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Too ambitious, not enough substance.
on 29 August 2015
After "The Biology of Belie,f" which I recommend without hesitation, here's Bruce Lipton's most recent book, in which he proposes to save the planet, co-authored with a friend who makes a living as a political humorist pretending to be an Indian swami.
Which leaves us where, exactly? Well, the description of new advances in Biology and what that means is riveting and informed, as one would expect from Lipton. The argument that the human race is to individuals what individuals are to their component cells is ingenious and suggestive, but of course it's not the kind of thing that can actually be proved, at least not yet. Nor is it actually as new as the authors suggest it is.
Which is really the problem. For every suggestive insight (the influence of mass meditation on crime rates, for example) there are some clumsy attempts to make links to subjects where it's obvious that neither of the authors is an expert, and which often ring very false when you know something about the subject being discussed. (Bhaerman may have studied politics many years ago, but it's not clear how much attention he was paying). Moreover, the book is aimed almost exclusively at Americans, as though the US were the only country with problems, and puts forward only a few rather saccharine and superficial examples of problems from the rest of the world (South Africa, for example). I'd like to see the authors' formula for solving the Palestine question: do Palestinians lovingly give up the wish to return to the homes, or do Jews lovingly hand the homes back and go and live elsewhere? And how would this work in practice?
Lipton really ought to write the next book by himself.