The Cracking Tower: A Strategy for Transcending 2012 by Jim DeKorne
End-of-the-world paranoia has been with us since time immemorial. Now, with the end of the legendary Mayan “long count” calendar looming on December 21, 2012 and recent threats of a worldwide economic collapse triggering widespread apprehension and a search for answers, The Cracking Tower offers an arsenal of strategies to turn these fears into an opportunity for spiritual and personal growth.
Beginning with a lively memoir of the author’s experiences in the ’60s, the book goes on to explore apocalyptic thinking through perennial philosophy, shamanism, gnostic mysticism, the body as a vessel of consciousness (and death as “an extended out-of-body experience”), and psychedelics. Shaping the discussion is the fascinating metaphor of the cracking tower, an apparatus for distilling gasoline, as a vehicle for distilling our awareness. Rather than speculating on what might occur in 2012, DeKorne proposes vigilance of a more introspective sort. “The important thing,” he says, “is to ignore the finger and strive to comprehend the moon,” to see what our apocalyptic tendencies reveal about ourselves.
Jim DeKorne is a former epidemiologist and college English professor. He participated actively in civil rights and antiwar protests in the 1960s, the back-to-the-land and appropriate technology movements of the 1970s, and the psychedelic renaissance of the 1980s. He lives on the Big Island of Hawaii.