Vapor Trails is a fictional story written by RP Siegel and Roger Saillant. The book begins when an oil executive, Mason Burnside, faces the climate crisis fostered by big oil in relation to the horrid experience of Katrina. During this infamous storm, Burnside befriends a bicyclist, Jacob Walkers, with whom he shared life-threatening situations born of the storm's fury. During this crisis, he also winds up falling in love with Diana Mars, a keynote speaker at a sustainability conference that occurred during the hurricane. Even more than the storm disrupting the external landscape, it also alters his internal landscape incomprehensibly.
The book beautifully illustrates that in the horrid fear-driven face of a hurricane, such as Katrina, there are events that often serve as an eye-opening gift to those in the grips of a near-death experience. It causes one to question what is really important in one's life. Paradigms shift right beneath one's feet.
Is this why the Chinese symbol for crisis means "Dangerous Opportunity?" Indeed, the hurricane provided several opportunities, including Burnside's meeting and falling in love with Diana, while also sharing the crisis with a young man named Jacob who mirrors the effects of the oil industry back to him. These relationships then fostered an evolution of Burnside's inner world that led to his growing humanity transcending the corporate world. His desires to climb further up the corporate ladder are transmuted.
The book's focus on oil is interesting given that Hindus often refer to our current period of time as the Kali Yuga, or Dark Age. Yes, while we think we are advanced and consider our ancient foreparents to be ignorant, according to this thesis, we have devolved rather than evolved. Indeed, writings such as Capra's Tao of Physics reflect that ancient spiritual understandings of the universe are not counter to modern research in quantum physics. Science in this sense has just caught up with the mystics of various traditions. Perhaps this marriage of the spiritual and the scientific is the beginning of the awakening from the Dark Age where dualism reigns as Queen and oil is deemed black gold rather than Mother's blood.
According to the Wikipedia site, the Dark Age, which is referred to in India as the Kali Yuga, is associated with the demon Kali, not to be confused with the goddess Kali (read as Kaalee). On the one hand, the blackness of the goddess, Kali, is an emination of the Unmanifest, just as, in other ancient cosmologies, the Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding was referred to as being black. The Greeks called her Sophia Episteme and the Hebrews called her Hockmah Binah. In contrast, the "Kali" of the Kali Yuga reflects "strife, discord, quarrel, or contention,"which is oftentimes the opposite of the integrative intelligence of Wisdom as reflected in the Buddhist image of Prajnaparimita, meaning Wisdom of the Transcendent Shore.
Our assumptions notwithstanding, "dark ages" sums up our place in the 21st century. As the Bible states, this age will be wrought with "wars and rumors of wars." How many of those reading this article recall a time when we were not engaged in a war or close to being in one? Are not today's conflict and destruction hallmarks of the Kali Yuga? As one Native American chief said of the European invaders, "You have set man against woman, parent against child, child against parent, and God against humanity! We think you people are crazy!"
What has this insanity created in our world? Gaze upon the miles and miles of suburban wasteland. Is that wasteland another mirror of the waste inherent in the human mind during this dark age? Perhaps our darkness is in not seeing ourselves reflected in the eyes of those we consider our opposites. So long as we demonize our opponents, we feed the demon within ourselves.
What if opposites are mirrors? Thus, just as right becomes left in our bathroom mirror, what we deem as our opposites in this world are indeed mirrors of ourselves. Can we see the dogmatic Christian mirrored in the dogmatic Islamist, mirrored in the dogmatic behavioral psychologist, mirrored in the dogmatic reductionistic scientist, who is further mirrored in the dogmatic Republican or dogmatic Democrat?
We live inside a fun-house of infinite reflections of our lies about our true nature! This notion of duality is indeed one of the hallmarks of our modern dark age that was predicted in the Holographic Physics of David Bohm and neurologist Karl Pribram. There are some ecopsychologists, such as Daniel Quinn and Chellis Glendenning, that would agree to this thesis of our living in a dark age rather than a time of enlightened knowledge and technology.
Could it be that our reliance on dark oil existing in the dark depths of the Earth is reflective of our time of deterioration in this dark age? Thus we are at a time where our consciousness and our intelligence in seeing the universe as intimately connected is in decline as evidenced by our dualistic thinking. Could we be coming upon a time of an awakening? Perhaps works such as Fritjof Capra's The Tao of Physics is the beginning of that awakening.
It is only through the cultivation of love that the turning, the great awakening, can occur. And, perhaps that love is to see our unity in all things? Perhaps the cultivation of our sense of unity is simply the universe itself turning itself towards a new dawning. Can we say our dawning and the universe's dawning are separate?
Indeed, perhaps fiction and non-fiction are actually two expressions of the same Truth. As such, moving the characters towards enlightenment, Vapor Trails exposes intrigue at the highest corporate level, which unravels when a senior executive defects from a dark corporate conspiracy in order to escape from the burdens of his past, regain self-respect and open himself to the potential of his new love. Doesn't this fiction illuminate the underlying truth of our culture?
It appears that just as a person addicted to alcohol has to admit there is a problem, we, likewise, have to wake up to the impact our lives are having on this world. Thus, the primary character of Vapor Trails has to enter a state of heightened awareness and questioning of the traditional way things are done.
Grounded in carefully researched science, Vapor Trails was written by two authorities in the area of sustainable business. It is a definite thriller founded on the global climate disruption issue, while remaining based on solid science, and told from differing perspectives that reveal the human, business, and environmental sides of the story.
One of the points to this book is that like airplanes, we all leave behind a vapor trail. And though we can easily see others' trails, we rarely see our own. Thus we point our finger towards someone in blame and fail to notice that there are three fingers pointed back at our chest. As it is stated in the Bible, "Judge not lest ye be judged."