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Brief History of Everything
is an altogether friendly and accessible account of men and women's place in a universe of sex, soul, ...
Brief History of Everything
is an altogether friendly and accessible account of men and women's place in a universe of sex, soul, and spirit, written by an author of whom
Tony Schwartz says: "No one has described the path to wisdom better than
Wilber examines the course of evolution as the unfolding manifestation of Spirit, from matter to life to mind, including the higher stages of spiritual development where Spirit becomes conscious of itself. In each of these domains, there are recurring patterns, and by looking closely at them, we can learn much about the predicament of our world—and the direction we must take if "global transformation" is to become a reality.
Wilber offers a series of striking and original views on many topics of current interest and controversy, including the gender wars, modern liberation movements, multiculturalism, ecology and environmental ethics, and the conflict between this-worldly and otherworldly approaches to spirituality. The result is an extraordinary and exhilarating ride through the Kosmos in the company of one of the great thinkers of our time.
An altogether friendly and accessible account of men and women's place in the universe of sex, soul and spirit, this vivid summary of the new and emerging American wisdom provides radical commentary on hot topics of the day, from political correctness to spiritual enlightenment.
Pattern That Connects
So we'll start the story with the Big Bang itself, and then trace out the course of evolution from matter to life to mind. And then, with the emergence of mind, or human consciousness, we'll look at the five or six major epochs of human evolution itself. And all of this is set in the context of spirituality—of what spirituality means, of the various forms that it has historically taken, and the forms that it might take tomorrow. Sound right?
Yes, it's sort of a brief history of everything. This sounds altogether grandiose, but it's based on what I call "orienting generalizations," which simplifies the whole thing enormously.
An orienting generalization is what, exactly?
If we look at the various fields of human knowledge—from physics to biology to psychology, sociology, theology, and religion—certain broad, general themes emerge, about which there is actually very little disagreement.
For example, in the sphere of moral development, not everybody agrees with the details of Lawrence Kohlberg's moral stages, nor with the details of Carol
Gilligan's reworking of Kohlberg's scheme. But there is general and ample agreement that human moral development goes through at least
three broad stages.
The human at birth is not yet socialized into any sort of moral system—it is
"preconventional." The human then learns a general moral scheme that represents the basic values of the society it is raised in—it becomes
"conventional." And with even further growth, the individual may come to reflect on his or her society and thus gain some modest distance from it, gain a capacity to criticize it or reform it—the individual is to some degree
although the actual details and the precise meanings of that developmental sequence are still hotly debated, everybody pretty much agrees that something like those three broad stages do indeed occur, and occur universally. These are
they show us, with a great deal of agreement, where the important forests are located, even if we can't agree on how many trees they contain.
My point is that if we take these types of largely-agreed-upon orienting generalizations from the various branches of knowledge—from physics to biology to psychology to theology—and if we string these orienting generalizations together, we will arrive at some astonishing and often profound conclusions,
conclusions that, as extraordinary as they might be, nonetheless embody nothing more than our already-agreed-upon knowledge. The beads of knowledge are already accepted: it is only necessary to string them together into a necklace.
And so in these discussions we will build toward some sort of necklace.
Yes, in a sense. In working with broad orienting generalizations, we can suggest a broad orienting map of the place of men and women in relation to
Universe, Life, and Spirit. The details of this map we can all fill in as we like, but its broad outlines really have an awful lot of supporting evidence,
culled from the orienting generalizations, simple but sturdy, from the various branches of human knowledge.
|A Note to the Reader|
|1||The Pattern That Connects||17|
|Twenty Tenets: The Patterns That Connect||19|
|Agency and Communion||21|
|Transcendence and Dissolution||22|
|Four Drives of All Holons||23|
|The Way of All Embrace||30|
|2||The Secret Impulse||31|
|Higher and Lower||32|
|Depth and Span||33|
|The Spectrum of Consciousness||40|
|3||All Too Human||44|
|4||The Great Postmodern Revolution||57|
|The Postmodern Watershed||58|
|Two Paths in Postmodernity||61|
|On the Edge of Tomorrow||64|
|Transcendence and Repression||66|
|5||The Four Corners of the Kosmos||69|
|The Four Quadrants||71|
|Intentional and Behavioral||75|
|Cultural and Social||77|
|The Shape of Things to Come||82|
|6||The Two Hands of God||84|
|Mind and Brain||85|
|The Left and Right Hand Paths||87|
|The Monological Gaze: The Key to the Right Hand Paths||88|
|Interpretation: The Key to the Left Hand Paths||90|
|What Does That Dream Mean?||91|
|Social Science versus Cultural Understanding||95|
|All Interpretation Is Context-Bound||98|
|7||Attuned to the Kosmos||105|
|Conclusion: The Four Faces of Spirit||118|
|8||The Good, the True, and the Beautiful||120|
|The Big Three||120|
|The Good News: Differentiation of the Big Three||123|
|The Bad News: Dissociation of the Big Three||126|
|The Task of Postmodernity: Integration of the Big Three||130|
|The Spiritual Big Three||131|
|9||The Evolution of Consciousness||137|
|Higher Stages of Development||138|
|Ladder, Climber, View||140|
|Basic Structures: The Ladder||141|
|The Self: The Climber||142|
|New Worlds Emerge: Changing Views||145|
|Stages of Spiritual Unfolding||150|
|Freud and Buddha||154|
|10||On the Way to Global: Part 1||157|
|The Primary Matrix||158|
|The False Self||160|
|Fulcrum-1: The Hatching of the Physical Self||162|
|Fulcrum-2: The Birth of the Emotional Self||163|
|Fulcrum-3: The Birth of the Conceptual Self||168|
|Every Neurosis Is an Ecological Crisis||169|
|Early Worldviews: Archaic, Magic, Mythic||172|
|Fulcrum-4: The Birth of the Role Self||174|
|Satanic Abuse and UFOs||177|
|11||On the Way to Global: Part 2||180|
|Evolution versus Egocentrism||180|
|Fulcrum-4 (Continued): Life's Social Scripts||182|
|Fulcrum-5: The Worldcentric or Mature Ego||185|
|Diversity and Multiculturalism||188|
|Fulcrum-6: The Bodymind Integration of the Centaur||190|
|On the Brink of the Transpersonal||193|
|12||Realms of the Superconscious: Part 1||197|
|Where the Mind Leaves Off||198|
|The Transpersonal Stages||199|
|Fulcrum-7: The Psychic||202|
|Deep Ecology and Ecofeminism||204Read More Show Less|