Tuesday, April 17, 2018

A Down to Earth Spiritual Journey

Garry Gewant’s “…Journey from Atheism to Spirituality” is a wonderful nonfiction work that discusses mystical topics in a down-to-earth fashion.  All of the narratives are quite intriguing and entertaining.  I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in Spirituality, mediumship, reincarnation, metaphysics, the workings of the Universe, and the like.

Interestingly, the pages of the book are not divided into chapters, but into “Life Lessons,” e.g., “Life Lesson 5,” instead of “Chapter 5.” I especially like how the episodes within each “Life Lesson” are at times broken up into short (non-fiction) stories that you can usually finish even if you only have a tiny period of time to relax and read.

Garry’s perspectives regarding the third eye, sixth sense, “skeptic vs cynic,” the Universe, etc., are all, in my view, highly accurate.   I also found Garry’s philosophical statements to be in sync with the core shamanic beliefs that form a cornerstone of my own spirituality.   Further, the author’s descriptions of the experiences he’s had with Spirit contact, synchronicities, hearing voices, and feeling those “familiar chills,” all ring true.

Garry’s accounts of how he goes from a tortured super market employee and smoker, to teacher, hypnotherapist, medium, author, and non-smoker, are unique and enjoyable.   The stories about Garry’s father and the ramifications of his (and Garry’s own) smoking—are moving.    The narrative about the metaphysical school trip (page 18 et seq) is spectacular, a showstopper. There are other showstoppers as well, but I can’t get into all of them here.

One fascinating account I must mention is the story of Garry’s connection to Brian Weiss, the penultimate past-life regression expert. It was at an upstate New York Spiritual education center called “Omega” where Garry met, and studied with, Dr. Weiss.  It was also at Omega that Garry and I met, as you can read beginning with “Another Life Lesson - # 57.”  I remember that event very well, and Garry’s description of the event is wholly accurate—providing more evidence of the honesty and integrity that is an essence of Garry as I know him, and that comes thru in his book.

 “THE END OF THE BOOK But not the journey” wraps things up nicely on page 317, but Garry continues on to discuss the importance of family, providing further insight to who he is—a wonderful family man, who also just happens to be a gifted medium. 

Saturday, March 17, 2018

"The Freedom Model..." -- An Empowering Perspective on Substance Use

"The Freedom Model for Addictions: Escape the Treatment and Recovery Trap" is a book that has a unique, intriguing, and ultimately empowering perspective. The work is very much worth reading especially for those with an interest in the recreational use of alcohol and drugs, and the treatment and recovery processes prevalent in our society. 

I found the statistics on how many so-called addicts resolve their problems on their own, e.g., upward of 90% for alcohol, marijuana and cocaine, quite surprising. (page 22) 

Of course, you have to want to moderate or quit. (page 31 et seq.)  That is the basic message throughout this book.

Some other key concepts contained in the book follow:
·     "Moderate use [of alcohol and drugs] is possible for anyone, because loss of control is a myth." (page 11)
·     "The Freedom Model says...that people are actively and freely choosing each time they take a dose of drugs or alcohol, and that one simple thing motivates them to do so: the pursuit of happiness." (page 18)  Also referred to as the Positive Drive Principle (PDP). (page 121)
·      Pleasure "is the primary reason people prefer to be intoxicated." (page 67)
·     Determining whether your current substance use makes you happy enough or you'd be happier with some level of change is everything." (page 140)
·     With regard to the terms “problematic,“ heavy,” and “moderate/adjusted” substance use, the authors note that “we haven’t defined what levels or frequencies...fit those descriptions...These are all subjective terms, the definitions of which will vary according to everyone’s personal judgment.”  (page 207)

I didn't agree with all that the authors said.  This statement, for example: "[C]hoices are made in the pursuit of happiness and that there are no exceptions."  (page 125)  This statement ignores the fact that sometimes we are forced to choose between the lesser of two evils—not to be happy but to be less unhappy.  To cite a drastic example, consider a man on death row choosing between hanging or firing squad.  Or as happened to many during the Viet Nam War, go to jail or join the Army.  Is either seeking happiness?  Obviously not.  The are deciding on the less painful choice.

