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Books about the future of Consciousness
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34 Consciousness

. Books about the future of Consciousness

Integral Spirituality: A Startling New Role for Religion in the Modern and Postmodern World
by Ken Wilber

Integral Spirituality — Ken Wilber's most cutting-edge work on religion since The Marriage of Sense and Soul (1998) — answers the question: how can we validate the existence of spiritual realities — specifically, the higher levels of mystical experience claimed by the world's wisdom traditions — in the face of modern and postmodern attacks that deny those realities as unscientific or reduce them to social constructions? Applying his highly acclaimed integral approach, Wilber formulates a theory of spirituality that honors the truths of modernity and postmodernity — including the revolutions in science and culture — while incorporating the legacy of the great religions. He shows why full enlightenment is not possible without combining the enlightenment of the East, which excels at cultivating higher states of consciousness, with the enlightenment of the West, which offers developmental and psychodynamic psychology. Each contributes key components to a more integral spirituality. On the basis of this theoretical framework, Wilber is able to make some timely suggestions. Because the world's religions have such a tremendous influence on the worldview of the majority of the earth's population, they are in a privileged position to address some of the biggest conflicts we face. By adopting a more integral view, and thus effectively responding to modern and postmodern critiques, the great religions can act as facilitators of human development, from mythic belief to rational science to postmodern pluralism — all the way up to enlightenment, and to a global society that honors and includes all the stations of life along the way.

Evolution's Arrow
by John Stewart

Evolution's Arrow argues that evolution is directional and progressive, and that this has major consequences for humanity. Without resort to teleology, the book demonstrates that evolution moves in the direction of producing cooperative organisations of greater scale and evolvability - evolution has organised molecular processes into cells, cells into organisms, and organisms into societies. The book founds this position on a new theory of the evolution of cooperation. It shows that self-interest at the level of the genes does not prevent cooperation from increasing as evolution unfolds. Evolution progresses by discovering ways to build cooperative organisations out of self-interested individuals. The book also shows that evolution itself has evolved. Evolution has progressively improved the ability of evolutionary mechanisms to discover effective adaptations. And it has produced new and better mechanisms. Evolution's Arrow uses this understanding of the direction of evolution to identify the next great steps in the evolution of life on earth - the steps that humanity must take if we are to continue to be successful in evolutionary terms. A key step for humanity is to increase the scale and evolvability of our societies, eventually forming a unified and cooperative society on the scale of the planet. We must also transform ourselves psychologically to become self-evolving organisms - organisms that are able to escape their biological and cultural past by adapting in whatever directions are necessary to achieve future evolutionary success.

Everybody's Story: Wising Up to the Epic of Evolution
by Loyal D. Rue, Edward Osborne Wilson

In a compelling read for anyone interested in where we came from and where we're going, Everybody's Story offers an exhilarating tour of natural history that illuminates the evolution of matter, life, and consciousness. As old myths, religious stories, and other shared narratives of humankind are increasingly viewed as intellectually implausible and morally irrelevant, they become less likely to fulfill their original purpose-to give people answers and provide a sense of stability and peace in daily life. Loyal Rue restores that imbalance with a new story based on fact. Rue, author of a New York Times Notable Book of 1994, By the Grace of Guile: The Role of Deception in Natural History in Human Affairs, now provides an evolutionary tour recounting our shared "epic of evolution."

by Elisabet Sahtouris, James E. Lovelock

An evolution biologist's story of planet Earth and its people from origins to a sustainable future. Past patterns of biological evolution offers clues to the natural process of globalization.

"This book is a work of philosophy in the original sense of a search for wisdom, for practical guidance in human affairs through understanding the natural order of the cosmos to which we belong. It bears little resemblance to what we have come to call philosophy since that effort was separated from natural science and became more an intellectual exercise in understanding than a practical guide for living.

To find meaning and guidance in nature, I integrated my personal experience of it with those scientific accounts that seemed to best fit it. From this synthesis, meaning and lessons for humanity emerged freely. I wrote the original version in the peaceful, natural setting of a tiny old village on a small pine-forested Greek island, where I could consider the research and debates of scientists, historians, and philosophers, then test them against the natural world I was trying to understand."

