The Jade Phallus :
Questions for Discussion & Contemplation
Beyond pure entertainment, the purpose of this book is to stimulate much-needed group & seminar discussions about the following key themes. Enjoy the ensuing reflections, interactions and insights:
ONE: Was the author fair and realistic in his depiction of the fictional Google employees in this story – or do you have a differing opinion of the leaders and employees of such mega-tech companies?
TWO: Based on the climax of this novel, do you think the author is personally for or against companies like Google purpoefully inventing and marketing psych-tech software to improve the human condition?
THREE: There are several characters in this book who are dead-set against the vast power of companies like Google, and several characters who fully support such mega-tech organizations. What’s your personal opinion of letting a handful of corporations control the world’s communication and information?
FOUR: Given the chance, would you yourself want to buy and use non-drug psych-tech mood-management software to regulate and hopefully improve your emotional & cognitive experience?
FIVE: Pockets of radical violent terrorists throughout the world are performing atrocious acts against innocent women and children. Would you support government use of mood-alteration tactics and weapons to subdue terrorist mentalities?
SIX: Jack and Mahalena at times seem to communicate with each other, brain to brain and heart to heart, from a distance. Throughout this book there are instances of transpersonal connection and communication. What’s your experience and opinion of such extrasensory phenomenon?
SEVEN: As the title implies, there's a real jade phallus at the center of this story. Maybe the title even implies a serious sexual element of the plot - which is true. The movement of the jade phallus throughout the novel, and how people respond to it, is all-important. What was your final feeling about the jade phallus - did its presence and fate effect your own feelings about male-female sexual relating?
EIGHT: Mahalena manages throughout this novel to maintain a special quality of mindful heart-centered responsiveness that she’s been taught by her teacher Abierta. What do you think of Mahee’s mindset: is it real and attainable, or a fictional quality beyond human experience?
NINE: Which characters in this story do you most identify with? And do you find the ‘bad’ characters to be possessed by an evil force in the universe – or are they to be dealt with as psychopaths who need psychiatric treatment?
TEN: The laws of quantum mechanics indicate that everything in the universe is connected with and influencing everything else; ancient yogic masters came to the same conclusion. In this story the jade phallus seems to carry an intentful imprint from the past that can influence the present moment. What’s your opinion regarding the power of occult ceremonial objects and rituals?
ELEVEN: We are very close to developing broadcast machines and software that subtly alter the resonance fields in the brain related to particular emotional fields, as well as focal-attention software. Probably there’s no stopping this psych-tech development and implementation - but we surely need to start talking about this looming future now ... focus attention toward whether human beings should develop bioresonance equipment that can influence where a person focuses her or his attention. What laws and regulations (if any) should politicians begin to create, right now, in order to ensure public overseeing to detect, observe, reflect upon, experiment with, and otherwise guide, limit and control the coming psych-tech revolution?
TWELVE: Here's a fun twister similar to the questions Jack asks his college psych-tech students at Berkeley: Would you say you function mostly as a vastly-complicated bio-robot with pre-programmed attitudes and predictable reactions – or are you a free-thinking independent creature able to respond spontaneously and appropriately to each new situation you encounter in life?
THIRTEEN: Beyond all the tech elements, THE JADE PHALLUS presents a female hero, Mahalena, who risks her life and love in order to live in a new way. Did she resonate with you, does she carry a quality in her heart that you also enjoy focusing on? Was she a valuable role model for you, is this where we want things to flow toward ... or do you disagree with her basic sense of spiritual engagement? Hey, maybe she's entirely off her rocker - but she's surely fun to be around. Definitely a 10 on the hope scale.
FOURTEEN: Following the abrupt ending of this story, there are definitely several different ways the plot can evolve - based on so many variables, it's like life itself, each moment. Who knows what's going to happen next, especiallly inside our own minds? Right now, do you have any feeling, after reading the book, which direction you would like to see the sequel move in? Which themes attract you that you'd like to see continue in the sequel? And - which character would you like to play in the movie?
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