Jane Joyce has given the world a novel in the same category as books like James Redfield’s The Celestine Prophecy Jostein Gaarder’s Sophie’s World and the latest media darling Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret. Authors like Byrne and Redfield (The Celestine Prophecy was originally hailed as a work of fiction) have built a pop culture empire with works that claim they can provide enlightenment if readers buy into their ideas. Gaarder’s novel provides a crash course in the history of philosophy interwoven with an excellent mystery. The Totality of All Being is superior as a fantastic tale that provides intelligent chunks of science philosophy and religion for the reader to feast upon.
The Totality of All Being begins as the powers-that-be in our universe unite to debate the future of the earth. Joyce writes “Inside the very essence of all being; spiritual masters ascended souls magnetic beings angels and the singular awareness gathered together to discuss the fate of the free-will-induced planet labeled Earth.” These leaders have a choice to maintain the status quo on earth or destroy it. Lucifer creator of man’s free will migrates to earth and infuses his essence with a young girl named Cameron Chase. She becomes a catalyst that changes all of civilization like a certain Nazarene from two thousand years ago. While Cameron performs miracles and heals the sick she gathers disciples and enemies. Her so-called heretical message incites the wrath of many world leaders who are controlled by an organization called the Shadow. “The night had a bitter bite of chilling cold that grappled Marshal’s skin…in his right hand was a sacrificial knife” Joyce writes. “To his left was a young boy gagged and tied shivering in his clothes…the grids of energy across the world were slowly being claimed by the darkness…he plunged the knife deep into the heart of the child.”
Cameron’s martyrdom sets the stage for a giant battle between those who want to hold mankind back in its sludgy ignorance and bloody violence; and those who wish to become “ascended” and reach out to the stars by terraforming and colonizing the moon.
Joyce has a wonderfully lyrical way of expressing her protagonist’s “holiness” and purity that does not make use the clichéd imagery of a guru. Cameron Chase seems a normal young girl but Joyce transcends Cameron’s normality by infusing her godlike abilities with a human innocence that is shared by the heroic characters of her novel. While there is no disputing the simple beatitude of her heroes her evil or villainous characters are over the top. Joyce should remember that evil exists in the mundane as well as in tyrannical governments and serial killers. The evil we see when a parent brutalizes their infant or an average person shoots up a school is more terrifying than an invisible entity that feeds off people kept as prisoners.
The author’s abilities as a musician graphic designer and visual artist and her vast scientific and esoteric knowledge combine with a “sly playfulness” that makes her a writer of distinction and quality.