The novel considers related themes – the individual and the collective, and social consciousness. The story is about two telepathic races.
“One shares telepathic information. That society is very peaceful. There’s no poverty, no violence, because the people are tuned into one another,” Acquista said.
“The other telepathic race is competitive and uses information to gain advantage. On a planetary scale, its goal is to be the supreme, sentient race.”
“Sentient” incorporates points of the “integral theory” Acquista espouses. The theory is the lens through which he says he understands his worldview.
Every time he speaks about the novel, Acquista said, audiences ask him what else he’s working on. That segues into a discussion about integral theory as it pertains to health care. The theory is directly linked to his two nonfiction books on health care – the small, new primer “Health Wise, Integral Lessons in Transformation” and the earlier “Pathways to Health.”
“Integral Life Practice” flows from the theory. The practice, Acquista argues, is a new paradigm that unites what he calls “a divided health care landscape.” Each division – conventional, alternative, complementary and integrative – is a partial approach to health care, he contends.
In “Health Wise,” Acquista explains the four principal elements of fitness in the Integral Life Practice – body, mind, spirit and shadow.
Shadow refers to “psychological traumas, repressed or suppressed parts of our psyche,” he writes.
Most of the book’s short chapters deal with familiar self-improvement, subjects often found in articles in popular magazines.
Among the subjects in “Health Wise” are dealing with stress, tips on healthy holidays, the importance of nutrition, meditation, and laughter as good medicine.
There is one chapter that readers may find oddly out of place. It’s on the healing power of forgiveness. He explains its inclusion. But he doesn’t give attention to other spiritual/religious concepts such as love, kindness and sharing that have potential benefits for healing.
Maybe Acquista’s application of the integral theory to health care is a work in progress.
“I find that all of what drives me to write seems to be the exploration of ideas that hopefully raises awareness to social issues and elevates consciousness … in the context of how we grow and evolve spiritually towards enlightenment,” he said.
Acquista, a former practicing physician, was medical director of a facility run by Massachusetts that cared for developmentally disabled adults.
Dr. Victor Acquista will participate in a panel discussion on “The Art of Writing” at 2 today at the Jean Cocteau Cinema, 418 Montezuma, Santa Fe. Also on the panel are Albuquerque sci-fi writers Laura Mixon and Stephen Gould.
At 3 p.m. Feb. 26, Acquista will discuss and sign copies of “Sentient” at Page 1 Books, Mountain Run Shopping Center, 5850 Eubank NE.