- Paperback: 802 pages
- Publisher: Xlibris, Corp. (September 6, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1465349162
- ISBN-13: 978-1465349163
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.8 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,410,823 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Mind Flight: A Journey into the Future
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About the Author
Tom Lombardo, Ph.D. and Jeanne Lombardo, M.A. are co-directors of the Center for Future Consciousness. Dedicated educators, writers, and professional speakers, their interests range from consciousness and the future to literature, art, music, and history; science fiction, cosmology, and evolution; and philosophy, wisdom, and ethics.
Top customer reviews
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Lombardo is a dynamic man of immense intellect and wide-ranging talents sadly under-appreciated, as of yet, in the academic world. Nonetheless, Mind Flight demonstrates that Lombardo’s ego is undaunted, and this book serves as his beacon to the world, broadcasting the brilliance and lucidity of his consciousness.
All of which, in 802 pages, makes for a challenging as well as a compelling read: an intellectual odyssey, in eidetic detail, of the growth of his mind and the testing of his soul, besides illuminating a profound perspective on the future development of ever-deepening wisdom in the world—unless our race’s innate folly foils that enterprise.
For all of its probing of ideas and theories of psychology, philosophy and the future of the cosmos, Mind Flight is overtly an adventure story, the putatively true autobiographical story of a questioning intellect whose mind is flying while his feet tread the same earth we walk on. Though a muddied mortal like the rest of us, grounded in the mundane, Tom Lombardo opens wide his winged mind to ponder the highest and deepest questions human beings consider. If you feel drawn to think and speculate upon the Big Questions, you will find in him a lucid mentor. If you believe, with Socrates, that “the unexamined life is not worth living,” then read Mind Flight as an exemplary instance of scrupulous and inspiring self-examination that leads toward evident enlightenment. Socrates himself might well applaud Lombardo’s conscientious examination of his own adventurous career as a philosopher, psychologist and complex human being.
Mind Flight is not so much a journey as an odyssey. It bids to be not just an autobiography but an epic, a heroic book, a grand personal quest for efficacious wisdom intended to wise up an imperiled world. Yet, like Milton’s epic, Paradise Lost, it requires “a fit audience, though few” to be endured and appreciated.
While Lombardo may indeed find few readers fit to traverse his mind-expanding philosophical saga, those who embark on it and sail to its end will have met and been inspired by an amazing intellect and a cultivated sensibility, besides having learned of that future consciousness which signifies wisdom.
Despite being written by a college professor, Mind Flight is as much visceral and spiritual as it is intellectual. The first thing you’ll likely remark upon while reading this self-portrait of a mind developing over several decades, is that Tom Lombardo is a voracious reader with a prodigious memory—nothing seems to have been lost to his recollection, not one of thousands of books read, not one conversation, not one late-afternoon martini. He writes with a novelist’s painterly sensibility, yet persuades you that nothing he reports is made up, just reported as if from a stenographer’s notepad, then elaborated into engaging scenes, conversations and reflections. Lombardo is as unsparing as he is unforgeting in his self-representation, displaying himself “warts and all,” as fallible as he is phenomenal. Honesty is the keynote of this epic revelation of a life adventurously lived, scrupulously examined, intimately anatomized.
Mind Flight is the work of a marvelous and ambitious mind, the autobiography—intellectual, spiritual and personal—of a man who thinks widely and deeply about human existence and its challenges, but who also tells spell-binding stories, true narrations, with the skills of a novelist (or at least persuades us of their veracity). As a debater and advocate, he is tenacious and thorough-going in argumentation. He is a master of lucid explanation, as well as of graphic depictions of objects, persons and settings. Stylistically, Lombardo is a great amalgamator and synthesizer, as lucid a narrator as he is a tenacious debater.
Equally skillful, though, are the expository pages, some based on lectures he has presented on topics of science, philosophy, religion and futurism. Those who will want to see this epic autobiography through to the end will be kindred philosophical spirits delighted to follow a fellow ponderer’s lucid recollections of experiences and encounters shaping his sensibility and imagination, particularly his passion for envisioning the possibilities of humanity’s future—for developing “future consciousness.”
