1. What Led you to Write this Book?
A deep, overriding conviction that there is one principle – or “Truth” – that unites what we separately classify as the fields of religion, science, and philosophy. I also have an equally deep conviction that there is more hope for this world than the gloomy future modern science says is in store for us. In the end, the reason I wrote the book is that no other book I was aware of expressed the ideas that keep flowing through my mind.
2. What do you mean by gloomy future?
According to the mechanical world-model of modern science both our bodies and the universe at large are machines programmed to eventually run down and die – our bodies through disease and old age, and the Earth through the sun’s ultimate loss of fuel or some other cosmic catastrophe. But there are more immediate ill-effects of the materialistic worldview of modern science.
3. What are these Ill-Effects?
The material science worldview casts us into roles where we are adverse to each other and to the world. We are taught that people of different religions, nationalities, or color are fundamentally different creatures, as most vividly shown by ongoing wars between people of different faith. I believe in the principle that all people, in the end, pray to the same God, and that this principle is deeply true on both a spiritual and scientific level.
4. Do you Really Think you Can Change the Way People Think About the World?
The short answer is, of course, but ideas ultimately change the world, not people. Under the principles of science, if a new idea or theory comes along that better explains worldly phenomena than the current scientific paradigm, then the new idea will gradually replace the older view of things. I am trying to give this new way of looking at things, the “Real Dream worldview,” a forceful thrust out into modern society and see how it does. At the end of the day, the question is what worldview will be left standing?
5. Who were your major influences?
My mother, who gave me the will to fight. I have been inspired by too many books to count, but the list includes Descartes’ Meditations, George Berkeley’s Principles of Human Knowledge, Paul Davies’ God and the New Physics and The Mind of God, Fritjof Capra’s The Tao of Physics, David Hume’s An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, Herman Hesse’s Siddhartha, the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, Phillip Johnson, Darwin on Trial, parts of Hegel’s Phenomenology of Mind and Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason, and of course the Bible. Many writers, with their self-assured form of materialism, also inspired me to develop the other side of the argument. These writers include Richard Dawkins, Steven Weinberg, Ernst Mayr, and Heinz Pagels.
6. Who is the Audience for this Book?
I wrote it for everyone, as I do not think the big ideas should be the business only of professors and religious leaders. It will help, however, if the reader has an open mind, or is at least willing to consider another perspective from that presented by modern science. It is also the sort of book, I hope, that becomes easier to understand the more the reader sleep on the ideas it contains.
7. How has Practicing Law Affected How You Wrote this Book?
First, it has provided a source of income. After my first semester in college, I thought I could simply take a few months off and write the book. After finding I had only $40 in my checking account, I concluded freelancing was not going to work. Second, practicing law has given me the discipline to document an argument, stay close to where the evidence leads, and keep the reasoning tight. Realizing that there might be a few people who disagreed with the book’s premise, law practice has made me better at arguing. This skill may come in handy.
8. This Book has Hundreds of Footnotes. Why so Many?
Admittedly, many people (including my wife), want to distant themselves from any book with footnotes, perhaps because of negative associations with textbooks or school. In my case, however, the footnotes are intended to be helpful. To many people, the book may appear to advance a radical proposition. I wanted to show that everything I am saying is supported somewhere in intellectual history and all I am doing inferring from the data in a different direction that than chosen by modern science. The reader does not have to read the footnotes to understand the book, but referring to them now and then may be useful.
9. You Say you Started the Book in 1974. Why did it take so long?
In 1974 I started with an idea and a feeling I was right. The rest of the 35 years I spent trying to understand the ideas and to express the feeling into words. The book was not born whole, but has been an evolving project, where I would find inspiration in the ideas I was writing down and in my research. The inspiration continued piling up; eventually, I had to stop somewhere.
10. Do you Think the Time if Right for this Type of Book?
I think the time is perfect. It is hard not to imagine some form of “clash of civilizations” unless we find common ground among the people of the world. As time goes on, humankind’s awareness of itself and its place in world must rise. We have more people questioning the old truths of organized religion, and finding truth in what science tells us is the “supernatural,” whether the power of attraction, spiritual cures, or Gaia-like beliefs. This book shows that much of what we call the “supernatural” is really natural and that we should stop pretending we live in Newton’s mechanical world, where the universe is a machine and we are robots, programmed only to perpetuate our selfish genes as we march silently into our waiting graves.