I love books and reading. Most of the books I buy and read are nature/natural history related in some way. Plus there’s lots of Hawaiiana in my library. But I also like books on business. I’m a fast reader and a strategic one. I’ve gotten quiet good at being able to work through a book efficiently. However, a current read of mine has really slowed me down and I’ve been in it a few weeks now. Howard Bloom’s The Lucifer Principle: A Scientific Expedition into the Forces of History published in 1994 by Atlantic Monthly Press is a provocative work. Bloom is a fascinating character who’s had an amazing career as a scientist, psychologist, and free-lance journalist. He even owned a huge rock and roll PR company in the late 70’s early 80’s. (He worked with Prince during the Purple Rain era and those who know me know I’m a Prince freak, so I got to like Bloom!)
The Lucifer Principle, as one review notes, is a
“theory that evil—which manifests in violence, destructiveness and war—is woven into our biological fabric. A corollary is that evil is a by-product of nature’s strategy to move the world to greater heights of organization and power as national or religious groups follow ideologies that trigger lofty ideals as well as base cruelty. In an ambitious, often provocative study, Bloom applies the ideas of sociobiology, ethology and the “killer ape” school of anthropology to the broad canvas of history, with examples ranging from Oliver Cromwell’s reputed pleasure in killing and raping to Mao Tse-tung’s bloody Cultural Revolution, India’s caste system and Islamic fundamentalist expansion.”
One reason Bloom’s book is taking me so long is because it has over 800 footnotes and I like to read footnotes. The breadth of his references is incredible. The chapters are short and I’m finding myself reading them two or three times. I love theories that look at human culture and society from a socio-biological perspective. And this work certainly does that. And while it is a book on nature, Human Nature, it also in many ways is a book with business applications. But that is probably the topic of another blog.
The Lucifer Principle also got me to revisit another recent read which I enjoyed immensely, Bernard Haisch’s The God Theory. Physicist Haisch makes the case that
“in the mysteries of light rest clues to the deepest mysteries of the universe, something he calls God, though he doesn’t mean by that word the personification that some believers prefer. Haisch proposes the alternative that the special properties of our Universe reflect an underlying intelligence, one that is fully consistent with the Big Bang and Darwinian evolution. At this time both views are equally logical and equally beyond proof. However exceptional human experiences and accounts of mystics throughout the ages do suggest that we live in a purposeful Universe.”
It’s quite a different (and easier) read than Bloom’s, but both books together provide a unique perspective on God and the Devil.
Have a great day and don’t forget to look around for the bugs, birds, and blooms in your place.
Posted by Rob Pacheco at 1:19:20 PM in Blogs by Rob Pacheco, HFT Founder (16) | Comments (0)