A JOURNEY TO THE END OF THE WORLD TO CURE A CHRONIC BACK ACHE
Reader’s reviews on Amazon.com:
A hip, compellingly readable user’s manual for the modern mind
“It reads like a streak and has the single best description of the practice of meditation I’ve ever read. ‘Technoshamans’ ranks up there with other classics of spiritual inquiry such as Aldous Huxley’s ‘The doors of perception’ and the work of Jonn C. Lilly and Terence McKenna.” Elspeth—Boulder, Co
“One thing is for sure. You shall be involved in a truly fascinating journey. Truly a book not to be missed. The narrative is quick, rich in detail, funny, ironic, moving at times. Page after page, it is impossible to put down, you
shall read it all in one go. There are several funny touches, improbable situations that really make you smile or laugh out loud in some instances!
Everything is described in a placid irony, very funny and British style, where the author is simply a guinea-pig, at the mercy of the next healer.”I LOVE BOOKS
Oh, my aching chakras . . .
“I expected to find an overview of various ‘spiritual’ treatments and an
analysis of their connection to technology. Instead, I found an entertaining,
emotional and thoughtful narrative with a unique take on spirituality in
the 21st century. I highly recommend ‘Technoshamans’ to anyone with
nagging aches and pains, physical or otherwise. Warning—this book will
not provide you with any easy answers, but it certainly poses some interesting
questions.” Jeffrey Kositsky
One of the books you read more than once
“It’s part humor and part tearful, it’s half skepticism and half spontaneous
belief, it’s a young self that struggles with an older self. Traveling around
the world, inquiring into the connection between spirituality and
technology, this is part of particular moment in life of the author, and for
many readers, I assume, a passage from youth to middle age. A moment
of reflection where an inner look at what we are doing to get rid of this
inner pain represented by a physical back ache. The author finds a partial
solution to this ‘back ache’ but I won’t spoil the ending. I can just say that
what the solution is, summarizes the book: it’s funny, abrupt, but at the
same time layered into different meanings.” L.P.
A real page turner that leaves you thinking
“Linking the spiritual and technological domains is a philosophical
discussion which is addressed lightly in the book. Vouching for myself I
can say that in addition to an enjoyable reading experience, I was left with
open questions which I will definitely dwell upon for some time. Warmly
recommended book to read.” Avam
What is Technoshamans?
Why are a handful of financial managers working the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade wearing oil-filled diapers beneath their bespoke suits?
And why are two hundred white-clad and otherwise sane residents of the Venice region in northern Italy walking barefoot around a holy mountain in Southern India for weeks on end, muttering to themselves?
Can robots enjoy sex? Or can they only be programmed to fake it?
How is it possible that using the right software on your computer can make you feel physically rested and renewed?
Why does a man place tiny white dots on his patients’ front teeth to cure back pains? And why does it work?
Technoshamans is a humorous, illuminating narrative non-fiction book which answers these questions, and many more, as the author roams the world searching for places where technology and spirituality intersect. The driving force of the book is the narrator’s quest for relief for a bad back which has tortured him for twenty years.
Armed with his notebook, his experience as a veteran reporter for one of Italy’s largest daily papers, and an open heart and mind, Carlo Pizzati embarks on a spiritual and medical quest taking him from a medical office in Northern Italy, where a “posturologist” glues tiny white dots to his front teeth, to the rarefied – and affluent – mountain air of Boulder, Colorado, where he tries Rolfing massage and studies with the legendary founder of American Ashtanga yoga.
It is all fascinating, but to no avail.
From there, it’s only a hop and a skip to California, where he is hooked up to the cutting-edge of computer diagnostics: a fancy high-tech toy called a SCIO or Scientific Consciousness Interface Operating System, which uses tiny energy pulses to “read” his orthopedic problem. The diagnosis, fittingly for California, is “a karmic social crime committed in 1685 by a prior incarnation.” For an Italian, three hundred plus years is a just a few family members away.
Clearly, it is time for him to deepen his investigations.
Thus begins the second movement of Technoshamans, which takes him all over the world in a kind of post-modern medical picaresque. Still interested in probing the relationships between technology and spirituality, medicine and mindfulness, he flies back to his homeland to sample some of the local youth culture and put his quest in perspective. He attends several raves, lasting all day and all night designed specifically to induce visions through electronic music, in the mountains above Portofino. These inspire him to travel through the underworld of techno-pagans, that is to say, the sort of spiritual healers found in both Wicca and shamanism that lean heavily on tradition, but also rely on modern technology.
As both a participant and witness, he is shaken by what he finds.
From there he deepens his spiritual understanding in Argentina, where he experiences not only the famed indigenous shamans, but also aura-photographing computers and miscellaneous high-tech channeling gadgets.
In the mountains outside Cordoba, he is guided through cinematic meditations and visions related to his backache.
No mystical question would be complete without a passage to India. Sure enough, our suffering but still curious narrator eventually fetches up there, first in Bangalore, in India’s Silicon Valley, where he interviews two researchers who study the impact of mantra and meditation on the human nervous system with sophisticated modern software and hardware. He continues on to Mysore, a destination for well-heeled yoga practitioners, and to Kerala, where he discusses technology and spirituality with Dr. Sambhu, a celebrated ayurvedic practitioner known among other things for his mysterious Big Enema, a concoction of oil and herbs carried in the aforementioned diapers by many Chicago commodity traders.
Whether he’s in an ashram in Tamil Nadu, chanting mantras at dusk, or on the beaches of the experimental township of Auroville, a spiritual Disneyland of sorts, being led through a tearful, explosive revelation about his past lives, he continues to dwell on his fundamental themes: the promiscuous relationship we human have with technology as a tool for expanding consciousness, and also the growing insecurity that machines may be about to outstrip our capacity for rational thought and may—just may—achieve a conscience and a rudimentary ego as well.
Can spirituality coexist with the Machine? Are androids in our future? Are they already here among us? Are we going to download ourselves into androids? Will spirituality and technology do away with humanity?
Technoshamans, through a compelling and closely observed first person narration, asks these questions and more.
The author’s globe hurdling adventures illuminate, and provide answers to, one of the hottest themes of our time.
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