Books/Secondary Corpus

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Books attributed to human sources demonstrating consciousness of the "spiritual counterpart of material knowledge."[1]

General

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The WHOLE EARTH CATALOG was published regularly from 1968 to 1972, but only intermittently thereafter. During its four years of regular publication, the Catalog earned a reputation, a following, and a National Book Award, the only time a catalog has been so honored.

Standing with one foot firmly in the rugged individualism and back-to-the-land movements of the Sixties counterculture and the other in the nascent global community made possible by the Internet, the WHOLE EARTH CATALOG offered an integrated, complex, challenging, thought-provoking, and comprehensive worldview.

Founder Stewart Brand, in his 1968 CATALOG article, "We are as gods" said, "At a time when the New Left was calling for grass-roots political (i.e., referred) power, Whole Earth eschewed politics and pushed grassroots direct power—tools and skills. At a time when New Age hippies were deploring the intellectual world of arid abstractions, Whole Earth pushed science, intellectual endeavor, and new technology as well as old. As a result, when the most empowering tool of the century came along—personal computers (resisted by the New Left and despised by the New Age)—Whole Earth was in the thick of the development from the beginning."

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The Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition (1910–1911) is a 29-volume reference work that marked the beginning of the Encyclopædia Britannica's transition from a British to an American publication. Some of its articles were written by the best-known scholars of the day. This edition of the encyclopedia is now in the public domain, but the outdated nature of some of its content makes its use as a source for modern scholarship problematic. Some articles have special value and interest to modern scholars as cultural artifacts of the 19th and early 20th centuries.

The 1911 eleventh edition was assembled under the leadership of American publisher Horace Everett Hooper. Hugh Chisholm, who had triumphantly edited the previous edition, was appointed editor in chief, with Walter Alison Phillips as his principal assistant editor.

Originally, Hooper bought the rights to the 25-volume ninth edition and persuaded the British newspaper The Times to issue its reprint, with eleven additional volumes (35 volumes total) as the tenth edition, which appeared in 1902. Hooper's association with The Times ceased in 1909, and he negotiated with the Cambridge University Press to publish the 29-volume eleventh edition. Though it is generally perceived as a quintessentially British work, the eleventh edition had substantial American influences, not only in the increased amount of American and Canadian content, but also in the efforts made to give it a more popular tone. American marketing methods also assisted sales. Some 11% of the contributors were American, and a New York office was established to run that side of the enterprise.

The initials of the encyclopedia's contributors appear at the end of each article (at the end of a section in the case of longer articles, such as that on China) and a key is given in each volume to these initials. Some articles were written by the best-known scholars of the day, such as Edmund Gosse, J. B. Bury, Algernon Charles Swinburne, John Muir, Peter Kropotkin, T. H. Huxley and William Michael Rossetti. Among the then lesser-known contributors were some who would later become distinguished, such as Ernest Rutherford and Bertrand Russell. Many articles were carried over from the ninth edition, some with minimal updating, some of the book-length articles divided into smaller parts for easier reference, yet others heavily abridged. The best-known authors generally contributed only a single article or part of an article. Most of the work was done by a mix of journalists, British Museum and other scholars. The 1911 edition for the first time included a number of female contributors, with 34 women contributing articles to the edition.

The eleventh edition introduced a number of changes to the format of the Britannica. It was the first to be published complete, instead of the previous method of volumes being released as they were ready. The type was kept in galleys and subject to continual updating until publication. It was the first edition of Britannica to be issued with a comprehensive index volume in which was added a categorical index, where like topics were listed. It was the first to break away from the convention of long treatise-length articles. Even though the overall length of the work was roughly the same as its predecessor, the number of articles had increased from 17,000 to 40,000. It was also the first edition of Britannica to contain biographies of living people.

The eleventh edition's articles are still of value and interest to modern readers and scholars, especially as a cultural artifact: the British Empire was at its very height, imperialism was largely unchallenged, much of the world was still ruled by monarchs, and the horrors of the modern world wars were still in the future. They are an invaluable resource for topics dropped from modern encyclopedias, particularly in biography and the history of science and technology. As a literary text, the encyclopedia holds value as a voice of early 20th-century prose. For example, it employs literary devices, such as the pathetic fallacy, which are not as common in modern texts.

The Humanities

Architecture

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Covers a wide range of issues relating to vernacular architecture including economies, technologies, inherited skills, social and family structures, physical needs, belief systems and symbolism. Explores the characteristics of domestic buildings in particular regions or localities, and the many social and cultural factors that have contributed to their evolution.

