West of Jesus: Surfing, Science, and the Origins of Belief

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Bloomsbury Publishing USA, Dec 1, 2008 - Sports & Recreation - 272 pages
After spending two years in bed with Lyme disease, Steven Kotler had lost everything: his health, his job, his girl, and, he was beginning to suspect, his mind. Kotler, not a religious man, suddenly found himself drawn to the sport of surfing as if it were the cornerstone of a new faith. Why, he wondered, when there was nothing left to believe in, could he begin to believe in something as unlikely as surfing? What was belief anyway? How did it work in the body, the brain, our culture, and human history? With the help of everyone from rebel surfers to rocket scientists, Kotler undertakes a three-year globetrotting quest. The results are a startling mix of big waves and bigger ideas: a surfer's journey into the biological underpinnings of belief itself.
 

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Contents

Section 1
3
Section 2
7
Section 3
10
Section 4
12
Section 5
15
Section 6
17
Section 7
21
Section 8
29
Section 26
124
Section 27
126
Section 28
137
Section 29
143
Section 30
147
Section 31
150
Section 32
155
Section 33
161

Section 9
34
Section 10
37
Section 11
45
Section 12
51
Section 13
54
Section 14
60
Section 15
66
Section 16
70
Section 17
75
Section 18
79
Section 19
85
Section 20
99
Section 21
104
Section 22
107
Section 23
113
Section 24
116
Section 25
121
Section 34
164
Section 35
171
Section 36
181
Section 37
187
Section 38
192
Section 39
204
Section 40
217
Section 41
223
Section 42
228
Section 43
235
Section 44
240
Section 45
243
Section 46
247
Section 47
251
Section 48
261
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

Steven Kotler's novel The Angle Quickest for Flight was a San Francisco Chronicle bestseller and won the William L. Crawford IAFA Fantasy Award. His nonfiction has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, GQ, National Geographic, Details, Wired, Men's Journal, Maxim, Salon, and elsewhere. He has surfed all over the world and lives in California.

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