Sunday, August 19, 2007

Title: Reality Check: What Your Mind Knows but Isn't Telling You
Author: David L. Weiner
Publisher: Prometheus Books
ISBN: 9781591023029
Genre: Psychology
Presentation: Soft Cover
No. of Pages: 303

About the Book (From the Back Cover): What's "reality"? Each of us has a "virtual reality" consisting of our individual idealogies, opinions, attitudes, values, and beliefs that we have built up over the years. But what if you found out that what you thought was true really isn't? The author takes us on an entertaining romp through many odd and interesting new findings in various scientific fields - from neurobiology to physics to genetics - in order to dismantle some of our most common misconceptions about being human. By opening our minds to a scientific view of reality, rather than hanging on to our own comfortable (and mostly incorrect) beliefs, we can gain valuable insights and tools for improving the quality of our lives.

My own perception: While the book is informative, it is not really entertaining or it is not definitive. It tries to bring down the disadvantages of rigid mind sets but throws up too much uncertainty and leaves the egos without a good alternative prop. Also, science has been changing too fast and keeps revising so many things previously touted as definite truths, so, unless one is willing to keep a fully open mind, the book leaves you with a sense of confusion.

The book reached me in December 2005 and was one of the books partly read and kept aside. So, when I recently took it up and reread from beginning to end, the feeling returned that it is not an easy read.

The book has a few editorial slips, one being the wrong year of India's independence (it should be 1947 and not 1949).

The author's introduction to various religions including Hinduism could not be deep enough and if only he had delved deep into the teachings of Hindu Philosophy (not the ritualistic portions but the deeply spiritual upanishadic or vedantic portion), he would have probably seen things in a different perspective.

My recommendation: A good read but may or may not be your type. Check in the local book store or online excerpts and decide.

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