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Reviewed by Joel R. Dennstedt for Readers' Favorite
“Life is a transformation.” The Ph.D. properly adorning Jaime A. Pineda’s name as the author of Piercing the Cloud assumes immense importance when the reader discovers that the author failed kindergarten, lending added significance to the opening quote. Fortunately, this early setback itself was not all that significant, unless it provided the prodding impetus to persevere, accomplish, and achieve meaningful academic success. Except that Dr. Pineda did not find ultimate meaning from such accomplishment. And what makes this memoir (life review) so uniquely important is the rarity of his perception and understanding that science, while providing great knowledge and technology, does not hold a candle to true spiritual awakening. That science becomes limiting and exclusive when held in the light of unified reality. For Pineda, this was indeed a transformation.
Born in Comayagua, Honduras in 1953, Jaime A. Pineda began his life enfolded within a familial atmosphere of religious faith, but as he tells so well in Piercing the Cloud, his seemingly directed path led him toward an even more directed life of scientific study in the United States, with an intensely focused pursuit of cognitive-based knowledge leading eventually to a PhD. and professorship at U.C.S.D. When subsequent events finally caught up with Pineda’s self-involvement, however, he suddenly found himself taking the proverbial road less traveled – one toward a greater understanding of true reality, the world at large, and ultimately of life itself. His life. Full circle. It is indeed a fascinating and somewhat rare tale of personal transformation, ending with a rather unusual assessment from one previously inclined to scientific determinism: “… the best and true teacher is life itself.”