Zor: Philosophy, Spirituality and Science by J. B.
CreateSpace, November 2010
Trade Paperback, 268 pages
CreateSpace, November 2010
Trade Paperback, 268 pages
"Zor" explores the relationship between philosophy, spirituality, and science by asking one simple question; where do you turn when life's core beliefs become suspect?
That is the dilemma confronting Jonathan Brewster, a middle aged money manager from Boston, whose "chance" meeting with a Haitian dwarf named Zor, spirals out of control. Forced to defend his life in a series of intense debates concerning negative ch'i, emotional addictions, neuron networks, placebos, vipassana meditation, the collective unconscious, laws of attraction, sub-atomic entanglement, Nietzche, metta, God, and happiness; John is reluctantly drawn to a new reality.
Rising above his crisis of conscience he restructures his life for the greater good, only to be challenged by the ultimate betrayal
Zor: Philosophy, Spirituality and Science by J. B. (author Ray Clements) is a unique novel/self-help book basically about creating positive ch'i and the interconnectedness of the mind, body, and spirit. This message is spread through Zor's discussions with J.B., or John Brewster. The meetings between Zor, a Haitian dwarf, and Brewster, a successful middle-aged money manager, are always unplanned and usually take place in a bar called Jake's, where Brewster stops in to drink every day after work, before he heads home.
Zor never lectures Brewster, although he does challenge him. They simply engage in philosophical discussions. When Brewster questions Zor, he replies with information. In their discussions Zor covers topics like creating positive ch'i energy, the adverse health effects of negative ch'i, the existence of God, organized religions, meditation, universal connectivity, quantum physics, visualization, and love.
Zor is, at its heart, an allegory. Zor is symbolic of anything that challenges our mind set and makes us question our actions. He is the force of change for every person who has achieved what most people would call success but who are still unhappy. All of the information about obtaining a positive ch'i is presented in a very simple, accessible manner that could be adapted to many different belief systems. In some ways it reminded me of Sophie's World: A Novel About the History of Philosophy by Jostein Gaarder. Not in the sense that it was comparable in any way other than the fact that it is trying to teach through a novel.
If only evaluated as a novel, Zor would not be considered a success by most readers: there is very little plot and the characters are not well developed at all. But where Zor succeeds is in the simple way it presents the message that there is a connection between philosophy, spirituality, and science and creating positive ch'i energy. Others have compared Zor to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, a book that is referenced in Zor. In fact, there are several other book recommendations within the narrative if a reader wanted to pursue further information. Additionally readers could check out the website.
Ultimately, although I can't say I totally agree with all of Zor's conclusions, it surprised me how much I truly enjoyed this seemingly simple book. Highly Recommended
Disclosure: The author provided me with a review copy.
There are two things you need to know about Zor.
First - the man is brilliant. A native of Haiti, he stands less than five feet tall boasting broad shoulders and a muscular build. Classically handsome, with mocha skin and European features that suggest mixed ancestry. Zor is charmingly soft spoken with a disarming, Caribbean lilt.
Second - he destroyed my life. opening
"Those boys were filled with negative energy, slowly devouring them like a flesh-eating virus. They were desperate to unload their ch'i onto me, but when they realized I was unwilling to respond in kind, unwilling to share in their anger, unwilling to accept their gift, they had to move on. The weight of their retained burden was overwhelming." pg. 5
Through its many transformations four things remained constant: the red neon sign over the door, he oak bar along the back wall, the full length mirror behind the bar, and me. pg. 38
Many people want to go to a bar where they know your name; I just want to go where they know my drink. pg. 39
"It's really quite simple," Zor cried triumphantly. "You just need to recognize cause and effect. Everything is the result of something else. To have, what you have not; you must do, what you do not." pg. 49
"This....is about creating a flow of positive emotional energy. You can't simply ask your wife how her day went. After revealing your good news you must specifically ask her to tell you something good in return. Every night when you get home the two of you should make it a point to exchange positive energy, and only positive energy. This will re-establish a level of positive emotional associations that will pave the way for some of the passion your marriage has lost." pg. 57-58
If I knew then what we were about to go through, I would have packed up our things, put the house on the market, and taken my family as far away from that Haitian Horror Show as possible. pg. 66
"You give up on your dreams and all you have left are nightmares." pg. 110
"If you are unhappy with where you are, stop dwelling on everything that brought you here." pg. 111
"Every time we have a negative thought, feeling or emotion we need to immediately determine its origin and deal with it; deal don't dwell. If we fail in our immediacy we run the risk of transference, erroneously crediting the negative ch'i to the wrong source." pg. 144
"Metta," continued Zor. "Love without self-interest. Finding joy in the joy of others is the only path to happiness. That is where positive ch'i originates. That is where you need to be." pg. 253