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The Risen: A review by Jonathon Davies of MIDIAN Books.

Two seemingly unconnected experiments occur at the same moment. Matthew, a physicist, splits a pyramid-shaped diamond with a green X-ray laser. John, a dreamer and occultist, splits his mind with a pyramidine crystal of the psychedelic smart drug, Tiresiamine. Their parallel researches are destined to lead them to the inevitable meeting point: infinity.

As a result of the two experiments, John mysteriously disappears and Matthew is asked by John's two girlfriends to find him. The clues for his search come from John's "unconscious" communications to Matthew in the form of dreams, information contained on 13 (or maybe 14) computer discs and the erotic/esoteric performances of John's lover, Ms Rosetta Stone. As Matthew endeavours to decipher their meanings his mind is gradually altered; his thought patterns, no longer linear, enter a virtual reality, becoming part of a vast neural internet interfaced with John's mind, accessing information through the crystalline lattices of cyberspace, propelling Matthew towards ultimate revelation.

Taking the basic narrative device of many occult (and detective) novels - the search for hidden knowledge leading to enlightenment - Peter Whitehead has transcended genre boundaries, creating the first truly holographic novel. 'The Risen' is at once an affirmation of the mystical nature of mankind and an exploration of current radical thinking, taking in Rupert Sheldrake's theory of Morphic resonance and David Bohm's notion of the holographic structure of the mind/brain, finally reuniting and overlapping the polarised discplines of science and occultism, creating gaps in the resulting moire pattern through which a greater truth can be accessed. Shamanism, Sexual Magick, Holography, Crystallography, Egyptology, Virtual Reality and Psychopharmacology combine to draw the reader into the virtual space inhabited by the novel, becoming, with Matthew, a fellow initiate into the Lesser and Greater Egyptian Mysteries.

At the moment of the two experiments - is it a coincidence that a small robot with a green laser eye breaks through the door into the hidden chamber of the Giza Pyramid, discovered recently at the end of a small shaft rising from the Queen's chamber?

A book to be read three times; once to program the narrative, the second time to decipher the dreams and the third time ... the third time it will be played directly onto disk from the reconfigured hard drive in your brain."

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