I am the book club's hostess for January as well as the author of the month. We will be reading my novel, Numenon: A Tale of Mysticism & Money. I'm going to set out some introductory material and outline some of the questions/issues I'd like to see us discuss in the coming weeks.

Before I talk about my book, I'd like to tell you my goals for the month. First, I'd like to develop a feeling of  community and warmth that will flow into the Book Club's coming months. I'd like us to get to know each other and have a good time together. I'd like us to learn from each other. I'd like to get a different understanding of my book from you.

My primary intention is that we should have fun reading Numenon. If you don't want to follow the schedule I set out below, forget it. Same with the questions. Don't answer them unless you want to. If you think of other issues or questions, bring them up. This is a time to hang out and examine a very unusual story.

I want to hear from you, too. Would you please tell us a bit about yourself as we begin? What's your background? What attracted you to the book club? Add anything that you care to share.

WHERE DO YOU BUY NUMENON? A number of places. I've got a surprise in point one below: How to get Numenon free.

    ⁃    I've arranged for you to get an eBook of Numenon free through Smashwords. Go to the book's Smashwords page.  Use the coupon code LV94U when you check out and the book will be free. The coupon is good through January 19th, and I can extended the date if people want me to. I believe Smashwords makes books available in almost every eBook format.  
    ⁃    If you'd like a print version, you can buy Numenon here: http://numenon.com This is the gorgeous hardback book that won all the awards. It was originally $24.95. We're selling it for $9.50 plus shipping. I will inscribe the book any way you like, just note what you'd like me to say in the message at checkout.
    ⁃    Numenon is also available as an Amazon Kindle for 99 cents. And it's available as a hardback on Amazon at a bit more than we charge. (We make almost nothing on the hardback when its purchased through Amazon, by the way.)   

Also––I am not a Jungian analyst or professor; I won't be leading this discussion as an academic or psychotherapist. I am an an author. I've got a fairly deep understanding of myself and the writing craft. Both halves of my brain have been educated: I hold Master's degrees in economics and counseling.


If you've got a few minutes, the interview that Bonnie Bright and I did and which is linked here is the best introduction to me and my work. If you don't have time to listen to it, I'll give you a (relatively) short run-through here:

I was born in San Francisco. at the end of WWII. My father, a first generation immigrant, founded and owned what was the 10th largest residential construction company in the USA in its heyday. I grew up on San Francisco's Peninsula, in the heart of what came to be known as Silicon Valley.

Those were intoxicating years. Not only was I surrounded by the cutting edge of corporate culture, I had my father sitting in the family room. That was like having Secretariat parked on the front lawn. I learned about extremely successful people from my father and his friends. They moved at light speed and were more directed and effective than any people I've met since. Mine was a heady and thrilling existence, quite addictive. When I write about the upper end of Silicon Valley society, I do it partially from my own experience.

When I was eighteen, a drunk driver killed my father and my charmed life vanished overnight. I set about defining myself. How I could define myself was limited. Business was the only life-path my father approved. Even though he had passed on, his influence on my psyche was enormous. I majored in economics. I earned two degrees in the subject and worked as an economist for years. I was a doctoral student at Stanford's Graduate School of Business.

I left that program, but ended up working for the professor who taught Negotiation and Intervention at the Graduate School of Business. I coached negotiation and active listening with his students a few days a year for twenty years. That was a blast. As a result, I have an abiding love for MBA (Master's in Business Administration) students and MBAs. And negotiation. This shows in Numenon.

I left Stanford and started moving in a direction that better fed my soul. While working as an economist, I earned an MA in MFCC from Santa Clara University. There I learned about Jungian psychology and the transpersonal psychologies. Roberto Assagioli's Psychosynthesis fit my personal experience better than any other theory. Assagioli's egg diagram was almost a snapshot of my inner life. I've had unitive and other spiritual experiences since I was a young child. My first transcendent experiences occurred when I was a young teenager riding my horse through the redwoods of the Coast Range. I began a meditation practice in 1975 which accelerated and strengthened my spiritual development.

Years passed; jobs and professions along with them. In 1993, had a  personal crisis which shattered what I thought about myself and my world. I was devastated. I spent from 1993 to 1995 putting myself back together.

Two major events happened in 1995. I went to a meditation retreat. After that retreat, I had a mystical experience which lead to Numenon and my other work. This is described in the Author's Note in Numenon and in my interview with Bonnie Bright. I also I started writing with a writing group  led by a local poet. Those events changed my life.

When I wrote Numenon, I was dealing with PTSD and trauma-related issues. The book has a darkness that reflects my interior state. I was also trying to get my arms around what had happened to me and explain the nature of evil. Be aware of this as you read.


You can learn pretty much everything about Numenon through this link to my web site. The linked page offers a synopsis, information about the book's awards, reviews, an excerpt, a physical description of the book and more.

