Wise men and women, from Socrates to Hypatia to Einstein, have said we humans are able to comprehend only a minute slice of existence, that the realm of truth is far from our grasp. We may believe we know our surroundings and what is favorable or not in our daily lives. But how much more lies just beyond our normal perspective? Are there forces at work, of which we've received only the slightest hint, that set a ruthless and deterministic course from which we cannot escape? Or do we have a choice and is there a place for human motivation and compassion in the universe?
These age-old questions are covered here through two collections of vignettes. First, we are confronted with a series of rather shocking, even brutal, examples of how we may have misconceived, or been misinformed about, both history and everyday experience. Did a sanctified body support a militant power that repulsed even Hitler's henchmen? Did a revered icon foster slavery and genocide? Did western political and media influence vilify and ultimately kill an exemplary and far-sighted leader? What hidden meanings are at play when we apply for a government document, rent an apartment, attend church, or ride in a carpool? Are we being manipulated and even slowly poisoned by things seen all around us?
As the book says, "We have been told that we have come from the apes, but reality shows us that we are becoming the apes." Such a background may seem inhuman and hopeless, and yet it can be overcome through innate determination and virtue. The process of redemption is epitomized by the author's own experiences, as he trains for the priesthood, suffers through a tragic romance, and counsels others on mitigating the past, following their dreams, and even challenging what may appear as demonic power. Yes, individual will may yet break the earthly cycle of tribulation.
But there is something more. Whether righteous or wicked, humans are not alone. There are other entities, present since Biblical times, that will delude us, inflict pain and sorrow, and laugh at our confusion and misery. They are always watching, though they can be controlled, and ultimately a far greater universal force can prevail through the knowledge and love within our potential.