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New Self, New World: Recovering Our Senses in the Twenty-First Century Paperback – August 10, 2010

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Editorial Reviews


“An exceptionally important book.”
—Andrew Harvey, scholar, mystic, author of Son of Man, The Return of the Mother, and The Way of Passion

New Self, New World is an extraordinary work—an awesome display of wisdom distilled from the world’s great wisdom traditions and the majestic individuals who have experienced them. This book is about achieving the highest dimensions of which humans are capable. Highly recommended.”
—Larry Dossey, MD, author of Healing Beyond the Body, Reinventing Medicine, and Healing Words

“Shepherd has written a masterpiece. New Self, New World calls us back to source, artfully reminding us of the divine magnificence that we have long forgotten in our disembodied culture. As I read it, I felt my shoulders drop as my heart became more available to the moment. Read this book, and remember your self.”
—Jeff Brown, author of Soulshaping

New Self, New World is an exciting investigation of the human psyche, which is commonly male-oriented, and the deep-seated problems that result when deprived of its female counterpart. Using conventional spiritual concepts, such as the Holy Trinity, Shepherd provides a workable guide to achieving inner fulfillment by accepting the so-called ‘weak’ elements of our dual nature.”
Foreword Reviews

“At its core, this book is a cultural discourse about reconnecting to the wholeness of being human: to integrate the innate intelligence of the body into a functioning paradigm of human experience and evolution. The idea that we ‘live in our heads’ and are mostly disconnected from our body is not new. What is new is how this author extensively examines the historical, philosophical, scientific, mythological, spiritual, and social paths that have embedded this dissociative worldview as reality, to the extent that we are completely unaware that we are merely actors on a ‘headstrong’ stage of our own making… not since Ken Wilber introduced the Western world to the integral movement of East-West psycho-spirituality, has there been a catalyst for a paradigm shift that is so relevant and radically reinventive.”
New Consciousness Review

“This ambitious and wide-ranging book grew out of workshops [Philip Shepherd] has led for more than two decades… Shepherd believes that the culture that influences our ideas and experiences tells us the big lie day by day: ‘the roots of the self do not lie in the world around us, nor even in the body, but are preserved intact within the blood-brain barrier.’ This fiction of self-achieved independence comes at us from all directions when everything in science and spirituality enables us to embrace the universe as an interdependent reality.”
Spirituality & Practice

“Philip Shepherd has written a book which lays the foundation that could lead us humans to a much higher dimension than we now exhibit in New Self, New World: Recovering Our Senses in the Twenty-First Century. The book constantly harps against the very things that stand in our way of achieving this heightened state: the self-centeredness that seems to dominate our mind and materialism that seems to become more acute with each passing day… The book provides exercises for the body, mind and being that will help begin the process of reaching the potential which we are capable of attaining.”

“Shepherd demonstrates how we come into our true humanity only when we unite with our core-the deep, innate intelligence of the body. Our consciousness is not centered in the head any more than the universe is centered around the earth… At once a spiritual handbook, a philosophical primer and a roaming inquiry into human history, New Self, New World cracks open the possibilities of human experience and, with clarity, inspiration and compassion, lays the groundwork for personal renewal.”
Autumn Blues Reviews

“Philip Shepherd presents a fascinating examination of myth, consciousness, logic, and existence as our society grows increasingly more fearful and anxious. For anyone wanting a new perspective on achieving wholeness or a new sense of living a more present life, New Self, New World is a book worth reading. … exceptionally well-written and insightful.”

“Changing with the world is key to making sure it doesn't change you. New Self, New World: Recovering Our Senses in the Twenty-First Century is a new age spirituality book from Philip Shepherd that offers wisdom on how to better face the world, shifting ourselves and controlling ourselves as the world turns. With much philosophy, Philip Shepherd offers much to ponder about our changing world and what it means to be human. New Self, New World is an ideal read for spirituality and self-help collections.”
Midwest Book Review

About the Author

Philip Shepherd trained extensively with energy-work pioneer Denis Chagnon. He is the author of two internationally produced plays and a documentary for CBC television. The editor of The Compleat Art Critic, he lives in Toronto.

Foreword contributor Andrew Harvey is a renowned mystical scholar and founder of the Institute for Sacred Activism. He lives in Chicago.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: North Atlantic Books; Original edition (August 10, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1556439113
  • ISBN-13: 978-1556439117
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #283,545 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

About Philip Shepherd
Author of New Self, New World

Philip Shepherd has a passion for adventure and exploration that has guided him for most of his life. At 18 it took him from his native Canada to cycle alone around the world through Europe, the Middle East, Iran, India and Japan. But that trip, adventurous s it was, merely expressed a commitment to a more crucial adventure - coming to understand the subtle and often hidden aspects of our culture that affect us all, compromising our sense of self, our connection with the living world, our freedom of expression, and our creative engagement with the present.