I also found the chapters (17 and 18) on Questioning Drug Effects, and The Illusion of Emotional Relief (respectively), often unpersuasive, especially regarding the authors' reliance on a pharmacological analyses.  The authors’ seeming indifference to catalytic impact also bothered me.  However they did allude to catalytic impact on page 293 where they noted, "The emotional stress relief some people feel at some times while using substances is coming from their own minds."

Another problem I found was that there was much repetition in the book which tended to detract.  Perhaps the authors were just trying to hammer things home.

However, I especially liked that the authors suggest at the end of Chapter 9 that some people will by the time they read through the first nine chapters (the first 172 pages of 469 pages total, including 90 pages of Appendices), they will be able to see through the treatment and recovery ruse, and feel free to change.  In other words, for some, the book ended there.  Those "caught deeper in the trap of recovery mythology" were encouraged to read on.  I would describe myself as NOT being in the latter group but kept reading anyway and was not disappointed for having done so.  There was much more worthwhile reading that followed.

Chapter 21, on The Benefits of Adjusted Substance Use, I found somewhat perplexing.  After referring to “moderation” numerous times previously throughout the book, in Chapter 21 the authors used a different term in its place, i.e., “adjusted substance abuse.” This seemed like a matter of semantics, but the authors disputed that notion saying, “This term, adjusted substance abuse, is not about just a matter of semantics [sic]. The point of it is to get you to think of what you would have to adjust to get better, happier, more satisfying life results for yourself.”  (page 343)

Fair enough.  And I did appreciate the list that immediately followed regarding the “potential adjustments” that can be made to change substance use habits, e.g., using less per occasion, using safer substances, etc.

In a segment discussing the pitfalls of goal setting toward the end of the text (page 370), the authors express their message very effectively, essentially advising readers to ask themselves “one simple question.  Do you believe that you can be happier reducing/quitting your substance use than you can by continuing as it is?  That’s it.  That’s all you need to know.  If you don’t believe you will be happier [or less unhappy, in my view], then you will not be motivated to change.”

Agreed.  It’s a question that those folks wondering whether they should quit, moderate, or adjust their substance intake, need to ask themselves.  No doubt about it, you’ve got to WANT to change.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

An Excellent Book by David Ray Griffin, on How the World Is Run—Recommended Reading for All, Especially the Uninitiated

The title of this work by Professor David Ray Griffin—the most prominent and reliable author of books on 9/11—is: “Bush and Cheney, How They Ruined America and the World.” Which might lead one to believe that, in Dr. Griffin’s eyes, the Bush and Cheney crew are wholly to blame for the world’s current state of affairs.  However, as they say, “Never judge a book by its cover.”  For President Obama is also highly criticized throughout the book, especially in the Epilogue.  Additionally, Donald Trump is at times indicted, but given the timing of the book’s publication, what is written about “The Donald” is comparatively brief.   Nevertheless, this scholarly work should be mandatory reading for every student of current events and recent history, for the book reveals how the stage was set, and became the platform for, where we are today—via the ghastly nightmare of September 11, 2001.

Part One of the book begins with the accusation that the Bush and Cheney administration knew that 9/11 was about to happen, and did nothing to stop it.  This took me back for a moment, for it is a LIHOP perspective, LIHOP being an acronym for the idea that Bush and Cheney “Let [vs. Made] It [9/11] Happen On Purpose.” 

When I first tuned into 9/11 Truth, in August 2008, there was much ado about whether you believed that the apparent powers that be were in the LIHOP or MIHOP category.  I started with the belief in LIHOP and was ridiculed for thinking so on an alleged “Truther” cite.  Later, as my independent research and analysis of what really happened on 9/11 progressed, I could see quite clearly that 9/11 was an inside job—perpetrated by Americans, upon Americans, to create a “New Pearl Harbor” which would form the basis for the never-ending war OF terror in the Middle East, to the benefit of the military industrial complex, and Zionist Israel. 