The book's "personal history" may be of interest to you. Numenon was released in 2008; it's been around for a while. Being the book's author has been thrilling. Numenon is my first novel; my second book. We entered it in a couple of book contests as an ARC (advance reading copy). It won the visionary fiction and religious fiction categories in those contests. I entered it in more contests after it was released. It ended up winning four more national awards.

I'm particularly pleased with the Silver Nautilus Award for Indigenous/Multicultural Fiction. The Nautilus Award was established to recognize books that promote spiritual growth, positive social change, and conscious living. Previous Nautilus winners include Thich Nnat Hanh and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Winning the Silver Medal in the IPPYs (Independent Press) Awards was also exciting. The IPPYs are the oldest and largest contest for independent presses. About 4,000 books were entered that year.

As a Kindle book on Amazon, Numenon jumped to the front of books about mysticism, ranking #1 in three categories of mysticism and hovering about the 1,000th level in Kindle sales ranking (out of, say, 900,000 books). It's an Amazon Bestselling book. Numenon also garnered five star reviews for years.

I'm not telling you this to brag: it's a cautionary tale. I didn't realize how extraordinary Numenon's performance was. It kept it's #1 position in mysticism for about a year with absolutely no promotion on my part. I became complacent, expecting the wave to continue forever. This was a mistake. I wish I'd taken a screen shot of its Amazon page when it was at it's peak.

Numenon has dropped in the rankings, but it's the same book with the same heart that was ranked #1.


The book has 448 pages. If we divide the reading evenly over the month, that would mean reading 112 pages per week.  If we do that, we should be on page 112 on January 7th, 224 on the 14th, 336 by the 21st and finish by the 28th.

Don't feel bound by this, if you want to read ahead, please do.  But, if you read ahead, please don't ask questions in the reading group that reveal content that other group members haven't reached. You can message me privately if you want to talk about something.  


Don't wreck  your experience of reading the book by trying to answer these questions while you read. Let the answers and your viewpoints rise to the surface as you absorb the text. Numenon is a piece of art and a gestalt, not material for a quiz.


Compare & contrast Will Duane and Grandfather's psychological development. These are two very successful men in radically different fields. How did they end up so different?

Will Duane's psychic structure. What Jungian concepts do you see manifesting themselves in the book's first chapter? Subsequent chapters?

How would you diagnose Will?

Grandfather has had horribly traumatic things happen to him. How did he come out so well?

How would you diagnose him?

Two shamans exist in Numenon: Grandfather and Great-grandfather. How do they strike you?


Numenon brings up a wealth of issues highly relevant to our contemporary society. The following add greatly to our understanding of the book and what's going on around us.

Recommended reading/viewing:

"Inside Job", the Academy Award Winning documentary film produced, written and directed by Charles Ferguson. I believe that this film, which documents the causes of the 2008 financial crises, generated the "Occupy Wallstreet (and everywhere else)" movement.

The film clearly illustrates how our financial markets caused their own collapse because of greed and lack of discipline and morality. It makes complicated economic concepts easy to understand by use of graphics. It also illustrates the culture of the upper financial echelon, which is of interest to us as we study Numenon corporation.

My character Will Duane isn't based on a real person. He's a composite, partially my dad, partially people in the news. And partially my neighbors. I lived in the Town of Woodside, bedroom to Silicon Valley's finest, for fourteen years. People like Will Duane were all around me.

When I wrote Will and his lifestyle, I thought I was absolutely over-the-top in describing his behavior in every direction. "Inside Job" shows that I under-wrote the character. In all likelihood, Will would have been more flamboyant, ruthless, and immoral than I show him.

The Hypomanic Edge: The Link Between (A Little) Craziness and (A Lot of) Success in America by John D. Gartner PhD. This illuminating book explains a lot about Silicon Valley and its "movers and shakers". I'll bring it up in subsequent weeks.

Well, that should be enough to get us going. Let me know what you think/feel about the book and what I've written above.

And enjoy Numenon.  One of the reviewers called it ". . . an amazing trip into two worlds."

Have a good trip! I'll be checking in often––feel welcome to come and hang out. I've got more material for the coming weeks . . .

Sandy Nathan

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  • Here's a thank you to those who joined me for the January book club: I made the linked video/Valentine's greeting this morning. It came out rather startlingly well. It's my thank you to my readers.

    Happy Valentine's! I love to see you smile.

    You might want to let it run through without sound once to allow it to buffer, then play away!


    Sandy Nathan

  • One more thing––I just found out that my daughter's web site has been hacked into. I gave her web address earlier, http:zoenathan.com.

    DON'T GO INTO THAT SITE. In all probability, nothing bad will happen if you do. Zoe's gone into it without problem.

    However, I wouldn't go there. I'm going to contact Bonnie and see if she can pull that reference down.

