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Reviewed by Joel R. Dennstedt for Readers' Favorite
Within the first few paragraphs of The Breakthrough in Two Acts by Fredric C. Hartman, Ph.D., one breathes a very deep sigh of appreciation for something truly fresh and intelligent, startled by the clear recognition that, “Hey, I’m in the presence of something brisk and new, something that explains with crystal clarity this current life I live, something, even more importantly, that I can actually use to live it better." Some of his earliest words explain the basic parameters defining this recognition: “Our brain keeps believing danger is everywhere, as it was neurologically designed to do.” “But shouldn’t a sturdy, stable awareness be as basic to civilized life as shelter, or clothing?”
It might seem axiomatic that an academic subject written about by an accomplished academic would sound, well, academic. However, The Breakthrough in Two Acts, a remarkable evaluation, assessment, and practical revelation of human consciousness and our intimate connection with it, reads more like Fredric C. Hartman is a poet, not a doctor, or a mighty wise guru sitting alone atop a hill. That is the pleasure one feels while reading: not like he is listening to a lecture, but like he has wandered into a private conversation revealing the big secret behind our existence. Almost like someone finally unearthed that rumored-to-exist-but-must-not-be-seen instruction booklet. If all of this seems a bit light-hearted for such a serious subject, it is because the effect of Dr. Hartman’s book is to make one feel enlightened, and yes, a bit more light-hearted. But, in a most down-to-earth and useful way. And finally, I will say something I have never said before: Everyone needs to read this book. Everyone should read this book.