69 of 76 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
For deep thinkers who question reality/ consciousness, 5 Dec 2002
What I like about this book is that Talbot has the knack of pulling together the important intellectual offerings on reality of some of our planet's greater thinkers without the reader feeling the author is simply "ripping off" those peoples' ideas and presenting them in some soulless badly written commentary as usually happens.
Far from it, Talbot manages - in his tightly written, euphoric style - to introduce the reader to the ideas of (Principally) David Bohm and Karl Pribram, and then goes on to offer some of his own consequent philosophies on reality, life, the afterlife and consciousness.
The book starts off by explaining an interesting feature of Holograms (The type which require a laser shined through the holographic plate - NOT THE KIND VISIBLE TO THE NAKED EYE WITHOUT LASERS SHINING THROUGH THEM). That feature is that even if the plate is smashed into a thousand pieces, each piece STILL CONTAINS THE WHOLE IMAGE.
Talbot explains that, for some philosopher-physicists like Bohm and Pribram, this seemed to offer a possibly plausible model for features of brain function and, on the wider scale, the universe itself - namely its potential non-materiality and cosmic unity (The belief in the interrelatedness of all things - in it's purest form the idea that each atom contains the universe, that everywhere is nowhere, etc. etc.)
Talbot is not afraid to include the holographic model's potential for explaining metaphysical/ paranormal activity such as telepathic, dream-related and "mind over matter" phenomena which he chooses to present as hard fact (Largely due to his own experiences) rather than possibly mythical historical events. Though to be fair he does examine potential for untruths in each paranormal example.
Cleverly though, he winds you up for the metaphysics all too aware that many a reader (Including myself) would too quickly question the credibility of the manuscript if it jumped into these offerings immediately.
To me, of the book's ten or so chapters, 6 are very strong, two mesmerising, and two average.
Talbot's most interesting philosophical offering to my mind is the idea (Albeit briefly mentioned) that the creative entity that some people might call God (Though I (And probably the Author?) think this is purely a human abstraction and therefore insufficient) may be purely some kind of ball of knowledge/ light that EXPRESSES ITSELF THROUGH INDIVIDUAL LIVES.
I found this an astonishingly original and creative thought, and the 15 hours it takes to read the book are surely worth it just for this.
The equal best thing to me was the introduction of the idea that we shouldn't necessarily perceive past, present and future as "separate" to each other. Rather, there could be some kind of enfolded, constantly unfolding "holomovement" encrypted in light on the boundaries of the universe. Talbot explains that if true, this has potentially staggerring implications - we may merely be acting out unchangeable events.
But like every thought of Talbot's, he's talented at presenting the case for either side of the argument.
He even talks about how UFO's and events such as psychokinesis may be our first quantum discoveries. That is, that we may soon come to tap the powers inferred by a world in which we are not merely observers, but participators in the creation of our universe at its deepest level - the subatomic level.
Prior to the book, I would never have seriously read a paragraph on paranormal activity.
In a brilliantly simple analogy, Talbot says: suppose you have a dream in which you offer your friend a coffee. While you offer your friend the coffee imagine you're thinking "I hope my friend enjoys it". In the dream, the offering the drink is an external reality, while the thought "I hope he enjoys it" is internal reality. Now you WAKE UP. You guessed it. Now you see that BOTH were internal realities, but being in the dream state tricked you into thinking the offering was an external reality. Again, you guessed it - what if you can apply the same notion to the questioning of whether OUR "REALITY" is really the TRUTH. And if it's not, maybe metaphysical events are the "kink" in an otherwise perfect illusion.
Finally there is some good reading on near death experiences. I have myself experienced the "tunnel of light". But i was not dying. It appeared on my eyelids from nowhere, and has convinced me of the afterlife. Just like talbot, i saved the "wacky" until the end.
Seriously though, buy the book now. It'll change your perception. And let's face it - it's a rare book that can.