    Now poor Zoe has to find out what happened and reconstruct her beautiful site. Talk about the shadow!


    • Hi, all! My daughter got her site fixed. It's safe to visit. Please feel free: http://zoenathan.com


    • Great site. Interesting works.

      By the way, just finished Volume one.......when is volume two slated to arrive?

      Love the building tension and the remaining uncertainty as to on what side of the fence Will will fall.


    • I'm planning on having Mogollon out in 2012. Lots to do before that happens. Hopefully I'll have one of those marvelous interludes where everything just flows and gets done with no hassle. Hopefully.

      The uncertainty will continue to build until the very end. :-)

      I made the linked video/Valentine's greeting this morning. It came out rather startlingly well. It's my thank you to my readers. I'll post it to the Jan book club as well.


      Happy Valentine's! I love to see you smile.

      You might want to let it run through without sound once to allow it to buffer, then play away!

      Sandy Nathan

  • Hi, everyone! This is a semi-official sayonara-for-now message. It's the 31st, January is still on, so if anyone wants to say anything later today, share away. I'll be here and responding to messages. Actually, I'll continue to do that into Feb. and beyond.

    I want to thank you for participating in the Alliance's book club. I appreciate your involvement with me and my work. I appreciate your thoughtful and heartfelt responses. I feel like I've finally found my "niche"––depth psychologists. Or really smart, intuitive people who know something of their inner functioning and are looking for more. And who know the outer world in its darkness and light, and the inner world in its magnificence. It's been a joy for me to be here with you.

    I wanted to let you know about my other work, which you can find on Amazon and on my website. The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy burst out of me a couple of years ago, knocking the Mogollon rewrite aside. I wrote The Angel in response to may baby  brother's untimely and tragic death. It's the story of a brilliant teenage boy and an angelic alien who comes to earth in an effort to save her planet. It's set in in a future police state on the eve of nuclear Armageddon. (I like to ratchet up the existential anxiety.) The story has strong psychological elements. Jeremy (the boy) must heal his psyche of damage done by his parents, who were probably the worst parents in the universe. He has just hours to do it.

    Lady Grace will be released within the month. The Angel's first sequel  brings some of The Angel's characters back together after the radiation clears and puts them in another struggle for existence. This time, they're fighting against the elements and a degenerate society which the nuclear war has spawned. And it holds a great love story. Two of them, as a matter of fact.

    The second sequel, Sam & Emily, is a love story involving two characters from The Angel. It’s an epic romance that takes place in the Piermont Estate’s underground bomb shelter after the nuclear bombs have gone off. Sam & Emily share a passion that lasts a lifetime. It also should be out within a month.

    Here's the series blog: Tales from Earth's End. Articles, news, etc. The books will be available as trade paperbacks and eBooks. I always try for the most beautiful presentation I can with my work. The covers on the books of Tales from Earth's End could be framed, if I do say so.

    The blog has lots of information about the series and  some fun and funny articles. Sam & Emily is a romance. The romance industry has specific rules. I break all of them to produce a sensual love story for the ages. Here it is: The Rules of Romance and How I Break Them.

    OK. So long for now. Let's keep in touch!

    Sandy Nathan

    • Thank you so much Sandy for taking the time to share with us your ideas about your wonderful book. I had a very good time and I'm looking forward to the sequel.

      As an European it was very insightful to learn about the history of the indians this way. It expanded my point of view about the collective traumatization of this people. Also I learned a lot about Silicon Valley, shamanism, horses, etc etc. Great, I love books where there is something to learn. Bye for now.

    • You're very welcome, Karina. I'm glad you had a good time. I did, too! It was good to get to know you. Thanks for participating.

      I've gotta get crunching on Mogollon. First I have to get 2 books in the Tales from Earth's End Series off to the printer. That will happen next week. Then off to Mogo. . .

      One book I forgot to tell the group about is Killing the White Man's Indian by Fergus Bordewich. I used Bordewich's book heavily in my research. His mother was one of the first Indian activists. He went around to reservations with her as a child. In Killing, he punctures the majority culture's stereotypes about Native Americans. Getting rid of the archetypes and presenting the real thing is his mission.

      The real thing in many cases is worse than our groupthink stereotypes. Bordewich tells exactly what happened to the Indians during the "settlement" of the West. Germs and viruses, not fearless Indian fighters, killed most of the Natives. He's got entries from the diaries of people who were present when the epidemics happened in Indian communities. He talks about it all: land fraud, mismanagement of funds, the Indian school system, on and on.

      But, it's not a Dances with Wolves type whitewash. He's equally straightforward about discussing past and present Native behavior that's out of line. I understand that many Indians were very upset with him for saying what he does, but it needed to be said. He gets into the impact of the casinos, the tribes putting toxic waste dumps on the reservations, and more.

      I heartily recommend this book. Here it is on Amazon:

      So long for now!


    • THNX!

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