On a website recently, someone chided Dr. Griffin for engaging in a LIHOP perspective.  However, as becomes clear in the second part of the book, Dr. Griffin has determined that members of the Bush II Administration, specifically Cheney, Rumsfeld and other neocons, “planned” 9/11 to advance their own political agenda.  Interestingly, Dr. Griffin adds, “we do not know what role Bush played that day” (see pages 298 and 299). 

As outrageous the conclusion—that US neocons planned 9/11—may seem to the uninitiated, the proof is there for those who have eyes to see. For those of you who have doubts, I strongly suggest that you read this authoritative work, and examine the evidence—unless you would prefer to continue to rely on gatekeeper entities, and remain deceived.

Dr. Griffin’s detailed discussions (always footnoted) of the War On Terror, the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars, and the issues of military spending, preemptive war, and regime change, put the state of the world into its proper perspective.  As do the chapters on Islamophobia, Global Chaos, and Drone Warfare and International Law.  All very well done.

Some of my favorite parts include: discussions on the corruption of the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency); mentioning that Bush Sr. had referred to certain neocons—Cheney, Rumsfeld, Perle, and Wolfowitz—as the ‘crazies in the basement’; and the observations (a) that the Bush-Cheney administration was hostile to Syria “partly”  (I would argue “mainly”) because Israel was hostile to Syria, and (b) linking the USA’s neocons with Zionism (aka, “Ziocons”).  I also was pleased to read Dr. Griffin say that “a discussion of Israel/Palestine…is arguably second in importance to none.” 

I must admit, however, that I did have problems with some passages in the book.  For example, I would have preferred that Julian Assange and his Wikileaks organization not be cited as authoritative sources, mainly since Assange is on record saying that he is ‘annoyed by false conspiracies such as 9/11.’  Ditto the references to Noam Chomsky who has stated publicly that ‘9/11 and the assassination of JFK don’t matter.’   However, that is my own personal preference.  Indeed, Dr. Griffin’s citing of these two sources—whose opinions carry such weight with so many—may help lead some portion of those who believe in Wikileaks and Chomsky, into the light.

I especially enjoyed the chapter on “Shredding the Constitution” where the actual parts of the Constitution that have been shredded are identified and discussed.  You don’t usually see that level of specificity when the destruction of the US Constitution is mentioned.  (A similar detailed approach regarding “sanctions,” discussed later in the book, would have been welcome.)  In the Constitution-shredding chapter, and the book’s introductory chapter, Dr. Griffin’s analysis leading to the conclusion that Dick Cheney “was essentially the president” during Bush II’s first term, is quite persuasive.

Dr. Griffin’s perspectives presented in the chapters on Nuclear Holocaust and Ecological Holocaust ring true, and thus in me, triggered depression. In fact, I had trouble getting through these chapters, wondering all the while, “Will the Earth as we know it continue to support human life?”  Other than these two chapters, I found the book to be an easy read.

I very much appreciated Dr. Griffin’s assessment that, “Given the overwhelming evidence that the regime change in Ukraine was a false-flag operation, organized by members of the Obama administration, it was outrageous that the other G7 countries used the 2013-14 events in Ukraine as an excuse to put sanctions on Russia.”  In that same chapter, Dr. Griffin writes with authority that, “The intelligence community essentially told Trump [that] if he was to succeed as president, he would have to get tough with Russia.”  And that “Trump soon got the message, fired his Russia-friendly national security advisor, made military strikes on Syria and Afghanistan, reversed his view that NATO was obsolete, and reported that he was not getting along with Russia at all…Trump also announced that he was delegating decisions about military actions to the Pentagon.”  Which is a lot like delegating the foxes to watch over the henhouse.

Part II of Dr. Griffin’s book begins with the title “9/11: A Miraculous Day.”  In this section, Dr. Griffin discusses 15 major “miracles” that the writers of the official account of 9/11 rely upon to try and convince us that 19 Arabs with boxcutters outwitted the most sophisticated military defense system the world had ever known, four times in one day, on 9/11.

Having been brought up a Catholic (but long since lapsed), I initially took issue with Dr. Griffin’s use of the word “miracles.”  As I was taught, and always understood, the term “miracle” conveys a positive result, e.g., Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead, Jesus changing water into wine, the Assumption of Mary into Heaven, etc. 

