new age spirituality

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The Lennon Code?

The Gift of Gabe, Brian Joseph

The Gift of Gabe
Brian Joseph

Few people have heard of the novel, The Gift of Gabe. A year ago even fewer people had heard of it. In these days of big budget mass marketing books that are published by small publishers often have difficulty finding an audience. Without an advertising budget, word of this book has been spreading. Early readers fascinated by the book's inclusive spirituality, told others. An internet forum for people who study Gnosticism picked up on the book last summer making it their topic of discussion for two months.

Some Beatles fans became interested after the reviewer for the online music magazine, Ear Candy recommended it saying, "I was also fascinated by the interpretations of Beatles lyrics in the book, especially after having read about every book imaginable on Beatles song analysis." Shortly after the review in Ear Candy information about the book showed up on What Goes On, a website dedicated to Beatles news.

Canadian readers with an interest in the paranormal picked up on the book after the author was interviewed on The X Zone Radio Show. There has been buzz about the book by Beatles fans in places as far apart as Israel, The Netherlands, Ireland, Finland, and Russia, places far removed from the book's northern New England setting.

The book is the story of meeting an eccentric old man who discusses his spiritual philosophy including the belief that people who have had certain experiences can communicate these experiences to each other in a symbolic language that is not readily understandable to most people.

What most readers find fascinating is that many familiar songs are interwoven throughout the story and looked at in a way that is unique and thought provoking. A reviewer for Bookpleasures said, "Actually, it is primarily through Gabe's radical interpretations of the mentioned songs that one tends to become convinced of his perspective's veracity."

Many of the songs are so familiar to people that the author was able to do this without directly quoting the lyrics. A reviewer for Mystic Living Today wrote, "There are many wonderful songs, book references, and passages throughout that are beautifully brought to life under the author's direct and interesting first person style."

While many readers seem to be focusing on the Beatles songs referenced in the book, songs by Jimi Hendrix and others are also referenced by the main character to help illustrate spiritual concepts. The volume of examples given and the interconnections between songs and artists have led many to conclude that there is truth in what the main character says.

One of Gabe's claims is that during certain creative states some people can 'channel' the Universal Mind and be unaware that they are doing so. Gabe cites Plato and many others to support this concept. Purported examples are given including songs by Lennon, McCartney, and Harrison. Gabe believes that this experience is what some of the Sufi call shathiyat and what Joseph Campbell called transcendent poetry. What may be most controversial is Gabe's claim that this archetypical poetic experience is 'the speaking in tongues' of the early Christians. It is probably this concept that has appealed to readers who identify themselves as being 'new age'.

Word of the book has shown up on websites like The Holistic Bulletin. The reviewer for Mystic Living Today said, " I would recommend this book to anyone who likes an enlightened and spiritual read.." A glowing review in the magazine Sub Rosa called the book "as original as it is inspirational."

One of the things that differentiates The Gift of Gabe from other books in the visionary fiction genre is that it incorporates factual information and events in a way that is similar to historical fiction. Some readers have had a scholarly interest in the book seeing it as a modern myth that incorporates the philosophy of Aldous Huxley, Alan Watts, G.I.Gurdjieff, and others.

While some are predicting that the book will become a countercultural classic, the book is clearly not for everyone. A reviewer for Round Table Reviews wrote, "The Gift of Gabe is well written, but the subject matter was too over the top for me." The same reviewer still recommended the book for some saying, "Those with a strong interest in The Beatles and philosophy will be thrilled with Brian Joseph's novel."

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