In Alan Joseph Oliver’s Thinking on the Other Side of Zero, a man who has “assist[ed] people coming to grips with serious illness” attempts to explain, using yoga and modern science, the mystery of consciousness.
Oliver has formed a theory of consciousness with the help of physicist Dr. Bevan Reid and by studying the works of theoretical physicist David Bohm, biologist Rupert Sheldrake, and mathematician Roger Penrose, plus delving into Vedic knowledge (information derived from a meditative state). He argues that thinking and memory don’t derive from chemical and electrical activity in the brain but rather “from the presence of information in the virtual state in superposition with matter.”
By explaining in intricate detail the hierarchy of yogic stages of manifestation, he presents a picture of a “whole reality in which the sentient and solid matters are bound up in a common purpose.” He reflects on how this ancient belief is echoed in the philosophies of Plato and physics. He draws in, too, the concept of zero, what exists before and after present life. This brings the author back to his healing work with people struggling to envision what comes after death.
Oliver emphasizes that this is “simply my own musing about reality.” He’s clearly a profound thinker, but a less skilled communicator. He uses words such as “evolutes,” and “morphgenic” without defining them beyond the glossary at book’s end. He freely uses Sanskrit—purusha, prakriti, mahat, etc.—and writes in heavy jargon, as in: “Roger Penrose says that a number of wavefronts orthogonal to the interface can be in superposition.”
Readers today are willing to tackle the hard question of what lies beyond present life. This book, however, is a dense read that will stymie all but the most dedicated readers—those willing to plow through difficult prose and look up the author’s diverse references to come away with a glint of insight.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.