Cosmic Countdown Summary
A few years ago, I decided that life is too short and precious to be spent as a wage slave, so spent three years exploring the world’s holy places. It was a serious journey, but a fun one – a sort of “Eat, Pray, Love” for guys. I visited 24 places in all, and for this book I have chosen my eight favourites – places where I had the strangest experiences, and laughed most often, during my search for truth.
- Infinite city. My religion is the consumption of young London. Too many things to do tonight, every night, where do I stop? Looking for a simpler path, I find a trail of sacred numbers.
- Seven chakras. Varanasi’s burning bodies entrance me, and “pure vegetarian” food cooked in cremation ash sure hits the spot. But then a one-legged holy man tells me to fuck off.
- Six histories. I totally fail to scale Fuji’s perfect cone and almost get arrested. However my spirit is replenished at a fertility festival, where sweet sake is ladled by shrine maidens.
- Five dimensions. Sitting within Teotihuacan’s Piramide del Sol, I reflect upon the relative merits of last week’s floating fiesta versus this week’s party in the taco factory.
- Four arms. At Lalibela in Ethiopia, an ancient golden cross is stolen during my stay. Young boys are dazed, old men are jailed; rather than helping, my foolishness generates tears.
- Three mountains. I explore the isolated world of Rapa Nui and meet its powerful inhabitants: a generous grandmother, a handsome surfer, and a leprous sculptor chiselling Moai.
- Two sides. High above the Oracle of Delphi, I feast and philosophize with Mountain Man Lambros. He is a generous host and drunken monster: both Apollo and Dionysus in one.
- One life. Meditating alone within the Great Pyramid of Giza, my mind is ignited by cosmic fires. Universal dissolution is only narrowly averted by a touch of the “hand of God”.
- No one. I enjoy the hospitality of Bedouin hustlers, living in their tomb-shop-cave. But soon I cast off the ruined facades of Petra, to find peace in the empty deserts they guard.
- End point. I find my way to a village in Canada, where a patch of forest is cleared and a toy cabin constructed. It is a place to end and to begin again.