Award-winning visionary thriller a rollicking, thought-provoking read
“Mayan Interface,” a new spiritual thriller from Wim Coleman and Pat Perrin, is a wonderful example of the growing genre of visionary fiction. Winner of the 2012 Silver Medal for Adventure Fiction from Living Now Book Awards, “Mayan Interface” is a marvelous mix of science, psychology, metaphysics, and mysticism packaged in a fast-paced thriller that keeps you guessing to the very end.
Story: An ancient myth is happening right now, changing all who discover it. Near the end of the Terminal Classic Mayan period, a high priest commits a murder where a sacrifice is needed. The consequences of his deed will reach across worlds and ages. In our own time, Lydia Rosenstrom is a master translator working with an archeological team in Yucatán and on a virtual reality simulation of the ancient site. She is drawn into a dangerous convergence of realities. This tightly woven tale blends mysticism, technology, archaeology, authentic Mayan history, and Mayan prophecies for 2012 into an engrossing story about challenges, consciousness change, and transformation. (From amazon.com)
Spiritual/metaphysical content: Medium. Lydia is an archaeologist and a practicing shaman in the Mayan tradition. The novel explores how ancient and contemporary shamans use crystals, tarot cards, and other tools to create a state of shamanic awareness or “wide focus,” which encompasses both intense concentration and a free flow of thought, say the authors, in a “paradoxical feeling of reverie and alertness.”
A fascinating aspect of Mayan Interface is the interplay of science and metaphysics. If you enter a computer-generated virtual reality in a shamanic state, the authors say, the virtual world becomes real. Is it magic? Is it reality? To the brain, it really doesn’t matter; you experience what you think and perceive. In some cases, a somatic shift happens in your brain–your sensory apparatus “buys into” the illusion; what was cartoon-like before suddenly takes on depth, color and richness. That shift is not produced by the software but only by the brain, particularly if the individual has a rich inner life. Virtual reality can merge with shamanic reality. There is a fine line, say Coleman and Perrin, between shamanism and schizophrenia.
My take: This wonderful visionary fiction novel asks, What is truth–your sensory experience, or how your brain interprets that experience? (Perhaps there is more than one “truth” in any experience.) The plot seamlessly fuses computer science and metaphysics to explore this question and many more, including how the bicameral brain may have evolved during the height of the Mayan culture in a way that changed the very nature of human consciousness.
The authors incorporate broad-based research and attention to historical detail. For instance, Mayans have a rich oral tradition, but they do not tell stories–they “converse” them with other people. Story-telling is a participatory experience. The authors’ detailed research into Mayan glyphs is integral to the plot, not just window dressing.
Coleman and Perrin are master storytellers, ratcheting up the suspense until nearly the last page. They are adept at unusual and effective character development for even minor characters (such as a nerd/poet). The spiritual novel‘s pace is rollicking, keeping you on the edge of your chair until the very end. Although the book is a fast and easy read its depth is surprising, pulling in principles from so many scientific and philosophical sources that your head swims with new concepts. Take, for example, the importance of story: “. . . that’s what stories do. Re-write the mind.” What greater goal could fiction have?
My question to you: What role should fiction play in fostering spiritual/metaphysical growth?
Mayan Interface by Wim Coleman and Pat Perrin
Madeira Press, 2012
Paperback, 314 pages
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