West of Jesus

Surfing, Science and the Origins of Belief
Buy West of Jesus
Buy West of Jesus

About West of Jesus

My earliest childhood belief was a sneaking suspicion that the world was more mysterious than people were letting on. It’s hard to say how much of this was suburban boredom and how much heartfelt sentiment, and in the end it didn’t matter. By the time I got to college, that little notion had grown into a bad case of Jonathan Livingston Seagull-itis. When two semesters of philosophy failed to satisfy, I dropped out and moved to Santa Fe because the New Age was booming.

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“A heady mix of brain waves and ocean waves.”
Men’s Journal
“Kotler’s tale starts slow and then, like a seasoned surfer calibrating his board to his ride, monumentally catches stride. Call it mysterioso or the oceanic feeling, what Kotler’s seeking is nothing less than the big explanation”
Village Voice
“The ideal book for any readers who have ever asked themselves, ‘How did surfing take over my life?’ Kotler brings us close to the answer via a wild globe-trotting journey in search of surfing’s much-referenced but rarely discussed spiritual side.”
Los Angeles Times
“Kotler creates a work that combines the most compelling elements of memoir, travelogue and scholarly abstract into an accessible tale of physical and mental adventure… both enlightening and inspirational.”
Publishers Weekly
“A surprisingly entertaining nonfiction account of his own spiritual quest through surfing… Kotler is often laugh-out-loud funny.”
San Francisco Chronicle