Here is how anyone can understand the true nature of reality
To gently introduce you to those earlier—but quite up-to-date—volumes I've given six interviews to Jeff Mishlove, as part of the renowned Thinking Allowed series that began back in the 1980's, originally airing on PBS. Each interview generally covers one of the books (although Jeff and I discuss a variety of other topics as well). Below, I provide links to the respective videos and brief commentary on each book. Don't let the books' original publication dates put you off: they are all freshly revised and rendered consistent with one another, so they form a coherent whole.
This is my best-selling book so far, although The Idea will probably soon catch up with and overtake it. It provides an accessible argument for the claim that there is no objective material universe; that the entire universe is in mind, although not in your personal mind alone. I seek to show that we, as individual subjects of experience, are like whirlpools in an ocean of mentation that both contains and surrounds us, and which presents itself to us as what we call the 'physical' universe. The book's argument is based on visual metaphors that are easy to grasp and follow. Its tone is informal but combative, as suggested by the cheeky title, for one of its key claims is that materialism is a preposterous metaphysical view.
Every author probably has a favorite book amongst his own output. More Than Allegory is my favorite. This is my most far reaching work yet, even with some revealing—though highly stylized—autobiographical segments. In it I discuss the ways in which religious myths across the ages have probably hinted at very true aspects of reality. I take you along a thought line whose inevitable conclusion is that spacetime is an illusion, and help you gain direct insight into how you create this illusion 'from moment to moment.' As a bonus, I expose the 'Big Bang' for what it actually represents; and no, it isn't what you've been told. Finally, part III of the book doesn't hold anything back; no, really, nothing. It goes as deep as possible into the rabbit hole we call the nature of reality. The story told there, despite its rather fantastical overtones, is, in fact, true in the ways that really count. You may doubt it after you've read it, but hey, I wouldn't want to fool you, would I?
Everything we consider true about reality is ultimately based on layers and layers of belief systems, some more reliable or justifiable than others. At the bottom of this edifice of belief is Aristotelian logic: a set of statements that are, supposedly, so self-evident that they dispense with substantiation. We all know they are true; or do we? What if we were to critically examine the edifice of our beliefs and discover that reality, in fact, has many more degrees of freedom than we dare grant it? What if our very logic isn't, after all, as self-evident as we suppose? Could this explain the so-called 'high strangeness' phenomena that have been reported throughout the ages, such as UFOs, 'alien abductions,' psychedelic hallucinations, spontaneous religious visions and so forth? Could our own deeply hidden and unexamined belief systems limit what we are actually able to perceive or otherwise cognize of the world around ourselves? Could the world around us right now entail much, much more than we dare imagine? These and many other related questions are explored in this short but daring and intense book.
Together with Part III of More Than Allegory, this is one of my most personal books, for in it I relate—with abundant details and extensive a posteriori commentary—my own private experiences with (highly) altered states of consciousness. That's it; enough said. If you want to know more, read the book! Its subject matter is sensitive; it's the kind of thing that one doesn't want to discuss in brief, for one risks being drastically misinterpreted. And I don't want you to think I am a nutcase!
This was the first book I wrote, the one that received the most extensive revision recently, and probably the most accessible route for anyone interested in dipping their toes into my philosophy. Although I make clear upfront that my position is monistic idealism—i.e. I hold the view that consciousness is all there ultimately is—the book uses dualism (body/soul, subject/object, mind/matter, etc.) as its running metaphor. Since most people are used to dualist concepts, following the argument line in this book should be fairly straightforward. It's a short and direct volume. I do make explicit, however, how to port the dualist metaphor onto my actual idealist philosophy, so readers won't be ultimately restricted to a dualist mode of thinking. Those interested in looking deeper will be able to see how dualism sort of 'sits on top' of idealism, like an application running on an operating system.
This is my most varied book. In consists of a number of essays—organized in chapters according to their subject matter—tackling topics such as the mind-body problem, how research on memory is distorted and misportrayed by the media, the rampant misrepresentation of psychedelic research that sometimes is unashamedly encouraged by the researchers themselves (!), the psycho-social dynamics underlying how the metaphysics of materialism is promoted on the basis of scandalous double-standards, how materialism underpins consumerism and the suicidal pillaging of the planet we have been bearing witness to, the politics of it all, and even how to live a decent and meaningful life informed by straight philosophical thinking. I also discuss at length—and this book is the only place where I allow myself to do it—the implications and applications of the metaphysics of idealism, which I espouse. Despite the variety of themes tackled, the book does offer a coherent overall message built out of seemingly incommensurable pieces of one overarching jigsaw puzzle.
I hope you enjoy the books and find value in them!