West of Jesus

West of Jesus

Surfing, Science, and the Origins of Belief

Book - 2006 | 1st U.S. ed
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"Steven Kotler almost drowned when he got caught on the wrong side of a wave in Mexico. As he emerged from the water, battered and torn, a fellow surfer told him, "It looks like the Conductor had his way with you." This was the second time Kotler had heard of this "Conductor" - the mythical surfer who controls the weather and the waves. Strangely, it was nearly a decade earlier in Indonesia that he was introduced to this mysterious troublemaker for the first time. He almost drowned that
time, too." "After suffering from Lyme disease for two years, Kotler loses the perfect job, the perfect girl and much of what had been the perfect life. With nothing of any meaning left to him, Kotler sets out to surf around the world in search of the Conductor. As he regains his strength, he begins to have mystical experiences, not unlike those hinted at in the Conductor's myth. In spite of being a committed skeptic, Kotler had out-of-body experiences, felt time stoppages, had moments of
ecstasy. Could this be standard neurochemistry triggered by flashes of adrenaline and other brain chemicals? Was he achieving some kind of transcendence? Or was he just losing his mind?" "In West of Jesus, Steven Kotler starts out on an admittedly mad quest and ends up at the peculiar intersection of neuroscience, spirituality and sport. The results are a startling mix of big waves and bigger ideas: a surfer's journey into the biology of belief."--BOOK JACKET.
Publisher: New York, NY : Bloomsbury Pub. : Distributed to the trade by Holtzbrinck Pub., 2006
Edition: 1st U.S. ed
ISBN: 1596910518 (hardcover)
Branch Call Number: 797.32092 KOT
Characteristics: 261 p. ; 22 cm


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Apr 06, 2011

Pleasantly surprised that this wasn't too esoteric or based in "stoner philosophy". I liked the blend of mythological, religious, sciencific and personal spiritual search that Kotler goes on. While I've never dropped in on an over head high wave or felt time "freeze" while surfing before, I have had that feeling when in a car accident and felt that I've been in the flow snowboarding and skateboarding, so I look forward to experiencing the same on a longboard some day...or a short board if I ever get back on one of those.


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