The Sacred Depths of Nature
by Ursula Goodenough

Ursula Goodenough is an internationally recognized cell biologist; she is also an accomplished amateur theologian--an unusual combination of interests in a time when science and religion are widely divided. In The Sacred Depths of Nature, she proposes what she calls a "planetary ethic" drawing on the lessons of both science and metaphysics, celebrating some of the mysteries that are central to both: "the mystery of why there is anything at all, rather than nothing," for one, and "the mystery of why the universe seems so strange," for another. Exploring scientifically based narratives about the creation of the universe and the origins of life, Goodenough forges a kind of religious naturalism that will not be unfamiliar to readers of New Age literature--save that her naturalism has the hard-nosed rigor of a laboratory-trained scholar behind it. Goodenough offers a crash course in the life sciences for her readers, encompassing the basics, for instance, of biochemistry in just a few paragraphs (and getting it right in the bargain), touching on Darwinian biology and population dynamics and even chaos theory to make "an epic of evolution" that has all the hallmarks of an origin myth. Faith and reason, in her view, are not mutually exclusive, and her well-written treatise makes a good argument for bridging the gap between the two.

Living Enlightenment: A Call for Evolution Beyond Ego
by Andrew Cohen and Ken Wilber

Guru of enlightenment Andrew Cohen has a radical message of evolutionary advancement. In Living Enlightenment, Cohen continues the work of his previous books and his magazine on the same topic -- that enlightenment is available here and now but involves a radical transformation of both outlook and behavior. Like Krishnamurti, Cohen is relentless in his commonsense approach to spirituality, insisting that enlightenment means a complete relinquishment of the ego. This naturally leads to nonattachment, humility, responsibility, and love. In enlightenment, one's perspective shifts from the personal to the impersonal, and this means a deepening of, rather than a distancing from, constructive relationships. Although Cohen comes out of the Indian tradition, his language is thoroughly modern, with very little jargon and no references to world religions. He has a tendency to be vague on the details, but his invitation to enlightenment is clear and his challenge refreshing. -- Brian Bruya

A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose
by Eckhart Tolle

With his bestselling spiritual guide The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle inspired millions of readers to discover the freedom and joy of a life lived “in the now.” In A New Earth, Tolle expands on these powerful ideas to show how transcending our ego-based state of consciousness is not only essential to personal happiness, but also the key to ending conflict and suffering throughout the world. Tolle describes how our attachment to the ego creates the dysfunction that leads to anger, jealousy, and unhappiness, and shows readers how to awaken to a new state of consciousness and follow the path to a truly fulfilling existence.

The Power of Now was a question-and-answer handbook. A New Earth has been written as a traditional narrative, offering anecdotes and philosophies in a way that is accessible to all. Illuminating, enlightening, and uplifting, A New Earth is a profoundly spiritual manifesto for a better way of life — and for building a better world.

The Power of Intention
by Wayne W. Dyer

After years of spiritual study and reflection, inspirational speaker and bestselling author Wayne Dyer has emerged a highly esteemed teacher. His current message about tapping into the power of intention may sound like good old positive thinking: just stay focused on what you want, rather than focusing on the lack of having what you want. But the teaching here goes deeper than just controlling thoughts (although he does acknowledge that thought control is a surprisingly challenging and significant endeavor). This book might help readers land a better job, but it's more relevant for those who are ready to detach from an ego-driven life filled with quick fixes of happiness and step into a more authentic, joyful, and spiritually fulfilling life. His core teachings speak to tapping into a universal source of energy that can also be called the "power of intention." He calls people who are consciously co-creating with this energy source "connectors" and describes them as "individuals who have made themselves available for success... They don't say With my luck things won't work out. Instead, you’re more likely to hear something like, I intend to create this and I know it will work out." Connectors are also committed to Dyer's "seven faces of intention" -- creativity, kindness, love, beauty, expansion, abundance and receptivity, which he speaks to throughout the book. Each chapter concludes with five suggestions for becoming stronger connectors, such as how to monitor one's inner speech or shift out of low-energy beliefs. Some criticize Dyer for not giving credit to other teachers who offer this same message, especially Jerry and Esther Hicks (A New Beginning I) and even Ralph Waldo Emerson. It's impossible to know whether this was a deliberate omission, but it is obvious that Dyer has tapped into a growing conversation about co-creating with "source." Other leading-edge voices in this conversation include Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now), Shakti Gawain (Creative Visualization) and Lynn Grabhorn (Excuse Me, Your Life is Waiting). --Gail Hudson

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