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One and I (prologue)

by Marcus1 

Posted: 29 March 2004
Word Count: 821

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Dear All,

This is a revision of the prologue from my non-fictional book One and I, written very much in response to the helpful comments on the first draft. The passage is inserted at the beginning of the original prologue which has been up-loaded before.

The purpose of this passage is three fold:

To try to overcome the problems people have found getting into the book and prepare the reader, i.e. to make entry into the book easier.

To take possibly the only opportunity to inject some humour for the purpose of balancing out the ‘heaviness’ of the text, and show that I do posses humour even though it is not featured anywhere else.

To diffuse the seriousness of the book, so that the reader is more open minded.

My questions to anyone who wishes to comment (in any way) are:

Does it achieve these three aims, how can it be improved?

P.S. Go easy on the spelling please.

Many thanks



From a young age I have been driven to explore the limits of human power. In one sense this has become my whole life’s purpose. I strive to do this through every single facet of my life; through my relationship with my wife, my daughter, family, in fact all of humanity; in my work and play, in my mundane experience and in my extraordinary experience; every thing I ever come to be aware of has some light to shed upon power.

A particular interest of mine is mystical experience, as I have found this to be very much a doorway to certain strong forms of power. By mystical experience I mean altered states that humans can enter into and, and once there, perceive the world in a different way. This way is not the common way of comprehending life, and for this reason it can give deep insights into our life, since we are experiencing a completely new way of being.
By power I mean something very simple indeed: the ability to live a good and happy life. This, for me, is the only real form of power that humans can possess.

My purpose in writing this book is to try to understand further the ultimate limits of power, from the extreme of weakness to the extreme of strength; I hope in this way we will be somewhat enabled to dissolve these failings and embrace what is good. This book is for anyone who has some sort of resonance with the things I have described above.

Throughout my life I have continually driven my searching as deep as I ever can; I have constantly and deliberately forced my mind to grapple with the most mystical and abstract ideas I can possibly conceive of or find, in order to explore our limits. I have had little choice over this as my mind and whole being continually gravitates to such things. The strange thing is that this process has somewhat surprisingly led me to the belief that there is no limit to human power.
A large proportion of the text focuses on the conclusions I have come to from this searching; sometimes a difficult process; so it is likely that there will be some hard work for you if you wish to read on. It is better to steel yourself to this work now, for this is very much part of the purpose of the book, to make you work hard. I wish to give you encouragement to do this hard work; I have sincerely tried to write something that is worthy of your effort, in the sense that I believe (not in an arrogant way) through your understanding of the ideas presented, some value or richness will be added to your life. I have also found when the hard work is done, the final stage is simply to open yourself to a new knowledge, and then simply know it, a process which is effortless.

One way of reading this book is as follows. Cut out each page one by one, and stack the leaves into a correctly ordered pile. Take the pile to the toilet, and as you sit on it, read the pages. When you have finished reading, take the read pages and use them as a replacement for the toilet paper.
A little joke, but with a message; this is a book, a sincere book, but still just a book, it is black ink on a page, nothing more. The only thing of value is the richness you take into your life from the process of reading it. It is the richness that is of value, once the process of reading is complete, the book is worthless, so do not take it too seriously (I don’t), or get caught up in the words or even the ideas; they are not that important, take the value, that is what is important, and wipe your bum with the pages.

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Comments by other Members

Elspeth at 16:33 on 29 March 2004  Report this post
Marcus, I do think this is an improvement on the first prologue I read a little while ago. It's succinct and clear and does give the reader some information on what's to come.

I must confess though, that for me, power isn't a word that I connect to feelings of happiness or well being. It's a word that I associate with strength, either physical or political (in reality) or with sorcery and magic (in fantasy). Therefore I'm still having trouble understanding what it is you want to explore in the book.

Overall, I think the prologue still comes across as 'serious' but given the subject matter, I don't think that's a bad thing. There's nothing wrong with a serious book. In fact, I felt that the humour jarred with what came before it, and although I understand your point that it's the ideas, not the book itself, that are important, I think the joke at the end is perhaps too self/book deprecating!

My other thought is that I'm still not clear on the intended audience. Is it something that could be loosely termed 'self-help' or is it more of a philosophical study? Are you aiming for the same market as say, Alain de Botton? As an agent, this would be my problem with the book so far.

Having said all that it's clear that you're passionate about your subject and I'm sure that what follows this prologue will provide much food for thought.


Marcus1 at 17:32 on 30 March 2004  Report this post

Dear Katie,

Thank you for your clear comments.

I have always had problem with the question of who the intended audience is, as I find it difficult to aticipate an individuals reason for reading.

I feel the book is more along the lines of philosophical study, but how I would change things to work to this market I am not quite sure?

Many thanks


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