Phillip Gardner,
Gateways to the Otherworld
(New Page, 2007)

This book, subtitled "The Secrets Beyond the Final Journey, From the Egyptian Underworld to the Gates in the Sky," aims to demonstrate the existence of a series of gateways -- that is, entrances -- to other worlds. As the author says, "Firstly, there is the Gateway after physical death into the realms known by Christians (and others) as Heaven or Hell," a statement followed by a two-page discussion of concepts of Heaven and Hell. Phillip Gardner concludes it is good to have a paradise that we enter after death, but "many of us would like to experience this Otherworld now." In this way, we can gain access to the "healing and prophecy from the deities or spirits that reside there."

Gardner promises a scientific discussion of these ideas, but his notion of what exactly constitutes science is a little loosely fashioned. He begins with the promise of a scientific discussion as to whether or not God exists and offers as evidence the idea of "ordered interconnectedness," which means that everything is cyclical: "Even down to the smallest atom (and even smaller subatomic particles), we have these universal cycles -- they are the things that give energy and life. "Therein lies the key to unlocking the secrets of humankind's place in the cosmos." "Through certain kinds of meditation, fasting, prayer and the use of drugs, humankind can effect his own electromagnetic "wave resonance" and make it similar to that of the earth/universe -- something akin to F-sharp...."

As Chandler Bing would say, could we be more scientific? (And if the number of quotation marks in the above passage seems off, blame Gardner.)

Here's some science for you:

"For instance, let's take the most famous man, Jesus. There is absolutely no literal truth of a real Jesus Christ anywhere in the bible, or elsewhere for that matter. There is, however, truth, in that what he stood for symbolically was truth. On one level of understanding, Jesus represented the sun. His mother/wife Mary was the moon, as is shown in the etymology of her name being linked to both the moon and the sea (mer)."

For all I know, Gardner might be absolutely right on in his statements. He might have access to some subjective knowledge that escapes me and, I suspect, most reasonable readers. However, since he promises at the outset a scientific discussion, we can only rely on his use of scientific principles and his use of logic, both of which are, shall we say, a touch off the wall. There is no literal truth of Jesus's existence but it is true that he stood for truth? He symbolizes the sun? His mother/wife (what the hell exactly is a mother/wife anyway? Is he suggesting Jesus, who existed symbolically, was wrapped in some kind of incestuous relationship?) was the moon and the proof of this is in a word that suggests her name?

As a crackpot author, Gardner can be, in small doses, entertaining. As a thinker, he is, to put it kindly, less than convincing.

review by
Michael Scott Cain

26 April 2008

Agree? Disagree?
Send us your opinions!

what's new