Book Review: Transcendence of the Western Mind by Samuel Avery
Written by: Stephen J. Hage
The book is only 170 pages including endnotes but its sweep is vast, it's subject matter epic in scope and its conclusions breathtaking.
What Samuel Avery accomplishes is to provide a glimpse, under the veil, to reveal how the universe works. What makes his conclusions so satisfying is that they are firmly grounded in well established scientific and philosophical principles. You'll find no dancing here just lucid and carefully crafted explanations which flow smoothly from the page onto your image screen and into observational consciousness.
Neither he, nor the book, is intellectually faint of heart. He unflinchingly tackles difficult problems like "why do space and time shrink and curve and blend into each other?" Einstein showed unequivocally that this is so but Samuel Avery is the first author, in my experience, who explains why with metaphysical answers firmly grounded in physics. He never throws the physics away thus forcing the reader to give serious consideration to what he has to say. And, at the same time, he never resorts to or burdens the reader with mathematics.
In his earlier book, The Dimensional Structure of Consciousness, he introduces the concepts of the photon screen, the quantum screen, and the image screen. In this one, he expands on those explanations making them more clear and easier to understand. Another explanatory device he uses helped me understand what he means when he talks about orthogonal rotation of the axis of one dimension around the axis of another; using examples of things we do every day, all the time.
He deals with light, which is so enigmatic physicists still do not understand it. He explains why light is not in space-time but rather, space-time is in light.
His explanations of consciousness, its dimensional structure, and how it is related to individuals and the world cut a wide swath through particularly thorny issues like the "hard problem" (is consciousness something that happens in the brain or is it something extra that happens outside of what's going on in any individual's head?). And most satisfying, he deals with the abyss of solipsism not by banishing it but by putting it where it belongs; within the Dimensional Structure of Consciousness he has created.
I found the book almost impossible to put down. I'm looking forward to reading it again and again. If you are interested in the topics discussed in this review; if you're ready to gain deep understanding of how the universe works; read Transcendence of the Western Mind and be prepared to have your own mind blown to smithereens.