This is a deep book about ideas, developed over the course of the 80-year-old author’s life. It is not a traditional scientific book, nor is it one that will arrive at any definitive answers. All of which is readily admitted by Sydney Self, the author, who ponders a number of interesting questions in a rich, detailed and non off-putting manner.
Self is not a scientist, and claims he does not have the mathematical or physical sciences background to withstand peer review. He readily admits this, but is bold enough to state that he often questions the thoughts he’s presented by so-called “established” thinkers, developing his own alternative views. As such, he sometimes arrives at conclusions that have already been considered and published. He is, nonetheless, a deep thinker, a former business systems analyst who has brought his native intuition and ability to deduce logical paths to the study of some of our most basic questions, including the nature of life, time, reality and the universe.
The important points he makes are a study in critical thinking, and are so well written that even lay people with only a passing knowledge of science can easily follow his thoughts.
Self is clear, concise and cuts right to the point in this book. Unlike so many other philosophic manuals, there is less emphasis on academic jargon and more on easily-understood points. The book is not footnoted, although Self is not shy about noting his source material for many ideas, so those desiring a deeper exploration of the book’s principle thoughts can backtrack and examine the original material for further enlightenment.
To encapsulate the views in this weighty book would require a separate volume. Suffice to say that a reader engaged in it will come away with a trove of thoughts for further discussion and amplification. The goal of the book, according to its author, is to stimulate the thinking of others. In that goal, Self has admirably succeeded.
If you enjoyed Stephen Hawking’s “A Brief History of Time” or the questions posed by the television series “Through the Wormhole,” then this is the book for you.