But in his book, Dr. Griffin, a preeminent theologian, defines the term “miracles” simply to be “violations of the laws of nature” (see e.g., page 248). This definition removed from my own mindset the idea that a miracle necessarily results in a positive result.  Of course, for the perpetrators of 9/11, these 9/11 “miracles” did in fact result in a happy ending, i.e., the never-ending war OF terror, regime change in the Middle East to the delight of Zionist Israel, the shredding of the US Constitution, the advancement of the New World Order, etc.  Thus, in context, the term “miracles” was better than any other word I could come up with, and so I came to accept Dr. Griffin’s use of the term “miracles,” and kept reading.  No way I could not continue to do so since this book is so informative, and so well written.

It is in the subtext of the chapter on “Why Bush and Cheney Should Not Be Trusted” that Dr. Griffin advances from a LIHOP view, to a MIHOP perspective, which should bring along those stragglers who have not yet woken up to the truth about 9/11, and calm those 9/11 Truth advocates troubled by Chapter 1’s LIHOP perspective. 

In the chapters on the miraculous destruction of the Twin Towers and Building 7, Dr. Griffin concisely and authoritatively destroys the official story.  The chapter on “The Miraculous Attack on the Pentagon,” I found less formidable, but an adequate presentation is made. However, Dr. Griffin doesn’t really say anything about the ridiculous official story of Flight 93 that allegedly crashed in Shanksville PA without leaving any plane parts or victims’ bodies behind.  Would that not be another “miracle?”  Coverage of this topic would have been most welcome. 

In sum, this is another excellent book by Dr. Griffin that I believe will be especially appealing to those who are unaware of the past and current condition of the United States, and the world.  How we get these folks to actually read the book and awaken, I don’t really know.  Perhaps the marketing division of Dr. Griffin’s publisher, Olive Branch Press, can provide some answers.  A heavy promotional campaign is what I would most strongly suggest.  For the more people who become aware of the realities of 9/11 and related political Truths, the better chance we have of reversing the insanity that permeates our world, and threatens its existence. 

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Nobody gives a hoot what I have to say but. . .

. . . I’ll say it anyway. 

… Trump won because the powers that be saw Hillary as too damaged, and so rigged things Trump’s way.  Electronic voting has eliminated what was left of “democracy.”

…This evening, I probably should not have asked the counter guy at the pizza place whether his hands were clean, after witnessing him blowing his nose.  He wasn’t working behind the counter, it turned out, but just hanging out alongside, he testified.  Who knew?  My asking the actual “waitress” the same question when she came into view from the back room elicited a response of, ”Yes, I just washed my hands.” I apologized to the guy twice.  He didn’t seem too upset.

…Bill Pepper’s book “The Plot to Kill King,” on the assassination of Martin Luther King, https://www.amazon.com/Plot-Kill-King-Behind-Assassination/dp/1510702172/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1486247524&sr=1-1&keywords=william+pepper provides insight into “America,” which (tho not touched on in Pepper’s book) of course was built upon the genocide of the Red Race, and the enslavement of the Black Race.

…Jackie Robinson was properly called safe while stealing home in the 1955 World Series.  Even tho the ball was there before Jackie's foot touched home, Yogi's glove was behind the front of the plate: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=taOBAienlLY

There is no hope for “America” unless the people face up to the truth about 9/11, the official story being the foundation of the “Terror State” insanity that prevails today.

It would appear that the powers that backed Adolph Hitler are in control today: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1Qt6a-vaNM  An excellent film even tho the issue of Zionism is not discussed.

The True Torah Jews allege that Hitler and the Zionists were in bed together. http://www.truetorahjews.org/naziismzionism Given how the Zionists treat the Palestinians today, the allegation appears credible. It’s impossible for a zebra to change its stripes.

That there are muzzle laws against so-called “Holocaust Denial” (aka NO  “free speech” allowed) should tell you something: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laws_against_Holocaust_denial 

“The Good Wife,” available on Amazon Prime, is excellent.

The Stupor Bowl is tomorrow.  If you are reading this today, (2/4/2017) enjoy!  If you are reading this after the game is over, I hope you enjoyed the game, if you bothered to watch it.  (I read later that the Patriots made a spectacular comeback and won.  I like the Patriots.)

