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Alternative Culture Magazine

What's Next After Now?

Post-Spirituality and the Creative Life

by Steven Harrison

review by Nowick Gray

This is one of those books that can be irritating and offputting at first taste . . . but if you stick with it and give the author some slack with his rampant deconstructionism, you find the result a refreshing liberation from current cultish limitation to the "Now," making way for the truly creative possibilities of the "next."

It might be debated that an endless series of "nows" is no more static or uncreative than an endless series of "nexts," but then we're just into the semantic differences between mystics of the same stripe.

When it comes to contemporary philosophy of the self-help vein, it's a matter of taste and style. Steven Harrison, like Manuel Schoch, is adept at one-line nuggets of wisdom. Line by line, he breaks down our preconceptions and self-deceptions about action, surrender, love, morality. His is a truly radical revisioning of creativity, because it goes beyond everything we know or think we know, to allow nothing in but the next moment: the unknowable.

"Facing the unrelenting nature of an acausal universe, the ideal of selfless action is shattered."

"If the relationship is built on mutual need fulfillment, then the cessation of fulfillment generally suggests an end to the form of relationship and perhaps the search for a new partner who will do better at servicing our needs and be less burdensome in their desires."

"The movement of love is the movement of transformation and fair warning to anyone who enters that space that we will lose everything, even what we don't know we have to lose."

. . . A few lines at random, to give a sense of what's in store for the open-minded reader, the seeker for something other, something new, something completely . . . next.

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