It was not a small surprise to find that at the center of the story is a practitioner of Tai Chi, breathing, becoming one with the great Tao, accessing important truths and breathing or conspiring with others connected by their own love of life. In his introduction, Bill elaborates:
"Conspiracy, literally translated, means to breathe together. It is of the same Latin root as spirit, or more precisely spiritus--breath. The ancient Chinese word Qi, literally translated, also means breath and life energy, or spirit.
"However, unlike the Western concept of spirit, which is seen as an individual's life force, the Chinese believe that this force is shared by the entire web of life, connecting each one of us to--everything."
The plunge was swift and icy cold into Arctic waters, endangered polar bears, the diminishing ice caps, and the dangers posed by methane gas released from the ocean floors which could trigger irreversible climate change. From the Arctic to Southern California, from Northern California to Scotland to the state of Kansas, unlikely individuals' lives become entangled through dreams, visions, murders, high technology, mystic insights, art in a struggle over control over new energy technologies that could save the world from the domination of the oil, nuclear, coal industries.
The characters are multi-dimensional, filled with paradoxes, surprises, humor, idiosyncrasies, strengths, weaknesses, unusual knowledge, paranoia, illusions, innocence, a range of ages, ethnicities, backgrounds, miraculously brought together to avert catastrophe and assist the metamorphosis of civilization to serve rather than destroy the planet.
The Wall Street Occupations were a fantasy a year ago, then a vision, then a reality, and now a threat to be reckoned with, using all the instruments the State can drum up to disperse and neutralize a movement, animated more by love, solidarity and outrage that if quelled, is likely to reemerge in a more potent form. The occupations have mirrored the novel by bringing together disparate people united by the deep recognition that the vast majority is threatened by the criminal, collusion of a small percentage of the world's population which has corrupted and used the world's most powerful institutions to rob, bully and threaten the majority of humanity into poverty and slavery, and the ecological devastation of the remnants of the world's remaining life support system for the power and profit of the few.
Knowledge and love can multiply into powerful forces under the right conditions. A Conspiracy of Spirits - Wall Street vs. The 99% is a unique gift of love, commitment, knowledge, hope to fuel and empower trust, solidarity, understanding in this time of challenge and transition. I find it very hopeful and inspiring, and an irresistibly good read, as well!