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The Labyrinth of Time: The Illusion of Past, Present and Future
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on 15 April 2012
Shortly after seeing Anthony Peake's lecture at the Alternatives event (held at St James' Church, Piccadilly), I decided, after having read all of Peake's books up until that point, to pre-order his new release, The Labyrinth of Time. I had been following his work after seeing him guest on Theo Chalmers' `On The Edge' programme on Sky, and I was curious to see how he would expand on his theories of time that were expounded in his previous books. He does mention that The Labyrinth of Time is a sort of solution to many of the mysteries brought about by his `Cheating the Ferryman' hypothesis. This mystery was about time itself: how time functions, how it flows (if indeed it does flow at all). The mechanisms of time - the most mysterious conundrums, in religious and philosophical thought through to modern-day Quantum Physics - are all ambitiously tackled by Peake in his most intellectually riveting of books. Indeed, it is dedicated to one subject, time, but that is not to narrow its breadth at all. As I was reading I was reminded somewhat of Beyond the Occult by Colin Wilson. This, I believe, is because of its sheer intellectual density and the manifest passions on both authors' part. I was moved by the sheer intensity and scope of some of the arguments - I was placed out of my comfort zone, out of my time zone. And what makes it more wholesome is that the prose is very smooth and easily digestible. The ideas in this book are labyrinthine, yet you are guided around all of the corners and shown the dead ends all with good, amiable company. You get the impression that he is as much on an intellectual journey as the reader, and that is what makes this book an entertaining as well as an educational read.

Not only does he shift from P. D. Ouspensky to David Bohm and Einstein, he also synthesizes great philosophers such as Nietzsche and Schopenhauer (I was very curious about Schopenhauer's experience with the inkwell as I hadn't come across it before). This is beautifully argued in the chapter `The Philosophy of Time', which, along with `The Eternal Return' and `Time in Disarray' makes for truly satisfying reading. Yet it is in the chapters `The Physics of Time' and `The Neurology of Time' are we truly given a scientific angle on its nature - and what a wonderful and rigorous compilation of disparate thought we treated to as a reader. This, for me, was somewhat revelatory. For previously I had been quite firmly entrenched in philosophic, religious and - although I don't like to use the term - `spiritual' aspects of the nature of reality; and it is in these chapters that gave me the key to a richer understanding. Previously I had read about the nature of time, or even that `time is an illusion', but if asked I could never have given anyone a straight, educated answer. It is almost as if I knew, or wanted to believe on a basic level that it is a `given' - i.e. I had heard it before in fields of `alternative thought' - but here, in Peake's book, we are offered an insight into the scientific, tried-and-tested observations of many eminent thinkers. This book, unlike many in its field, is a marriage between philosophy and science - and this will be a bridge for people to appreciate both aspects of the arguments posited in this most stimulating work.

As this is review, I will not go into or analyse the ideas in-depth. I will simply leave that up to you as a reader. If you're interested in the nature of time (or even reality), I would highly recommend this along with his other books: Is There Life After Death?: The Extraordinary Science of What Happens When We Die,The Daemon: A Guide to Your Extraordinary Secret Self and The Out of Body Experience: The History and Science of Astral Travel. Each of them is a fantastic synthesis is disparate thought. Indeed, I'd personally recommend The Holographic Universe along with Ubik (S.F. MASTERWORKS) as companion pieces. Also, I'd highly recommend you seek out some films to give you some great analogies and useful metaphors for tackling these difficult themes, such as: K-Pax [DVD] [2002], Inception [DVD] [2010] or even Quantum Leap - Series 1 [DVD]!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 12 April 2013
This is a wide-ranging book in which Anthony Peake discusses the nature of time. He mentions the work of philosophers, physicists, neuroscience researchers, and parapsychologists, and cites interesting cases involving apparent precognition and other temporal anomalies. His own speculations seem to draw heavily on those of other writers, and appear quite eclectic. However, in some respects, he seems to embrace mutually contradictory notions. For example, in his chapter on 'The Physics of Time', he states that it's the act of observation by a thinking being that brings matter into physical existence (p. 103). This seems to imply that the physical world is a creation of consciousness, and that consciousness itself doesn't require physical matter (e.g. a brain) to exist. But in his final chapter, he seems to suggest that consciousness and the brain are inextricably linked, although he doesn't go as far as to say that consciousness is simply a by-product of electro-chemical processes in the brain.

More generally, I found a lot of Peake's book unclear. To some extent, that may reflect a lack of clarity in the theories or assertions of the people he cites. For example, he refers to the ideas of a philosopher called Peter (or Pyotr) Ouspensky. According to Peake (p. 69), Ouspensky proposed that time exists as a curve of the fourth dimension. Now, this sounds like self-contradictory nonsense, because anything that's curved must exist in at least TWO dimensions! However, I don't know whether Ouspensky really described time in that way, or whether the unfortunate wording can be laid at Peake's door.

There are points where Peake seems to beg the question - i.e. to presuppose the existence of the very thing (time) that he's trying to explain in non-temporal terms. For example, on p. 116, he refers to "multiple times flowing backwards and forwards". Now, 'flow' is a type of movement and, by definition, must take time!

There are some factual errors in Peake's book. On p. 116, he states that a molecule is the smallest part of an element that can exist independently. However, that status belongs to atoms, not molecules. On p. 164, he refers to Alfred Binet (1857-1911), describing him as a "psychiatrist". In fact, Binet was a psychologist, not a psychiatrist.

