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Book details
  • Genre:RELIGION
  • SubGenre:Spirituality
  • Language:English
  • Pages:304
  • Paperback ISBN:9781483561943

Still Not Walking On Water

The Continued Improbable Spiritual Enlightening of a Computer Geek

by James Reiley

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Waking up to the idea that there may be more to the universe than he learned in Sunday School, Paul Bradley sets off to make sense of all manner of newly discovered spiritual notions. Fortunately he is guided by another computer software guy named Bob who is also a hippie/Zen Buddhist. Paul’s trip takes a slew of turns through organic farming, strange encounters with other beings, far out forms of spiritual discipline and the recovery from a broken marriage. At every hard spot or weirdness, Bob is there to provide enlightened guidance, usually with a peculiar twist of some sort. The majority of events revolve around his naturopathic medical school training. It includes the new and compelling relationship with Laura, a fellow med student and the love of his life. The novel is written in the style of Dave Barry with humor punctuating most situations. It is aimed at people trying to get a handle around the ideas of where we come from, where we’re going and why. It is a continuation of the book, Not Walking on Water, published in 2008.
Paul Bradley, a smart, well educated, computer software engineer has just gotten a divorce, sold the farm and, at forty, is starting back to medical school. He has been asking and continues to ask some of life’s big questions. Like what is the point of all this struggle for existence anyway and how does the universe really work, spirituality-wise. His friend Bob is a somewhat scruffy-looking computer scientist that used to work with Paul. In appearance, he gives the general impression that he would be just as at home standing on the median divider of a highway holding a cardboard sign reading ”Will Compute for Food.” He is an information junkie and has expertise in just about all of the sciences and most brands of meta-physics, having been a Zen Buddhist earlier in his life. He has spent much of his life in search of higher awareness, including the use of various psychoactive chemical accelerants. In Paul’s case, Bob provides three essential services: 1. Pointing out possibly useful areas for spiritual seeking, i.e., what things to poke around at next to optimize the process 2. Adjusting Paul’s consciousness when necessary--occasionally involving awareness-altering substances 3. Letting Paul know when, because of his inherent left-brained look at the world (like having the sensitivity of an anvil), he had missed a subtle nuance of some kind. The story begins with Paul starting naturopathic medical school in Portland, Oregon. He is immediately attracted to another medical student, Laura, a woman of southern persuasion who is the same age as Paul. She is beautiful and a good match for him intellectually. Laura has a wonderfully funny personality but when crossed, takes no prisoners. The attraction between Paul and Laura continues to grow stronger through the four years of school together. Every chapter contains at least one medical myth that is shattered by the philosophy of naturopathic medicine. Usually they are examples of finding the actual causes of the health problems and fixing them rather than suggesting pharmaceuticals to cover them up--e.g. ADHD, arthritis, eczema, diabetes, high cholesterol, etc. (This is a point of view not necessarily blessed by the AMA.) Each chapter also contains something about metaphysics or spirituality including things like: • Meditation • Chakras and Kundalini energy • Spiritual discipline • Ram Dass and his guru, Neem Karoli Baba • Kali Yuga • Nature spirits and fairies • Perspective-modifying psychedelics • Ghosts and other anomalies Paul and Laura spend much of their interaction time in a pleasant banter that grows less contentious and more playful as they fall in love. This exchange provides much of the humorous background in the novel. But before Laura can give herself completely to Paul, she must shed the attachment to a philandering former boyfriend named Chuck left behind in her North Carolina home town. Once she has closure on that bit of history, she and Paul are free to form the relationship that has seemed inevitable. Paul spends a little of each week during much of medical school as a computer consultant with his former company. As well as providing access to his friend Bob, it gives Paul a chance to comment on various aspects of American culture, like greed and ruthlessness from a slightly different point of view. Several of Paul and Laura’s experiences are chronicled as they see patients in the medical school clinic. Some of these are major successes and some are failures, but all provide insight into the benefits of natural medicine as opposed to the kind of medical treatment that is currently dominant in this country. The story ends with Laura and Paul graduating, taking the medical boards and starting their practice near San Francisco. Their first patient in their new medical office is a former associate of Ram Dass and is an obvious blessing from Neem Karoli Baba regarding their new venture.
About the author
JAMES REILEY has degrees in Mathematics, Computer Science and Medicine and has spent the last 30 odd years studying spirituality from a variety of different perspectives. Dr. Reiley is currently a part-time writer, retired physician and small organic farmer in Shady Valley Tennessee.