Lombardo’s ideal readers will be those like himself—intellectual, academic, inveterate readers, curious and speculative about the future, and seekers of wisdom, happy to add this many-paged paeon of mind to their library. Here are the prerequisites for enduring and enjoying the 802 pages of Mind Flight:
• You like sitting with a big book in your lap for very long sessions of reading,
• You are interested in psychology, philosophy, and futurism, including science-fiction
• You can find fascinating the epic autobiographical story of an ambitious, diligent, ardent seeker after Wisdom and the Good Life in contemporary America, in academia and in Arizona presented by an under-appreciated but dynamic and dogged deep thinker with a knack for both dramatic narrative and probing analysis
• You are open not only to the narrator’s prodigious and challenging intellect but to his personal candor in presenting sometimes brutal and anguishing life episodes.
A principal potential readership for Mind Flight will be those who know Tom Lombardo, especially those who have worked professionally with him in academia and would enjoy peering behind the professional façade of a peer, inspecting the inner and private life of a colleague or mentor. Other academics in higher education who do not know him will be interested to inspect the “life of the mind” of a driven intellectual, a mind embodied in a passionate, ardent personality. This is equally a mental and an emotional rendering of Lombardo’s life-to-date, unabashed in its candid revelations, unsparingly honest.
A powerful ego drives this epical story, that of a scrupulous, indefatigable and meticulous inspector of his life’s particulars, “one on whom nothing is lost,” one who lives by Socrates’ admonition that the unexamined life is not worth living. This is a book to linger in, not barge through, a book to prompt cogitation and contemplation, a book to awaken the dormant philosopher in you.
Another way to regard this book is as a grand “So there!” addressed to various antagonists Lombardo has encountered in his academic career, referenced at times throughout his narrative, especially at the end. Along with his elaborate expositions defining his futurist perspective, his story has a plot line replete with opponents. Should any of them come to read Mind Flight, and make it through to the end, I believe their minds will be changed and their respect for Lombardo’s intellect and narrative skill cemented by this epical apologia pro vita sua.
Mind Flight is an autobiographical adventure story of a philosopher’s quest to achieve cosmic consciousness while toiling in the moil of American academia—while his heart sails into the heavens of science fiction, speculative fantasy and visionary contemplation. Yet for all of that, while Mind Flight is a vivid, sometimes gritty and often gripping depiction of the author’s struggles to thrive in the mundane world of vexed relationships and daily vicissitudes, it ultimately proves heroic—epic.
Lombardo, a psychologist and a futurist, is an important contributor to the emerging canon of the futures field, having written several books and many articles dealing with the future. Thus, futurists should have an interest in this book about the intellectual trajectory of a well-known futurist and some of his current views. Moreover, Lombardo's intellectual journey will also benefit general readers. The futurist ideas and topics covered in the book, as well as the life lessons discussed, will inform and enrich their lives.
The book contains a series of related topics, ranging from a psychology of future consciousness, human and technological evolution, and order and chaos to the importance of character virtues (e.g., self responsibility, courage, optimism), preferable futures and utopian thinking, and some major and insightful works in science fiction (a topic that fascinates Lombardo), to take only a few examples.
Parts of the book read more like a gripping novel than an academic treatise. The book is filled with honest, self-searching questioning, and contains passages of emotional and compelling personal stories. It also includes the drama of Lombardo's conceptual and interpretative struggles and his explorations of social thought and philosophical ideas. Lombardo brings ideas to life and shows how they helped shape his existence as he fully gives himself over to a journey of the intellect.
Some readers might think that the book is too long and too confessional. But they would be wrong. For cutting back and forth between his personal and his professional lives, Lombardo reveals the human costs and benefits of the intellectual commitments and obsessions that drive him. He provides the social contexts and meanings that deepen the significance of his intellectual probes, and he gives exemplars of self-reflection for his readers, guides of where we should go in our lives, of how a history of life's learning can help us create roadmaps to a better future, and of how we can empower and transform our future selves.
Clearly, Lombardo himself was transformed by his experience of writing this book. His readers may be equally transformed by reading it. With a bit of luck, when you complete this book, you may transcend it, envelop it and pass through it to the other side. In doing so, you will end up being more. You will see who you want to become and how you want the future to be. And you will understand why.
--Wendell Bell, Professor Emeritus of Sociology, Yale University