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This is the story of a man who wanted to learn the greatest of all Nature's secrets, the story of a woman who wanted to achieve the ultimate purpose of human existence, and the story of a second woman who tried to understand and help both of them.
To Dr. Charles Seaton the secret ofconsciousness means pushing back the frontiers of human knowledge andcreating an undreamed of age of progress and enlightenment. To Uma Priya devi-dasi the secret of consciousness is a way to overcome birth,death, old age, and disease. To Lacey Philips the secret ofconsciousness is an interesting premise for an adult movie.
Allthree of them will participate in Project GISMO, an attempt to createthe first conscious machine. The success of this project will changetheir lives, and the lives of everyone else, in ways none of them canpredict or understand.
They will learn answers to questions thatphilosophers have struggled with for centuries. Is consciousness apurely material phenomenon, or is it something else? Does ourconsciousness survive the death of the body, and if so what happens toit? If it is eternal, has it always existed? If so, where was ourconsciousness before it arrived in our bodies? If consciousness is notmaterial, could there be a whole universe that is not material? If so,what is our consciousness doing in this universe? Did it originally come from that other universe, and if so, is there any way for it to return? If it could return, would it want to? On the other hand, ifconsciousness is a purely material phenomenon, could we make a machinethat has consciousness?
Finally, can any movie based on Atlas Shrugged make a profit?
This is a story ofspirit and matter, of spirituality and sensuality, of Religion andScience, of Krishna Consciousness and Machine Consciousness, of Makersand Takers, and what happens when these things come together inunexpected ways. It takes place in a world where Atlas Shrugged meets Artificial Intelligence, Siddhartha meets Silicon Valley, and Boogie Nights meets the Bhagavad Gita.
It is a story that amore scientifically minded Hermann Hesse, or a more spiritually inclined Edward Elmer Smith, might have written.
Explore the world of Shree Krishna And The Singularity at its Google+ page: plus.google.com/+ShreeKrishnaAndTheSingularity
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
The story of this novel begins with another story. Back in 1979 I was involved with ISKCON, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, also known as the Hare Krishna movement. I had lurked around the fringes of this movement for two years, but that was the year I got serious. There was a devotee woman I wanted to marry and if I was going to have any chance of doing that I'd need to be a lot more serious than I had been up to that point. Being serious meant accepting a guru. The guru who had founded ISKCON had passed away in 1977, leaving behind a governing body which took over running things and eleven men chosen by the founder to become gurus and accept disciples.
The founding guru was not thought to be God, but had been worshiped on the same level as God because he had the ability to help his disciples develop pure love of God and return to the spiritual world. He had never said that these eleven chosen men were on his level, but we treated them that way, and I pretended to believe that they deserved such treatment while I frantically looked for any reason to justify that belief.
Whatever private reservations devotees might have had about our leadership, we all believed we were part of an important spiritual movement, even if the world didn't know it. That would change one day, we thought. Then one day, we were told how.
The guru who lived in our temple predicted that an atomic war would begin in less than a year. This war would destroy most of humanity, but we would prepare for it, most of us would survive, and the Hare Krishna movement would become the dominant religion among the survivors.
Maybe I was not qualified to judge the level of spiritual advancement these eleven men had, but I knew lousy science fiction when I heard it. I pretended to believe it, because the woman I wanted to marry pretended to believe it, but shortly afterwards I left the movement and stopped pretending.
Life would go on, and over the years ISKCON would become less cultish and more mainstream, but that guru's crazy story about an atomic war had planted a seed in my mind that over thirty years later would germinate into a novel.
Suppose ISKCON did become extremely important one day, I thought. Suppose it happened for reasons they could not possibly predict, reasons that went counter to everything they believe, and reasons that did not involve the destruction of most of the world. What kind of a story would that be? I thought about it a lot. When I decided to write the story I saw it being equal parts Hermann Hesse and Edward E. Smith. Then I actually wrote it and found that some humor had found its way in, and the story was better for it.
I published that novel and it got read by a woman who had grown up in the Hare Krishna movement. Her Amazon review said it had a great idea but needed a lot of work. It turned out she was an author herself, and a talented one. I decided to do the work she had suggested, and contacted her to get more feedback. The rewrite took two years, doubled the length of the book, and greatly improved it. The finished product is the present novel, which I present for your approval.
Bhakta Jim was involved with the Hare Krishna movement from 1977-1980. The story of those years will be found in the book The Life And Times Of Bhakta Jim.
In 1979 his guru told everyone a story about how the Hare Krishna movement would survive an atomic war and go on to become the dominant religion among the survivors. Even then Bhakta Jim thought he could come up with a better science fiction story involving the Hare Krishna movement.
Over thirty years later, this novel is the result.
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Book Description CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2013. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M148957932X