Lazarus in the Labyrinth, a psychological drama, takes a startling look at the nature of death, as Reno Antonin finds an unorthodox solution to his depression through the rites of a secret society modeled on the Eleusinian mysteries.
This most recent work takes readers on an intricately contrived journey of ideas about depression, death, religion and resurrection and leads to an alternate reality about the nature of consciousness that some will find disturbing, some enthralling.
Reno Antonin is a successful athlete and university professor who finds himself falling into a deep depression after a series of medical crises and after the slow exposure of a previously repressed memory of one dark event in his life decades earlier. Taking the advice of his sister, a practicing psychotherapist, Reno embarks on a quest to "kill the Minotaur in the labyrinth," as his therapist defines his archetypal approach.
The therapy fails; but rather than turn to religion as a salve to his psychological wounds, Reno begins to examine his own hospital experiences as a resolution for his depression. He comes to believe that the more times he has been anaesthetized for his surgeries, the more he has an idea of what actual death might be like. Under anesthesia, he has no consciousness, no awareness, no feelings, no dreams.
Reno accepts the view of death as a void, a nothingness, a vacuum. There is no afterlife. If some form of one’s consciousness does not live on forever, he realizes, there is no longer any need to fear death.
When the anesthesiologist has neutralized the effects of the anesthesia, Reno sees that his consciousness has been switched back on. He has been "resurrected."
These conclusions about death are reinforced when Reno meets members of a secret society who perform their own personal death dramas in rites loosely based on the Eleusinian mysteries. Resurrections are based on the story of Lazarus, who failed, after he was resurrected, to report any afterlife because he had experienced none.
As a therapeutic approach, Reno then realizes , when one is "resurrected" after going through the death drama, all one’s problems are solved because one’s old consciousness -- and the problems it contained -- no longer exist.
Genre: Fiction/Jungian psychology/psychology of religion