Ethics

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Wattles surveys the history of the golden rule and its spectrum of meanings in diverse contexts, ranging from Confucius to Plato and Aristotle, from classical Jewish literature to the New Testament. He also considers medieval, Reformation, and modern theological and philosophical responses and objections to the rule, as well as how some early twentieth-century American leaders have tried to use the rule. Wattles draws these diverse interpretation into a synthesis that responds, at the psychological, philosophical, and religious levels, to the challenges to moral living in any given culture.

Philosophy

The term philosophia perennis is intended to describe a philosophy that has been formulated by those who have experienced direct communion with God or the Ultimate. However brief the experience, it transforms the thinking mind of the experiencer, so that they are never the same again. Such revelatory experience, captured however dimly in symbols supplied by human language or by whatever artistic expression, however often repeated through the ages by people of all races, genders, cultures and religious beliefs, open onto the Perennial Philosophy.

More than half a century ago, Aldous Huxley gave this title to an anthology that he edited. In the type of experience central to it, whether called archaic or primordial or mystical, the veil of materiality is rent and mistaken certainties are dispelled.

For the reader, Huxley's anthology may validate and verify that moment in which self-knowledge moves one beyond the felt limitations of "a foul stinking lump of himself," as the classical British text of spiritual instruction, The Cloud of Unknowing, described it. Are such texts of spiritual instruction and the experiences of traditional mystics still of value today? Perennial Philosophy responds with an emphatic Yes!

Exploring the 'roads less travelled', MacDonald continues his monumental investigation of the history of ideas.

The history of heterodox ideas about the concept of mind takes the reader from the earliest records about human nature in Ancient Egypt, the Ancient Near East, and the Zoroastrian religion, through the secret teachings in the Hermetic and Gnostic scriptures, and into the transformation of ideas about the mind, soul and spirit in the late antique and early medieval epochs.

These transitions include discussion of the influence of Central Asian shamanism, Manichean ideas about the soul in light and darkness, and Neo-Platonic theurgy, 'working-on-god-within'. Sections on the medieval period are concerned with the rediscovery of magical practices and occult doctrines from Roger Bacon to Francis Bacon, the adaptation of Neo-Platonic and esoteric ideas in the medieval Christian mystics, and the survival of these ideas mixed with natural science in the works of von Helmont, Leibniz and Goethe.

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Nature is an essay written by Ralph Waldo Emerson, published anonymously in 1836. It is in this essay that the foundation of transcendentalism is put forth, a belief system that espouses a non-traditional appreciation of nature. Recent advances in zoology, botany, and geology confirmed Emerson's intuitions about the intricate relationships of Nature at large. A visit to the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris inspired a set of lectures delivered in Boston and subsequently the ideas leading to the publication of Nature.

Many scholars identify Emerson as one of the first writers (with others, notably Walt Whitman) to develop a literary style and vision that is uniquely American, rather than following in the footsteps of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and others who were strongly influenced by their British cultural heritage. "Nature" is the first significant work to establish this new way of looking at The Americas and its raw, natural environment. In England, all natural things are a reference to layers of historical events, a reflection of human beings. However, in America, all of nature was relatively new to Western Civilization with no man-made meaning. With this clean slate, as it were, Emerson was enabled to see nature through new eyes and rebuild nature's role in the world.

Henry David Thoreau had read "Nature" as a senior at Harvard College and took it to heart. It eventually became an essential influence for Thoreau's later writings, including his seminal Walden.

Emerson followed the success of this essay with a famous speech entitled "The American Scholar". These two works laid the foundation for both his new philosophy and his literary career.

Religion

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Nicholas Lash shows how the main contours of the Christian doctrine of God may be mapped onto principal features of our culture and its predicaments.

After an introductory chapter on 'The Question of God Today', Nicholas Lash considers - in chapters entitled 'Globalization and Holiness', 'Cacophony and Conversation' and 'Attending to Silence' - three dimensions of our contemporary predicament: globalization, a crisis of language, and the pain and darkness of the world, in relation to the doctrine of God as Spirit, Word, and Father.

Spirituality

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First published nearly forty years ago and having been translated into numerous languages, this classic text is written by a Benedictine monk whose Christianity was profoundly enriched by his encounter with Hindu spirituality.

Described by its author as 'a little book to help Christians in their inner renewal, and to make them increasingly attentive to the call of the Spirit' it is a simple and practical manual for learning to live each moment in the presence of God.

10 short chapters provide a lifetime's agenda and are full of gems of wisdom. They focus on The holy presence, The mystery of God, Recognizing God in all things, Listening for God's call, The prayer of silence, Contemplative reading of scripture. This deceptively simple text contains all the building blocks necessary for a mature life of prayer.

