Ego: The Fall of the Twin Towers and the Rise of an Enlightened Humanity

Ego: The Fall of the Twin Towers and the Rise of an Enlightened Humanity

by Peter Baumann, Michael W. Taft
     
 

Ego: The Fall of the Twin Towers and the Rise of an Enlightened Humanity by Peter Baumann and Michael W. Taft is the first book to explore the positive evolutionary potential hidden in one of the most destructive events in history. In their examination of the evolutionary implications of 9/11 and its aftermath, the authors contend we are not falling

Overview

Ego: The Fall of the Twin Towers and the Rise of an Enlightened Humanity by Peter Baumann and Michael W. Taft is the first book to explore the positive evolutionary potential hidden in one of the most destructive events in history. In their examination of the evolutionary implications of 9/11 and its aftermath, the authors contend we are not falling into the grip of a new dark age at all; rather, we are on the verge of a much brighter one as the Darwinian process of natural selection continues to advance humankind.

The authors’ inquiry led them to the roots of human suffering: the ego. That the ego underlies our problems as a species may come as no surprise. But a deeper look into the ego’s origin and history is full of unexpected revelations:

  • The modern human is dominated by a Stone Age brain
  • Energy consumption and the environmental crisis is nothing more than the evolutionary drive to survive gone haywire
  • Evolution has wired us to be riveted to bad news, bad outcomes, and worst-case scenarios
  • When beliefs are challenged it triggers a life or death stance in the human nervous system
  • Emotions are mostly physical, not mental

The self we identify with—along with its biases and beliefs—turns out to be an evolutionary tool that made its first appearance some 50,000 years ago during what’s called the conceptual revolution, arguably the biggest developmental leap in human history. The emerging ego accompanied our ability to construct complex tools, create art, and redefine social structure. For the first time as a species, we were able to imagine the future, consider the thoughts of others, and picture ourselves in our own minds. The ego is a cognitive trick of natural selection intended to insure the survival of the individual. Baumann and Taft say the problem comes when we take the ego’s conceptualization of reality as the truth about who we actually are.

Using the latest research from neuroscience, evolutionary biology, psychology, and paleontology, Baumann and Taft show that modern humanity may be on the verge of an expansion of cognitive abilities akin to the development of the ego. This next step will free the human mind to see beyond the confines of the prison, and open the vast potential of conscious awareness.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Baumann and Taft skillfully weave eyewitness accounts of 9/11 with insights from evolutionary theory, genetics, neuroscientific research on emotion, the compelling new research on neuroplasticity, and other new areas of research. They show how our sense of self, or ego, is both a masterwork of evolution and simultaneously a source of much human suffering. Provides a grounded hope for the continuing evolution of our species."
—Alfred W. Kaszniak, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, Neurology, & Psychiatry, University of Arizona
• Reviewed on May 31, 2011

"If you don't have the patience for long articles on subjects that we will all get plenty of over the next two weeks, I can save you some time; this is a good book, they do a good job. You should buy it. I have often noted that philosophers do a better job of writing about physics than modern physicists do and it may be that people outside biology can see a big picture in evolution differently than biologists. If so, these guys are a great example. It kept me reading, even where I didn't agree."
—Hank Campbell, Science 2.0 Reviewed on Aug. 25, 2011

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781604075731
Publisher:
Sounds True, Incorporated
Publication date:
08/28/2011
Pages:
328
Product dimensions:
8.24(w) x 5.58(h) x 0.86(d)

Meet the Author

Peter Baumann

Peter Baumann began his career as a member of the internationally acclaimed 1970s band Tangerine Dream and later founded the Private Music record label. Instead of being derailed by early fame and fortune, he asked himself this in his late 40s: “Given that I probably have about 10,000 days left on the planet, how can I use this time in the most meaningful and useful way possible?” To address this question, Baumann assembled a top-notch interdisciplinary think-tank, the San Francisco-based Baumann Foundation. He serves as a trustee of the California Institute of Integral Studies and as a fellow at the Mind & Life Institute.


Michael W. Taft

Michael W. Taft is a serious student of evolution and the capacities of the human brain. A professional researcher and writer for more than two decades, Taft is fascinated by what neuroscience, biology, psychology, archeology, and technology can tell us about the human condition. Michael is a senior adviser to the Baumann Foundation. He lives in Berkeley, California.

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