Light in the Static Attic
--a Memoir for Banyen Books' 25th Anniversary
by Nowick Gray
When I received my first "Branches of Light" catalogue
in the fall of 1992, I was ready for new intellectual and spiritual
direction. Politics was on the wane in my life; drumming was on
the rise. I was getting into volleyball and computer games, and
trying to improve my family life. Wondering if the slide into
yuppiedom was inevitable, even if I was neither young nor urban
Park (chaos theory for the masses) was the hottest thing
I'd read recently, followed quickly by Sphere
(you manifest the products of your own consciousness) and Rising
Sun (the economic rug is being pulled out from under us).
And I'd come across a ten-year old William Irwin Thompson book
a disappointing rehash of earlier ideas. That rogue historian
had first fired up my planetary circuits back in '79, when I discovered
the Edge of History, in the Banyen store: required reading
for a course at SFU called "Educating Awareness." A
seminal idea of the course was that evolution consists of periods
of slow horizontal growth punctuated by sudden jumps to higher
plateaus. Those heady days were far away, when 1993 rolled around.
Then I received that first, tentative Banyen shipment: Talbot's
Holographic Universe and McKenna's The
Archaic Revival. My cozy home turned inside out; time
and space were up for grabs; I spent hours in rapt conversation
with a local mystic; my partner was afraid she was losing me.
Not quite true: I was just taking a long overdue excursion into
cutting edge thinking on the state of life on earth. Could my
emotional, psychic and financial budgets handle more? Yes! Another
order arrived in due course and I delved into McKenna's collaboration
with Abraham and Sheldrake, Trialogues
at the Edge of the West, exploring yet more outlandish
connections between chaos theory, fungoid consciousness and morphogenic
evolution. On into Mander's disturbing condemnation of modern
society, In the Absence
of the Sacred: this one threw me back on me heels but
I pulled out fast with Rheingold's paean to Virtual
Reality. Finally, attoning for my excesses via a stint
of wage slavery, I paid my Visa bill and landed back home safely
through Russell's The
White Hole in Time.
The rest of '93 and '94 I spent recovering: dealing with the
implications of these revelations--reconciling them with my otherwise
"normal" life, and said life, in turn, with the drift
of the planet along its twin-railed course to ultimate enlightenment
and ultimate catastrophe.
In short, I passed on further orders during this time but by
the winter of '95 was ready for another evolutionary boost. My
reading had reverted to sci-fi, mystery, biography and sex. (My
primary relationship had survived the brief supernova of conceptual
energy, but now was suffering from more earthly distractions).
Meanwhile I was wading through a slough of creative and spiritual
"Branches of Light" to the rescue! Christopher Kilham
got me exercising and meditating again, with the powerful new
techniques of The
Five Tibetans; and Julia Cameron got me writing again,
and finding inner resources I didn't know I had, with The
Artist's Way. Robert Masters solved the split between
body-mind theory and practice with Neurospeak,
and Alexander Besher spoke a near-future world into virtual existence
Finally, Bob Frissell said all there is to say when it comes to
matters of communication through the magic prism, language: Nothing
in this Book is True, But it's Exactly How Things Are.
And now? Is that all there is to know, to learn? Quiet--I'm still
assimilating. I'm hearing great reports about Ishmael,
though; so who knows where that's going to lead. . . .
Where's that toll-free number?
Link to Best Books...thumbnail reviews
What's new - millennial favorites
in spiritual and new age books (February 2000)
About ordering books from this website:
Cougar WebWorks offers full-service secure and instant book ordering,
in association with Amazon, "the world's biggest bookstore."
You will have a chance to view prices and other information from
an order page at Amazon.com's website. Links are to paperback
editions wherever possible.
If you want to buy the book online, Amazon's order department
will take care of everything. Orders are processed quickly and securely
by Amazon.com, "the world's biggest bookstore." Most
books are discount priced and will ship to you in 24 hours.