Monday, October 10, 2016

Brilliant, Educational, and Enlightening--A Review of David Ray Griffin’s Book, "God Exists But Gawd Does Not"

Even before reading David Ray Griffin’s God Exists But Gawd Does Not, I realized that this book—apparently targeted mainly to theologians and philosophers (of which I am neither)—would be way over my head, intellectually speaking.  As it turned out, I was right.  Nevertheless, I very much enjoyed reading this brilliant work which opened my eyes and mind to the varied perspectives expressed over the centuries, and to date, about the entity known as “God.”   

Professor Griffin has a careful way of explaining things, and his analytical approach is brilliant, as is true here and with regard to other books of his that I have read. In this instance, I especially appreciated how the author breaks down each chapter into separate subsets, provides smooth transitions, and offers clear explanations as to what his positions are regarding the numerous controversies at issue.  He also has an excellent way of breaking down complex topics so that even those of us who are not theologians or philosophers, can understand and enjoy this work.

I also very much respect how Professor Griffin presents the positions of others with whom he does not agree, in a fair and professional manner. Often, I couldn’t tell until a presentation about the writings of “X” or “Y” was completed, whether Professor Griffin agreed or disagreed with the opinions being presented.   So fair and objective is he.

Further, the author’s “Conclusions” at the end of each chapter let the reader know in no uncertain terms, exactly where Professor Griffin stands on the topics at issue.  While I do not always agree with the author’s positions, his incredibly insightful analysis has inspired me to further research the subjects discussed, and the questions they trigger, thereby advancing my own knowledge.

The book begins with the author agreeing with atheists, that the world in which we live was not created by an omnipotent being—such as the “God” of the Old Testament, who would be called “Gawd,” a term that is defined as “the omnipotent creator of the universe as portrayed by traditional theism.” (Page 1)  The second part of the book argues that, nevertheless, God (vs. Gawd) does exist, and that it is “important for individuals and societies to believe that our world has been brought forth by a divine creator.” (Preface)

Chapter 1, entitled “Evil,” raised a number of issues for me, more than any other chapter in the book, by far.  Here, Professor Griffin focuses on the “logical problem of evil,” i.e., the idea that, if there is both an “all-good and all-powerful” god, then evil should not exist. (Page 15)  I have a basic problem with this problem.  Specifically, how on earth did all of the brilliant minds referenced in this chapter come to theorize that “God” could be “all-good?” For, isn’t this biblical “God” the same entity who decided to inflict on all women, very severe pains while bearing children, simply because Eve took a bite out of an apple?  (Genesis 2:4-3:24)  Isn’t the “God” of the Old Testament the same entity that cast a plague that killed 70,000 men just because David ordered a census of the people? (1 Chronicles 21) Didn’t this same entity arrange for the destruction of 60 cities, while prompting the killing of all the men, women, and children of each city, and the looting of all of their value? (Deuteronomy 3) Isn’t this the same “God” who led Joshua to destroy every living thing in Jericho—men and women, young and old, along with all the cattle, sheep and donkeys? (Joshua 6)  Etc., etc.
I submit that if the “God” of the Old Testament did create the world, it would be as insane and unjust a place as it is today.  Witness (to name but one example): the mass murders on 9/11 which were, at a minimum, aided and abetted by members of the U.S. government, and which prompted the ongoing and endless “war of terror” [sic, my term], and the resultant deaths, injuries, and sufferings of hundreds of thousands if not millions of innocent people (still counting). So, in contrast to the author’s viewpoint (and somewhat in sync with early Gnostic teachings which identify the “God” of the Old Testament as the evil “Demiurge”), I would not rule out the idea that the creator of this world is Gawd.

At the end of Chapter 1, Professor Griffin concludes, “If the world is said to have been created ex nihilo [out of nothing], then the defense of the creator’s goodness will be impossible.” (Pages 38 and 39) But as evidenced in the writings of the Old Testament (examples provided above), the defense of Gawd’s alleged “goodness” fails whether or not he created the world, and whether or not he created the world out of nothing.  Thus, I don’t really understand why theologians and philosophers have persisted in this discussion for centuries on end.

