Twilight of the Clockwork God: Conversations on Science and Spirituality at the End of an Age [NOOK Book]

Overview

A new generation of scientists is emerging with startling discoveries and theories that have much in common with the ancient teachings of many spiritual traditions. In interviews with some of our greatest contemporary minds, mythologist John David Ebert explores the newest insights in the ongoing exchange of ideas between science and religion. Provocative, sophisticated interviews with Brian Swimme, Rupert Sheldrake, Ralph Abraham, Lynn Margulis, Terence McKenna, Stanislav Grof, Deepak Chopra and William Irwin ...
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Twilight of the Clockwork God: Conversations on Science and Spirituality at the End of an Age

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Overview

A new generation of scientists is emerging with startling discoveries and theories that have much in common with the ancient teachings of many spiritual traditions. In interviews with some of our greatest contemporary minds, mythologist John David Ebert explores the newest insights in the ongoing exchange of ideas between science and religion. Provocative, sophisticated interviews with Brian Swimme, Rupert Sheldrake, Ralph Abraham, Lynn Margulis, Terence McKenna, Stanislav Grof, Deepak Chopra and William Irwin Thompson allow these cutting-edge thinkers in disciplines ranging from mathematics, biology, cosmology, medicine and psychology to present their theories in their own words. Ebert places these challenging ideas in a clear context and within a greater historical overview.
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Editorial Reviews

Arizona Republic
Ready for both an intellectual challenge and a research project for the spirit? Tag along with John Ebert as he interviews superthinkers in fields as disparate as mathematics and psychology, cosmology and medicine.
Library Journal
Ebert, a scholar of mythology and contemporary culture, here interviews nine unorthodox thinkers. His main thesis is that our concept of the universe is shifting from that of a machine to that of a living organism and that scientists therefore need to find more organic images that will help link them to the universe instead of making them external observers. After presenting a basic historical context and discussing the importance of mythological symbols, Ebert presents his interviews in question-and-answer form. His experts come from many different fields, including anthropology, ecology, medicine, psychology, and philosophy. Though they do not always agree with one another, they all have strong qualifications and new ways of approaching old questions that are fascinating and thought-provoking. The interview style helps keep the reader from becoming lost in unfamiliar and often complex ideas. The book also has an excellent annotated bibliography for further reading. Recommended for public libraries.C. Robert Nixon, MLS, Lafayette, IN
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781571782472
  • Publisher: Council Oak Books
  • Publication date: 2/1/2010
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 259 KB

Read an Excerpt

..It is my contention that a new generation of scientists is emerging, one for which magic, myth and science are part of the same spectrum of human cultural activity. It is not the end of Western civilization that is signified by the appearance of a new species of scientist who takes myth seriously, but rather the end of an epoch in which the cultural canon that has shaped the imagination of the West for five centuries is disintegrating. . . .

The appearance of such new constellations is precisely what this book is about, for in contradistinction to the mechanistic universe, its chapters are filled with visions of a cosmos that is alive and sentient, capable of remembering the past and interacting with our lives on the most intimate level. . . .

And so, this book announces an apocalypse, of sorts, the twilight of the mechanical world-view. That world is most emphatically coming to an end, and the new one that is rising from out of its ruins is the one that will shape the imagination of the twenty-first century. I have been privileged to be living at a moment in the history of our culture when the mutation of a new species of scientist is beginning to proliferate. Yet, mechanists remain in abundance, and this book is about how their magnificent ship has not only hit its iceberg, but is sinking. Slowly.

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Introduction: The Genesis and Disintegration of the Mechanical World Picture
Alternative Cast: Mary Catherine Bateson, James Hillman, Joanna Macy, Camille Paglia, James Lovelock, Ilya Prigogine, Francisco Varela and Ken Wilber 1
Pt. 1 The Descent to Earth 25
Cosmology
God and the Quantum Vacuum: A Conversation with Brian Swimme 27
Biology
From Cellular Aging to the Physics of Angels: A Conversation with Rupert Sheldrake 39
Mathematics
The Foundations of Chaos: A Conversation with Ralph Abraham 51
Geosciences
The Evolution of Gaia: A Conversation with Lynn Margulis 68
Pt. 2 The Return to the Source 88
Ethnobotany
The Garden of Psychedelic Delights: A Conversation with Terence McKenna 91
Psychology
Birth, Death and the Beyond: A Conversation with Stanislav Grof 106
Medicine
The Yoga of Desire: A Conversation with Deepak Chopra 127
History
Bridges Between Worlds: A Conversation with William Irwin Thompson 142
Conclusion: The Transubstantiation of Science 163
Acknowledgments 178
Notes 180
Appendix: Chronological List of Books for Further Reading 189
Bibliography 197
Index 201
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