The Sciences

Formal

Mathematics

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From the mysterious cult of Pythagoras, to the awesome mechanics of Stonehenge, to the fearsome "gargoyles" and glorious fractals created on the computer screens of today, Pickover evokes the power of numbers and their connection with the search for the ultimate meaning of the universe. We learn that individuals through the ages have conjured numbers to predict the end of the world, to raise the dead, to find love, and to sway the outcome of wars. Even today, Pickover shows, serious mathematicians sometimes resort to mystical or religious reasoning when trying to convey the power of mathematics. Together we uncover mathematics in the most exquisite forms of nature - from the delicate shape of a spider web, to the curling spiral of a shell. We discover fractals in the branching patterns of blood vessels, plants, and mountain roots. And we grasp the power of a few simple concepts - including the gravitational constant and the speed of light - that control the destiny of the universe. Prepare yourself for a strange and often amusing journey. Let The Loom of God unlock the doors of your imagination through thought-provoking mysteries, puzzles, and problems on topics ranging from ancient Greek astronomy to Armageddon. A playground for computer hobbyists, an inspiring tome for science fiction aficionados, and an adventurous education for the curious in theology, astronomy, mathematics, and history, this book delivers a world of paradox and mystery. The Loom of God promises a creative, enticing, and unforgettable excursion along the vast tapestry, woven through history, of mathematics and the divine.

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Synergetics is the empirical study of systems in transformation, with an emphasis on total system behavior unpredicted by the behavior of any isolated components, including humanity’s role as both participant and observer. Since systems are identifiable at every scale from the quantum level to the cosmic, and humanity both articulates the behavior of these systems and is composed of these systems, synergetics is a very broad discipline, and embraces a broad range of scientific and philosophical studies including tetrahedral and close-packed-sphere geometries, thermodynamics, chemistry, psychology, biochemistry, economics, philosophy and theology. Despite a few mainstream endorsements such as articles by Arthur Loeb and the naming of a molecule “buckminsterfullerene,” synergetics remains an iconoclastic subject ignored by most traditional curricula and academic departments.

Buckminster Fuller (1895-­1983) coined the term and attempted to define its scope in his two volume work Synergetics [1][2][3]. His oeuvre inspired many researchers to tackle branches of synergetics. Three examples: Haken explored self-organizing structures of open systems far from thermodynamic equilibrium, Amy Edmondson explored tetrahedral and icosahedral geometry, and Stafford Beer tackled geodesics in the context of social dynamics. Many other researchers toil today on aspects of Synergetics, though many deliberately distance themselves from Fuller’s broad all-encompassing definition, given its problematic attempt to differentiate and relate all aspects of reality including the ideal and the physically realized, the container and the contained, the one and the many, the observer and the observed, the human microcosm and the universal macrocosm.

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Eli Maor examines the role of infinity in mathematics and geometry and its cultural impact on the arts and sciences. He evokes the profound intellectual impact the infinite has exercised on the human mind--from the "horror infiniti" of the Greeks to the works of M. C. Escher; from the ornamental designs of the Moslems, to the sage Giordano Bruno, whose belief in an infinite universe led to his death at the hands of the Inquisition. But above all, the book describes the mathematician's fascination with infinity--a fascination mingled with puzzlement. "Maor explores the idea of infinity in mathematics and in art and argues that this is the point of contact between the two, best exemplified by the work of the Dutch artist M. C. Escher, six of whose works are shown here in beautiful color plates."--Los Angeles Times "[Eli Maor's] enthusiasm for the topic carries the reader through a rich panorama."--Choice "Fascinating and enjoyable.... places the ideas of infinity in a cultural context and shows how they have been espoused and molded by mathematics."--Science

Social

Ecology

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The basic thesis of the work is that environmental problems are only to be solved by people - people who will be required to make value judgements in conflicts that go beyond narrowly conceived human concerns. Thus people require not only an ethical system, but a way of conceiving the world and themselves such that the intrinsic value of life and nature is obvious, a system based on 'deep ecological principles'. The book encourages readers to identify their own series of such parameters - their own ecosophies. Ecology, Comunity and Lifestyle will appeal to philosophers, specialists working on environmental issues, and the more general reader who is interested in learning some of the foundational ideas of the rapidly expanding field of environmental philosophy.

Economics

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In this book I will describe a vision of a money system and an economy that is sacred, that embodies the interrelatedness and the uniqueness of all things. No longer will it be separate, in fact or in perception, from the natural matrix that underlies it. It reunites the long-sundered realms of human and nature; it is an extension of ecology that obeys all of its laws and bears all of its beauty.

