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Gift idea.

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Looking for something for that mystically-minded, Buddhist-centric, shamanic, night tripping, archetype-oriented, mythically-curious writerly psychopomp in your life? This book would make an interesting choice.

I haven't yet decided if Daniel Pinchbeck is a New World Man or just a drug-addled, dilettante cult leader. One thing's for certain: he's a very talented writer, which is rare in fringe culture. With prose like this, who cares if he believes himself to be the reincarnation of the Buddhist ruler Ashoka? Besides skeptics and historians, that is.

This is my favorite review from Amazon.com:


WARNING: Spoilers Ahead!

1. TEOTWAWKI is coming in 2012 because the ancient Mayan Calender [sic] prophesied thusly.

2. Secret messages in UK crop circles, which only the author can understand with the aid of his Super Secret Decoder Ring, confirm the TEOTWAWKI date in the Mayan Calender.

3. If the above is not enough to convince the reader that the TEOTWAWKI arrives on Dec 21st, 2012, the author brings out his final piece of credibility-building information in the closing pages. There he informs us matter-of-factly that he is the reincarnation of ancient emperor Ashoka. I quote from page 372:

"To make matters worse, along with the potentially reality-shifting reception of the Quetzacoatl transmission, I had accessed a hypothetical past life as an Indian emperor, fulfilling all New Age cliches."

The author lost me with that final bit of nonsense. This may get him dates with airheaded New Age chicks, but it doesn't work with the rest of us. Until that page I was working hard to remain credulous enough to keep reading page after page of silly New Age claims, all completely unverifiable.

If you know the author's background, you know his "hobby." My suspicion is that it has killed one too many brain cells.

As another reviewer said, Pinchbeck has "inherited Shirley Maclaine's crown as the new Queen of the New Age Movement."

If you're a New Age stoner, you might like this book. If you aren't, then avoid this pointless nonsense at all costs.

Good thing I already picked myself up a copy. Next stop, Scientology?

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