Piercing the Cloud: Encountering the Real Me by Jamie Pineda

Jamie Pineda tells his own unique story in this well-written memoir. Piercing the Cloud: Encountering the Real Me focuses on science and reason, but also questions why such things are considered at odds with spirituality and faith. The author's impressive background of teaching Cognitive Science, Neuroscience, and Psychiatry at the University of California, lends further credibility to the book.

Pindeda starts with his mother's difficult decision to send him to live in the United States for a better future. The rest of his childhood is filled with typical teen angst and a love of reading and writing.

"Unconsciously the stories reinforced specific Western cultural norms and behaviors I took as my own. I remember reading the Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck and wanting to have the grit and fortitude of the Joad clan as they journeyed from Oklahoma to California only to find disappointment in the paradise they expected" (Pineda).

The author also explores his spiritual side during a self-proclaimed "mid-life" crisis. He explains that attempting to understand something bigger than ourselves is part of human nature. Currently, science can not explain the idea of a higher power, but it can't refute it either.

"Science and the scientific methods are humanity’s refined inventions and responses to uncertainty. But, just like the psychological limitations inherent in our reactivity to the pain produced by life, there are limitations inherent in scientific exploration—the pain of not knowing" (Pineda).

Jamie Pineda writes this story for himself, however, it is also a book for others struggling with what to believe in. No one has all of the answers, not even the most intelligent of human beings. This memoir blends everything into a perfect picture of what science and spirituality can create when taken hand-in-hand. I found this book to be inspirational and incredibly interesting. I highly recommend this to someone looking for a book about a higher power without the general biased conclusions others have written about in the past.

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