Another problem I had with Chapter 1 has to do with the shamanic idea that God (vs. Gawd) may have created this “evil” world (if you want to call it that, as some Gnostics have) as a most challenging “school” for souls to attend (via their own free will), and hopefully progress by standing up to evil in defense of humanity.  This idea springs from my hearing renowned shamanic teacher Hank Wesselman say that Earth is known throughout the galaxies as “a very tough learning school.”  If so, Earth may be a place where evil is designed (or at least allowed) to be in control, and where good souls can freely choose to incarnate and strive to make a difference, against all odds; and as a result of their dedication to Truth and the betterment of humanity, thereby progress spiritually.  In other words, one could argue that the creation of this “evil” world may have been God’s way of setting up an ultimate challenge for all those souls who choose to incarnate as human here, to provide them with an opportunity to achieve soul growth at an accelerated rate, and thereby become more “God-like” sooner rather than later.

Chapter 2 focuses on “scientific naturalism,” which is the doctrine that “there are no supernatural interruptions of the world’s normal cause-effect relations.” (Page 44)  In other words, God does not intervene in the goings-on of man.  This chapter involves not only an analysis of the “Hermetic Tradition,” but also the views of Descartes, Robert Boyle, and Isaac Newton.  It’s a fascinating discussion.  In his conclusion, the author asserts that “the scientific worldview now rules out Gawd…however, God is compatible with scientific naturalism—as long as it is not the sensationalist and materialistic version of naturalism.”  (Page 57)

In Chapter 3, Professor Griffin deals with evolution as a main reason for atheism.  This, of course, involves a detailed discussion of Charles Darwin.  The author delves into issues like “Evolution vs. Gawd,” “Darwinian and Neo-Darwinian Evolution,”  “Are Gawd and Evolution Compatible?” and (as a subset), “Intelligent Design.”   It’s an intriguing read.

Unlike the first three chapters, which discuss anti-theistic arguments, Chapters 4 and 5 discuss arguments for the existence of Gawd.  Specifically, Chapter 4 deals with “Consciousness,” and Chapter 5—my favorite chapter in the book—analyzes “Miracles.” 

The reason why I enjoyed Chapter 5 so much is because Professor Griffin dares to focus on “The Importance of Psychical Research,” “Parapsychology vs. Supernatural Miracles,” and “Apparitions and the Resurrection Appearances of Jesus.”   One must read Professor Griffin’s analysis to fully appreciate his conclusion at the end of Chapter 5 that “the New Testament’s ‘miracles’ were actual but not supernatural,” and that “The discipline called psychical research or parapsychology has provided empirical support” for this view. (Page 113)

“Immoral Effects” is the title of Chapter 6, and presents the idea that “The so-called New Atheists…have provided a restatement of the claim that theistic religion promotes immorality, so that atheism would improve morality.” (Page 119)  There seemed to me to be, in this chapter, an appropriate opportunity for Professor Griffin to delve into 9/11 truth, given the references to Sam Harris’ “The End of Faith,” written in the wake of 9/11, and the discussion of the mainstream-manufactured (my term) “Islamophobia.”  However, Professor Griffin, the author of a dozen fabulous books on 9/11 Truth, chooses not to go there.  Perhaps that is all for the best, given to whom this book is apparently directed, i.e., theologians and philosophers.

Chapter 7, on “Mathematics,” begins Part II of the book, which in turn is entitled “Why God Does Exist.”  Chapter 7, for the most part, was totally beyond my comprehension, though I was excellent at math from grammar school thru college. 

After delving into the depths of math, Professor Griffin concludes, “Mathematics points to the existence of God, understood as the mind or soul of the universe, in four ways.” (Page 170)  Four ways which I won’t go into here, but which the mathematically inclined, I’m sure, will very much appreciate.  The phrase describing God as “the mind or soul of the universe,” resonated strongly with me.

