The great scientific revolution of the last five hundred years, with its technological glories and medical miracles, has landed upon a set of summary conclusions – or some slightly tweaked variations – depicting a random, indifferent, and wholly impersonal cosmos.
The world, we are told, is made up of particles and forces. Evolution, impelled by the single purpose of survival, is guided by chance through natural selection. DNA directs the chemical-mechanical unfolding of life. Consciousness and self, artifacts of the brain's firing neurons, are essentially inconsequential.
This is a picture that has been fraying at the edges for some time. Progress in medicine, quantum physics, open-systems biology, consciousness studies, epistemology, the arts and philosophy all point in a radically different direction. But fresh, coherent narratives have not yet fully emerged out of this progress, and so the old model stubbornly endures.
Hearts and Minds tells a tale of emerging discoveries – discoveries that restore our own self and consciousness as integral to the workings of the world.