The Cracking Tower
A Strategy for Transcending 2012
By Jim Dekorne
(North Atlantic Books, Paperback, 9781556438165, 232pp.)
Publication Date: November 3, 2009
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End-of-the-world paranoia has been with us since time immemorial. Now, with the end of the legendary Mayan “long count” calendar looming on December 21, 2012 and recent threats of a worldwide economic collapse triggering widespread apprehension and a search for answers, The Cracking Tower offers an arsenal of strategies to turn these fears into an opportunity for spiritual and personal growth.
Beginning with a lively memoir of the author’s experiences in the ’60s, the book goes on to explore apocalyptic thinking through perennial philosophy, shamanism, gnostic mysticism, the body as a vessel of consciousness (and death as “an extended out-of-body experience”), and psychedelics. Shaping the discussion is the fascinating metaphor of the cracking tower, an apparatus for distilling gasoline, as a vehicle for distilling our awareness. Rather than speculating on what might occur in 2012, DeKorne proposes vigilance of a more introspective sort. “The important thing,” he says, “is to ignore the finger and strive to comprehend the moon,” to see what our apocalyptic tendencies reveal about ourselves.
Jim DeKorne is a former epidemiologist and college English professor. He participated actively in civil rights and antiwar protests in the 1960s, the back-to-the-land and appropriate technology movements of the 1970s, and the psychedelic renaissance of the 1980s. He lives on the Big Island of Hawaii.
“Jim DeKorne expertly weaves together diverse threads…into a coherent vision of the challenges and potential that inhabit our modern psyche.”
“The collection of sources, woven together by DeKorne’s keen intellect, becomes, not so much eclectic, as a multifaceted view of a numinous path unfolding in a common language of the Perennial Philosophy. This is a good book, intellectually stimulating, with diverse and always relevant quotations.”
—Circles of Light
"This is an interesting philosophical exploration of two opposing views of the world- materialist vs. perennial. One holds that what you see is what you get, the other that there is more to life than meets the eye and that we are all a part of the divine being… If you are interested in philosophy and spirituality, you will find it a fascinating read." —My Spirit Radio