The author’s thesis of Chapter 8, entitled “Morality,” is that “an adequate moral philosophy is impossible without the affirmation of a divine reality.” (Page 192)  Originally, I disagreed with this statement, since some of the most “moral” people I’ve met are atheists.  In my view, one doesn’t need to believe in God to adhere to the so-called silver rule: “Do not do unto others that which you would not have done unto you.”  If we all followed that rule, the world would be a better place, whether or not we believe in God.  But after additional readings, it seems that “morality” per se is not what Professor Griffin is getting at.  Instead, the chapter is about  “moral realism,” i.e., the position that moral norms are real (or at least can be) in the nature of things (not simply made up by us).  This is a topic which, I must confess, I find elusive.   

Similarly, Chapter 9, on “Logic and Rationality,” is a chapter that is very much beyond me.  However, I appreciate and tend to agree with the conclusion reached at the end, that, “The present book, by speaking of a world soul, describes a view of deity that is radically different from Gawd—a deity that is not an omnipotent, supernatural being…”  (Page 213) 

“Truth,” the title of Chapter 10, “is concerned with the existence of factual truth, including historical truth, as pointing to the influence of the world on the cosmic actuality…” (Page 216) As reference points, Professor Griffin asks, “Is the standard account about the Pearl Harbor attack accurate? Was President Kennedy really killed by Lee Harvey Oswald?  Were the 9/11 attacks engineered by Muslims?  With all such questions, we presuppose that the answer is either true or false.  Otherwise, there would be no debates about them.” The author then goes on to define truth as “the correspondence of a proposition with the reality to which it refers.” (Page 217)  All this is a prelude to an in-depth discussion of truth which leads Professor Griffin to conclude that “the existence of factual truth should be added to the list—along with the existence of mathematics, morality, logic, and rationality—of reasons for affirming the reality of God.” (Page 227)

In Chapter 11, Professor Griffin delves into the topic of “Religious Experience.”  Here, the author focuses on “The Academic Study of Religion,” and ultimately concludes that, “if we think in terms of a divine reality that is universal but not omnipotent in the traditional sense, the reality of religious experience simply adds one more reason to the list of reasons to believe in the existence of God.” (Page 240)   As is true throughout this book, the joy is in the reading and dissecting of the author’s own analyses that lead him to his conclusions.

Professor Griffin’s analyses in the last three chapters— “Metaphysical Order,” “Cosmological Order,” and  “Teleological Order”—set forth more reasons to believe in the existence of God, if one is to approach the subject from a purely intellectual perspective. 

In a subchapter entitled “Fine-Tuning Evidence For Gawd Or God,” Professor Griffin advises that “scientists and others should do their best to avoid being unduly influenced by their hopes, looking as dispassionately as possible at which alternative has the best evidence.” (Page 292) Sound advice, to be sure. But I would argue that there is no way to scientifically prove one way or the other whether Gawd or God exists or doesn’t exist. Unlike, say, with regard to 9/11—where the laws of physics demonstrate that Building 7 could not have collapsed as the government says it did (i.e., as the result of office fires)—there is no physical proof possible that can be evaluated to determine whether or not God or Gawd exists, and/or created the planet Earth.   It is seemingly more a matter of metaphysics, or something even more intangible, involving rules which are quite undeterminable, and perhaps even unimaginable. Perhaps as early Gnostics believed, God is unknowable. 

Toward the end of the book, Professor Griffin addresses “Why Belief in God, Not Gawd, Is Important.”  Surprisingly, the author’s focus is on “the overriding issue of our time: whether civilization will be destroyed by global warming and the climate change it causes.” (Page 307)  He goes on to say, “The central difference between God and Gawd is that God is not in complete control.  We humans exist only because God persuaded the evolutionary process to bring forth higher forms of life, but to believe in God as our creator is not to believe that our planet’s climate is controlled by God.” (Page 315) I agree that it is up to humans to save the planet for human habitation, but sadly, I don’t see that happening.  I hope I’m wrong.

Professor Griffin indicates that he “wrote this book with the hope that it would be the best book on God ever written.”  (Preface) Having read no other books on this topic, I will leave that judgment primarily to the theologians and philosophers to whom this work is apparently directed. From my point of view, the book is brilliant, educational, and enlightening, and well worth reading by anyone who has ever considered the seemingly unanswerable question of, “Who is God?”