I dedicate all of my work to the more beautiful world our hearts tell us is possible. I say our "hearts," because our minds sometimes tell us it is not possible. Our minds doubt that things will ever be much different from what experience has taught us. You may have felt a wave of cynicism, contempt, or despair as you read my description of a sacred economy. You might have felt an urge to dismiss my words as hopelessly idealistic. Indeed, I myself was tempted to tone down my description, to make it more plausible, more responsible, more in line with our low expectations for what life and the world can be. But such an attenuation would not have been the truth. I will, using the tools of the mind, speak what is in my heart. In my heart I know that an economy and society this beautiful are possible for us to create-and indeed that anything less than that is unworthy of us. Are we so broken that we would aspire to anything less than a sacred world?

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Small Is Beautiful: Economics As If People Mattered is a collection of essays by British economist E. F. Schumacher. The phrase "Small Is Beautiful" came from a phrase by his teacher Leopold Kohr.[1] It is often used to champion small, appropriate technologies that are believed to empower people more, in contrast with phrases such as "bigger is better".

First published in 1973, Small Is Beautiful brought Schumacher's critiques of Western economics to a wider audience during the 1973 energy crisis and emergence of globalization. The Times Literary Supplement ranked Small Is Beautiful among the 100 most influential books published since World War II.[2] A further edition with commentaries was published in 1999.[3]

Small Is Beautiful received the prestigious award Prix Européen de l'Essai Charles Veillon in 1976.[2]

History

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A Study of History is the 12-volume magnum opus of British historian Arnold J. Toynbee, finished in 1961. In this immensely detailed and complex work, Toynbee traces the birth, growth and decay of some 21 to 23 major civilizations in the world. These are: Egyptian, Andean, Sinic, Minoan, Sumerian, Mayan, Indic, Hittite, Hellenic, Western, Orthodox Christian (Russia), Far Eastern (Japan), Orthodox Christian (main body), Far Eastern (main body), Persian, Arabic, Hindu, Mexican, Yucatec, and Babylonic. There are four 'abortive civilizations' (Abortive Far Western Christian, Abortive Far Eastern Christian, Abortive Scandinavian, Abortive Syriac) and five 'arrested civilizations' (Polynesian, Eskimo, Nomadic, Ottoman, Spartan); thirty in all.

Toynbee applies his model to each of these civilizations, painstakingly detailing the stages through which they all pass: genesis, growth, time of troubles, universal state, and disintegration.

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William Irwin Thompson is one of the truly great minds of our time. These two early works (which were originally published separately) are the perfect introduction to Thompson's opus. While some of the pop culture references may seem dated, passed over by events, the basic world view presented here remains valid.

Thompson, riding on the shoulders of such as Jean Gebser and Marshall McLuhan, illuminates the transitional period we are undergoing, as we move out of the modern era into ... whatever is coming -- we don't really know yet, but the so-called "postmodern" isn't the future, it's just a replay of isolated elements of the modern. Thompson sees signs of one possible future in the emerging planetary consciousness where thinking globally while acting locally is more than a pop phrase but a new way of perceiving our oneness with a sacred world. Thompson looks at signposts all over the planet which, taken individually might seems interesting, but taken together begin to form a picture that inspires either hope or dread, depending on your attachment to the prevailing consciousness. (You'll have to read his more recent books to get his take on capitalism's latest phase of globalization.)

I won't give any more away as I don't wish to spoil the intellectual feast that awaits the reader. I urge anyone interested in the history of ideas and in understanding the changes taking place in the world around us to read Thompson, starting with this publication. Then work your way through the rest of his books. It's a journey that can change your worldview and your life.

Paleontology

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The Phenomenon of Man (Le Phénomène Humain, 1955) is a non-fiction book written by French philosopher, paleontologist and Jesuit priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. In this work, Teilhard describes evolution as a process that leads to increasing complexity, culminating in the unification of consciousness.

The book was finished in the 1930s, but was published posthumously in 1955. The Roman Catholic Church considered that Teilhard’s writings contradicted orthodoxy and prohibited their publication.

With the development of a complex Internet-based global society, some have argued that The Phenomenon of Man contains many insights that have proven prescient

Politics

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Developing a master strategy for world revolution means a drastic simplification of purpose, and at the same time a drastic complexification of effort.

