With all the weekend precipitation received here I wish that I could say I had at least enjoyed the intense reading that this “quality inside time” allowed me.
Instead I can say I waded through two books that have long been sitting by my recliner. And the best thing I can say about both of them is that they can now be shelved away in my reference bookcase for future culling to Goodwill.
I love books, and I usually love good psychology/spirituality writers; AND… I don’t like giving out bad reviews because any book critique is subjective and personally biased, BUT……..I think I want my money back from these two.
The first was A.H. Almaas book about the ‘Diamond Approach’ that he championed in psychology circles a few decades ago.
His book is called ESSENCE WITH THE ELIXIR OF ENLIGHTENMENT: The Diamond Approach to Inner Realization, …which sounded like something I’d love to read doesn’t it? Yeah, that’s what I thought when I bought it. Here we are defining reality and the unpinnings of the human experience: What is reality? What is spirituality? How does a human actually experience both? What does it MEAN to do so?
Well maybe the copyright date of 1986 had more to do with this book’s pioneering appeal to introducing spirituality into psychology’s mental health approach in the early 1990’s than what it meant to me in the now, but I had to speed-read through it forcing myself to complete it. Perhaps long ago in the newly-birthed spiritual movement in clinical psychology this book was considered influential and enlightening, but it did little for me in 2018, and THAT is what my review of it means for the present.
The other book I read was by one of the better-known spirituality writers of the last century: Deepak Chopra. I can honestly say that I’ve read most books by Deepak, with some books being better than others. I still follow him on Facebook to hear his latest thoughts on our present-day situations. I even commented on one of his articles awhile back (Nov. 22, 2017 – “How to Reset the Mind”) where he titled his article “Does the Human Mind Need a Fresh Start?” I stated then that I thought his article was lengthy and involved, and sounded a bit “Buckminster Fullerish” where he tried to be so all inclusive and over-encompassing that it lacked focus and clarity.
Well, imagine him writing an entire 263-page book that same way explaining modern psychics and the latest Grand Unified Theory of Everything—the QUANTUM of life-as-we-know -it experience from his learned medical/spiritual perspective along with an astrophysicist, Dr. Menas Kafatos. They call their new theory the “Qualia” Paradigm. It basically explains that the universe that we perceive is purely subjective and dependent on human perception to exist. Ok. We create our own reality—I do buy that part.
However in this book, it is goodbye string theory, adios to the Planck’s Quantum theory era with your waves and particles.
Here is all you ever thought you might want to know about the developmental history and modern theories of the Science of Physics and how to view/understand the world around us. Wow! What an undertaking, you might think. And it read just like that: What an undertaking to read this book.
The book is called: YOU ARE THE UNIVERSE: DISCOVERING YOUR COSMIC SELF AND WHY IT MATTERS, by Deepak Chopra, M.D., and Menas Kafatos, Ph.D. The best I can say about it is that at least I actually have a few penciled underlines in this one, whereas the Almaas book is crystal clear.
And I hate to fault Deepak for simply being Deepak. He tries so hard to explain spirituality against the more difficult aspects of modern physics and how to relate the spiritual experience into all of that equation-/math-dependent, empirical research environment that we define as the “scientific approach.”
He really tries to explain the nearly unexplainable about our present world; and I’m sure that I’ve gained a greater understanding about historical attitudes and approaches to the “What is life?” question that the scientific community has considered for centuries, ever since the overpowering Church institution relinquished its death-grip on “enlightened secular thinking.”
But Deepak being Deepak, gets wordy and lengthy and anecdotal and then one simile follows another simile, followed by analogies, followed by more similes and analogies because this stuff is hard to fathom any other way for those of us who are NOT into “physics” explanations and equations.
I’m glad he tried to dumb-it-down for those of us who might never have comprehended the basics of the physics theories any other way, but…. he doesn’t really convince this reader on his somewhat extrapolated theories other than I already believe what he’s trying to write. He doesn’t have to convince me.
And I don’t think his qualia principles and accompanying explanations are quite the end-product of his own subjective, deductive logic. But, again, good try Deepak.
On to the dusty bookshelf they both go.