The Beatin’ Path: A Lyrical Guide to Lucid Evolution by John B Lane is part poetry, part fable, and part science blended together to create something different and stimulating. Lane is an award-winning author and instructional designer, as well as a pioneer in online learning. He began his professional career as a journalist and has written for numerous publications, including The Washington Post and Huffington Post.
The first thing one notices when paging through The Beatin’ Path is the ink and illustrations. The pen and ink drawings or renderings of old photos from another century populate the pages of the book. The ink differs from most books. It shines and reflects light at the reader almost like a decal. These first notices set the stage for the reader that he or she will be in for something very different.
From short statements to poems of several pages in length, Lane takes the reader on a journey and an examination of the world. Mixed in with the science of life and the universe, is a little baseball which seems to fit perfectly into the work. Some of it is our views and beliefs against reality. The sun didn’t care that the Greeks thought it orbited the earth, or what the Catholic Church thought, or even what Galileo thought it did what it did undisturbed for the last four and a half billion years. Nature may abhor a vacuum, but it loves disproving a doctrine. That is why we are here we are the examiners and the thinkers. Did superstition conquer polio or land man on the moon?
Being thinkers, we can also create “lies” when nature does not align with our views or when we simply cannot understand why things happen. Our lucid evolution is using our mind to find the truths around us and examine our environment. Yet, sometimes we decide to do the opposite, and there are plenty of examples from flat earthers to snake handling preachers. At times it seems our beliefs are smarter than we are:
“All I can say is that my trust remains
in the Lord.” said the convicted fraud
on his way out of the courthouse.
When asked for a comment, the
Lord remained silent.
Lane presents the reader a thoughtful and insightful look at what it is to be human, a thinking and reasoning animal, and the achievements of the mind in science and the falterings when reason is abandoned. The writing captures the reader’s imagination and is inspirational in the most real sense. It is up to the reader to find his way off the beatin’ path (which, however, is a very nice play on words) and to investigate and question. I do appreciate the mention of my hometown even with its sullen sunsets and the final poem, “Manifesto,” is an elegant summation of everything The Beatin’ Path is a marvelous mixture of all things that are an enlightened life.