West of Jesus: Surfing, Science and the Origins of Belief by Steven Kotler.

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West of Jesus: Surfing, Science and the Origins of Belief by Steven Kotler.
The overall argument of Steven Kotler's engaging book is the fact that when one is at one's lowest there is an opportunity for hope and a return to a perhaps better life. …

Introduction

In some ways Kotler had lost everything: health, job, girlfriend and perhaps even his sanity.

One of the main assumptions of this book is that a person can find spiritual enlightenment through the most unlikely of processes. Thus surfing is in general seen as a sport pursued by fun-loving, perhaps even superficial individuals who like the casual lifestyle as exemplified by The Beach Boys. But Kotler sees a different kind of identity, stating that there is "am inherent mysticism of surfers and their sport" (Kotler, 2007).

The literary theme that will be considered in detail here is the quest that Kotler is essentially going on throughout the book. The nature of this quest is physical, emotional and spiritual, and each element works in relationship to the others. The book starts with Kotler recovering from a long battle with Lyme Disease that nearly killed him. He searches in an internal way for "a reason to live" (Kotler, 2007) and initially does not seem to find one. Eventually, he comes across his continued love of surfing, and he decides to travel in order to pursue it. ...
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