Our goal must be, quite simply, a new organic world civilization, a new sociocultural, economic, and political environment for the species Homo sapiens, with a new organic relationship to the larger environment of earth and cosmos. Such a goal simplifies our world view, but it does not make our task any easier or smaller. Just the opposite. The search for social justice, personal freedom, truth and meaning, peace, well-being, and the good life are not superseded by the search for a new civilization, but are assimilated directly into it. Civilization building requires disciplined attention to all the needs of progressive mankind. In coming chapters, therefore, we shall have to discuss politics, law, religion, philosophy, culture, human rights, economics, education, ecology, the universe itself–all in relationship to our vision of the desirable future of mankind.

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Thomas Jefferson, in these letters to Americans and the citizens of the world, is as always a radical and visionary idealist. He is also outraged at contemporary America. Yet, his assertions are in the end even more shocking for their spiritual optimism. On matters of the human soul and spirit, his thinking has evolved well beyond where he is remembered historically. He is also writing to us cognizant of our future as follows:

America means love.
The word America means love.
It is time, at last, for Americans to know that meaning,
and not a moment too soon.

Mr. Jefferson has returned for this critical time of decision to reawaken and revive the ailing soul of America. The soul of every human, every community and every nation is that unique inner consciousness which serves to navigate the living vessel of each life back to the safe harbor of reunion with the divine love which sent it forth.

Mr. Jefferson as the author of the Declaration of Independence and the social architect of the Bill of Rights is a primary guardian of the American soul. Under the terrible pressure of losing the American experiment in self-governance to the forces of fear trending toward fascism, Mr. Jefferson has returned to empower individual Americans to rise up to their full responsibility to protect their souls and their personal and community potential for fulfillment in truth, beauty and goodness which together express love, the meaning and destiny of America.

Review: "Read this amazing text, please do so. There is nothing quite like it in all of the literature of this sort. It is a prophetic cry for change that must be heard now, and attended to now. I cite for the moment this amazing quote (see below) from Letter XX, but it is just one of many like it. Enjoy this book--and use it!"—Byron Belitsos

"First by far in profiteering in the war and death industry, America yet is still the global seat of benevolence and idealism. Such a soul-wrenching struggle for clarity and purity of purpose human life has never seen before. The depth of the mystery of how good and evil could so inhabit a single soul seems to have rolled in like a thick fog from the ocean of human evolution. The American soul is desperate for the burning power and purity of sunlight, the sunlight of spiritual transcendence."It feels like an endless hopeless night of blinding murder among you. Yet, dawn is inevitable. There are those Americans among you still, first alone and then in small villages and towns and city neighborhoods who are rising early in courage to be bringers of the dawn. "I am reminded of the midnight ride of Paul Revere calling our country to the fight for freedom which today has begun again. If money is your purpose, early death to all life is your certain end. This time you fight the forces of eternal extinction. Rise up. The dawn is at your door

Psychology

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Viktor Frankl's 1946 book Man's Search for Meaning chronicles his experiences as a concentration camp inmate and describes his psychotherapeutic method of finding a reason to live. According to Frankl, the book intends to answer the question "How was everyday life in a concentration camp reflected in the mind of the average prisoner?" Part One constitutes Frankl's analysis of his experiences in the concentration camps, while Part Two introduces his ideas of meaning and his theory of logotherapy. It is the second-most widely read Holocaust book in the bookstore of Washington's Holocaust Museum.

According to a survey conducted by the Book-of-the-Month Club and the Library of Congress, Man's Search For Meaning belongs to a list of "the ten most influential books in [the United States]." (New York Times, November 20, 1991). At the time of the author's death in 1997, the book had sold 10 million copies in twenty-four languages.

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Can schooling transform society? This visionary book argues that it can if we look beyond the traditional view of education as a means to finding jobs or "getting ahead," and we attend to the personal development and enrichment of the whole child. Education is a sacred, not an economic quest, and it is in our power to equip young people with the character and values necessary to enhance and improve the society they will inherit.In this book, noted teacher and thinker James Moffett sets forth a controversial, daring, and inspiring vision of what schooling can and should be. His highly personal, philosophical inquiry into the nature and purpose of education offers us a view of schooling as a lifelong spiritual quest with the power to promote the highest potential of the individual.Moffett challenges the school reform movement to reach beyond conventional goals that cater to bureaucratic and corporate interests and to take on a more "transformative" mission by creating holistically grounded, culturally relevant education that enables students to adapt and thrive in spite of societal challenges and technological change. He surveys all the good ways of learning found in and out of institutions, past and present--from apprenticing and tutoring to practicing the arts and spiritual disciplines--and he proposes how these would be made accessible within a universal schoolhouse or community learning network for all ages and purposes.