OVERVIEW

Caught in the Rip likens the ebbs and flow of ‘conventional wisdom’
to a common danger at surf beaches.  Water brought to the shore by
breaking waves rolls back and sometimes turns parallel to the beach. 
If this ‘feeder current’ merges with another one running in the opposite
direction, a narrow ‘rip current’ is formed.  You can only swim across a
strong rip to escape being swept out to sea.

The book is divided into three parts.

Part I evaluates how the prevailing ‘conventional wisdom’ of the
West informs decision-making in both our professional and
personal lives. It raises questions at a practical and philosophical
level that suggest we are facing ‘system failure’, and challenges
the reader radically to re-think whether there is more to life than
this.

In the search for clues the author takes a look within the inner
self and then explores cutting edge science. Indicators that
there may be ‘something beyond’ our understanding of the here
and now lead us into the theological field in Part II, and justice
emerges as humanity’s most profound predicament. The
writings of some of history’s great teachers are examined to
assess how they proposed to deal with this issue.

The author cuts to the chase in Part III, by exploring some
potential implications for how we might have to change the way
we think and behave, at work and at home.

As the thought process unfolds there are suggested exits at
certain levels, which point to alternative pathways or worldviews
chosen by many. We are invited to use three simple tests to
evaluate the arguments and ideas quoted from a wide selection
of sources – is it rational ... is it real ... and how certain am I? The
author leaves it to the Postscript to spell out his own conclusions,
based on his life experience and extensive reading over many
years, drawing on numerous interesting and diverse sources.

Here are some examples of many useful quotes used in
the book ...

I am always ready to learn, but I do not always like
being taught

Sir Winston Churchill

To cultivate a mind so broad that it can tolerate every opinion
is not a virtue; it is the vice of the feeble-minded.

Dr John Stott, Theologian on ‘intellectual tolerance’

Making the complicated simple, that’s creativity.
Charlie Mingus, Jazz Musician

Today we’re all faced with greater choice, more competition
and less time to consider our options or seek out the right
advice.

Bill Cook, Management Consultant

A worry, so pernicious as to be capable of ruining extended
stretches of our lives, that we are in danger of failing to
conform to the ideals of success laid down by our society and
that we may as a result be stripped of dignity and respect.

Alain de Botton, Philosopher on ‘status anxiety’

Doubt, it seems to me, is the central condition of a human
being in the twentieth century.

Salman Rushdie