"A Book for the Third Millennium"

Jonathan Sage

The Book Guild Ltd.

ISBN 1 85776 439 0

Sage, an ex-solicitor, regales us with the fruits of his retirement in Mallorca. Unfortunately, these musings are a good deal less brilliant than his chosen niche.

The first part of the book summarizes the works of various philosophers, from Plato to Jaspers. Sage's favourites are broadly in the idealist tradition. Readers untrained in philosophy may well be unfamiliar with names like Royce, Alexander, Bosanquet, Croce and Bergson.

If they are familiar, it may then come as a shock to find themselves dealing with karma, astrology, and the Akashic Record. Akasha, he explains, "is Sanskrit, meaning the etheric, electro-magnetic and spritual essence of the Universe." We may wonder what is the Sanskrit for neutrino, or uranium.

There is no effort to show how the philosophers he parades before us differed in their reasonings, how they detected inconsistencies in their predecessors' work, how they criticized rival theories. All we get is a hoard of "indications" that the ramblings of Ouspensky were on the right track, for he turns out to be the main focus of the last part of the book, where we find handy clarifications like the following:

"In the fourth dimension, where motion begins and where time is the measure of motion, we only have a partial sensation, an incomplete perception of motion." (p.130)

"Time, being measured by motion, is therefore also relative." (p.131)

There is of course no room for anything from neuroscientists or Darwinists. The paradox of the book is to have spent all that time reading philosophy without learning how to develop coherent theories.

This review is reproduced by kind permission of The Skeptic.



Paul Taylor 2001