THE DYADIC CYCLONE: The Autobiography of a Couple by

THE DYADIC CYCLONE: The Autobiography of a Couple

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Despite the intermittent contribution of Antonietta, John Lilly's wife and soulmate of five years, this is far from being ""the autobiography of a couple"" as billed. It is, rather, another plunge into John Lilly's ongoing personal/spiritual/intellectual odyssey, a continuation of The Center of the Cyclone (1972) in particular. This book is very loosely structured around Lilly's tribute to the ""dyad"" with his wife which has given stability to his life and mind--an often banal, sometimes moving tribute which never fulfills its promise of analyzing the two-person phenomenon in Lilly's idiosyncratic and interesting terms. The book gets off to a slow start with such oddments as a description of the interior decoration of the Lillys' home and some unexceptional advice on how to get along with one's mate. Few people write as badly as Lilly at his worst (""We sometimes express ourselves quite loudly to each other for a short time""), and Antonietta faithfully echoes both his awkwardness and his jargon. But Lilly at his best is here too, and the book gains force and purpose about halfway through. Its real center is Lilly's own continuing effort to expand what he calls ""the explorer's domain""--the cosmic depths and infinite possibilities of the mind--by a truly awesome openness both to self-examination and to ""belief systems"" other than his own. Here is a quantum theory of consciousness he developed while in a coma; an examination of G. Spencer Brown's mathematical-mystical Laws of Form; useful mind-and body-expanding exercises; a fresh exhortation to study dolphins as a paradigm for extraterrestrial encounter; and more. This is difficult and rewarding stuff, biomystical Bucky Fuller, and one can only wish a sterner editor had attacked the padding.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1976
Publisher: Simon & Schuster