Someone who glories in a tripartite name, and who has written a book whose title runs into two lines of print, had better have something to say. Ott does.
Here’s the scoop: perception trumps materialism. Materialism here refers to the accepted belief that all things in the universe are, well, things, and obey a set of natural laws – Newtonian, Einsteinian, etc. Perception is a direct means of grasping all things, without the hindrance of any specific pre-taught system..
Ott repeatedly harks back to Occam’s Razor, the logical criterion that the simplest explanation is always the best. There’s nothing simpler than pure perceptual experience. Perception (imagination, emotion, inner dialogue and the five senses) is what happens in the few seconds when you first wake up in the morning. All new, you experience a world without pre-assigned categories. This process (which is constantly going on) can again be experienced when anything new is encountered, or when a word without “pictures” is encountered. If you consider what happens when you think a word like “necessity,” a word without a picture to bolster or skew its meaning, you will begin to understand that what we are able to perceive is more direct than what we are constrained to believe about material reality.
The laws of material reality are only workable when tweaked. Einstein had to “bend” or “compress” space and light in order to make his own theories true, and Newtonian physical laws are only valid when one object is compared to another – were we able to look at a ball in space without a second ball with which to compare it, how would we knowing if it was rolling, moving up or down, or standing still? At that point material laws hold no sway – only perception counts.
What Ott is postulating is truly revolutionary – it impinges on the realm of the spiritual yet is not dependent on any current way of thinking to get to where it wants to go. It is, indeed, a simpler (and a fresher) theory of everything.
This book is brief and to the point. It could have been longer, and I would have suggested that some of the material footnoted could have been incorporated into the text. It’s daunting to a reader who’s unaccustomed to this kind of theorizing to see pages with as much footnote as text. However, in order to express his theory in analytical fashion, Ott wanted to make sure we know what everything is, as well as what it isn’t. Hence the copious footnotes and careful definitions.
I turned this book over to my husband who is a far more analytical thinker than I – he loved it. I suspect it will intrigue and involve many new readers and garner not a few fans for Christopher Jonathan Ott. Long may he wave.