A bewildering and tangled analysis of religion’s unconcealed truths.


God's Ambiance


A complex book attempts to uncover the esoteric mathematics that unites all of the world’s religions.

According to Meegan (The Sistine Chapel, 2012), there is a deep mathematical structure that is the internal core of all of the globe’s religions, and that has been known by their “inner hierarchies” for millennia. This esoteric science has never been revealed to an uninitiated public, and even if it were, it’s so maddeningly labyrinthine that it’s unlikely it would be understood. This symbolic code is sometimes expressed in alphanumeric writing as found in sacred literature like the Bible, but can also be seen in political documents like the U.S. Constitution, as well as in architectural creations like the Sistine Chapel or even the urban planning of Washington, D.C. The author takes great pains to discover the “matrix of wisdom” embedded in the narrative structure of Dante’s Divine Comedy. This hidden code conveys, if properly understood, the real substance of religious doctrine. For example, biblical Scriptures are better interpreted as instruments for the deliverance of this code, rather than the communication of an explicit dogma. When distilled to its essential form, the matrix embodies a double reality: ego-consciousness in general, and the unconscious mind of every human being in history. Unfortunately, it’s never entirely clear what this means, or how precisely to understand the matrix even as a mathematical construct. The author identifies various quantitative patterns—for example, there is some kind of relationship between the number of American congressmen and the number of words in the first chapter of Genesis, though it remains obscure. Meegan doesn’t explicitly try to unpack the meaning of the matrix until Chapter 11, and its discovery on his part seems to require a series of revelatory intuitions that transcend mathematical formulas. At one point, he concedes that his book might not make any sense to a reader not similarly assisted: “As I reread this manuscript I realized that even with this tsunami of images and commentary this work will still appear as a sea of chaos to the reader that does not have those ethereal helping hands guiding him or her through its labyrinth ways.” Most of the book is written in this turgid, bafflingly serpentine manner, and sometimes the prose is simply impenetrable. The author’s world-historical ambition remains impressive, but the study lacks both coherence and analytical rigor.

A bewildering and tangled analysis of religion’s unconcealed truths.

Pub Date: Oct. 3, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4787-7939-1

Page Count: -

Publisher: Outskirts Press

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2016

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



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").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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An extraordinary true tale of torment, retribution, and loyalty that's irresistibly readable in spite of its intrusively melodramatic prose. Starting out with calculated, movie-ready anecdotes about his boyhood gang, Carcaterra's memoir takes a hairpin turn into horror and then changes tack once more to relate grippingly what must be one of the most outrageous confidence schemes ever perpetrated. Growing up in New York's Hell's Kitchen in the 1960s, former New York Daily News reporter Carcaterra (A Safe Place, 1993) had three close friends with whom he played stickball, bedeviled nuns, and ran errands for the neighborhood Mob boss. All this is recalled through a dripping mist of nostalgia; the streetcorner banter is as stilted and coy as a late Bowery Boys film. But a third of the way in, the story suddenly takes off: In 1967 the four friends seriously injured a man when they more or less unintentionally rolled a hot-dog cart down the steps of a subway entrance. The boys, aged 11 to 14, were packed off to an upstate New York reformatory so brutal it makes Sing Sing sound like Sunnybrook Farm. The guards continually raped and beat them, at one point tossing all of them into solitary confinement, where rats gnawed at their wounds and the menu consisted of oatmeal soaked in urine. Two of Carcaterra's friends were dehumanized by their year upstate, eventually becoming prominent gangsters. In 1980, they happened upon the former guard who had been their principal torturer and shot him dead. The book's stunning denouement concerns the successful plot devised by the author and his third friend, now a Manhattan assistant DA, to free the two killers and to exact revenge against the remaining ex-guards who had scarred their lives so irrevocably. Carcaterra has run a moral and emotional gauntlet, and the resulting book, despite its flaws, is disturbing and hard to forget. (Film rights to Propaganda; author tour)

Pub Date: July 10, 1995

ISBN: 0-345-39606-5

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Ballantine

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1995

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