Exquisite and dynamic like the previous books in the series, What is Exchange Factor is the 11th book in Project VIPIN all of which are penned by Dr. Vipin Gupta. The book is divided into 5 chapters and several sub chapters. The book opens with the table of contents that is followed by a description of Project VIPIN which stands for Vastly Integrated Processes Inside Nature. It is the conception of Dr. Gupta through which a series of 12 books have been written. This is the penultimate book of the series and as much as its position in the series stands for, it is summative of the project to some extent but also introduces new ideas like the other books before it.
The crux of the 11th book rests in the idea that individuals need others to live and exist. Man is a thoughtful and social being. Without other beings man is bound to suffer a lonely existence that is not the true meaning of his existence on this planet. Living together, co existing , loving and sharing is the true meaning of life for man. Dr. Gupta explains that there is this innate belief in mankind that we are a product of Mother Nature and that we need to bring forth those akin to us for the sake of coexisting together. In harmony there is peace and prosperity. Hence, Mother Nature becomes the best example, the ideal to follow. In Nature there is the example of cohabitation and coexistence, symbiotic living and give and take which is something that humans are taught since a young age to strive for. It is their aspiration to replicate Mother Nature. Dr. Gupta uses the term ‘mental map’ to explain that the mind of the human draws a rough sketch of the path that is to be followed to bring forth the best path of survival on this planet. This helps to assert individuality and is collectively guided by the “essential nature seeking to breed the collectivity in our image” (Gupta 2).
The enthralling part about the book is much like those that preceded it. The book is a unique combination of Science and Philosophy. Dr. Gupta draws a comparison by stating that the future is just a copy or nakala of the present. Such a present is actually formed with the electromagnetic mass or mudra of the past. The core idea is that Dr. Gupta pushes for the reader to transcend beyond the physical and the Newtonian physics to get a proper and a deeper understanding of the future’s formation. He explains this using a calculation that goes as follows:
If Isaac Newton is right about the physics of motion, then:
• Past’s action = Present
• Present’s reaction = Future
• Past’s action-reaction = Future
• Since future within past = 0, past’s action-reaction = 0.
• Put differently, past’s action has zero reaction since it does not
form the future.
The idea is to extend the present as a reaction to the past that will help understand the functioning of the future. The rest of the book evolves around this main central idea. The plot is slightly academic though it has a creative aspect to it in terms of presentation and writing style. The writing style is easy to follow with discreetly used difficult vocabulary but that is not too hard to follow either. Dr. Gupta suggests a reframing of the law of Physics: “Every reaction has an equal and opposite action, although it is possible to enjoy absolute freedom from this law of limitation with
conscious determination.” The book is highly engaging, intriguing and innovative. One is left to wonder how a single man can come up with an entire series that is equally complex and brimming with very new ideas. It is proof that Dr. Gupta is not just well read but also a deep thinker who thinks things through, analyses them and seeks to have answers in a rational and scientific manner.
The moot points are discovered in bulleted lines while they are elaborated in simple paragraphs as and when required. The list of abbreviations is present to assist the reader in case they stumble upon any words or terms. The terminology is not excessively difficult though it bends towards the academic writing style. It is not flowery and ornate language but formal and scientific. The entertaining part about the book is that even though it is a non- fiction text and it does not have any characters that flow through the work, the book keeps the readers highly engaged and interested till the end. This is because of its ability to provide answers, showcase newness and bring out the importance of thinking outside the box. The book is not a criticism about Isaac Newton or Newtonian school of physics. It bases itself on the theories of Newton but then builds upon it and draws from them to exert a newness in thinking that is not irrational or unethical but very passionate towards life and its mysteries. The book also comes with some photographs that serve as illustrations. Unlike the previous books, this book does not have cartoon illustrations but photographs of real individuals.