Debut author Barton ponders spiritual and philosophical questions from various angles in this esoteric meditation on Christianity, karma, time, space, and other topics.
What is the purpose of the soul? How do we form our belief systems? These are among the questions that the author tackles in this ambitious discussion. In 10 chapters, she teases out aspects of the spiritual realm and its worth in the modern world, broaching concepts as broad as perception itself. The text appears to document the author acting as a medium for a being named “John,” who discusses various topics with a group of listeners who respond in italics, paragraph by paragraph. In a chapter on belief systems, John asks the listeners to catalog their beliefs and inquire into their origins. In another, on perception, he challenges listeners to define what creates a perception. John offers analogies and scenarios to ensure that the listeners understand each tenet under discussion, but these sometimes become hypothetical (“Just supposing you [have] been asked to be driving from A to B”). As the chapters progress, the ideas leap from the spiritual to the metaphysical, with discussion of other dimensions, “Earth time,” karma, and vibrations, among other topics. John introduces some new terms (“Disconnection to the physical is through what is called your Silver Cord”) and some empowering ideas (“To feel that you are a victim of your circumstances is to say that your Divine Essence has no intent or Will to Good for you”), all of which contribute to a heady volume of tough questions and tougher answers. The subtitle of this book could have been “Do you see?” as the narrator says that phrase many dozens of times, apparently assuming that the listeners (and readers) are, indeed, understanding each aspect of philosophy at hand. However, the book provides no clear context for either John or the listeners, so it’s hard to discern who’s taking part in the conversation and where, exactly, it’s all going. As a result, spiritual seekers looking for enlightenment from this experimental volume will have to work hard to find it.
A high-reaching work on spirituality that lacks cohesive narration.
Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.
Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").
Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)