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Fourth Instinct: The Call of the Soul

Overview

The Fourth Instinct is an exploration of mankind's forgotten instinct - the most neglected and least understood part of human nature. It is the instinct that compels us to go beyond survival, beyond sexuality, and beyond status and power to find spiritual fulfillment and meaning in our lives. For years biologists and psychologists have described human nature primarily in terms of the three basic instincts. They have explained the instincts that link us to the past, Arianna Huffington writes, but have neglected ...
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Overview

The Fourth Instinct is an exploration of mankind's forgotten instinct - the most neglected and least understood part of human nature. It is the instinct that compels us to go beyond survival, beyond sexuality, and beyond status and power to find spiritual fulfillment and meaning in our lives. For years biologists and psychologists have described human nature primarily in terms of the three basic instincts. They have explained the instincts that link us to the past, Arianna Huffington writes, but have neglected the instinct that links us to our future. We know more about what we share with the apes than what we share with the angels. Citing a wide variety of examples from our cultural and social landscape, she shows how seeking fulfillment solely through the first three instincts leads inevitably to the aggression, depression, and addiction that scar so many lives. It is only by following the call of the Fourth Instinct, she argues, that we can transform our lives and our relationships with others. She speaks of the need to create a critical mass to change our culture - one person, one problem, one community at a time. In The Fourth Instinct Arianna Huffington describes the dead ends we are led down when we are obsessed by the pursuit of success, wealth, and recognition. She also explores the many threads that can help us find our way back to the still, spiritual center of our lives. Religion, art, science, relationships, and even pain and loss can become threads of meaning from which to weave a new life. Almost every generation believes it lives at a defining moment in history. Some actually do. Arianna Huffington believes that ours is one of them. When she lectures around the country a glimmer of recognition flashes across people's faces when she speaks of our growing longing to find meaning and purpose in our lives as we approach the new millennium. Despite our technological wizardry and cultural sophistication, we have begun searching once more for answers t
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The Fourth Instinct is a wonderful discovery, reminding each of us of all that we were meant to be—and can still become. Caring, sensitive, profoundly insightful, it is a book that can change the way we live our lives."
—Deepak Chopra, M.D., author, Ageless Body, Timeless Mind and Quantum Healing

"Arianna Huffington, in the course of her life, has come to experience the world with unusual depth. In her inspiring new book, which follows her younger work, After Reason, she has brought forth her perception of The Fourth Instinct: The Call of the Soul to reveal the insight of a sensitive and evolving mind. "
—Jonas Salk, M.D., author, The Anatomy of Reality and Survival of the Wisest

"Arianna Huffington has written a brilliant book about the search for deeper meaning and personal fulfillment in our lives. When we neglect that impulse, she explains, we become increasingly susceptible to depression, aggression, and various addictions. The Fourth Instinct is a groundbreaking and fascinating book. "
—Dean Ornish, M.D., author, Stress, Diet, and Your Heart and Dr. Dean Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The individual's search for meaning is hardly a new topic, but Huffington ( Maria Callas ) adds fresh ideas to the discussion. Taking a high view of human nature, she maintains that the impulse toward spiritual fulfillment is another of our basic human instincts (the others are survival, sex and power) and identifies this often neglected ``fourth'' instinct as the tool given humanity for transforming the limiting effects of the other three. Choosing to respond to the call of the soul leads one beyond false goals of celebrity, consumption and physical perfection on to compassion, selflessness and service. Huffington envisions a genuine evolutionary breakthrough as more and more people, driven by society's widespread sense of ``something missing,'' develop themselves under the direction of the fourth instinct. While the use of exclusively masculine language for both humanity and God detracts from her message, Huffington's book nonetheless challenges readers to evaluate their priorities and make meaningful changes in their lives. (May)
Library Journal
Best-selling author of biographies of Maria Callas and Picasso, talk show host, and first woman president of the Cambridge Union debating society, Huffington has experienced relative poverty as a child in Greece and life as a New York socialite; she is now the wife of a U.S. congressman and the mother of two daughters. From her own wide reading, research, and hourlong daily meditation, Huffington supports her contention that there is, in addition to survival, power, and sexual instincts, a powerful spiritual instinct that drives human beings toward God, toward helping others, and toward the wisdom, strength, and inspiration that come from pain, loss, and art. This deeply spiritual and nonsectarian book reads with narrative ease and clarity. Highly recommended for public and seminary libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 1/94.]-Carolyn Craft, Longwood Coll., Farmville, Va.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780743261630
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publication date: 10/7/2003
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 754,774
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

The Search for Meaning 11
Pt. 1 The Anatomy of the Fourth Instinct
1 Why Now? 25
2 "A Parliament of Instincts" 41
3 Dead Ends 67
Pt. 2 Threads Through the Labyrinth
4 The Imperative Journey 89
5 Seizing a Thread of Grace: Healing 96
6 "I Don't Make Strangers": Relationships 113
7 Reconnecting to God: Religion 131
8 To Be Knit Together: Community 143
9 Opening the Doors of Perception: Art 155
10 Set Free to Wonder: Science 168
11 The Unwelcome Thread: Pain and Loss 179
Pt. 3 Life under the Reign of the Fourth Instinct
12 Choosing to Evolve 197
13 A Future Waiting to Unfold 216
14 Critical Mass 240
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