"With this potential in the physical human mind, our fantastic brains almost seem to exist to provide a 'voice' for the universe."

In this nonfiction guide, the author turns his multifaceted career into an accessible and practical philosophy. With a mother who was a scientist and a father who was both a writer and a reporter, Champlin grew up fascinated by how things work and how to explain his findings. He went on to learn drumming, inventing, and public speaking, gaining viable work with corporations, notably Walt Disney. Using the analogy of nature’s building blocks, he draws parallels between a network of cause and effect relationships, one event leading to the next (sometimes spontaneously, sometimes with intention) in his chronology, and similar potential in each person. He explores molecules as the basis for a new way of thinking that works in tandem with organic patterns.

After Champlin’s biographical sketch, he summarizes what is known about molecules with helpful and succinct quotes while also including colorful descriptions of their amazing qualities. He then links molecules coming together in structures to humans assembling in societies and groups. These change over time as people learn to adapt and use resources with greater precision and capability.

The author cites animation as a key example of innovation. Not only has animation become more vivid and realistic, but it has also spurred imagination. When magic is visualized on the big screen, like the twinkles around Cinderella in the Disney movie, viewers are invited to ask, “what if? What else is possible in real life?” Champlin champions the “Twinkle” as a placeholder for or representation of the beginning of an idea. As thoughts free-associate with the initial “spark,” a twinkle forms into a “Define” and perhaps into a product, an object, or a concept.

In the book’s next part, Champlin anticipates how Twinkles can be applied. Like molecules, whose actions can sometimes be predicted but sometimes can’t, Twinkles can handle uncertainty. They encourage users to get used to not knowing what might come of an inspiration or a dream (a Twinkle) but to keep on twinkling anyway. Champlin’s tone is positive. He alludes to but does not elaborate on negative ideas that may arise in thinkers’ heads. He acknowledges the destruction of which humanity is capable without dwelling there.

The theological discussions about good and evil and the origins of life running through the book will likely appeal to a wide audience, both believing and not believing. The book’s positive focus reflects Champlin’s childlike enthusiasm. His repeated hints at the book’s conclusion offer clues to his infectious, eager hope for what is to come. Next to the sun, “[t]he second greatest force on earth – the human mind – should be seen as the force it is.” The mind is the world’s mighty resource. With myriad examples and moments for inquiry, this book celebrates the strides the human race has made and is making toward thinking like the world’s most abundant and basic resource, the molecule, by embracing its drive to work together creatively, unexpectedly, and with openness to new ideas born of preceding ones. Fans of encouraging and thought-provoking books might wish to gravitate toward this one.

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