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Cross James Merrill, H. P. Lovecraft, and Carlos Castaneda -each imbued with a twenty-first-century aptitude for quantum theory and existential psychology-and you get the voice of Daniel Pinchbeck. And yet, nothing quite prepares us for the lucidity, rationale, and informed audacity of this seeker, skeptic, and cartographer of hidden realms.
Throughout the 1990s, Pinchbeck had been a member of New York's literary select. He wrote for publications such as The New York Times Magazine, Esquire, and Harper's Bazaar. His first book, Breaking Open the Head, was heralded as the most significant on psychedelic experimentation since the work of Terence McKenna.
But slowly something happened: Rather than writing from a journalistic remove, Pinchbeck-his literary powers at their peak-began to participate in the shamanic and metaphysical belief systems he was encountering. As his psyche and body opened to new experience, disparate threads and occurrences made sense like never before: Humanity, every sign pointed, is precariously balanced between greater self-potential and environmental disaster. The Mayan calendar's "end date" of 2012 seems to define our present age: It heralds the end of one way of existence and the return of another, in which the serpent god Quetzalcoatl reigns anew, bringing with him an unimaginably ancient-yet, to us, wholly new-way of living.
A result not just of study but also of participation, 2012 tells the tale of a single man in whose trials we ultimately recognize our own hopes and anxieties about modern life.
George Orr has dreams that come true--dreams that change reality. He dreams that the aunt who is sexually harassing him is killed in a car crash, and wakes to find that she died in a wreck six weeks ago, in another part of the country. But a far darker dream drives George into the care of a psychotherapist--a dream researcher who doesn't share George's ambivalence about altering reality. The Lathe of Heaven is set in the sort of worlds that one would associate with Philip K. Dick, but Ms. Le Guin's treatment of the material, her plot and characterization and concerns, are more akin to the humanistic, ethically engaged, psychologically nuanced fiction of Theodore Sturgeon. The Lathe of Heaven is an insightful and chilling examination of total power, of war and injustice and other age-old problems, of changing the world, of playing God. --Cynthia Ward
SELF-TRANSFORMATION "The dream not only drives the action, it also guides the action. Through John Perkins's narrative we learn this truth as it is taught with special vividness by the indigenous people of South America." THOMAS BERRY, author of The Dream of the Earth and coauthor of The Universe Story "Perkins's The World Is As You Dream It is a masterly and understanding exploration of shamanic inner thinking, which is seldom so explicitly appreciated by someone from our culture. . . ." RICHARD EVANS SCHULTES, Ph.D., coauthor of Plants of the Gods Deep in the rain forests and high in the Andes of Ecuador, native shamans teach the age-old technique of dream change, a tradition that has kept the cultures of the Otavalans, Salasacans, and Shuar alive despite centuries of conquest. Now these shamans are turning their wisdom and power to the problem of curing a new kind of illness--that created by the industrial world's dream of dominating and exploiting nature. John Perkins tells the story of these remarkable shamans and of the U.S. medical doctors, psychologists, and scientists who have gone with him to learn the techniques of dream change. These shamanic teachings have sparked a revolution in modern concepts about healing, the subconscious, and the powers each of us has to alter individual and communal reality. JOHN PERKINS is the author of the bestselling Confessions of an Economic Hit Man. The World Is As You Dream It and his other books follow his life and adventures after Hit Man. John has used the knowledge he gained from master shamans around the world in his successful career as a management consultant, president of a U.S. energy company, and as founder of the Dream ChangeCoalition, an organization that inspires executives to clean up pollution, reshape corporate goals, and form Earth-honoring partnerships with indigenous cultures. He is also the author of The Stress-Free Habit, Shapeshifting, and Psychonavigation.