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This spiritual, philosophical novel, begins in 1973 when Sam O’Connor, a PhD student at the University of Massachusetts meets and falls in love with Amy Sanders who has just finished her MFA at the university. As Sam begins to envision their life together, Amy tells him she’s leaving the following week to study with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in Switzerland in order to become a teacher of the Transcendental Meditation program. Crest fallen, Sam resigns to spend part of the summer with his Irish Catholic family in Greenwich Village working at the bakery-café his parents operate and own. Within a week he receives a call that Maharishi has invited him to join the course. He hastily leaves the Village behind and embarks on a course that will alter his life. Maharishi sees Sam’s brightness and intelligence and challenges him at the end of the course that he should find the level of Being in Western Philosophy and bring out that knowledge so students can appreciate it and experience it for themselves. As a newly hired associate professor at Amherst College, Sam designs a course entitled, ‘Consciousness: The Pathless Path’. The course strikes a rich vein in his students, sparking their interest and creating a wave of excitement on campus, and, spurred from its success, Sam writes a book, which in turn lands on the NY Times best sellers list. His publisher wants Sam to do a promotional cross-country book tour. Mid-way through the tour tragedy strikes, and Sam’s life is altered again. Sam drops out of the academic world and retreats back to his New England farm. He starts a large vegetable garden and takes long, solitary walks through the woods with Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, reading out loud the poems the poet wrote more than a hundred years ago. For eight years Sam lives a reclusive life style while being a husband to Amy and a father to their two sons, Josh and Paul. Amy, his best friend, Kenny, his parents and in-laws all try in their own way to encourage Sam to begin teaching again. It’s only when Sam meets Julian Driscoll, a senior at Amherst College studying philosophy, does Sam begin to embrace his destiny once again. Sam’s path to enlightenment as a western man is an intriguing and uplifting story of how spiritual evolution unfolds. The book explores the infinite wholeness that is both within us and all around us. It is the Best of All Possible Worlds, after all.
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