30 of 37 people found the following review helpful
Much ado about little,
By A Customer
This review is from: Rational Mysticism: Dispatches from the Border Between Science and Spirituality (Hardcover)
As a former journalist myself, I was really looking forward to this attempt to reconcile science and religion, since I myself have been trying to "figure it all out" for as long as I can remember. So perhaps my high expectations contributed to my deep disappointment in his work.
While it does have the "objective" feel of a journalist, and the author does indeed seek out and interview some of the world's leading thinkers, it's not an especially exicting or engaging read: I put the book down frequently during the weeks it took to get through it. After a detailed review of competing philosophies, ultimately John Horgan's efforts culminate in a simplistic "lesson" learned from a drug trip (part of his research) more than 20 years ago:
"I was looking for consolation in the stars, in visions, in mysical gnosis, but the only consolation I found that night was human companionship."
His ultimate answer -- his salvation? Love.
"Not until I met and fell in love with Suzie almost a year after the trip did my estrangement from life and from my own self finally subside."
Well, I've got nothing against human companionship. Love is a worthwhile goal. And John Horgan approaches his subject matter with such sincerity that one is almost tempted to be satisfied with this most basic of conclusions. But the Self-Help aisles are full of material about human companionship and love; I felt the reader had a right to expect more from a book that promises insight into "the imponderable depth of the universe."
Instead, I felt betrayed by an author who concludes that finding meaning in life comes down to hooking-up.