This book is more information than you may want to know about [y]our “self” and how this or the next civilization on this planet necessarily depends on your understanding the source of “mind” or “self.” It is a conversation with “self” from a first-person or phenomenological perspective — starting with a candid story of taking a potent psychedelic — breaking through to a temporary godhood and breaking out of the trauma of egohood.
The remaining half of the book illustrates a transparent model of mind with which to explore repurposing mind away from its now unnecessary purpose of putting “self” first.
The premise of the remaining half of the book speaks to the evolutionary purpose of the “self/other” construct, which has long outlived its original purpose of preservation of “self,” and suggests that if the “self” is left uninspected or ignored, civilization will fail once again as it has many times in the last ten thousand years of recorded history — and each time along the same apocalyptic curve of catastrophes illustrated at the top of this webpage. However, the premise also includes a way to flatten that curve by tracing the evolution of mind from “a time of undifferentiated being to a differentiated conscious one.”
James does not mind if you call him an accidental mystic. He certainly does not consider himself any more awakened than others, rather simply an artist with all the visions that artists tend to have. He is retired from a long career in graphic design of advertising and literature. In his late thirties he taught the subject for five years and, with summers off, he took pilgrimages to various spiritual communities, and teachers. His books share his thought and art with like minds.