So MSI was patiently explaining that First Thunder is autobiographical but with a lot of literary license, and that Second Thunder is full-blown Myth. One person, still clinging to his personal New Age fantasy, responded, “So, then, First Thunder is fact and Second Thunder is fiction?” MSI leaned forward, locked the questioner’s gaze with his own penetrating stare and said, “No. First Thunder is fiction. Second Thunder is fact.” End of discussion.
First Thunder is actually a postscript to the THUNDER series, written well after the others were completed in draught form. But it’s also the jewel in the crown, because it points the reader toward a concrete practice that can open him or her to the depths of transcendence described in the earlier, mythical, works. According to Joseph Campbell, the main function of myth is to align waking consciousness with the Infinite Mystery of the universe, as it underlies our very existence and essence. First Thunder gives us a means to penetrate and experience that mystery; the other THUNDER books explore and open us to it. And they do it so well that the reader must leave his preconceived, conditioned universe at the portal, or risk becoming lost in confusion as layer after layer of space-time reveals itself. Many readers recount being chewed up and spit out by their first encounter with Second Thunder and then, picking it up again after a few months, their amazement at how easily they relaxed into the interconnected aspects of the story.
The Third Thunder books are more linear and, because they describe a timeline that parallels Second Thunder, can be read and enjoyed before attempting its complexities. Of the two, Shamara is my personal favorite. In many ways I find it the deepest, clearest, and most insightful of the THUNDER series, and many will find it to be an excellent entry point.