I picked the book up in a charity shop a few weeks ago. Then, after watching Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull last week, I found myself in the mood for another epic tale of South American weirdness and adventure.
Surfers of the Zuvuya fitted the bill perfectly. It even starts with a journey to a South American tomb:
"To get to the tomb of Pacal Votan [in Mexico] you first climb up to the temple on top of the pyramid. Then you go down narrow stairs. It is dank and dark. Finally you get to the tomb room. An ancient stone door has obviously been pulled open with great effort, like in the movie 'Raiders of the Lost Ark'. An eerie feeling comes over you. Will the tomb ever be closed again? 'Ohmigod! you think. What does this mean?"
From there the adventure really kicks off, as the author, Jose A Arguelles, meets his dimensional double, who guides him in inter-dimensional travel using Zuvuya - the Mayan memory circuit.
The idea behind this is that the ancient Mayans were advanced beings - galactic engineers - who left behind clues so that we can follow them by astrally surfing the cosmic beams across the universe and through multi-dimensions. Also thrown into the book are Atlanteans, light beings, UFOs and a journey to the centre of the Earth to find giant healing crystals.
If that wasn't enough excitement, the book tells us that our current era of human civilization will end in 2012, with an elemental disaster of a catastrophic proportions. To survive, we are going to have to evolve some sort of higher state of consciousness and stop polluting the planet.
Of course, this book was written in the late 1980s, when this kind of New Age stuff was the rage and Millennium fever was beginning to get us all a bit edgy. Readers could at that time feel comforted with the thought of 25 years' grace in which to embark on their own cosmic journey and sort the planet out at the same time. Now, with just over three years to go until 2012 and the planet more polluted than ever, that seems a tall order.
But Surfers of the Zuvuya is not a depressing, doom-and-gloom, end-of-the-world book. It is a fantastic journey through weird and wonderful places and beliefs, written with a massive sense of humour and lashings of poetic license. It is mythic rather than factual. The foreword says:
"Myths are not for believing or disbelieving. They are for using. If a myth or metaphor works in revamping our deepest values, it is truer than the evening news or the textbook fact."
Arguelles has come in for quite a bit of criticism with regards to the accuracy of his facts, but I would say that if a book provides an entertaining tale of adventure, then go along for the ride and enjoy it. Afterwords, decide for yourself if it has any deeper meaning.
Surfers of the Zuvuya: Tales of Interdimensional Travel costs about £7.99 new or £3.10 secondhand through Amazon.
Surfers of the Zuvuya: Tales of Interdimensional Travel