to pursue. Interwoven are the good doctor’s personal synchronicities that play out over years to endear the reader. Even more entertaining are the celebrity anecdotes showing the influence of lucid dreams and telepathy on popular culture. The author himself becomes part of the movies, songs, and books as they reveal answers to his own bewildering insights that read like a screenplay. The reader is blessed with a front row seat to the author’s unique sensitivities that no doubt provided comfort to patients. His biology/psychology background brings context and coherence to a fascinating range of what can be disturbing metaphysical trauma. Dabbling in psychedelics for healing or personal growth; traumatic and spontaneous near-death and out-of-body experience; extreme spiritual practice and organic brain disease can all trigger hallucinations that are misunderstood. Matas’ integral approach to body, mind, emotion, and spirit respects the full human experience. This theme of balance permeates the pages to honor the partial truths in the age-old mind body debates, rationalism versus idealism, and harsh skeptics against all-in believers always careful to avoid glamorizing or sensationalizing. In spite of his own intimate knowledge—the intellect alone cannot solve the riddle of mind—the author trusts the reader to make up his own mind in her own time. The historic frequency of verified psychic phenomena compel the reader to consider the commonality of various anomalies no matter the trigger. What appears supernatural may well be our natural inheritance. Mysterious insights infer collective information fields that bleed through into mundane life when conditions are favorable. Deliberate steps toward unity consciousness as taught by the masters may be the ultimate assurance of sanity, but for losing your mind to find the Mind. Until then, this book will guide reader to confidently embrace and navigate the way home.

November 11th, 2020
Bill Arnott's review for The Miramichi Reader
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.
Manny Matas is a friend of mine. So when I re-read The Borders of Normal not simply for pleasure and interest but as a reviewer, I felt an obligation to do so with an intensely critical eye. I refuse to write a flattering fluff piece for a pal. But the more I read (and re-read) Doctor Matas’ work, the more I find myself unable to criticize this psychiatrist’s treatise. This is in exceptionally well researched book, approached with the meticulous care of expertise—each story shared, each fact, each speculation and leap of metaphysical faith approached with the precision of a surgeon’s scalpel—each cut designed not only to open or explore, but engage, enlighten, and ultimately heal.
The Borders of Normal deals with the field of study known as meta-psychiatry (literally: “beyond psychiatry”). Meta-psychiatry represents the confluence of psychiatry with spirituality and metaphysics, which is the philosophy of being and knowing.
Perhaps somewhere on that alternate, parallel or tangential plane, Manny and I first met, or encountered. Our initial in-person introduction felt remarkably comfortable. Familiar even. It could be the result of his hailing from Winnipeg—my dad’s hometown—a place of personal kinship. Or it could be that as a layperson intrigued by the field of metaphysics and quantum mechanics I’ve pored through no less than a hundred titles on the subject over the years. In many ways we view the world in a similar manner, open to an awareness of more, occasionally being witness to it and more often than not being open to every experience, irrespective of, at times, the difficulty to fully comprehend it.
With an ease of communication I associate with a truly talented psychiatrist, Doctor Matas guides us through breadths of meta psychiatry, combined with personal experience and in-depth research. This is the most engaging, personal research document I’ve encountered. The book reads easily and feels like a conversation in a relaxed setting, in fact how our first proper visit took place, seated on a sofa, in a chalet-style hotel by a warm, inviting fire.
Until recently, I kept my personal experiences mostly to myself; however, after surviving a life-threatening illness, leukemia; after a successful stem cell transplant from an anonymous donor; and after seeing the angels at my father’s funeral, I decided to go public and share my experiences, in order to fight the stigma surrounding paranormal phenomena that is so prevalent in our society. I wanted people to know that it’s okay to have these experiences and it’s okay to talk about them. It’s perfectly normal. There is no reason to feel embarrassed or ashamed. Nor is there any reason to feel proud or special. All in all, it’s simply part of life.
This book left me, as I suspect it will for most readers, with a calm and reassuring sense of optimism. Questions remain unanswered, as they should. Some things, after all, we ought to feel and even know without quantifiable proof. I can’t, after all, definitively prove gravity. And yet we know it to be true. In his epilogue, Matas shares even more, as we learn of his leukemia diagnosis, effectively a slow but inevitable death-sentence, which results in quite the opposite. I had spent decades looking for something and did not find it until I stopped looking.
Thank you Manny, for sharing your story, and for providing us with a depth of understanding in a field that can be challenging to navigate with topics that remain difficult to share for many. And yet these are the things we should speak of openly. I like to believe The Borders of Normal will give more of us the courage to do so.

