A Big Book Roundup Part 2: The Mysteries Of The Universe Edition

From time to time, I enjoy listening to George Noori’s late night radio program, Coast To Coast AM, which he inherited from Art Bell many years ago. It’ll depend on who the guests are, and Noori has a cast of regulars who turn up on the program frequently. A lot of the show is devoted to UFOs and abductions and bigfoot and numerology and alternate nutritionists and the like, but every now and then he’ll have on someone like theoretical physicist Michio Kaku or people who have researched some historic oddities to the nth degree, and I’ll let it play into the wee hours as I fall asleep.

This was my introduction to Robert Lanza & his theories of Biocentrism when he or some other acolyte of these theories whose name escapes me turned up as a guest one night. I very much enjoyed listening to a pair of audiobooks by Lanza, Beyond Biocentrism: Rethinking Time, Space, Consciousness & The Illusion of Death (the “illusion of death” was the hook for me, after spending a lot of years reading all sorts of material on Buddhist/Hindu ideas on reincarnation and their relation to some concepts in theoretical physics), and The Grand Biocentric Design: How Life Creates Reality. Lanza’s theories can be boiled down to the idea that consciousness is an eternal force that has created our reality, as opposed to the other way around – a universe is created and life evolves, reaching sentient consciousness. While Lanza develops and defends his ideas by discussing ideas based on quantum theory and other scientific concepts, I found his entire approach to be very spiritual – without directly mentioning any specific religion, Lanza’s theories amalgamate numerous concepts and ideas from across major world religions on the nature of reality and our place within it as thinking beings. Whenever he talked about the eternal nature of a universal consciousness, I kept thinking about Charlton Heston coming down from the burning bush in The Ten Commandments and telling Zephora and Joshua how God was “the light of eternal mind.”

So if some off-the-charts genius cosmology professor and Moses are on the same page, who am I to argue?

In any case, it was all fascinating listening, prompting a lot of thought and a sense of wonder. I suppose there are two sides to his consciousness theories as related to “the illusion of death,” since Lanza’s theories very much align with Eastern reincarnation beliefs that our consciousness but not our persona will recycle throughout time (although Lanza goes into fascinating detail about how time itself is a human concept & may not actually exist as we think about it. I’ll have to work that into Phigg & Clyde at some point, I guess.)

Another frequent topic on Noori’s radio show explores theories around ancient civilizations and their technological achievements. Frank Joseph’s Ancient High Tech: The Astonishing Scientific Achievements of Early Civilizations leaves out alien theories and explores in wonderful detail the actual scientific achievements of ancient civilzations across the globe, from compelling evidence of engineering, architecture, use of electric batteries, naviagation, and so forth. While Joseph argues some ideas that are not widely accepted (to put it mildly) by scientific and historic consensus as stated by experts (although that world has not looked very good in recent times, eh?), most of his scholarship is factual history and discoveries sitting in various museums worldwide. Much like with Lanza, listening to this book got me thinking a lot and wondering a lot, so it did the trick. And since I’ve always loved the theory that the Great Pyramid is not a tomb but instead is actually an ancient version of a Tesla Tower (someone tell Moses), hearing Joseph’s extensive analysis and defense of this idea was very entertaining.

Finally there was Synchronicity, Science, and Soulmaking: Understanding Jungian Synchronicity Through Physics, Buddhism, and Philosophy (audiobook) by Victor Mansfield, the late Colgate U. professor of physics and astronomy who spent more time teaching concepts of Tibetan Buddhism, and this book on Jungian synchronicities and their relation to both Buddhist ideas and theoretical physics was an uneven but mostly interesting listen. Mansfield provides assorted anecdotes from his students describing synchronistic events from their own lives, while offering his own analysis of the concepts related to an interwoven collective consciousness with Middle-way Buddhist ideas and concepts from quantum mechanics. Lanza’s work focuses on very similar ideas, so grouping them together was a good way to get my mind in the right mode to work on the next Wagstaff book.

Deep stuff…. this must mean the next installment of book reviews will be about trivial nonsense, so stay tuned!

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