As a young teenager, Philip could feel that influence pulling at him like an undertow to conform to given limits of thinking, understanding, values and body awareness, and felt he could resist its pull only if he understood it. That prompted him to study classical Noh Theater in Japan, design and build several houses, co-found an arts magazine, Onion, co-found an interdisciplinary theater company, teach workshops on embodied thinking and spontaneous creativity, write two internationally produced plays and a CBC documentary, and earn a reputation as a corporate coach.

In his varied career Shepherd has been featured in such publications as The San Francisco Examiner, Chicago's New City and Toronto's Globe and Mail, and on such radio shows as Live an Inspired Life, The Guide to the Human Experience, and Creative Consciousness.

In 2001 Philip began to write New Self, New World, and over the next nine years worked on it continuously to pull all the strands of his understanding together, and challenge the 10,000-year-old story of our culture, which tells us what it means to be human. New Self, New World was released in August 2010.

A faculty member at the Institute for Sacred Activism in Chicago, Shepherd currently lives in Toronto with his wife and two children. More information is available at His fan page on Facebook can be found at

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Viviane Crystal VINE VOICE on October 12, 2010
Format: Paperback
Imagine for a moment living in a completely "balanced" world where mind, heart, and body are synchronized and no dominance is present to distort life as we know it. The premise of New Self, New World moves even beyond that idea, laying out the possibility that life as we know it will take on an even greater experience, a fifth dimension as it is explained.

Philip Shepherd takes the reader through mythology, various ideas about consciousness, what occurs when we place too much focus on the mind without consciousness, of just what encompasses an idea, of a lack of connection to the core of our heart and "pelvic" intelligence, several suggestions to reacquire our innate sensitivity that is meant to operate in balance with thinking and other parts of our existence, such as through the process of restoring consciousness of the body to awaken that pelvic intelligence.

It also challenges previous understandings of male and female activity and passivity, a misunderstanding of true logic, the importance of perspective (also redefined) on experience, and the power behind "being present" in the moment within this new type of balanced living.

Exercises are provided for the body, mind and being to begin this process. This is not a light-weight book and scientific, literary, mythological explanations galore fill these pages. This reader would have liked to see more examples of how this new self and new world operate; in spite of its premise, the book is quite heavy on a logical, "head" presentation. Still, for those seeking wholeness of living, this is a new presentation of old and new ideas that offer a map leading to an altogether different way of living, one that seems to this reviewer to be healthier, happier, and more productive than what most find in day-to-day living. Fascinating!
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Connie Rose on October 29, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really wanted to like this book, mostly because I'd read a great interview with the author in a recent issue of The Sun. After reading half the book and closely scanning the rest of the 490 pages, though, I was left feeling that the interview said all that needed to be said, and in a softer, more heart-centered manner as well. I have no issue with the premise of the book, that our culture is so focused on the head/brain that we've lost the ability to feel life with our bodies, and that this is where real life happens. I completely agree with that.

What I could not abide with the book is that it is a 490-page tome that sounds more like a dissertation defense than a book with heart...and after all, isn't that just what the book says? that we don't have enough heart? Neither does the author, apparently, in writing the book.

The only reason I read as far as I did is because I kept hoping I'd get to a point where we'd heard enough about what's wrong with our culture and move into what we can do about it. Instead, it was ponderously repetitive, unbelievably repetitive, as though the readers are children who need to have the message drummed into their thick skulls ad nauseum. Very little space was devoted to how to actually "recover our senses," which is the subtitle of the book. I think if you are one who picks up the book in the first place, you're probably enlightened enough to realize our culture is seriously out of kilter, and you would be owed the respect of the author to devote more space to learning how to change ourselves from within to ameliorate the problem than focusing endlessly on the problem itself.

Don't buy this book. Look for the interview with the author in the April 2013 issue of The Sun instead.
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Format: Paperback
For centuries, people have relied on tradition and religion to provide stability and a sense of contentment to their lives. While there can be comfort in the certainty provided by ritual, there is often a separation between what we feel or know, using our whole body, and what we think, using our brain. There is a tendency in western society to separate mental consciousness from the body, which can lead to disorientation and unhappiness.

In this book, Philip Shepherd talks about the dangers of living entirely within the head (by separating mental consciousness from the body), and offers a new model of consciousness that brings mind and body into balance.

Philip Shepherd started writing this book in 2001, and spent nine years considering the issues surrounding the story of our culture and how it has become increasingly less relevant to our lives. He explains that part of the fiction of our culture is that the head and reason take precedence over the body and feeling. This leads almost inevitably to an emphasis on `doing' rather than `being'; of ignoring the body and not paying attention to what it needs.

The discussion in the thirteen chapters that make up the five parts of this book is underpinned by the inclusion of exercises that help to make us more aware of our bodies. The exercises are a useful way to reinforce many of the points Mr Shepherd makes. I have found a couple of them fantastic as a means of relaxation.

It took me a couple of weeks to read this book and to attempt some of the exercises. A lot of what I read made a form of hopeful sense to me, and I intend to revisit the book in order to obtain the most benefit from it. Oh, the irony!
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