I want people to read this more than my own novel. I wonder what would happen if everyone on earth read and absorbed this book. The Amazon graphic makes this especially accurate and amusing:
There are plenty of ideas that people will be skeptical about, but if you come away from this book thinking about reality in the same way as before then, frankly, there’s something wrong with you. I can’t even begin to summarize all the bits of wisdom in this book. Pinchbeck’s first book Breaking Open the Head broke open my head. This book did it again.
The book is a very serious look at ideas that are mainly ridiculed or ignored: UFOs, Global Warming, crop circles, mysticism. These are all issues that have major implications for the future of humanity. UFOs, are you kidding me? The fact that such a critical issue has been banished to the tabloids is evidence alone of humanity’s blindness and fear of new ideas. The "What if" scenario is reason enough for this issue to be explored with seriousness and sobriety and not cast off, as it is by intellectuals, with, "I don’t believe in flying saucers." The "Flying Spaghetti Monster" of the left is a conservative invention. Tossing away important ideas with a laugh. Snark is the enemy of sincerity. Because wishy-washy New Agers have taken over certain mystical ideas, they’ve lost their validity. It’s like saying Christ’s message is B.S. because Pat Robertson is evil. I hear people react to the actions of the religious right by saying, "See, that’s why I’m an atheist," as if one has anything to do with the other. Global Warming is part of the same fabric. People see it as a fantasy, or ignore it outright, instead of facing the obvious.
The book doesn’t propose a new religion. Pinchbeck is not painting himself as a guru, only as a person on a personal exploration. I trust what he has to say. I love Pinchbeck’s point of view because it’s similar to my own--a cynical city boy who had no use for spirituality. Punk rock had taught me nihilism. I come from a family of doctor-headed people where science was the answer to religion. Punk rock also taught me to go against convention. The conventional wisdom today is that science is progress and spirituality is primitive. Also that they’re mutually exclusive. Science has created the capacity to kill along with the capacity to heal. Religion is the same. Both are imperfect systems of thought, or at least they are used incorrectly, an extension of humanity’s imperfections. There has to be another answer. This book tries to uncover that.
Sometimes I wonder why I’m going down this road. So far I’ve written about celebrity, but I think these issues are two sides of the same coin. I’ve written about targeting superficiality and materialism. Fame is killing people’s self-worth: if you’re not famous, you’re nothing. Fame teaches people to worship rather than look within themselves. It’s dangerous and I don’t think I’m taking it too far. Scientific materialism is just an extension of that--that science is the answer to everything. A Theory of Everything can try to come up with the how but it won’t come up with the why. 2012 is like a Theory of Everything Else. I deeply recommend it.
More: an interview with Pinchbeck on the RU Sirius radio show. A lot more to listen to on that site as well.
Here’s my new desktop. A few years back I had been obsessed with all of these ideas in preparation for writing a novel, and then promptly dropped them. I’m very glad to be getting back to it. Click on the picture for a much larger image:
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