Book Reviews by Stephen P. Smith, Ph.D. (Part IV)

Review of Jesper Hoffmeyer’s Book Stephen P. Smith: Signs of Meaning in the Universe (Advances in Semiotics)

Abstract: In Hoffmeyer view three-way interactions are everywhere, and he provides many examples in his book ranging from biology to consciousness. I would also point out that insistence on a one-way chain of mindless transitions cannot explain the origination problem of mind, and it ultimately leads to a meaningless search back to the beginning of time in a futile search to find the answer to David Albert's ready-state paradox. To his credit Hoffmeyer makes mention of Gödel and his incompleteness theorem, and including the issues of a deeper subjectivity and self-referral. But what Hoffmeyer is describing is Panpsychism, though he does not mention it as such, and he gives not mention of the works of early philosophers beyond Pierce. A.N. Whitehead's process metaphysics is strangely missing from the references. I found Hoffmeyer version of reality to be less agreeable with the atheistic panpsychism supported by D.S. Clarke (see "Panpsychism and the Religious Attitude"), though Hoffmeyer says little about the issue of a God. See:

Review of Ken Wilber’s Book by Stephen P. Smith: Integral Spirituality: A Startling New Role for Religion in the Modern and Postmodern World

Abstract: Wilber writes of the great repression of spirit by the intellectual West. He writes (page 183): "They jettisoned the amber God, and instead of finding orange God, and then green God, and turquoise God, and indigo God, they ditched God altogether, they began the repression of the sublime, the repression of their own higher levels of spiritual intelligence. The intellectual West has fundamentally never recovered from this cultural disaster." I agree the tragedy is very apparent, sense-certain in fact. Nevertheless, Wilber's investigation of 8 perspectives carries the weakness presented by his caricature-mode thinking here, and any caricature is revealed to be a strawman if we care to dig deeper. See:

Review of Deborah Blum’s Book Stephen P. Smith: Ghost Hunters: William James and the Search for Scientific Proof of Life after Death

Abstract: Psychical energy, even in its subtle form, is felt directly when our affections are found conflicted. Deborah Blum's "Ghost Hunters" provides many examples of conflicted affection, both in the positive and in the negative. See:

Review of Deepak Chopra’s Book by Stephen P. Smith : The Book of Secrets: Unlocking the Hidden Dimensions of Your Life

Abstract: In his book, Deepak Chopra gives us his vision of spirituality and of the reality we find ourselves wedded to. Chopra (page 15) writes: "Every secret in this book goes back to the existence of an invisible intelligence that operates beneath the visible surface of life. The mystery of life is an expression not of random accidents but of one intelligence that exists everywhere." See:

Review of Nicholas C. Demetry & Edwin L. Clonts’ Book by Stephen P. Smith: Awakening Love: The Universal Mission: Spiritual Healing in Psychology and Medicine

Abstract: Demetry and Clonts were inspired by the late Stylianos Atteshlis (Dakalos), and they wrote a wonderful book on spiritual healing from a Christian perspective yet there is overlap with other spiritual traditions, including Isalm, Taoism and Buddhism to name a few." See: