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This groundbreaking book proposes that the rise of alphabetic literacy reconfigured the human brain and brought about profound changes in history, religion, and gender relations. Making remarkable connections across brain function, myth, and anthropology, Dr. Shlain shows why pre-literate cultures were principally informed by holistic, right-brain modes that venerated the Goddess, images, and feminine values. Writing drove cultures toward linear left-brain thinking and this shift upset the balance between men and women, initiating the decline of the feminine and ushering in patriarchal rule. Examining the cultures of the Israelites, Greeks, Christians, and Muslims, Shlain reinterprets ancient myths and parables in light of his theory. Provocative and inspiring, this book is a paradigm-shattering work that will transform your view of history and the mind.
As in the bestselling The Alphabet Versus the Goddess, Leonard Shlain’s provocative new book promises to change the way readers view themselves and where they came from. Sex, Time, and Power offers a tantalizing answer to an age-old question: Why did big-brained Homo sapiens suddenly emerge some 150,000 years ago? The key, according to Shlain, is female sexuality. Drawing on an awesome breadth of research, he shows how, long ago, the narrowness of the newly bipedal human female’s pelvis and the increasing size of infants’ heads precipitated a crisis for the species. Natural selection allowed for the adaptation of the human female to this environmental stress by reconfiguring her hormonal cycles, entraining them with the periodicity of the moon. The results, however, did much more than ensure our existence; they imbued women with the concept of time, and gave them control over sex—a power that males sought to reclaim. And the possibility of achieving immortality through heirs drove men to construct patriarchal cultures that went on to dominate so much of human history. From the nature of courtship to the evolution of language, Shlain’s brilliant and wide-ranging exploration stimulates new thinking about very old matters.
Art interprets the visible world. Physics charts its unseen workings. The two realms seem completely opposed. But consider that both strive to reveal truths for which there are no words––with physicists using the language of mathematics and artists using visual images. In Art & Physics, Leonard Shlain tracks their breakthroughs side by side throughout history to reveal an astonishing correlation of visions. From the classical Greek sculptors to Andy Warhol and Jasper Johns, and from Aristotle to Einstein, artists have foreshadowed the discoveries of scientists, such as when Monet and Cezanne intuited the coming upheaval in physics that Einstein would initiate. In this lively and colorful narrative, Leonard Shlain explores how artistic breakthroughs could have prefigured the visionary insights of physicists on so many occasions throughout history. Provicative and original, Art & Physics is a seamless integration of the romance of art and the drama of science––and an exhilarating history of ideas.
With their early experiments in psychedelic rock music in the 1960s, and their epic recordings of the 1970s and '80s, Pink Floyd became one of the most influential and recognizable rock bands in history. As "The Pink Floyd Sound," the band created sound and light shows that defined psychedelia in England and inspired similar movements in the Jefferson Airplane's San Francisco and Andy Warhol's New York City. The band's subsequent recordings forged rock music's connections to orchestral music, literature, and philosophy. "Dark Side of the Moon" and "The Wall" ignored pop music's ordinary topics to focus on themes such as madness, existential despair, brutality, alienation, and socially induced psychosis. They also became some of the best-selling recordings of all time. In this collection of essays, sixteen scholars expert in various branches of philosophy set the controls for the heart of the sun to critically examine the themes, concepts, and problems—usually encountered in the pages of Heidegger, Foucault, Sartre, or Orwell—that animate and inspire Pink Floyd's music. These include the meaning of existence, the individual's place in society, the interactions of knowledge and power in education, the contradictions of art and commerce, and the blurry line—the tragic line, in the case of Floyd early member Syd Barrett (died in 2006)—between genius and madness. Having dominated pop music for nearly four decades, Pink Floyd's dynamic and controversial history additionally opens the way for these authors to explore controversies about intellectual property, the nature of authorship, and whether wholes—especially in the case of rock bands—are more than the sums of their parts.
Ever been to so many meetings that you couldn’t get your work done? Ever fallen asleep during a bullet-point presentation? Ever watched the news and ended up knowing less? Welcome to the land of Blah, Blah, Blah, in which talk and words prevent us from thinking. As powerful as words are, we fool ourselves when we think our words alone can detect, describe and defuse the multifaceted problems of today. This book offers a way out of Blah, Blah, Blah. It’s called “Vivid Thinking”, which combines our verbal and visual minds so that we can think and learn more quickly, teach and inspire our colleagues, and enjoy and share ideas in a new and more effective way. Through Vivid Thinking, we can make the most complicated subjects suddenly crystal clear – something which is proving increasingly valuable in this complex world of ours
The Decline and Fall of Practically Everyone is a concise history of humanity. It is written from the point of view of someone whose outlook on life has been transformed by primal therapy and who has become a lifelong primal person. No other history has been written from this unique perspective. The Decline and Fall of Practically Everyone offers to each one who is ready for it a fresh glimpse into his own history and into a sound understanding of the course all human history has taken toward the devolution of original human consciousness into unconscious self-awareness. In Part I, the author defines consciousness, unconscious self-awareness, primal pain, primaling and what living a primal life involves. He pictures the primal life as putting ones feet on the path toward greater consciousness. The authors stated purpose is to wake us up to our condition of unconscious self-awareness. He feels that, unless we are awakened, humanity will continue to careen toward destroying itself and the life-sustaining nurture of Earth. The authors approach to the necessary awakening is historical. If one can see history through primal eyes, one will not only see the devolution of consciousness into unconscious self-awareness down through the millennia, one will sense it in ones own life and do something about it. Then in Part II, he explores various attributes of unconscious self-awareness that are relevant to a primal understanding of history. These subjects include the basic split, the point at which unconscious self-awareness completely suppresses consciousness; the location and upward movement of unconscious self-awareness in the body; the experience of time and space; the changing nature of the supreme deity and the four motifs of religion. In Part III, the author begins to explore the historical devolution of original consciousness into unconscious self-awareness. Subjects revealing the devolution include beliefs regarding the origin of the cosmos and of humanity; the destiny of the dead; shamanism; the several millennia-long invasions by Warrior God societies of Mother Goddess cultures and the revolutionary religions of Buddhism and Christianity. In the authors view, everything that has happened since the 1st millennium B.C.E. is but a footnote to it, and he therefore skips to the Americas in the 15th century. In Part IV, the author concentrates on greed and lust for power as the chief characteristics of unconscious self-awareness in the modern period. He begins with Columbus and the euphemistically named Age of Exploration to illustrate how greed and the lust for power dominated the Western European Colonial powers. Next, he shows how the Age of Enlightenment and its major philosophers and economists provided the basis for our Founding Fathers to craft a constitution that enshrined themselves as a rich and powerful, elite ruling class. To illustrate the greed and lust for power of unconscious self-awareness in the rest of U.S. history, he discusses economics, individualism, class and class struggle, differences among people and between men and women in the degree of unconscious self-awareness, family parenting models, unilateralism as the national expression of individualism and the U.S. as a nation dominated by greed, by a lust for power, by a quest for world domination and by the willingness to use violence and terror to achieve these ends. In the final chapter, the author reiterates his purpose of awakening his readers from the state of unconscious self-awareness. In contrast to a strictly psychological approach to fulfill his purpose, the author has adopted, in addition, a perspective that encompasses the whole sweep of human history. He ends by offering a cautious optimism for the future.

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