Jumping Lightyears is a difficult book to classify or describe. That makes it impossible to sell it to the major publishers, who require every author to tell how their book resembles one on the NY Times Bestseller List! Do they think any great book would resemble anything on that list? No, greatness is a function of originality.
This book more resembles Euclid’s Elements, Galileo’s Dialogues, Newton’s Principia, Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations, or Darwin’s Origins of Species, in being quite unlike any pre-existing book, and in founding new sciences. If utopian analysis, psychical research, or empirical metaphysics ever become accepted sciences, it will be due in no small measure to this book
Jumping Lightyears makes one expect physics, astronomy and space technology, and there are a few chapters on those subjects, near the beginning, which only come to the standard conclusion, that physics does not permit interstellar travel. So those chapters are mere prologue, which one may skip.
The real gist of the book begins when Dr.H delves into Forbidden or brand new sciences which he has just invented. The Science of Civilization is wholly his invention, though based on the work of the philosophers Hobbes and Locke, 300 years ago. Empirical metaphysics is based on C.G. Jung, Arnold Toynbee, and William James. Quite a bit of the book is devoted to attacking the professional skeptics, on the grounds that they violate scientific method, or do not know what it is. He tells us about the real classics, the real scientific work in UFOlogy and Psychical Research, while freely granting that one must winnow a lot of straw to find these kernels of wheat. The important works are scientific monographs, not popular or well known books.
We are at a turning point in Western science, where it either hardens into a religion of reduction, with the professional skeptics as the high priests and grand inquisitors, or we open up science to other parts of the spectrum of experience. The physical sciences are exciting as adventures of ideas, but as religions, they stink, and will ultimately be rejected if the books are closed, and the Standard Model becomes the Bible for all Academics (which is very nearly true now).
This book is a work of philosophy, if Western Philosophy is the founding of sciences, which has happened on rare occasions in the past 2000 years. In other respects, it does not resemble any academic philosophy book, since only the failures are included in the syllabus, i.e., those philosophers who failed to solve their problems and found a new science.