September 10th, 2020
5 stars
"Very detailed. I’ve read several books regarding the paranormal phenomenon and this book by far is the most detailed. The author includes facts, statistics, and examples supporting his theories. I got a lot out of this book on so many levels." Annie G.

June 20th, 2020
The Prairies Book Review
Many thanks to The Prairies Book Review for the great review of The Borders of Normal, which they call "persuasive", "inspiring", and "must-read, offers brilliant insights into the existence of paranormal and the probabilities that exist beyond the known borders of consciousness."

September 5th, 2018
Enlighten Up! with The Aquarian
Great News!! My book, The Borders of Normal, received a glowing, full-page review in the alternative newspaper Enlighten Up! with The Aquarian.
Here are some quotes from the review:
"Matas raises profound questions. If we conclude paranormal experiences are real, then what is reality?"
"I learned a lot from reading this book."
"This book will appeal to anyone with an open mind."
"For those used to reading pseudoscience or self-help books with their pat answers, this book can seem like opening Pandora's Box. Once you've read it, you'll never be able to see the world or yourself the same way."
"This book delivers a message of hope."
Many thanks, Nancy, for your kind words.
To read the full review, go to www.aquarianonline.com
click on Aquarian in Print, then Current & Past Issues, then 2018 Fall, then scroll down to Books, page 14.

August 15th, 2017
Kirkus Review
A psychiatrist uses his personal experiences and stories from many different times and cultures in an attempt to redefine the public perception of psychic phenomena. In this debut treatise on unexplainable events, Matas starts with an account of his own brushes with death and how they affected his worldview. His goal is to persuade readers that paranormal activity, such as extrasensory perception, prophetic visions, and spirits, is real, and he does so through example. Along the way, he draws from sources from across Western civilization, including Albert Einstein’s well-known description of quantum mechanics as “spooky action at a distance.” The breadth of his references is remarkable.

5 Stars
A beautifully written vastly important book. The intellectual and spiritual are so closely coupled as to form an emergent domain. I found it both inspiring and fascinating. It is a radical and unconventional work for these times. Andrea M.

5 Stars "I highly recommend this book. For the spiritual seekers, the scientific minds and the open-hearted readers, this book by Dr. Matas is a must read! In this very readable presentation, the dance between the seen and the unseen starts to make sense. I gave several copies as gifts this year and all were much appreciated. I return to my own copy frequently, just to re-read a chapter here and there for pleasure." Thanks Dr. Matas… I hope there is a sequel soon!
Mallory T.

5 stars
Metaphysics Explained I found The Borders of Normal by Manuel Matas to be a comprehensive treatment of mystical experiences such as out-of-body experience, near-death experience, after-death communication, telepathy, premonition, and many more paranormal phenomena. Matas also compares illness- or drug- induced mystical occurrences to the natural ones. He helps us to understand the difference. I picture anyone interested in metaphysics being intrigued by the depth and breadth of coverage given. It’s a good book to read, keep as a reference, and use as a means of understanding.
Anna O.

5 Stars
A wonderful read! Dr. Matas shares his personal experiences and takes you on a journey into the history of the paranormal. You will no doubt relate to some of the stories and perhaps be surprised by how “normal” your experiences are. Dr. Matas also shares contemporary views on hot topics such as consciousness and the use of plant hallucinogens in the treatment of addiction and psychological disorders. You will finish this book wanting more!
Amazon Customer

5 stars
Very interesting!

Explains how normal the Paranormal is in our lives. Lots of information. Also interesting how much has been demonstrated in the past. Why are we so afraid to talk about something that everyone has experienced? The Paranormal is more taboo than sex. Let us change that. #GhostsAreFriendly