The novel opens in 1980, on the day that John Lennon is shot and killed, however a great deal of the story takes place in the 1960s and 1970s while an Episcopal bishop named Timothy Archer is discovering the theological and philosophical implications of the newly discovered Gnostic Zadokite scroll fragments and whether or not a psychotropic mushroom was associated with the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Look out for references to the Alan Watts-inspired character, a guru named Edgar Barefoot.
“Barefoot conducts his seminars on his houseboat in Sausilito. It costs a hundred dollars to find out why we are on this Earth. You also get a sandwich, but I wasn’t hungry that day. John Lennon had just been killed and I think I know why we are on this Earth; it’s to find out what you love the most will be taken away from you, probably due to an error in high places rather than by design.”