BTRIPP (btripp) wrote,

Metaphysics by committee?

I feel that I need to apologize to whatever readers there are out there for these reviews because I'm getting to this book eight months after having finished reading it. Needless to say, with that sort of delay, my impressions are somewhat vague as to the details. I do recall, however, that I was having a very hard time "getting the right angle" to approach this book. The subject, the chapter headings, the concept all sounded great, but there was never any "payoff", and I was finding it difficult to adequately express that. The triumvirate that penned God and the Evolving Universe: The Next Step in Personal Evolution should have been able to produce a fascinating book. Over time I have developed a grudging respect for James Redfield (of the Celestine books), due to the inclusion of rather high-level Incan Shamanic practices (albeit not presented as such) in his books, and one would think that Michael Murphy (co-founder of the Esalen Institute) would bring a lot to the table ... I don't know anything about Sylvia Timbers, but I suspect she's not the factor dragging this down. My #1 "take away" from this was that they never got anywhere in it.

This was very much like a movie where it's all "backstory", pointing towards the place the tale is supposed to go, but never getting there. It was a very frustrating read as one would launch into a chapter thinking "OK, now we're getting somewhere" and it would just be another "backgrounder" about stuff that may or may not be out there. Towards the end there seemed to be some effort to try to steer the book into something that would at least resemble what was "promised" in its title/subtitle, but it felt like a patch job. In retrospect, this seems like it could very well have been three folks with a lot of "dribs and drabs" they'd written on various New Age subjects pulling together their files and trying to justify a book out of that material.

I had bookmarked some sections to use in this, but they'd be more of a tease than anything, as (while there are some worthwhile subjects raised here) nothing gets beyond the "gee, what if THIS happened?" sort of drivel. To give you a sense, however, of what's in here, let me walk you through the "structure". Part One - Awakening: 1) The Mystery of Our Being, 2) A History of Human Awakening; Part Two - The Emerging Human Being: 3) Our Expanding Perception, 4) The Mystery of Movement, 5) Enhancing Communication, 6) Opening to a Greater Energy, 7) Ecstasy, 8) Love, 9) Transcendent Identity, 10) Transcendent Knowing, 11) A Will Beyond Ego, 12) The Experience of Integration and Synchronistic Flow; Part Three - Participating: 13) Transforming Culture, 14) The Afterlife and Angelic Realms, 15) Luminous Embodiment; Part Four - Practices and Readings: 16) Transformative Practice, 17) A Guide to the Literature of Transformation.

Of course, I have an extremely low tolerance for "fluffy bunny" Newagism, so the vast lot of the ooohing and aaahing involved here over rather flimsy bits of wishful thinking does not draw me in at all. As noted, the main reaction I had to this was that "there was no there there".

This is another case where I'm willing to indulge in a bit of Schadenfreude in feeling a certain amount of satisfaction that this is, despite its big name authors, out of print just a few years since its publication! However, their loss could be your, well, "gain" isn't necessarily the best word for it, but if you (for some inexplicable reason) found this to be something that you just had to read, you could find "very good" copies available from the Amazon new/used guys for as little as a penny (plus shipping, of course), and "new" copies for about a buck and a half. Personally, I wouldn't recommend you wasting time on it, but (in the words of the late Johnny Carson) "It takes all types to fill the freeway".

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Tags: book review
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