THE BOND OF POWER by Joseph Chilton Pearce


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Spiritual power has come to Joseph Pearce (The Crack in the Cosmic Egg, Magical Child) in the form of Swami Muktananda, a ""Siddha"" Yoga, i.e., a teacher who has developed ""the maximum potential of the mind/brain."" This book is the narrative of Pearce's conversion and awakening. When he sticks to autobiography--discussing family crises, the anxiety and despair that led him to give up lecturing and conducting seminars, his subsequent encounters with followers of Muktananda and the master himself--the book is a not-discreditable addition to the confessional/ inspirational literature. But when Pearce makes sweeping generalizations about culture, and technological society in particular, we are in the no-man's-land of questionable statistics and theory. We are told of an epidemic of infantile autism, rampant childhood schizophrenia, the collapse of the family, the inability of children to learn. We are told that ""Each next generation proves anxiety-ridden, half-mad, antisocial, depressed idiots, drowning in alcohol. . . ."" Then come the brain theories. ""Consciousness is not an emergent of the brain, but the force which powers the brain."" Physicist David Bohm's ""holonomic"" theories of the universe with ""explicate"" and ""implicate"" orders are seen as parallel to the progression of Yogic thought that ends in the notion of the ""supercausal"" body--the realm of insight-intelligence. Finally come the case histories, the little blue lights or hard white flames penetrating the body; the rheumatoid arthritic who begins to leap around like a frog while meditating in the lotus position--emerging with his arthritis cured. All that Power and all that Culture-Damning inevitably try the reader's patience. And soul. Without denigrating Muktananda and all he stands for, one wants to remind the author that it is American culture that has provided the ambience by which he and others can choose paths to enlightenment--and that Muktananda's appearances in Miami Beach owe not a little to jet planes and amplified sound and light.

Pub Date: May 27th, 1981
Publisher: Dutton