Breaking Through: A Narrative of the Great Work

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9780872863194: Breaking Through: A Narrative of the Great Work
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"Our stone is made the way the world is made," the old alchemists used to say of their great work, which they called an imitation of nature in her mode of operation. But what is nature? As Rumi put it: First I appeared in the mineral realm; then, I entered the vegetable kingdom. I lived there a long time, forgetting what I had been. Then, I took the path to animal existence, remembering nothing of my plant life. Finally, I became human, forgetting everything."
Breaking Through depicts one man's experience of this ancient imagery. Piero Tallini, a cinematographer, is irresistibly drawn to the Paleolithic culture of southern Spain. While exploring the rugged hills in search of a suitable location for the film he wants to make, he finds himself establishing contact with the first human beings to know the world through interiority and language. Guided by powerful presences, he enters the primordial orbit of cave-consciousness and experiences what the cave ancestors experienced.
But this is only the beginning of an initiation so profound it must take place within the earth where his journey into the past becomes an adventure in the present as he undergoes the phases of transformation. Regenerated through the realms of nature, Tallini recognizes that consciousness is genesis and perceives himself as Earth-Human becoming cosmos.
Ever since Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake for claiming that all things exist in consciousness, science has torn mankind from its cosmic home. Alienated from itself, the objective, heliocentric mind has ravaged Earth's soul. In his passage to the center, Tallini learns to seek the source and purpose of life not in some Big Bang still resonating in the farthest reaches of space, or in bones analyzed by paleoanthropologists, but here and now through participation in the interplay of sensation, perception, attention, thought, and language.
Breaking Through is a philosophical novel that bears witness to the drama of reality in a way that transcends both philosophy and fiction.

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From Publishers Weekly:

This unusual novel is a rigorous intellectual exercise in probing the nature of consciousness. Piero Tallini, a cinematographer exploring a filming site in southern Spain, finds himself communicating inexplicably with the first humans to live there. Through Tallini's mystical contact with these ancient people, he is taken on a cerebral trip through their understanding of reality and their development of language. At the same time, Tallini comes to realize his own cosmic connection to his physical environment and to all life forms. VandenBroeck introduces ancillary characters?Tallini's best friend in Paris, a mysterious woman, a gypsy?but the primary plot is Tallini's solitary conversion experience. This is not for the general reader, and VandenBroeck (Al-Kemi) doesn't pretend it is. The heady issues?and the intricate writing style ("Beyond the sustaining of the gaze, there is no representation in this case, though the effect of symmetry peculiar to a horizontal mirror image is obeyed: in sustained eye contact, a right eye gazes into a left, and vice versa")?is for fans of the philosophical novel and maybe a few ambitious New Age readers. The unconverted may feel upon the novel's completion, however, that the piousness here, while dressed up in the author's obvious intelligence, has begun to wear thin.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist:

These days, novels touted as "genuinely philosophical" should cause red flags to go up, particularly if edited by Lawrence Ferlinghetti. VandenBroeck, whose previous titles include Philosophical Geometry and A Memoir: Hermetic, Occult, Political and Private Aspects of R. A. Schwaller de Lubicz, has written some pretty cerebral stuff. In Breaking Through, Tallini, an Italian filmmaker searching for his next subject, becomes obsessed with the Paleolithic culture of southern Spain. The novel is an allegory on the conflict between science and spirituality. Ultimately, Tallini learns to look for life's meaning not through science, but in the consciousness of the present. At times, Breaking Through could refer to the author's occasionally dense prose. Overall, the book is impressive for the diversity of intellectual subjects it covers. Recommended for libraries serving readers of the avant-garde. Ted Leventhal

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VandenBroeck, André
Published by City Lights Publishers (2001)
ISBN 10: 0872863190 ISBN 13: 9780872863194
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Book Description City Lights Publishers, 2001. Paperback. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110872863190

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