Thursday, March 7, 2013

World Book Day 2013 - The most important book I've ever read

I am lucky enough to have been brought up with a writer for a father and a house packed with books - as a child (unfortunately not so much now my time is so limited) I was an avid reader, and stories still have a big impact on me.

I am celebrating World Book Day today by a shameless promotion for honestly the most important and interesting book I have ever read in my life. It happens to be written partly by my aforementioned father.. hence the shameless promotion aspect, but I wouldn't share it with you if I didn't think it was special. And it really couldn't be more important as it's about consciousness, the origin of mental illness and why we exist.

A warning though - if you are an affirmed, raging atheist (and I admit, I used to be one) then this book will probably provoke sneers. If you are agnostic, describe yourself as 'spiritual' as I do (although I really hate that word, I prefer the word 'mysticism' but that brings up lots of strange associations as well these days) or have faith of any sort, you may find this book just as challenging, or you may find it utterly life changing.

OK I think I've covered all bases so here is a short review I wrote of it:

"It is not often that a book can be recommended to a friend as being quite literally about 'the meaning of life', but I have found myself repeatedly doing so after reading Godhead: The Brain's Big Bang.

Godhead is a book to be read again and again, not an arduous task due to the fascinating and life affirming content, but also not one to be taken lightly. This is a book to set you on a life long journey, it poses and succinctly answers the profound questions we have all contemplated and, like a river flowing smoothly downstream, leads the marvelling reader through an incredible mental landscape.

Combining history, psychology and physics it culminates in a game changing theory of consciousness and time, presented in a surprisingly easy to understand way. I found the descriptions of the metaphorical language used in religion to describe stages of self development (e.g 'angels', 'the fall of man') particularly enlightening.

 It's so easy to misrepresent and dismiss as 'woo' modern books that contemplate the questions of meaning, self-development and 'spirituality' (a word practically lost of all meaning in these nihilistic times) - but it can also be said that those who do so may by missing out on fundamental truths and knowledge that must touch us all, and demonstrably have done since the first awakening of imagination in mankind.

 This book is the life's work of Griffin and Tyrrell, and indeed, will take the reader another life's work to digest thoroughly. As another reviewer has so aptly said, 'Read it and act.' "

Don't just take my word for it, here's a review from the Toronto Review of Books, plus some people on Amazon have had their say..

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