Chapter 1 of Life In Eight Dimensions begins tantalizingly with: "This book will describe the creation of the Universe from the first atom. It will also describe the creation of life, and its consequences for you, and your next door neighbor." The author, Henry Gaubrah, is probably dead by now. This is an educated guess since the publication date is 1982, and the tone of Hank's tome is like listening to the ramblings of a crazy grandparent. As far as I've been able to ascertain, Gaubrah shot his wad on this one. Life In Eight Dimensions contains all that is essential to good kook literature: It is for the most part indecipherable, it attempts to unite science and spirit in one theory, the flow of ideas is self-referential and Gaubrah provides incomprehensible asides and donnybrooks at least twice per page. The laughter in the room when we read aloud from it was so boisterous that the neighbors came over and pounded on the door.
Master Hank's sacred gift to the world is the science of "Thought-Physics." To put the reader in the mood for his indoctrination, the author reminds us that "Our awareness is distracted by the level of our existence, and so we never get to know Mr. Ant or Mr. Bee personally." Fair enough.
The lessons continue like a wacked children's book written by someone who's been force-fed theoretical physics and coloring-book philosophy. If we follow Gaubrah's instructions, and "We can emphasize [he probably means 'empathize'] with an atom, or a rock, we will have passed our midterm, and can vacation on Saturn for a while."
While sipping a cocktail on Saturn, we can move on to advanced Thought-Physics with the realization that "Thought exists in four dimensions which are the opposite of our four material dimensions. In other words, we are involved in the process of defining eight dimensions." If this seems daunting, the panicky reader is reassured: "We will eat this cake in tasty, digestible layers." Hank backs up like this a few times each chapter with a few comforting words to keep us on track.
If you've kept calm so far, you're now ready for the linchpin of Thought-Physics: The Wantum Theory. "Non-material energy is just as complicated as material energy because of its complex forms. We call the energy of the non-material world desire, and we can measure that in units which we will call 'Wantums.'...Modern material physics has its 'Quantum Theory' which has similarities to our theory. Each wantum is a small package of desire which has an x number of cons of force... One con is a measure of the amount of concentration it takes to move one gram of mass through one millimeter of distance [by psychokinesis]." In a weird way, this actually makes sense.
Henry Gaubrah is neither bigoted nor suspicious of mainstream science, he's just as awed and cowed by it as most people. Thought-Physics is offered as the elusive unified field theory that Hank probably heard about while watching a documentary. Through an understanding of the interconnectedness of things, Gaubrah hopes to give everyone the ability to be "invisible, allow us to prophecy the future, read our neighbors private thoughts, defy gravity, communicate with the dead, heal the sick... do all those miraculous things we have read about, and scared us near to death on the midnight movies."
The book's publisher is "Sharonay Publications" in Silver Springs, Florida. This may hint at the possibility of a vanity press set up by a few grizzled old windbags living in the sunny retirement state, but Life In Eight Dimensions also has an ISBN, and a Library Of Congress catalog card number. What other treasures are available from Sharonay? I'm gonna find out.
From Life In Eight Dimensions:
Second Law of Thought-Physics: One force, if you push it around enough, will gang up with four forces, and give you lots of time to think about the trouble you are in. Our physics is getting easier and easier.
Thought-physics may put a lot of people out of work, but there are so many books that need to be rewritten that, like the computer industry, there will be many more jobs available, except, they will lose their tax shelter.
Suggesting methods of self-discipline makes you about as popular as Fruitflies in California. We can picture ourselves laying on a bed of nails after a thirty day fast in a remote desert. Chastity belts went out with the Crusaders and watching the girls frolicking on the beach in bikinis while slurping a cold beer does not interfere with our methods except that it is time consuming. Concentration is usually not something you do on vacation.
Thought-physics has a plan, and you do not need to wait until you have a heart attack to use it. If death has a swinging door, then we have a swinging plan.