In Chapter 19, Peake refers to the suggestion, by the psychologist Richard Wiseman, that when dreams seem to predict real-life disasters (such as that at Aberfan, in Wales, in 1966), these may be chance events, based on the fact that so many people regularly have dreams. Peake asserts, incredulously, that Wiseman is suggesting that in the UK, every night, at least 2,000 people will experience such a seemingly precognitive dream (p. 260). However, on the basis of what Peake himself reports, it seems that Wiseman DIDN'T suggest that. The figure of 2,000 was a conservative estimate (based on a time when the UK's population was about 45 million) of the number of people who, once in their lifetime, might have remembered a seemingly precognitive 'disaster' dream. (It's possible, of course, that someone might remember more than one 'disaster' dream in his or her lifetime, or not remember any. But it seems that, for the purpose of illustration, Wiseman kept his calculation simple, by basing it on the assumption that each person would remember only one such dream in his or her lifetime. Of course, in terms of Wiseman's argument, the vast majority of these 'disaster' dreams wouldn't appear to predict external events.)
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 26 June 2012
Taking into account the very latest scientific developments, the author goes way beyond the mystery of time-experience. He can explain the darkest secrets of quantum physics in an admirably simple way without becoming too vulgarising.
This book is such a pleasure to read that it should be compulsory reading for anyone interested in the most basic questions of life, death and the universe.
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on 11 August 2012
I have read Anthony Peake's "Is There Life After Death" and found it rivetting. In fact, I am still reading it. I find it's one of those books that you have to savour and read again and again. I have started to read Anthony's "The Labyrinth Of Time" and it is equally rivetting and, no doubt, to be read
again and again. There are, however, a few points I would like to take issue with Anthony on. On page 57 of Anthony's enthralling "The Labyrinth Of Time" Anthony writes about James Joyce's Finnegan's Wake.Anthony states that the word "wake" in English has a double meaning. The word "wake" actually has three meanings. "Wake" meaning the "vigil, watch or night of prayer" that takes place over the dead body
and "wake" which means "to be aroused from sleep, to become animated". It is interesting to note that all these meanings derive from a combination the Old English strong verb "wacan" which means "to be born" or " to awake" and the Old English weak verb "wacian" which means "to be awake" or "to watch".
Modern German has the verb "wachen" which means to "to be awake, to keep watch". There is a third meaning of the English word "wake" which has Scandinavian origins and that is the "wake" left by a boat or a ship - the streak of disturbed or foamy water left by the same. It can also mean "the rear
of" or the "area passed through by a person or thing". This third meaning of "wake" may or may not be connected to the first two meanings of the English word "wake". Anthony also states that the wake takes place AFTER the funeral. The wake actually takes place BEFORE the funeral.
The dead body is "laid" out in the coffin in the home of the dead person and relatives, friends and acquaintances come to pay their respects and to talk and tell stories of the dead person and perhaps have a cup of tea or something stronger. Perhaps "a drop of the hard stuff". The coffin containing the dead body or "corpus" is then "lifted" after two days (depending on local custom) and the funeral procession to the local church takes place where, after a funeral ceremony, the body is buried.
In Finnegan's Wake Finnegan's dead body is present and it could not be otherwise.
Finnegan's wake could not have been possible if the "wake" had taken place AFTER the funeral: Finnegan would already have been buried and unavailable for the wake and indeed for comment - due to an unfortunate and extraordinary confluence of circumstances which were and would be sadly and forever beyond his control.....Or would they? Notwithstanding, I shall continue to read Anthony's superb book "The Labyrinth Of Time".

Is There Life After Death?: The Extraordinary Science of What Happens When We Die
The Daemon: A Guide to Your Extraordinary Secret Self
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 31 July 2012
As I suspected. Time does not exist! Peake doesn't necessarily confirm my view in this fascinating exploration of the nature of time, but he is brave enough to admit near the end of the book that time remains a profound mystery and part of this mystery may be that we've basically just made it up. We may have simply invented 'time' as a framework in which to make sense of that which has already happened and that which lies ahead - all just discrete moments in 'time' which are themselves only real in said moment. Nothing is real but right now.

What I enjoyed most about this book is Peake's obvious sense of wonder, which is infectious. Questions such as 'Is time cyclical or linear?' suddenly become potential subjects for chat down the pub. As such, it's a great read for any enquiring mind not overly attached to any particular dogma or worldview. I'll leave you with my favourite quote about time, from the inimitable John Shuttleworth: "The future isn't now. It's in a few minutes."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
If you enjoyed the film, Groundhog Day, then you will love Anthony Peake's fantastic ride through the labyrinth of time. Peake can explain the hardest theory with ease and elegance and he is one of the outstanding free thinkers operating today. Ouspensky will be proud of his later day initiate.

Highly recommended!
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on 2 August 2012
This book is AMAZING!!! I really enjoyed reading this book and all the theories that Anthony Peake put out. He has really written this book so well that ANYONE can understand it. As I stated in the title of the review it is for people who have an open mind to everything especially if you're very spiritual. I had noticed that Anthony has written other books & I'm very sure they are as good as this one. Anthony Peake is a very talented writer & I am very sure he is going to write more exciting books. BRILLIANT!!!!!
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on 22 February 2013
Anthony Peake tackles the subject of time that we all take for granted, and so assume that we know what is happening. Anthony points out that we may not understand it at all. This is a very thorough investigation that covers works of many authors, and has some input of his own. Overall a fascinating study that gets the reader involved and questions our simple assumptions that we know what time is.
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on 28 February 2013
Never really thought so much about time and what its all about. Fascinating subject that we all take for granted, until some one says what is time? Do we really look into it. Really got me thinking so has taken me a long time to read it as I kept going off into my own thoughts, and needed time to digest fully what I was reading. Will definiely be reading this twice.
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on 23 June 2015
This is a very deep book don't be put of by the first couple of chapters where it sets the seen for the history of time afterwards just could not put it down brilliantly written I must buy more from this author.
A big thank you to him.
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