The Sandstone Papers

On the Crisis of Contemporary Life

Marty Glass

Hillsdale, NY: Sophia Perennis, 2005.
200 pages
ISBN: 1-59731-048-4
Price: $19.95 US
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The format of The Sandstone Papers is a Conference on ‘The Crisis of Contemporary Life’ held at a college on the California coast. Twenty speakers were invited and six papers were selected for publication by an editor, John Street, who attended the Conference, writes the General Introduction, the introductions to each paper, and keeps a personal journal recounting his private voyage of self-discovery inspired by the papers. The papers are written in six different styles of prose, and, of course, the whole thing is fictional—although after its first printing in the late 1980s several people sent letters to the publisher addressed to the ‘speakers’&mdashwho include a psychologist, a nun, a Marxist professor, a professor of Philosophy and Romance Languages, a ‘beat poet’, and an anthropologist, each with their own angle on the crisis. As I point out in my introduction to the second edition, all six are profoundly religious people, convinced that ‘the roots of things, like the answers to our more compelling questions, lie deep.’ The text includes an annotated bibliography.

Table of Contents

Preface to the Second Edition—Introduction—Cosmos and History: The Two That Are One—The Boundary: Liberated Psychology—The Challenge of Change: Money Versus People—Facing a Few of the Facts—Homage to Reality: How It Looks To Those Who Can See It—The Eye of the Heart: A Fable—Epilog—Bibliography


Is it possible to hold the crisis of the modern world in the palm of one's hand, rotating it thoughtfully to view it from all angles? This, in effect, is what Marty Glass does in The Sandstone Papers.Through the eyes of alter-egos, he analyzes our dilemma from the six leading, rival, philosophical perspectives that are jostling for acceptance—all to the (unspoken) end of forcing the reader to ask what he or she takes to be the fundamental problem/opportunity of our time. It is a sensitive and deeply reflective book.
Huston Smith, author of The World's Religions

About the Author

Marty Glass lives with his wife two miles up a dirt road beyond the power and water lines, 'off the grid', in an owner-built home in Northern California. Brings in firewood, runs the pump, and tackles emergencies. He has five children. He has worked as a college English teacher, a warehouseman, a school janitor, and, until his recent retirement, a second- and sixth-grade teacher in an elementary school. He has played piano in a jazz band and has been telling stories to children for forty years. Marty's close friend Huston Smith has enthusiastically endorsed his other books published by Sophia Perennis, including YUGA: An Anatomy of Our Fate and Eastern Light in Western Eyes.