A SENSE OF WARNING by Barry Neil Kaufman


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A fictionalized memoir of the events which led Kaufman (Son-Rise, To Love Is To Be Happy With, Giant Steps), under the tutelage of the mysterious founder of the ""Option Process,"" to reject logic and accept precognition, intuition, openness, love, and trust. At the outset (in the early '70s) Kaufman is a worldly success married to a ""sensitive,"" ""caring"" woman; but he feels empty, hollow. Then one day in Central Park he meets a short, fat stranger, with one blue and one brown eye, who says: ""There are many ways to plant a flower""; also: ""On a river, we either paddle with the current or against it."" Entranced, Kaufman begins to study under ""Luke"" (after the healer, of course), who quickly cures his migraines; psyched up, he puts pressure on his wife (""Don't you want to grow?"") to join Luke's psychic awareness class too. This features intense discipleship, Zennish cracker mottoes, much hugging and kissing. Kaufman, or Peter (""upon this rock""), becomes teacher's pet, reproving the others with little parables and squelching the trouble-maker who thinks Luke is setting himself up as a god (""And if Luke was a god. . . why would that make you so uncomfortable?""). But as the precognitive visions and other paranormal thrills heat up (glowing mists, phantom figures), Peter himself has doubts: Is Luke causing these happenings? Are they sinister? Should he break with Luke? All doubts are resolved, however, when one of his wife's dramatic dreams more-or-less comes true--impelling Kaufman/Peter to embrace Luke's teaching and a career of Option-Process proselytizing. As testimony to the paranormal, the book is vitiated by heavy fictionalizing; as evidence of the spiritual benefits of Luke's teaching, it's spoiled by Kaufman's notably unregenerate personality. So-so reading, then, for fans of fictional psychic-growth stories; as putative non-fiction, unpersuasive.

Pub Date: March 15th, 1983
Publisher: Delacorte