An ambitious but unconvincing argument involving ancient gnostic theology.

ULTIMATE SYMMETRY

This final installment of a trilogy endeavors to demonstrate in the language of modern physics how multiplicity emerges from divine oneness. 

Attempts to explain the relationship between the diverse phenomena humans experience and the possibility of an underlying metaphysical oneness date back to ancient cosmology. Yousef (Duality of Time, 2018, etc.) argues that humans’ perceptions of both phenomenal multiplicity and continuity are mirages, the emanations of an irreducible ontological unity: a single monad, the expression of absolute divine unity. People experience the world as they do because they only view it from an “imaginary time dimension,” a perch from the outside that can’t possibly exist if the universe is truly one. At the heart of this book is the postulation of “nested symmetries,” five kinds that account for the “apparent dynamic multiplicity of creation.” Oneness of God is “conceived” as an “abstract point beyond geometry.” Normal symmetry applies to the physical world governed by the laws of classical mechanics, specifically the elements of space and time understood in Euclidean terms. Super-symmetry denotes the relation between the physical and psychical, which is essentially identical to Quantum Field Theory’s matter/antimatter couplet. Hyper-symmetry refers to the connection, explored in quantum mechanics, between particles and waves and, by extension, the appearance of continuous space. And ultimate symmetry explains how the curved space of contemporary physics can be generated from Euclidean geometry’s “homogenous” space. Underlying these threads is the divine Principle of Love, the original source of motion that explains the universe’s longing to continuously return to a state of harmony. Yousef is at his best providing historical accounts of physics, both ancient and modern—he is especially deft in detailing ancient cosmology—and the theoretical problems that persist within them. But his writing can be exasperatingly dense (“Although the things might outwardly seem to be continuously existing in their evolution, nothing is ever repeated the same twice, since their elementary microscopic components are always created anew in different forms, that may still resemble the perished ones, but they are not themselves”). Furthermore, his fusion of science and Islamic revelation is really just a translation of the latter into the terms of the former. For example, he simply identifies energy particles with “spirits.” This then becomes a springboard to a lengthy discussion of the kinds of spirits, including angels, that exist. 

An ambitious but unconvincing argument involving ancient gnostic theology. 

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-72382-869-0

Page Count: 323

Publisher: Time Tunnel Media

Review Posted Online: April 4, 2019

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NUTCRACKER

This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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IN MY PLACE

From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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