I’ve never encountered a book quite like the marvelously intelligent and imaginative Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives. Written by neuroscientist David Eagleman, this intriguing book offers wildly divergent speculative tales. Each is only a few pages, but Eagleman packs them with such fresh ideas that it’s best to read only one at a time in order to fully savor them.
The most compelling forms of art open us to new angles on old questions, showing us ever more infinite possibilities. And that’s what Sum is really about, possibilities.
So it makes sense that Eagleman, when asked in an interview if he would describe himself as an atheist, answered, “I call myself a Possibilian: I’m open to ideas that we don’t have any way of testing right now.”
The concept has taken off, with articles about Possibilianism popping up all over the world. Eagleman now finds himself in demand as a Possibilianism speaker. He might not have imagined that happening, but possibility is funny that way.